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Trinity College has entered into a partnership with the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century, also known as CT21, which is recognized throughout the state for conducting research on key economic and public policy issues and producing accessible, timely reports for policy makers and the general public.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank created in 1997, CT21 brings together public and private leaders to promote economic development and good governance in Connecticut. CT21 had been considering partnering with an academic institution, and, according to CT21 Executive Director Bob Guenther, Trinity’s reputation and commitment to the city of Hartford and the Greater Hartford region made this a strong match.
For Trinity, the partnership is consistent with the college’s mission to foster engaged learning connected to the real world, as well as with one of the overarching goals of Trinity’s Summit strategic plan: to link the classroom to the city and region in potentially transformative ways.
“Our partnership with CT21 is a critically needed initiative that will benefit the public and policy makers by providing high-quality, research-based analysis of some of the major questions facing Connecticut, Hartford, and the region,” said Trinity College Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President for External Affairs Jason Rojas.
Guenther said, “The CT21-Trinity College partnership greatly strengthens our capacity to conduct timely, in-depth research on topics critical to Connecticut’s future. Our goal is to provide fact-based, nonpartisan research that enables the state’s elected and appointed policy makers to make wise, informed decisions. The need for such research has never been greater.”
The partnership, which will be called CT21@Trinity, will be housed within Trinity’s master’s program in public policy, the director of which is John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science at Trinity, Kevin McMahon. McMahon will co-chair the Governance Board of CT21, working closely with Guenther, who shepherded the partnership on behalf of CT21.
McMahon said, “We expect the alliance between Trinity College and CT21 to provide our graduate students in public policy with the exciting opportunity of interacting with an organization—a think tank—committed to offering ideas and solutions to the vexing problems facing the state.” He noted that there are plans to offer a practicum in the graduate program that would be taught by a postdoctoral fellow who also will write a report for CT21@Trinity.
Trinity College Dean of Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives and Professor of Political Science Sonia Cardenas said that CT21@Trinity will foster debate about pressing policy issues and create new opportunities for graduate students at Trinity. “This sort of partnership is just the kind of collaborative bridge building we need in higher education,” said Cardenas, “the kind that reaches into the community, engaging both civic and business groups, to expand learning across sectors.”