College students encouraged to become STEM teachers
Poughkeepsie Journal
Science and math majors at 61 small liberal arts colleges will be offered the opportunity to get a summer stipend under a new federally funded program that focuses on teaching instead of research. Modeled after summer programs that give undergraduates a chance to do research projects that might lead them to pursue a doctoral degree, this new program is a testing ground for a career as a high school or elementary teacher. Vassar College math professor Charles Steinhorn is leading the collaboration of colleges that will offer their students an opportunity to apply for a summer science-teaching experience at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a summer math-teaching program at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2016. … At Trinity College, the high school students will be from Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, a magnet school that draws from the city of Hartford and surrounding suburbs. The high school students are required to take a workshop that helps them understand how science works, how scientific discoveries are evolving and the scientific method. “It was a kind of built-in audience of high school students who have to take the course,’’ said Alison Draper, science center director and lecturer in interdisciplinary science at Trinity College.

The Power and Pain of Zoning Regulations in Connecticut
WNPR [Hartford, Conn. public radio]
When eleven people – eight adults and three children – moved into a mansion in Hartford’s West End, neighbors cried foul. The Scarborough Street neighbors cited a 1960s-era zoning regulation that limits the number of unrelated people that can share any one address. The case of what was quickly dubbed the “Scarborough 11” quickly erupted as national news with a predictable script of characters: stodgy, long-time New Englanders versus a new-New England where the definition of “family” is fungible. While the tiny house movement is beginning to answer affordable housing needs in Washington, D.C. and the challenge of homelessness in Nashville, Connecticut remains wedded to big houses with large yards. The common theme? Zoning. By regulating multi-family homes, land use, lot size, and density, towns can separate business from residential districts, and create neighborhoods of like-minded — and similarly-resourced — folks. Zoning can also serve as a legal means of excluding certain people. In other words, zoning can codify racism and promote classism – and in Connecticut, that’s long been its role. “I used to think that local zoning ordinances were boring,” said Jack. A. Dougherty, Trinity College associate professor of educational studies. “But Connecticut has taught me that exclusionary zoning lines are some of the most powerful dividers among the people of this state.”

Curricula Developers and Professional Development Providers Introduce TeachCS Platform to Strengthen High School Computer Science Education
San Francisco Chronicle
As the nation focuses on Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13th, leading computer science curricula developers and professional development providers joined forces to announce TeachCS, a platform for high school teachers looking to broaden their computer science training and curricula. Funded by private sector philanthropy, the goal of TeachCS is to match in-service high school teachers with both computer science professional development and financial support to attend training from leading academic institutions, in order to better prepare their students for the lucrative computing jobs most in demand in the future. In its pilot year, TeachCS will provide in-service high school teachers with funding for professional development in one of three curricula – Exploring Computer Science (ECS), AP© Computer Science Principles (AP© CSP), or Bootstrap. … “Not only will TeachCS expand geographic reach, it will also allow more intentionality about planning where and when CS professional development is held around the country,” said Ralph Morelli, Professor of Computer Science, Trinity College and co-Principal Investigator for Mobile CSP. “By essentially acting as a marketing, sales, and financing channel from teachers to curricula and professional development providers, TeachCS will give us the ability to plan nationally so that we’re not neglecting one location while saturating another.”

Graverobber or Santeria Priest?
The Daily Beast
Amador Medina’s spirits were likely running wild. The Hartford, CT man was arrested this week after five human skeletons—allegedly stolen from a Massachusetts cemetery—were found in his home. Medina claims he’s a Santeria priest and was using the skeletons in a healing ritual, but Santeria experts tell The Daily Beast such a ‘ritual’ would be way outside the mainstream for the religion. Medina was charged with being a fugitive from justice in Connecticut, and faces five counts of unlawful disinterment of a body in Massachusetts. … After the body bust, Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley told reporters that Santeria is rare in the area, but Leslie Desmangles, a religion professor at Trinity College in Hartford, told The Daily Beast that’s actually far from the case. Santeria is “widespread” in the city, according to Desmangles, who cited a large Puerto Rican community, as well as Cubans and Jamaicans. Many of the Puerto Ricans and Jamaicans in the area came during the mid-20th century to work in the tobacco fields. The city is sprinkled with botanicas—religious goods stores—to meet their spiritual needs. But Desmangles said that in his decades of anthropological fieldwork, he’d never seen a Santeria practitioner use human remains. Foley, the police spokesman, told The Daily Beast that cops had no way of knowing whether it was Santeria—but that the “suspect had identification identifying himself as ‘Babalosha Priest.’” “I Googled it… who knows,” Foley said.

Police: Stolen Bones Were Arranged In Shrines In Hartford Man’s Apartment
Hartford Courant
The skeletal remains of five people taken from a Worcester mausoleum were arranged for use in religious rituals inside a 32-year-old Hartford man’s apartment, according to police. Amador Medina told Hartford detectives that he paid a man to obtain the bones, which he said he arranged in shrines for use in Santeria, an Afro-Cuban religion that originated in West Africa. Some of the remains police found in Medina’s second floor apartment at 245 Preston St. had been taken apart. Skulls were in one place and other bones were elsewhere. Some remains were relatively intact, wrapped in plastic trash bags with the tops ripped open to expose the skulls. Other religious objects, such as statues and candles, were arranged nearby. Medina also had a credential that described him as a Santeria priest. He said he used the remains in healing rituals, police said. Experts familiar with Santeria said the religion’s rituals do not involve the use of human remains. … Timothy R. Landry, an assistant professor of anthropology and religion at Trinity College, said human remains are not traditionally used in Santeria. He said it is heard of in another religion from Cuba known as Palo Mayombe. Often in Cuba, Landry said, the two religions are practiced in close proximity, and practitioners of Santeria, which to practitioners would be known as Lukumi, often also practice Palo Mayombe. In Palo Mayombe, human remains are used for any number of reasons, including individual worship and healing rituals, Landry said. He added that the United States has the second highest concentration of practitioners of these religions worldwide and each religion manifests differently in the areas they are practiced in.

China’s Key Cities: From Local Places to Global Players – By Xiangming Chen, Dean and Director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies and Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology at Trinity College, Connecticut, and a distinguished guest professor at Fudan University, Shanghai
The World Financial Review
China projects a huge and continually growing profile and impact on the world stage. Much of this Chinese influence globally is often anchored to and channeled out by its key cities. Shanghai towers over all these cities in what it stands and functions for China, as the country’s financial and trade centre, largest port (also the world’s top container port), and gateway to China’s huge domestic market. As such, Shanghai gets a lot of attention from the global business community, especially when its stock market tumbled recently and sent shock waves around the world. Besides Shanghai, a variety of other cities have become more important for China, and the world economy, for that matter. A number of these cities are well known for their significant historic and contemporary economic and cultural roles such as Guangzhou and Xi’an.