Throughout the fall semester, local and national media outlets featured Trinity community members’ perspectives and expertise on a variety of topics; here are some highlights of that coverage.
A Hartford Courant editorial, “To Halt Connecticut’s Pyrrhotite Plague, Follow Europe’s Lead.” praised Jonathan Gourley, principal lecturer and laboratory coordinator in Trinity’s Environmental Science Program, along with Trinity students, for devoting long hours to addressing the crisis of crumbling cement foundations that has afflicted many Connecticut homeowners. The editorial began: “For the past year, Jonathan Gourley, with his students, has knocked on neighbors’ doors, gone down rail trails and through forests, and stopped at roadside cliffs to pick up fistfuls of rocks. The Trinity College geology professor is trying to find out more about the pyrrhotite that might lie within them. That’s the dangerous mineral that has wreaked havoc with homes east of the Connecticut River. Too little is known about exactly where it lies in Connecticut’s bedrock. Professor Gourley is trying to come up with some answers.”
Trinity students Bettina King-Smith ’21 and Nick Engstrom ’22 sat down with Connecticut Public Radio’s Lucy Nalpathanchil to discuss what it was like to participate in a recorded conversation that will become part of the national StoryCorps Archive, housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. King-Smith and Engstrom were among members of the campus community and Greater Hartford community who took part this fall when Trinity hosted One Small Step, a StoryCorps project that is bringing together Americans with differing political views. Trinity is the first college to partner with StoryCorps on this initiative aimed at listening and finding common ground. To listen to the interview with King-Smith and Engstrom, tune in at 00:33:48 for the final segment of the “Where We Live” program.
Two higher-education news outlets noted Trinity’s leadership in providing four-year financial aid awards to low-income students, thereby removing complexity and uncertainty from the financial aid process. An article in Inside Higher Ed, titled “Why Remind Poor Students That They Are Poor?”, detailed Trinity’s new institutional aid policy, quoting both Angel B. Pérez, vice president for enrollment and student success, and Michael Light, assistant vice president and director of financial aid. Additionally, Education Dive covered Trinity’s four-year financial aid policy in its story, “Connecticut college to give low-income students 4-year aid packages.”
The early December unveiling of Infosys’s $21 million innovation and technology hub in Hartford was the subject of a Hartford Courant article, “Infosys hub a sign Hartford is a heavyweight again.” The article includes: “The global information technology company, which employs more than 200,000 people around the world, has carved out three floors of the Goodwin Square office tower for its work—helping major clients in the insurance, health and manufacturing industries make the most of emerging technologies. …Toward that goal, Infosys has created about 50 jobs locally out of a planned 1,000 by 2023, and it’s working with Trinity College to create a training program for its liberal arts-minded hires from across the country. … Infosys’ partnership with Trinity is a major element of its future plans here. Together, they are creating a training curriculum that will transition liberal arts graduates to jobs in digital technology. … [Trinity College President Joanne] Berger-Sweeney, a neuroscientist but staunch supporter of the liberal arts, has been waiting for widespread recognition of what nontraditional degrees like literature, philosophy and social sciences can contribute to business and technology. ‘This is truly an experiment to in some ways prove the value of a liberal arts education, and not just talk about it,’ Berger-Sweeney said.”
Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success Angel B. Pérez penned an op-ed for The Hartford Courant, titled “Four keys to staying employed in the future.” In this piece, he wrote that “some of the most important tools students can acquire are not mainstream” and offered strategies students can use for “successful vocation and life navigation.” In a section on the role a liberal arts education can play in preparing students for future work opportunities, Pérez shared this quote from Infosys President Ravi Kumar: “Building a new hybrid talent pool, which draws on broad-based liberal arts foundations and promotes cognitive diversity will add immense value to the technology consulting industry and address an important skills gap for the 21st century.”
The advantages of a liberal arts education and connections between Trinity and the city of Hartford were the focus of a Comcast Newsmakers video interview with Berger-Sweeney. During the six-minute interview, Berger-Sweeney described some of the many benefits of Trinity’s location in Hartford, including the abundance of internship and community learning opportunities available to students throughout the academic year. The college’s long-running Legislative Internship program as well as the newer Liberal Arts Action Lab—a partnership with Capital Community College—were among programs discussed. To view the interview, click here.