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Steve ScarpaAugust 18, 20226min
Kristen Cardona MPhil ’22 has always had a thirst for teaching and learning. It led her to a career as an elementary and middle school educator. It drove her to take a few classes at Wesleyan, work with the Office of Continuing Education, and attain her own Masters of Philosophy in Liberal Arts degree (with an award-winning thesis project). Now, thanks to her hard work and the encouragement of her Wesleyan colleagues, Cardona will be going on a 10-month fellowship project training teachers and teaching English in Okinawa, Japan as part of the U.S. Department of State’s 2022-23 English Language…

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Editorial StaffAugust 16, 20226min
(Updated August 16, 2022) Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus, took stock of the U.S. government’s most recent actions to combat climate change in his op-ed appearing in The Hill. “Moving forward from this momentous moment, American scientists need to recommit themselves to communicating the nuances and imperatives of climate risk and climate action based on what we know, what we are striving to know, and how humans, their governments and their businesses might respond. The United States is taking an aggressive step, but there is more to do,” he wrote. (August 15) Erika Franklin…

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Andrew ChatfieldAugust 16, 20226min
The kernel for “ABCD,” the first professionally produced play written by playwright, director, and dramaturg May Treuhaft-Ali ’17, started as a 10-page class assignment the spring of her senior year at Wesleyan. “ABCD,” which premiered at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, this summer, began as part of her coursework at Wesleyan with Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (“In the Heights”) that focused on writing historical plays. The crosslisted Theater and English course “Writing History” was an intermediate-level playwriting workshop. Treuhaft-Ali examined plays that used different dramaturgical strategies to grapple with, question, and invigorate the historical record; and…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 1, 20226min
Almost every scientist has an origin story, the moment they knew a life of scientific inquiry and research was something they wanted. “All of the faculty have that story,” said Seth Redfield, professor of astronomy, at the annual poster session held at Exley Science Center on July 28. “Almost all of them involve an experience like this one.” About 200 students representing all of the University’s scientific disciplines shared the fruits of a summer spent doing research. The summer research program is hosted by the College of Integrative Sciences. Students and faculty milled around the lobby of Exley, talking to…

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Editorial StaffAugust 1, 20226min
Citing the urgent need for more effective and equitable health communication, researchers at Wesleyan University are collaborating with two other universities on a unique rapid response research endeavor led by Cornell communication professor Jeff Niederdeppe and funded with a newly announced $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “At this moment it is crucial to understand both the nature of and the potential of messaging around policies promoting racial and health equity,” said Steven Moore, assistant professor of government and an expert on race and politics. “I’m excited to be a part of this fantastic team of…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 28, 20226min
Tsampikos Kottos, the Lauren B. Dachs Endowed Professor of Science and Society, is passionate about the importance of sensors in our everyday lives and believes his most recent efforts will improve safety in fields as varied as aviation, biology, and food safety. “Nothing in this universe can work without sensing. The human body is an amazing sensor, starting from the brain all the way down to the toes,” Kottos said. “We are trying to learn from what nature has created.” Kottos, along with Rodion Kononchuk, postdoctoral physics research associate in Wesleyan’s Wave Transport in Complex Systems Laboratory, Professor of Physics…

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Editorial StaffJuly 21, 20227min
Wesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. (Updated July 29, 2022) Frank G. Binswanger Jr. '50, P '76, '78, GP '13, '15, former member of Wesleyan's Board of Trustees and corporate real executive, has died. Frank and his brother John ’54, P’83, GP’ 06, ’10, ’16 established the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in honor of their father. Each year at Commencement members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee choose three faculty as recipients of the prize. (July 28) Carolyn Renzin '95…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 20, 20224min
A recent paper co-authored by Anna Shusterman, professor of psychology, shows that for deaf and hard of hearing children, immediate access to language is needed to develop abstract concepts, like numeracy. “Language is important in its own right, but it also serves as the foundation for many other domains, including social and cognitive development,” Shusterman wrote. Shusterman’s study was published in the June issue of the journal Child Development. Shusterman and her colleagues, Rebecca Peretz-Lange ’13 of SUNY Purchase (who wrote her senior thesis on the project), Talia Berkowitz of University of Chicago, and Emily Carrigan of University of North…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 18, 20225min
Seth Redfield’s delight couldn’t be more apparent on the day the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope came through. On July 11 NASA released images of the Carina Nebula; Stephan’s Quintet (a galaxy cluster), atmospheric readings of WASP-96b, a planet orbiting a distant star; and the Southern Ring Nebula. While the images were certainly dreamlike and breathtaking, showing the oldest documented light in the universe from 13 billion years ago, it was the events of day two that got Redfield really excited. It was then that he, and scientists across the country, would start receiving raw data from…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 15, 20225min
Enoila Shokunbi, a fifth grader at McDonough School in Middletown, knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. “President,” she said quickly. “But I might want to be a singer first.” Enoila explains that someone like Taylor Swift would likely get more votes for president because of her pop stardom, so that might be the route she wants to emulate. After her visit to Wesleyan University’s IDEAS Lab on July 14, Enoila might be able to add scientist to her list of career aspirations. Enoila is part of the STEM GEMS camp run by STEAM Train, a non-profit…

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Editorial StaffJuly 13, 20224min
Herbert Francis Kenny, Jr., Adjunct Professor of Physical Education, Emeritus, and former men’s basketball coach, passed away on July 9 at the age of 89. Herb earned his BS from Saint Bonaventure University and his MS from the University of Connecticut. He arrived at Wesleyan in 1964 and spent the next 30 years here, serving 27 years as head coach of men’s basketball, 23 years as head coach of golf, and 15 years as an assistant football coach. Inducted into the Wesleyan Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame in 2017, Herb was the winningest…

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Andrew ChatfieldJuly 11, 20226min
World-renowned artist Toshi Reagon might learn just as much from Wesleyan students as they learn from her. As part of her artist residency at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, Reagon is currently on campus developing her latest project, following virtual visits to two Dance Department classes in April which helped to inform her work. The Center for the Arts will present a work-in-progress showing of "You’re Having Too Much Fun So We’re Gonna Have to Kill You" as part of the 2022-2023 Performing Arts Series in the CFA Theater in October, offering a special first glimpse into her process.…