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UCS Spring 2017 Schedule

The schedule can be downloaded from our Course Schedule page located under the Degree Information tab.


If you have any questions or have any issues enrolling in URBN courses, please contact our office at 860-570-9092 or our faculty advisor.


New Hartford Campus Video – Construction Progress

Click on the YouTube videos below to view the progress of the new Hartford Campus construction.




To view renderings visit

Meet CLAS’s Urban CLASS of 2016 –

Learn more about their favorite UConn professors, best memories, plans for the future, and advice for incoming students. Congratulations, CLAS Class of 2016!


Jasmine Alexander-Brookings 2
 Jasmine Alexander-Brookings

Hometown: Prince Georges County, MD

Major: Individualized Major: Urban and Youth Development

Minor: Africana Studies

Clubs and Activities: UConn Hip Hop Collective; Sankofa; SIS; Theta Delta Sigma; Community Outreach

Why did you choose an individualized major in urban youth development?
When I first came to UConn, I was an athletic training major. I got into the program, but there was something missing for me. I actually took a break from the university for about a year, and during that break, I explored what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to choose something that would be authentic to me. I looked back at my experiences and realized that I love working with young people, and I wanted to engage, empower, and educate them in meaningful ways that spoke to and resonated with them. Even though I wasn’t sure what job I would have after college, I’ve just tried to remain open.

In what ways did the Urban Semester in Hartford program influence you?
I see myself working within the urban landscape, and particularly within communities of color, or minority communities in general. So both my internships have built up my confidence. I’ve been able to have a lot of autonomy and freedom to say, “I think this is a great program, lets do it!”

I’m interning at two different locations. One is the Hartford Gay Lesbian Health Collective; they do a lot of work with HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. I am also interning at Connectikids, which provides after school and summer programing for youths grades two through eight. I’m helping design their summer curriculum. One program I’ve run for them is a trip to UConn. We’re doing a student panel, a couple of workshops on culture and awareness, a campus tour, and we’re going to eat at South campus dining hall. It’ll be a great experience for the kids.

What are your plans for the future?
I don’t know yet! I used to be such a planner. I’m trying to let my life evolve organically by being open and hopping on opportunities. I know that graduate school is definitely where I want to be within two or three years. I’m looking at programs that are focused on education policy, but also management. In the meantime, I’m thinking about doing an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps program.

How did founding the Hip Hop Collective enrich your student experience?
It started my sophomore year when I had an idea for a program. I wanted to do something simple where we would educate people about the culture and social movement of Hip Hop. But I remember having conversations with people and everyone was like “think bigger, do bigger!” I connected with people and it ended up becoming a three-day event that spring. We had a panel, a student showcase, a documentary screening, a rising artist concert, and an opening ceremony where student groups performed. For me, it was cool to see a small idea develop into something that really had an impact on folks. The next year, it ended up being an educational conference, and we had about 100 people come out to that. With the Hip Hop Collective, nothing has happened as I planned or anticipated, but I think it’s helped me learn to follow my heart and trust it.

Who has made the biggest impact on you at UConn?
I wasn’t going to be able to return to the University my junior year because my financial aid was cut and tuition was raised. I had to come up with $15,000. My professor, Mark Overmyer-Velázquez of the Department of History and El Instituto, ended up making it his mission to make sure I stayed here. He reached out to everybody on campus and rallied this team, which is how I got a $15,000 grant from the University! I have a lot of those stories where people have just really supported me. One of the greatest things about my experience at UConn has been the people. I have so many people that I feel like are in my corner and have my back.



Ronny HerediaRonny Heredia 2 copy
Hometown: Manchester, CT

Major: History, Urban and Community Studies

Clubs and Activities: Student Support Services

How has being a first-generation student impacted your college experience?

Actually applying to the universities was difficult because I didn’t know what to look for when looking at colleges. I ended up going to my teachers and they really went above and beyond to help me. I could never thank them enough; if it weren’t for them I probably wouldn’t be here.

I try to be as involved as I can. I feel like I’m already a step behind because I didn’t have the same resources that other people did coming into college. I have to make sure that I’m working and making my resume and everything as competitive as I can. You just have to motivate yourself or find something that motivates you. For me, it’s probably my family and little brother’s specifically because I want to be a good example for them.

Who was your favorite professor?
Professor Lawrence Goodheart at the West Hartford campus was my favorite professor. He recently retired, but I took African American History Before the Civil War and American History with him. He would literally come into class smiling and just start jumping around. I’ve never actually seen a professor really love their job as much as he did. He made topics that most people wouldn’t like really interesting just by being so enthusiastic.

What is your favorite memory of UConn?
I was selected to speak in front of the Connecticut General Assembly this semester about UConn budget cuts. I only got a couple days to prepare the testimony, which was a little nerve-wracking. Once I was there, I tried to tune everything out, and I practiced a lot to make sure I didn’t stutter too much. I swear I wasn’t nervous until I turned on the mic, but then I was like ‘oh man, what am I doing?’ But it was an amazing experience, and it was kind of funny seeing myself on TV!

You’ve had several internship and program experiences in the Connecticut public sector. Which ones influenced you the most?
I participated in Leadership Greater Hartford, which was a program that brought students together to impact Hartford with a pro-social project. My group wanted to impact the education system, so we organized a career fair in Buckley High School. Especially in an urban community, there’s pretty much this mindset that you might not be able to go to college. We put together a video aimed at encouraging these students, but then we also brought resources to them. We had admissions officers from all the universities that we attended come to the event as well to talk about college and answer their questions.

Then I interned at the Newington Board of Education in the transportation department, which provided good insights into how to balance a budget. It was nice because I’m going to need to have basic budgeting skills if I’m going to be an administrator someday. Maybe one day I’ll work at UConn; I’d love to work here!

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
When you come into a big university like UConn, you can feel kind of lost. At times you probably question if you’re really supposed to be here. Just keep an open mind and don’t despair. Make sure you don’t feel depressed about things like not knowing anyone, and if you do, talk to someone because there are so many people here willing to help. Most of my closest friends I met at the end of my sophomore year and junior year. Don’t feel bad if it hasn’t happened for you yet.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I’ll be attending the Masters in Public Administration program here at UConn. When I finish that I hope to work in a job where I can analyze policies that affect education. Once I get some experience and feel like I have a good foundation to build upon, I hope to go for more of a leadership position. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a job where I get to have my voice heard. I’d love to become a Senator one day, but I’m taking things one step at a time for now!


LaRosa 3 mar7 smallLuke LaRosa

Hometown: Northfield, VT

Major: Geography, Urban and Community Studies

Scholarships: UConn Merit Scholarship, UCS Department Scholarship

Clubs and Activities: UConn Moot Court Competition Team, The Writing Center, Leadership Legacy Experience, Holster Scholars First Year Project

Why did you choose to study Urban and Community Studies and Geography?
I knew that I wanted to study urban planning, and I thought I was interested in land use and development law because my grandfather worked in environmental and natural resources for the Vermont state government, and I was always fascinated by the work that he did. As soon as I started to get an introductory knowledge into the technical side of geography, I really fell in love with it and made that my niche area.

What was the most meaningful experience you had in your clubs and organizations?
I was so happy when I was hired as a sophomore to work at the Writing Center. We tutor about ten hours a week, so we get to meet 100 people or more from different majors in that time, and that’s really cool. I still remember a student that came in my first semester of tutoring with a personal statement for an application to be a bridge designer for a prestigious firm in New York City. That was something I had never even heard of before. So in addition to meeting cool people, it also teaches you a lot about how the world works and how other people are trying to go after their goals, which I find really inspiring.

Tell us about the many internship opportunities you’ve had.
My first internship was at the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission. I took inventory of road infrastructure, so I would dive into ditches and take pictures of culverts, which are the pipes that run under roads. My second internship was at the Connecticut State Data Center, located in Babbidge Library. By the end of the internship, we had put together a regional planning data browser. Then I interned at Travelers Insurance, and currently, I’m an intern at a non-profit called New Haven Promise, a scholarship organization that’s also a long-term economic development engine.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I have accepted an offer at Travelers. When I interned there, it was a game changer for me, and we both agreed that me working there was a good fit. I’ll be working as a geospatial analyst. Organizations like Travelers have a lot of data, but that kind of data is only valuable if it is presented and analyzed in useful ways. Occasionally, a great way to present or analyze certain information is to do so spatially—often on a map. So I work in information delivery, working on applications and performing analyses that involve a spatial component.

Do you have a favorite class or professor?
I took Canon of American Legal Thought with Richard Michael Fischl in the School of Law. People say that you take classes that teach you how to think, and I don’t know if I’ve ever really thought about classes that way, but I would say that I’ve had to think harder for that class than in any other class I’ve taken. It was immensely challenging. The readings were complex, they were dense, but it was rewarding to see how leading influential thinkers of multiple periods in history have thought. And he’s just an amazing professor.

What have you learned about yourself since coming to UConn?
I thought I could have given you my ten-year plan the day I walked onto campus. That’s just the kind of person I am! But UConn has taught me the virtue of being flexible in a lot of situations. I had the resources that a large, public research university can offer, so I had time and the opportunity to play around with many options. And even though it’s not what I had envisioned when I first showed up, I’m so grateful for it every day.


Photos by Sydney Lauro

Profiles courtesy of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Spotlighting UCS major Donato Pesce

Donato Pesce presented his research on the Olmsted influence on Waterbury’s public parks recently at the 19th Annual Frontiers in Undergraduate Research at Storrs. His presentation was based on the research he conducted after receiving his SHARE award last spring. The title of his poster was “A Visual History of Parks and Green Spaces in Waterbury and Boston”.

Donato Pesce SP 16 WTBY PBLIMG_4967Below is a synopsis of Donato’s research:

Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., a Connecticut native, is America’s preeminent park maker. His name is synonymous with big city landscape initiatives like New York’s Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system. However, the Olmsted design firm expanded its influence well beyond these famous parks. After Olmsted’s retirement in 1895, his design firm, led by his two sons, took on five major park projects in Waterbury, Connecticut: Chase Park, Hayden Homestead Park; Hamilton Park, Fulton Park, and Library Park.

The goal of this project was to examine the influence of the Olmsted firm on the City of Waterbury. By examining the visual history of park spaces in Waterbury, and comparing it to the firm’s designs in Boston, the consistency in the Olmsted design becomes apparent.

Methods: Focus on the ways the design elements (pathways, water features and architectural features) in Waterbury parks are similar to other Olmsted parks in Boston by:

• Identifying, locating, and evaluating the primary documents related to the creation of public parks and green spaces in Waterbury.
• Investigating scrapbooks, historic photos, maps, newspapers, postcard collections and ephemera in the archives of the city’s Parks Department, the Silas Bronson Library, the Mattatuck Museum and the Republican-American, the local newspaper to evaluate.
• Examining the digital archives and records owned by the National Park Service.
• Examining the historic photo digital archives of the Boston Public Library.

Enroll Now – Historical Geography of Urban Parks (URBN 3998 – GHC)

Registration for the Fall 2016 semester has begun. Below is information regarding a new course being offered at the Greater Hartford Campus on Urban Parks. Scroll down the flyer for further information.

Fall 2016 Course Flyer

Scroll down to view entire course flyer.


To download, click here.

Join UConn’s Global Ingenuity Challenge Team – Read more…



Calling students from all majors!

Apply to become part of a five member UConn team to find an innovative solution to “The Challenge of Sustainable Housing.” You will be competing with teams that are drawn from other international universities in the Universitas 21 (U21) global network. Your work will be overseen by two UConn professors who will act as facilitators: Professor Norman Garrick (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Professor Carol Atkinson-Palombo (Geography).

The two week long challenge will take place in March, partly during Spring Break. At the start, your two facilitators will share the specifics of the challenge with the team. Students will then have two weeks to work on the challenge and invite comments from trusted advisors. Technical support will be provided by the online interactive web based platform, Ingenuity OnLine. At the end of the 2-week period, students will upload a 3-minute video with their proposed solution to the challenge. Their video will be assessed by a judging panel as well as by their peers. Students who participate in the challenge will review all videos submitted by their peers and vote for one of them (not their own, of course). The team with most votes will receive the Peers’ Choice award certificate.

A prize of US$1,000 per student on the winning team will be awarded, to be spent on participation in another U21 student activity, including study abroad at a U21 partner university.

Application Online: In order to apply, you will need to do the following:

1) Fill out the application form that includes uploading your UConn transcript and writing a short essay.
2) Ask a faculty member to serve as a reference, and forward him/her this link for the online Faculty Reference Form:

Application Deadline: February 1, 2016
For more information, contact: Dorothea Hast ( in Global Affairs.
For more information on the challenge:

Stories of Resilience: The Experience of LGBT Asylum Seekers

After fleeing from fear or violence due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBT asylum seekers continue to face a myriad of challenges as they seek protection in the U.S. Hear personal accounts of how they strive for stability and security and learn how agencies and communities can collaboratively support their unique needs. An open discussion of action-oriented solutions will follow the speaking presentation on Tuesday, December 1st at 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Address: Zachs Community Room, UConn School of Social Work, 1798 Asylum Avenue West Hartford, CT.

Food will be served. RSVP: Renee Hamel (860) 803-3685

UConn School of Social Work Sponsors: the Asian & Asian-American Student Organization, PRIDE, Women’s Caucus, Social Workers for Global Justice, Center for International Social Work Studies

UConn LAW School Sponsors: LAMDA, Asylum Human Rights Clinic

Interested in virtual practice test opportunities, prep classes, and/or boot camp sessions?

Kaplan Testing and the UConn Office of Alumni Relations are working together to host a free series of events for UConn students and alumni.

Kaplan Live Online Event Series-November 2015


Practice Test for the GRE
Nov. 14 at 4 p.m.
Click Here to Register

Inside the Classroom: GRE
Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.
Click Here to Register

Bootcamp for the GRE
Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m.
Click Here to Register


GMAT Practice Test
Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.
Click Here to Register

GMAT Practice Test
Nov. 28 at 3:30 p.m.
Click Here to Register


LSAT Bootcamp
Nov. 15 at 9 p.m.
Click Here to Register

LSAT Practice Test
Nov. 22 at 1 p.m.
Click Here to Register

LSAT Bootcamp
Nov. 29 at 9:30 p.m.
Click Here to Register


Inside the Channel: MCAT
Nov. 29 at 4 p.m.
Click Here to Register


DAT Bootcamp
Nov. 19 at 9:30 p.m.
Click Here to Register

DAT Practice Test
Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.
Click Here to Register


For more information, contact: Sylvia DeLavalle at

Food Justice & Food Security: A Career for the Common Good

On Monday, November 9th starting at 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at UConn Dodd Center, Konover Auditorium come learn how social entrepreneurs, service corps members, and community organizations are working to address Food Justice and Food Security through their work. This collaborative event with the Careers for the Common Good, Dodd Center, and Net Impact Graduate chapter, will focus around a panel discussion bringing together a variety of individuals from various points in their career to explain small and big ways to address food issues on a personal or professional level.

For more information please contact