Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett and Quinnipiac President Olian discuss a close partnership for the community


Hephzibah Rajan, Newscast: Associate Producer

The Hamden Mayor Laurent Garrett and President Judy Olian gathered at the Mount Carmel Auditorium on Monday, Feb. 14 to speak to students, staff and faculty about evolving leadership challenges and opportunities for women.

During the discussion, both speakers spoke of their leadership experiences. Garrett said that while her role was challenging, her work was fulfilling.

“It’s so fulfilling to be a role model for other people, to help people when they need it,” Garrett said.

Olian addressed how Quinnipiac was coping with the stressful circumstances that the pandemic had created.

“At Quinnipiac, we are very mindful [that] there were really two pandemics. one of the health and disease aspects and one of mental health.”

While the event was focused on women in leadership roles and how the pandemic has affected them, Garrett also mentioned improvements she hoped to bring to Hamden. Garrett spoke about new possibilities for the community as the town was receiving more revenue.

“We’re getting about 18 million dollars in ARPA funds and you know, we’re gonna have community meetings and get inputs from residents,” Garrett said.

The first public input session was held on Feb. 16 and the next is scheduled for Feb. 24 in the Board of Education Gymnasium at 60 Putnam Ave.

Olian added that the school is building a partnership with the Hamden community for future plans.

“We’re building a very strong partnership as we move forward with our plans around the expansion of our buildings, the three new projects, all kinds of other ways in which our faculty, staff and students are involved in the community,” Olian said.

Garrett felt that the most important part of building this relationship is communication.

“Usually the breakdown happens when you’re not communicating and also being honest about our intentions,” Garrett said.

Talking about Quinnipiac’s new expansion plans, Garrett added, “Quinnipiac has a really big role for this next year with the master facility plan and I want to make sure that I’m there to help them through the process and my staff is committed to the project.”

The university hopes to work more closely with Hamden in the future. Students can now look forward to more opportunities to engage with the local community.