Wesleyan in the News

In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni.

Wesleyan in the News

  1. Inside Higher Ed: “The Need for a Recovery of the Humanities”

In this essay, President Michael S. Roth responds to the “flood of negativity” in public discourse about higher education, in general, and the humanities, in particular. He suggests that “in order to recover the trust of students and their families, we must overcome our cultivated insularity.”

2. NBC News: “Carbon Dioxide Hits a Level Not Seen for 3 Million Years. Here’s What That Means for Climate Change — And Humanity.”

Dana Royer, professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences, comments on new evidence that the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has climbed to a level last seen more than 3 million years ago. According to the article, shorter term impacts include loss of vegetation and sea-ice coverage, while other things, like the melting of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, will occur more slowly. “But these impacts are going to persist for a very long time,” said Royer. “Once that happens, we can’t really reverse it.”

3. History News Network: “James Byrd, Jr., John William King, and the History of American Lynching”

Ashraf Rushdy, the Benjamin Waite Professor of the English Language, professor of African American studies, writes in this essay that while we now have a fuller account of the history of lynching in the United States, “What we perhaps equally need is an understanding of the historical role of the discourse of lynching and how it continues to shape America’s enduring ‘dialogue on race.'”

4. Time Now: “Back to School at NYU and Wesleyan”

Pete Molin, a former Army officer who now writes about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and author Elliott Ackerman recently visited Professor of History Vijay Pinch‘s class on the centuries-long battle by imperial powers for control of Afghanistan. The two gave a public reading and led a small group discussion with students interested in journalism, and Molin wrote about the experience on his blog.

5. CT Post: “Boston Film Agency to Launch Wesleyan Documentary Project”

Tracy Heather Strain and Randall MacLowry ’86 will join Wesleyan’s film faculty in the fall and launch the Wesleyan Documentary Project, an initiative to teach, support, and produce nonfiction film and video. They will move their Boston-based production company, The Film Posse, to Middletown.

Alumni in the News

  1. National Academy of Sciences: “National Academy of Sciences Elects Members and Foreign Associates; Historic Number of Women Elected to Its Membership

Included in this cohort was Jennifer Chayes ’78, technical fellow and managing director of Microsoft Research New York, Microsoft Research Montreal, and Microsoft Research New England, in Cambridge, Mass.

2. Colorado Public Radio: “Sen. Michael Bennet [’87, Hon. ’12] Is In. Becomes the 21st Democratic Candidate Running for President”

Numerous media outlets picked up the story from Bennet’s local National Public Radio affiliate in Colorado. The staff writers offered information about Bennet’s platform and how it will differ from the current administration: “One source said Bennet discussed an economic plan that would help all Americans prosper, and that he wants to restore integrity to the White House—Bennet said the winner-takes-all philosophy in Washington ‘leaves nothing for the American people.’”

3. Middlebury Newsroom—Nicole Curvin [’90] Named Dean of Admissions

In a news release, Middlebury College President Laurie Patton announced that Nicole Curvin, who has served as director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment, was named dean of admissions, effective July 1. Quoted from an all-campus email, Patton praised Curvin for “her energy, integrity, sensitivity, and deep understanding of both the technical aspects and aspirational goals of running a first-class admissions process.”

4. Inside Higher Ed— “The Case for Vibrant Interdisciplinary Mentoring”

Joseph J. Fins ’82, MD, MACP, FRCP, is the E. William Davis Jr. [Wesleyan Class of ’47] M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics and chief of the division of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics and the Law at Yale Law School. A physician and bioethicist, he was one of three in this article who “applaud[ed] and advocat[ed] for mentors who connect ostensibly unrelated disciplines in odd, innovative, and visionary ways.” Fins majored in the College of Letters at Wesleyan.

5. ArtTable New York—Where is SHE: Public Art and the Absence of Women

Meredith Bergmann ’76, a panelist for this event, has been a sculptor for more than 40 years: “Her largest public commission, unveiled in 2003, was for the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. Her FDR Hope Memorial for New York City’s Roosevelt Island will be unveiled this year, and she is currently sculpting statues of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony that will break the ‘bronze ceiling’ in NYC’s Central Park.”