Bryan Stascavage '18

Intern at the Wesleyan Office of Communications for Spring and Summer 2015. Currently working towards meeting the requirements for an Economics and Government dual major. A Wesleyan Posse Veteran.

Wesleyan Green Team Brainstorms Sustainability Measures

Wesleyan's Green Team focuses on making Wesleyan more environmentally friendly. (Photo Laurie Kenney)

Wesleyan’s Green Team focuses on making Wesleyan more environmentally friendly. (Photos by Laurie Kenney)

On July 31, nine Green Team members and a liaison from the sustainability office met outside the Allbritton Center to discuss their goals for the coming year. The Green Team focuses on finding simple measures that all Wesleyan offices can enact to conserve resources.

Anita Deeg-Carlin, administrative assistant for the Physics Department, who initiated the formation of the team in 2014, led the meeting. The team’s hope this year is to focus on small, practical steps that can spark interest and change among other community members. Anika Dane, administrative assistant in molecular biology and biochemistry, suggested the team look into the DEEP’s adopt-a-park program. The team also hopes to link up with wellness efforts and encourage employees to do a trash pick up during their fitness walks.

The group noted the importance of evaluating the progress they have made over the past year, and decided to conduct reviews of their own offices together as a group. This will help them identify areas that might need improvement.

The team also works with Olga Bookas, director of purchasing, on identifying sustainable products. The Green Team has tried to determine what disposable kitchen products have the lowest footprint. This question does not have a simple answer, and was turned over to Ruby Lang ’17 this summer, in an internship funded by the College of the Environment. Jen Kleindienst, sustainability director and liaison to the Green Team, shared some of the results so far.

“We have to be aware of a product’s entire life cycle,” Kleindienst said. “For example, a ceramic cup has to be used about 15 times before it is considered more sustainable than using disposable cups.” Kleindienst also explained the relatively new reusable Eco-to-Go food container program at Wesleyan.

Roslyn Carrier-Brault, administrative assistant in chemistry, raised the question of what to do with the lost and found items that accumulate in many offices over the course of an academic year. Kleindienst pointed out that the “Waste Not” collection and tag sale on 44 Brainerd Ave. is a great destination for these forgotten items, as well as Wesleyan’s Freecycle list.

Members of Wesleyan's Green Team: (back row, l to r) Blanch Meslin, Dawn Alger, Anika Dane, Anita Deeg-Carlin, Roslyn Carrier-Brault; (front row, l to r) Liz Tinker, Olga Bookas, Valerie Marinelli, Jayana Mitchell.

Members of Wesleyan’s Green Team: (back row, l to r) Blanch Meslin, Dawn Alger, Anika Dane, Anita Deeg-Carlin, Roslyn Carrier-Brault; (front row, l to r) Liz Tinker, Olga Bookas, Valerie Marinelli, Jayana Mitchell.

Liz Tinker, administrative assistant in English, requested ideas for potential “green minute” topics for the next meeting. The green minute is a short Green Team presentation at monthly Academic Affairs meetings that offers easy tips and tricks for reducing waste. Dawn Alger, administrative assistant in Theater, suggested having a catchy slogan, for example, “One Less”, to use as a theme for the semester that would encourage community members to use one less of any item that is inherently wasteful each day. Jayana Mitchell, accounting specialist in Chemistry, pointed out that reminder signs created by Blanche Meslin, administrative assistant for Biology, last year were effective in encouraging department members to “BYO” and should continue to be spread around campus.

Deeg-Carlin brought up the overlap of the goals of the Office of Equity and Inclusion with those of the Sustainability Office, and emphasized the importance of capitalizing on Wesleyan’s rich diversity as a resource for learning about more aspects of sustainability.

Valerie Marinelli wrapped up the meeting by suggesting the team shares their goals for 2015-16 with Provost Joyce Jacobsen and the Office of Academic Affairs. Academic Affairs has been supportive of the Green Team since its beginning in 2014.

Ebenal ’18 Participates in Wireless Infrastructure Conference at White House

On July 15, Wesleyan Posse Scholar Royce Ebenal ’18 attended the White House Summit on Wireless Workforce Development, a conference that focused on the urgent need to train workers for careers in the wireless industry to ensure that the U.S. wireless network infrastructure capacity will be sufficient for the future.

More than 80 leaders from wireless companies, federal agencies and academic institutions attended the conference. Participants also recognized that this was an opportunity to hire and train underrepresented groups, including veterans, women and minorities, for well-paying technical jobs. Posse scholar Rob Mendez ’18, who is an intern at the National Science Foundation this summer, also attended the conference.

Ebenal is working as an intern at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) this summer. He’s been speaking with senior government officials, including the office of Second Lady Jill Biden, about the Posse Foundation in an effort to expand veterans’ access to elite colleges.

“While working at the White House has been truly humbling, I am motivated everyday to represent veterans, the Posse Foundation and Wes,” Ebenal said.

Ebenal co-authored an article on the White House Summit on Wireless Workforce Development. The story is online here.

Sumarsam, Students, Alumni Attend Traditional Music Conference in Kazakhstan

PhD candidate Ander Terwilliger, University Professor of Music Sumarsam and PhD candidate Christine Yong attended the International Council for Traditional Music conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

PhD candidate Ander Terwilliger, University Professor of Music Sumarsam and PhD candidate Christine Yong attended the International Council for Traditional Music conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

From July 14–23, two ethnomusicology PhD candidates — Christine Yong and Ander Terwilliger — along with five alumni —Tan Sooi Beng ’80, Donna Kwon ’95, Jonathan Kramer ’71, Sylvie Bruinders ’99, and Becky Miller ’94 — joined University Professor of Music Sumarsam at the 2015 conference of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) in Astana, Kazakhstan. Tan Sooi Beng was elected to the ICTO executive board.

The International Council for Traditional Music is a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. It aims to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music and dance of all countries.

At the conference, Sumarsam presented a talk titled “Expressing And Contesting Java-Islam Encounters In The Performing Arts;” and Kwon spoke on “Glimpses Beyond The Curtain: Making Sense Of North Korean Musical Performance in the Age of Social Media.” Kwon also was a recipient of this year’s prestigious American Council of Learned Societies grant.

 

Haverford Hosts Belanger’s “Rift/Fault” Photography Series

Marion Belanger, an instructor in Graduate Liberal Studies, is currently displaying her photography series “Rift/Fault” at Haverford College. The series is two dozen photography pairings of the North American continental plate, which stretches from California to Iceland. In an intersection of geology and art, the display walks a viewer through images of plate tectonics and the stories that they tell.

More information about the gallery, including dates and hours of operation, can be found here.  Samples of her photography are below:

One of Belanger's photo pairings in her "Rift/Fault" series.

belanger-rift-fault-2

One of Belanger's photo pairings in her "Rift/Fault" series.

Shapiro Reads from Fables in a Modern Key

Norman Shapiro, professor of french.

Norman Shapiro

On June 28, Norman Shapiro, professor of French, provided light verse readings, including a passage from his recently translated Fables in a Modern Key, as part of the Find Your Park summer festival event series. The reading took place at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Shapiro is a member of the Academy of American Poets and an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française.

Fables was written by by Pierre Coran (whose real name is Eugene Delaisse), a poet and novelist of the Belgian French-language. One of Begium’s most renowned poets with some 45 poetry books published to date, he also is the author of 25 published novels, 24 books of fables, hundreds of comic book stories, and several albums which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His children’s stories and fables are published around the world, but this the first selection of his fables to be translated into English in a full length book format.

Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site was home to 19th century poet and scholar Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family from 1837–1950. The historic 1759 colonial mansion also was General George Washington’s first major headquarters during the American Revolution. The house and its collections were a gift to the nation from Longfellow’s descendants in 1972. Its extensive collections and grounds represent more than 250 years of America’s history and literature.

Shapiro’s book can be found here.

Wesleyan Posse Veterans Attend Benefit for Wounded Ranger

Michael Smith ’18, Bryan Stascavage ’18 and Andrew Po ’18 attended a Veteran’s Gala, sponsored by Homes For Our Troops, for wounded veteran Sean Pesce. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Andrew Po ’18, Bryan Stascavage ’18 and Michael Smith ’18 attended a Veteran’s Gala, sponsored by Homes For Our Troops, for wounded veteran Sean Pesce.

Wesleyan sponsored three Posse Veteran scholars to attend the Veteran’s Gala for Specialist Sean Pesce, an Army Ranger who was shot 13 times and paralyzed from the waist down during a mission in Afghanistan in fall 2012. Michael Smith ’18, Andrew Po ’18, and Bryan Stascavage ’18 attended the June 19 benefit to show support for a fellow veteran, and to learn more about a smaller non-profit organization that is helping those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The charity that is helping Pesce, Homes For Our Troops, modifies or builds homes that allow wounded veterans to live independently.

“We were amazed by how our radio station rallied around the mission of Homes For Our Troops,” said Chaz and AJ, in a preamble before showing a video about Pesce.

Brianne McNamara, community fundraiser coordinator for Homes For Our Troops, spoke with the Wesleyan Posse Veterans. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Brianne McNamara, community fundraiser coordinator for Homes For Our Troops, spoke with the Wesleyan Posse Veterans. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Brianne McNamara, a community fundraising coordinator for Homes For Our Troops, spoke with the Wesleyan Posse attendees about the organization.

“We don’t do any self-promotion or advertising,” she said. “This allows us to give 90 cents out of every dollar directly to helping veterans. Instead, we rely on word of mouth and events like this gala to spread word of our organization.”

The national average for refurbishing a home for a veteran costs more than $400,000, she noted, and Home For Our Troops has been able to help more than 180 wounded veterans. The organization also provides financial counseling services to ensure that the veteran will be able to maintain the house after renovations are complete.

The gala was particularly important to the Wesleyan Posse Veterans: Po and Pesce served in the same Ranger Company while deployed to Afghanistan. Although they hadn’t known each other well at the time, the two spent much time in conversation at the benefit. Afterwards, Po shared some notes about his conversation.

Sean Pesce (left) and Po talk during the gala. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Sean Pesce (left) and Po talk during the gala. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

“Pesce still loves to golf, and is looking forward to attending the University of New Haven in the fall,” said Po, noting that Pesce is interested in earning a degree in business or political science. “He wants to open his own restaurant and perhaps run for public office one day.”

Despite his new home and college plans, the road ahead still has challenges for Pesce. “He still has a lot of medical appointments between now and when he starts college,” says Po. “He’ll also have building events at his new home over the summer—and while these events are exhausting for him, he knows it is for a great cause.”

Those in the Wesleyan community interested in volunteering with Homes For Our Troops can find more information here.

Additionally, details on Pesce’s story can be found here.

Danbury mayor Mark D. Boughton spoke at the event, offering support for veterans in Connecticut.

Danbury mayor Mark D. Boughton spoke at the event, offering support for veterans in Connecticut. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

The cover band Rum Runners played for free at the benefit. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

The cover band Rum Runners played for free at the benefit. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy Departments Teach Fifth Graders About Science

Fifth graders from Snow Elementary School in Middletown toured Wesleyan’s astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics departments on June 8.

Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry, and Snow School students watch chemistry in action during their visit to Wesleyan. This annual program allows local fifth graders to see how science can be exciting as well as educational.

Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry, and Snow School students watch chemistry in action during their visit to Wesleyan. This annual program allows local fifth graders to see how science can be exciting as well as educational.

Staff on the Move, April and May 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires, transitions and departures for April and May 2015:

Newly hired

Kyle Archer was hired as an assistant football coach, quarterbacks and passing game on April 1.

Brendan Plake was hired as a desktop support specialist on April 6.

Kyle Tousignant was hired as a desktop systems engineer on April 8.

Daniel Mercier was hired as an instructional design director on April 20.

Laurie Kenney was hired as an editor/writer on April 20.

Jeff Murphy was hired as a facilities business manager on May 4.

Stacey Cuppett was hired as a public safety dispatcher on May 18.

Charlotte Freeland was hired as a research assistant/lab coordinator on May 18.

Transitions

Kevin Webster was hired as an electrical shop working foreperson on April 20.

Meg Zocco was hired as the director of parent development on April 27.

Mary Ann Matthews was hired as a public safety dispatcher on May 18.

Departures

Joe Filanda, locksmith.

John Gudvangen, director of financial aid.

Mario Velasquez, facilities manager.

Michele Matera, office assistant.

Adam Fischer, research assistant/lab coordinator.

Morgan Hamill, Unix systems administrator.

Janani Iyer, research assistant/lab coordinator.

Daniel LaBonte, area coordinator.

Peter Staye, director of utilities management.

Wimer ’19 Raises $2,175 in “Swim for Nepal” Fundraising Event

On May 29, pre-frosh Max Wimer ’19 swam laps for 60 minutes to raise money for children affected by the April 25 Nepal magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and injured an additional 23,000. The event, titled “Swim for Nepal,” was part of the Save the Children Fund non-profit group that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. More than $37,000 was donated, with Wimer as one of the fundraisers, collecting $2,175.

This is not the first charity event for Wimer, who organized and swam in the 2013 “Swim for the Philippines” event. On Oct. 15, 2013, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the Philippines, and relief efforts were disrupted three weeks later by Super Typhoon Haiyan. This event raised more than $43,000 for children afflicted by these two events.

Read more about the charity event here.

Green Street Teaching and Learning Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Green Street director Sara MacSorley and Wesleyan provost Ruth Weissman celebrate Green Street's 10th anniversary. (photo c/o Lu Imbriano )

Green Street director Sara MacSorley and Wesleyan provost Ruth Weissman celebrate Green Street’s 10th anniversary.
(photo c/o Lu Imbriano )

On April 24, the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center celebrated its 10th anniversary at an event that brought together students, teachers, supporters, and advocates to celebrate the past decade.

The Green Street hip hop group performed at the anniversary celebrations.  (photo c/o Lu Imbriano )

The Green Street hip hop group performed at the anniversary celebrations.
(photo c/o Lu Imbriano )

Speakers at the event included Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew; Connecticut State Senator Paul Doyle; Pamela Tatge, director of the Center for the Arts; Robert Rosenthal, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; and Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center. Students from Wesleyan and Middlesex Community College spoke about the impact that working at Green Street has had on their college experiences. The attendees also watched a performance by the Green Street hip hop crew.

MacSorley said it was the community that made Green Street a success. “It was great to recognize so many of the people who played a role in getting the Green Street Arts Center started 10 years ago and those who have helped us transition to the Teaching and Learning Center this year. The support of Wesleyan and the greater Middletown community make it possible for us to do our work with area kids and teachers. It’s truly a team effort.”

Visitors view the art at the Green Street anniversary celebration.  (photo c/o Lu Imbriano )

Visitors view the art at the Green Street anniversary celebration.
(photo c/o Lu Imbriano )

MacSorley also acknowledged the service of another key individual: “We also got to recognize our AfterSchool Supervisor, Cookie Quinones, for her 10 years of service. She has been here since the beginning and is our biggest community liaison.”

In his speech, Drew announced that April 27 would be officially declared “Green Street Day” in Middletown.

For those who would like to support these efforts, Green Street is accepting donations here.

Krishnan Receives Choreomundus Scholars in Residence Award

Professor Hari Krishnan recently received a prestigious award and residency at  the University of Roehampton.

Professor Hari Krishnan recently received a prestigious award and residency at the University of Roehampton.
(photo c/o Stephen De Las Heras)

Hari Krishnan, assistant professor of dance, recently received the Choreomundus Scholars in Residence Award, which will support a three-week residence at the University of Roehampton in London, beginning May 18. During his residency, Krishnan will teach and mentor Choreomundus students who are working on their final project.

(photo c/o Michael Slobodian)

(photo c/o Michael Slobodian)

Krishnan expressed excitement over his award: “I am delighted and honored to be one of two recipients of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus grant for visiting scholars to the “Choreomundus International Masters in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage” at the University of Roehampton’s Department of Dance in London.”

Astronomy Department Awarded Grants for Research

Seth Redfield, astronomy professor of astronomy, campus director of the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium, reports that several students and faculty have recently been awarded grants for their research in astronomy.  Photo c/o Redfield

Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy, campus director of the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium, reports that several students and faculty have recently been awarded grants for their research in astronomy. (Photo c/o Redfield)

Several Wesleyan students and faculty were recently awarded grants for research by NASA’s Connecticut Space Grant Program. Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy and campus director of NASA’s CT Space Grant Consortium, was excited about the number of winners.

“I was thrilled to see how successful Wesleyan was this year in getting grants through NASA’s CT Space Grant program,” wrote Redfield. “It demonstrates the diversity and quality of work we do that is aligned with NASA’s mission.”

“The grants this year support undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research, as well as special events organized by faculty at Wesleyan to promote exposure and career development in STEM fields,” explained Redfield.