While the youngest major at Trinity, formally launched in Fall 2013, the Urban Studies program has been continuing to improve since its audacious start. In Fall 2020, we refashioned the curriculum from a less coherent three-cluster structure to a more focused two-track one with courses organized around the broad areas of Urban Society and Urban Planning and Policy, respectively. Clearly forward looking, this curricular reform also harkens back to two underlying strengths in our majors pursuing graduate studies and urban planning-related careers. To highlight this connection to past strengths, we feature two recent graduates who embody this nexus between graduate studies and urban planning careers that carries forward by several majors in the Class of 2021.

Double-majoring in Urban Studies and Hispanic Studies, Mary Daly ‘15 completed an Honors thesis entitled “The Significance of a Hispanic Commercial Corridor: Ownership, Business, Power and Community on Park Street, Hartford.” She started her urban-focused career, first as Operations and Communications Manager for Seaport Transportation Management Association in Boston and then as Corporate Program Manager for Partnerships for Parks in New York. Through these experiences, Mary has developed a strong desire to get a Master’s degree that will enable her to do more advance work at the interface between planning and architecture. She will attend City College of New York for the MA in Landscape Architecture program in Fall 2021 and take an intensive course in GIS, AutoCAD, and Adobe Suite this summer. We wish Mary the best as she takes on this new challenge.

A double-major in Urban Studies and Sociology, Alex Perez ’17 developed a strong interest in transport planning through his internship and research experiences in Hartford in two capacities. In his internship for Hartford’s Department of Development Services, Alex assisted in the areas of street policy and bike and pedestrian planning. While interning for the Climate Stewardship Council of Hartford, Alex helped gather data from the city and local organizations on different sustainable initiative and developing an interactive map using GIS. Alex continued this line of interest through graduate studies, which earned him a MA in Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019. Having been working with Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago (his hometown) as an advocacy manager, Alex has played an important role in completing a report entitled “Fair Fares Chicago: Recommendations for a More Equitable Transit System,” available at https://activetrans.org/busreports/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Fair-Fares-Chicagoland.pdf. We are proud of Alex and his successful young career as a transport planner.

–Xiangming Chen, Director of Urban Studies and Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology