Megan Faver Hartline is the Associate Director of the Office of Community Learning at Trinity College.
Where are you from where did you grow up? What brought you to Trinity?
I’m from Texas, but I haven’t lived there in 7 years. I moved to Connecticut a year and a half ago to work at Trinity after I finished my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Louisville.
Tell us about your work at Trinity.
I’m the Associate Director of Community Learning. I work on course based opportunities for students and faculty to engage with Hartford community partners. There are three main areas to my job: one is faculty development which involves working with faculty on their courses to help them create strong community learning components and to create projects that are beneficial to students and also to the community partners. The second piece is about student program development—credit-bearing or paid work for academic community engagement work. This includes the Community Action Gateway (first year learning community for students interested in creating social change) and the Public Humanities Collaborative (a summer research program for students interested in humanities including research with a faculty member and Hartford community partners). The third piece of my work is developing and strengthening relationships with Hartford community partners. This means I am meeting regularly with folks in the city to learn about their goals within their organizations and in the city as a whole. Then I can think about ways that Trinity faculty and students can help them reach those goals.
I’ll also say that one of the reasons I was excited to take this job is the long history of Community Learning at Trinity (which started in 1995!). I was excited to step into a position where there are faculty who have been invested in community learning for decades and great interest from new faculty to see how they can connect their course goals with community needs. Whether I’m working with long-term classes like Stefanie Wong’s Analyzing Schools and Dina Anselmi’s Child Development or newer courses like Sheila Fisher’s Prison Literature and Serena Laws’ Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford, I love that I get to be a part of continuing the story of how Trinity is invested in the city of Hartford.
What are your interests and passions?
Generally speaking: community development, overthrowing the patriarchy, political engagement, and Mexican food. I also like ballet and musicals. For a long time my Instagram bio was “I’m probably thinking about feminism or tacos.”
What are some of your favorite memories?
I think my favorite part of my job is connecting with students who are really invested in community learning opportunities. Whether that’s working with Community Action Gateway students or learning about the Research Fellows projects, it’s always really great to see what students are interested in and how they’re connecting what they’re learning about on campus to what’s happening in the city. One of my favorite memories was exploring Hartford with Gateway students last year. It was their first year in Hartford as well as mine, and we learned a lot together as a class. We learned about local organizations here and got out and around the city. We went over to the Wadsworth Atheneum and also checked out local cuisine such as First & Last for breakfast and Black Eyed Sallys. This year, we’ve gone to El Sarape and Mozzicato’s.
What else should people know about you?
I’m really invested in every tv show Mike Schur has created (fun fact: he’s from West Hartford).
Also, I’m still really emotionally invested in Parks and Rec and (more recently) the Great British Baking Show.