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Wesleyan to Re-open Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 7 a.m.

Update, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m.: The University will re-open Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 7 a.m., and scheduled classes and events are expected to resume. It will be cold and windy, and members of the Wesleyan community are asked to exercise extreme caution when outside on campus. Although the grounds crew is working to clear parking lots, snowy walkways may be difficult, so please wear appropriate shoes. A Middletown street parking ban may still be in effect; extra parking (and shuttle service) will be available at Long Lane. Report slippery conditions requiring immediate attention by calling work order control at 860-685-3400.

Original Story:

Due to the arrival of a major winter storm, Wesleyan will be closing at 6 p.m. today, Jan. 26, and will remain closed tomorrow, Jan. 27. All events and classes are cancelled during this time. Normal operations are expected to resume the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 28. There will be an update at 4 p.m. tomorrow confirming when on Wednesday the University will reopen.

Heavy snow and strong winds are expected for this evening, continuing into Tuesday. Only essential personnel should report to work during the storm, and all students are encouraged to remain in their residences as much as possible.

Usdan University Center will be open 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. today and tomorrow. Usdan Marketplace, Summerfields, Red & Black Café and WesWings will maintain regular service hours through dinner tonight. Other dining options will close at 5 p.m. today. There will be no late night dining tonight. The Usdan Marketplace and WesWings will be the only dining venues open on Tuesday – WesWings will be open regular hours, and the Marketplace will open for brunch 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. and dinner 5 – 8 p.m. Normal operations will resume in all locations on Wednesday.

Libraries will open at noon tomorrow, and the Freeman Athletic Center will be closed tomorrow.

At 6 p.m. today, most faculty/staff parking lots will close. Faculty and staff who have permits to park in these lots and who would like to remain on campus beyond the closing time, are asked to relocate their vehicles to the V Lot on Vine Street or to the 56 Hamlin Street parking lot (former Physical Plant building). Faculty and staff who are traveling out of town should park in the Vine Street parking lot as a courtesy to colleagues. Faculty and staff may call Public Safety for a ride to and from the Vine Street lot at night if necessary.

Members of the Wesleyan community should call Public Safety for help with storm-related matters at 860-685-2345. For emergencies, call 860-685-3333.

Sea Animal Photographs on Display in Exley Science Center

An exhibit titled "Wakaya Octocorals and Giants" is on display in Exley Science Center. The 10 photographs in the display were taken by Joshua Boger '73, P'06, P'09 and feature reefs off Wakaya Island in Fiji. Boger has dived these reefs more than 200 times, spending more than a week underwater.

An exhibit titled “Wakaya Octocorals and Giants” is on display in Exley Science Center. The 10 photographs in the display were taken by Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09 and feature reefs off Wakaya Island in Fiji. Boger has dived these reefs more than 200 times, spending more than a week underwater. Pictured is a royal purple soft coral — Alcyonacea — photographed in 2013.

Sociology Major, Football Player Fabien ’15 Planning to Coach, Join Special Forces after Graduation

Jay Fabien '15 and his "rescued" husky, Glacier, hang out on Citrin Field Jan. 23. Fabien, formerly a wide-receiver for the Wesleyan Cardinals Football Team, hopes to coach student-athletes after graduation and later join the U.S Army Special Forces. 

Jay Fabien ’15 and his “rescued” husky, Glacier, hang out on Citrin Field Jan. 23. Fabien, formerly a wide-receiver for the Wesleyan Cardinals Football Team, hopes to coach student-athletes after graduation and later join the U.S Army Special Forces. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

He loves “chick-flicks” and played alto-sax in high school. But he also wants to earn a spot in the Special Forces after graduation. In short, the Cardinal’s No. 80 has many layers. They all start and end with respect, and comfort in being himself, on the field and off.

He’s no prima donna, even though he has only played one position since he was 9 — wide receiver. Being a distraction to the team is not in his DNA.

“I’ve never been that way,” said Jay Fabien ’15. “When I think of being a wide receiver, I think I have more of an opportunity to lay someone out because I’m down the field with the play. I love all aspects of the position, especially the dirty work.”

Israeli ’17 Speaks at Awards Gala Hosted by the Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Ella Israeli '17 mingled with entertainer/philanthropist Robert De Niro at the Ripple of Hope Gala and Awards Dinner, held Dec. 16 in New York City.  The event was supported by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Ella Israeli ’17 mingled with entertainer/philanthropist Robert De Niro at the Ripple of Hope Gala and Awards Dinner, held Dec. 16 in New York City.

Two Wesleyan students and two alumni participated in the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala and Awards Dinner in New York City in December.

Ella Israeli '17, Kennedy Odede '12 and Kiley Kennedy '16 shared a group hug at the Ripple of Hope Gala. 

Ella Israeli ’17, Kennedy Odede ’12 and Kiley Kennedy ’16 shared a group hug at the Ripple of Hope Gala.

During the event, Ripple Awards were presented to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, entertainers/ philanthropists Robert De Niro and Tony Bennett, and Physicians Interactive Chairman Donato Tramuto.

Ella Israeli ’17, a government major minoring in film studies film studies, was chosen to introduce New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who presented the Ripple of Hope Award to De Niro. Israeli also spoke about her involvement in the Center’s high school curriculum participation in the center’s film contest. Her speech is online here.

Kennedy Odede ’12, founder of Shining Hope for Communities, was honored as a defender of human rights. Kiley Kennedy ’16 and Edward “Ted” Kennedy Jr. ’83, P’16 also attended the event.

View Israeli’s website, with links to her videos, here.

Shapiro Translates Fables in a Modern Key

Book translated by Norman Shapiro.

Book translated by Norman Shapiro.

Norman Shapiro, professor of French, is the translator of Fables in a Modern Key (Fables dan l’air du Temps), published by Black Widow Press in 2015.

Fables was written by by Pierre Coran (whose real name is Eugene Delaisse), a poet and novelist of the Belgian French-language. One of Begium’s most renowned poets with some 45 poetry books published to date, he also is the author of 25 published novels, 24 books of fables, hundreds of comic book stories, and several albums which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His children’s stories and fables are published around the world, but this the first selection of his fables to be translated into English in a full length book format.

Astronomy Department Hosts Public Stargazing, Space Discovery Presentations

The Van Vleck Observatory on Foss Hill.

The Van Vleck Observatory on Foss Hill.

Beginning Feb. 4, Wesleyan’s Van Vleck Observatory will open to the public every Wednesday night, rain or shine, for presentations by faculty and students on the latest space-related discoveries, as well as a chance for everyone to view the sky through a telescope, weather permitting.

The program will start at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Presentations are intended to be accessible to visitors of all ages, although aimed primarily at high school level and above.

Johnson-Thornton is the New Dean for Equity and Inclusion

Renee Johnson-Thornton, dean for equity and inclusion.

Renee Johnson-Thornton, dean for equity and inclusion, is exploring ways to better understand the experiences students have that interfere with success and wellbeing. She has a deep commitment to social and environmental justice, conservation and environmental sustainability.

In this Q&A we speak with Renee Johnson-Thornton, dean for equity and inclusion.

Q: Renee, when did you come to Wesleyan and what was your first position? When did you join the Office of Equity and Inclusion?

A: I was hired in 1998 to be the associate director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. The Office of Equity and Inclusion was established in 2013 following the hiring of Vice President Antonio Farias. Prior to his arrival, I served as dean for diversity and student engagement from 2009-2013, and the associate coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program from 2000-2013. I also have held the following positions at Wesleyan: assistant dean for student academic resources from 2005-2006, and assistant to the dean of the college from 2000-2005.

Q: How would you describe your role as the dean for equity and inclusion?

A: The dean for equity and inclusion promotes access, education and compliance through collaboration with students, faculty, staff and alumni that engage the campus community in developing all students’ capacity to achieve at the highest level.

Miranda ’02, Tatum ’75, Price to be Honorary Degree Recipients at Wesleyan’s 183rd Commencement

Wesleyan will honor three remarkable leaders in their fields with honorary degrees at the university’s 183rd Commencement on May 24, 2015. Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, an award-winning composer, lyricist, writer and actor, will present the Commencement Address. Wesleyan also will award honorary degrees to Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75, president of Spelman College and an expert in race relations and higher education, and Michael Price, the longtime executive director of Goodspeed Musicals.

Lin-Manuel Miranda '02 (Photo courtesy of

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 (Photo courtesy of

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02
Lin-Manuel Miranda is the Tony and Grammy-winning composer-lyricist of Broadway’s In the Heights, which received four 2008 Tony Awards, with Miranda receiving a Tony Award for Best Score, and a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. In The Heights was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show’s first incarnation was staged at the ’92 Theater at Wesleyan in 2000. Miranda is also the co-composer/co-lyricist of Broadway’s Bring it On: The Musical, which received a 2013 Tony nomination for Best Musical. His latest stage work is Hamilton, a musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, which had its world premiere at the Public Theater in New York City in 2015.

Along with composer Tom Kitt, Miranda won the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy

Jenkins Reviews Book on Famed Artist Lempad in Jakarta Post

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins ’64, professor of theater, published a review of Lempad of Bali: The Illuminating Line in the Jan. 19 edition of the Jakarta Post. Jenkins had high praise for the book, which contains pictures of the works of Balinese architect and artist I Gusti Nyoman Lempad.

Jenkins wrote, “the aptly titled volume illuminates not only the exquisite lines of Lempad’s artwork, but also the intangible elements of Balinese identity that those lines represent.”

In addition to describing some of the noted works, Jenkins also commended the depth and insightfulness of the essays that accompanied each work. The essays were written by a team of scholars lead by the acclaimed Indonesian cultural researcher and author Bruce Carpenter.

Read the full review here.


Hurteau Earns Cardinal Achievement Award for Planning Library Project


Linda Hurteau

Linda Hurteau

Linda Hurteau, library assistant, was recently presented with a Cardinal Achievement Award for her work in anticipation of moving the Art Library collections into Olin Library. Hurteau created a plan to make space for and integrate transferred books from Olin Library into the Science Library.

She planned the project, supervised student employees to do a major shift of the Science Library’s monographic collection, and had the space allocated and ready when professional movers relocated the books. The planning work that Linda did resulted in significant savings to the library and the university. Hurteau also planned and initiated a project to create a separate oversize book area. The oversize shelves will help to preserve these materials by reducing the costs associated with rebinding books that are damaged by shelving them on edge or torqued when squeezed onto shelves of inadequate height or depth.

Lastly, Hurteau also undertook a project to integrate seven separate small collections into one when it became apparent that users were having difficulty locating individual items.

“Linda’s proactive approach to cost-savings and dedication to customer service deserve recognition. She is always looking for ways to improve the Science Library and the services we offer,” said Melissa Behney, science librarian.

This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for those extra efforts. Award recipients are nominated by department chairs and supervisors.

Nominations can be made anytime throughout the year. For more information or to nominate a staff member for the award, visit the Cardinal Achievement Award website. Recipients will continue to be recognized in News @ Wesleyan. See past Cardinal Achievement Award recipients here.

Bernstein ’15 Remembered for His “Large Personality,” Athleticism

Rex Bernstein ’15

Rex Bernstein ’15

Rex Bernstein ’15 died peacefully in his sleep Jan. 10 while visiting family in the San Francisco Bay area. He was pursuing a government major at Wesleyan with a minor in history. He was a former member of the Wesleyan swim team and a member of Beta Theta Pi.

Bernstein, 22, was “a large person with a large personality, and he will be missed by many here on campus,” wrote Dean Mike Whaley, vice president for student affairs.

Bernstein is survived by his parents and younger sister, Olive, and his dog, Gato. View Bernstein’s guestbook online here.

A memorial service is being planned by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Hovey to Serve as Interim Associate Provost

Mark Hovey, professor of mathematics and director of graduate studies, will serve as interim associate provost, part-time through May 15, and then full-time through Aug. 31. Hovey will focus on curricular initiatives and budget management.

Hovey came to Wesleyan in 1997 after receiving his BS from Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has taught at Yale, University of New Haven, University of Kentucky and MIT, and has been a regular speaker at international conferences in algebraic topology.

Hovey is the author of the book Model Categories and more than 50 scholarly papers. He has served as editor of publications including Advances in Mathematics and Homology, Homotopy, and its Applications and has been a referee for multiple journals, including Annals of Math, American Journal of Math and Topology.

At Wesleyan he has served as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and as a member of the Review and Appeals Board.

“Mark has been doing an excellent job as the director of graduate studies this year, and I know that he will contribute immensely to Academic Affairs, and to Wesleyan, as he takes on his new responsibilities as interim associate provost,” said Ruth Striegel Weissman, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Please join me in thanking Mark for taking in this important role.”