Olivia Drake

Fundraiser Supports Historic Russell Chapel Restoration May 20

The Russell Chapel is located on the southwest hill of Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown near Wesleyan.

The Russell Chapel is located on the southwest hill of Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown near Wesleyan. Constructed of Portland Brownstone and embellished with small brownstone carvings, the Russell Chapel notably houses its original Meneely Bell, forged in Troy, N.Y. in 1868. Its interior is adorned with notable stained glass windows and elegant woodwork in need of refurbishing.

On May 20, All American Productions and The Friends of Indian Hill Cemetery are proud to present “From Gothic to Light: A Day of Art, History, Music and Fashion.” This fundraiser, held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will benefit the restoration of The Russell Chapel, which is located on the grounds of Indian Hill Cemetery, 383 Washington Street, Middletown.

The day will include:

  • A drawing class outdoors on the grounds of the cemetery led by Kate Ten Eyck, visiting assistant professor of art. Included in this 90 minute activity are large vintage postcards with a blank front, and all supplies needed to create a beautiful drawing of the chapel. Ten Eyck will offer instruction in composition, perspective, and shading. All levels of drawing welcome and encouraged. Start time is 10:15 a.m.
  • A Gothic Fashion Show, to lead off from the entrance of the chapel, featuring incredible attire courtesy of Redfield Design. Start time is noon.
  • Live music courtesy of the The Latin Quarter Jazz Collective.
  • Civil War presentation at the Grand Army of the Republic and General Mansfield’s gravesite.
  • Notable tours of the cemetery every half hour throughout the day.
  • See the current restoration progress of the chapel.

This event is family friendly, and food and refreshments will be available on site.

Although this is a free event, donations are encouraged! All money raised will go directly to the restoration and rehabilitation of the chapel, built in 1867. For more information visit this Facebook event.

Any Wesleyan students, alumni or employees who would like help preserve a piece of Middletown’s celebrated past, may make a donation to the Russell Chapel Rehabilitation Fund. Memorial gifts and multi-year pledges are welcome, as are designated gifts.

To make a gift or to learn more about the history of the chapel, visit http://indian-hill.org/chapel/.

Stewart Leads Annual Earth Week Rant


Brian Stewart, professor of physics, led his 10th annual Earth Week Rant on April 19 and 20.


Brian Stewart, professor of physics, led his 10th annual Earth Week Rant on April 19 and 20. Stewart discussed energy and argued that a surprisingly simple, nature-oriented way of organizing public information can help us to make decisions as we navigate a murky future. (Photos by Will Barr ’18)

MacSorley a Finalist for Connecticut Science Center STEM Achievement Award


Sara MacSorley

Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center and the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science, was a finalist for the 2017 Connecticut Science Center STEM Achievement Award.

The STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Awards Committee sought individuals and organizations in the service of STEM, STEM education, and the participation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math.

MacSorley was recognized in part for her work at Green Street in starting the Girls in Science Summer Camp with Wesleyan faculty members.

QuestBridge/First Class Volunteers Read to Green Street TLC Students


From left, Yuhsuan Liu ’20, Aysha Khan ’19, Jada Jenkins ’20 and Mya Valentin ’19 speak to Green Street Teaching and Learning students about being the first in their family to attend college.

Four Wesleyan students participated in a literacy program March 24 at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center. The students, who are members of Wesleyan’s QuestBridge/First Class organization, read social justice-themed books to the Green Street students and spoke about being a first-generation college student. QuestBridge/First Class provides support to low-income and/or first-generation students on campus.

The student volunteers included Yuhsuan Liu ’20, Aysha Khan ’19, Jada Jenkins ’20, and Mya Valentin ’19. The literacy program was organized by Belen Rodriguez ’19 and Emma Llano ’19.

“We thought this would be a great way to interact with younger students in Middletown who may also be low-income,” Rodriguez said. “In general, increasing childhood literacy is an important goal to have and we hope to hold more events like this in the future.”

The students read and discussed

Students, Alumna, Staff Honored with Social Justice Awards

eve__socialjusticeawards_2017-0423160852During the Edgar Beckham Social Justice Awards ceremony on March 23, seven students, one alumna and one staff member were honored for their dedication to social justice.

The Edgar Beckham Social Justice Awards honor the late Dean Edgar Beckham, whose dedication to social justice continues to positively impact the Wesleyan community. The student-led planning committee aims to celebrate the students, faculty, staff and Middletown community members whose efforts align with the ideals that guided his work.

The award recipients include:

Foot in the Door Award, Melisa Olgun ’20
Excellence in the Arts, Rachel Kaly ’17
Excellence in Environmental Justice, Belén Rodriguez ’19
Excellence in Community Partnership, Lydia Ottaviano ’17
Alumni Achievement Award, Sallomé Hralima ’02
Faculty/Staff of Excellence Award, Tracey Stanley, administrative assistant for the Registrar’s Office
Excellence in the Sciences, Kati Young ’19
Campus Inspiration Award, Sara Wallace-Lee ’18
Senior Legacy Award, Rebecca Hutman ’17

Photos of the dinner and awards ceremony are below: (Photos by Caroline Kravitz ’19)


Green Team Encourages Campus Community to Use Mini-Bin Waste Receptacles

The Wesleyan Green Team hosted a mini-trash bin workshop and discussion for faculty and staff on March 20. Dawn Alger, Theater Department administrative assistant and Green Team member, and Jen Kleindienst, sustainability director, led the workshop.

Mini-bins are small containers that are used in place of standard waste receptacles. They encourage recycling and reduce the number of trash can liners used on campus. The Green Team provided craft supplies including cleaned coffee containers, colored paper, stickers, yarn, magazines, glue and scissors. Participants also discussed campus recycling efforts while designing their mini-bin.

“We’d love to see all staff and faculty members at Wesleyan use mini-bins in place of standard trash cans,” Alger said.

Wesleyan’s Green Team is researching, communicating, and implementing effective strategies that increase sustainability within the university. For more information on the team, or to join, visit the Green Team website.


Office 365 Offered to Campus Community, ePortfolio Replaced by WesPortal

You may not know it, but Office 365 is here and available to you. Office 365 is the Microsoft suite of online and locally installed applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as many others.

The online suite is available to everyone on campus through the Office 365 link in Portal under Campus Applications or by going to portal.office365.com, where you may login with your full email address. Mobile versions are available in the GooglePlay and Apple AppStore.

Karen Warren, deputy chief information officer, says that ITS is working department by department to migrate faculty and staff email to the Microsoft cloud environment, which will provide users with 50GB of email storage, a dramatic improvement over current allotments.

Warren offers additional information about Office 365:

• The Outlook online version offers a much more robust version

Rev. Mehr-Muska Leads Students on Interfaith Service Trip

Nine Wesleyan students and one student from Yale Divinity school participated in an interfaith service trip March 19-24 in northern New Jersey. Wesleyan Chaplain Rev. Tracy Mehr-Muska coordinated the trip.

The group stayed at a camp, and also worked at the camp while in New Jersey. In addition, they served meals at a soup kitchen, volunteered at a community thrift shop, and helped out at a farm sanctuary for unwanted/rescued farm animals. They also visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and discussed immigration, refugee rights and religious freedom.

The students visited and had in-depth discussions with members of the Jewish, Sikh and Muslim communities and learned about their spiritual practices, their worship, holy scriptures and their struggles.

“We had some incredible discussions, and it was an amazingly rich time of community building, self-reflection, and spiritual growth,” Mehr-Muska said. “The students were well-loved by all of the people we met; they were incredibly hard-working, gracious, open, and kind, and were phenomenal representatives of Wesleyan.”

The students included Taylor McClain ’17, Maya Dorn ’19, graduate liberal studies student Lexi Thompson, Sam Medrano ’19, Carlos Eguiluz Rosas ’19, Betty Bekele ’19, Eunice Lee ’19, Kati Young ’19 and Arielle Ashley ’19. The intern from Yale Div is Jenny Peek.


Levy-Grant ’00 Helps Reduce Barriers for Students with Marginalized Identities

Teshia Levy-Grant '00 is the dean for equity and inclusion at Wesleyan.

Teshia Levy-Grant ’00 is the dean for equity and inclusion at Wesleyan.

In this Q&A, we speak with Teshia Levy-Grant, a 2000 Wesleyan alumna and the dean for equity and inclusion. 

Q: Teshia, when did you come to Wesleyan and what were hired as?

A: I arrived at Wesleyan about three years ago. I initially started as the director for Upward Bound Math and Science and Pre-College Access programs.

Q: You’re a 2000 alumna. What made you want to return to Wesleyan for your career?

A: I credit Wesleyan for my interest in social justice. It was while I was here as a student that I learned to value and appreciate difference. Prior to coming to Wesleyan, I grew up in a fairly homogenous community. At Wesleyan, my beliefs and thoughts were challenged and these experiences shaped the course of my life. As a first-generation college student with little insight into what a future could look like, I stuck to what I was told I should be and that was a doctor. I struggled through Science courses, which should have been an indication that it wasn’t a right fit, but it was all I knew.

Academic Affairs Hosts Happy Hours

Academic Affairs will host two happy hours for faculty and staff this spring. The first will be held on Friday, April 28 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on the patio of the Center for African American Studies, and the second will be held on Friday, May 12, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on the Church Street patio of the Exley Science Center.