It is a quiet Summer at CUGS so far. The usual annual excitement with the China Program is missing, thanks to the pandemic, and we still have not returned to a “normal” state of activity on campus at 70 Vernon Street. We have a ton of things to look forward to and to plan for, though, and that is keeping us busy.

In the next few weeks, Dr. Maria Briceño Barrios, an applied economist from Venezuela, will be arriving as an IIE-SRF Visiting Scholar for 2021-22. In Fall, we welcome the 26th cohort of students in the Cities Program, stretching back to Prof. Renny Fulco’s version of CTYP 101, “Reckoning with Cities,” in Fall 1996. As the college has fostered and honed its gateway programs, Cities has grown in focus and narrowed in enrollment – from Renny’s initial class of 30 students who were mostly first-years, to my CTYP 101 in Fall 2021 with 14 top-flight new students from around the world.

We will welcome new students in the graduate certificate program in Urban Planning, as well as new urbanist colleagues and CUGS affiliates across the college, most notably Dr. Leniqueca Welcome in URST and INTS, but also Dr. Aaron Foote in Sociology, Dr. Jordan Camp in American Studies, Dr. Christina Heatherton in American Studies and Human Rights, and Dr. Amanda Guzman in Anthropology.

We look forward to another exciting year of the Global Vantage Points seminar series, and continued good relations and collaborations with the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research, Center for Caribbean Studies, and the Urban Arts Initiative on campus, and numerous partners off-campus such as the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, International Hartford, Transport Hartford, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, Desegregate CT, the Spatial Justice Consortium, and numerous universities around the world. I hope that you enjoy this Summer newsletter and enjoy as restful and “normal” a Summer as conditions allow!