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Monthly Archive for September, 2010

Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, director, Wesleyan Media Project.

Wesleyan University is launching the Wesleyan Media Project, a non-partisan initiative designed to perform comprehensive tracking and analysis of federal and state political advertisements by candidates, parties and special interest groups. The project launches at the onset of a political election season poised to break advertising records.

Throughout the course of the 2010 election cycle, the Wesleyan Media Project will provide real-time, public information on the content and targeting of advertising in federal election campaigns across the country. In light of the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision, the Project will also provide systematic evidence on the extent of corporate and union spending. It will include details on which entities are doing the spending and which candidates are benefiting from these investments.

The data will include precise information, including the date, time, market, station and program on which each ad aired, (more…)

Fernando Degiovanni

Fernando Degiovanni, associate professor of romance languages and literatures, associate professor of Latin American studies, was awarded the prestigious Alfredo Roggiano Prize for his Los textos de la patria: Nacionalismo, politicas culturales y canon en Argentina (2007). This prize is awarded every three years by the International Institute of Ibero-American Literature to the author of an outstanding scholarly book on any phase of Latin American literature or culture.

The International Institute of Ibero-American Literature is the oldest association of scholars devoted the study of Latin American literature and culture in the United States.

Susan Lehman ’81

Susan Lehman ’81, a communications executive, editor and lawyer, is the new publisher and editor-in-chief of Twelve, a small and respected imprint of Grand Central Publishing. She has worked over the years as media strategist, writer and editor in the realms of magazines, law, television and newspapers. She served as as an editor at Riverhead Books from 2003–2004.

Twelve has published 39 titles, 19 of which have made The New York Times best-seller list, including God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens and War by Sebastian Junger ’84.

In a recent article in The New York Times, Lehman said she hoped to publish books that are “superbly written, have moral clarity, maybe journalistic rigor.”

Lori Gruen (left) and Kari Weil

Wesleyan University and the Animals and Society Institute (ASI) have formed a partnership and will offer the “ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Summer Fellowship” in 2011 through Wesleyan’s recently-launched College of the Environment.

The ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Summer Fellowship marks the launch of Wesleyan Animal Studies (WAS), which will advance the rapidly growing field of Animal Studies and foster scholarship on human-animal relations from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

The fellowship will be hosted by Wesleyan faculty Lori Gruen and Kari Weil. Gruen is chair and associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies at Wesleyan, and author of  Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, Feb. 2011). Weil is a visiting professor of letters at Wesleyan, and author of Thinking Animals: An Introduction (Columbia, 2011).

The ASI’s Human-Animal Studies Fellowship Program was started in 2007 by its executive director, (more…)

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After three years of engineering, implementing structural and electrical upgrades, and navigating the FCC, Wesleyan’s listener supported community radio station WESU 88.1FM, is now broadcasting at a newly assigned power of 6,000 watts of effective radiated power (ERP).

WESU 88.1 FM station general manager Ben Michael stands by the station’s 30-year-old transmitter housed in the penthouse of Exley Science Center. The instrument was recalibrated to transmit 6,000 watts of effective radiated power (ERP) through a new antenna, allowing the station to broadcast into southern Massachusetts. For the past three decades, the station only produced 1,500 watts of ERP. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

“This is a major milestone for WESU since we have been broadcasting at a power of 1,500 watts for the past three decades,” explains station general manager Ben Michael. “This ‘once in a generation’ power upgrade makes our radio signal available to twice as many potential listeners in Connecticut and Massachusetts.”

Michael estimates the potential listening audience of close to 1 million within their protected contour.

In April 2008, the FCC granted WESU a construction permit to make preparations to quadruple their output power. The Community Health Center provided funding for the design and construction of the station’s new directional antenna and much of the legal and engineering work necessary for the upgrade.

Partner station WSHU in Fairfield, Conn. donated a 1960s vintage Gates transmitter as a backup unit to WESU’s 30 year old Harris transmitter which was recalibrated to pump out the power needed to transmit 6,000 watts ERP through their new antenna. WSHU’s engineering team provided all of the transmitter and tower work with the assistance of Ben Michael and support from Wesleyan physical plant staff.

The transmitter and other electrical equipment is housed in Exley Science Center’s penthouse, and the copper, (more…)

Erika Franklin Fowler is assistant professor of government. (Photo by Emily Brackman '11)

The issue we ask “5 Questions” of Assistant Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, the director of the newly-launched Wesleyan Media Project, a non-partisan initiative designed to perform comprehensive tracking and analysis of federal and state political advertisements by candidates, parties and special interest groups in every media market in the nation.

Q: What can you tell us about the Wesleyan Media Project?

A: The Wesleyan Media Project will provide nonpartisan, publicly-available, real-time tracking and analysis of all political ads aired on television across the U.S. during the 2010 election campaign. It’s a collaborative effort lead by me and two colleagues, Professor Mike Franz at Bowdoin College and Professor Travis Ridout at Washington State University, which builds on the technology provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). (more…)

This fall, students have the opportunity to work towards one of four certificates, in addition to their degree.

The new certificate programs include South Asian Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Writing; and Social, Cultural and Critical Theory.

“These are outstanding endeavors by the faculty to keep the curriculum fresh and innovative, and to help students study across the disciplines but with a road map for curricular coherence,” says Karen Anderson, associate provost.

South Asian Studies Certificate
Wesleyan already offers courses and resources for all students interested in studying the cultures of Bangladesh, (more…)

David Beveridge, the Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics., professor of chemistry, was honored at Wesleyan University’s 11th Annual Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat Sept. 23. Beveridge came to Wesleyan about 30 years ago to develop a program in molecular biophysics within the Department of Chemistry. He studies how the structure, dynamic and solvation of nucleic acids and proteins influence binding and recognition. Pictured is Wesleyan President Michael Roth with Beveridge at the retreat.


Kristine Schiavi, administrative assistant for the Romance Languages and Literatures Department, enjoys interacting with the countries and cultures represented in the department. (Photo by Emily Brackman '11)

Q: Kristine, when did you come to Wesleyan?

A: I started working at Wesleyan in January of 2006, originally as an AA in University Relations.

Q: What are your main job responsibilities?

A: My job responsibilities are wide and varied. My job is to provide support to the Romance Language Department, including 23 faculty members and five foreign teaching assistants. Specifically, that can mean anything from supervising student workers and organizing information to planning events and travel, as well as accounting for more than 50 accounts, and troubleshooting any manner of old building (more…)

Wesleyan University hosted the 11th Annual Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat Sept. 23 at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown, Conn. The day-long event included six guest speakers and a poster session.

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The Honorable Mark R. Kravitz '72, United States District Judge, spoke on "Constitutional Decision Making at the Forefront of Technology: How Courts Decide Cases Where There is Little Guidance" as part of Wesleyan’s Constitution Day Sept. 17.


The College of the Environment hosted an open house, information session and pizza luncheon Sept. 22 in Usdan University Center.

Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of the College of the Environment, explains how the COE emphasizes academic studies, a think-tank and public outreach.


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