Trinity students are not only a integral part of managing Trinfo’s operations and computer literacy programming, but they also conduct Hartford-based research through internships and independent studies. Starting in 2010, students began to work at Trinfo while conducting research in collaboration with a Trinity faculty member and community partners. Below are profiles of their work.
William Pollack’ 10, completed an independent study where after returning from a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile, he spent two semesters at Trinfo developing a computer literacy workshop for newly arrived immigrants and a customer satisfaction survey for all patrons taking computer literacy courses. In addition, Will used his time at Trinfo to conduct research for a comparative analysis on the approaches employed by Chile and the US to tackle the digital divide. His essay, Achieving Digital Inclusion: An Urban-Global Comparison of Digital Divide Programs in Chile and Hartford, illustrates how Trinfo is supporting student learning beyond community learning, by linking the experiences students are having abroad and giving them the platform to conduct comparative research, thus linking the urban and global missions of the college.
In the Spring 2011, Kendra Gedney ’11, interned at Trinfo where she taught computer literacy classes to residents after returning from a semester abroad in Lima, Peru. As an Economics major, Kendra worked with a local group in Lima who were developing micro-financing programs for residents of the city to start small businesses. The micro-finance concept is exploding throughout the developing world and Kendra wanted to explore if or how micro-finance was being employed in the United States by looking at how small businesses where using micro-finance to upgrade their technology in order to run more efficient businesses. To read more on her research click here – Kendra Gedney -Technology in Microfinance Paper.
Rachel Rios interned at Trinfo in the Fall of 2011 after returning from a semester in South Africa where as an Educational Studies major, she became fascinated with the educational reform movement which begun after the fall of South Africa’s apartheid government. While at Trinfo, Rachel taught multimedia programming developing videos to students in Bellizzi Middle School’s after-school program. For her academic component, Rachel wrote a comparative essay examining the historical role of educational inequality in the US and South Africa, and the reform efforts of each country to address the persistent challenges born from that inequality.
In the Fall of 2011, Pauline Lake began her 1-year research project for the Community Learning Research Fellows Program. Pauline developed an after-school program building applications for smart phones to get middle and high-school students interested in computer science using the software tool called AppInventor. Her research focused on specifically getting more students of color and females interested in computer science through the after-school program she developed for Trinfo.
Trinfo students now regularly conduct their Hartford-based research through the Community Learning Initiative’s Research Fellows Program.