Trinity Courses

Trinfo.Cafe staff support faculty and students through Trinity courses that integrate a community learning component.  These courses span a wide range of academic programs and departments. From individual class lectures on the history of Hartford and its neighborhoods to technical training on audio and video editing software, Trinfo staff add value to the Trinity student academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular experience.

Below are examples of a few of these courses:

RHET-225 Writing Broad Street Stories
This course combines community learning and writing as a means of discovering how we define others and ourselves through journals, diaries, essays, and stories. Students explore Broad Street as a social and cultural metaphor, with a wide variety of readings depicting “the other” and reflecting the voices of members of underprivileged and privileged classes throughout history. Students perform community service as a part of course activities.

URST-206 Organizing by Neighborhood
Have you ever wondered why some neighborhoods thrive and others appear to fail? Are you mystified about what can be done to stem deterioration and provide decent, affordable housing and clean and safe neighborhoods? One way to explore answers to these questions is to intern with a community-based organization dedicated to working with a community as it defines and responds to its problems. In this seminar each student will do a community learning project/ internship at such an organization in Hartford. Equally important is a way to understand and interpret your experiences at the organization. The rich theoretical literature that you will read in this seminar on how neighborhoods are organized and function and on models of community responses to neighborhood conditions provides a lens through which to evaluate your experiences with your organization and community.

HISP-280 Hispanic Hartford
This course seeks to place Trinity students in active and informed dialogue with the Hartford region’s large and diverse set of Spanish-speaking communities. The course will help student recognize and analyze the distinct national histories (e.g. Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Chilean, Honduran, Cuban, Colombian, and Mexican) which have contributed to the Hispanic diaspora in the city and the entire northeastern region of the United States. Students will undertake field projects designed to look at the effects of transnational migration on urban culture, institution-building, and identity formation.

PSYC-246 Community Psychology
In this course we will explore the major theories and principles of community psychology, a branch of psychology that explores how societal, cultural, and environmental factors impact people’s psychological well-being. Topics will include community-based prevention of psychological disorders, health promotion, citizen participation and empowerment, the value of diversity, and the role of social support in buffering stress. We will also examine the goals and methods of community research, with an emphasis on the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs. Given our proximity to numerous vibrant organizations in Hartford, this course requires that students participate in a community learning activity so that they may gain first-hand experience with community collaboration and put their classroom learning into practice.

MUSC-113 Introduction to World Music
A comprehensive survey of global musical traditions that encompasses rural and urban music from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, India, Asia, and the Americas. This course is designed to highlight the central role of musical expression in human life, exploring musical sound and movement in sacred, secular, ritual, and non-ritual contexts. No previous musical knowledge is required. Students are expected to learn basic listening skills and identify musical styles. The course culminates in a final research project about a world music tradition, ensemble, performer, or other related topic. Also listed in International Studies-African studies, International Studies-Asian studies, and International Studies-Latin American and Caribbean studies.

EDUC-303 Becoming Citizens
How do young people from diverse social backgrounds develop a sense of themselves and their responsibility to others? How and why do some become committed to work for social change, while others do not? Do high school and college campuses provide supportive contexts for young people’s civic identity and development? Drawing on a body of qualitative research and the Trinity College context, this course will investigate these questions, with the goal of understanding how citizenship is defined, developed and contested by youth and schools in dialogue with larger social forces. We will explore such areas as youth activism, service-learning, immigration status, policies, and immigrant activism, political identity and participation. Students will engage in an ethnographic research project that explores these questions on the Trinity campus.

POL-348 Politics of Inequality in the US
This course considers the implications of social inequalities for American politics. Income and wealth disparities in the United States have grown rapidly since the 1970s, overlapping with social exclusions based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. The course explores the causes, consequences, and solutions to rising economic inequality at the national and local levels, examining particular instances from Connecticut and contextualizing them within a broader global context. We will pay particular attention to the role of public policies in creating or potentially mitigating inequalities among citizens. Throughout the course we will consider the implications of social inequality for American politics and discuss how the persistence of different forms of inequality squares with enduring ideals of equality and equal opportunity in the American political system.

Trinfo’s Community Garden Connection to Trinity Courses

Starting in the Spring 2014 term, a new project began with the leadership of Professor Susan Masino to link Trinity courses to Trinfo.Cafe’s community garden.  The project, Fresh Food New Connections, was funded by a Mellon grant to the College for a four year project that would link Trinity students through their courses to an extensive range of activities in and around the garden.



ENVS 149 Intro to Environmental Science
An introduction to interrelationships among the natural environment, humans, and the human environment, including the biological, social, economic, technological, and political aspects of current environmental challenges. This course focuses on building the scientific framework necessary to understand environmental issues. It explores the structure, function, and dynamics of ecosystems, interactions between living and physical systems, and how human enterprise affects natural systems. It also examines current issues regarding human impacts on environmental quality, including global warming, air and water pollution, agriculture, overpopulation, energy, and urbanization. The laboratory section, which complements lecture material, incorporates laboratory and field exercises that include a focus on Hartford and a nearby rural area.

ECON 101 Intro to Economics
An introduction to modern economic analysis. A study of the principles of production and exchange, the distribution of income, money and banking, and national income analysis. Required of all majors in economics and recommended for all students planning business, legal, or public service careers. 

PSYC & NESC PSYC 261 Brain and Behavior
A basic study of the structure and function of the mammalian nervous system with a comprehensive analysis of the biological bases of major classes of behavior. Specific topics include: neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, sensory and motor system functioning, motivated behaviors, learning and memory, emotions, sex, and language.


LACS 233 Food in Italian History, Society, & Art
The saying, “A tavola non s’invecchia” (“One does not age at the supper table”), expresses the importance of food and eating for Italians. In this course, we will examine the relationship between food and culture in Italy, from the Romans to the present, through a variety of readings and tasting experiences. Topics include: the importing and exporting of different foods in antiquity as an instance of cultural and economic exchange; medieval beliefs about intellectual and physical aptitudes associated with diet; the representation of food in art, literature, and cinema; regional cuisines and cultural identities; and the language of food. We will also discuss Italian and Italian-American cuisine as the reflection of related, yet very different, cultures

PSYC & NESC FYSM 158 The Green Mind
It’s all about the brain – and your best brain! For example, Hippocrates said, “let food be your medicine.” Can what you eat affect your brain? What happens to your brain when you exercise? Why do we feel better after an experience in nature? What helps brains recover? Recent research has provided new insight into all of these questions. This course explores brain function and how it relates to your inner and outer environment. We will visit neuroscience research laboratories and participate in a community garden. Seminar content will interface with extracurricular activities surrounding the year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Trinity’s Neuroscience Program. Activities will include readings, written assignments, group discussions and debates, field trips, community involvement and student presentations.