Olivia Drake

Wesleyan Students Help Area Kids get a Kickstart on Kindergarten

Amy Breitfeller ’19 interacts with Mohammed, 2 1/2, and his sister, Dania, 1 1/2, during a playgroup July 31 at Russell Library. Breitfeller was using a sand mixture to help children improve their sensory and physical development.

This summer, three Wesleyan students are helping local children prepare for a successful transition into kindergarten.

Through the five-week Kindergarten Kickstart program, Cara Bendich ’19, Amy Breitfeller ’19, and Emma Distler ’19 are working with area youth at four locations to improve their school readiness skills through the research-based, high-impact, low-cost innovative and nurturing preschool program. Associate Professor of Psychology Anna Shusterman and three of her students first launched Kindergarten Kickstart in summer 2012.

For the summer 2018 session, students are hosting the Kickstart program at Middletown’s Bright and Early Children’s Learning Center, Town and Country Early Learning Center, and the Middlesex YMCA preschool. On Tuesdays, the students hold an additional playgroup at Russell Library for anyone in the community.

“Today we’re playing with moonsand, which is a mixture of flour, glitter, and baby oil,” Breitfeller said during a July 31 gathering at the library. “The children can feel and play with the sand, which promotes physical development and also aids in social skills with other children.”

Through a partnership between University-based research labs, Middletown Public Schools, and local community organizations, Kindergarten Kickstart aims to bridge the research-to-practice gap. The majority of the preschoolers will attend kindergarten this fall at Bielefield School, Farm Hill School, and Macdonough School in Middletown.

Mentor a New Student through the Connections Mentoring Program

Wesleyan faculty and staff volunteers are needed for the 2018–2019 Connections Mentoring Program.

This is an informal program that connects first-year students (Class of 2022) with Wesleyan staff and faculty to form casual networks of support. Although most mentors meet infrequently with their student mentees throughout the year, some mentoring pairs establish friendships and meet more frequently over coffee or lunch. Many mentors and students have characterized their experiences with the program as fun and inspirational.

In addition, anyone interested in mentoring students who are the first in their families to attend college can indicate that preference on the registration form. Thirty-five first-generation students have been selected for the First-Things-First Pre-Orientation Program and 35 potential mentors are needed who can commit to participating in a luncheon from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Aug. 28.

“After the start of classes, there will be many other students, who may or may not be first-generation college, who will request mentors for their first year,” said Renée Johnson Thornton, dean for the Class of 2022. “We will need a lot of mentors, so I look forward to hearing from you.”

If you would like to participate in the 2018–2019 Connections Mentoring Program, register by Friday, Aug. 16.

Wesleyan Offers Streamlined Solution for University Printing Needs

The Office of Communications, in collaboration with the Finance Office, has worked with several print vendors this spring to offer a cost-effective, streamlined solution for university printing. This effort involved consolidating print vendors to help the university achieve greater savings through a three-year, no-price-increase agreement, streamlining the work order and invoicing process, and establishing clear turnaround times and quality paper stocks from those designated as “preferred print vendors.”

Wesleyan’s preferred print vendors are Dupli, Paladin, Hitchcock, and Wesleyan’s own Cardinal Printing. Wesleyan’s Cardinal Printing service will be prioritized first, to the extent that they can complete the order in a timely manner. All preferred print vendors now accept the university P-Card for convenient payment processing (except for Cardinal Printing, which accepts Smartkeys). These vendors can be used for orders such as postcards, brochures, booklets, posters, invitations, and certificates, to name a few items. In addition to our preferred print vendor list, we also partnered with Allied Printing for specialty and high-end print work, and we negotiated preferred rates for the university. Call Jen Carlstrom, manager of design services (x3180), if you need additional vendor contact information.

As one of Wesleyan’s preferred print vendors, Dupli will continue to fulfill requests via their web portal for university stationary, business cards, and other printed office materials, thereby accommodating the university’s initiative to offer a streamlined, cost-effective solution for printing. Their web portal automates the order process through its entire lifecycle.

If you currently request print design projects through University Communications, the design team will work with a preferred print vendor to fulfill your print and/or mail house request and provide your department with the highest quality, lowest-cost printing solution. To streamline the payment process, the designer will provide the print vendor with the work order containing all of the job specifications, and once approved, the quote and invoice will be sent directly to the requesting department from the print vendor for approvals and payment processing.

To request a project, please fill out the University Communications’s Creative Brief form.

Ask Questions, Attend Workshops at ITS Expo, Sept. 21

On Sept. 21, Information Technology Services will present the 2018 ITS Expo outside Exley Science Center from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event is open to all faculty, staff, and students.

Staff from ITS, the Fries Center for Global Studies, Olin and Science Library, Center for Pedagogical innovation, and the Center for Faculty Development will be leading workshops and poster presentations, as well as answering questions about the services that they offer.

“Want to learn something new about integrating media into your work? Attend a workshop covering a variety of topics? Do you have a quick question about media or technology? Come ask your question or make an appointment with our team to support your scholarship, service, or professional development,” said Bonnie Solivan, academic technologist for ITS. “Pick up some quick pointers, learn about student opportunities and enter a raffle. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Employees on the Move

The Office of Human Resources announces the following hires, transitions, and departures for May through July 2018:


Nicole Potestivo, administrative assistant in Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies, on May 7
Lucas Fernandez, postdoctoral research associate in physics, on May 22
Alex Kavvos, postdoctoral research associate in mathematics, on May 29
Miya Tokumitsu, curator at Davison Art Center, on June 14
Lilibeth Soto, public safety dispatcher, on June 18
Edward Morehouse, postdoctoral research associate in mathematics, on July 1
Zeyad Abdulkareem, desktop support specialist in ITS User Services, on July 2
Andrew White, Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian, on July 2
Andrea Giuntoli, postdoctoral research associate in physics, on July 16
Fiona Coffey, associate director for programming and performing arts in Center for the Arts, on July 16
Jenna Waters, administrative assistant in physical education, on July 17
Janet Ortiz, assistant dean of admission, on July 23
Jane Ngoc Tran, assistant dean of admission, on July 23
Aidan Winn, assistant dean of admission, on July 23
Robyn Ewig, assistant director of financial aid, on July 23
Isabel Bartholomew, Center for Prison Education Fellow in the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships, on July 23
Stephanie Lewis, area coordinator in Office of Residential Life, on July 30
Sarah Pietryka, assistant director of financial aid, on July 30
Monique Reichenstein, investment analyst in the Investments Office, on July 30
Matt Glasz, director for annual giving in University Relations, on August 1
Emily Voss, outreach and academic engagement librarian, on August 1

Kindra Graham, public safety supervisor, on May 7
Jennifer Duncan, senior assistant director of financial aid/student employment coordinator in Office of Financial Aid, on July 1
Karri Van Blarcom, senior associate registrar, on July 1
Andrew Tanaka, senior vice president and chief administrative officer and treasurer, on July 1
Kristin McQueeney, administrative assistant in the Center for Pedagogical Innovations, on July 9
Scott Bushey, athletic operations and fitness coordinator, on August 1

Sami Aziz, University Muslim chaplain
Sarah Anne Benson, director of research and prospect management in University Relations
Steven Bertolino, academic technologist in ITS
Paula Blue, instructional technologist in ITS
Lauren Borghard, associate director of annual giving in University Relations
Kathleen Cataldi, access services coordinator in Olin Library
Wesley Close, assistant dean of admission
Antonio Farias, vice president for equity and inclusion
Kevin Flaherty, research associate in astronomy
Jacquelyn Fought, department assistant in the Gordon Career Center
Patrick Graham, public safety patrol person
Sandra Guze, education and program coordinator at Green Street Teaching and Learning Center
William Holder, director of University Communications
Leith Johnson, University archivist
Jim Kamm, desktop support specialist in ITS
Sona Kumar, research coordinator in psychology
Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center and Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science
Jill Moraski, assistant dean of admission
Krystal-Gayle O’Neill, area coordinator in Office of Residential Life
Nathan Peters, vice president for finance and administration
Brendan Plake, desktop support specialist in ITS
Maritza Quinones, after school supervisor at Green Street Teaching and Learning Center
Edgardo Quinones, technical and maintenance coordinator at Green Street Teaching and Learning Center
Kate Smith, associate director of fellowships, internships, and exchanges
Luigi Solla, associate dean of admission
Erin Strauts, associate director of institutional research
Sitar Terrass-Shah, Center for Prison Education Fellow

Staff Spotlight: Andrew White Takes on Library’s Top Job

Andrew White, pictured here in the Olin Library stacks, became Wesleyan’s new Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian on July 2. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

(By Christine Foster)

Imagine being chosen to oversee a vast treasure trove, including more than a million items ranging from art and music to government documents and—oh, yes, books. Such is the job set before Andrew White, who was chosen in April to be the University’s newest Caleb T. Winchester Librarian.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce Jacobsen wrote in a campus-wide email announcing White’s appointment that the search committee was drawn to his experience working collaboratively with different groups of people. The previous librarian, Dan Cherubin, died suddenly last September, after having made an outsized impact in just a year in the post.

White is being asked to be the cheerleader in chief for the library, but also to mind the budget, to consider how best to use the physical spaces, and to invite different constituencies in to effectively access the rich resources Wesleyan has amassed over the years. White took some time from his busy first few weeks to share his history and vision in a Q&A for the Connection.

Q: What attracted you to Wesleyan’s libraries? What makes us special?

A: Wesleyan is an amazing place and I immediately felt at home when I stepped onto campus and into Olin Library. Wesleyan is a significant name in American higher education and that significance is reflected in both the scope and breadth of the collections, not only in the libraries, but across campus. We are one of the largest libraries among national liberal arts colleges and I could not pass up the opportunity to help make our resources more visible and relevant.

3rd Annual Scientific Imaging Contest Winners Announced

A magnified image of a fruit fly’s eye took first place in the third annual Wesleyan Scientific Imaging Contest in August.

The Wesleyan Scientific Imaging Contest recognizes student-submitted images—from experiments or simulations done with a Wesleyan faculty member—that are scientifically intriguing, as well as aesthetically pleasing. This year, 21 images were submitted from eight departments.

The entries were judged based on the quality of the image and the explanation of the underlying science. The judges, a panel of four faculty members, were Brian Northrop, associate professor of chemistry; Ann Burke, professor of biology; Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy; and Renee Sher, assistant professor of physics.

The first-place winner received a $200 prize, the second-place winner received $100, and the two third-place winners received $50 each. Prizes were funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The winning images are shown below, along with scientific descriptions written by the students.

Emily McGhie ’20 took first prize with an image that depicts a mispatterning phenotype in the Drosophila (fruit fly) pupal eye at 40 hours after pupariation. “Such a phenotype was produced in the eye tissue by utilizing an RNA interference transgene to reduce the expression of hth—a gene that encodes the transcription factor Homothorax. Interommatidial pigment cells are shown in yellow and purple, and primary cells are shown in green and blue. In one image, incorrectly patterned cells are compared to correctly patterned cells: the mispatterned cells are highlighted in yellow and green, while correctly patterned cells are highlighted in purple and blue,” she said.

Employees Mingle at 4th Annual Ice Cream Social

On June 8, the Office of Human Resources hosted the fourth annual Faculty and Staff Ice Cream Social. Attendees were treated to ice cream sundaes, soft pretzels, popcorn, and refreshments.

Activities included a tie-dye station, lawn games, board games, volleyball, and dancing.

Photos of the event are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

5 Employees Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

The following employees received Cardinal Achievement Awards during the past few months for demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with their work at Wesleyan University. This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for their extra efforts.

The awardees include:

Benjamin Michael, WESU general manager, WESU Radio

Geralyn Russo, administrative assistant IV, University Relations

Kathleen Logsdon, library assistant V/binding supervisor, Olin Library

Kate Lynch, assistant director, the Wesleyan Fund, University Relations

Miroslaw Koziol, senior electronics technician, Scientific Support Services

View all Cardinal Achievement Award winners here.

Physical Plant Begins Tackling 120 Maintenance, Renovation Projects on Campus

On July 9, crews installed new 8-foot-wide asphalt sidewalks on College Row.

On May 29, Wesleyan’s Physical Plant–Facilities personnel began their 2019 fiscal year major maintenance and capital projects. The University is investing in projects at 120 locations on campus, which are described in this interactive map.

“Each year the work is prioritized, then scheduled to minimize the impact on the academic calendar,” said Joyce Topshe, associate vice president for facilities. “Consequently, much of the work is done during the summer. Projects include modernizing our infrastructure, energy conservation, structural repairs, replacing roofs and windows, and renovating dozens of buildings.”

Projects this summer include:

  • Demolition and renovation of the second-floor bathroom at 146 Cross Street.
  • Replace flooring, acoustic ceilings, and lighting in basement corridor at 200 Church Street.
  • Install new flooring in 44 rooms in Foss Hill Unit 8.
  • Laminate existing walls with gypsum wallboard, install new flooring, and paint the fourth floor of Judd Hall.
  • Replace floors in clinical exam rooms in the Davison Health Center.
  • Begin window restoration and interior perimeter window finishes at Olin Library.
  • Replace both passenger elevator controls and interior finishes in Exley Science Center.
  • Replace roof on Butterfield A.
  • Replace existing quarry tile walkway surface and install a waterproofing system below new tile installation in the Foss Hill Unit 2–3 Connector.
  • Replace roof on the Exley Science Center / Hall Atwater Connector.
  • Plant trees in various areas near Foss Hill, Olin Library, College Row, and Center for the Arts.
  • Remove cracked, deteriorated, or spalled sections of the existing concrete sidewalk near Usdan.
  • Repave parking lot at the Neighborhood Preschool.
  • Install new 8-foot-wide asphalt sidewalks on College Row.
  • Replace asphalt driveway to 272–278 Court Street with new base and asphalt.
  • Replace passenger elevator controls and interior finishes in High Rise.
  • Renovate the bathroom on the second floor of South College.
  • Renovate Foss Hill 5.5 and Nicolson Lounge. The project includes renovation of Foss 5.5 lounge, new flooring, reconfiguration, paint, kitchen and bathroom renovation, and an accessible entry walkway.
  • Perform classroom renovations in Downey 113, VVO B11 and 110, CAAS, ESC 113 and 201, ESC 058, Olin 327B, MS301, RS105, Fisk 410 and 412, and CFA Ring Hall.
  • Replace first-floor carpet in common areas in Olin Library.
  • Repair porches at 146 High Street, 124 High Street, 124 High Street Alternate, 258 Court Street, 264 Court Street, 203 Pine Street, and 5 Vine Street.
  • Perform framing repairs and structural reinforcement at 202 Washington Street, 64 Fountain Avenue, 63 Fountain Avenue, 58 Fountain Avenue, 57 Fountain Avenue, 56 Fountain Avenue, 46 Fountain Avenue, 42 Fountain Avenue, 41 Fountain Avenue, 40 Fountain Avenue, 35 Fountain Avenue, 29 Fountain Avenue, 24 Fountain Avenue, 15 Fountain Avenue, 14 Fountain Avenue, 10 Fountain Avenue, 261 Pine Street, 251 Pine Street, 215 Pine Street, 211 Pine Street, 207 Pine Street, 131 Cross Street, 115 Cross Street, 5 Vine Street, 7 Vine Street, 9 Vine Street, 19 Vine Street, 21 Vine Street, 23 Vine Street, and 126 Knowles Avenue.
  • Install new base material on the center curved stair in Usdan.
  • Install new drainage piping, reset catch basins for positive drainage, install sod on Jackson Field.
  • Replace roof on the Foss Hill 4 Connector and Foss Hill 6.
  • Interior renovations at 255 Williams Street, 259 Williams Street, and 45 Lawn Avenue.
  • Repair stairs at Human Resources.
  • Perform a campus-wide fire extinguisher inspection, maintenance, and removal.
  • Perform a comprehensive energy-lighting installation in Freeman Athletic Center, Usdan, Boger Hall, Shanklin, Hall Atwater, and Olin Library.
  • Replace steam pipe under the area between College Row and High Street, the sidewalk across Wyllys Avenue from Usdan to the CFA, the sidewalk south of Fayerweather, and more.

A full list of Major Maintenance projects, projected start dates, awarded contractor, scope of work, photos, floor plans, and related construction schedule can be found at Major Maintenance FY19.

Additional project photos are below:

Crews install an irrigation system near College Row.

Crews install an irrigation system near College Row in July.

This summer, crews are working on restoring and repairing windows at Olin Library.

This summer, crews are working on restoring and repairing windows at Olin Library.

Crews dig holes for irrigation lines.

At 45 Lawn Avenue, crews are renovating the entire interior of the single-family wood-frame house.

Steam pipes were replaced under the area between College Row and High Street in June.

Steam pipes were replaced under the area between College Row and High Street in June.

A steam pipe was replaced under Wyllys Avenue.

Crews are making flooring frame repairs at 10A/B Fountain Avenue.

Crews are making flooring frame repairs at 10A/B Fountain Avenue.

ITS Urges Users to Use Different Passwords at Different Websites

(Article submitted by Vince Spiars, information security and operations manager)

Passwords are like house keys
In this article, we compare passwords to house keys and talk about why you should use a different password for each website. We also remind you that Wesleyan, or any reputable organization, will never ask for your password, or ask you to log in to verify your account.

Protecting your password is as important as keeping the keys to your house safe and secure
Just like the physical keys you have on your key ring, passwords unlock access to your private digital places such as email, banking, credit card, news, information, shopping, and social websites. At work, your password is a similar key that grants you access to services and possibly sensitive information at Wesleyan; however, a breach of this access may not just impact you. If you work with or have access to PII (Personally Identifiable Information) like Social Security numbers, grades, credit card numbers, or demographic information, a compromise of your password could affect many constituents. So, protect your passwords like you protect your house keys.

Do not use the same password for different websites
The news reports the breaching of companies around the globe almost daily—Target, Equifax, TJMaxx, Panera, Macys, and LinkedIn to name just a few. If you use the same password for multiple sites and one account gets breached, all your accounts should be considered breached because the bad guys will try your password on other sites.

Furthermore, if you use your Wesleyan email address for your account and use the same password as your Wesleyan account then you have just provided the bad guys access to all the information you have access to at Wesleyan, which includes your payroll/direct deposit information. A common use of purloined passwords is to change payroll direct deposits.

Use a password manager
Using unique passwords for each website/account could be challenging to remember, but there are free tools out there called password managers to help you manage all your unique passwords. Passwords managers work with most web browsers to store and use passwords across all your websites. At Wesleyan, we have a pilot program using a password manager called LastPass (www.lastpass.com). You can sign up for a free personal LastPass account for all your personal websites like flowers.com, amazon.com, washingtonpost.com, etc. For your work-related passwords, you can request a LastPass enterprise account. Please email security@wesleyan.edu if you would like to try LastPass for Wesleyan-related passwords. The Wesleyan version of LastPass also allows you to share passwords with others on your team.

We will NEVER ask for your password or for you to confirm your password or account
We do not want your password. If there is ever a concern about your password, you will be asked to change it in WesPortal.

Consulting Firm to Assess State of Information Technology Services

This summer and fall, ITS is partnering with an outside consulting firm, BerryDunn, to assess the state of Information Technology Services and related services at Wesleyan.

This review is intended to help ITS:

  • Gain a fresh perspective on our use and management of technology
  • Identify opportunities to design future ITS services
  • Assess ITS service delivery mechanisms, practices, and development
  • Make the best use of our ITS resources

BerryDunn, a consulting firm experienced in higher education information technology, will lead this effort. As part of this work, BerryDunn team members will be requesting relevant information about the current state of ITS, administering web-based surveys, and conducting two sessions of on-site interviews with students, faculty, and staff. Surveys will be distributed to the appropriate stakeholder groups before each round of interviews.

The first round of on-site interviews and focus groups are planned for Aug. 20–22. BerryDunn will meet with administrative and ITS staff during this first visit. The BerryDunn team will conduct the second round of on-site meetings with students and faculty when they return to campus in September. Specific dates and meeting times will be communicated at a later date.

In the upcoming weeks, ITS will send an assessment survey, via email, to the campus community.

“Your participation in this survey will be important in helping BerryDunn understand the strengths, challenges, and opportunities that you see in your current ITS environment,” said Dave Baird, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “As this project moves forward, the input and perspective of stakeholders such as yourself will help Wesleyan gain the greatest value from this effort.”

The project is scheduled to be completed by November.