Backpack Full of Cash video documentary, Monday April 8th 2019

Backpack Full of Cash, a video documentary about the privatization of public schools, will be shown on Monday April 8th 2019 from 6:30-8pm at McCook Auditorium, Trinity College, 300 Summit St, Hartford CT. This event is sponsored by the Educational Studies Program and the Office of Urban Educational Initiatives at Trinity College. Jack Dougherty and Robert Cotto Jr. will give a brief introduction. Free and open to the public.

View the trailer:

About the film: Narrated by Matt Damon, this feature-length documentary explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s most vulnerable children. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville and other cities, BACKPACK FULL OF CASH takes viewers through the tumultuous 2013-14 school year, exposing the world of corporate-driven education “reform” where public education — starved of resources — hangs in the balance. Learn more at

Pathways to Teaching and Youth Work: Advice from Trinity Alumni, March 12th 2019

Tuesday March 12, 2019 in McCook 201 conference room, 6:30-7:30pm

Join us at this special event for Trinity College alumni to share advice with current students on different pathways to working with young people, whether in classrooms, counseling, or community organizations. Hartford-area alumni will join us in person, and others will join us via Skype video conference. Professor Jack Dougherty will moderate the discussion. See also the Pathways to Teaching advising web pages hosted by the Educational Studies Program. Open to the entire Trinity community.

Ed Studies alumni panelists with Professor Jack Dougherty

Confirmed panelists:

Elaina Rollins ’16 completed her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies, and a minor in Legal Studies. She currently teaches 2nd grade at Achievement First North Brooklyn Prep Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York and received her master’s degree in childhood education from the Relay Graduate School of Education. Learn more about Achievement First Teachers in Residence program.

Emily Meehan ’16 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies. She was a 2016 Teach for America corps member and currently works as a 6th grade English/Language Arts teacher at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School 1 in Central Falls, Rhode Island. She is also pursuing her Master’s in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. Learn more about Teach for America.

Veronica Armendariz ’16 completed her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies. She currently teaches algebra at Chicago Bulls College Prep in Chicago, IL, and is the process of receiving her teaching licensure from the State of Illinois. Learn more about the Noble charter school network and teaching in Illinois.

Begaeta Nukic Ahmić ’11 earned her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies and Mathematics. After Trinity she completed the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) at the University of Connecticut, a full-time, one-year intensive master’s program that prepares college graduates to teach in a certification area. She currently teaches algebra at Roosevelt Senior High School in Washington DC.

Stacey Lopez ’10 earned her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies, with a minor in Community Action, from Trinity College, and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of St. Joseph. Currently she works as an in-home clinician for youth and families at Wheeler Clinic in Hartford CT. Previously, she was a W.E.B. Du Bois Diversity Fellow at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health at UMass-Amherst, Project Director for summer youth programs at the Christian Activities Council, Director of Youth Development at Billings Forge Community Works, and Program Coordinator for the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement at Trinity College.

Kate McEachern Bermingham ’07 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies and Psychology. She earned her teaching certification through Trinity’s consortial program at University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, and completed her master’s degree. She currently teaches at the Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School (ELAMS), a Hartford public school near campus.

Elise Castillo named Ann Plato Diversity Fellow at Trinity College

Dr. Elise Castillo, Ann Plato Fellow 2019-20

The Educational Studies Program and the Public Policy & Law Program proudly announce that the Ann Plato Diversity Fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Elise Castillo, who will join the Trinity College faculty for the 2019-20 academic year. She will design a new Public Policy & Law course on privatization during the fall semester, teach the Educ 300: Education Reform Past & Present course in the spring semester, and launch a new research project on Asian-American family experiences with school choice.

Dr. Castillo’s scholarly identity is shaped by her personal experience as a second-generation Filipino-American, and her professional experiences as a public school teacher in a high-poverty New York City neighborhood. She earned her Ph.D in Education Policy from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley in December 2018. Her dissertation research, “Progressive Education Meets the Market: Organizational Survival Among Independent Charter Schools,” featured a 10-month qualitative study of three independent charter schools in New York City, and illustrated the difficulties inherent in instituting progressive schooling in an educational environment deeply informed by market principles. In addition, she has co-authored articles in the Peabody Journal of Education and the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, as well as UC-Berkeley policy reports on expanding preschool in New York City, and school funding and achievement gaps in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Currently, Dr. Castillo works as a researcher at the Metro Center at New York University. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, she taught middle and high school English in New York City and worked as a policy research assistant at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her BA in English and Creative Writing from Barnard College, an MS in Teaching (Adolescent English) from Pace University, and an MA in Education Policy from UC Berkeley. Read more about her work at

Trinity College’s diversity fellowship is named for Ann Plato, a 19th-century author and teacher of African American and Native American descent, who lived and wrote in Hartford. She was the second woman of color in the United States to publish a book, and the first to publish a book of essays and poems, titled Essays: Including Biographies and Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Poetry (1841).

Learning to Be Latino: Book Talk with Prof. Daisy Reyes, March 7th 2019

Professor Daisy Reyes, from her website

Daisy Reyes, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut, will speak about her recent book, Learning to Be Latino: How Colleges Shape Identity Politics (Rutgers University Press, 2018).

Join us on Thursday March 7th, 2019 from 12:15-1:15pm (Common Hour) in Terrace Rooms ABC, 2nd Floor of Mather Student Center, Trinity College, Hartford CT.

Open to the public. Light lunch provided. Co-sponsored by Educational Studies, Urban Education Initiatives, Enrollment and Student Success, and La Voz Latina.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Learning to Be Latino, sociologist Daisy Verduzco Reyes paints a vivid picture of Latino student life at a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university, outlining students’ interactions with one another, with non-Latino peers, and with faculty, administrators, and the outside community. Reyes identifies the normative institutional arrangements that shape the social relationships relevant to Latino students’ lives, including school size, the demographic profile of the student body, residential arrangements, the relationship between students and administrators, and how well diversity programs integrate students through cultural centers and retention centers. Together these characteristics create an environment for Latino students that influences how they interact, identify, and come to understand their place on campus. Drawing on extensive ethnographic observations, Reyes shows how college campuses shape much more than students’ academic and occupational trajectories; they mold students’ ideas about inequality and opportunity in America, their identities, and even how they intend to practice politics.  

Learn more about Professor Reyes and her new book at:

Video documentary & panel on “Unlikely” college access, Feb 6th

Trinity College will screen the documentary “Unlikely,” an investigation of America’s college dropout crisis and the barriers students face in their pursuit of an education and meaningful career on Wednesday February 6th at 7pm at Cinestudio, located on the Hartford campus. Following the film, a panel discussion with higher education professionals will be moderated by Robert Cotto, Jr., director, urban educational initiatives, Trinity College. Featured panelists will include Roxanna Booth Miller, co-executive director, Hartford Youth Scholars; Angel Pérez, vice president, enrollment and student success, Trinity College; and Richard Sugarman, president, Hartford Promise. Co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the Educational Studies Program at Trinity College. Both the film screening and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

Learn more about the video:

For a brief synopsis, visit:

View the trailer:

Dr. Elise Castillo lecture on Ed Studies & Public Policy, Jan 31st

Source: Berkeley Review of Education

Dr. Elise Castillo will deliver a research presentation, “Progressive Education Meets the Market: Organizational Survival Among Independent Charter Schools,” on Thursday Jan 31st, 2019 from 12:15-1:15pm in McCook 201 conference room at Trinity College, Hartford CT. Dr. Castillo recently earned her Ph.D in Educational Policy from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California-Berkeley. Her talk is co-sponsored by the Educational Studies and the Public Policy & Law programs at Trinity. Lunch is available for the first 15 people.

She also will participate in a student-led discussion from 3-3:45pm in the Underground Cafe in Mather Student Center basement.

Learn more about her work at

Community-Centered Research Panel on Feb 5th, 2019

Panel Discussion – Education Beyond Schooling: The Power of Community-Centered Research for Youth of Color
Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 12:15-1:15 (Common Hour)
Terrace Rooms B & C, Mather Student Center, Trinity College

Dr. Eujin Park

Please join us for a panel that will feature two scholars who have engaged in community-based research with youth at community organizations: Dr. Eujin Park, Research Associate, Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago and Dr. Julissa Ventura, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Education & Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Park studies the educational experiences of Asian Americans, racialization processes in education, and class- and race-based inequality in schools. Dr. Ventura’s research sheds light into the important, yet often invisible work of school support staff and community youth facilitators in developing Latinx students’ sense of belonging, academic identities, and critical consciousness.

Dr. Julissa Ventura

Dr. Park and Dr. Ventura will discuss how community organizations contribute to the education of youth of color in important ways, especially by nurturing and valuing communities of color. Given that schools often fall short in supporting students of color, it is essential to pay attention to spaces where essential and nurturing work is taking place. The panelists will also discuss how they have navigated relationships with community organizations as they have engaged in research.

This event is sponsored by the Educational Studies Program and the Dean of Faculty Event Fund. A light lunch will be provided.

Questions? Contact or

Download the event poster below:

New Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Stefanie Wong

The Educational Studies Program at Trinity College is pleased to announce that Jia-Hui Stefanie Wong has been selected as our newest tenure-track Assistant Professor, effective September 2019. Currently in a two-year visiting contract position at Trinity, Professor Wong stood out in our urban and global education faculty search, which attracted a very talented pool of over one hundred applicants.

Assistant Professor Stefanie Wong

The search committee praised Professor Wong’s excellence as an innovative instructor and guide for undergraduate student researchers. Her teaching discussion on her Educ 320: Anthropology and Education course demonstrated her skill in scaffolding assignments for small teams to conduct ethnographic research on campus to enrich the course readings. Furthermore, she is preparing to teach a new course, Educ 305: Immigrants and Education, with community-learning research opportunities that will engage Trinity students with diverse Hartford organizations, to creatively connect urban and global elements. Professor Wong also has received high marks from many students, especially women and people of color, on her ability to listen and engage in reflection and dialogue.

The search committee also recognized Professor Wong’s “high promise as a scholar,” based on her dissertation research as well as current and future publications. Her dissertation, “White Dominance in Diverse Schools: The Possibilities and Limits of Multicultural and Social Justice Education,” was based on a 16-month ethnographic study of how students and teachers perceive and challenge inequalities at a racially and socioeconomically diverse high school. The study explored how commitments to equity created some opportunities for students and teachers to critically understand and challenge oppression, yet also perpetuated White supremacy and other structures of power. Drawing on critical race theory and critical Whiteness studies, she argues that “even in multicultural and social justice education, the interests and needs of students of color, immigrant students, and LGBTQ+ students continued to be sidelined.” Professor Wong also has co-authored an article on the racialization of Asian American immigrant students in the journal Educational Studies, authored a chapter for a book that will be published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2019, and has additional journal manuscripts and a book project in development.

Professor Wong’s interdisciplinary training and field-based experiences make her an ideal fit for Trinity College. Professor Wong completed her joint Ph.D. degree in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, she majored in Educational Studies and Political Science, minored in Chinese, and collaborated with faculty on an ethnographic study that she later presented at a research conference. This experience not only shaped her desire to pursue graduate school, but also her dedication to create similar fieldwork and research opportunities for undergraduate students. Professor Wong is also dedicated to advising and mentoring students, especially students of color and first-generation college students. She adds, “My commitment to equity and justice is central to my work. As an Asian American woman and second-generation immigrant, I have experienced firsthand what it means to be part of educational institutions that were not designed for people like me. In my teaching, research, and other parts of my life, I am deeply committed to working to transform institutional and societal structures in ways that challenge systems of oppression.”

Educ 350 Teaching & Learning with Profs. Jack Dougherty and Kyle Evans

Professors Jack Dougherty (Educational Studies) and Kyle Evans (Mathematics) are teaming up to redesign Educ 350: Teaching and Learning, to be offered on Fridays 1:15-3:55pm in Spring 2019. The course will delve into topics such as curriculum standards, assessment, and equity, with a special focus on science and mathematics education. For the Community Learning  component, pairs of students will design and teach two inquiry-based lessons in Hartford public elementary or middle schools during our class time, and create web portfolios that combine writing and video of their teaching and student learning. See past examples of Trinity student teaching portfolios on the web by Elaina Rollins ’16, Christina Raiti ’16, and Emily Meehan ’16.

Prerequisite is Educ 200: Analyzing Schools, or permission of either instructor. To request permission, email a one-paragraph statement of interest to either Prof. Jack Dougherty or Kyle Evans, or speak with them during office hours.