About CHER


The Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) strengthens educational partnerships between Hartford’s diverse communities and students, staff, and faculty at Trinity College, and evaluates campus-city relationships.

CHER Advisory Board:

Members for 2019-20:

Hartford residents: Haben Abraham, Mary Cockram, Michelle Dukes-Beach, Stacey Lopez, Linda Martinez

Trinity faculty and staff: Dina Anselmi, Aidalí (Lay) Aponte-Avilés, Laura Holt, Rebecca Pappas, David Tatem, Jim Trostle (Spring 2020)

CHER program leaders: Joe Barber, Megan Brown, Robert Cotto Jr., Carlos Espinosa, Megan Faver Hartline

Chair: Jack Dougherty, CHER Director

The CHER Advisory Board consists of Hartford residents, Trinity faculty & staff, and CHER program leaders, selected by the Director in consultation with other board members, to serve for a one-year term. Members provide feedback about current efforts and offer guidance on future directions. We meet for approximately one hour about four times per year. Members who are not Trinity employees may request $100 per meeting in compensation for their time to prepare and participate, payable either to the individual or their employer.

At least one week prior to each advisory board meeting, the Director will distribute an agenda with items to review and discuss (such as recent reports), items requiring a decision (such as proposed initiatives or major budgetary/personnel changes), future directions to consider, and the date/time of the next meeting.

The Director and the Board may choose to create standing or ad-hoc committees.

We value all members’ opinions and seek consensus, but will vote by secret ballot if needed.

All board members may discuss and vote on items, except for conflict-of-interest issues.

The role of the board is advisory. Each CHER program leader has autonomy over their operating budget, and the Dean of Faculty has final authority (in consultation with the Director and the Advisory Board) over the CHER mission, personnel, and annual funding allocation to CHER and each of its programs.

Our mission statement: CHER strengthens educational partnerships between Hartford’s diverse communities and students, staff, and faculty at Trinity College, and evaluates campus-city relationships.

CHER Director:

The current CHER Director is Professor Jack Dougherty, whose appointment is from June 2018 to June 2020. See his faculty profile and contact info.

The duties of the CHER Director, approved by the Dean of Faculty in consultation with the Community Engagement Working Group in June 2018, are the following:

The Director of the Center will:

1) Bring coherence to Trinity engagement with Hartford by coordinating relationships between Center program leaders, community partners, and students/staff/faculty, and promoting shared information and resources.

2) Manage the Center’s program leadership and staff, encourage their professional development, and champion their work both internally and externally.

3) Solidify long-term funding sources for key personnel affiliated with the Center, in collaboration with the Dean of Faculty.

4) Convene bi-weekly coordinating meetings with the Center’s program leaders, and conduct monthly review meetings with the Dean of Faculty, who will make all budgetary and staffing decisions.

5) Attend regular (bi-monthly) meetings with the Dean of the Center for Urban Global Studies convened by the Dean of the Faculty.

6) Connect the Center’s work with other divisions including Advancement, Communications, Community Relations, Enrollment and Student Success, with regular meetings with relevant VPs and staff.

7) Create a process for Trinity to systematically collect data and continually assess the quality of community engagement by students, staff, faculty, and the institution.

8) Act as lead contact and co-author for the Carnegie Community Engagement application due April 15th 2019, with the Dean of the Faculty authorizing data support from the Office of Analysis and Strategic Initiatives, Institutional Research, and Academic Assessment.

9) Lead the construction and maintenance of the Center’s webpage and regular digital newsletter, allowing constituents on and off campus to easily access and receive relevant information.