Hannah Norman '16

I am a member of the class of 2016.

Environmental Geochemistry Students Present Research

Students in an Environmental Chemistry class presented their research about Lake Hayward on Dec. 2. From left to right: Zachary Kaufman '16, Nicole DelGaudio '18, Hannah New '16 and Jesse Tarnas '16.

Students in an Environmental Geochemistry class presented their research about Lake Hayward on Dec. 2. From left to right: Zachary Kaufman ’16, Nicole DelGaudio ’18, Hannah New ’16 and Jesse Tarnas ’16.

Students from Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Timothy Ku’s Environmental Geochemistry class presented their findings regarding the geochemical makeup of Lake Hayward in East Haddam, Conn., to almost two dozen members of the Lake Hayward and Wesleyan communities on Dec. 2 in a presentation at the Russell House. The class is part of Wesleyan’s Service Learning Program spearheaded by Rob Rosenthal, director of Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology.

“Working in science, it’s always fulfilling when you have people who care about the information you’re looking at,” said Zachary Kaufman ‘16.

Students did fieldwork on Lake Hayward in East Haddam, Conn.

Students conducted their fieldwork on Lake Hayward in East Haddam, Conn.

During the project, students collected samples and conducted lab work to analyze the lake’s eutrophication, or the process by which bodies of water are made more well-nourished and nutrient rich. While the process occurs naturally in all lakes, human activity can expedite the occurrence and cause ecological impacts and a rise in fish mortality, among other things. Students’ findings showed that there is nothing concerning about Lake Hayward’s current geochemical makeup.

“The students were enthusiastic and engaged,” said Randy Miller, a member of the Lake Hayward community who worked with students and attended the event. “We would do this again in a heartbeat.” (Photos below by Hannah Norman ’16)

Timothy Ku, associate professor of Earth and Environmental Science, introduces the class research.

Timothy Ku, associate professor of Earth and Environmental Science, introduces the class research.

More than a dozen members of the Lake Hayward  and Wesleyan communities watched the presentations.

Almost two dozen members of the Lake Hayward and Wesleyan communities watched the presentations.

Students presented their findings on the water chemistry of Lake Hayward. Left to right: Robert Ramos '16, Rebecca, and Lydia Tierney '16.

Students presented their findings on the water chemistry of Lake Hayward. Left to right: Robert Ramos ’16, Rebecca, and Lydia Tierney ’16.

Pilot Program Gives Students Insight into Local Nonprofits

Wesleyan Nonprofit Board Residency Program

Members of the Center for Community Partnerships’ new Nonprofit Board Residency Program. From left to right: Joe Samolis (Middlesex Historical Society), Ben Romero ’16, Patrick McKenna (rear, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity), Liza Bayless ’16, Jennifer Roach (Wesleyan Civic Engagement Fellow), Kevin Whilhelm (rear, Middlesex United Way), Sarah Bird (Middlesex Habitat for Humanity), Nancy Fischbach (Community Foundation of Middlesex County), Cynthia Clegg (Community Foundation of Middlesex County), Cathy Lechowicz (Center for Community Partnerships), Diana Martinez (Wesleyan Center for Community Partnerships), Arpita Vora ’16, Makaela Kingsley (Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship), John Bassinger (NEAR, Buttonwood Tree), and Bria Grant ’17. Missing: Aidan Martinez ’17. (Photo by Lu Imbriano ’18)

Arpita Vora ’16 clicks through a website that seeks to raise awareness about the hardships faced by low-income families in North Carolina. Middlesex United Way, the organization at which Vora was placed through the Center for Community Partnerships’ yearlong pilot Nonprofit Board Residency Program, is hoping to create a similar site using data from Connecticut.

Davenport Grant Takes Ertas ’16 to Turkey for Senior Thesis Research

As a Davenport Grant recipient, Deren Ertas '16 was able to spend a month in Istanbul, speaking with activists, politicians, neighborhood organizers and academics in Turkey about the period leading up to the uprising and the Taksim Commune. 

As a Davenport Grant recipient, Deren Ertas ’16 was able to spend a month in Istanbul, speaking with activists, politicians, neighborhood organizers and academics in Turkey about the period leading up to the uprising and the Taksim Commune.

In this Q&A, we speak with Deren Ertas from the Class of 2016.

Q: Deren, what are you majoring in?

A: I’m majoring in the College of Social Studies. I’m also getting the Social, Cultural and Critical Theory Certificate.

Q: You received a Davenport Grant to do research for your senior honors thesis. Could you tell us a little about the grant?

A: Yes, the Davenport Grant is a nifty $3,000 grant that the Public Affairs Center awards to a number of students who want to pursue research that might require them to travel. You apply with a research prospectus and a budget proposal. I’m writing a political theory thesis that engages with the city from the perspectives of neoliberalism, resistance and democracy. My argument is that we can arrive at a radical pluralist democracy by resisting the conditions created by the neoliberalization of cities, or something to that effect. I am using the Gezi Protests (2013) in Istanbul as my case study.

Q: Where did you conduct your field research?

A: With the Davenport Grant, I was able to spend a month in Istanbul.

Students Volunteer at Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education

Every year, about 20 Wesleyan students volunteer alongside Wesleyan faculty to teach local inmates through Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education. Pictured are six volunteers at the Cheshire Correctional Institute.

Every year, about 20 Wesleyan students volunteer alongside Wesleyan faculty to teach local inmates through Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. Pictured are six volunteers (now alumni) at the Cheshire Correctional Institute.

In a study hall of more than two dozen inmates, Liza Bayless ‘16 approached a cluster of men boisterously chatting in the corner. She listened in to see where the conversation had digressed, prepared to shift it back towards the homework. To her surprise, the debate was centered around the book they were reading for class, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and the confines in society that by one reading may have led the protagonist, Edna, to commit suicide.

The Awakening is known for being this stiff novel with a mainly white, upper-class cast, and I was hearing these men talk about how badly they felt for Edna,” Bayless said. “It’s amazing how much empathy they bring to their readings.”

It isn’t every day that Wesleyan students observe prisoners debating the intricacies of feminist theory, or most topics for that matter. In Bayless’s case, however, it’s twice a week. For two hour-and-a-half study halls, she makes the drive to Cheshire Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in Connecticut, where she serves as a teaching assistant for visiting faculty Sarah Mahurin’s Imagining the American South.

Bayless is one of about 20 TAs and writing tutors that volunteer for Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education (CPE). The program offers Wesleyan classes and credits to inmates.

While Studying Abroad, Nash ’16 Works with Rare Turtles in Australia

Chloe Nash ‘16 studied the rare Flatback sea turtle while studying abroad in Australia. (Photo by Matt Curnock) 

During her spring semester abroad in Australia, Chloe Nash ‘16 studied the rare Flatback sea turtle. This fall, she’s co-teaching a student forum on marine biology. (Photo by Matt Curnock)

#THISISWHY

Chloe Nash ‘16, a double major in biology and environmental studies, contributed to groundbreaking research on the mysterious Flatback sea turtle — a species with only two photographs in the wild, both of the same individual turtle. While studying abroad in Australia last spring, Nash volunteered at James Cook University for a project that involved raising 30 flatbacks from hatchlings and attaching GPS devices to their shells.

The turtles were released in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and seven are being tracked by satellite. This research is the first time Flatbacks, only found in Australia, have been monitored underwater.

The turtles were released in the Great Barrier Reef once they were deemed strong enough to survive on their own.

The turtles were released in the Great Barrier Reef once they were deemed strong enough to survive on their own.

“I was with them everyday essentially for four months, so they became like my children,” Nash said.

Nash worked as a volunteer, feeding them and cleaning their tanks. Over time, she learned to give them medication and teach them how to dive, which involved luring the turtles down with a food-carrying stick. Once the turtles reached 300 grams, they were strong enough to hold the satellite tags. The research sought to learn more about the Flatbacks’ lives in between hatching and nesting adults— a blank space in the marine biology field.

“One of my favorites named Ali got ill, and we thought he was going to pass away,” Nash said. “But we persevered and he persevered and I ended up getting to release him, which was really great. It was really crazy, just watching him grow.”

Digital History Class Creates “A Spatial History of Wesleyan University”

Learn about the history of Wesleyan's campus in the new "Spatial History of Wesleyan University" website.

Learn about the history of Wesleyan’s campus in the new “Spatial History of Wesleyan University” website.

#THISISWHY

This semester, 18 students with an interest in communication and the history of Wesleyan University created a new website, “A Spatial History of Wesleyan University.”

The students, who were enrolled in the spring 2015 course, Digital History, conceived, designed, built, publicized, and launched this site. The class was taught by Amrys O. Williams, a visiting assistant professor of history, and was part of the university’s Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative.

A Spatial History of Wesleyan University combines geographical and quantitative analysis with archival and oral history research to interpret the past in place. By studying the history of Wesleyan’s campus landscape and buildings alongside the university’s enrollment, tuition, and student body, website visitors can see the connections between the cultural life of the university and its physical environment.

The class brought together 18 students from across campus with varied skills and backgrounds who shared an interest in historical communication and making things.

The class brought together 18 students from across campus with varied skills and backgrounds who shared an interest in historical communication and making things.

The site has four main sections:

  • A historical narrative offers an overview of the major periods and episodes in the campus’s history, tracing student life, housing, and athletics, as well as the university’s changing educational mission and its relationship to other liberal arts schools in the area.
  • An interactive map allows readers to select and view different historical maps and aerial photographs of campus, learn more about individual buildings and see how the campus expanded over time.
  • A “By the Numbers” series of graphs trace data about enrollment, tuition and endowment over time, offering insights into the financial and demographic shifts that affected the shape and experience of campus.
  • Oral history video clips enrich these chronological, spatial, and quantitative stories with the voices of members of the Wesleyan community and their lived experiences of campus.

Student-Run Espwesso Expands Hours, Welcomes Middletown Community

Emily Pfoutz '16 and Rick Manayan '17 busily make and distribute drinks at Espwesso, Wesleyan's student run cafe.

Rick Manayan ’17 and Emily Pfoutz ’16 busily make and distribute drinks at Espwesso, Wesleyan’s student run café.

Backpack-clad students shuffle into a sunlit room on the first floor of the Allbritton Center, greeted by the scent of freshly brewed coffee and a menu brimming of specialty tea and espresso drinks. It’s Saturday morning, and as of earlier this month, Espwesso, Wesleyan’s only student-run café, has expanded its hours to cater to its Middletown customers.

Espwesso is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Espwesso is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“Our regulars, and people who before couldn’t be our regulars because of the late night hours, are very excited,” said manager Jasmine Masand ‘15.

Now, the hotspot for delicious fair trade coffee is open for business from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. These new hours are in addition to the former schedule: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The movement to expand hours began last year and was spearheaded by former manager Jacob Eichengreen ‘13 and Wesleyan Student Assembly Vice President Andrew Trexler ‘14. The goal of the expansion, Masand says, was to respond to what the community wants: an accessible spot to drink quality coffee for those who aren’t keen on late night caffeine.

“And we also wanted to open up a space where faculty and staff can come in too,” said rising manager Emily Pfoutz ‘16. “There isn’t really a place where faculty and students can interact naturally.”

Already, Espwesso is beginning to see a different kind of crowd during their expanded hours, including many more non-students, both from the faculty and a few from the Middletown community.

“There’s no Starbucks in town; it’s hard to find good coffee,

Panelists Speak at Martin Luther King Commemoration

“We shall overcome: How far have we come?” was the theme of Wesleyan's annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration held Jan. 30 in Memorial Chapel. Panelists offered various perspectives about the recent events in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City to commemorate the life, civil rights and social justice legacy that Dr. King has left.

“We shall overcome: How far have we come?” was the theme of Wesleyan’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration held Jan. 30 in Memorial Chapel. Panelists offered various perspectives about the recent events in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City to commemorate the life, civil rights and social justice legacy that Dr. King has left.

Ski, Snowboard Team Takes Podium Spots, 2 Going to Nationals

Two Wesleyan skiers took podium spots in the McBrine Division League Championships Feb. 16 and 17 at Magic Mountain, Vt. Michael Creager ’15 and Chris Delaney ’14 came in second and third respectively in the Men’s Ski Division. Two snowboarders, Dylan Penn ’15 and Atticus Swartwood ’14, qualified for nationals.

The Wesleyan Ski Team is a student-run club team that competes in both Giant Slalom and Slalom events. The men’s ski team, led by captain Adam Freed ’14, took first place overall in the 2013 season, qualifying for USCSA Eastern Regionals at Sugarloaf on Feb. 23-24. The women’s team, led by captains Marika Soltys ’14 and Taran Catania ’13, came in fourth overall, and qualified for Regionals after third-place Yale University dropped out of contention. This is the first year that snowboarding has been included in the McBrine Division.

“Being part of the Ski and Snowboard Team is all about having the opportunity to ski and be outside with people who have a passion for the same things as I do,” said women’s captain Soltys.

For information and results, visit the team’s website at http://wesleyanskiteam.group.wesleyan.edu/.

Michael Kruger ’15 charges down the giant slalom course during a McBrine Division race.

Michael Kruger ’15 charges down the giant slalom course during a McBrine Division race.