On April 17, more than 30 alumni, parents and community members and 80 student-athletes participated in an Alumni Athletics Mentoring Workshop in Beckham Hall. As part of the program, mentors met with female student-athletes to speak about career options.
Student-athlete Melissa Leung ’16 has first-hand knowledge of the workshop’s value. “At last year’s event, I met my mentor, Clare Colton ’12,” says Leung, who attended the event for the second year in a row. “Clare provided resume and email etiquette advice and connected me with Jim Citrin (P’12 P’14), senior director of Spencer Stuart, who created an internship position for me with Spencer Stuart in Shanghai last semester, during my semester abroad.”
(Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)
Former Wesleyan field hockey and lacrosse player Suzi Byers ’94 shares her experience with Rosemary Martin ’16 at the mentoring event.
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Wesleyan welcomed about 450 admitted students and their families to campus April 15-17 to experience life at Wesleyan first-hand. Visitors had an opportunity to explore all that Wes has to offer through tours of campus, film studies, science facilities, the Center for the Arts, and the theater department; parent-to-parent and student-to-student panels; departmental and center open houses; and a student activities fair, as well as lectures, performances and film screenings. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15, Hannah Norman ’16, Gabe Rosenberg ’16, Dena Matthews and Lauren Rubenstein.)
The Cardinal made an appearance, April 15.
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On April 17, 30 senior and BA/MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research to the Wesleyan community. Nearly 100 people attended the annual Celebration of Science Theses poster session, which was held in the Exley Science Center lobby.
The event was co-organized by Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, director of the service learning center; and Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)
Dara Lorn ’15 discussed his research, “Progress to Biofunctionalized Rotaxanes.”
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Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy, campus director of the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium, reports that several students and faculty have recently been awarded grants for their research in astronomy. (Photo c/o Redfield)
Several Wesleyan students and faculty were recently awarded grants for research by NASA’s Connecticut Space Grant Program. Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy and campus director of NASA’s CT Space Grant Consortium, was excited about the number of winners.
“I was thrilled to see how successful Wesleyan was this year in getting grants through NASA’s CT Space Grant program,” wrote Redfield. “It demonstrates the diversity and quality of work we do that is aligned with NASA’s mission.”
“The grants this year support undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research, as well as special events organized by faculty at Wesleyan to promote exposure and career development in STEM fields,” explained Redfield.
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Vera Schwarcz, the Freeman Professor of History and East Asian Studies, professor of history, delivered the 40th Annual Mansfield Freeman Lecture on April 16. She spoke in Daniel Family Commons on “The Human Dot on Yellow Mountain: Re-thinking 45 Years of China Study.” (Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)
For more than four decades, Schwarcz has grappled with intellectual dilemmas surrounding a changing reality in China. She has written extensively about comparative history, trauma and memory, as well as the role of intellectuals in the pursuit of the truth.
In her lecture, Schwarcz offered a retrospective gaze upon the turning points in Western understanding of China, and upon the impact of the Freeman Legacy in East Asian Studies at Wesleyan. She also examined the cultural context that shapes our shifting views of China today.
Since 1976, the Mansfield Freeman Lecture has featured an outstanding scholar or other luminary in the field of East Asian Studies.
On April 15, faculty and staff met to share their service- and project-based learning stories during an Academic (Technology) Roundtable lunch at the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. A(T)R lunches are designed to promote conversation, cooperation and the sharing of information, ideas and resources among faculty members, librarians, graduate students and staff.
Barbara Juhasz, director of service-learning, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, led the session, providing an overview of service-learning at Wesleyan as well as the variety of ways that service can be used as a pedagogical tool. Other speakers included Rob Rosenthal, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology; Peggy Carey-Best, Health Professions Partnership Initiative advisor; Cathy Lechowicz, director of the Center for Community Partnerships; Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center; Janet Burge, associate professor of computer science; Jim Donady, professor of biology, director of Health Professions Partnership Initiative; Anna Shusterman, associate professor of psychology; and Katja Kolcio, associate professor of dance.
Jim Donady discusses his ongoing service-learning work at Connecticut Valley Hospital. Left to right: Donady; Sara MacSorley, who shared how service-learning courses can interface with programs at Green Street; Janet Burge, who spoke about how project-based activities are incorporated into her service-learning course, Software Engineering; and Director of Service Learning Barbara Juhasz.
Writing in The Daily Beast, President Michael Roth reviewed In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria, a refreshing change from the scores of books published in recent years decrying the state of higher education. Roth writes:
Into this atmosphere of cynicism and spleen, Fareed Zakaria offers a compact, effective essay on the importance of a broad, contextual education. Cheerfully out of step with the strident critics of higher ed, In Defense of a Liberal Education is a reminder that American colleges and universities are a powerful resource that has allowed so many young people to learn about themselves and their ability to have a positive impact on the world. Although he is well aware of the pressures on advanced study in this time of economic anxiety, Zakaria has confidence that the resources for addressing contemporary challenges lie within the very traditions being criticized.
Zakaria writes of his own personal journey through higher education, and “presents a brief sketch of its history in Europe and the United States.” Roth writes, “Most powerful in his personal and general history is his commitment to the idea that flexibility and judgment are enhanced by an education that toggles between deep engagement with specific material and the exploration of possible interconnections across a wide variety of fields.”
Duminda Ranasinghe, a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry, spoke April 16 in Exley in the fourth event of the Graduate Student Speaker Series. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16.)
Ranasinghe gave a talk titled “Computational Chemistry: Chemistry Without Chemical.”
Computational chemistry uses quantum mechanics to predict reactions and molecular properties.
Over the past decade, computational chemistry has become popular with chemists as a tool to explore reactions and molecules. At Wesleyan, researchers are making reliable computational methods, which are accurate and faster than what is currently available.
David Csere, winner of the Morgenstern-Clarren Social Justice Award, is known for his legendary grilled cheese sandwiches and knack for memorizing student’s birthdays.
In this Q&A we sit down with David McClure Csere, chef for Bon Appétit, recipient of the 2015 Morgenstern-Clarren Social Justice Employee Prize. The award was created in 2009 in memory of Peter Morgenstern-Clarren ‘03 who pursued social justice while a student at Wesleyan. Morgenstern-Clarren’s activism included securing benefits for Wesleyan custodial staff, participating in the United Student and Labor Action Committee, and contributing his leadership to the campus chapter of Amnesty International. Peter’s parents, Dr. Hadley Morgenstern-Clarren and the honorable Pat Morgenstern-Clarren of Shaker Heights, Ohio, are sponsoring this award that honors their son’s activism for the public good.
Q: When and why did you decide to work for Wesleyan?
A: When I graduated from UCONN I worked a sales job and didn’t really like it. I wanted to work with my hands, to make things from scratch. After working odd jobs, I was finally given an opportunity to work as a cook, and then took classes to develop my chef skills. It was basically an apprenticeship program. After completing that training program, I applied to Wesleyan and was offered a job. That was in 1983, so I’ve worked here for more than 31 years.
Q: What is the best part about working for Wesleyan?
A: Meeting and interacting with the students. I like to go to at least one game of all of the Wesleyan sports each year. I also attend the senior thesis video and art projects.
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Beginning July 1, Marc Eisner will serve as Dean of the Social Sciences, Ellen Nerenberg as Dean of Arts and Humanities, and Joseph Knee as Dean of the Sciences and Mathematics.
Eisner’s appointment was announced April 17, while the appointments of Nerenberg and Knee were made at the faculty meeting in November 2014. Eisner will succeed Joyce Jacobsen; Nerenberg will succeed Andrew Curran; and Knee will succeed Ishita Mukerji.
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The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires and departures for March 2015.
Zachariah Pfeifer was hired as coordinator of Greek life on March 2.
Julian Goldfield was hired as desktop support specialist and art workshops technology administrator on March 2.
Pierina Cheung was hired as a research associate on March 6.
Francesca Livermore was hired as digital projects librarian on March 16.
Alexander Vazquez was hired as the instructional media specialist on March 23.
Kera Jewett was hired as a development officer on March 30.
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On April 10, the Career Center hosted its second annual Connect@WES: Creating Connections, an on-campus event bringing together alumni, parents and recruiters as expert advisors for brief one-on-one networking sessions with students. More than 100 students and 32 advisors—including 25 Wesleyan alumni and parents—attended the event in Beckham Hall. Speakers at the event included Ed Heffernan ’84, president and CEO of Alliance Data, who spoke to students about big data and the usefulness of a liberal arts education in business; Evan Shapiro P’17, executive vice president of digital enterprises at NBCUniversal, who held two breakout sessions for students interested in careers in digital media and the business side of the entertainment industry; and Zack Potter-Vose ’06, academic dean of Achievement First in Hartford, who held a session for students interested in careers in education. (Photos by Dat Vu.)
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