University of Hartford
The University of Hartford lists more than 75 distinct programs and services, and offers access to University-sponsored arts, cultural, and recreational opportunities that directly serve neighboring urban communities in Hartford and other Greater Hartford cities and towns. These services address issues directly related to housing and urban economic and community development, the arts and entertainment, public education and academic enrichment and advocacy for underserved youth, career and health counseling, volunteering opportunities for faculty and students, and community-directed activities in other fields. Among the University’s sponsored, co-sponsored or otherwise assisted urban economic and community development initiatives are: Upper Albany Main Street, Inc.; Upper Albany Business Network; Upper Albany Micro Business Incubator Program; and Educational Main Street.
Upper Albany Main Street, Inc.
With Mayoral and University support, Upper Albany Main Street, Inc. was established as Connecticut’s first urban Main Street program in May of 2000. (The Main Street Program is a national program for the revitalization of downtowns and commerical districts under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.) Upper Albany Main Street is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization based in the Upper Albany neighborhood of Hartford, CT operating under a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the University of Hartford. Upper Albany Main Street (UAMS) is a catalyst for community and economic revitalization of the Albany Avenue commercial corridor. Established in 2000, UAMS is a National Main Street Community, recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and certified as a Community Business Development Organization by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The mission of Upper Albany Main Street, Inc. is “To preserve, revitalize, and support the commercial district of Upper Albany by working with residents, merchants, and stakeholders to create a neighborhood of choice.”
Upper Albany Main Street Microbusiness Incubator Prorgram (MBI)
Developed in 2002 as a joint project by Upper Albany Main Street, the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford, and the Metro Hartford Alliance, the Micro Business Incubator (MBI) brings training, development, resources, and support to businesses throughout the Upper Albany neighborhood. The MBI program matches micro-enterprises in Upper Albany with students from the University of Hartford to cultivate business capacity. Using one-to-one, on-site training students and business owners work together in the areas of business planning, marketing, merchandising, technology, loan applications, best management practices, and customer service.
Marilyn L. Risi earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from CW Post College, Long Island University and completed postgraduate work at Adelphi University in law. She also completed a fellowship focusing on public policy and education with the Institute of Educational Leadership (IEL).
As the Executive Director of Upper Albany Main Street, Inc. Marilyn Risi has been instrumental in the development of the national main street’s four point approach to the revitalization namely; organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. To that end strategic partnerships have been formed with both public and private institutions, city agencies, community based organizations, residents, merchants and stakeholders.
As a team builder and convener, and recognizing the challenges of urban revitalization efforts, she has brought together many diverse agencies and community groups, helping them work together to accomplish key main street goals such as; successful funding and launch of the award winning Micro Business Incubator Program, a partnership between University of Hartford, city of Hartford, Metro Hartford Alliance and the small business community; development of the Town Center Project; comprehensive streetscape, parking and façade improvement standards for the avenue and launching of an Anti-Litter campaign. Over the past five years the program has received numerous awards and recognition – Bank of America 2004 Neighborhood Builder Award, Team EDDY Award from CERC for Best Economic Development Program statewide, Rising Star Ward from the Metro Hartford Alliance, and most recently received national recognition in Business Week’s new publication Small Biz – lead article entitled Campus Can Do. The Director has been named Executive Director of the Year 2008 by the Connecticut Main Street Association.
Margery Steinberg (Program Research Director)
Professor Emerita Steinberg received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in High Education in 1984, and an MBA and MA in Education in 1979 and 1972 respectively. Dr. Steinberg believes that true learning takes place when the concepts covered in the classroom are practiced in the real world. Thus her courses give students the opportunity to engage in real world projects and problem-solving. Dr. Steinberg created the Upper Albany Micro Business Incubator to assist small businesses in the economically challenged neighborhood abutting the campus in developing business skills, and to give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a unique service learning program. She was the Faculty Advisor to the University’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, and co-advisor of the award-winning Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team. She also completed a fellowship focusing on public policy and education with the Institute of Educational Leadership (IEL).
Jeffrey P. Cohen (Program Researcher)
Professor Cohen is an urban and regional economist with specific interests in transportation, land use and housing, environmental economics, and state and local public finance. He has published in top-tier journals in his field, including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Regional Science, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. He has served as a Visiting Scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis several times since joining the University of Hartford, where he continues to collaborate on issues related to airport noise and housing prices. Recently, Professor Cohen has started to develop a research agenda in the area of health economics. He has been at the Barney School since the fall of 2000. Jeffrey is the past president of the Transportation and Public Utilities Group of the Allied Social Sciences Association, 2008.
Irina Naoumova (Program Researcher)
Dr. Naoumova joined the Barney School in 2008. Prior to that she worked as a Visiting Associate Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Associate Professor at State University –Higher School of Economics, Moscow (Russia), and Kazan State University. She received her Ph.D. from Kazan State University in 1989 and an M.S. in Management Science from Kazan State University in 1982. Irina published over 100 research and conference papers, workshop materials and monographs. Irina serves as a reviewer for several research journals (such as Journal of World Business, Corporate Governance- International Review, Journal of Management Studies), and as executive board member for AIB-SE journal.