Olivia Drake

Professor Emeritus Morton Briggs Dies at Age 90


Pictured are Kay and Morton Briggs. Briggs, professor emeritus of romance languages and literatures, died Sept. 25. He worked at Wesleyan for 42 years.
Posted 10/01/05

Morton W. Briggs, a Wesleyan faculty member for over 40 years, died Sept. 25 at Middlesex Health Care Center at the age of 90.

Born in 1915 in Millbrook, N.Y., he was graduated from Cornell University in 1937. He studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and obtained master’s (1939) and doctoral (1944) degrees from Harvard University.

He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1943 and attained the position of professor of romance languages in 1956 with a specialty in French language and literature.  He held this position until his retirement in 1985 at which time he became professor emeritus.  He was twice director of the university’s program in Paris and just this spring was honored by a former student with the creation of the Morton W. and Kathryn I. Briggs Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship.

Morton served Wesleyan in numerous ways during his long and distinguished career, including chairman of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program, director of the Honors College for two decades (1966-85), chairman of the Educational Studies Program (1973-1985), acting director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program and he was Wesleyan’s delegate to Phi Beta Kappa’s governing body, the Triennial Council, for many years. He was executive secretary of the University, secretary of the faculty, and secretary of the Academic Council.

Morton was a proud of the Middletown community and served it well. He was active in the Middlesex County United Way (board of directors, campaign chairman 1965, president 1967), the Middlesex Chapter of the American Red Cross (board of directors and chairman 1966-68), the Middletown Rotary Club (board of directors and treasurer) and The Church of the Holy Trinity.

His statewide activities included chairmanship from 1963–72 of the Foreign Language Advisory Committee for the state Department of Education.  He was also a member of the board of directors of the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers.

Morton is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Kathryn (Kay) of Middletown; their children, Christopher of Marlborough, N.H.; Kirk of Vineyard Haven, Mass.; and Kate Holmes of Grand Junction, Colo.; five grandchildren; one sister, Elinor Sutherland of Millbrook, N.Y., and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8,  11 a.m., at Holy Trinity Church in Middletown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross hurricane relief funds.

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

In preparation of the new Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center, portions of the old Fayerweather Gymnasium are being removed. Demolition is more than 80 percent completed as of Sept. 6.

 

Associated Building Wreckers tear the building apart, beam by beam, brick by brick.
Construction crew members demolish what is left of the Fayerweather pool, built in 1913. Alan Rubacha, Construction Services consultant, is the project manager.
The renovated Fayerweather Gymnasium will become Fayerweather Hall. The facility will host a ballroom, catering kitchen, theater, dance studio and storage. The new university center will be built on the right side of Fayerweather Hall. (Photos by Ryan Lee and Olivia Bartlett)

For more information on this project, visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/masterplan/univcenter_detail2.html

Application Technology Specialist Creates Databases to Automate Tasks


Mary Schreck Glynn, application technology specialist, created the telephone directory database, media database and the student summer registration system.
 
Posted 09/09/05
Q: What does it mean to be an applications technology specialist?

A: Basically, an applications technology specialist evaluates new technologies and creates and supports academic and administrative applications using new and proven technologies. All the applications are database related.

Q: What is the purpose of these applications?

A: The general purpose is to service the Wesleyan community by automating tasks and sharing information.

Q: Can you give me a few examples of some of the tasks and information that have undergone this process?

A: Some recent examples include he telephone directory database, media database and the student summer registration system.

Q: How long do such projects generally take, and do you work on one at a time?

A: The length of a project can vary depending on the complexity of the project and its dependencies. Basically, I work on several projects at the same time.

Q: What is the process you follow to get from someone’s idea to actually completing a project?

A: The most important part of completing a project is the needs analysis phase. It is important to have a complete understanding of the users’ goals and to work out the business logic before programming. The needs analysis phase requires lots of meetings, detailed information from the users, prototype screens and workflow.

Q: The telephone directory’s database sounds like a large undertaking. How did this come together?

A: Along with Human Resources and Academic Affairs, we are working continually to try to improve the telephone directory process. There are three parts involved: first is the self-service module which allows faculty and staff access to change their personal data; second, is the module to help Human Resources and Academic Affairs update titles and employee information; third, is the process of printing and coordinating with the Information Technology Services printing service and the communications department.

Q: I also learned that incoming freshman can register for two classes in the summer, before they get to campus. Can you elaborate a bit on this pre-registration system and why it’s important?

A: The summer registration system is available to incoming students and is completed by mid-summer. Students fill in a series of screens with their preferences and the data is made available to the Academic Affairs office. In turn, the Academic Affairs office assigns courses and an advisor based on the student’s input. It is an important process since it helps Academic Affairs and student advisors become familiar with the students’ interests and it helps the students self assess and review the curriculum before they arrive on campus.

Q: What is the media database, and what are some of its features?

A: The media database allows faculty and staff to catalog all types of media including images, audio and video. The cataloged media is then grouped and stored in collections. The majority of media collections are course related and they are made available to students via the web.

Q: What other projects are you currently working on?

A: Currently, I am working with other departments on printing out the directory, library departmental collections, WesPress collections, Westel registration and internal applications.

Q: Are there special programs you use to create these? What programming languages do you use?

Some of the applications require vendor supplied solutions. However, the majority are home grown. Since Oracle is the university’s database standard, I am using the Oracle Application Server along with PL/SQL and javascript. Currently, we are looking into a couple of Oracle products, including HTMLDB and JDeveloper.

Q: How did you become interested in this?

A: I attended Fairfield University and earned a bachelor’s degree in English. When I graduated, I accepted a job at Yale University working with computer documentation. I learned a little about computers and moved into computer training. After a few years of computer training, I wrote a couple of programs and moved into the programming area and have since continued working in that area.

Q: Tell me about your hobbies and interests outside of work?

A: I enjoy lots of things outside of work, mostly, spending time with family and friends. My husband, Mike and I spend lots of time at hockey rinks and soccer fields watching our two children, Corey and Beth. My son Corey is a senior this year and Beth is in eighth grade.

Q: What would you say is the most unique thing about you?

A: I cheer for both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Q: Rumor has it that you’re the nicest person I’d ever meet.

A: Whoever told you, I owe them big money.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Head of Preservation Services Puts Wesleyan’s Books in a Bind


Michaelle Biddle, head of Preservation Services, uses a special tool to preserve a book in the Preservation Services in Olin Library. Biddle and her student technicians make page mends, reback books and remove mold from pages.
 
Posted 09/09/05
Q: When were you hired at Wesleyan and what was your job title then?

A: I was hired in 1983 as the assistant to the librarian. Initially, I was the clerk of the works for the $10 million library addition that was added in the mid-1980s. In 1988 I was asked to develop a preservation program for the library’s circulating collections. Now my job title is head of Preservation Services.

Q: What do you do?

A: I am responsible for developing and managing the library’s Preservation Services, with includes the book conservation lab. We are currently exploring ways in which the Material Processing Marking unit might cost effectively extend the life of new materials before being put on the shelves.

Q: What types of publications need preservation treatment?

A: In 1990 I surveyed the circulating collection. This revealed that 50 percent was in need of some type of repair and that 20 percent was on brittle paper. Because so many items need repair we only review items that have circulated or been used in one of the libraries.

Q: Are books that need treatment always old?

A: No. In the last 10 years publishers’ bindings have precipitously declined in quality. We have to repair more and more “new” books though the 19th century collection is in the poorest condition. We did not have air conditioning in Olin until 1985. Before that time the stacks would reach 120 degrees in the summer – essentially cooking the books.

Q: Tell me about the process of preserving a book.

A: We have a small book conservation lab in the connector between the Public Affairs Center and Olin. It is furnished with a hood where we take care of books with mold, various presses, a job backer, a board shear and many, many specialized binding and conservation tools, cloths and papers. We rarely rebind a book but do a wide range of repairs – page mends, rebacking, guarding and cleaning. Book conservation is a specialized field but any 12th century monk or Gutenberg would be quite familiar with what we do.

Q: What are some recent examples of materials that you have preserved?

A: Most of the student book repair technicians are preparing more than 30 folio sized volumes of The Graphic, a popular 19th century English periodical, for rebinding. It was originally half bound in leather which has rotted. The covers have come off the text block. The pages are getting torn and the sewing is coming undone as a result. The students are mending the tears, and the sewing of the text block, removing the old spine lining and relining the spines before the volumes will be sent to the library commercial bindery. When we work on large format books the lab is very crowded.

One student is working on an 1854 edition of Types of Mankind by Nott and Glidden for Special Collections. We had a lovely plate that had been found on the floor of the Olin but no book. It took some sleuthing to find the correct book, and when we did find the book it needed to be partially resewn and rebacked.

I am currently working on sewing and rebinding a 1925 book of German etchings for the Print Reference Collection, as well.

Q: What happens to these materials? Can people check them out, or are they kept in special collections?

A: The majority of the materials we work on are for the circulating collections so they can be checked out but some materials are in Special Collections in Olin and must be used there.

Q: What is your personal interest in these historical materials? Are you a history buff?

A: I read a couple of books a week – primarily on history, book or art history though I do love a good mystery.

Q: I understand you recently returned from a voluntary six-week archeological dig in Petra, Jordan? Why did you decide to do this?

A: Volunteering on an archaeological dig is a way of gaining a thorough understanding of what has gone on in the past at a specific place. Petra is an amazingly complex, very large archaeological site and it takes a long time to explore. I volunteered for the 21st season of the American Expedition to Petra because it is led by Dr. Philip C. Hammond, an authority on the Nabateans, the people who built and lived in Petra.

Q: Did you make any big discoveries?

A: This season we were working to establish the northern perimeter of a plaza that had been found in 2002. It is behind the Temple of the Winged Lions, the most important Nabatean temple in Petra. The Temple was built in 27 A.D. and destroyed in the massive 363 A.D. earthquake. I discovered some beads, coins, a lamp and many, many pieces of pottery. Everywhere you walk there is evidence of human habitation. And the country is spectacularly beautiful.

Q: What are your degrees in?

A: My bachelor’s degree is in Middle Eastern anthropology and history from the University of Texas.  I apprenticed with Roger deCoverly, chief binder of the London School of Printing, and over the years have studied with other book conservators, primarily in Italy. I also have a master’s of library science from the University of Rhode Island and a certificate in archival management from The National Archives.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Refinishing woodwork is my current hobby. My husband, David, and I bought a house built in 1867 for $1. So far we’ve spent five years taking it apart, moving it nine miles from Easthampton to Hatfield, Massachusetts, rebuilding and restoring it. There are acres of woodwork that need to be refinished. I also create books. I am currently working on one about shoes found in the desert.

Q: What is your involvement with Middletown Alpha Delta Phi Society?

A: The Alpha Delta Phi Society is located at 185 High Street. We sponsor free events for the community including literary, film and poetry series, and a coffee-house series. We also have the oldest, continuously-operating eating club on campus, the Star & Crescent. I am the society’s volunteer archivist and last year I published a booklet on the first century and a half of their history titled Halls, Houses and Eating Clubs of the Middletown Chapter Alpha Delta Phi Society. In May 2006 we will be celebrating Alpha Delt’s sesquicentennial.

Q: Tell me about your family.

A: My husband, David, who attended Wesleyan, is Chairman of the Board of a bio-diesel coop in western Massachusetts. They turn used vegetable oil into fuel for diesel trucks and cars. After the dig in Petra, David joined me for a tour of Jordan. His fluency in Arabic facilitates touring in the Middle East. My son, Christopher, is in his final year of a computer engineering degree at Kettering University in Michigan.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Creativity Topic of Shasha Seminar


Posted 09/09/05
Accessing creativity will be the topic of discussion during the fourth annual Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns Oct. 6-8 at Wesleyan.

“The Shasha Seminar is a wonderful example of Wesleyan’s commitment to lifelong learning,” says Linda Secord, director of alumni education. “We expect this year’s discussion of creativity to be stimulating, giving participants newly informed perspectives that they will take with them as they return to their personal and professional lives.”

Through a series of seminars and hands-on workshops, alumni, parents and friends will expand their understanding of the creative process and its impact on human endeavors.

Past seminars have explored a wide range of issues, from global conflict to ethics to the environment. This year, experts will lead sessions on topics such as “Creativity as Collaboration,” “Scientific Genius and Creativity,” “The Power of the Arts to Change Lives,” “Breaking Rules, Making Rules,” and “Creativity in the Workplace.”

Attendees also can take workshops in Javanese Gamelan, African drumming, drawing, writing, and behavioral study of human speech and birdsong.

“The interaction among participants is always spirited and rich with ideas,” Secord says.

Howard Gardner P ’91, P ’98, the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard University is this year’s keynote speaker.

Seminars speakers include:

Abraham Adzenyah, M.A. ’79, adjunct professor of music at Wesleyan; Ramon Alos Sanchez, a graduate student in film direction at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, Italy; Julie Burstein ’80, executive producer of Studio 360 at WNYC Radio in New York; John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus at Wesleyan; Anne Greene, adjunct professor of English at Wesleyan, director of Writing Programs, and director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference.

Also John Kirn, associate professor of biology and associate professor of neuroscience and behavior and chair of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program at Wesleyan; Liz Lerman, founding artistic director of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange; Ricardo Morris, director of the Green Street Arts Center; Janice Naegele, associate professor of biology, and associate professor of neuroscience and behavior at Wesleyan; John Paoletti, the William R. Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, and director of the new museum project at Wesleyan.

Also Nick Rabkin P’08, executive director of the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago; Alan Robinson, a faculty member at Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Sumarsam, M.A. ’76, chair and adjunct professor of music at Wesleyan.

Endowed by James Shasha ’50, the Shasha Seminar supports lifelong learning and encourages participants to expand their knowledge and perspectives on significant issues.

The cost is $250 per person.

For more information or to register, contact Kathy Macko at kmacko@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-2737. The Shasha Seminar Web site is: http://www.wesleyan.edu/shasha.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan Observes Constitution Day


Posted 09/09/05, Updated 09.16.05

We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this, Constitution for the United States of America. –Preamble to the U.S. Constitution
 

We The People of Wesleyan University observed Constitution Day with a series of events Sept. 15-16.
 
Wesleyan’s observance is part of a nation-wide observance the U.S. Department of Education has mandated for all educational programs in all federally funded institutions. President George W. Bush signed into law on Dec. 8, 2004, Public Law 108-447, which established Sept.17th as Constitution Day. Wesleyan will celebrate it on Sept. 15-16.

Barbara Jones, university librarian, coordinated the events (see sidebar).
 
Libraries, Jones says, are under a great deal of pressure in regard to protecting the constitutional rights of library users.
 
“The Wesleyan University Library is dedicated to providing its users access to information expressing a variety of points of view, including those views that some of us might find despicable,” she says. “We are also dedicated to protecting the privacy of library users, so that in their search for knowledge, nobody is looking over their shoulder.”
 
Along with the events at Wesleyan, General Tommy Franks lead the U.S. Constitution’s Preamble at 2 p.m. Sept. 16 on radio, television and via www.constitutionday.com. The celebration ended with bells ringing across America led from the Carillon on the grounds of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Penn. where George Washington fought the Revolutionary War.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Honor the Day

Wesleyan honored Constitution Day Sept. 15-16 with a series of events.

Thursday, Sept. 15

Noon –  Discussion by Paul Finkelman, professor of law at the University of Tulsa held an informal discussion with Wesleyan’s new Pre-Law Society. Kim Kubat, assistant director of the Career Resource Center organized the event. Olin Library’s Develin Room.

1 p.m. – Neely Bruce, professor of music, performed Bill of Rights followed by an announcement of the formation of Wesleyan’s new Pre-Law Society. Olin Library Lobby.

4 p.m. – Discussion on the Separation of Church and State by Paul Finkelman, professor of Law at University of Tulsa. Modest reception followed. Olin Library’s Smith Reading Room.

Friday, Sept. 16

Noon – Neely Bruce performed “Bill of Rights” with more than two dozen singers. Memorial Chapel. This is the first of the new Friday lunch-time concert series co-sponsored by the Music Department and the Center for the Arts.

Economics Department Welcomes New Assistant Professor


Abigail Hornstein, assistant professor of economics, studies corporate performance.
 
Posted 09/09/05
Abigail Hornstein has joined the Economics Department as an assistant professor.

Hornstein received her bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and history; her master’s degree in economics and international business from New York University Stern School of Business; and her Ph.D in economics and international business from the New York University Stern School of Business.

Her dissertation examined the capital budgeting decisions of multinational enterprises. She examined U.S. firms in the 1990s to determine if effective capital budgeting is associated with where a firm invests.

“I found that effective capital budgeting is strongly and significantly associated with multinationality after controlling for characteristics of the countries where a firm invests,” she says.

At Wesleyan, Hornstein is interested in exploring the relationship between corporate performance and corporate structure.

“In my work so far I’ve taken a narrow approach by examining the relationship between the efficacy of corporate capital budgeting decisions and various corporate characteristics, particularly multinationality,” she says.

Hornstein says she’d like to extend this work in several dimensions to ascertain the relationship between corporate capital budgeting and CEO turnover, corporate governance, and the use of patents to protect proprietary firm-specific knowledge.

Hornstein has held several economics-related positions outside of academia. In 1994, she worked in Hong Kong for a boutique management consultancy, advising a multinational clientele on issues pertaining to investing in China. In 1996, she joined HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation’s China research group, covering China’s foreign investment and foreign trade for the group’s research publications and the bank’s clients. In 1998, Hornstein assumed full coverage for HSBC of the ASEAN economies (Indonesia, Malyasia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam).

Since her days as an undergrad at Bryn Mawr, Hornstein’s had a strong interest in the liberal arts environment.

“I’ve always believed strongly in the importance of a liberal arts undergraduate education and I’m thrilled to join a faculty that places such a strong emphasis on both research and teaching,” she says. “It is really exciting to have such an accomplished set of colleagues, and brilliant students to teach.”

Hornstein will teach Corporate Finance in the fall, Investment Finance in the spring and Quantitative Methods in Economics both semesters.

Hornstein married her husband, Seth Bittker, in July and they reside in Norwalk. Her hobbies include hiking, ceramics and cooking.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Grounds and Special Events Manager Knows the Landscape


Dave Hall, grounds and special events manger, stands in front of an old elm tree planted along College Row. Wesleyan once had hundreds of elms on its property, and now only a few remain. The rest have fallen prey to old age or disease.
 
Posted 09/09/05
When Dave Hall takes a daily stroll across Wesleyan’s campus, he has no destination in mind. He simply enjoys the luscious landscape. It is, after all, his masterpiece.

As manager of Wesleyan’s grounds and events, every tree, shrub, flower garden and grassy knoll is part of his canvas.

“Most people walk through campus looking straight ahead or at the ground,” Hall says, gazing into an elm. “There’s a whole new world to see if you look up. There’s lots of interesting trees to see here on campus.”

Hall has memorized where virtually every tree stands on campus. He knows their species, in many cases their age and even their quirks. As he walks through campus he points out some of his favorites.

The 1826-built Russell House property hosts Wesleyan’s oldest trees – four cut-leaf European beeches. Hall suspects these were planted inside the iron fence just after the Russell House was built.

Another campus oldie grows in front of the Davison Arts Center. Recognized by its gray, elephant-skin-like trunk, this beech is more than 150 years old. And then there’s the pink-blossomed cherry tree atop Foss Hill.

“I couldn’t even guess as to how old that cherry is,” Hall says. “But it sure is gorgeous in early spring when it turns into a pink cloud.”

The President’s patio possesses the second largest Japanese zelkova tree known in Connecticut. The state’s third largest is down the street in front of Alpha Delta Psi.

Hall says a giant sycamore, located between the Center for the Arts’ North and South Studios, is one of Wesleyan’s most striking trees. Its spotted bark makes it a prime study for student’s art projects.

“You should see this tree in the winter,” Hall says. “When there’s snow on the ground and the tree is all barren except for its branches, it brings ideas of suspense and horror stories.”

The campus landscape has changed drastically over Wesleyan’s 175 year history. In a 1830s photograph, Hall points out a row of elms lining a sidewalk to North College. Today only one remains. Dutch Elm disease was the main culprit.

“Those elms used to be all over,” Hall says. “There were probably hundreds of them here in the 1800s, and now there are only 20 left on campus.”

Wesleyan’s formerly abundant hemlocks have also been destroyed by a human-imported nemesis known as the wooly adelgids. And then there was the huge oak tree on Church street.

“It was a sad, sad day when we had to take down that old oak between Shanklin and the library,” Hall says, noting that it had rotted from inside-out.

But when one tree goes, another is planted — or transplanted — if possible. In the early 80s, a series of five-year-old pear trees were removed from the Judd Hall area and transplanted in front of College Row on High Street. Hall calls these white-blossoming trees “the soldiers.” They’re lined up in formation.

He also helped plant the mature red oaks on College Row in the early 1980s.

“You know that you’ve been here a long time when you see trees grow from seedlings to full size,” he says, grinning.

Nancy Albert, university coordinator of events and Russell House Programs, admires Hall for nurturing the rose arbor behind the Russell House. She also counts on his advice when planning outdoor events.

“Dave knows what lies beneath the ground, so stakes do not accidentally sever phone or computer lines, and he has an uncanny memory about what was done over the past years,” she says. “Plus his weather instinct is the best. If he says it’s going to rain, follow his advice.”

Hall, who grew up in Lincoln, Maine never took any agriculture or landscape classes. Hired into Wesleyan as an equipment operator, Hall self-taught himself grounds management. Now he oversees Wesleyan contractors Stonehedge Landscaping, which handles many of the university’s grounds crew needs.

Hall says no two days are alike. Some days he’ll oversee sidewalk repairs, remove fallen branches, or plant shrubs. Recently, he helped set up the football stadium. In the winter, he oversees snow removal.

He’s constantly responding to calls from Public Safety, Physical Plant or other departments needing grounds service.

“I like how nothing is monotonous, and the things that I do here make a difference and I can feel good about that,” Hall says. “Whether it be removing a low branch as a safety issue, or planting a new shrub that makes campus look more beautiful, the things that I do to make campus better can be very fulfilling.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Director of Auxiliary Operations and Campus Services Spearheads Transportation, Bookstore, Laundry Services


Manny Cunard, director of Auxiliary Operations and Campus Services, works from his new office on Pine Street.
 
Posted 09/09/05

When Manny Cunard came to Wesleyan two and a half years ago, several services were in need of structure. Others needed to be invented.

“I resolve problems,” says Cunard, director of Auxiliary Operations and Campus Services. “That’s what this job is all about. You have to be committed to problem solving to provide the best services for Wesleyan’s students, staff and faculty.”

Cunard is responsible for such operations such as the campus bookstore, dining services, the House Sale Program, laundry services, graduate student housing, transportation services and student residence revenue management. He also oversees campus services such as the Rental Properties Program, Wesleyan Station and mail services, the Memorial Chapel, Russell House and ’92 Theater and non-academic scheduling and reservations.

When Cunard came onboard, one of his first initiatives was to re-cast the campus bookstore.

“There was a local book store, but it wasn’t meeting the needs of Wesleyan’s students and faculty,” he explains. “The new Broad Street Books services Wesleyan, it supports its academic needs, and Wesleyan sees some revenue from it.”

The new bookstore also sells used books to students at a reduced cost.

Cunard also initiated the One-Card Access Program. It allows students to use their Wesleyan ID card to gain entry to dormitories or the gym, or pay for laundry, photocopies, campus meals. Faculty and staff also have the option of putting funds into their One-Card account for use at campus dining halls, vending machines.

Wesleyan ID cards are also equipped with an encoded stripe that allows students, staff and faculty to use The Middletown Cash Program at 17 participating off-campus venues.

“We’ve seen a tremendous response from the One-Card Program,” Cunard says. “Now students and staff have the option to break away from the routine and go have a good meal downtown or use a variety a services using a single card.”

Cunard also help improved Transportation Services for the campus. A shuttle runs between 7 and 4 p.m. seven days a week around campus and makes loops downtown Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Marcello Curridori, manager of Transportation Services, says Cunard always treats his staff with respect.

“Manny has a positive attitude and down to earth personality which motivates staff to do a great job everyday,” Curridori says. “Not only that, he’s very knowledgeable and reliable. We can always count on him to answer any questions we might have.”

Cunard has his hands full of projects this semester. He’s working on the Dining Services master planning, a new design for the bookstore, a student driver policy, a senior prototype house project and planning auxiliary services’ role in the new Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center. He’s also placing new laundry and vending machines on various sites on campus.

To get these tasks done, he meets daily with managers of each auxiliary service or campus service and discusses issues and university priorities. In addition, he seeks input from students, student groups and parents. He responds to concerns about student services and costs of those services.

“Faculty members will ask for more vending machines, and parents call with food service questions,” he says. “I deal with stuff like this all the time.”

Cunard, who holds degrees in zoology, chemistry, counseling psychology and higher education, spent 12 years working at Loyola University; nine years at Colorado State and eight years at the University of Virginia. During those stints he managed housing programs, student life and activities, bookstores, retail issues and other auxiliary services.

Three years ago, the Rhode Island native applied for the newly-created director of Auxiliary Operations and Campus Services position at Wesleyan.

“Along with the challenges of the job, being part of a small, New England university seemed like a perfect next step in my already exciting career,” he says.

At Wesleyan, Cunard is part of several campus committees that meet to discuss ways to better services on campus. These include the Dining Services Advisory Committee, the Bookstore Advisory Committee, the Campus Auxiliaries and Facilities Advisory Committee, the Graduate Student Housing Advisory Committee and the Scheduling and Events Committee.

Through these committees, Cunard has the opportunity to meet with students and staff from other departments. They discuss issues such as student living conditions and housing needs, meal choices, book prices and bookstore services, campus events and other services.

Cunard helps Wesleyan staff and faculty find places to live through the Rental Properties Program and House Sales Program. He also contributes to creating living space for local residents. As a Middlesex Habitat for Humanity board member and site supervisor, Cunard devotes much of his free time helping to build homes with other Habitat members. He also spends time with his wife of 36 years, Donna, his grown daughters Sarah and Elisabeth, and his 10-month-old granddaughter, Brianna.

In whatever time is left, Cunard enjoys restoring foreign cars. In the past-three years, he’s refinished a Triumph TR6 and Jaguar XKE, as well as an MGB for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Currently he’s half-way finished with an Austin Healey 3000.

“I put them in shows, or drive them to work or around town. They’re just my passion,” he says.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Assistant Dean of Student Services Co-Advises Student Judicial Board


Kevin Butler, assistant dean of Student Services, is the contact person for students with physical differences and co-advisor of the Student Judicial Board.
 
Posted 09/09/05
Q: When were you hired at Wesleyan?

A: I was hired in fall of all 2004 and started in January 2005 as the assistant dean of Student Services.

Q: What led you to working at Wesleyan?

A: I have excelled in conflict resolution and judicial affairs at several institutions. I thought it would be interesting to advise a student judicial board, which is something I hadn’t done before.

Q: And what is your role with the Wesleyan Student Judicial Board?

A: I’m co-advisor with Michael Whaley. It gives me the opportunity to mentor students and help them understand what it means to “uphold community standards,” and how to successfully communicate that through the decisions the Board makes.

Q: Where did you learn about the judicial board process?

A: I have worked on judicial boards at Johnson and Wales and been the primary judicial hearing officer for my area as a hall director and area coordinator at Bryant University, Johnson and Wales and Quinnipiac University. In total I have about eight years experience being involved in judicial processes at various institutions. I wanted to be a part of a process that leaned more towards student involvement rather solely administrators making all the decisions.

Q: What are your other duties as an assistant dean?

A: My position exists to support students in their endeavor to succeed here at Wesleyan. In addition, I have replaced Dean Rick Culliton as the main contact for student with physical differences. Last semester I was able to streamline the process for students who need accommodations under The Americans with Disabilities Act/504 who requested housing and other accommodations. The next step for me will be to start working to offer programming that may help our community become more aware of how people with physical and learning differences are living and functioning every day.

Q: Do you interact with students on a daily basis?

A: I do have some interaction with students on a daily basis, however not as much as I would like. Because I’m new on the staff here, students are just realizing that I can be a resource for them. During orientation for the class of ’09 I was able to meet a number of incoming and returning students and start building a rapport with them.

Q: What are some of their concerns or questions, and how do you go about resolving problems?

A: I have had the opportunity to talk with some students regarding judicial procedures, sanctions and disability and difference accommodations but I think that being here at the beginning of the term will make it easier for me to make connections with students.

I am very honest with students. When they come to me seeking advice I try to be constructive and developmental. If I don’t know the answer to a questions I try to steer them in the right direction towards someone who is better suited to provide them with the information they are seeking. I always try to get the student to look at both sides of any situation and empower the student to speak up for themselves if that is necessary and/or take responsibility for their part in the situation.

Q: What other offices do you meet or collaborate with?

A: I collaborate with Graduate Student Services, Residence Life, the Class Deans, Health Services, Behavioral Health and Student Activities and Academic Affairs.

Q: Do you feel most students are aware of all the services Wesleyan offers?

A: Probably not. I only say that because there so many.

Q: What goes on during your day here?

A: It varies from day to day. It is the way Student Affairs professionals survive. It is extremely difficult to anticipate what any day will bring. I am very happy to be working at an institution where my student affairs colleagues understand how important it is to be flexible and have a wealth of knowledge regarding student life issues that ensures our preparedness in case of emergency and celebration.

Q: Why do you enjoy working with students and their issues?

A: I enjoy working with all students but especially those students that are working through situations for the first time. I enjoy having conversations with students regarding their reasons for being at Wesleyan and how getting an education may be one of the most important things they will ever do.

Q: What qualities does it take to be the assistant dean of Student Services?

A: When I am asked this question I am reminded of a book I once read in Philosophy 400 class “Insight into Insight”. One of the books topics was the “ah-ha” factor; the realization of an idea. When you are able to witness that process it can be absolutely inspirational. It takes patience and understanding to work in Student Services. There always seems to be someone who needs something. And there’s the rub. Helping students is what keeps me enthused about what I do.

Q: Where did you attend college and what are your degrees in?

A: I got my bachelor’s of arts in theater from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and my master’s of fine art in performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Q: Are you still interested in the arts? What else?

A: I am very interested in film and theater. I used to play a lot of racquetball until I came to Wesleyan. Now I play a lot of squash. I sing in my church choir and play volleyball once a week. I do a little writing when I can which has been happily complicated by the birth of my son.

Q: And what is his name? And your wife’s?

A: Marshall. He’s seven months old. My wife Carleen works at Quinnipiac University. She coordinates community service and experiential learning.

Q: What sums up your personality?

A: I am always willing to help.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wes-HAUL Volunteers Help Make the Move


 

At top, Wes-Haul volunteers Daniel Rubin ’06 and Hanako Moondance ’06 carry a refrigerator into freshman Jennifer Bunin’s room in the Fauver Field Residence during Arrival Day Aug. 29. At right, Ian Renner ’08 helps carry students’ belongings into Clark Hall.

 
Posted 09/09/05
U-HAUL? Not here. Leave that up to Wes-HAUL, a team of volunteers that welcomed new students to campus. They unloaded cars, carried belongings, directed traffic and answered questions during students’ Arrival Day Aug. 29.

Wes-HAUL started five years ago as a small University Relations initiative and has evolved into a cross-university effort. More than 35 volunteers, including Wesleyan staff members, five spouses and kids of staff members, Diversity Peer Educators, and members of the football team, participated this year. All volunteers received a Wes-HAUL t-shirt, breakfast and lunch.

“This year, everyone worked so hard and was genuinely welcoming despite the hot and humid day,” says Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations and secretary of the Alumni Association. “I love being part of the team and I look forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come.”

Wes-HAUL volunteer Ian Renner ’08 manned Clark Hall, where lived during his freshman year. By 10:30 a.m. he had already moved in two mattress covers and two car loads worth of student belongings.

“I’m enjoying meeting and welcoming the freshmen,” he says, during a break. “It’s good to see the new people moving in the hall.”

Daniel and Louise Walunis of Cleveland, Ohio appreciated the Wes-HAUL help when moving their daughter, Valerie ’09 into her residence.

“Before I could even park the car and return, they had moved everything in,” Daniel Walunis says. “The helpers made the transition very smooth. It was well managed.”

Christine Colfer, administrative assistant for Regional Programs and Networks volunteered for Wes-HAUL, a “once a year opportunity” to meet new students and parents. Her husband, Daniel Colfer, a Public Safety officer, and their daughter Haynie, 12, were also on hand to help.

“Being a staff member, I don’t get to get out much and see the kids and the dorms,” Christine Colfer says from the Fauver Field Residences. “And they give you lunch and a t-shirt. What could be better?”

Kiersten Haynie liked what she saw, too.

“I want to come to Wesleyan someday,” Haynie says. “It seems like a good place to go to school.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer next year can call 860-685-3836 or e-mail mjkingsley@wesleyan.edu.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

100 Expected at Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend


Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations, Ciaran Escoffery ’00 and Roxanne Williams ’98 share a laugh during a previous Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend at Wesleyan.
 
Posted 09/09/05

When Karen and Michael Haley sent their son, John ‘07, to Wesleyan in 2004, they were anxious to learn more about the community in which he would be spending the next four years.

That year, they attended an Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend. They not only became informed, they became involved.

“We were so impressed that weekend with how cordially we were welcomed and made to feel a part of the Wesleyan community, that we decided to become parent volunteers,” Michael Haley says. “Our son is our one and only and it has always been our pleasure to participate in his activities.”

The Haleys will return to campus Sept. 23-24 to attend another Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend. They are among more than 100 registered for the informational event.

“Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend is designed to better inform both new and experienced volunteers about all the exciting things that are happening here, and give us a chance to thank our volunteers for the time and talents they give to Wesleyan,” says Gemma Ebstein, director of Alumni and Parent Relations.

During the course of the weekend, volunteers have the option of attending Wesleyan Annual Fund (WAF) and other Alumni Association meetings, as well as special programs with Wesleyan President Doug Bennet, Vice President for University Relations Barbara Jan Wilson and Board of Trustees chairman Jim Dresser ’63. Jack Mitchell ’61, CEO and chairman of Mitchells of Westport, Conn. and Richards of Greenwich, Conn. and author of Hug Your Customers, The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, is this year’s keynote speaker.

Two special classes, “Parent Volunteering 101” and “Electronic Tools and Resources for Alumni and Parent Volunteers” will be offered. In addition, attendees will receive a tour of the new Fauver Residence Halls.

Since attending the first volunteer weekend, the Haleys have twice assisted at WESeminars; volunteered for Spring and Fall calling; spoke at two WestFest Parent-To-Parent Seminars; volunteered at a swimming championship, and twice volunteered to assist with moving-in day. This year they will become members of the WESeminar Committee and the Executive Committee of the Parents’ Council.

“Since my son so much enjoys being on campus with his friends, he only comes home for school holidays, so being on campus gives us an excuse to occasionally have lunch or dinner with him,” Karen Haley says. “More importantly, we also get to meet other parents whose students are facing the same experiences and challenges as John and have the opportunity to exchange practical information and ideas with them.”

The Wesleyan Annual Fund National Committee, WESeminar Committee, Parents Council Executive Committee, Nominating Subcommittee, Alumni Association Executive Committee, and several 2006 Reunion Committees will hold meeting during the weekend.

Wesleyan has approximately 3,401 active volunteers and always welcomes more.

Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations, urges guests who have never volunteered to attend this event. She guarantees they’ll leave with a volunteer assignment.

“Some volunteers help with a single event or project a year, while others chair a club or committee and give their time to Wesleyan every week,” Kingsley says. “But each and every one of them is important. They are the nuts and bolts behind planning events, raising funds and building Wesleyan’s reputation.”

The weekend is free of charge and financial assistance is available to help with travel and accommodations for those who need it. Volunteers are welcome to bring guests, spouses and children.

Shuttles will be available to transport guests between campus and the Inn at Middletown, where several of the sessions will take place, throughout the weekend.

For more information or to register for Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend, contact Kingsley at mjkingsley@wesleyan.edu or call 860-685-3836, or Camille Dolansky, assistant director of Parent Programs at cdolansky@wesleyan.edu or call 860-685-3756.

Additional information on volunteering opportunities can be found at http://www.wesleyan.edu/alumni/volunteers or at http://www.wesleyan.edu/parents/volunteer/.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor