Corrina Kerr

Geoff Hammerson: Teaching Students to Love the Outdoors

Geoff Hammerstein, left,

Geoff Hammerson, left, teaches students enrolled in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program about the biology of amphibians and reptiles in Summer 2008. (Photos by Kyle St. George)

Geoff Hammerson hopes that the students who take his Graduate Liberal Studies Program week-long immersion course Life Among Snow and Ice this March get “an appreciation for the diverse and abundant life of parts of Earth that relatively few people experience” and learn how life copes with challenging conditions.

Hammerson has been teaching GLSP classes since 1985. His classes on the environment and nature are usually widely popular. In fact, as this article comes out the March 2009 course is fully enrolled. Most recently he has taught a course on the biology of reptiles and amphibians

South Korea, Cameroon Give Students New Perspectives on Cultures

Allison Hardy’s experiences as a study abroad student in Cameroon have reinforced her knowledge about criticisms of the United States. One common stereotype she encountered is that “all Americans are really wealthy.” In fact, she was asked if she had a huge sweet sixteen birthday bash like what is depicted on television.

Although Hardy ’10 has explained that the majority of Americans are not wealthy, she feels that other issues are harder to explain. For example, she’s gained a new appreciation for the United States’ improving gender equality, fighting homophobia and moving past hetero-normative attitudes, she says.

Sherry Cho ’10, another study abroad student, decided to return

Stemler Develops Adaptability Study for U.S. Military

Steve Stemler

Steven Stemler, assistant professor of psychology.

Failure to adapt in certain military maneuvers or assignments can lead to fatal errors. To help prevent grievous mistakes, the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has asked psychologists to study adaptability. Assistant Professor of Psychology Steven Stemler was awarded a $60,000 subcontract via the University of Central Florida to study the concept and develop tools to measure adaptability.

Preservationist Helping Save Islamic Texts in Nigeria

Michaelle Biddle.

Michaelle Biddle.

Michaelle Biddle, head of preservation services, has returned from a five-week sabbatical to Nigeria, where she conducted a survey of Islamic manuscripts and related materials in northern Nigeria under the auspices of the Arewa House, Centre for Historical Documentation and Research, Ahmadu Bello University.

Biddle was there working on preserving documents and taught conservation workshops to preserve documents in Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Maiduguri and teach archivists and conservationists how to best preserve paper documents in accordance with international conservation standards. The program Biddle taught was entitled “Conservation in a Box” and was funded by the U.S. Ambassador’s Cultural Preservation Program.

Cutting-edge Research Showcased at Molecular Biophysics Retreat

The ninth annual Molecular Biophysics Retreat was held at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown on Sept. 18. The event was organized by David Beveridge, professor of chemistry and the University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics; Manju Hingorani, associate professor of molecular biology; and Ishita Mukerji, professor of molecular biology.

Wesleyan Assists Community with Voter Registration

The Middletown Registar of Voters helps students fill out voter registration papers in Beckham Hall.

The Middletown Registar of Voters helps students fill out voter registration papers in Beckham Hall.

Wesleyan students and administrators are committed to getting everyone registered to vote and to the polls for this November’s election. According to Chris Goy ’09, founding member of WesVotes, the university is assisting with the voting registration effort more than it has in the past.

Although Goy says that only 13 percent of the Wesleyan campus was registered to vote in Connecticut during last year’s presidential primary, he believes that a partnership between WesVotes and the university will lead to a significant increase of that number.

Campus Community to Participate in Fast-a-Thon

Wesleyan’s second annual Interfaith Fast-a-Thon will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25, and culminate with a Ramadan Banquet. Participants will fast for one day and donate the cost of meals to local charities. The day’s events will conclude at 5:45 p.m. with a ‘Break-fast Banquet’ at Beckham Hall catered by the Middletown’s Haveli India restaurant.