Olivia Drake

Olivia (M.A.L.S. '08) is editor of the Wesleyan Connection newsletter and campus photographer. I have two dogs, five chickens and 30 house plants. I like snow, photographing firemen and enjoying "stinky" cheeses. Send me your story ideas to newsletter@wesleyan.edu.

Trick-or-Treaters Parade through Wesleyan’s Campus, Sing Songs

Children enrolled in Wesleyan’s Neighborhood Preschool participated in the annual NPS Halloween Parade on Oct. 31. The children, accompanied by their parents, teachers and care-takers, paraded through Exley Science Center and stopped at Olin Library and North College to sing songs. Many trick-or-treaters are the children of Wesleyan faculty and staff.



Choreographer Otake Begins 3-Year Appointment with Nov. 5 Lecture, Seminar, Exhibition

Eiko Otake, visiting instructor in dance, performed "Body in a Station" at the Amtrack's 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on Oct. 8. Otake will speak on "Nakedness" Nov. 5 and participate in an exhibition titled "A Body in Fukushima," at Wesleyan starting in February 2015. (Photo by William Johnston)

Eiko Otake, visiting instructor in dance, performed “Body in a Station” at the Amtrack’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on Oct. 8. Otake will speak on “Nakedness” Nov. 5 and participate in an exhibition titled “A Body in Fukushima,” at Wesleyan starting in February 2015. (Photo by William Johnston)

Japanese-born choreographer/dancer Eiko Otake, visiting instructor in dance, recently accepted a three-year appointment in the Dance Department and College of East Asian Studies. Otake has a 13-year performance history at the Center for the Arts, which began with a three-hour performance of “Offering,” Eiko & Koma’s response to 9/11, in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Since then, Otake has visited campus many times as a Center for Creative Research Artist-in-Residence, and then as a Wesleyan University Creative Campus Fellow to teach, to offer workshops, to curate events, and to give lectures.

Eiko Otake. (Photo by Gregory Georges)

In the spring of 2015, Eiko Otake will teach an interdisciplinary seminar called “Delicious Movement: Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty.” (Photo by Gregory Georges)

At 4:30 p.m., Nov. 5, Otake will deliver a lecture titled “Nakedness,” in the Seminar Room of the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies. She will discuss physical, metaphorical and metaphysical nakedness, and explore what it means for an artist to be naked. Admission to the lecture is free.

Since 1972, Otake has collaborated with Takashi Koma Otake in creating a unique theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light, sound, and time. Eiko & Koma have received two New York Dance and Performance Awards, or “Bessies,” as well as Guggenheim, MacArthur and United States Artists Fellowships.

WESU Radio Celebrates 75th Anniversary Nov. 2

The exhibit “WESU: Celebrating 75 Years of Community Radio,” is on display in Olin Library and is part of WESU's 75th anniversary celebration.

The exhibit “WESU: Celebrating 75 Years of Community Radio,” is on display in Olin Library and is part of WESU’s 75th anniversary celebration.

WESU Radio will host an event to commemorate the non-commercial radio station’s 75th anniversary on Nov. 2. Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, among other dignitaries, will be in attendance to honor the station’s 75-year legacy of community service and acknowledge the radio station’s staff of more than 150 student and community volunteers.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Olin Library and is open to the public. There, attendees can view an exhibition titled “WESU: Celebrating 75 Years of Community Radio,” which offers an anecdotal look at one of the oldest college radio stations in the United States using photographs, documents, news clippings and artifacts. Wesleyan University Archivist Leith Johnson curated the show.

On Nov. 3, WESU will be presented with a proclamation from the City of Middletown.

Established in 1939 and currently celebrating its’ 75th anniversary, WESU is one of the oldest non-commercial radio stations in the United States. By day, Monday through Friday, WESU offers a diverse mix of news and public affairs from NPR, Pacifica, and independent and local media sources. Week nights and weekends WESU student and community volunteer broadcasters provide a freeform mix of creative music programming featuring music not readily available elsewhere on the radio.

The station currently broadcasts at the frequency of 88.1 FM from its 6,000-watt transmitter located atop Exley Science Center with a potential to reach over one million listeners throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. WESU also streams audio, online through the website www.wesufm.org.

Backer, Culliton Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards in October

Scott Backer

Scott Backer

Rick Culliton

Rick Culliton

Scott Backer, associate dean of students, and Rick Culliton, assistant vice president/dean of students, received a Cardinal Achievement Award in October for completing the federally mandated campus crime (Clery) report for the past two years. This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for those extra efforts.

They completely revised and updated the report from previous years and incorporated additional edits to ensure the data in the report was accurate. This involved collaborating with various offices on campus. They took on this responsibility in the absence of the Public Safety Director who is typically responsible for coordinating the report.

Award recipients are nominated by department chairs and supervisors. Nominations can be made anytime throughout the year. For more information or to nominate a staff member for the award, visit the Cardinal Achievement Award website.

Recipients will continue to be recognized in News@Wesleyan.

See past Cardinal Achievement Award recipients here.

Studies by Varekamp, Thomas Published in Paleoceanography


Joop Varekamp

Ellen Thomas

Ellen Thomas

Wesleyan faculty Joop Varekamp and Ellen Thomas are among the authors of a paper on rates of sea-level rise along the eastern U.S. seaboard titled “Late Holocene sea level variability and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation,” published in the journal Paleoceanography, Volume 29, Issue 8, pages 765–777 in August 2014. Varekamp is the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, professor of earth and environmental sciences and professor of environmental studies. Thomas is research professor of earth and environmental sciences at Wesleyan, and also a senior research scientist in geology and geophysics at Yale University.

Ellen Thomas discovered that microfossils, such as this  foraminifera fossil, reveal that warm oceans had less oxygen.

Ellen Thomas discovered that microfossils, such as this foraminifera fossil, reveal that warm oceans had less oxygen.

Pre-20th century sea level variability remains poorly understood due to limits of tide gauge records, low temporal resolution of tidal marsh records, and regional anomalies caused by dynamic ocean processes, notably multidecadal changes in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). In the study, Varekamp and Thomas examined sea level and circulation variability along the eastern United States over the last 2,000 years, using a sea level curve constructed from proxy sea surface temperature records from Chesapeake Bay, and 20th century sea level-sea surface temperature relations derived from tide gauges and instrumental sea surface temperatures.

Thomas also is a co-author of a paper titled ‘I/Ca evidence for upper ocean deoxygenation during the PETM‘ published in the Paleoceanography, October 2014.

In this paper, Thomas suggests that the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a potential analog for present and future global warming, may help in such forecasting future deoxygenation and its effects on oceanic biota. Forecasting the geographical and bathymetric extent,

Grossman Discussant at Economics Research Conference

Richard Grossman

Richard Grossman

On Oct. 24, Richard Grossman, professor of economics, was a discussant at a conference titled “Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development,” organized by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass.

Grossman commented on a paper by Dan Bogart (University of California at Irvine) titled “Securing the East India Monopoly: Politics, Institutional Change, and the Security of British Property Rights Revisited.” The paper focuses on the history of the English East India Company and ways it yields new insights on the relationship between politics, institutional change, and the security of property rights in Britain.

Makri’s Power Limiter Research Noted in Scientific Reports Article

Makri used a power limiter consisting of a nonlinear lossy layer embedded in two mirror layers. This setup provides a resonant transmission of a low intensity light and nearly total reflectivity of a high-intensity light.

Makri used a power limiter consisting of a nonlinear lossy layer embedded in two mirror layers. This setup provides a resonant transmission of a low intensity light and nearly total reflectivity of a high-intensity light.

A study co-authored by Graduate Research Assistant Eleana Makri and two other Wesleyan researchers is a topic of a Oct. 20 article published in Scientific Reports.

Due to the ultrahigh-speed and ultrawide-band brought by adopting photons as information carriers, photonic integration has been a long-term pursuit for researchers, which can break the performance bottleneck incurred in modern semiconductor-based electronic integrated circuits. The article states that “recently, Makri theoretically proposed the concept of reflective power limiter based on nonlinear localized modes, where a nonlinear layer was sandwiched by two reflective mirrors, thus increased the device complexity.”

The report is based on Makri’s study, titled “Non-Linear Localized Modes Give Rise to a Reflective Optical Limiter” published in March 2014. The paper is co-authored by Tsampikos Kottos, the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Associate Professor of Physics; Hamidreza Ramezani Ph.D. ’13 (now a postdoc at U.C. Berkeley) and Ilya Vitebskiy (Sensors Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Ohio).

The same study was also highlighted in Washington, D.C. at the spring review meeting of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) as one of the main research achievements in electromagnetics of 2014 that can potentially benefit the U.S. Air Force. Read more about this study in this past News @ Wesleyan article.

Read the full Scientific Report article, titled “Chip-integrated optical power limiter based on an all-passive micro-ring resonator,” online here.

Kottos, Basiri Author Paper Published in Physical Review

Data by Tsampikos Kottos and Ali Basiri.

Tsampikos Kottos and Ali Basiri, a Ph.D. student in physics, are co-authors of a paper titled “Light localization induced by a random imaginary refractive index,” published in Physical Review A 90, on Oct. 13, 2014. Kottos is the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Associate Professor of Physics.

In the paper, the authors show the emergence of light localization in arrays of coupled optical waveguides with randomness.




Roth Speaks about Liberal Arts Education in 92Y Interview

Wesleyan President Michael Roth recently spoke about “Why Liberal Arts Education Matters” as part of the 92nd Street Y (92Y) American Conversation series. 92Y connects people all over the world through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation.

In the Oct. 15 episode, New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni interviews Roth about the contentious debate over the benefits—or drawbacks—of a liberal education. In the interview, Roth, who is author of Beyond the University, Why Liberal Education Matters, makes the case for the great American tradition of humanistic education.

Watch a video of the conversation below:

Roth also discussed “The Future of Education” at the 92nd Street Y’s Social Good Summit on Sept. 21.

6 Inducted to Wesleyan’s Athletic Hall of Fame

Wesleyan’s Athletics Department welcomed five notable former athletes and one coach into the seventh class of Wesleyan’s Athletics Hall of Fame Oct. 17. The inductees include Joe Barry Morningstar ’39; Cochrane Chase ’54; Marion Stoj, M.D. ’74; Thomas Vincent Reifenheiser III ’94; Sarah Hann, DVM ’95; and J. Elmer Swanson, track and cross country coach. Chase, a tremendous football and wrestling talent, was unable to attend the event.

The Wesleyan University Athletics Hall of Fame grew out of the collaborative work of the Athletics Advisory Council (AAC), founded in the fall of 2006, and the Wesleyan administrative. Though the inventory of outstanding coaches and competitors was especially daunting for early class selection, with significant research and considerable discussion the selection committee was able to provide a slate of inductees representing over 100 years of Wesleyan athletics.

The event included an Athletic Hall of Fame reception, dinner and award ceremony. John Biddiscombe, adjunct professor of physical education, emeritus, presented the awards. Read past Athletics Hall of Fame stories here.

(Photos by Dat Vu ’15)


J. Elmer Swanson joined the Cardinal staff in 1963 as a track and cross-country coach, adding the women’s teams in both sports to his portfolio when they turned varsity during the 1970s. He served as a mentor to hundreds of Wesleyan student-athletes during his 30 years as a full-time head coach.

Tailgating, Athletic Contests, Middletown Day Part of Homecoming 2014

Wesleyan's Homecoming Celebration included six athletic contests.

Wesleyan’s Homecoming Celebration was held Oc. 17-19 on campus.

Hundreds of Wesleyan alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university took part in an array of Homecoming Weekend events Oct. 17-19 on campus.

Events included campus tours, a luncheon for the Athletics Advisory Council (AAC) and AAC meeting; the Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremony and Dinner; the Class of 1965 50th Reunion Planning Reception and Dinner; a 35mm screening of the 1935 picture Top Hat; a celebration of Rabbi George Sobelman, Wesleyan’s first Jewish Chaplain; a Leadership Donors Reception; Skull and Serpent Society Annual Meeting; Alpha Delta Phi Banquet Dinner; Wesleyan Old Methodist Men’s Rugby Club Scrimmage; and Middletown Day Festivities, featuring a spirit tent, live bands, face painting, balloon animals, bouncy house and snacks. As part of Middletown Day, all events, including the Homecoming Day football game, were free to Middletown residents. View photos of Middletown Day here.

Athletic contests included Football, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Field Hockey and Women’s Volleyball. View highlights of Homecoming athletic contests here.

Team tailgates and concessions were held by Women’s Volleyball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Hockey, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Women’s Swimming & Diving, Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Baseball and Women’s Softball.

View photos of Homecoming 2014 below and in the full Homecoming 2014 photo gallery. (Photos by John Van Vlack and Olivia Drake)

Homecoming Weekend at Wesleyan, Oct. 18, 2014. (Photo by Olivia Drake) eve_hcf_2014-1018153143

Autumn Colors in Full Glory on College Row

Campus is bursting with fall colors this October. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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