UHart Students Create Feasibility Plan for Wethersfield’s Kycia Farm
Students from multiple schools and colleges across the University of Hartford teamed up with the town of Wethersfield, Connecticut, for an interdisciplinary independent study intended to create a feasible plan for the long-term use and expanded revenue generation of the 32-acre town-owned Kycia Farm. Wethersfield voters approved the town's purchase of the farm in a 2018 referendum, and College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Gary Evans '97, who is the town manager of Wethersfield, proposed a partnership with UHart students. Starting in spring 2021, the students spent the next year gaining experiential learning as they conducted research and developed recommendations for the future of the farm.
Members of the student team, most of whom are 2022 graduates, came from a wide variety of disciplines, including entrepreneurial studies, communication, marketing, risk management & insurance, art history, and business & economics. Their academic home bases included the Barney School of Business, Hillyer College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Hartford Art School.
The opportunity to work on such a project gave the students valuable experience they can apply in real-world settings once they enter the workforce.
Team leader Alex Serata (’22, entrepreneurial studies) and Chaz Young (’22, communication) said they are grateful to be involved in a project that helps a local town.
“This has provided tremendous talking points during job interviews,” Serata noted. “It was a project with real-life implications that showed my time and project management skills and my networking abilities.”
“Students had their own level of expertise according to their specific major and it was foundational in the development of executing our plans over time,” added Young. “Individuals were strategically placed to put their best foot forward.”
The team recommended that Wethersfield move forward with a 401(c)(3) and lease part of the land to create recreational fields, a Connecticut Community Supported Agriculture program, community gardens, walking trails, and more. Several grants have already been received toward those aims.
The director of the Risk and Disruption Technology Institute of the Barney School of Business, Ken Goroshko, and the director of the Barney School’s Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Business Center, Fred Wergeles, served as the team’s faculty advisors. Both acknowledged the effective teamwork of all involved, including several Wethersfield residents and town officials, and all the UHart students who put in their time and effort for this exciting project.