Activities are gearing up on UConn’s busy regional campuses in advance of the 2023-24 academic year, with each location launching new initiatives for students and partnerships with their host communities.
Although the largest number of UConn’s students attend classes at the Storrs flagship campus, the sites in Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury are the academic home of more about 5,100 undergraduates and a significant number of faculty, staff, and students in graduate and professional-level programs.
About 470 undergraduates will move into student housing over the weekend near UConn Stamford, the only regional campus with a residential component. Classes for fall semester start Monday at all locations.
“UConn’s regional campuses hold a special place in the University’s overall operations through valuable academic offerings to their students, and in the many ways in which they partner with their communities,” says Anne D’Alleva, UConn’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
“Each campus provides its students with a welcoming academic home and supportive services such as specialized advising, first-rate libraries, and our Husky Harvest food pantries,” she adds. “We look forward to a wonderful year and are excited to welcome our new and returning students at all of our locations across Connecticut.”
In alphabetical order, here are some of the new offerings at each regional campus:
Starting this fall, a group of 12 U.S. Coast Guard Academy Scholars will join the student population on campus as part of a new partnership being launched between the two institutions.
UConn Avery Point is the newest partner in the program, in which the Academy also partners with institutions in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Alabama, and Georgia. It also represents a special connection between UConn and the service academy, whose campus is located in nearby New London.
The 12 students will spend a year at UConn Avery Point in the program, in which they will build the foundation for success as an Academy cadet and prepare to receive a full appointment as a member of the Academy’s next entering class.
Mort’s Café in the campus Avery Point campus Student Center will also be a popular location as dining options are expanding there for students as UConn Dining Services launches two options for meal plans.
Participants can choose whether to get five or 10 meals weekly at Mort’s, plus “points” on a swipe card that can be used for other items such as coffee or snacks, and can also be used at UConn Storrs. A variety of new menu items also are being added this year.
At UConn Hartford, the area around the downtown campus will be alive with activity as it hosts its second annual Welcome Back Block Party from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, for new and returning students.
The event includes a resource fair, several food trucks, music, entertainment and other features, and is sponsored by UConn Hartford, Undergraduate Student Government, and the schools of Business and Social Work.
New undergraduate research opportunities will also be available starting this fall through the Research on Resilient Cities, Racism, and Equity (RRCRE) initiative. It’s working with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the City of Hartford to renew its Love Your Block (LYB) grant for the second and third years, connecting UConn students with Hartford residents to publicize and highlight their LYB projects located throughout Hartford.
The Empowering Latinas in Leadership group at UConn Hartford also is growing with grant support from The Aurora Foundation, in partnership with Latinas & Power, Latinas in Leadership Institute (LiLi).
The program provides Latina students with the tools and resources they need to be successful and graduate from UConn, and helps them build essential skill sets and relationships with Latina leaders in the Hartford community and at UConn Hartford. In last year’s group, the grades of student participants improved and many received internship offers, research opportunities, and volunteer experience in their communities.
UConn Stamford students will soon have more options of food for the stomach and metaphorical food for the soul, as a new dining program begins, and two learning communities are launching.
The new learning communities at La Comunidad Intelectual, which brings together students interested in exploring Caribbean and Latin America and is modeled on a learning community at Storrs; and MOCX: The Men of Color Experience, which provides an academic success foundation and a social/emotional community on the campus.
As members of the learning communities, students will participate in a variety of programming activities that include visits to cultural centers, guest speakers, and activities to build a community of active and engaged students.
UConn Stamford students have already demonstrated their support for the concept of learning communities, having made its Business Connections Learning Community a strong success in the time since it was launched in 2018 as the first such program at the campus.
Also at Stamford, the new Local Eatery Meal Plan is launching to allow students to buy blocks of meals for use at a variety of independently owned off-campus restaurants. Those establishments will provide healthy, well-balanced options and accommodate students’ dietary restrictions when possible.
The program is open to residential and commuter Stamford campus students and has already generated interest among many students who’ve signed up to participate, with more anticipated in spring semester.
UConn Waterbury’s new Academic Achievement Center (AAC) opens its doors for the fall semester, becoming the third campus with an AAC following Storrs and Hartford.
The AAC is designed to help students achieve their goals with a network of holistic support and strategic academic counseling through supplemental instruction, academic coaching, workshops, and the UConn Connects mentoring program.
The center will also collaborate with other student support programs on campus such as academic advising, the tutoring center, the Center for Access & Postsecondary Success (CAPS), the Waterbury Promise Program that started in 2022, and the CAHNR Fellows Program (College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources) to ensure student success.
The CAHNR Fellows Program is a new program funded by the USDA NextGen grant, awarded to Principal Investigator (PI) and Waterbury Campus Director Fumiko Hoeft; along with co-PIs CAHNR Associate Dean Kristen Govoni, Stamford Campus Director Jennifer Orlikoff, UConn Associate Vice President for Student Success Tadarrayl Starke, and Allied Health Assistant Professor in Residence (APIR) Tamara Kaliszewski.
The program will prepare largely underrepresented students at the Waterbury and Stamford campuses for high-potential careers focused on helping our communities in fields related to agriculture, health, and natural resources.
The program is designed to increase students’ knowledge, competency, and access to opportunities through tuition support, paid internships, seminars, mentoring, and other assistance.
Freshmen CAHNR majors at the Waterbury and Stamford Campuses will form the first cohort this fall, and another cohort will be recruited for fall of 2024, with incoming fall 2024 freshmen encouraged to apply.