Xiangming Chen is the founding Dean and director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies, Trinity College and the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology, as well as a distinguished guest professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.  He received his B.A. from Beijing Foreign Studies University and his Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University. He is a co-author, with Anthony Orum, of The World of Cities: Places in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Blackwell, 2003); the author of As Borders Bend: Transnational Spaces on the Pacific Rim (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005); the editor of and primary contributor to Shanghai Rising: State Power and Local Transformations in a Global Megacity (University of Minnesota Press, 2009); the lead editor, with Ahmed Kanna, of Rethinking Global Urbanism: Comparative Insights from Secondary Cities (Routledge, 2012); a co-author, with Anthony Orum and Krista Paulsen, of Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); the lead editor, with Nick Bacon, of Confronting Urban Legacy: Rediscovering Hartford and New England’s Forgotten Cities (Lexington Books, 2013); and a co-editor, with Sharon Zukin and Philip Kasinitz, of Global Cities, Local Streets (Routledge, forthcoming).

Read more about Xiangming Chen.

Emily Cummins is an interdisciplinary sociologist with specializations in urban studies, ethnography, and planning. She completed her PhD in sociology at Northeastern University in Boston in 2016. Her work is broadly concerned with the politics of the built environment in redeveloping cities, examining how the technical aspects of planning articulate with our social and political world. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the city of Detroit her most recent project looks at that various ways that narratives of a “future city” and grand plans for revitalization reconfigure racialized inequality in the present. Prior to this, Emily lived in southern New Mexico and worked on a number of border justice issues, including examining strategies to upgrade city services like electricity and water in the colonias, or the so-called informal neighborhoods along the U.S./Mexico border, as well as working with fair trade advocates and women’s sewing cooperatives from Chiapas, Mexico. She has published several articles in scholarly journals that utilize ethnography and combine elements from these various projects. 

​(860) 297-2365

​Carlos Espinosa is the director of Trinfo.Café at Trinity College and is responsible for coordinating activities, developing programming, and building relationships with more than 120 local organizations participating in the project. He received his B.A. in educational studies and sociology (1996) and then an M.A. in public policy in 1998 from Trinity College. Carlos is the first Trinity student to participate in the Trinity Center for Neighborhood’s (TCN) community organizer training program while completing his master’s degree at Trinity. Through TCN Carlos worked for Hartford Areas Rally Together, organizing disenfranchised neighborhood residents. He previously served as a policy analyst and lobbyist for the Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Connecticut, Carlos helped found the Caring Families Coalition, a statewide advocacy group aimed at affecting public policy on health issues as it relates to caregivers.

(860) 297-4277

Garth A. Myers, associated with the Center for Urban and Global Studies, is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies. Garth Myers earned a Ph.D. in Geography (1993) from UCLA with an allied field in Urban Planning. Myers has an M.A. (UCLA, 1986) in African Area Studies, with Geography and Urban Planning as the major and minor fields, and a BA with Honors in History from Bowdoin College, with concentrations in African and African-American History. He has taught at the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Miami University (Ohio), California State University at Dominguez Hills, and UCLA. Myers is comfortable with large lecture classes and small seminars. His teaching philosophy rests on a belief in student engagement; the best learning takes place in engaged classrooms, where the professor facilitates student discussion and debate. Myers has conducted research in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Finland, and the UK over the past 20 years, and he regularly uses his research to inform his teaching.

(860) 297-4273




Rosangelica Rodriguez is the Program Coordinator at Trinfo Café. She is in charge of supervising student workers, coordinating computer literacy and youth programming. She Received a B.S in Environmental Science and minored in Hispanic Studies. Born in Venezuela but raised in New York City, Rosangelica moved to Hartford in 2011 to attend Trinity College.  She spent the summer after her freshman year traveling along the Mekong River visiting China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. She also studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania studying wildlife management and conservation. She will be completing her graduate studies here at Trinity College, undertaking the museum and community’s concentration of the American Studies program.

(860) 297-4238

Jane Switchenko spent much of her youth traveling, and lived in many locations across the United States.  A figure skater most of her life, and later a professional choreographer and instructor, Jane competed for many years before coaching in the Lake Tahoe area and attending The University of Nevada, Reno.  Returning to New England, she and her husband raised three, now grown, children.  She attended Smith College before transferring into the Trinity College American Studies program.  After completing her degree, with a theme in education, Jane worked in her local public schools, and briefly in sales and marketing, before returning to the Trinity College Office of Study Away.  She recently moved to the Center for Urban and Global Sudies as the Student Program Coordinator for research projects.  She has always made the most of her time on campus, finding most gratifying her experience as a tutor for Bantu Somali refugees at the Trinity College House of Peace.  She is thrilled to now be assisting students who might make the world a better place through their field work!

(860) 297-2629