Laura Minor is the Liberal Arts Action Lab Director and Lecturer in Public Policy and Law. She most recently worked with undergraduates at Central Connecticut State University, both as an assistant director of undergraduate advisement and coordinator of its academic minor in Community and Civic Engagement.  Through her work in that program, she has overseen student community research and internship projects in the Greater Hartford area, such as with Habitat for Humanity of North Central Connecticut, the Hartford Catholic Worker, Sun Scholars, and REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health).  Her passion is to see young people experience learning in high-impact contexts and have reciprocal learning partnerships with community organizations.  Laura has a Master’s of Education in Counseling from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD from Clemson University in International Family and Community Studies.  Her dissertation research was a quantitative outcomes assessment of academic community engagement programs, and she is working to expand that research to include an assessment of Connecticut’s high school engagement programs as well.

Ozlem Atalay is the Liberal Arts Action Lab Coordinator and Lecturer in Public Policy and Law. They got their doctoral degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. Their research focuses on queer spaces and the involvement of LGBTQ communities in the local decision-making processes. Ozlem’s dissertation is a multi-method study of participation of LGBTQ+ communities in planning processes and inclusive city politics in contemporary urban Turkey and the United States. Their research contributes to a growing body of literature on collaborative city governance, inclusive city politics, the civic engagement, place making and queer critique. Their work on the intersections of Urban Studies and LGBTQ issues has been published on various peer reviewed journals such as Journal of Lesbian Studies, Geography Research Forum and edited books. Ozlem received their master’s and bachelor’s degrees in urban planning from University at Buffalo, SUNY and Istanbul Technical University, respectively.

Jeffrey Partridge serves as the Action Lab Faculty Director at CT State Community College Capital, where he also is Professor of English and Department Chair of the Humanities. He also directs the Hartford Heritage Project, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to make connections between the CT State courses and Hartford’s rich and diverse cultural institutions, landmarks, and neighborhoods.


Abigail Fisher Williamson is the Director of the Center of Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) at Trinity College, which the Action Lab is housed under. She is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Law at Trinity where she researches and teaches on immigration policy, health policy, urban politics, and political behavior.


Erna Alić is the Program Manager of the Center of Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER). Erna arrived with her family as refugees from Bosnia and Herzgovina in the early 2000s and grew up in Hartford. Since graduating from UConn in 2021 with a Human Rights and Psychology degree she has held leadership positions in human rights focused nonprofits and worked in Hartford organizations like Hartford Promise and the Hartford Public Library. She currently serves as Commissioner and Secretary for the Hartford Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs (CRIA).

Teodora Brnović 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.


Our team is excited to connect with you! Please contact us for any questions or concerns.


Deprecated: Directive 'allow_url_include' is deprecated in Unknown on line 0