Olivia Drake

20 Employees Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

The following employees received Cardinal Achievement Awards during the past few months for their efforts in demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with their work at Wesleyan.

This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for their extra efforts:

Noreen Angeletti Assistant Director Student Accounts Office
Jennifer Bomar Faculty Resource Specialist Academic Affairs
Marianne Calnen Associate Director of Gift Planning University Relations
Jennifer Curran Director, Continuing Studies and Graduate Liberal Studies Program Graduate Liberal Studies Program
Matthew Elson Unix Systems Administrator Information Technology Services
Gladys Fountain Payroll Administrator, NRA Compliance Finance Office
Hrissi Haldezos Associate Director of Student Accounts Student Accounts Office
Brandi Hood Senior Project Manager Physical Plant – Facilities
Linda Hurteau Library Assistant V/Science Library Science Library
Steven Jacaruso Art Director University Communications
Susan Krajewski Senior Associate Registrar Registrar’s Office
Tara Lindros Associate Dean of Admission Admissions
Kathy Macko Administrative Assistant V/Alumni Education University Relations
Jeff Murphy Facilities Business Manager Physical Plant – Facilities
Daniel Pflederer HRMS Functional Specialist Information Technology Services
Alan Rubacha Director of Physical Plant Physical Plant – Facilities
Andrew Stuerzel Development Officer University Relations
Karri Van Blarcom Associate Registrar Registrar’s Office
Amy Walsh Associate Director of Employee Benefits Human Resources Department
Janice Watson Coordinator of International Student Services Office of Student Affairs/Dean’s Office


Human Resources Advisory Group Formed

The Human Resources Advisory Group, formed in November 2017, is the voice between administrative staff and senior leadership. It is a consultative body in which members share ideas and provide input on issues of importance to staff. The members of the Human Resources Advisory Group discuss and provide feedback on institutional policies and practices and broader issues related to numerous work/life topics. The group solicits and expresses opinions, represents staff ideas, makes suggestions and recommendations for change.

Members include:

Luigi Solla, associate dean of admission; Michelle Jarvis, associate director of financial aid; Rachel Ludwig, deputy director of athletics; Joy Vodak, associate director of the Office of Academic Affairs; Rhoanne Esteban, data analyst; Deb Treister, director of planning and administration; Trisha Stephenson Gordon, administrative manager/Affirmative Action specialist; and Lauren Rubenstein, manager of media relations and public relations.

Also Patrick Bohan, video producer; Kevin Butler, assistant dean of students; Liliana Carrasquillo-Vasquez, assistant director of residential life; Barbara Spadaccini, senior project leader; Joe Rich, user services manager; Robert Mirabal, director of student accounts; and Jeff Murphy, facilities business manager.

9 Classes Offered by Wesleyan’s Institute for Lifelong Learning

The Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning provides educational opportunities outside of formal degree-granting programs to members of the broader community. Wesleyan University has been devoted to liberal learning since its founding in 1831. This program is an extension of that mission—a dedication to the improvement of human well-being by means of education throughout the course of life.

“Curiosity is ageless! This new year promises to be a fascinating one, with another intriguing round of WILL course offerings,” says Richard Friswell, associate director of the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning. “Delve into the work of literary icons like Chekhov, Shakespeare and Hemingway. Create your own memoir or share laughs and a fancy two-step with comedic American icon, Will Rogers. Travel a road back in time with Chaucer as he spins his Canterbury Tales, or ‘romance the stone’ as you explore 19th-century English painting. Adventure awaits!”

During the Spring 2018 semester, WILL will offer the following courses:

  • Maybe It’s My Imagination: Writing Memoir and Fiction
  • Once Upon a Time: Short Stories in Pairs
  • Meet me at Les Deux Magot: The Lost Generation in 1920s Paris
  • Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
  • Romantic Landscapes of Constable and Turner: Common Goals, Contrasting Outcomes
  • Masterminds and Martyrs: Women in Ancient Greek Drama
  • A Shakespearean Romance, The Winter’s Tale
  • Russian Theater on the Eve of Revolution
  • Be Amused by the Muse of Classic American Humor

Enrolled students will have access to the academic resources of Wesleyan University, including Olin Library. Classes are conveniently scheduled in the afternoons and early evenings. Parking is available and classrooms are accessible. Classes will be quite small, with a few exceptions, allowing close interactions between instructors and students.

Online registration is now open. For more information email will@wesleyan.edu.

Basinger Speaks to Staff about Film Studies, Musicals

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, spoke on her latest work during a luncheon for staff, Nov. 28 in Daniel Family Commons. Basinger, who has been employed at Wesleyan for 58 years, recently completed her 12th book manuscript with a working title of Musicals: History and Definition. The book tells the history of the musical and defines the genre.

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, spoke on her latest work during the Staff Luncheon Series Nov. 28 in Daniel Family Commons. Basinger, who has been employed at Wesleyan for 58 years, recently completed her 12th book manuscript with a working title of “Musicals: History and Definition.” The book tells the history of the musical and defines the genre. Basinger, who’s collected film memorabilia her entire life, said film studies is a relatively new field of study. “Film was officially born in 1895, it wasn’t until the 1960s that it began to become an academic field. Wesleyan was one of the pioneers; we were one of the first universities (in the country) to add it to our curriculum.”

University Relations Collects Items for Puerto Rico

During University Relations’ Jammin’ Holiday Party on Dec. 13, staff collected more than 1,000 items for Puerto Rico residents affected by Hurricane Maria.

University Relations employees load a vehicle with donations for Puerto Rico.

Items included:
128.5 lbs. of pet food
795 diapers and baby wipes
13 gallons of water
186 cans/boxes of food
41 towels
12 blankets/pillows
99 books/toys
4 solar lights
248 oz. of hand sanitizer
5 can openers
3 power strips
5 first aid kits
3 sunscreens
12 insect repellents

Carpooling Matching Event Feb. 20

Whether you live in Middletown or elsewhere in the region, commuting to work is often time-consuming, stressful and costly. Setting up a carpool—an arrangement between people to travel together in a single vehicle—is a great way to save money, connect with coworkers and cut your carbon footprint, explains Sustainability Director Jennifer Kleindienst.

The Wesleyan Sustainability Office, in conjunction with CT Rides (a service of CT DOT), is hosting an Employee Commuter Event in February for Wesleyan faculty and staff. This will be a chance to meet other faculty and staff who live near you and potentially find a carpool buddy. CT Rides helps commuters find the best way to get to work or school and offers information and resources for travel options throughout Connecticut.

The event will take place from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Usdan 110. RSVP by Friday, Feb. 16, at bit.ly/ctridesrsvp. Contact Jen Kleindienst at jkleindienst@wesleyan.edu with any questions.

Juhasz Authors Eye Movement Study on Compound-Word Processing

Barbara Juhasz

An article by Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, has been published in the January 2018 edition of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. The study, titled “Experience with compound words influences their processing: An eye movement investigation with English compound words” appears in Issue 71, pages 103–12.

Recording eye movements, Juhasz explains, provides information on the time-course of word recognition during reading. Eye movements also are informative for examining the processing of morphologically complex words such as compound words.

In this study, Juhasz examined the time-course of lexical and semantic variables during morphological processing. A total of 120 English compound words that varied in familiarity, age-of-acquisition, semantic transparency, lexeme meaning dominance, sensory experience rating and imageability were selected.

The impact of these variables on fixation durations was examined when length, word frequency and lexeme frequencies were controlled in a regression model. Juhasz discovered that the most robust effects were found for familiarity and age-of-acquisition, indicating that a reader’s experience with compound words significantly impacts compound recognition. These results provide insight into semantic processing of morphologically complex words during reading.

In 2003, Juhasz and her former graduate mentor, Professor Keith Rayner, co-authored a related study on “Investigating the effects of a set of intercorrelated variables on eye fixation durations in reading,” published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. This study examined the impact of five-word recognition variables, however focused on relatively short, morphologically simple words.

Juhasz’s new article is published in a special issue devoted to honoring Rayner, who passed away in 2015. Rayner, the Atkinson Family Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, oversaw an Eyetracking Lab at the university.

“Keith was a very well-respected cognitive scientist who was a pioneer in using eye movements to study reading processes,” Juhasz said. “I’m honored that I could follow up on research that we worked on together more than a decade ago and have it published in this special issue.”

Paige’s Short Stories Published in Literary Magazines

Paula Paige, adjunct professor of romance languages and literatures, emerita, is the author of five short stories published in literary magazines in 2016-18. These include:

Flu Story” published in Newfound, Vol, 8, Issue 2, 2018. 

Daddy,” published in The Umbrella Factory, Issue 29, September 2017.

“Roman Ruins:  an Update on a Once Great Beauty,” published in Artes Magazine, May 26, 2017.

The Baby Sitter,” published by the Diverse Arts Project, August 2016.

Gluten and Other Abominations,” published by Sundress Publications, June 2016.

Paula Paige taught at Wesleyan for 30 years. She is the recipient of the 2010 Our Stories Gordon Award for her flash fiction piece “Mosiach is Here.” Most recently, she was shortlisted for Glimmer Train’s February 2014 Short Story Award for New Writers, and First Runner-up in Red Hen Press’s 2015 Short Story Award. Paige also has translated two 19th century Italian literary fiction pieces with Northwestern University Press.

Psychology Course Focuses on Digital and Video Storytelling Projects

Lisa Dierker, the Walter Crowell University Professor of Social Sciences, professor of psychology, is teaching a digital intro version of the introductory psychology course (PSYC105), focused on learning social science content through digital and video storytelling projects.

The pilot is funded by the Davis Educational Foundation.

Students Prepare for Final Exams, Winter Recess

On Dec. 11, Caroline Kravitz '19 studied for her HIST 203 Modern Europe exam at Exley Science Center. "My finals aren't until next Saturday, but I want to get a good head start," she said. "I like to study alone at first to prepare, but then I prefer to study in groups because you can learn so much more from your peers."

On Dec. 11, Caroline Kravitz ’19 studied for her HIST 203 Modern Europe exam at Exley Science Center. “My finals aren’t until next Saturday, but I want to get a good head start,” she said. “I like to study alone at first to prepare, but then I prefer to study in groups because you can learn so much more from your peers.”

This week, in preparation for final exams, hundreds of students are flooding Olin Library, Science Library, Exley Science Center, Usdan University Center and other quiet spots seeking an area to study in solitude, while others are collaborating with classmates in groups.

Undergraduate and graduate classes ended on Dec. 8. Reading Period was held Dec. 9-12 and final exams end at 5 p.m. Dec. 16.

University housing closes on Dec. 17 and re-opens on Jan. 23, 2018, and spring semester classes for Wesleyan undergraduates and graduates begins on Jan. 25. Graduate Liberal Studies courses begin on Jan. 29.

Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore Decorates, Hosts Events for the Holidays

This December, the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore is decorated for the holidays and has a festive line up of activities and gifts for sale.

Santa Claus will read How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore on Dec. 16.

Santa Claus will read How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore on Dec. 16.

“Some of the most popular gifts this season are ‘Wesleyan’ embroidered fleece and sherpa jackets and the adorable knit Cardinal scarf with matching hat,” said RJ Julia Events Manager Liz Bartek. “Sweatshirts are always popular and students are buying W mugs and Moleskin journals to help prepare for exams.”

The bookstore hosted a Santa Letter Writing Workshops on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2. And on Dec. 7, the bookstore hosted a Holiday Appreciation Day for Wesleyan faculty and staff. Employees enjoyed refreshments while browsing the bookstore’s holiday catalog selections.

On Dec. 9, children were treated to a visit by City of Middletown Police Chief Bill McKenna and Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy the Bear. McKenna read stories, and at the end of the reading, Corduroy hosted a book signing party. Since 1968, this story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.

On Dec. 16, Santa Claus will read Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and at the end of the reading, The Grinch will hold a book signing Read more.

Photos of the bookstore are below: (Photos by Caroline Kravitz ’19 and Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

Panel Addresses “Islamophobia in the Age of Trump”

The Wesleyan Refugee Project hosted a faculty panel on "Islamophobia in the Age of Trump" Dec. 7.

The Wesleyan Refugee Project hosted a panel discussion on “Islamophobia in the Age of Trump” on Dec. 7 in Usdan Univesity Center. Speakers included Peter Gottschalk, professor of religion, professor of science in society, director of the Office of Faculty Career Development; Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies; and Muslim Chaplain Sami Aziz.