What is the Liberal Arts Action Lab?

In the Liberal Arts Action Lab, Hartford community partners propose semester-long research projects to pursue in collaboration with student and faculty teams from Trinity College and CT State Community College Capital. Each semester, students apply to join Action Lab project teams and enroll in two courses to learn research skills and digital tools while collaborating with their partner organizations. Our goals are to strengthen the city and its role in the region, spark social innovation, and support civic engagement and sustainability. See completed and current projects.

How to Apply:

Community Partners: Previously, applications have taken place in October for the spring semester, and February for the fall semester. However, going forward we will be taking new applications just once a year in the summer/early fall, selecting projects for the entire upcoming calendar year. Sign up for our email list to be notified of the application deadline!
Students: Applications typically take place in October-November for the spring semester and March-April for the fall semester. Trinity and Capital students will receive an email with details each semester. Click here to apply for next semester’s projects!
Faculty: Applications for faculty fellows typically take place in November/December for the spring semester and May/June for the fall.
Our application matching process brings together teams that include a community partner (broadly defined as neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, government agencies, social entrepreneurs, etc.), a Faculty Fellow (academic or staff experts from any Hartford Consortium for Higher Education campus), and students from CT State Community College Capital and Trinity College. Each semester, Action Lab students will learn research skills and digital tools in two afternoon courses. The Action Lab is based downtown at 1 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT. Please contact us to learn how to participate.
The Liberal Arts Action Lab is housed under the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) at Trinity College. For questions on the Action Lab, please contact the Director Laura Minor at Laura.Minor@Trincoll.edu.

Meet our Team

Jeffrey Partridge

Liberal Arts Action Lab Faculty Director at CT State Community College Capital

Jeffrey is a Professor of English and the Chair of the Humanities Department at CT State Community College Capital. He directs the Hartford Heritage Project to make connections between CT State courses and Hartford’s diverse cultural institutions, landmarks, and neighborhoods.

Teodora Brnović

Program Assistant at the Liberal Arts Action Lab

Teodora is a Program Assistant at the Liberal Arts Action Lab. Teodora is an international student from Montenegro double majoring in Sociology and Italian Studies at Trinity College. She is a recent Action Lab alumna where she completed the Immigrant Welcoming Project in the 2023 spring semester.

Head to our FAQ page to learn more about the Action Lab!

Student Experiences at the Action Lab

Sara Zahoor (2026)

Immigrant Welcoming Project

"Something I really love about the Action Lab is how dedicated they are to communicating and working with the city of Hartford. I was able to learn about the internal systems of immigrant organizations in Hartford and what these organizations need to aid others."

Emeline Avignon (2024)

Frog Hollow Oral History Project

"This project has made me feel more connected to the community. Through the power of storytelling, I feel like a neighbor now. I can walk through the neighborhood knowing the voices and stories inside the buildings, and feel confident to now share with others in the Trinity community why Frog Hollow is important and how it is a great part of the Trinity experience to engage with."

Nathaniel Gardner (2024)

Media Diversity Project

"The Action Lab is very interactive and you have to put a lot of thought and effort into it. But if you genuinely have a passion for something, especially helping your community, it will definitely give you the chance to exercise your ability to act and interact with the community."

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