Olivia Drake

Gordon Career Center Teaches Career Education through Course, Podcast Interviews

The Gordon Career Center launched Careers by Design.

The Gordon Career Center’s Careers by Design program is a series of lectures and exercises designed to help students identify what factors may be influencing their choice of major, internship, or career path.

The Gordon Career Center is helping students design their future.

Through a new intensive seminar called Careers by Design, Wesleyan students can explore the many influences on their career decision making and make choices that are right for them. The Gordon Career Center’s innovative approach to career education encourages students to design their own careers by exploring the intersection between their interests, the skills they have and wish to acquire, and market demand.

“Careers by Design is a framework that applies the principles of design thinking to solve every college student’s ultimate questions: ‘Who do I want to be? What do I want to become?’” said Sharon Belden Castonguay, director of the Gordon career Center.

Careers by Design, which is offered in January as part of Wesleyan’s Winter on Wyllys career programming, also is taught through an online course. Students learn how to apply design thinking to the search for meaningful work, write an “elevator pitch” to describe themselves, analyze the past and visualize the future, understand and define workplace success, and explore ways to launch their career. The online course, which runs for about an hour and 15 minutes, includes multiple exercises and recommended resources.

In addition, Careers by Design boasts a series of interviews by well-known Wesleyan alumni and guests including Joshua Boger ‘73, founder of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Andy Brandon-Gordon ‘86, managing director of Goldman Sachs; Ed Heffernan ‘84, CEO of Alliance Data; Laura Walker ‘79, CEO of WNYC; Bradley Whitford ‘81, actor (The West Wing, The Cabin in the Woods, Transparent); and more.

These interviews are offered as podcasts and can be accessed through iTunes U and Sound Cloud.

careers

Jenkins Stages Play in Florentine Prison

Ron Jenkins, professor of theater, recently completed a collaboration with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Florence, Italy. The center asked Jenkins to stage a play in a Florentine prison on the theme of human rights.

The play, which was based on Dante Aligheri’s 14,000 line epic poem, “The Divine Comedy,” was performed on July 14 and featured Coro Galilei, a choir that specializes in Gregorian chants, and actors from a local prison. The script consisted of texts written by the prisoners on the theme of justice intertwined with fragments from the “Divine Comedy” and interviews with human rights activists from around the world.

“Dante’s Inferno” is the most famous section of “The Divine Comedy” and is based on Dante’s real life in 14th century Italy, where he was a city official, diplomatic negotiator, and a man who dared to cross the Pope. Dante also was a convict and convicted of crimes, and Jenkins uses Dante to connect with incarcerated men and women.

“Dante was condemned to death, but we do not remember him as a convict,” Jenkins told the audience at Sollicciano prison in his prologue to the play. “We remember him as writer and philosopher who denounced the lack of justice in his society. After having seen our play, we hope you will remember the performers, not as convicts, but as writers whose words are born from the wisdom of experience, as Dante said, ‘Men of great value…. Suspended in this limbo.'”

Jenkins has already taught “Dante’s Inferno” and acting to inmates in Connecticut and Indonesia. Jenkins encourages incarcerated men and women to make connections between their own life stories and the experiences of the characters in classics like “Dante’s Inferno.” Their thoughts are used to create play scripts that are performed inside a prison. Wesleyan students also perform the scripts at other colleges and in the community, and engage in discussions about issues related to reforming the country’s criminal justice system.

Shapiro Translates Anthology of French Poet Cécile Périn

51foxWquF1L._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Norman Shapiro, professor of French and the Distinguished Professor of Literary Translation, is the author/translator of The Gentle Genius of Cécile Périn: Selected Poems (1906-1956), published by Black Widow Press, 2016. This comprehensive bi-lingual anthology covers the full expanse of Périn’s (1877-1959) works.

“A reader of Cécile Périn’s work cannot help being struck by the spontaneous and intuitive nature of her poems, effortlessly flowing from one subject to another, touching the reader by their unstrained yet profoundly beautiful images and sounds,” Shapiro said.

Despite limited bibliographical resources available on Périn’s life, The Gentle Genius provides readers with sufficient material to embrace fully her talent and confidently identify her as a significant femme de lettres. For contemporary readers, this work gives renewed access to the world of female imagination in the mostly male-dominated field of early and mid-20th-century French poetry. Her images of female sexuality, free and uncensored, are placidly combined with descriptions of nature and human emotions-not overly romanticized-to create a harmonious and warm verse, candid and authentic, yet no less profoundly artistic.

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

Wesleyan Group Helps Discover First Philistine Cemetery

Assistant professor Kate Birney (pictured in foreground wearing a blue shirt and tan hat) and Joy Feinberg '19 (pictured in back with a long-sleeve shirt) work to unearth skeletons and artifacts buried in a Philistine cemetery.

Assistant professor Kate Birney (pictured in foreground wearing a blue shirt and tan hat) and Joy Feinberg ’19 (pictured in back with a long-sleeve shirt) work to unearth skeletons and artifacts buried in a Philistine cemetery.

Two Wesleyan students, one recent alumna and a faculty member contributed to a groundbreaking discovery of the first Philistine cemetery, a crowning achievement of more than 30 years of excavation in Ashkelon, Israel. Archaeologists and scholars have long searched for the origin of the Philistines, and the discovery of the cemetery is poised to offer the key to this mystery. Findings from the cemetery, dated to the 11th–8th centuries BCE, may well support the claim – long inferred and recorded in the Bible – that the Philistines were migrants to the shores of ancient Israel who arrived from lands to the West around the 12th century BCE.

Kate Birney, assistant professor of classical studies, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of art history, is the assistant director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon and has been bringing Wesleyan students to the site since 2011 to participate in the research and excavation. The 3,000-year-old site, located in the southern district of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, offers clues to the Philistines’ way of life. Little is known about their origins.

Sarah McCully '16 has worked for the Leon Levy Expedition in Ashkelon for three years.

Sarah McCully ’16 has worked for the Leon Levy Expedition in Ashkelon for three years.

This summer, Joy Feinberg ’19, Jaimie Marvin ’19 and Sarah McCully ’16 worked on the Philistine cemetery. McCully ’16, who came to Ashkelon with Birney years ago, is now a staff member for the Leon Levy Expedition. In addition, Sam Ingbar ’16, Hannah Thompson ’17, Maria Ma ’17 and Sabrina Rueber ’18 are also in Ashkelon this summer working on the excavation of a 7th century merchants’ neighborhood.

GLS Students Take Intensive Summer Courses

Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies is offering 13 courses this summer in narrative fiction and film, biography writing, European history, world literature, multivariable mathematics, the photographic book, abnormal psychology and more. Wesleyan offers a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) and the more advanced Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (MPhil), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Writing and non-degree graduate study. Rather than becoming specialists in narrow fields, GLS graduates possess the highly-valued ability to connect across disciplines, identify multiple possibilities, and argue all sides of a topic.

Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies, is teaching HUMS 633: World Literature for Graduate Liberal Studies on Monday and Wednesdays.

Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies, is teaching HUMS 633: World Literature for Graduate Liberal Studies on Monday and Wednesdays.

Karamcheti’s class examines literature from the last half of the 20th century including works by authors from India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.

Karamcheti’s class examines literature from the last half of the 20th century including works by authors from India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.

Students learn how the authors shape their world and what issues concern them. Students learn how the authors shape their world and what issues concern them.

Students learn how the authors shape their world and what issues concern them.

Graduate Liberal Studies at Wesleyan University, 2016.

Anne Greene, the University Professor of English, (pictured at left) is teaching HUMS 606: Place, Character and Design. The class meets June 27-July 29 for three hours on Monday and Wednesday.

Place, Character and Design offers a rich and varied reading list and a chance to write and experiment, with careful editing of one's work.

Place, Character and Design offers a rich and varied reading list and a chance to write and experiment, with careful editing of one’s work.

The assignments are flexible and will suit each student's interests. Students may writing a novel, journalism, a memoir, or a grant proposal,The assignments are flexible and will suit each student's interests. Students may writing a novel, journalism, a memoir, or a grant proposal,

The assignments are flexible and suit each student’s interests. Students may write a novel, journalism article, a memoir, or a grant proposal.

Students read each other's work and offer feedback in class. Students learn how to establish a narrator's voice or characters' presence, develop style and design, and connect with readers.

Students read each other’s work and offer feedback in class. Students learn how to establish a narrator’s voice or characters’ presence, develop style and design, and connect with readers. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, professor of environmental studies and co-chair of the College of Social Studies, is teaching SOCS 630: The Evolution of Government: The Rise of the Modern Nation State on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, professor of environmental studies and co-chair of the College of Social Studies, is teaching SOCS 630: The Evolution of Government: The Rise of the Modern Nation State on Tuesday and Thursday evenings this July.

This course takes the most historically complete view of the evolution of governance, from the very earliest forms of governance among humans in hunter-gatherer societies up to the most recent forms of governance in the present. Our study of the evolution of governance focuses on patterns in the transition from one form of governance to the next.

This course takes the most historically complete view of the evolution of governance, from the very earliest forms of governance among humans in hunter-gatherer societies up to the most recent forms of governance in the present. The class studies the evolution of governance and focuses on patterns in the transition from one form of governance to the next. (Photos by Ben Travers)

Humanities Open Book Program Supports Out of Print Book Digitizing

Wesleyan recently received a $100,000 grant through the Humanities Open Book Program for digitizing select titles in the areas of dance and theater that were previously published by Wesleyan University Press but are no longer in print.

The Open Book Program is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of the agency-wide initiative called The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The purpose of the Open Book grant is to make out-of-print titles previously published by academic presses widely available in an open access (free) e-book format.

Wesleyan Oral History Project Available on WesScholar

The Wesleyan Oral History project features an interview with Bob Rosenbaum.

The Wesleyan Oral History project features an interview with Bob Rosenbaum.

Twelve oral history interviews of Wesleyan community members, including faculty emeriti and administrators, are available at Olin Library. Transcripts and recordings have been deposited in Special Collections and Archives, and Leith Johnson, university archivist, has worked to make the transcripts available on WesScholar.  (A link to the collection of memoirs will also be available from the Wasch Center website.)

The set includes an extensive interview with Bill Firshein, the Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, Emeritus, who passed away in December 2015. In this interview, Firshein related a whole complex of matters having to do with his Wesleyan career—his work as a scientist, his Jewish identity, his relationship with the administration, his colleagues, his hobbies and avocations. Another treasure in the collection is an interview with Bob Rosenbaum, who just completed his 100th birthday celebration in November. Rosenbaum is a University Professor of Sciences and Mathematics, Emeritus. He also served as academic vice president, acting president, and chancellor at Wesleyan.

“Should anyone undertake a history of the last 50 years of Wesleyan, going forward, these oral histories will be invaluable resources,” said Karl Scheibe, director of the Wasch Center. “And if no such history emerges, the oral histories will be even more important for the detail they contain and the perspectives they represent.”

Heather Zavod and Christine Foster, freelance writers who have contributed to Wesleyan magazine, are working on a new set of interviews this year, thanks in part to funding from the Friends of the Wesleyan Library and the library. The new participants are Jelle DeBoer, John Driscoll, Rick Elphick, Dick Buel, Duffy White, and Allan Berlind.

(This article was originally printed in the Spring-Summer edition of Check it Out, a publication from Wesleyan University Libraries and written by Karl Schiebe.)

Students Catalog Roman Gems during Museum Internship

Margot Metz '18 holds a tiny intaglio gem from the early Roman Empire that appears to be made of carnelian or sard, and depicts an athlete holding a strigil (a tool for scraping oil and sweat from the skin during exercise). Metz, Maria Ma '17 and Emma Graham '19 spent four weeks this summer cataloging about 200 gems during an internship at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. 

Margot Metz ’18 examines a tiny intaglio gem from the early Roman Empire that appears to be made of carnelian or sard, and depicts an athlete holding a strigil (a tool for scraping oil and sweat from the skin during exercise). Metz, Maria Ma ’17 and Emma Graham ’19 spent four weeks this summer cataloging about 200 gems during an internship at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. An intaglio is made by grinding material below the surface of the gem, leaving an inverse image.

During the Roman Empire, the art of gem carving or intaglio provided a way to characterize one’s self, family or acquaintances.

This summer, three Wesleyan students with an interest in classical studies worked with a Roman intaglio collection previously owned by J. Pierpont Morgan (father of J.P. Morgan) at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

As interns, Maria Ma ’17, Margot Metz ’18, and Emma Graham ’19 collaborated on documenting and cataloging about 200 intaglio gems, which made the collection accessible to a wider audience of scholars and museum visitors. The gems were hidden from public view for decades.

The student researchers determined this Roman intaglio (at right) pictured Ajax carrying Achilles over his shoulder. An arrow is sticking out from the top of Achilles' foot. By using The Handbook of Engraved Gems by C. W. King, the students were able to find an illustration of a similar gem. "This is how we came to the conclusion that it is Ajax carrying Achilles," Margot Metz said. 

The student researchers determined this Roman intaglio (at right) pictured Ajax carrying Achilles over his shoulder. An arrow is sticking out from the top of Achilles’ foot. By using The Handbook of Engraved Gems by C. W. King, the students were able to find an illustration of a similar gem. “This is how we came to the conclusion that it is Ajax carrying Achilles,” Margot Metz said.

“It’s so exciting that our students had the opportunity to work in the local community and to employ what they know about Greek and Roman antiquity in a partnership with a wonderful museum like the Wadsworth Atheneum,” said Lauren Caldwell, associate professor of classical studies.

Graham, a College of Letters major, felt the internship would perfectly combined her two intellectual passions: classics and art history.

“I have always been interested in how these two areas of study overlap and influence each other,” Graham said. “Also, I have always been a great lover of museums and I was interested in what goes on behind the scenes at a museum.”

The students would frequent the museum three days a week for about six hours a day. During their time, they documented the gems’ measurements, material and imagery.

“The subject matter of the gem determined how long we spent on each one. For example, we were able to identify animals very quickly but other gems, such as badly weathered gems or gems with more complex imagery, took more much time,” Graham said.

In order to determine the symbolic meaning of each gem, the students worked together and consulted intaglio collections online owned by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and The British Museum, as well as a huge collection of imprints of intaglio gems housed at Cornell University.

“We were able to personally work with every gem in the collection, which was truly an amazing experience,” Graham said.

Metz was interested in the internship because she wanted to explore another area of ancient civilization. “It was fascinating being able to apply what I had learned in the classroom at Wesleyan in a practical manner at the museum. We were able to identify generic figures as gods and goddesses, such as Neptune and Ceres, by using the objects they were pictured with in gems and comparing them to stories in mythology,” she said. 

The internship, which concluded June 23, was jointly supervised and organized by Wesleyan faculty and Atheneum staff including Caldwell; Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center; Linda Roth, the Charles C. and Eleanor Lamont Cunningham Curator of European Decorative Arts; and Johanna Miller, school and teacher programs specialist at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Watson Squire Fund in the Department of Classical Studies supported the students’ room and board expenses. Students applied and interviewed for the internship through the Atheneum.

“The interns did a great job and their work will be entered into our database and made available to the public through our website,” Roth said. “There already is a small selection on view now in a gallery devoted to Art and Curiosity Cabinets.”

Model Composes Music for Silent Films

Ben Model

Ben Model

Ben Model, visiting assistant professor of film, is spending the summer months composing scores and arranging music with the Frederick Symphony Orchestra in Frederick, Maryland.

Model, a silent film accompanist, performs on both piano and theater organ. The orchestra will perform a concert on July 20 at Baker Park in Maryland, including Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant; Buster Keaton’s Cops; and Felix the Cat in Pedigreedy

Model also is performing live music this summer, including a Leo McCarry retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art; at a festival in South Korea in August; and a silent movie festival in Northern Norway in early September. Learn more about Model online here.

Model, who taught at Wesleyan in 2015-16, will return to campus next spring to teach a class on silent film.

Staff on the Move, June 2016

The Office of Human Resources announces the following new hires, transitions and departures for June 2016:

Newly hired
Andrew Lieberman ’13 was hired as a football intern for the Department of Physical Education on June 1.
Rosemary Lennox was hired as a program manager for Center for the Arts Initiatives on June 2.
Mike Divirgilio was hired as a boiler tender in Physical Plant on June 6.
Shannon Skubel was hired as an office assistant in the President’s Office on June 14.
Cordel High was hired as a football intern for the Department of Physical Education on June 15.
Mike Rosalie was hired as a project manager in Construction Services on June 27.

Transitions
Teshia Levy-Grant ’00 was hired as interim dean for equity and inclusion on June 1.

Departures
Scott Backer, associate dean of students
Gregory Bernard, associate director of alumni and parent relations
Sergei Bunaev, assistant director of the Language Resource Center
Jake Bussani, football intern
Tara Connolly, women’s hockey intern
LaDarius Drew, men’s and women’s track and field intern
Anne Haley, women’s crew intern
Persephone Hall, associate director of career advising
Dianne Kelly, library assistant
Jiang Liu Rao, postdoctoral fellow in biology
Steven Milo, tennis intern
John Meerts, vice president for finance and administration
Jennifer Roach ’14, civic engagement fellow
David Shimomura, program coordinator at the Center for the Arts
Elijah Weeks, intern for football, men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse