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As a new housing-focused nonprofit gains a foothold in the capital city, a unique organization has had a hand in its efforts: Crested Communications, a student-run communications firm at the University of Hartford.

The Hartford Land Bank, formed in 2020, worked with Crested this fall, and endeavors to match available, distressed properties with building projects, while also increasing the inventory of affordable housing.

But as a rising player in the economic development landscape across the city, the Hartford Land Bank needed a hand in creating awareness, developing its brand, and forming a social media strategy. That’s where Crested Communications came in.

“The goal this semester was to help the Hartford Land Bank develop a pipeline of Hartford-area developers who would be interested in investing in their city and revitalizing blighted properties that plague communities,” says Sarah Miner, applied assistant professor of communications at UHart, and the faculty director of Crested. “Crested Communications students were able to lend their creativity and expertise to support the Land Bank in not only growing the organization, but also enhancing its mission.”

Crested Communications students created a media kit for the Hartford Land Bank containing social media content, a case study, a fact sheet, and videos. When partnering with other clients, they’ve produced website material and structured various communications strategies.

Crested, which is currently celebrating its two-year anniversary, launched to serve both students and local organizations: Students earn hands-on, real-world experience as communications consultants, while business or nonprofit entities receive affordable services to advance their reputation—as well as a fresh set of eyes with innovative ideas. Students bring a unique perspective, both as colleagues and young consumers.

Arunan Arulampalam, who currently runs the Hartford Land Bank and previously worked as deputy commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection, says he was inspired by the students and added, “The Hartford Land Bank loved working with Crested Communications. They were professional, insightful, and incredibly talented. I can’t wait to see where these students’ careers take them.”


About University of Hartford

Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford has been guiding the purpose and passion of students for over six decades. On our 350-acre campus alongside Connecticut’s capital city, approximately 4,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students representing 48 states and 45 countries come together for a common purpose: to collaborate across different disciplines, diversify perspectives, and broaden worldviews. We’re a four-year private university focused on advancing the public good through meaningful connections within our communities. Our unique approach to comprehensive education gives us the critical perspectives that lead to impact change, regionally and beyond. With degree programs spanning the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions, we focus on doing the work that matters.