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New Short Story by Scibona Published in Harper’s

Salvatore Scibona, the Frank B. Weeks Visiting Assistant Professor of English, is the author of a new short story published in the September 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Titled, “Tremendous Machine,” the story follows Fjóla Neergaard, a failed fashion model, lacking direction, and living in seclusion at her wealthy parents’ vacant Polish country house. She sets out to purchase a sofa for the house, which contains almost no other furniture, and finds herself in an odd store full of pianos. She purchases a piano and signs up for lessons with an elderly, once famous pianist.

Ramos ’16 Studies Oceanography, Marine Policy in Hawaii

Robert Ramos '16 spent five weeks this summer at the Hawaii Pacific University’s Hawaii Loa campus, participating in a SEA Semester program called “Aloha ‘Aina: People & Nature in the Hawaiian Islands.” (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Robert Ramos ’16 spent five weeks this summer at the Hawaii Pacific University’s Hawaii Loa campus, participating in a SEA Semester program called “Aloha ‘Aina: People & Nature in the Hawaiian Islands.” (Photo by Olivia Drake)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Robert Ramos from the Class of 2016.

Q: Robert, where are you from and what is your major?

A: I’m from Philadelphia, and I’m a biology and earth and environmental sciences double major.

Ramos explained how the ship's sonar equipment works.

Ramos explained how the ship’s sonar equipment works.

Q: This summer you did a SEA Semester program, “Aloha ‘Aina: People & Nature in the Hawaiian Islands.” How did you become involved in the program?

A: I learned about the program from another Wesleyan student who had done it a few years ago. As a biology and E&ES double major, it sounded like it was right up my alley! At the time, I was thinking about how I was going to apply my studies—what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. This seemed like a good opportunity to explore new options.

SEA Semester does programs at sea all over the world. This summer just happened to be the trip to Hawaii, and I was very excited to go there! I also didn’t want to miss out on a whole semester on campus at Wesleyan, so this worked out well in that it was just five weeks in the summer.

Q: Please give us an overview of how you spent those five weeks.

A: I took two classes—on oceanography and marine policy—and did research on topics like ocean salinity, temperatures and currents.

New Patios to Provide Seating Areas along College Row

As part of the College Row sidewalk renovation in August, crews installed three stone patios and gardens. Once completed, seating areas and tables will offer community members and visitors areas to rest and enjoy the scenery.

Patio installation near 41 Wyllys.

Contractors work on a patio installation near 41 Wyllys on Aug. 18.

Wesleyan Hosting New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference Oct. 9-11

The 107th New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference will  be hosted by Wesleyan in Octobe

The 107th New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference will be hosted by Wesleyan in October. (Click to enlarge)

Wesleyan’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is hosting the 107th New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference Oct. 9-11 on campus and in the field. Several Wesleyan faculty, students and alumni are participating in the conference, which includes trips to local sites of ancient and modern geological interest.

Participants will have the opportunity to examine tectonic slivers of oceanic terrain near New Haven; explore groundwater flow patterns and geologic deposits in Bloomfield; observe a gravel bed channel affected by a dam removal on the Naugatuck River in Waterbury; learn about the bedrock geology in Collinsville; examine common continental facies that comprise the Jurassic Portland Formation in the Hartford Basin at multiple locations; observe mineral forming geoenvironments near Trumbull; study a cranberry bog restoration in Massachusetts, and much more.

In addition, Wesleyan’s Johan Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, and Ellen Thomas, University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, research professor of earth and environmental sciences, will lead a tour of coastal marshes

The Mash, “Bach to School” Kick Off CFA’s New Season

The Mash will kick off the 2015-16 Center for the Arts series on Setp. 11. Inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, the fourth annual festival highlights Wesleyan's student music scene.

The Mash will kick off the 2015-16 Center for the Arts series on Sept. 11. Inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, the fourth annual festival highlights Wesleyan’s student music scene.

Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts 2015-16 season includes two world premieres, one United States premiere, one New England premiere, four Connecticut debuts and the following events:

Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht will perform "Bach to School" at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Memorial Chapel. The concert will feature a lively recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck, Charles-Marie Widor, and John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce. (photo by Sandy Aldieri)

Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht will perform “Bach to School” at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Memorial Chapel. The concert will feature a lively recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck, Charles-Marie Widor, and John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce. (photo by Sandy Aldieri)

• Sept. 11: The Mash at Olin Library, North College, Center for the Arts and Foss Hill.
• Sept. 11: “Bach to School” at the Memorial Chapel with Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht
• Sept. 13: Music at The Russell House: Julie Ribchinsky Bach and the Modern World
• Sept. 16-Dec. 13: “R. Luke Dubois—In Real Time” exhibition in Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
• Sept. 17-Nov. 7: Eiko Otake — “A Body in Places”
• Sept. 18: Nicholas Payton Trio featuring Gerald Cannon and Herlin Riley
• Sept. 24: “Theater After Wesleyan” panel discussion
• Sept. 25-26: Connecticut debut of Dorrance Dance
• Sept. 28: The Combat Paper Project
• Oct. 7-11: 39th annual Navaratri Festival
• Oct. 9: Daniel Beaty performing “Mr. Joy”

Somera New Head Coach of Women’s Volleyball

Ben Somera is the new head coach of women's volleyball.

Ben Somera is the new head coach of women’s volleyball.

In this Q&A we speak to Ben Somera Jr., adjunct associate professor of physical education, head coach of volleyball. Somera joined the faculty at Wesleyan this summer.  

Q: Ben, welcome to Wesleyan! You had a very successful three-year stay at New England rival Roger Williams, building the Hawks into a regional and national power in women’s volleyball. What tempted you to make the move to Wesleyan?

A: I have coached collegiate volleyball for almost 20 years and have had the opportunity to experience four university cultures and how they operate.

It was important to me that Mike Whalen, our athletics director, wants to win in all sports. I have always believed that the characteristics that lead to academic success are the same for athletic success, and those student-athletes who are willing to prioritize, time-manage, and sacrifice are able to maximize their potential in the classroom and on the court.

Ulysse’s Author of Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle

Gina Athena Ulysse

Book by Gina Athena Ulysse.

Gina Athena Ulysse, professor of anthropology, is the author of Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle, published by Wesleyan University Press in 2015.

In this book, Ulysse, a Haitian-American anthropologist and performance artist, makes sense of her homeland in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.

Mainstream news coverage of the catastrophic earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, reproduced longstanding narratives of Haiti and stereotypes of Haitians. Cognizant that this Haiti, as it exists in the public sphere, is a rhetorically and graphically incarcerated one, Ulysse embarked on a writing spree that lasted more than two years. As an ethnographer and a member of the diaspora, Ulysse delivers a critical cultural analysis of geopolitics and daily life in a series of dispatches, op-eds and articles on post-quake Haiti.

Her complex yet singular aim is to make sense of how the nation and its subjects continue to negotiate sovereignty and being in a world where, according to a Haitian saying, tout moun se moun, men tout moun pa menm (all people are human, but all humans are not the same). This collection contains 30 pieces, most of which were previously published in The Haitian Times, Huffington Post, Ms Magazine, Ms Blog, NACLA and other print and online venues. The book is trilingual (English, Kreyòl and French) and includes a foreword by award-winning author and historian Robin D.G. Kelley.

Long Lane Farm Interns Sell Produce at North End Farmers Market

Connor Brennan ’18 and Tony Strack ’18 sold produce from Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm Aug. 21 at the North End Farmers Market in Middletown. Brennan spent the summer working as an intern for the student run organic farm, which provides students with a place to experiment and learn about sustainable agriculture.  The produce grown on Long Lane also is donated to Amazing Grace Food Pantry and served to students in Usdan University Center.

Connor Brennan ’18 and Tony Strack ’18 sold produce from Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm Aug. 21 at the North End Farmers Market in Middletown. Brennan spent the summer working as an intern for the student-run organic farm, which provides students with a place to experiment and learn about sustainable agriculture.
The produce grown on Long Lane also is donated to Amazing Grace Food Pantry and served to students in Usdan University Center.

Ben Daley ’18 and Seamus Edson ’18 provided musical entertainment during the North End Farmers Market. Ben also was a summer Long Lane Farm intern.

Ben Daley ’18 and Seamus Edson ’18 provided musical entertainment during the North End Farmers Market. Daley also was a summer Long Lane Farm intern.

Art History Research Team Led by Mark Wins Major Grant

Peter Mark on the summit of the Ortler, the highest mountain in the Italian Sudtirol, in August. At Wesleyan, Mark teaches a course on “The Mountains and Art History.” (Contributed photo)

Peter Mark on the summit of the Ortler, the highest mountain in the Italian Sudtirol, in August. At Wesleyan, Mark teaches a course on “The Mountains and Art History.” (Contributed photo)

An international research team headed by Professor of Art History Peter Mark has been awarded a grant for a project titled “African Ivories in the Atlantic World.” The $115,000 three-year grant from the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) will make it possible for the research team to carry out the first laboratory analyses of selected ivories, in order to determine more precisely the age and the provenance of these little-known artworks. In addition, team members will compile the first comprehensive catalogue of “Luso-African ivories” in Portuguese collections, as well as the first thorough study of those carvings that were exported to Brazil at an early date.

Mark is the co-founder and director of the research group, based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Grants Support New CEAS Faculty Positions, Japanese Language Databases

With support from The Japan Foundation, Wesleyan acquired three electronic databases including JapanKnowledge, a large collection of language dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, and other Japanese reference works for Japanese-only searches of historical terms and figures. It includes abbreviate version of the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan in English and full-text coverage of the Toyo Bunko and Shan Ekonomisuto (Weekly Economist).

With support from The Japan Foundation, Wesleyan acquired three electronic databases including JapanKnowledge, a large collection of language dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, and other Japanese reference works for Japanese-only searches of historical terms and figures. It includes an abbreviated version of the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan in English and full-text coverage of the Toyo Bunko and Shan Ekonomisuto (Weekly Economist).

The College of East Asian Studies (CEAS) received two major, multi-year grant awards to hire new faculty and improve library resources.

The Korea Foundation has awarded the CEAS a $314,330 five-year grant to support the hiring of a tenure-track faculty member in Korean political economy. The mission of The Korea Foundation is to promote better understanding of Korea within the international community and to increase friendship and goodwill between Korea and the rest of the world through various exchange programs. Located in Seoul, the foundation was established in 1991 with the aim to enhance the image of Korea in the world and also to promote academic and cultural exchange programs.

The Japan Foundation grant also supports the Yomiuri Shinbun, a full text database of the Yomiuri Shinbun from its initial publication in 1874 to date, as well as full text of the Daily Yomiuri, its English language equivalent, and a biographical dictionary of modern Japanese figures.

The Japan Foundation grant also supports the Yomiuri Rekishikan, a full text database of the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper from its initial publication in 1874 to date.

The Japan Foundation has awarded the CEAS a four-year grant to support a tenure-track faculty position in pre-modern Japanese literature as well as fund the library’s acquisition of new Japanese language digital materials, managed by EunJoo Lee, head of access services, at Olin Library. During the first year, Wesleyan will receive $197,125.

The new databases include JapanKnowledge, a large collection of language dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, and other Japanese reference works for Japanese-only searches of historical terms and figures; the Kikuzo II Visual for Libraries Database, which provides access to the newspaper Asahi Shimbun (full text from 1984 to the present); and the Yomidas Rekishikan database, which provides the full text of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun from its initial publication in 1874 to date, as well as full text of the Daily Yomiuri, its English language equivalent, and a biographical dictionary of modern Japanese figures.

The Japan Foundation, based in Tokyo, aims to deepen the mutual understanding between the people of Japan and other countries/regions. The foundation was established in 1972 as a special legal entity supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the objective of promoting international cultural exchange through a comprehensive range of programs in all regions of the world.

The faculty searches for both faculty positions will begin this fall with the new hires starting in the fall of 2016.

Mary Alice Haddad, chair of the College of East Asian Studies, professor of government, associate professor of environmental studies, is overseeing the CEAS awards.

Wilkins, Wellman, Schad ’13, MA ’14 Paper Examines Reactions to Claims of Anti-Male Bias

Clara Wilkins, assistant professor of psychology, has studied perceptions of discrimination against whites and other groups who hold positions of relative advantage in society—such as heterosexuals and men—since she was a graduate student at the University of Washington. She became became interested in the topic of perceptions of bias against high status groups after hearing Glenn Beck call president Barack Obama racist. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Clara Wilkins

A paper authored by Assistant Professor of Psychology Clara Wilkins, her former post-doc Joseph Wellman, and Katherine Schad ’13, MA ’14, was published in August in the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. 

Titled “Reactions to anti-male sexism claims: The moderating roles of status-legitimizing belief and endorsement and group identification,” the paper examines how people react to men who claim to be victims of gender bias, an increasingly common phenomenon. In particular, the researchers considered how status legitimizing beliefs (SLBs), which encompass a set of ideologies that justify existing status hierarchies, and gender identification (GID) moderated men’s and women’s reactions to a man who claimed to have lost a promotion because of anti-male sexism or another cause.

They found that for both men and women, SLB endorsement was was associated with a more positive reaction toward this man, consistent with theory that claiming bias against a high-status group reinforces the status hierarchy. With regard to group identification, they found that men evaluated the claimant more positively the more strongly they identified with their gender, while women who identified more strongly with their gender evaluated the claimant more negatively. The researchers also demonstrated that SLBs and GID moderated the extent to which the claimant was perceived as sexist. They discussed how these reactions may perpetuate gender inequality.

Hingorani’s DNA Mismatch Study Published in PNAS

Manju Hingorani

Manju Hingorani

Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, is the co-author of “MutL Traps MutS at a DNA Mismatch,” published in the July 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Postdoctoral researcher Miho Sakato also co-authored the article.

DNA mismatch repair is the process by which errors generated during DNA replication are corrected. Mutations in the proteins that initiate mismatch repair, MutS and MutL, are associated with greater than 80 percent of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer and many sporadic cancers. The assembly of MutS and MutL at a mismatch is an essential step for initiating repair; however, the nature of these interactions is poorly understood.

In this study, Hingorani, Sakato and their fellow researchers discovered that MutL fundamentally changes the properties of mismatch-bound MutS by preventing it from sliding away from the mismatch, which it normally does when isolated. This finding suggests a mechanism for localizing the activity of repair proteins near the mismatch.