Olivia Drake

Graduating Military Veterans Celebrated at Reception

On May 20, the Wesleyan Student Veterans Organization (WESVO) hosted a two-hour formal reception to honor the U.S. and foreign service graduating veterans and show appreciation for faculty and staff that have aided in the accomplishments of the student veterans.

“There is a huge disparity in the number of veterans with college degrees and an even larger gap between veterans that attend community colleges versus elite universities,” said veteran Marsella Andrews ’20. “These veterans have worked extremely hard to graduate so we wanted to give them special recognition.”

Among those celebrated were Wesleyan Posse Foundation Veteran Scholar and U.S. Navy veteran Ky Foley ’17 and veteran Asad Hassanali ’17 of Singapore.

Foley, who worked as a construction mechanic in the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command and served two tours in Afghanistan before enrolling at Wesleyan in 2014, is a member of inaugural “posse” of veterans at Wesleyan. Wesleyan’s Posse Foundation Veteran Scholars Program offers a four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarship to military veterans.

Asad Hassanali '17 and Ky Foley '17.

Military veterans Asad Hassanali ’17 and Ky Foley ’17 are graduating on May 28.

Johnson Awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship to Explore Settler-Colonialism

Khalil Johnson

Khalil Johnson

Khalil Johnson, assistant professor of African American studies, is the recipient of a National Association of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year.

The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports up to 30 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. These $70,000 fellowships support non-residential postdoctoral proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education.

Johnson, who will be on scholarly leave for the 2017-2018 academic year, will work on a manuscript for his book project, which examines the intersections between education and settler-colonialism in the United States. He also plans to conduct interviews in Alaska Native villages and the Navajo and Tohono O’odham nations to document the historic relationships forged between Native students and African American educators who taught in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools between 1950 and 1980.

“Although I will be living and writing in New Haven for the year, I hope to remain active in on campus events at Wesleyan,” he said.

Johnson specializes in the intertwined histories of the African diaspora and Indigenous people in North America, with emphases on U.S. settler colonialism, education and counter-hegemonic social movements. His teaching areas include courses in the history of emancipatory education and U.S. empire, early African American history, American Indian history and popular music.

Johnson has already received support from numerous institutions, including the Ford Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and a predoctoral teaching fellowship at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. His essays and editorials have appeared in American Quarterly, Pacific Historical Review and The Navajo Times. In 2015, he received recognition from the Western History Association for the year’s best essay on Native American history.

AFCA Members Present Students of Color with Graduation Stoles

AFCA co-chair Tracey Stanley, at left, and AFCA member Rosalind Adgers, at right, congratulate Sadasia McCutchen '17 on her upcoming graduation.

AFCA co-chair Tracey Stanley, at left, and AFCA member Rosalind Adgers, at right, congratulate Sadasia McCutchen ’17 on her upcoming graduation.

AFCA, the Administrators and Faculty of Color Alliance, celebrated with the seniors of color during a luncheon and reception in their honor May 23 in Daniel Family Commons. AFCA members also presented the seniors with stoles for commencement.

“This annual luncheon is an opportunity for the seniors to chat and chew and mix and mingle with AFCA members, while sharing their Wesleyan experiences,” said AFCA co-chair Tracey Stanley, administrative assistant in the Office of the Registrar. “We wish our seniors the best of luck!”

Fifty-five students and 15 AFCA members attended the luncheon.

AFCA’s mission is to create a supportive environment for promoting personal and professional growth through experiences, events, and resources for administrators, faculty, and staff of color. AFCA is a community building organization that seeks to strengthen the relationship between its members, allies and other members of the Wesleyan community.

Photos of the event are below: (Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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Social Sciences in China Press Forum Focuses on Globalization

eve_chinapress_2017-0518063022 (1)From May 17-19, the Fries Center for Global Studies hosted the Wesleyan University — Social Sciences in China Press Forum on Globalization.

The 18 conference participants — all faculty or research fellows — hailed from universities and academies in China, Germany and the U.S. Participants from Wesleyan included Lisa Dombrowski, professor of film studies; Don Moon, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Professor in the College of Social Studies, professor of history; William “Vijay” Pinch, professor of history, professor of environmental studies; and Paula Park, assistant professor of Spanish.

Wesleyan Dining ‘Food Recovery Verified’ for Donating Excess Food to Shelter

frvThe Food Recovery Network recently named Wesleyan’s Dining Services “Food Recovery Verified” for donating unsold surplus food to a local charity.

The Food Recovery Verified (FRV) program recognizes and rewards food businesses of any type that are working to fight waste and feed people through food recovery.

Now in its sixth year, Wesleyan’s student-run Food Rescue organization donates its unsold food from Usdan’s Marketplace, Summerfields and Pi Cafe to the Eddy Shelter in Middletown, which provides emergency shelter and meals for single adults. Food Rescue is an Office of Community Service program under the supervision the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.

Lydia Ottaviano ’17 and Lili Kadets ’17 have co-coordinated this group since spring semester 2014. Throughout the academic year, 

Conflict in Yemen Discussed at ‘Rule of Law’ Event

Thafir Elzofri '19 organized the event.

Thafir Elzofri ’19.

On May 12, the Wesleyan Refugee Project hosted its spring event titled “The Rule of Law in Yemen,” in Beckham Hall. Representatives from Adalah, Yemen’s first legal NGO that provides international support and promotes respect for human rights, spoke at the event.

“The Rule of Law” provided discussion and critical analysis on the legal implications of the conflict in Yemen. Since 2011, Yemen, already the poorest country in the Middle East, has experienced loss of life, famine and internal displacement.

Petit Foundation Supports Girls in Science Summer Camp

Greenstreet Teaching & Learning Center 5.5.17

Pictured fourth from left, Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center, accepts a grant from the Petit family and the Petit Family Foundation on May 5.

This month, Wesleyan’s Green Street Teaching and Learning Center received an $8,000 grant from the Petit Family Foundation to support the 2017 Green Street Girls in Science Summer Camp.

The Girls in Science Summer Camp is open to all children going into grades 4, 5 and 6. Children perform experiments and explore chemistry, electronics and physics with Wesleyan faculty. Campers will meet college student mentors, learn about science careers, create scientific posters, and share what they learn with family and friends at a Science Showcase.

The camp will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Aug. 7-11 at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center and on Wesleyan’s campus.

West African Drumming, Dance Concert Honors Ghana’s Independence


The West African Drumming and Dance Concert was held May 12 in the Center for the Arts Green. The event featured master drummer and visiting artist in residence Attah Poku and choreographer and artist in residence Iddi Saaka, joined by their 72 students, guest artists and 16 student drummers. This annual performance showcases the vibrancy of West African cultures through music and dance forms.

On March 6, 2017, Ghana celebrated its 60th independence anniversary from British colonial rule. This spring’s West African Drumming and Dance concert was held in honor of the anniversary. Apart from the usual traditional dances, students also dressed as Ghanaian chiefs and queen mothers. In addition, a Wesleyan band performed live Ghanaian highlife music and a Ghanaian church based in Worcester, Mass. provided live choral music.

Following the performance, guests were treated to a reception with an assortment of Ghanaian dishes.

Photos of the performance are below. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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Students Showcase Research at Visualizing Knowledge Exhibition

On May 12, Wesleyan held its first student exhibition to showcase examples of visual knowledge and data visualization from across the campus. To be included, students needed to showcase how they conveyed or established information in a mainly non-verbal form. Cail Daley '18 presented his project titled "Orbital Motion of Gas in Planetary System HD 100546." He presented an animation that shows the orbital velocity of matter around a star changing depending on its distance from the star. If close to the star, matter is predicted to move faster, while lower orbital velocities are expected at a larger radii. 

On May 12, Wesleyan held its first student exhibition to showcase examples of visual knowledge and data visualization across disciplines. To be included, students needed to showcase how they conveyed or established information in a mainly non-verbal form. Cail Daley ’18 presented his project titled “Orbital Motion of Gas in Planetary System HD 100546.” He presented an animation that shows the orbital velocity of matter around a star changing depending on its distance from the star. If close to the star, matter is predicted to move faster, while lower orbital velocities are expected at a larger radii.

Muslim Community Honored at Common Ground Event

On May 12, the campus community expressed its solidarity with Wesleyan’s Muslim community during a day-long event titled Common Ground.

Common Ground began with a prayer (jumaa) on Andrus Field where non-Muslims and Muslims were invited to pray together or to bear silent witness. After a short ceremony, the community gathered to share Islamic Hallal pizza. Participants also attended presentations on the history of Muslim-non-Muslim friendship and solidarity around the world, including Jewish-Muslim relations in early modern Africa.

Davison Art Center presented an open house to exhibit two recently acquired works that illustrate the Egyptian ”Arab Spring.”

“Common Ground” was co-sponsored by several student organizations including the Interfaith Council, Muslim Students Alliance, and the Wesleyan Unitarians group. The event was organized by Muslim Chaplain Sami Aziz; Peter Mark, professor of art history; Melissa Katz, visiting assistant professor of romance languages and literatures; Peter Gottschalk, professor of religion, professor of science in society; and Richard Friswell, visiting scholar for the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.

Photos of the Common Ground jumaa and service are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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Students Celebrate End of Classes at Spring Fling

Wesleyan students celebrated the end of the 2016-17 academic year during the annual Spring Fling, held May 11 on Foss Hill. Music acts included student band Chef, Sonny Digital, hip-hop artists Rapsody, garage rock band The Orwells, and headliner rapper Vic Mensa. Classes ended May 10.

The event is organized by Wesleyan’s Spring Fling Committee and the Office of Student Activities. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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Students Honored with Academic Prizes, Fellowships, Scholarships

Trinity Russell’17 received the Walkley Prize for excellence in psychology; Mae Moskin ’19 received the Scott Prize for Arabic language; and Cheryl Hagan ’17 received the Spurrier Award for ethics.

During the annual student awards reception on May 10, Trinity Russell’17 received the Walkley Prize for excellence in psychology; Mae Moskin ’19 was honored with the Scott Prize for Arabic language; and Cheryl Hagan ’17 received the Spurrier Award for ethics.

Students who received academic prizes, fellowships and scholarships were honored at a reception May 10 in Daniel Family Commons.

Mira Klein ’17 received the White Fellowship for government and the Robert Schumann Distinguished Student Award. Joli Holmes ’17 received the Plukas Prize for economics and the Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award.

Mira Klein ’17 received the White Fellowship and the Robert Schumann Distinguished Student Award. Joli Holmes ’17 received the Plukas Prize for economics and the Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award.

Among the awardees were Mira Klein ’17, who received the White Fellowship for government and the Robert Schumann Distinguished Student Award for demonstrating academic accomplishment and excellence in environmental stewardship; Page Nelson ’17, who received the Alumni Prize in the History of Art; Eric Meyreles ’18, who received a Miller Summer Internship Grant to pursue an internship related to a potential business career; Ainsley Eakins ’18, who received the university’s Social Activist Award; Sofi Goode ’17, who is the recipient of the Wilde Prize for excellence in economics; and AJ Wilson ’19, who was honored with the Richard McLellan Prize for commitment to public service and diversity.