Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sender ’85 joins Yale Center for British Art

Rebecca Sender ’85

Rebecca Sender ’85 was appointed deputy director for finance and administration for The Yale Center for British Art. She comes to the Center from the Princeton University Art Museum, where she served as associate director for the last decade; she was also its acting director from January 2008 to June 2010.

At Yale, she will manage the operating budget for the Center for British Art, as well as oversee the institution’s security, facilities and operations, human resources, Information Technology and the Museum Shop. She also will manage the institution’s emergency plan and will work with the center’s partner institution, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London.

Prior to her time at Princeton, Sender worked for several prominent arts organizations, including the American Federation of Arts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Carnegie Institute and Carnegie Library, and the Brooklyn Museum.

Director of the Yale Center for British Art, Amy Meyers, praised Sender as “a stellar professional on all fronts,” and adds, “She will be a magnificent addition to the Center and to the extended Yale community.”

A theater major at Wesleyan, Sender earned her M.B.A from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. She earned her M.A. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University in 1999.

Book by Wasson ’03 Showcases Master Film Director Paul Mazursky

Book by Sam Wasson ’03

In his new book, Paul on Mazursky (Wesleyan University Press), film scholar Sam Wasson ’03 talks to writer and director Paul Mazursky about his substantial career, which includes such memorable movies as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Harry and Tonto, An Unmarried Woman, Moscow on the Hudson, Down and Out in Beverly Hills and many more. His rich human comedies, grounded in pure emotion, are hard to classify and contain scenes that are simultaneously sincere and hilarious, realistic and romantic.

His works represent Hollywood’s most sustained comic expression of the 1970s and 1980s but they have not really been given their due until now . In the first ever book-length examination of one of America’s most important and least appreciated filmmakers, Wasson delves into Mazursky’s oeuvre one film at a time and touches upon the director’s life in and out of Hollywood.

In addition to 19 fascinating interviews with the director, the book contains talks with Mel Brooks (who provides the foreword), the late Jill Clayburgh (who was Oscar-nominated for her fine performance in An Unmarried Woman), writer Josh Greenfeld, Meg Mazursky (the director’s daughter), cinematographer Fred Murphy, and others who have worked with the director over the years.

The volume contains a detailed filmography and a number of never-before-seen photos.

Wasson is the author of The New York Times best seller, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman (Harper) and A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards (Wesleyan University Press). He is working on a biography of Bob Fosse.


Han ’06 Explores Changing Nature of the Web in New Book

Book by Sam Han ’06

Sam Han ’06 has written Web 2.0 (Routledge), a highly accessible introductory text which examines crucial discussions and issues surrounding the changing nature of the World Wide Web. It puts Web 2.0 in context within the history of the Web and explores its position within emerging media technologies.

The book discusses the connections between diverse media technologies including mobile smart phones, hand-held multimedia players, “netbooks” and electronic book readers such as the Amazon Kindle, all of which are made possible by the Web 2.0. The publication also considers new developments in mobile computing as it integrates various aspects of social networking, and also covers recent controversial debates that have arisen in a backlash to the Web 2.0.

Han is an Instructional Technology Fellow of the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. He is the author of Navigating Technomedia: Caught in the Web and co-editor of The Race of Time: A Charles Lemert Reader.

Small ’13, Byer ’12 Educate Rural Communities about Mental Health Care

Alexander Small ’13 (at left) and Lennox Byer '12 (pictured in the insert) met with MINDS Foundation social worker Mehulkumar Solank (pictured in the center) during their visit to India this summer.

(Article submitted by Raghu Appasani)

Many Wesleyan students have ambitions to create positive social change and make an impact. This summer, two Wesleyan undergraduates, Lennox Byer ’12 and Alexander Small ’13, travelled to the state of Gujarat in India. Specifically, they travelled to the district of Vadodara where they resided at the Sumandeep Vidyapeeth University (MINDS collaborator) as MINDS Ambassadors.

Lennox and Alex have been core members of The MINDS (Mental Illness & Neurological Disorders) Foundation since its incorporation in 2010. The MINDS Foundation is an organization founded by Wesleyan undergraduate Raghu Appasani ’12.

The organization has a persistent commitment to taking a grassroots approach to eliminating stigma and providing educational, financial, medical, and moral support for patients suffering from mental illness in developing countries.

The volunteers implemented Phase I of the organization’s four-phase grassroots program. Phase I involves educating the rural communities about mental health care, how to pick up on symptoms, various disorders, and where to go for resources. Byer and Small travelled to three villages during their time in India and screened a documentary informing ~100 people in each village about mental health. The screening was followed up with a short lecture by a psychiatrist and surveys taken by the volunteers.

The program reached a large number of people, especially relative to the size of the village.

“Many of the residents were attentive and curious, and everyone went home with a pamphlet on mental illness,” Small says. “Hopefully this initial program will result in a tangible difference for the perceptions of the village’s population and therefor an improvement in the quality of treatment and life for those suffering from mental illness in Gamdi.”

According to Byer, “the most assuring things was knowing that as we increased awareness we would be able to treat even those who lived in the tents along the side of the roads. Knowing that I live such a comfortable life in the USA has really alerted and motivated to give back, and in the context of MINDS, especially to those suffering with mental illness who have so much more to deal with than just their sickness.”

Phase I continues to run and data continues to be analyzed by a MINDS-hired local social worker. This upcoming winter break, another group of MINDS Ambassadors will travel to India to implement Phase II, which involves diagnostic screening camps in the villages. If you would like to get involved with The MINDS Foundation or volunteer, visit


Cohan on Baseball, Bacteria and Koufax’s Perfect Game

In an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times, Frederick Cohan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies, discusses how his experience as a child watching perhaps the greatest “perfect game” in baseball history – The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax’s 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in 1965 – provided lessons for the mining of old data for both baseball front offices and biologists such as himself who specialize in studying bacteria. Read the op-ed here.

In The Hartford Courant Seamon Discusses 9-11 Memories may be Inaccurate

Discussing the phenomenon of how memories change over time in The Hartford Courant, John Seamon, professor of psychology, professor of neuroscience and behavior John Seamon explains that the mental narrative many of us have created contain inaccuracies, even for seminal events such as the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Seamon, who studies how people remember and recall information, says that many people change details or add “facts” to their mental accounts over time, imbuing them with emotion and convictions. The changes are so profound that, even when confronted with the actual facts of the events, people will continue to insist that their memories are accurate.

“When recalling events, there’s a narrative form that we have. Things that fit that form tend to be remembered well,” Seamon says in the article. “We try to tell stories that are coherent and make meaningful sense to others. Because that’s what we do, we tell stories to each other.”

Sumarsam Authors Paper on Javanese Gamelan

University Professor of Music Sumarsam is the author of a paper titled “Binary Division in Javanese Gamelan and Socio-Cosmological Order,” which was published in the Proceedings 1st Symposium Singapore: ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia. The abstract of the paper is online here.

According to the abstract, “The paper presented by Sumarsam exhibited a firm commitment to indepth musicological analysis of aspects of gamelan music, yet strongly connecting the music analysis to aspects of cultural studies, that is, the social and cosmological order of Javanese society.”

In addition, BBC quoted Sumarsam in their broadcasting on “A History of the World:”

And Voice of America mentions Wesleyan gamelan and Sumarsam in its TV’s program on the music of Lou Harrison:

Bolton Published in Mutation Research

Philip Bolton, professor of chemistry, has published “Complexes of mismatched and complementary DNA with minor groove binders: Structures at nucleotide resolution via an improved hydroxyl radical cleavage methodology” in Mutation Research, 2011. The article is online here.

Sanislow’s Study Published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Charles Sanislow, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored a study that was published the Journal of Abnormal Psychology in July 2011. The research suggests self-report assessment measures of personality pathology are more stable and orderly than those obtained by clinical diagnostic interviews, and informs Sanislow’s larger research agenda involving approaches to diagnosing mental disorders. Read the study, titled “Comparing the Temporal Stability of Self-Report and Interview Assessed Personality Disorder” online.

Rose Receives Major NIDA Grant

Jennifer Rose, research associate professor of psychology, received a grant worth $450,000 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The grant will fund research on the use of Integrative Data Analysis to inform the development of nicotine dependence symptoms among novice smokers.

Dewey Dell Ends CFA Residency with Debut Performances

The Italian experimental theater company Dewey Dell presented "à elle vide," Sept. 9 and 10 in the Patricelli '92 Theater. Named after a character in William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," the group was formed in 2007 by Teodora, Demetrio and Agata Castellucci, along with Eugenio Resta. Their two-week residency at Wesleyan included the American debut performances of "à elle vide" and "Cinquanta Urlanti Quaranta Ruggenti Sessanta Stridenti" (not pictured).