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Monthly Archive for September, 2011

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Wesleyan’s student-run fire arts and performance group Prometheus practices the art of fire-spinning and object manipulation. The students featured are Gabriel Urbina, Kimberly Prosise, David Foregger, Jesse Friedman, Spencer Ewall, Pei Liu and Chinh Duong.

View dozens more videos on the Wesleyan YouTube Channel.


Michaelle Biddle, collections conservator and head of Preservation Services in Olin Library, is the author of “Inks in the Islamic Manuscripts of Northern Nigeria – Old Recipes, Modern Analysis and Medicine,” published in the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 2 in July 2011. The study is online here.

This study is concerned with what specific materials were used in fabricating the inks used in the surviving, largely undated Northern Nigerian manuscripts written in Arabic script. These manuscripts belong to the West African tradition of Islamic culture and scholarship, of which Timbuktu, Mali, was a key center. Technical materials analysis, recipes from ethno-cultural studies, and replicative experiments revealed a reliance on local plants and materials for ink fabrication. Botanical research uncovered a possible linkage between inks and medical treatments through the creation of charms in which ink was washed from the paper and drunk.


Students move in on Arrival Day. Wesleyan students and staff assisted new students with their move. (Photo by Nick Lacy)

Jimmy Albrecht '15 moves into Clark Hall on Arrival Day.

At 8:50 a.m., Jimmy Albrecht ’15 began lugging in boxes of clothing, canvas totes of athletic equipment, a 3.1 cubic-square-foot fridge, an X-Box, microwave, bedding, toiletries and six – make that eight – pairs of shoes, into his new student residence in Clark Hall.

“Oh, there’s another pair over there. And there’s another pair. Jimmy, you’re going to need a shoe rack,” says his mother, Sharon, who drove Jimmy to Wesleyan from their home in Chicago, Ill.

Jimmy’s father, George, also helped with the unloading. “Our Jeep was so packed with stuff, there wasn’t even room for a toothbrush back there,” George says.

Jimmy Albrecht, who will play hockey at Wesleyan, joined 810 other Class of 2015 students for Arrival Day 2011. Students and their families began trickling in around 8 a.m. with carloads of back-to-school supplies. Eighty-seven international students arrived three days prior for International Student Orientation.

In addition, Wesleyan welcomed 18 transferred sophomores, seven transferred juniors, five visiting international students and four college-exchange program students on Arrival Day.

At left, Elizabeth Binswanger '15 enlisted her father, David, for help moving in.

Elizabeth Binswanger ’15 and her parents, David and Dorothy, traveled from Philadelphia, Pa. to Middletown Aug. 30. Together, they hauled in “lots of clothes,” bedding, food and a computer. (more…)

Christina Othon, assistant professor of physics, will speak on "Phase Transitions in Biological Membranes" during the Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat.

“Drug Design from Transition State Analysis” will be the central topic of the 12th annual Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat Sept. 22. The public is invited to the retreat, which will be held at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown.

Faculty from chemistry, physics and biology will present lectures. (more…)

Ali Chaudhry '12, pictured in center with a green shirt, and fellow members of the Wesleyan International Relations Association, are hosting a conference titled “Deciphering Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistan Relations,” Sept. 30-Oct. 1. (Photo by Bill Tyner '13)

In attempt to increase awareness and understanding of global issues, the Wesleyan International Relations Association created a forum to allow top academics and commentators to discuss global issues with the Wesleyan community. This year, the 33-member association is hosting a conference titled “Deciphering Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistan Relations,” Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

“This year we’re focusing on Pakistan because of the strategic importance of the region,” says association founder and president Ali Chaudhry ’12. “We feel that it is a country that most people are interested in learning about. However, many people do not have enough information about Pakistan, which often leads people to make presumptions about it.”

The conference aims to increase understanding and awareness about Pakistan from its culture to its politics. The conference will also focus on U.S.-Pakistan relations, which have both strained and strengthened after 9-11. The conference’s speakers are among the top commentators, officials and scholars on Pakistan and US-Pakistan relations, and the event will be open to the students, faculty and the larger public.

Panelists and guest speakers include:

Shahid Javed Burki is a professional economist who has served as Finance Minister of Pakistan and as a Vice President of the World Bank. He has written extensively on economic development and on the political history of Pakistan.

Ambassador Howard B. Schaffer is a retired American Foreign Service officer who spent much of his 36-year career dealing with U.S. relations with South Asia.

Asim Khwaja is the Sumitomo-FASID Professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School (more…)

Charles "Chuck" Sanislow, assistant professor of psychology, runs the Cognitive-Affective-Personality-Science (CAPS) lab in Judd Hall.

This issue, we ask “5 Questions” of Charles “Chuck” Sanislow, assistant professor of psychology, who is both a clinical psychologist and a psychopathologist and studies a variety of mental illnesses and the approaches used to diagnose and treat these ailments.

Q: You are clinical psychologist but also a psychopathologist. Can you explain that second title for us?

A: Psychopathology is literally “the pathology of the mind.” To study disorders of the mind requires a variety approaches. Biology and brain systems tell us a lot about when things are working right in the brain, and how they go wrong. We also need cognitive theories to help us understand mental processes, such as disruptions in working memory and emotion regulation. Behavioral approaches inform how our experiences and thought processes may be conditioned and shaped by interpersonal processes.

Charles Sanislow and his students, Katie Marcus '13 and Liz Regan '13 inspect EEG data collected from a participant in one of their studies. EEG involves the use of sensitive electrodes to measure electrical activity in the brain. The wave form shown here called the "P300" is characteristic of a response inhibition task.

Q: What do you hope to achieve with your research?

A: Much of my work has aimed to improve clinical diagnosis. Most psychological disorders as we now know them are based on symptoms and behaviors that seem to cluster together forming a “syndrome.” The causes and mechanisms of these patterns are not well known. One artifact of the current approach to clinical diagnosis is that patients often meet criteria for several mental disorders at once. What does it really mean to say that a person has two different kinds of depression? Are these differences really qualitative? Are the mechanisms independent? These are the types of questions that we ask in my research in the Cognitive-Affective-Personality-Science (CAPS) lab.

Q: How do you approach these questions in your day-to-day research activities?

A: The majority of the research is focused on mental disorders with disturbances in mood and affect and that are moderated by stress or temperament. For example, we study depression and anxiety, including posttraumatic stress disorder and personality disorders such as borderline. We find a tremendous overlap in the features and mechanisms of these disorders. Comparing combinations of these disorders is one way to begin to clarify core processes that may cut across a range of disorders. (more…)

Emma Daniels ’13, in center, spent six weeks this summer teaching kids about the sport of lacrosse.

Most Wesleyan student-athletes spend their summers training for the upcoming season, but this past July, women’s lacrosse standout Emma Daniels ’13 took it a step further. Daniels, a College of Letters major, was one of 28 students selected for Beyond Study Abroad, a program that “aims to connect the world through sports,” according to its mission statement. She spent six weeks in Costa Rica taking courses, training and introducing local youths to the sport of lacrosse.

Daniel, pictured in back, was one of 28 students selected for Beyond Study Abroad, a program that “aims to connect the world through sports."

“I went down because I had to go abroad for COL, and summer was the only option because I wanted it to be a service trip,” Daniels explains. “I’ve always loved to coach. I think the values that lacrosse instills—its discipline, its teamwork, being able to communicate with your teammates—those values transcend the field. Coaching is not so much about teaching a new sport (more…)

Want to stay up to date on Wesleyan campus life, events and student and faculty news? The university offers several ways to stay connected to all-things-Wes.

The Wesleyan Connection online newsletter, which you’re reading right now, is an image-rich news-piece e-mailed to Wesleyan’s faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni about twice a month. It highlights faculty and student research, Wesleyan staff members, faculty publications, grants and achievements and recent events. The editors welcome story ideas. The newsletter is online here.

Wesconnect is a social networking site for alumni.

The Wesleyan Connection isn’t to be confused with Wesconnect the online community for Wesleyan alumni. Wesconnect is the best source of information about Wesleyan alums on the web. It contains the alumni directory, user profiles, tools to create blogs, group pages, events and a constant stream of news by and about alumni. You can also use it to connect with alumni on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (learn more about these sites below). Visit Wesconnect online here or follow @wesconnected on Twitter.

For more in-depth articles, be sure to read Wesleyan magazine. (more…)

A(T)Rs are held at noon in the Develin Room of Olin Library.

This fall, the Academic (Technology) Roundtable meetings will include talks on new library subject research guides, counseling and psychological services, tools to manage digital workflow, grant writing, course design and more.

The weekly A(T)R meetings aim to promote conversation, cooperation, and the sharing of information and resources among Wesleyan’s faculty and staff. The event is sponsored by the Center for Faculty Career Development, and is co-sponsored with Olin Library and Information Technology Services.

A(T)Rs are held at noon in the Develin Room of Olin Library, and a buffet lunch will be served. Sean McCann, director of the Center for Faculty Career Development, moderates the weekly meeting. All faculty and staff are welcome.

The Fall 2011 schedule, speakers and topics include:

Monday, Sept. 19
Counseling and Psychological Services, with Jennifer D’Andrea, director.

Monday, Oct. 3
New Library Subject Research Guides, with Pat Tully, University Librarian.

Tuesday, Oct. 4
The Registrar’s New On-line Major Completion Form, with Anna van der Burg, registrar, and Susan Krajewski, associate registrar.

Sister Marwa Aly lights candles during Wesleyan's 9-11 10th Anniversary Interfaith Prayer Vigil Sept. 9 in Memorial Chapel.


Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Curator Patrick Dowdey gives Hartford Courant reporter Susan Dunne an introduction to an embroidery titled "Graceful Branch Movement." The work is featured in the center's exhibition, "Metamorphosis: the Collaboration Between Photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum and the Suzhou Embroiderers" through Dec. 9. Seo-in "Claire" Choi '13 admires the embroidery "Graceful Branch Movement" as it is unpacked in preparation for the exhibition. The piece is the tallest two-sided embroidery panel ever created. "Graceful Branch" is derived from Robert Glenn Ketchum's recent digital image, "TURN, TURN, TURN" that also will be displayed as a photographic print.


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