Olivia Drake

258 Students Honored at Reception


Wesleyan students received 145 awards during the Academic Awards and Prizes Reception at the Russell House May 9. The event was organized by the Dean’s Office. (Photos by Olivia Drake)
 
Posted 05/18/06
Two-hundred-and-fifty-eight Wesleyan students were the recipients of 145 awards during the Academic Awards and Prizes Reception at the Russell House May 9. Thirty-three of these students received more than one award.

The graduating class of 2006 had 175 recipients, the class of 2007 had 78 recipients, the class of 2008 had 24 recipients, and the class of 2009 had 12 recipients.

Ten graduate students, eight alumni, two organizations, one visiting international student and one Graduate Liberal Studies Program student also received honors.

These students represent the highest ideals of Wesleyan University ― intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, creative expression, leadership and service,” says Maria Cruz-Saco, dean of the college.

While celebrating these recipients of awards, prizes, and scholarships, Cruz Saco also honored alumni and friends for their contributions and gifts.

The awards and the recipients are:

George H. Acheson and Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience

Established in 1992 by a gift from the Grass Foundation, this prize is awarded to an outstanding undergraduate in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program who demonstrates excellence in the program and who also shows promise for future contributions in the field of neuroscience.

Krista Perks, 2006
 

Alumni Prize in the History of Art

Established by Wesleyan alumni and awarded to a senior who has demonstrated special aptitude in the history of art and who has made a substantive contribution to the major.

Caitlin Henningsen, 2006
 

American Chemical Society Analytical Award

Awarded for excellence in analytical chemistry.

Jovan Gayle, 2007
 

American Chemical Society Connecticut Valley Section Award

Awarded for outstanding achievement to a graduating chemistry major.

Shinya Amano, 2006
 

American Institute of Chemists Award

Awarded for outstanding achievement to a graduating chemistry major.

Julie West, 2006
 

Ayres Prize

The gift of Daniel Ayres, Class of 1842, to the first-year student who attains the highest academic standing in the first semester.

Elise Gelwan, 2009
 

Baden-Wüerttemberg-Connecticut Sister State Exchange

A grant for one academic year’s study at a university in the German state of Baden-Wüerttemberg, administered by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

Jonathan Chen, GRAD
Andrew Eppich, 2006
 

Baldwin Fellowship

Established in 1952 by family and friends of Horace Reed Baldwin, Class of 1947, and awarded annually for study at law school to the member of the senior class who, in the opinion of the committee, shows the most promise of becoming an outstanding lawyer and public-spirited citizen.

Helen Gugel, 2006
 

Bertman Prize

Established in memory of Bernard T. Bertman, associate professor of physics, by gifts from his colleagues, family, and friends, in 1970. Awarded to a senior majoring in physics who displays a particularly resourceful and creative approach to physics research.

Ian Carbone, 2006
 

Blankenagel Prize

Income from the John C. Blankenagel Fund, established in 1970, awarded at the discretion of the Department of German studies to enrich educational offerings in the area of humanistic studies, or to assist a superior student in completing a project in German studies.

Emily Garts, 2006
Christian Goble, 2006
Kate McCrery, 2006
Margaret Mitchell, 2008
Celia Reddick, 2006
Andrea Silenzi, 2007
 

Bradley Prize

The gift of Stanley David Wilson, Class of 1909, in memory of Professor Walker Parke Bradley, to the senior or junior who excels in chemistry and particularly in special original work.

Gabriel Isaacman, 2007
 

Bridge Builder Award

Awarded to an individual student or student group for significant contributions to the Wesleyan and Middletown communities in the spirit of service.

Ann Heindel, 2006
 

Briggs Prize

Established in 1900 by the gift of James E. Briggs, to the student who has done the most effective work in intercollegiate debating.

Andrew Bleeker, 2007
Amanda Fuller, 2007
 

Christopher Brodigan Fund Award

Established in memory of Christopher Brodigan, a Wesleyan student who died in an accident in his frosh year. The fund pays tribute to Christopher’s deep interest in Africa and to the public service he provided through teaching in Botswana prior to entering Wesleyan. Awarded to graduating seniors and recent graduates who plan to pursue public service or research in Africa.

Andrew Aprile, 2006
Genevieve Edens, 2006
Una Osato, 2004
 

Erness Brody Prize

Established in 2002 by Ann duCille in honor of Professor Erness Bright Brody, former chair of the African American Studies Program. Awarded annually to a senior African American Studies Program major for excellence in written expression.

Sarah Gunther, 2006
 

Bruner Freshman Improvement Prize

The gift of William Evans Bruner, Class of 1888, to the student whose second-semester first-year record shows the greatest relative improvement over that of the first semester.

Pakorn Jarupanich, 2008
 

Butler Prize

Established in 1991 in honor of retiring colleague Jeffrey D. Butler, is awarded for the best Honors thesis in Third World History.

Genevieve Edens, 2006
 

Butterfield Prize

Established by the Class of 1967 and awarded to the graduating senior who has exemplified those qualities of character, leadership, intellectual commitment and concern for the Wesleyan community shown by Victor Lloyd Butterfield, 11th president of the University.

Tara Fickle, 2006
 

Camp Prize

Established in 1905 by the Board of Trustees in memory of Samuel T. Camp, trustee 1880-1903. Awarded for excellence in English literature.

Katherine Thorpe, 2006
 

Cardinal Crest Award

Awarded to the member of the WSA who has given honor to his/her post on the WSA or one of its committees through his/her leadership, and has selflessly served the greater interest of the Wesleyan student body.

Gabriel Tabak, 2006
 

Chadbourne Prize

The gift of George Storrs Chadbourne, Class of 1858, to that member of the first-year class outstanding in character, conduct, and scholarship.

Eric Weiskott, 2009
 

Clark Fellowship

Established in memory of John Blanchard Clark by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Clark of Pittsford, New York; his sister, Catherine; relatives; and friends. Awarded annually to a qualified graduating senior of Wesleyan University for graduate study in a school of medicine. Recipients are judged by members of the Health Professions Panel on their potential for outstanding achievement and for their promise of community leadership and public-spirited citizenship and for their scholastic record at Wesleyan.

Tobias Wasser, 2006
 

Clee Scholarship

Established by friends and associates of Gilbert Harrison Clee, Class of 1935, late president of the Board of Trustees. Awarded annually to a member of the sophomore class, who will remain a Clee Scholar throughout his or her junior and senior years, who will have demonstrated high standards of leadership, a deep commitment to Wesleyan University, an interest in the broad implications of multinational business enterprises, a sensitivity to the need for a creative balance between the public and private sectors, and an intention to pursue a career in business. A specific objective will be to select individuals who exemplify the qualities that characterized Gilbert Harrison Clee as a humane person and as a leader.

To Be Announced
 

Dr. Neil Clendeninn Prize

Established in 1991 by George Thornton, Class of 1991 and David Derryck, Class of 1993, for the African American student who has achieved academic excellence in biology and/or molecular biology and biochemistry. This student must have completed his or her sophomore year and in that time have exemplified those qualities of character, leadership, and concern for the Wesleyan community as shown by Dr. Neil Clendeninn, Class of 1971.

Cynthia Armand, 2006
 

Cole Prize

Established through the gift of George Henry Walker, Class of 1981, in the memory of Charles Edward Cole. Awarded to the first-year student who shows the greatest ability in fiction or nonfiction writing.

Keith Gordon, 2009
Edward Quish, 2009
Marguerite Weisman, 2009
 

Connecticut Valley Higher Education Community Service Award

Established in 1993 by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education to promote community service leadership and activities by students at Connecticut’s institutions of higher education. This award recognizes outstanding student contributions to the promotion of community service through projects that increase student participation in their college community and projects that develop a unique approach to effective community service.

Ann Heindel, 2006
 

Herbert Lee Connelly Prize

Given in 1980 by Mabel Wells Connelly in the name of her husband, member of the Class of 1909, and alumni secretary, 1924-56. Supplemented by friends, relatives, and sons Hugh Wells and Theodore Sample, Class of 1948, the fund provides income to be awarded annually to a deserving undergraduate who demonstrates an interest in English literature and an unusual ability in nonfiction writing.

Stephen Aubrey, 2006
Ariel Lewiton, 2006
 

Anna Julia Cooper Prize

Awarded by the Department of Sociology to a student of overall academic excellence who lives and works in the spirit of Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), author of A Voice From the South, who was one of the most important social theorists in the tradition of Black feminist thought. She lived and worked courageously against the odds of exclusion, never failing to hold to the highest standards of moral and intellectual excellence.

Tu Chi Nguyen, 2006
 

CRC Award

Awarded to an outstanding first-year chemistry student, based on grades in organic chemistry over the interval of the current academic year.

Portia Chipendo, 2009
David Snydacker, 2009
 

Davenport Prize

Established in 1948 by the gift of Ernest W. Davenport in honor of his brother, Frederick Morgan Davenport, Class of 1889, for excellence shown by seniors in the field of government and politics.

Claire Blumenson, 2006
Amelia Long, 2006
Steven Wengrovitz, GRAD
 

Dorchester Prize

Established through the gift of Daniel Dorchester, Class of 1874. Awarded for the best thesis submitted to the English Department.

Paul Brunick, 2006
Bronwyn Wallace, 2006
 

W.E.B. DuBois Prize

Awarded annually for academic excellence to a student majoring in African American studies.

Katherine McCown, 2006
 

Dutcher Prize

Established by gift of Arthur A. Vanderbilt, Class of 1910, in honor of Professor George Matthew Dutcher, for highest excellence in the Department of History.

Tal Beery, 2006
Katherine D’Ambrosio, 2006
Genevieve Edens, 2006
Evan Katin-Borland, 2006
Andrew Tonelli, 2006
 

Kevin Echart Memorial Book Prize

Awarded to the graduating College of Letters senior who best exemplifies the intellectual curiosity and range, the pleasure in colloquy, the capacity for admiration and skepticism, and the moral seriousness and love of books that we honored in our late colleague Kevin Echart and seek to foster in the students of the College of Letters.

Rebecca Seely, 2006
 

Exceptional Program Award

Awarded to the coordinator(s) of an exceptional program, cultural event, speaker or production that has had positive campus-wide impact.

Para La Familia
 

William Firshein Prize

Awarded to the graduating MB&B student who has contributed the most to the interests and character of the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department.

Shinya Amano, 2006
Emily Levy, 2006
 

First-Year Leadership Award

Awarded to a first-year student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or involvement in the Wesleyan community.

Jason Harris, 2009
 

Susan Frazer Prize

Awarded annually to the student (or students) who has done the most distinguished work in the elementary and intermediate French language sequence.

Hyojin Park, 2008
 

Freeman Prize

Established in 1975 by Mansfield Freeman, Class of 1916. Awarded annually to a senior for excellence in East Asian studies.

Tara Fickle, 2006
Marion Holaday, 2006
 

French Government Teaching Assistantship

One-year assistantship for teaching English at a lycée in France, administered by the Institute for International Education (New York).

Elizabeth Langston, 2005
 

Beulah Friedman Prize

This prize recognizes work of outstanding achievement by a student in the history of art. The prize is awarded to a member of the senior class.

John Blakinger, 2006
Sonya Kharas, 2006
 

Fulbright Fellowship

These grants are funded by the United States government under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Fulbright-Hays Act) and by many foreign countries. The grants, administered by the Institute for International Education, provide for one year of study at a university abroad.

Cara Chebuske, 2006
Amie Kim, 2004
 

Gay, Lesbian, and Sexuality Studies Prize

Donated by the Wesleyan Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association (GALA), this prize is awarded annually to that undergraduate who has done the best research and writing on a subject in gay, lesbian, and sexuality studies.

Rebecca Appel, 2006
 

German Pedagogical Exchange Service Assistantship/Fulbright Grant

A one year teaching apprenticeship in Germany.

Emily Garts, 2006
Kate McCrery, 2006
Rose Tisdall, 2006
 

Giffin Prize

Established in 1912 by a gift of Mrs. Charles Mortimer Giffin, in memory of her husband, an honorary graduate of the Class of 1875. Awarded for excellence in the Department of Religion.

Samuel Allison, 2006
Seth Davis, 2006
Rose Tisdall, 2006
 

Akiva Goldsman Prize in Screenwriting

Awarded to the graduating film studies major who has written the best full-length screenplay in the Department of Film Studies.

Dan Janvey, 2006
 

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Awarded by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to a junior or senior who has outstanding potential and intends to pursue a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Jack DiSciacca, 2007
Gregory Peterfreund, 2007
 

Graham Prize

The gift of James Chandler Graham, Class of 1890, awarded to a member of the graduating class for excellence in natural science.

Avishek Chatterjee, 2006
Emily Egan, 2006
Emily Jacobs-Palmer, 2006
Krista Perks, 2006
 

Grant/Wilcox Prize

Awarded in honor of Connecticut filmmakers Ellsworth Grant and Roy Wilcox to the senior whose work in film and video best addresses significant environmental, social, or artistic issues.

Alexandra Verville, 2006
 

Hallowell Prize

Established by friends and associates of Burton C. Hallowell, Class of 1936, former professor of economics and executive vice president of the University. Awarded annually to an outstanding senior in the study of social science, as determined by the governing board of the Public Affairs Center.

Claire Blumenson, 2006
 

K. P. Harrington Public Service Award

Awarded annually by the Mystical Seven Society to a Wesleyan undergraduate who has distinguished herself/himself in public service to the community.

To Be Announced
 

Hawk Prize

The gift of Philip B. Hawk, Class of 1898, as a memorial to his wife, Gladys, to the students who have done the most effective work in biochemistry.

Michael Agumeh, 2006
Emily Egan, 2006
Emily Jacobs-Palmer, 2006
Emily Levy, 2006
 

Health Education Prize

Awarded annually to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the goals of Wesleyan’s Health Education Program, which are the promotion of healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. The student who is chosen for this prize has demonstrated commitment not only to his or her personal well-being but has also served as a role model to peers in the Wesleyan community and beyond.

Shaine Truscott, 2006
 

Heideman Award

Established in 1972, in honor of Enid and Walter Heideman. Awarded annually to an undergraduate who has helped others in the Wesleyan community, in the tradition of the Heidemans.

Joel Bhuiyan, 2006
Celia Reddick, 2006
Ericka Richburg, 2006
 

Rachel Henderson Theater Prize

Awarded annually to that student who, in the estimation of the theater faculty, has contributed most to theater at Wesleyan over the course of his or her undergraduate career.

Seth Davis, 2006
Joshua Lubin-Levy, 2006
Lillian Whitsitt, 2006
 

Holzberg Fellowship

Established in memory of Jules D. Holzberg, professor of psychology, by gifts of his colleagues and friends. Awarded to a senior who intends to pursue graduate study in clinical or community psychology in recognition of the commitment to research and applied work on the resolution of social problems on the individual and collective level that is consistent with Professor Holzberg’s lifelong professional interests and humanitarian concerns.

Leah Cappellucci, 2006
Julia Fox, 2006
Rebecca Gordon, 2006
Kaneza Schaal, 2006
 

Horgan Prize

Established by the Department of English in honor of Paul Horgan, professor emeritus and writer-in-residence. Awarded to the student who has written the best short story of the year.

Malwina Andruczyk, 2008
Annalisa Bolin, 2008
John Cusick, 2007
 

Herbert H. Hyman Prize

Established by the Department of Sociology to honor Herbert H. Hyman, distinguished scholar, pioneer in survey research methodology, and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology. Awarded annually to students, whether sociology majors or not, who in the opinion of the faculty have written outstanding theses on a sociological topic.

Sam Han, 2006
Rebecca Linden, 2006
 

Ingraham Prize

The gift of Robert Seney Ingraham, Class of 1888, and his wife, for excellence in New Testament Greek or, in years when a course in that subject is not given, for excellence in a course in Greek elective for juniors and seniors.

Lydia Bell, 2007
Deborah Schwartz, 2007
 

Jessup Prize
Awarded to two undergraduates each year who are deemed to show the greatest talent and promise for even greater excellence in sculpture, printmaking, architecture, photography, painting, or drawing. The prize is given in memory of Pauline Jessup, a noted interior designer, who practiced her craft for over 60 years throughout the United States. Mrs. Jessup was noted for her unerring eye, her extraordinarily refined taste, and her steadfast commitment to her clients-many of whom she served over three generations. The prize is a gift of Mrs. Jessup’s nephew, D. Ronald Daniel ’52, and his friend, John R. Jakobson ’52. The award is determined by the Department of Art and Art History.

Takahiro Haneda, 2006
Tal Rozen, 2006
 

Johnston Prize

The gift of David George Downey, Class of 1884, in memory of Professor John Johnston. Awarded to those freshmen or sophomores whose performance in their first two semesters of physics shows exceptional promise.

Isaac Levy, 2009
Alison Ringel, 2009
Kuan-Rong Sia, 2009
 

P. L. Kellam Prize

Established in memory of Priscilla L. Kellam, Class of 1983, by her husband and parents. Awarded annually to a senior woman, under the age of 25, who has majored in East Asian studies and has traveled or plans to travel to China to further her studies.

Cara Chebuske, 2006
 

Barry Kiefer Prize

In memory of Barry I. Kiefer to celebrate outstanding graduating Ph.D. students in Biology and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Christopher Wade, GRAD
 

Leavell Memorial Prize–Film

Awarded annually to a senior film student who has done outstanding work in the major, and who best reflects the departmental goals of citizenship, scholarship, and the wedding of theory and practice.

Audrey Golden, 2006
Dan Janvey, 2006
 

Leavell Memorial Prize–Music

Awarded annually to a senior who has done outstanding work in music, and whose work manifests the ideals of the World Music Program in the Department of Music.

Deborah Witkin, 2006
 

Levy-Spira Prize

Awarded for distinction in Latin American studies. Established in 1992 in memory of Eduardo Levy-Spira, Class of 1982, by his family and friends.

Corinna Zeltsman, 2006
 

Limbach Prize

Established in 1966 by Russell T. Limbach, professor of art, in memory of his wife, Edna Limbach. Awarded annually to the student who has contributed the most imaginative, generous, thoughtful, and understanding social service to the people of the City of Middletown and/or the Wesleyan community.

Rachel Ostlund, 2008
Ethna Riley, 2006
 

Lipsky Prize

The gift of the Reverend and Mrs. Bailey G. Lipsky in memory of their son, Francis Jules Lipsky, Class of 1931, to the member of the choir possessing in the highest degree unfailing kindliness, quiet dignity, and brilliant scholarship.

Danilo Macalinao, 2008
Aaron Taylor, 2006
 

Littell Prize

The gift of Franklin Bowers Littell, Class of 1891, for excellence in one or more advanced courses in astronomy.

Avishek Chatterjee, 2006
 

Luce Scholarship

The Henry Luce Foundation selects 18 graduates to spend a year in an Asian country and provides an experience that will broaden the participant’s perspective on his or her chosen career field.

Kalyani McCullough, 2000
 

Robert S. Lynd Prize

Awarded to a student for a Department of Sociology thesis.

David Wiener, 2006
 

John W. Macy Summer Internship in Public Administration

Established by friends and colleagues of John W. Macy, Class of 1938. Awarded to the junior who most clearly exemplifies, in the decision of the selection committee, the characteristics associated with John Macy: high intellectual ability, a capacity for sustained effort in difficult tasks, strong ethical standards, an ingrained sense of duty, and a commitment to public service as a worthy career.

Ellen Werble, 2007
 

Mann Prize

Established in memory of Albert Mann, Class of 1906, devoted alumnus and faculty member, by his daughters and their families. Awarded annually to the seniors showing the most outstanding achievements in the Romance languages.

Daniel Dykes, 2006
Julia Fox, 2006
Kristin Kamm, 2006
 

Martius Yellow Award

Awarded for excellence in organic synthesis.

Hannah Ray, 2007
 

Roger Maynard Award

A memorial award to that senior scholar-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit, accomplishments, and humility of Roger Maynard, Class of 1937, former trustee.

Owen Kiely, 2006
Hannah Stubbs, 2006
 

Richard McLellan Prize

Awarded annually to a junior who exemplifies those qualities that characterize the late Richard McLellan, Director of the Career Planning Center and Associate Dean of the College: character, leadership, commitment to public service and diversity, wide cultural interests, and a sense of humor.

Jeffrey Kessner, 2007
 

Meyer Prize

Established in 1991 in honor of retiring colleague Donald A. Meyer, is awarded for the best Honors thesis in American History.

Benjamin Lake, 2006
 

Monroe Prize

Established in 1985 by the Center for African American Studies in memory of John G. Monroe, director, scholar, and teacher in the Center for African American Studies and in the Department of Theater. This prize is to be awarded annually to the Wesleyan sophomore or junior who, in the opinion of the review committee, submits the best scholarly essay in the field of African American studies.

Liam McAlpine, 2007
 

Janina Montero Prize

Awarded annually to a Latino student who has promoted the health, visibility, and participation of the Latino community at Wesleyan. The individual should best exemplify personal integrity, leadership, and motivation; a strong interest in and knowledge of his or her background; and have maintained a high level of commitment to Wesleyan’s academic and intellectual enterprise.

Stephanie Garcia, 2006
Jose Marantes, 2006
 

David Morgan Prize

To be awarded annually to the senior major or majors in CSS and/or the Department of History who best demonstrated the integrity and commitment to community that characterized David’s 37 years of service to his College, his Department, and to the University.

Sarah Kaufmann, 2006
Gabriel Tabak, 2006
 

Mosaic Award

This award recognizes the contribution(s) of a person or organization that has brought about cultural awareness and education on one or more of the following issues: race, ethnicity, culture and/or sexual orientation.

Lashawn Springer, 2008
 

Geraldine J. Murphy Prize

Established in memory of Geraldine J. Murphy, who was the first woman hired as a full-time instructor at Wesleyan (1957), the first woman promoted to a tenured position, and the first woman promoted to the rank of full professor. The prize is endowed by alumni of the Wesleyan Master of Arts in Teaching program. Awarded to a student who has written an outstanding critical essay that focuses on short fiction or novels.

Marissa Brostoff, 2007
 

National Board of Review Charlie Andrews Award

Established by the National Board of Review in memory of Charlie Andrews who was a pioneer in television writing and producing. Awarded to the student who has written the best history/theory thesis in the Film Studies Department.

Matthew Fishbein, 2006
Logan Starr, 2006
 

Needler Prize

Established by Sophie Needler, in memory of her husband, Bennett Needler. Awarded annually to one or two graduating seniors who have demonstrated excellence in Hebrew or Jewish studies.

Molly Chafetz, 2006
Chloe Safier, 2006
 

Carol B. Ohmann Memorial Prize

Awarded for excellence in Women’s Studies.

Jenevive Nykolak, 2006
Emma Silverman, 2006
Zach Strassburger, 2006
 

Olin Fellowship

Founded in 1854 by the wife of Stephen Olin, president, 1839-41 and 1842-51. Later increased by gifts of their son, Stephen Henry Olin, Class of 1866 and acting president, 1922-23, and his wife, Emeline. Awarded in recognition of achievement in English. The fellowship supports supervised work in English outside of the Wesleyan course structure.

Marissa Brostoff, 2007
Delia Casa, 2007
Jessica Chayes, 2007
Mi Chun, 2007
John Cusick, 2007
Benjamin Fels, 2007
Maggie Filler, 2007
Leon Hilton, 2007
Jeremy Marks, 2007
Joshua Nathan-Kazis, 2007
Lauren Stossel, 2007
 

Outreach and Community Service Award

Awarded to the senior theater major who, through his or her work in the Department of Theater, has done a significant service in the community.

Kaneza Schaal, 2006
 

Parker Prize

Established in 1870 by the Reverend John Parker, Trustee 1859-71. Awarded to a sophomore or junior who excels in public speaking.

Thomas Crosby, 2007
Amy Rosen, 2007
 

Peirce Prize

Awarded in successive years for excellence in biology, chemistry, and geology.

Elizabeth Perry, 2006
 

Peterson Fellowships

Established in 1963 by bequest of William Harold Peterson, Class of 1907, for graduate study in biochemistry at Wesleyan.

Maria-Magdalena Coman, GRAD
Laure Dykas, GRAD
Senthil Perumal, GRAD
Lucia Prundeanu, GRAD
Christopher Wade, GRAD
 

PIMMS Vanguard Fellows’ Book Award, 1993

Connecticut teachers serving as fellows of the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science have established a fund to honor the creative leadership of Robert A. Rosenbaum and to recognize individuals demonstrating notably imaginative teaching in the schools of Connecticut or possessing the potential for such teaching.

Terri Clark
Timothy Craine
Mari Muri
David Scrofani
 

Plukas Prize

Established in 1986 by John Plukas, Class of 1966, this prize is awarded to graduating economics seniors to be applied toward summer expenses, during which period each student will work under the supervision of a faculty adviser to convert an honors project into a publishable article.

Liang Zhao, 2006
 

Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award

Established in 1986 by John Plukas, Class of 1966, this prize is awarded for excellent service to the Economics Department as a teaching apprentice.

Kerem Alper, 2007
Joshua Atwood, 2008
Taylor Bentley, 2006
Bach Dao, 2008
James Feigenbaum, 2008
Christian Goble, 2006
Jacob Goldin, 2007
Adam Gomolin, 2006
Adelina Halim, 2006
Chen-wei Hung, 2007
Aneth Kasebele, 2008
Daniel Lee, 2006
Lan Liang, 2007
Jing-Jing Lin, 2007
Katherine Michelmore, 2007
Adam Miller-Howard, 2006
Jeffrey Petrusek, 2007
Voon Sui, 2007
Joel Ting, 2006
Casey Wilson, 2006
Roberta Wong, 2008
Zhaoxuan Yang, 2008
Liang Zhao, 2006
Yingzhe Zhao, 2007
Tianxiang Zhuo, 2008
 

Gwen Livingston Pokora Prize

Established in 1993, awarded annually to the outstanding undergraduate student in music composition.

Carl Testa, 2006
 

Reed Prize

Established in 1968 by Leon Reed and his sons, S. Chadwick, Class of 1941, and Dr. Victor Reed, in memory of Mrs. Sophie Reed, for the best poem or group of poems.

Katherine Thorpe, 2006
 

Rice Prize

Awarded for excellence in mathematics to a senior.

Jodi Black, 2006
Avishek Chatterjee, 2006
Liang Zhao, 2006
 

Rich Prize

The gift of Isaac Rich, trustee 1849-72, in memory of his wife, and later supplemented by appropriations from the Board of Trustees. Awarded to those seniors whose orations are judged best in composition and delivery.

Rohini Singh, 2006
Jesse Young, 2006
 

Robertson Prize

Awarded for excellence in mathematics to a sophomore.

Daniel Greengard, 2008
Per Stinchcombe, 2008
Roberta Wong, 2008
Zhaoxuan Yang, 2008
 

Robins Memorial Prize

Established in 1969, in memory of George D. Robins 1898, by Frank D. Robins 1934, and Douglas H. Robins 1966, for excellence in history.

Kyle Gardner, 2006
 

Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship

Awarded to an outstanding junior wishing to pursue a master’s degree in education and teach in public schools.

Joel Pratt, 2007
 

Ross Prize

Established in 1979 as a gift of Steven J. Ross of Warner Communications. Awarded annually for the best undergraduate film, digital, and/or virtual made in the Department of Film Studies.

Alexandra Verville, 2006
 

Juan Roura-Parella Prize

Established in 1984 to be awarded annually to an undergraduate whose work represents the kind of catholic curiosity and general learning that Professor Juan Roura-Parella exemplified.

Christopher McDonald, 2006
Adam Rizzo, 2006
 

Rulewater Prize

Awarded for outstanding reflection and writing on an interdisciplinary topic in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.

Christine Baker, GLSP
 

Scott Biomedical Prize

Awarded to a member(s) of the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry senior class who has demonstrated excellence and interest in commencing a career in academic or applied medicine.

Shinya Amano, 2006
Joshua Brandstadter, 2006
Sarah Hopkins, 2006
Johann Patlak, 2006
 

Scott Prize

Established by Charles Scott Jr., M.A., Class of 1886, and trustee 1905-22, in memory of John Bell Scott 1881, for excellence in modern languages.

Asian Languages and Literatures

James Charney, 2006
Marion Holaday, 2006
William McCue, 2006
 

German Studies

Elisabeth Lauffer, 2007
 

Romance Languages and Literatures

Kathryn Harmon, 2006
Constance Higgins-Beer, 2006
Georgiana Kuhlmann, 2006
Allison Layman, 2006
Adam Rizzo, 2006
Bronwyn Wallace, 2006
 

Russian and East European Studies

Anthony Zannino, 2006
 

John and Mary Sease Prize

Awarded for outstanding work in environmental science.

Caitlin Herlihy, 2006
 

Sehlinger Prize

Established by the Class of 1965 in memory of Charles Edward Sehlinger III, who died in 1964. The award of a medical dictionary is given to a premedical student for excellence of character, community spirit, and academic achievement.

Anna Ross, 2006
 

Senior Leadership Award

Awarded to a senior who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout his or her four years in the Wesleyan community.

Helen Gugel, 2006
Sara Williams, 2006
 

Senior Prize in Computer Science

Awarded for excellence in computer science to a senior.

Brendan Dolan-Gavitt, 2006
Antonietta Kies, 2006
 

Service Careers Fellowship

Established to encourage Wesleyan students to commit their careers to the betterment of society. Awarded to students who have exemplified dedication to public service.

Leora Abelson, 2007
Rosa Cohen-Cruz, 2007
Nora Connor, 2007
Sean Corlett, 2007
Jenny Doyle 2007
Lauren Gardner 2007
Jenna Gopilan, 2007
Jeffrey Kessner, 2007
Paige Kruza, 2007
Destiny Leake, 2007
Estrella Lopez, 2007
Kalia Lydgate, 2007
Kevi Mace, 2007
Kathleen Reid, 2007
Nicole Reid, 2007
Jessica Rhodes, 2007
Cynthia Santiago, 2007
Darrah Sipe, 2007
Naomi Takahashi, 2007
Talya Zemach-Bersin, 2007
 

Frances M. Sheng Prize

Awarded for excellence in Chinese language and excellence in Japanese Language.

Cara Chebuske, 2006
Hsin-Yu Hwang, 2006
 

Sherman Prize

Established by David Sherman, D.D., Class of 1872. Two prizes awarded annually, one for excellence in first-year mathematics and the other for excellence in classics.

Classical Studies

Christie Roberts, 2006
 

Math

Yudhishthir Kandel, 2009
 

Rae Shortt Prize

Established in memory of Rae M. Shortt. Awarded to a junior for excellence in mathematics.

Christina Durfee, 2007
 

Samuel C. Silipo Prize

Awarded annually for the most valuable player(s) of the Wesleyan Orchestra.

Rebecca Gordon, 2006
Gergely Kiss, 2006
Hyun Nam, 2008
 

Silverman Prize

Established by gift of Elisha Adelbert Silverman, Class of 1922, and awarded to a member of the junior or senior class for excellence in chemistry.

Hannah Ray, 2007
 

Skirm Prize

Established by members of the Class of 1931 in memory of their classmate, Thomas H. Skirm, this prize is awarded to a government major early in his or her senior year, to recognize the best research or writing project done during the junior year.

Rebecca Linden, 2006
 

Social Activist Award

Awarded to the individual or student group that best exemplifies the spirit of social activism and through his/her/their efforts, constructive social change ensued.

WesPREP
 

Annie Sonnenblick Writing Award

Established by the family of the late Annie Sonnenblick, Class of 1980, in 1992 as a complement to the annual Annie Sonnenblick Lecture. The prize provides financial support for a student who wishes to undertake an independent writing project during the summer between his or her junior and senior years.

Joshua Nathan-Kazis, 2007
 

Spinney Prize

The gift of Joseph S. Spinney, trustee 1875-82 and 1888-93, for excellence in Greek. Awarded for the best original essay on some aspect of Greek or Roman civilization.

Daniel Matzkin, 2006
 

Spurrier Award

The William A. Spurrier Ethics Award, established by Dr. James Case, given to the student who demonstrates in the field of ethics: sensitivity, insight, depth, and humor. Given in memory of William Spurrier III, chaplain and Hedding Professor of Moral Science and Religion.

Laura Goldhamer, 2006
 

Thorndike Prize

Established by gift of Elizabeth Moulton Thorndike in memory of her husband, Edward Lee Thorndike, Class of 1895, for excellence in psychology.

Rachel Antler, 2006
 

Tishler Teaching Award

Established by the family and friends of Dr. Max Tishler, professor of chemistry, emeritus, and University Professor of the Sciences, emeritus. Awarded annually in his memory to the best graduate teaching assistant in chemistry.

Ericka Barnes, GRAD
 

Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Prize–Art

Established in 1981 by a gift from Mrs. Tishler. Awarded annually for an outstanding senior exhibition in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, or architecture.

Christopher Gartrell, 2006
Alexander Osborn, 2006
 

Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Prize–Music

Established in 1981 by a gift from Mrs. Tishler. Expanded in 1989 for excellence in piano performance. Two prizes are given annually: one for Western classical piano performance and the other for jazz piano performance.

Smith Louis, 2006
 

Shu Tokita Prize

The Shu Tokita Memorial Prize, established by friends and relatives of Shu Tokita, Class of 1984, is awarded to students of color studying literature, and in area studies with a focus on literature. The recipient will be selected on the basis of his or her application essay and commitment to the study of literature.

Jane Charles-Voltaire, 2007
Yuta Otake, 2007
 

Trench Prize

The gift of Miss Grace A. Smith, in memory of William James Trench, trustee 1835-67, for excellence in the Department of Religion.

Laura Fogliano, 2006
Vanessa Greenfield, 2006
 

Vanguard Prize

Established by black alumni in tribute to the black members of the Class of 1969, whose perseverance and pioneering leadership earned them designation as the Vanguard Class. The prize is awarded annually to a graduating senior who has achieved academic excellence and contributed significantly to maintaining Wesleyan’s racial diversity.

Ethna Riley, 2006
 

Walkley Prize

Two prizes, the gift of Webster Rogers Walkley, Class of 1860, in memory of David Hart Walkley, Class of 1878, for excellence in psychology. Awarded to those juniors and seniors who present the best reports or work embodying original research.

Yu-hsuen Chao, 2006
Rebecca Gordon, 2006
Steven Wengrovitz, GRAD
 

Watson Fellowship

Awarded by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, to enable college graduates of unusual promise to engage in an initial postgraduate year of independent study and travel abroad.

William Gould, 2006
 

Weller Prize

The gift of Mrs. LeRoy Weller, in memory of her husband, LeRoy Weller, Class of 1899, to the student having the highest academic average for the sophomore year.

Cedric Bien, 2008
 

Wesleyan Fiction Award

A gift from Norman Mailer to the Wesleyan Writing Program, this award recognizes an outstanding piece of fiction written by a Wesleyan student.

Malwina Andruczyk, 2008
Annalisa Bolin, 2008
Tanya Lewallen, 2008
 

Wesleyan Memorial Prize

The gift of undergraduates in the Class of 1943 in memory of fellow students who made the supreme sacrifice in the Second World War, to the members of the junior class outstanding in qualities of character, leadership, and scholarship.

Jennifer Timm, 2007
 

White Prize

Established in 1942 by Horace Glenn White Jr., Class of 1933, and increased in 1943 by friends in his memory. Awarded for advanced undergraduate study in economics.

Kerem Alper, 2007
Hyung Choi, 2007
Eugene Dayanghirang, 2007
Jacob Goldin, 2007
Rafael Haryono Putro, 2006
Cheuk Ho, 2007
Heung Ming Ngai, 2006
Jeffrey Petrusek, 2007
Voon Sui, 2007
Danforth Sullivan, 2006
Casey Wilson, 2006
Kwok Hong Wong, 2006
Liang Zhao, 2006
 

White Fellowship–Government

Awarded for excellence in government to a recent graduate who is currently enrolled in, or has been accepted into, a doctoral program in political science.

Jonathan Renshon, 2004
 

White Fellowship–History

Awarded for excellence in history.

To Be Announced
 

M.G. White Prize

Awarded annually for the best thesis submitted in American studies.

Joshua Lubin-Levy, 2006
David Vitale-Wolff, 2006
 

Wilde Prize

Established in 1963 by Frazer B. Wilde, L.L.D., Class of 1958, awarded to a junior or senior for excellence in economics.

Liang Zhao, 2006
 

Winchester Fellowship

Established in 1938, in memory of Professor Caleb Thomas Winchester, by his widow. Awarded to Wesleyan graduates for postgraduate work in English.

Aja Gabel, 2004
Wei Gui, 2003
Emily Steinlight, 2001
 

Wise Prize

The gift of Daniel Wise, D.D., Class of 1859, for excellence in the Department of Philosophy for the best essay on moral science or on some subject in the field or values.

Joshua Turkewitz, 2006

Student and Friends Publish The Notebook Girls to Great Acclaim


Sophie Pollitt-Cohen ’09 is the co-author of the book The Notebook Girls published in April.

Posted 05/16/06
Sophie Pollitt-Cohen ’09 is co-author of The Notebook Girls by Warner Books. The book began the journal with her friends, Julia Baskin, Lindsey Newman and Courtney Toombs at Stuyvesant High School in New York City in 2001.

The journal provided a way for the high school freshmen to stay in touch despite demanding class schedules, extracurricular activities and busy social lives.

Formatted as a reproduction of the girls’ journal, the book is stocked with hand-written notes on lined-notebook paper, doodles and pasted-to-the-page photographs.

“It can be a lot easier to write something down than to have to admit it in words,” she says. “We’ve spent a significant portion of our adolescence trying to figure out who we are. The notebook is the closest we’ve come.”

Since the book’s debut April 13, the young authors have been featured in New York Magazine, OK! Magazine, Vanity Fair, the cover of the Daily News, the cover of the Los Angeles Times calendar section, the Boston Herald, as well as on The Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News Now, Sirius Radio, CNN Inside Showbiz, the WB11 morning news show, and a few other TV shows as well.

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

AIDS Crisis, Disasters Explored in Upcoming Art Season


Gay Smith, professor of theater, speaks about upcoming art events during the 2006-07 Center for the Arts season in World Music Hall May 9. Pictured below, far right, Nina Felshin, curator of exhibitions and adjunct lecturer in art history, speaks with guests following the CFA’s season announcement.

Posted 05/16/06
A fusion of Japanese drumming and jazz, “clown”-theater, Brazilian guitar, creative conversation and West African dance are all in the Center for the Arts (CFA) pallet for the 2006-07 season.

During the CFA’s annual Season Announcement May 9, Pam Tatge, CFA director, announced the center’s upcoming highlights.

“We are very proud of what we and Wesleyan’s faculty, students and staff have created for next year,” Tatge says.

New this year will be online ticketing, a deepened interest in engaging students, and creating a partnership with Middletown’s Luce eatery and the Green Street Arts Center.

In addition, the Dean of the College Office will collaborate with the CFA next year to allow first-year students to interact with guest artists. Through the new “Engage and Imagine” program, students can exchange views, discuss art and culture with guest artists choreographer Bill T. Jones and playwright Charles L. Mee.

“This is going to be an amazing initiative and we hope it’s first of many,” Tatge says.

GALLERY SHOWS
The season begins Sept. 8 with “Disaster! One Year After”, an exhibit on display in the Ezra & Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Oct. 29. Organized on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, “Disaster! One Year After” includes both historical and contemporary art that addresses the impact of extreme weather conditions.

BREAKING GROUND SERIES
The CFA’s Breaking Ground Dance Series will open Sept. 15 and 16 with “Another Evening,” performed by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. The ever-evolving 90-minute collage, featuring choreographer Bill T. Jones, interweaves new movement, excerpts from existing repertoire, original and traditional music and text into a vibrant multi-media work.

Compagnie TchéTché, an all-female dance troupe from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, will perform “Dimi” Nov. 17 and 18. In Dimi, the troupe explores the inner conflicts of contemporary African women.

The Joe Goode Performance Group will perform “Deeply There (stories of a neighborhood)” and “Stay Together” on Feb. 2 and 3. “Deeply There” is an intimate exploration of the AIDS crisis and the work widely acknowledged to be Goodes masterpiece.

CROWELL CONCERT SERIES
The Crowell Concert Series begins with San Jose Taiko on Sept. 28-29. By fusing the ritual drumming traditions of Japan with contemporary jazz, Latin and African rhythms, San Jose Taiko performers express the beauty and harmony of the human spirit through the voice of taiko.

Sérgio and Odair Assad, the Assad Brothers perform “Brazilian Guitar” on Oct. 21. Hear the brothers’ fine blend of styles, time periods, and cultures ranging from gypsy melodies and American tangos.

The FLUX Quartet, featuring the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Alvin Lucier’s world premier, performs Nov. 3.

Paul Brady, one of Ireland’s most enduringly popular artists, will perform Feb. 16. Brady continues to push out the boundaries of Irish contemporary music in the new millennium.

Eight-time Grammy award winner Eddie Palmieri will perform “The Sun of Latin Music” on March 3. At Wesleyan, he will play with his ensemble, La Perfecta II.

OUTSIDE THE BOX THEATER SERIES
The Outside the Box Theater Series begins with the Pig Iron Theatre Company–performing “Hell Meets Henry Half Way” on Sept. 21 and 22. The Philadelphia-based Pig Iron Theatre Company calls itself a “dance–clown–theater ensemble.” A tournament of malcontents erupts in a deluge of florid insults and absurd cruelties.

Connecticut resident and OBIE-award winning playwright Charles L. Mee will hold “Creative Conversation” Feb. 22. His works, including “bobrauschenbergamerica,” “Big Love” and the rock-musical “True Love,” often draw inspiration from the Greek classics.

NAVARATRI FESTIVAL
The 30th Annual Navaratri Festival will be held Oct. 5-8. The longstanding tradition at Wesleyan celebrates Indian culture with music, dance, a religious service and the annual feast.

GREEN STREET ARTS CENTER
Janice Astor, assistant director and interim director of the Green Street Arts Center, says the downtown arts center will expand its age range from 7-to-14-years-old to include older teens. These high-school-aged students will have the ability to record their own videos or CDs.

She’s also allowing Wesleyan students to perform their own talents for the center’s students.

“Wesleyan has some amazing performers from tap dancers to cellists, and the kids love to interact with the Wesleyan students,” Astor says. “We really want to boost the collaboration between Green Street and Wesleyan students this year.”

For more information on any CFA event, call 860-685-3355, e-mail boxoffice@wesleyan.edu or visit www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor and Lex Leifheit, Center for the Arts press and marketing coordinator

Lacrosse Coach Leads Team to 4th Consecutive NESCAC Tournament


Holly Wheeler, head women’s lacrosse coach, also coaches women’s soccer.
 
Posted 05/16/06
Q: Holly, what year did you come to Wesleyan as a lacrosse coach?

A: I arrived at Wesleyan in the fall of 1999, as the part-time coach of the women’s lacrosse team, directly after graduating from college. I had a couple of other jobs until the lacrosse season started in February. The next year, I got the full-time job as the head soccer and lacrosse coach.

Q: Wesleyan ended its lacrosse season April 30 with a winning 9-8 overall record. How does this record compare to the other seven years you have coached?

A: It is always difficult to be happy when your season ends on a loss, but this year’s team did achieve some great things. It is an exciting experience to make the NESCAC tournament, which we did for the fourth consecutive year. We play against the best teams in the country being in the NESCAC, eight of which were ranked at some point this year, and some of which are still playing in the NCAA tournament. Playing against that competition always gets you better. We return most of the team next year which will make for a thrilling year.

Q: Tell me about this year’s lacrosse team. I understand you had seven veterans this year.

A: We returned six starters from last year.. Kate Jones did a nice job in goal, making important saves throughout the season; Becky Meredith, second all-time on the points list at Wesleyan, who scored some big goals this year; and captain, Laura Siegle who has been a ball of fire, racing up and down the field for four years. We lose three seniors this year. They will leave some holes, but I know that the returnees will work hard to fill those gaps, along with the help of a strong class of 2010s.

Q: Please describe the objectives of lacrosse. What other sports can you compare it to?

A: Lacrosse is a lot like many sports. The settled attack and defense is much like basketball and hockey and the midfield is a lot like soccer. The objective is to get the ball in the back of the net and to do that more often than your opponent.

Q: What classes do you teach as an adjunct professor?

A: I teach Beginning Strength Training and Beginning Tennis.

Q: What sports did you play growing up and when did you become serious about lacrosse and soccer? I understand in high school, you were a soccer team captain and qualified for a high-school all-star team that toured England, Scotland and Ireland?

A: I played lots of sports growing up like soccer, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, swimming and football, some of them on teams, most of them in the backyard with my three older brothers. I began playing soccer when I was three and started lacrosse in high school. Because I was a decent athlete, I quickly found success with lacrosse and continued playing and improving in college. I wasn’t quite talented enough to play both sports in college, and as a better lacrosse player, I stuck with that!

Q: At Princeton University, what did you major in?

A: Art history with a certificate in Italian.

Q: At Princeton, you were a starting defender in lacrosse for the Division I Tigers, helping Princeton to capture two Ivy League titles and qualify for the NCAA Division I tournament three times between 1996 and 1999. Do you still play lacrosse competitively anymore or are you focused on coaching?

A: I play on a club team pretty infrequently and in a summer league too—neither of which are too competitive. I play more often before practice, very competitively, with my players. It can get pretty ugly, but it is a great teaching tool and it’s also a way to get the players in order.

Q: What is the Connecticut Cup, and for how long has Wesleyan had the award?

A: The Connecticut Cup has made the rivalry between Connecticut College, Trinity and Wesleyan even fiercer. The Cup has been in Middletown, in my office, often with candy or remote controls, for the past three years.

Q: To you, what makes an ideal lacrosse player?

A: I always tell recruits it is important that they have athletic ability – being fast, agile and strong; the necessary skills and that they are coachable. As long as they are dedicated and willing to work hard, we can take care of the rest.

Q: What months does the lacrosse season span, and when does training begin? Do your student-athletes play other sports?

A: Lacrosse officially begins Feb. 15. That is the first time the team and I can work together. Before that, they work hard on their own and as a team to get ready for the short, upcoming season. We always have a few players who do play another sport.

Q: Are there any special lessons that you stress year to year with your team?

A: I often talk about taking care of the little things, like skills-catching and throwing, fitness, and beyond lacrosse, going to class, being timely and being respectful. These are all lessons that I hope to instill on the lacrosse field, but which apply to situations off it as well.

Q: Tell me about The Lacrosse School, of which you are co-director. What do you hope the girls get from this experience?

A: The Lacrosse School is a camp I run with the Yale lacrosse coach. It is a fun and intense camp for middle school and high school girls. We do a lot of teaching and playing, and often find a number of our recruits there. It is also a great way for high school players to see the Wesleyan campus, be coached by our staff and players, and play against college players. For more information visit http://www.thelacrosseschool.com/.

Q: What are your hobbies aside from sports?

A: Right now, one of my hobbies seems to be getting ready for two GLSP classes I will be taking this summer. We already have lots of homework and papers due! I do like to read, so that’s ok. I have a really cool mountain bike, but only have used it in the last few years to bike from my office to the tennis courts for class.

Q: What are some outdoor activities you and your husband, Geoff, enjoy doing with your 1 and 1/2 –year-old son, Sam? Do you think he will be a star athlete too, like mom and dad?

A: Sam is really our biggest and best hobby! When Geoff and I are not coaching, and sometimes when we are, we are with our He is a bundle of joy and we love nothing more than spending lots and lots of time with him. His first word was “ball,” but he also loves to draw on coffee table books, play his little piano and dance.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

New Finance, Administration VP Keeps His Technology Edge


John Meerts, vice president for Finance and Administration, has been working with budgeting, energy-saving initiatives and people management issues from his office in North College.
 
Posted 05/16/06
John Meerts is a technical guru. He loves computers. He loves numbers and budgeting. But most of all, he loves people.

These are all reasons Meerts was promoted to Vice President for Finance on May 1.

“I love managing people,” Meerts says from his office in North College “I love helping them overcome obstacles, make decisions, offer advice about projects and being there to answer questions.”

In this position, Meerts has responsibilities for the Office of Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and Construction Services, Legal Affairs and Auxiliary Services. The former director of Information Technology Services stepped out of this role in July 2005, but has continued to oversee the department during his role as interim vice president for Finance and Administration.

Meerts’ schedule is chocked full of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Some days he convenes with more than 20 people, several of whom are department heads.

“Sometimes they just want to inform me of what’s going on in their department, or other times I’m needed to help make decisions about a policy, discuss negations, or handle funding requests for various departments, among other things,” he says.

Overseeing the university’s budget is one of Meerts’ primary functions as VP of Finance. In that role he works with senior staff members and their designees to allocate appropriate funds to university needs such as faculty and staff salaries, classroom renovations and operating costs, payment of building and construction debt, and energy costs. Another big portion of the total budget is taken up by student financial aid which now exceeds $40 Million.

While interim vice president for Finance and Administration, Meerts developed a five-year plan to substantially reduce Wesleyan’s reliance on its endowment. This includes a way to save the university as much as $500,000 a year on energy costs. He also oversaw the reorganization of Human Resources, Benefits and Payroll offices.

“In his interim role, John quickly demonstrated the ability to manage a complex budget situation,” says Wesleyan President Doug Bennet. “John’s colleagues give him credit for great personal integrity and the transparency with which he conducts business. He will provide the financial and administrative leadership we need to implement the next phases of the university’s strategic plan.”

Meerts holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Southern Connecticut State College, a master’s in political science form Columbia University and has completed the coursework for a Ph.D in political science at Columbia. But it was a love for computers that drove Meerts into academia.

After college, Meerts began programming IBM mainframes using the language FORTRAN. He took up computer-related jobs at the Department of Juvenile Justice in New York City, Wang Inc., and the New York Institute of Technology. In 1989 he went to Yale as director of the university’s Science and Engineering Computing Facility and Director of Administrative Systems. In 1996, he came to Wesleyan as the director of Information Technology Services.

“Back then, programming was all about having patience and perseverance and I guess I had enough of both,” he says. “Now, we use different programming languages, but the logic behind them still remains about the same. Ultimately you’re still working with a machine that at its most basic level understands binary logic. You may not think this, but programming can be very creative. You design a product for your customer and when you’re done, hopefully you have a happy customer using your application.”

Meerts continues to oversee the ITS Department in his VP role. He’s still interested in technology. He loves gadgets. His Personal Digital Assistant, with phone capabilities included, chimes the Wesleyan Theme song when he gets a call. And if that’s not around, he’ll pull out his iPod to head-bop a few tunes while playing Flight Simulator on his PC. Oh, but he’s a Mac user too.

Netherlands native Meerts, a father of three, enjoys motorcycle riding and playing blues ‘harp’ and guitar in his band, The Irrationals.

Being a VP of Wesleyan University is a role he’s still settling into. While passing the Memorial Chapel on a midday stroll last week, he noticed that the tower’s clock had stopped.

“I knew that clock had to be fixed, and then I realized, ‘hey, that is now my responsibility to have it fixed.’”

The clock is ticking on time today.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Students Conduct Local Studies through Service Learning Projects


Lirra Schiebler ’07, right, speaks on her community research project at “From the Field: First-Hand Reports of Wesleyan Service-Learning Projects” May 12 in the Center for Community Partnerships. Rob Rosenthal, center with blue shirt and tie, is director of the Service-Learning Center.

Posted 05/16/06
As part of a Service-Learning project, Lirra Schiebler ’07 learned that some residents in Middletown’s North End spend about 47 percent of their monthly earnings on heating and electric bills during the winter season.

Schiebler presented her group’s study, “Energy Costs in the North End: The Rise in Utilities and its Effect on a Low-Income Community” during a meeting at the Center for Community Partnerships May 12.

“This is a statistic I find shocking,” she says. “Our results show that the rise in energy bills has not only affected residents, but affected them to a staggering and dire degree. I hope that local agencies, will be able to use this data in a persuasive way, garnering support from governmental and other assistance programs to filter more directly to those who are in need of immediate aid.”

Schiebler was one of nine students who made presentations at the public event, titled “From the Field: First-Hand Reports of Wesleyan Service-Learning Projects.” Rob Rosenthal, professor of sociology and director of the Service-Learning Center coordinated the event. He is the instructor for the course, Community Research Seminar, in which small teams of students carry out research projects submitted by local groups and agencies.

Each student presented 10-minute talks, followed by brief opportunities for questions and answers. Several of the students were part of the course.

Jeff Stein ’08 presented his study, “Defining and mapping conservation priorities in the Maromas area of Middletown, Connecticut.” He and his classmates evaluated the unprotected, wildlife-rich, 3,000-acre area known as the Maromas, in terms of its ecological value, and then ranked its parcels in terms of their value to the conservation movement.

Advocacy groups can use Stein’s data to apply for grants, fund further studies, and focus efforts on conserving the area’s top priority parcels. The Middletown Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction approached Stein after the meeting and suggested incorporating the school’s science classes with the Maromas.

“Considering that most of us had never even heard of Maromas, we were awestruck that such an incredible resource with such extensive biodiversity existed so close to campus,” Stein says. “We’re all very excited about the awareness we’re raising about the area.”

Julie Bromberg ’06 presented her group’s study, “Disabilities and School-Based Arrests: Local Connections.”

The study was designed to determine whether the national trend of an overrepresentation of students with disabilities getting arrested holds true in Meriden and Middletown. The study involved collecting collecting statistics from the school districts, police, and juvenile court as well as conducted interviews with special education teachers, school resource officers arrested students, and their parents. Bromberg and her co-investigators found that there were a disproportionately large number of students with disabilities getting suspended in both Middletown and Meriden. Twenty-five percent of suspensions in Middletown and 31 percent in Meriden were special education students, while they only made up about 13 percent of the student population in these districts.

Other students and their studies include: Kara Schnoes ’07 with “Implementation of Evidenced-Based Practices at The Connection;” Laura Ouimette ‘06 with “Why Student Graduate From–or Drop Out of- Upward Bound;” Julie Kastenbaum ’06 with “Report from the Field,” an Integration of Clinical Experience and Life Science Learning;” Gretchen Kishbauch ‘07 with “Predictors of Repeat Child Maltreatment among Families Involved with Child Protective Services;” Kaneza Schaal ’06 with “Peer Mediation as a Model for Student Empowerment;” and Craig Thomas ’06 with “Analyzing the North End Landfill.”

Schiebler says the service learning course has brought her closer to the Middletown community, and also has taught her the importance of finding solutions to problems on a micro level.

“It’s important to look at these problems close to home before we offer grandiose solutions to global issues,” she says. “World poverty is clearly important, but how are we supposed to tackle that beast when its equally scary step-brother resides next door?”

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Students Embrace Jewish Community at Wesleyan B’nei Mitzvah


Ruby-Beth Buitekant ’09 and Rebecca Chavez ’08 read from the Torah for the first time as part of their Adult B’nei Mitzvah ceremony April 29.

Posted 05/16/06
In Jewish tradition, when a child reaches the age of maturity (12 years for girls, 13 years for boys) that child becomes responsible for following Jewish law. The Jewish families hold celebratory ceremonies – B’nai Mitzvah for boys, B’nei Mitzvah for girls – which acknowledge that the child has become son or daughter “of the commandment.”

Nowadays, however, not everyone follows these traditions and some Jewish children go on to adolescence without going through the ceremony. But for Wesleyan students Ruby-Beth Buitekant, ’09 and Rebecca Chavez ’08, now is better than never.

On April 28-29, Buitekant and Chavez shared a B’nei Mitzvah through Wesleyan’s Adult B’nai Mitzvah Project. They attended a Shabbat dinner and celebrated at a campus-wide party in their honor. They were lifted in chairs and honored. Most importantly, the students had the opportunity to lead a morning Torah service in front of their friends, family and Jewish community, which involves reciting their D’var Torah. This service links segments of the Torah to their personal journey of exploring their Jewish identity.

“We hope the Adult B’nai Mitzvah Project will guide students like Ruby-Beth and Rebecca as they explore their Jewish identities,” says Rachel Bedick ’08, who co-organized this year’s B’nei Mitzvah with Lillian Siegel ’08. “We also hope that the project makes them feel supported and embraced by the Wesleyan Jewish community so that they can go on to feel comfortable in other Jewish communities that they may encounter later in life.”

The student-run Adult Bnei Mitzvah Project was created three years ago by Daniel Heller ’06 and Ari Fagen ’07. The students who elect to have a B’nai/B’nei Mitzvah ceremony as an adult spend the year studying Judaism and Hebrew. They also design a Tikun Olam or “Healing the World” community service project.

Each week, a different student, professor, or Rabbi from Wesleyan or the greater Middletown community comes to lead a class about a topic in Judaism. This year the 14 speakers including Henry Goldschmidt, assistant professor of religion, who taught a class on chosenness in Judaism; Rabbi Seth Reimer from Adath, Israel, who led a text study on the laws of purity; and Wesleyan Rabbi David Leipziger Teva, who led a class on lifecycles in Judaism.

In addition to class work, Buitekant and Chavez were matched up with a Hebrew student tutor, and they learned how to chant from the Torah.

Chavez, who joined the project to educate herself about Judiasm, says she now has an incredible sense of ownership of her Jewish identity. She was not raised in a Jewish community.

“I have really valued this process not only as a rite of passage into the Jewish community but as a vehicle for learning about myself through studying this aspect of my heritage,” she says. “I genuinely feel like a part of the Jewish community at Wesleyan, which has been a wonderful discovery. It is not a purely individual process, but one in which I’ve been supported by a group of really motivated, caring people.”

The Adult B’nei Mitvah Project culminated April 28-29 with activities devoted to the B’nei Mitzvah ceremony/service and celebration. Buitekant’s mother, Beth-Ann Buitekant, traveled from Atlanta, Georgia to attend the ceremony.

“I especially appreciate that Ruby-Beth was able to receive, at Wesleyan, the benefit of the teachings that I never fully learned myself and could not pass on to her,” Beth-Ann Buitekant says, who raised her daughter Quaker and Jewish. “It was a wonderful experience.”

For more information on the Adult B’nai/B’nei Mitvah Project, email dleipziger@wesleyan.edu
or rbedick@wesleyan.edu.

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Digital Image Collections, Using Images to Teach, Topics of Workshop


Posted 05/16/06
After attending a digital image workshop, six Wesleyan staff members are seeing picture-perfect.

During the April 24 North East Regional Computing Program conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., participants had the opportunity to learn about digital image resource development, meeting the image demands of scholars in a changing environment, using digital maps in the classroom, creating and managing institutional digital image collections and visual storytelling among other topics.

“The hope is that by assessing current practices in the classrooms, methods for more effective use of these images can be identified and implemented,” says conference organizer Dan Schnaidt, academic computing manager for Arts and Humanities. “While it would have
been nice, we discovered that there are no obvious answers, methods or tools.”

Schnaidt was joined by Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist; Mary Glynn, applications technology specialist; Susanne Javorski, art and reference librarian; Rob Lancefield, manager of museum information services and registrar of collections; and Susan Passman, slide librarian.

Topics of the day-long conference were “The Use of Digital Images in Teaching Today,” “Digital Image Resource Development,” “Getting it Right: How Well Can Image Suppliers Determine and Meet the Image Requirements of College and University Users?” “Open Archive Initiative’s Protocol for Metadata Harvesting in collecting and distributing NSDL resources,” “Maps, GIS and spatial data: Maps Entering the Classroom in New Ways,” “Creating and Managing Institutional Digital Image Collections,” “Supporting Faculty in Developing and Deploying a Personal Digital Image Collection,” “Gather Ye Images: Negotiating Multiple Collections for Teaching,” “Critical Literacies,” “Visual Story Telling, Grammar, Cognitive Aesthetics,” “Teaching Visual Rhetoric” and “The Threat of Media Illiteracy.”

The attendees also received the results of a six-month digital image study, which examined how digitized images of all sorts are used by faculty at 34 teaching and research institutions. Wesleyan and the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) spearheaded the study.

Wesleyan spearheaded and sponsored the workshop, which was first sparked with a $15,000 Fund for Innovation grant. NITLE provided significant additional funding which allowed the program to expand the number of participating schools from 10 to 33.

The conference’s principal speaker was David Green, a consultant hired to conduct the research. His final report will be made available on the Academic Commons site on June 2. The link is http://www.academiccommons.org/group/image-project.

The Wesleyan participants attended the conference for different reasons, but all hope to implement some of their new-gained knowledge at Wesleyan.

Lancefield attended the conference to hear the study’s results, and learn from the diverse perspectives on various image-related topics.

“Findings reported at the conference may well affect the approaches and tools we at Wesleyan use to deliver digital images, made here or elsewhere, to students and faculty for use in the classroom and in other learning contexts,” Lancefield says. “This defining focus on pedagogical use, rather than the more common topic of image production, was the really exciting aspect of the event. The conference and the study could have appreciable effects on our thinking at Wesleyan.”

Gillispie says she gained some new insights into how faculty members are using visual resources in their teaching, and how other schools are managing personal and institutional collections of digital images. These ideas will be put to the test in Wesleyan’s Special Collections and Archives. There, more than 40,000 photographs of Wesleyan University and Middletown, and rare illustrations, are available and could be digitized for academic use.

“The conference has encouraged me to think about how we in Special Collections and Archives can work with faculty to encourage use of our unique visual materials,” she says. “It was interesting to see how other liberal arts institutions are managing collections of visual images, and how they are using them to teach undergraduates.”

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Interim Promoted to Vice President for Finance


Posted 05/04/06
Interim Vice President for Finance John Meerts has become Wesleyan’s permanent vice president for Finance and Administration effective May 1.

Meerts has responsibility for the Offices of Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and Legal Affairs. The Board of Trustees will act on a resolution to appoint Meerts as treasurer of the university at its annual meeting this month. In addition, he will continue his oversight of the Office of Information Technology Services, which he has led since coming to Wesleyan in 1996.

“In his interim role, John quickly demonstrated the ability to manage a complex budget situation,” says Wesleyan President Doug Bennet. “He successfully developed a five-year plan to reduce substantially Wesleyan’s reliance on its endowment, and he communicated the key issues with great clarity to faculty and staff and ultimately to the Board. John’s colleagues give him credit for great personal integrity and the transparency with which he conducts business. He will provide the financial and administrative leadership we need to implement the next phases of the university’s strategic plan.”

Meerts joined the Wesleyan administration in July 1996, from Yale, where he had been director of administrative systems since 1991. As director of information technology services at Wesleyan, he led a substantial overhaul of the organization, as well as the university’s technology and applications. He became vice president for information technology in 2002.

After Vice President for Finance and Administration Marcia Bromberg retired in July 2005, Meerts assumed interim responsibility for Wesleyan’s finances. His permanent appointment follows a national search for Bromberg’s successor.

“It has been tremendously rewarding for me to serve Wesleyan in this broader capacity over the past several months,” Meerts says. “I look forward to continuing as part of the team that delivers on Wesleyan’s promise of educational excellence.”

More than 10,000 Books on Sale for Library Benefit


A handcrafted quilt, pictured at left, made by library staff members will be raffled off during a book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library May 13.

Posted 05/04/06

The Wesleyan community can book some time at a library benefit this month.

Friends of the Wesleyan Library, a volunteer group dedicated to supporting the library, will hold a book sale in the Exley Science Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13. The center will be filled with over 10,000 books for sale.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to find research, pleasure, gift or treasure books at a great price and build your own collection,” says Christina Trier, co-chair of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library book sale committee.

This is Wesleyan’s first major book sale in 20 years. Books have been withdrawn from Wesleyan’s four libraries or selected from private donations and sorted into 35 categories including art, science, literature, foreign language, religion, biography, philosophy, politics and history. Some books are new.

Prices start at 50 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hardcovers. Special titles will be priced $5 and up or sold through silent auction. A handcrafted quilt made by library staff members will also be raffled that day.

Book sale committee co-chair Greg Petropoulos says this sale is a great opportunity to promote the Friends of the Wesleyan Library, which was revitalized two years ago.

“We hope the sale will bring together people who enjoy books, while helping to raise funds to initiate special preservation projects or catalog currently inaccessible collections in the library,” he says.

The sale is open to the public and admission is free. For further information about the sale and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library, go to www.wesleyan.edu/libr/friends/index.html or contact Jennifer Hadley at jthom@wesleyan.edu, or call 860-685-3897.

If you would like to volunteer to help at the sale, please contact Christina Trier at ctrier@wesleyan.edu.

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Initiative Coordinator Spreads Interest in Asian Culture with Community


Stanford Forrester, coordinator of the Freeman Asian / Asian American Initiative, displays photographs and haiku in the Asian / Asian American House.
 
daylight . . .
no one notices
the firefly

Haiku by Stanford Forrester
 
Posted 05/04/06
Since he was 12, Stanford Forrester had a strong interest in Asian culture. Growing up in New York, watching “Kung Fu” on TV, taking karate and judo lessons, and studying Asian philosophy were his fondest pastimes.

For the last four years, Forrester has been the coordinator of the Freeman Asian / Asian American Initiative, a position that has allowed his interest in Asian culture to flourish.

“We bring teaching fellows directly from Japan, China or Korea and have them share their culture in Wesleyan classes, take part in Wesleyan functions and just have them here on campus to share their ideas and thoughts,” Forrester says. “Their presence adds to Wesleyan’s unique atmosphere.”

As the initiative’s manager, Forrester manages the initiative’s $1.9 million budget, plans events and maintains the Asian / Asian American Initiative Web site, http://www.wesleyan.edu/aaai. He also helps hire two or three teaching fellows each year from East Asia and provides logistical support for recruitment of visiting scholars in the field.

Forrester was also responsible for developing and planning all logistics of a national conference at Wesleyan in 2005. Scholars from all over the country attended the conference to discuss “Traffic and Diaspora: Political, Economical and Cultural Exchanges between Japan and Asian America.”

“The Asian / Asian American Initiative was designed to create a bridge between the Center for the Americas and the Center for East Asian Studies,” he explains. “We want to offer significant opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment.”

The five-year, grant-funded initiative, supported by the Freeman Foundation, supports the study of Asia and the Asian Diaspora – the study of people of Asian heritage outside the geographical boundaries of Asia.

The program has helped 47 undergraduates to study abroad in Asian countries, and 38 students to conduct research in the U.S. or abroad. He has used the grant money to purchase over 140 educational films, documentaries, books and other resources pertaining to Asian culture and literature to help Wesleyan’s students and faculty with their research.

Much of Forrester’s initial forays into Asian culture were self-taught. He majored in Spanish at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. He went on to receive a master’s in Spanish Literature from Boston College, and has completed all the coursework needed for a Ph.D at Boston College.

Forrester served as the publicity assistant and then exhibits manager at Yale University Press, and in 2002, he came to Wesleyan as the coordinator of the Asian/Asian American Initiative.

“I studied Spanish literature, but I was always interested in Asian culture and language, and Asian poetry,” he says. “So working here at Wesleyan I feel like a kid in a candy store. It combines my love for Asian culture with business administration.”

With Forrester’s love for Asian literature comes a passion for haiku, a Japanese-based, unrhymed poem linking nature with human nature. The poems, written in three lines, usually total less than 17 syllables. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a year to write a single poem, Forrester says.

Forrester, who has had over 300 poems published internationally, is a member of the Haiku Society of America. He served as the society’s president in 2003 and judged the United Nations International School Children’s Haiku Contest in 2006.

“One of our major goals of the Haiku Society is to attract new generations of poets to teach and nurture,” he says. “The American culture is not poem-friendly, and there are so few venues out there that publish poetry.”

That is one reason Forrester opened own publishing house, Bottle Rockets Press. He designs and publishes haiku books and is editor of the national haiku journal, bottle rockets: a collection of short verse.

To date, Forrester has delivered more than a dozen presentations including “An Introduction to the Haiku Path” at the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies and “Buddhism and Haiku: Two Paths of Awareness,” at Wesleyan’s Buddhist House. He’s also guest-taught classes with Shelia Mullen, visiting instructor in American Sign Language, and Kate Rushin, adjunct assistant professor of African American Studies and visiting writer.

“Integrating haiku into lessons is a great way to learn about poetry,” he says.

Forrester lives in Wethersfield with his wife, Mary and children Abigail, 6, and Molly, 4.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Women’s Crew Coach Stresses Dedication, Teamwork


Head Women’s Crew Coach Beth Emery and her crew team pick up litter along the Connecticut River shoreline during their off season.
 
Posted 05/04/06
Q: Most of us know little about crew except that very strong people move amazingly fast in tandem in a thin boat and look like water spiders dancing on the surface. Would you mind briefly defining the sport?

A: Rowing can be done competitively or recreationally. Most of the rowing taking place out of Wesleyan’s Macomber Boathouse is done with collegiate competition in mind. We race in eights and fours. In “eights” there are eight rowers, each with one oar, plus the coxswain, the person who steers and commands the crew, the same is true of the four, it just has fewer rowers.

Q: Are there different ways to row?

A: “Sweep” rowing is in reference to rowing with both hands on one oar, as a port or starboard oarsperson. In the fall the physical education curriculum offers a sculling class. Sculling is done with a similar oar just smaller in size, with one oar in each hand in singles, doubles or quads.

Q: What is the distance the crews race in their competitive season, and how long does the race take?

A: Weather and water related conditions as well as skill, strength and fitness dictate the time it takes to cover the 2,000-meter distance where two to six crews race head to head in one of six lanes. Women’s Division III first Varsity Crews often post a time between 6:40 and 7:00 on a 2,000-meter race course. In a strong headwind the crew that goes 6:40 on flat water could take 7:50 in a strong headwind. Elite women’s crews racing in the Olympics can cover that distance in under 6:00 minutes.

Q: Crew spans two seasons?

A: Spring is the traditional 2,000-meter collegiate racing season. Our early season races have two to five teams competing. When we get to our championships at the end of the season 12 to 24 crews might be part of the regatta, so there are morning heats and in the afternoon–third level, petite and grand final. In the fall we have our “non-traditional” season and race against the clock in head-style races over a distance of 2 to 3 miles. There can be anywhere from 10-45 entries, racing over the same course starting at 10-15 second intervals where faster crews are afforded the shortest distance between to points as the slower crews are required to give way on the turns that are present in most head courses.

Q: Tell me about a typical crew practice. Where do you meet and how do the women train?

A: When we are “in-season,” we meet at the Macomber Boathouse a mile from campus on the Connecticut River. Water time is limited by the rules we follow and the weather, so we try to train on the water to develop our rowing skills whenever possible. Fog, high water and wind can force us off the water, so we do a “land” workout instead. Land workouts can be a combination of rowing ergometer training, running, weightlifting and body circuits plus a host of other activities that build muscular endurance, fitness and core body strength. When the team is out of season the athletes will keep themselves in shape with the same type of land workouts.

Q: Physically and mentally, what makes an ideal crew member?

A: An appetite for demanding physical training coupled with the ability and desire to push mentally through what the body sometimes perceives as pain when pushing the muscles, respiratory and pulmonary systems to and through the limits of its capability. A tall, lean, powerful, supple body helps, as does a commitment to teamwork and training in the off season all of which comes packaged with a winning attitude.

Q: What do you think about your team this year?

A: We have a young team of dedicated oarswomen who work hard everyday to make themselves better athletes and rowers. I look forward to helping them reach their personal goals, and their goals as a team this year and over the course of their rowing careers at Wesleyan. They have tremendous potential in the novice eight and varsity four to finish the season strong.

Q: What classes do you teach, or have you taught, as an adjunct professor?

A: I have taught a lot of swimming classes. The beginning swimming class is rewarding and usually a fun group to work with. Of course I enjoy being on the water and teaching the sculling class, though we can only teach that class in the fall, as the water is usually too cold, and moving too fast to teach it in the spring. The singles can flip pretty easily.

Q: What is your interest in rowing and the environment, which was the topic of your article published in American Rowing Magazine in 1995?

A: The water we row on is our playing field, and I believe we have an obligation to take care of that field, to be stewards of sorts, as well as to learn something about the lakes and rivers we race and practice on. I’ve rowed in a few places like the Los Angeles harbor, and the Piscataway River in New Jersey, where the water was so polluted it took much of the pleasure away from being on the water. I’d like to do more for the river. My current commitment, started with the team this last year which also serves as a community service project for the team is to participate in the annual Connecticut River Cleanup Day held  each fall. I’ve also taken to pestering my coaching colleagues north and south along the river to have their teams join in.

Q: Where did you coach prior to Wesleyan?

A: My first year of coaching was at Syracuse University followed by a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and four years at Northeastern where I had earned my undergraduate degree in physical education.

Q: You’re a former member of the National Collegiate Rowing Committee and the U.S. Rowing’s Junior Women’s Rowing Committee, and you’re ending a six-year term with the NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championship Committee this year. Why do you get involved in these committees and why are they important to you?

A: I think most of us who coach give back to “our” organizations, we are what we make of them. I see it as part of my professional responsibility to contribute what and when I can. They are great opportunities for professional development and networking with others throughout the country. What I have learned serving on these committees is invaluable, and as I am now becoming aged with knowledge I am happy to share with younger coaches what I have learned in my 25 or so years of coaching. I consider it a great honor to have served, and to have been selected among my peers for a six year term on the the inaugural NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championship Committee where we created the format, and implement the details, and have overseen the running of one of the newest NCAA Championships.

Q: Tell me about your personal accomplishments as a competitor and coach?

A: When I finished my college rowing career I continued to row with the aim of making the national team. I made it to the pre-elite level a few years running and won some races at the US rowing championships. For a variety of reasons I did not make my goal of being a National team member, it was however an invaluable experience and additional education towards my coaching career. On and off over the years I have continued to compete in Master’s Rowing events. My personal accomplishments as a coach might be measured by many in our win/loss records where we have been very successful over the years Wesleyan women have also had many crews finish in the top three at our New England Rowing Championships, and twice have we have earned a berth at the NCAA Rowing Championships. It is harder to measure the personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I feel when I have been successful in teaching life lessons learned through rowing, or encouraged and inspired an athlete to achieve a personal best in ergometer racing, or simply watched the personal growth, self-awareness and self- assuredness that comes from the journey of becoming an athlete. Unlike most other sports rowing is a sport you can learn in college, and we do have individuals who join the team with little if any prior athletic experience.

Q: Have you ever tipped over?

A: These are things that you try to forget. But when I was training hard in Boston on the Charles River and just learning to scull, I flipped in front the Harvard men’s boathouse. It was not so much the men on the dock watching me flip that was embarrassing, but that the premier woman sculler at the time happened to be training too, and was standing on the dock watching as I so ungracefully flipped the boat and had to just as ungracefully get myself back in.

Q: What are your favorite “on land” activities?

A: Owning my own home, and recently sharing it with a gardener has not turned me into a green thumb yet, but I’m working towards it, and really enjoy learning about the plants, and creating a small colorful garden with plenty of catnip for our cat, Mimi, to play in. I’m also working towards my black-belt in aikido. When we are not in the garden in the summer we are on our bikes, or out hiking, and traveling to visit family and friends, while keeping an eye out for a good folk or jazz concert to attend.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor