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Monthly Archive for April, 2010

Liana Woskie '10, pictured in India, will return to the country next year as a Watson Fellow.

Liana Woskie ’10 believes that Community Health Workers (CHWs) can be effective and vital components of systems that serve the health needs of hard-to-reach populations. However, their success varies across cultures and program models. She wants to know why.

As a 2010 Watson Fellow, Liana Woskie ’10 will research CHWs systems through case studies of programs located in Bangladesh, Tanzania, India, Thailand and Lesotho. Woskie, a College of Social Studies major, is one of only 40 students in the world to receive a Watson Fellowship this year. The fellowship, which includes a $25,000 stipend, offers promising college graduates a year of independent, study and travel outside the U.S. in order to enhance their capacity for effective resourcefulness, leadership and participation in the world community.

Her project, “Bringing Primary Healthcare Home: The Community Health Worker” is designed to understand the structure and implementation of CHW networks from a community perspective.

“I hope to learn whether CHW programs were implemented in collaboration with their patient population and what the nature of their communication strategies has been with their given communities,” Woskie says. “Second, I intend to explore how they address cultural understandings of illness and disease in their trainings, curriculum and ultimately in their day-to-day outreach. “

Much of Woskie’s research will be performed (more…)

Feet to the Fire: Exploring Global Climate Change from Science to Art was an 18-month project which included research opportunities for a team of students and faculty to explore first-hand the effects of global warming. Feet to the Fire included an eco-arts festival in a neglected city park.

“Keeping Our Feet to the Fire: Joining Art and Science to Engage Environmental Issues” is the topic of Wesleyan’s 2010 Earth Day celebration on April 22.

The event will feature a world premier screening of Paul Horton’s film Connections within a Fragile World.

A  panel of environmental experts will discuss the question “are art and science as natural allies in communicating environmental issues to the public?” It will be moderated by Jeremy Isard ’11, with panelists: Godfrey Bourne, University Missouri St. Louis; Marda Kirn, EcoArts Connections, Colorado; Cassie Meador, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Washington, D.C.; and Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology and director of the Environmental Studies Certificate Program at Wesleyan.

The Schumann Prize for Distinguished Environmental Stewardship will be awarded to a member of the class of 2010 and a reception will follow the event. (more…)

Wesleyan offered admission to 2,125 students to join the Class of 2014. About 500 admitted students sampled "all-things Wesleyan" during WesFest April 15-17. Pictured is a WesFest picnic on April 16.

This year Wesleyan received 10,656 applications to join the university’s class of 2014, an increase of nearly 6 percent from last year. Of those, 2,125 or just under 20 percent, were offered admission, giving Wesleyan its most selective admission cycle on record.

“This is a really superb and exciting group of students who are poised to join the Wesleyan community,” says Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid. “We had another significant increase in the overall number of applications this year and we had to make a lot of difficult decisions. But the students we chose were absolutely the best match for Wesleyan.”

Some of the highlights of the admitted class include: (more…)

Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, will be conducting a series of studies with children and adults in the Cognitive Development Laboratory at Wesleyan to investigate abstract and perceptual magnitude biases.

Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, was recently awarded a five-year, $761,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study “magnitude biases in mathematical cognition, learning, and development.” Barth will be conducting a series of studies with children and adults in the Cognitive Development Laboratory at Wesleyan to investigate abstract and perceptual magnitude biases.

The grant, which begins this year, comes from the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. The program is only available to non-tenured faculty. Barth’s colleague Anna Shusterman was awarded a CAREER grant in 2009.

“The psychology department is thrilled about Professor Barth’s accomplishment,” says Lisa Dierker, chair and professor of psychology. (more…)

Wesleyan’s old Squash Building, built in 1934, is scheduled to be renovated during the 2010-11 academic year. It will house the Career Resource Center. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

A generous $2 million gift to Wesleyan will greatly enhance the ability of the Career Resource Center to serve students in a planned new home at the center of campus.

The anonymous gift from Wesleyan parents will endow the programs of the center, which will be located in the old Squash Building at the north end of College Row. Part of Wesleyan’s historic brownstone row, this building is scheduled for renovation beginning in the 2010-11 academic year.

“The Career Resource Center has an essential role in helping students translate their intellectual interests into productive work and career aspirations,” says Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. “We are deeply grateful for the support of our donors, who recognize the importance of that translation.”

The Career Resource Center is known for its innovative programming. It has been nominated for a NACE (National Association of College and Employers) National Award for its Senior Survival Month 2009 —a month-long series of daily events and workshop (more…)

Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, Emeritus, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant)

Richard S. Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, Emeritus, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current projects focus on science and technology; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. (more…)

Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences.

In this issue we ask 5 Questions to…Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, who has a new study in the American Journal of Botany that examined flowering plant fossils in hopes of uncovering clues about the growth characteristics of some of these ancient angiosperms.

Q. Your study looks at the structure of fossil flowering plants, also known as angiosperms, from more than 100 million years ago. What were you hoping to discover?

A. Flowering plants are ubiquitous in most areas on Earth today. Over 90 percent of all plant species today are angiosperms. Given how important these plants are today, it is surprising how little we know about their origins. We sought to better understand the ecology of early angiosperms. In what kinds of environments did flowering plants rise to dominance? What was their growth strategy: were the slow-growing or fast-growing?

2. What is the basis for the theory that angiosperms from 140-100 million years ago were fast-growing?

A. It has been known for several decades that many of the earliest angiosperm fossils are found in river deposits. Plants growing today along river corridors are usually fast-growing. This is true not just for the weeds but also for the trees such as cottonwood. (more…)

David Schorr (Photo by Phyllis Rose)

One works in translating languages; the other translates words into images. Together they are about to take audiences through a centuries-old world of lechers, louts and libertines, among others.

Norman Shapiro

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, and David Schorr, professor of art, have been collaborating together for more than 20 years to bring ancient French verse and tales to life for an English-reading audience. Their most recent effort is a re-issue, La Fontaine’s Bawdy: Of Libertines, Louts, and Lechers (2009 by the Black Widow Press), a book they will be discussing and signing at on May 5 at Broad Street Books in Middletown at 4:30 p.m.

The two professors have Wesleyan to thank for their partnership, having first met when they both arrived on campus in the 1970s. Shapiro calls Schorr “the ideal person” to illustrate his translations. Schorr’s expressive animal illustrations, including versatile woodcuts, sumi-e drawings, and line drawings, bring the tales to life.

“David’s illustrations are wonderful,” Shapiro says. “They are not stodgy and he has a way of looking at the fables and book pages with a different eye.” (more…)

From left, Keisuke Yamashita '10, Jory Kahan '10, Clare Smith '10 and Beth Kenworthy '10 were honored during a luncheon April 9 as being recipients of 2009-10 Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard '37 Memorial Award.

Keisuke Yamashita ’10 of Yokahama, Japan; Jory Kahan ’10 of Norwich Vt.; Clare Smith ’10 of Lexington, Mass.; and Beth Kenworthy ’10 from New York, N.Y., were named the recipients of Wesleyan University’s Roger Maynard ’37 Memorial Award for the 2009-10 academic year.

The award is presented annually to the outstanding male and female scholar-athletes in their last year of eligibility. Yamashita, Kahan, Smith and Kenworthy represent the finest combination of athletic accomplishment and academic achievement at Wesleyan.

Kahan and Yamashita were starters on the 2009 men’s soccer team that posted the first undefeated regular-season since 1940 and set a school record for longest unbeaten streak (15 games), going 11-0-4 before dropping its NESCAC semi-final game to Middlebury. Receiving an at-large bid to NCAA Division III tournament, the team’s third (more…)

Amy Bloom '75, appointed as the Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence, read from her latest book, Where the God of Love Hangs Out, April 13 in New York City at "A Conversation with Amy Bloom '75 and President Michael Roth '78." The event was sponsored by the Wesleyan Club of New York and the Wesleyan Writing Programs. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Amy Bloom ’75, a distinguished writer of novels, short stories, nonfiction, and projects for television, has been named the Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence at Wesleyan University. Her appointment takes effect July 1.

Bloom will have an office in the Shapiro Creative Writing Center.

Bloom will enhance Wesleyan’s curricular offerings in writing by offering two courses per year, and she will serve as a senior thesis advisor. She will have an office in the Shapiro Creative Writing Center.

“Amy Bloom is one of the most accomplished writers in the United States today,” says President Michael S. Roth. “Her insight, her creativity, and her deep understanding of the craft of writing will be a great benefit to our students. The writing community at Wesleyan is prolific and strong, and Amy Bloom’s presence will add to that vitality.”

Bloom is the author of two novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction book. She has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. (more…)

Albert Fry, the E.B. Nye Professor of Chemistry, is the co-author of “Substituent Effects on the Redox Properties and Structure of Substituted Triphenylamines. An Experimental and Computational Study,” published in Tetrahedron, 65, 2408-2414, 2009.

Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry, is the co-author of several new articles. These include: “Ultrafast Optical Excitations In Supramolecular Metallacycles with Charge Transfer Properties,” published in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 1348-1358 in 2010; “Assembly of Metallacycles on HOPG by Shape-Persistent Macrocycle Templates,” published in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 1328-1333, 2010; “Surface Confined Metallosupramolecular Architectures: Formation and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Characterization,” published in Accounts of Chemical Research, 42, 249-259, 2009; “Directed Self-Selection in the Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly of Irregular Supramolecular Polygons,” published in Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 3554-3557, 2009.

Also, “Synthesis of Six-Component Metallodendrimers via [3+3] Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly,” published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 3524-3527, 2009; “Introduction of Heterofunctional Groups onto Molecular Hexagons via Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly,” published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry 74, 4828-4833, 2009; “Facile Self-Assembly of Neutral Dendritic Metallocycles via Oxygen-to-Platinum Coordination,” published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74, 7067-7074, 2009; “Self-Organization in Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly,” published in Accounts of Chemical Research, 42, 1554-1563, 2009; and “Synthesis and X-ray structural analysis of platinum and ethynyl-platinum corannulenes: supramolecular tectons,” published in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 7, 2009.

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