Urban and Global Initiatives

“Engagement. Transformation. Leadership. In the classroom. In the city. In the world.” This is a promise that we make to every one of our students.


​Xiangming Chen


Professor Xiangming Chen is the dean and director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies and Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Sociology and International Studies. A native of Beijing, China, and an internationally recognized scholar and author, he graduated from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and received his Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.

“Today, slightly more than half of the world’s citizens live in urban environments; by 2030, five out of eight billion world citizens will be living in developing countries, and two billion out of those five billion will be living in urban slums. What impact will that have on employment, health, water supplies, municipal services, schools, and transportation?

The majority of our students will work with or within urban centers. In order to be successful, they must learn to navigate them."

~ Xiangming Chen


​Vijay Prashad


Professor Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity. A native of Calcutta, India, he received his bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

"Each of us is moved by something, and identifying that is the first step toward becoming engaged with the rest of the world.

Our campus community is intellectually connected to the rest of the world, starting with diaspora populations in Hartford and extending to our global sites in such places as Trinidad and Rome. Those students whom I see in international studies are intellectually curious, quick to formulate their own questions and to seek out useful answers to our problems and opportunities. My best students want to make Trinity a vibrant environment for thought and life.”

~ Vijay Prashad


Trinity wants every graduate to understand how cities operate – in Hartford, across America, and around the world. We have a vast network of Hartford-based programs, engaging over 1,000 students in community service initiatives. The Princeton Review named us one of the top schools in the country for civic engagement and social responsibility.

Trinity also has one of the best study-abroad programs in the nation. Students can study at one of seven international campuses – Rome, Barcelona, Cape Town, Paris, Santiago, Trinidad, and Vienna – or, at one of our affiliated programs in Shanghai, Cordoba, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Trinity launched the Center for Urban and Global Studies in October 2007. The Center was established and will be sustained through a $3-million endowment challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which was matched with more than $13 million in philanthropy from alumni and parents. It is believed to be the first center at a U.S. liberal arts college to have an integrated urban-global focus.

Contact Giving Staff for more information. 

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