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Baerman’s Ensemble Performs The Rock World Premier During Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend April 22-25

The 14th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend will take place April 22-25 at the Center for the Arts. Noah Baerman, visiting instructor in music and jazz ensemble coach, will present the Music Department Colloquium on April 22.

Pianist, composer, educator and author Noah Baerman, visiting instructor in music and jazz ensemble coach, will present the Music Department Colloquium on April 22 as part of the 14th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend.

The Center for the Arts will host the 14th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend April 22-25. All events are free and open to the public.

On April 22, Noah Baerman, visiting instructor in music and jazz ensemble coach, will present the Music Department Colloquium at 4:15 p.m. in the Daltry Room, Music Rehearsal Hall Room 003. The event is free. During the colloquium, Baerman will discuss the philosophical origins and musical development of his suite The Rock and the Redemption in anticipation of its premiere on April 25. 

Art on Display at Senior Thesis Exhibition

View the talents of senior art studio majors during the 2015 Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through April 19. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is free of charge.

In the final year of study, each student develops a focused body of work, and mounts a solo exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery. This exhibition is the culmination of a two-semester thesis tutorial, and is developed in close critical dialogue with a faculty advisor. The exhibition is critiqued by the faculty advisor and a second critic, and must be passed by a vote of the faculty of the art studio program. The senior thesis exhibition provides a rare opportunity for the student to engage in a rigorous, self-directed creative investigation and in a public dialogue about his/her work.

Photos of Week 1 and Week 2 of the Senior Thesis Exhibit are below:

RETURN TO: Paradise by Gabe Gordon ’15.

“RETURN TO: Paradise” by Gabe Gordon ’15.

Moezzi ’01 to Speak on Living with Mental Illness April 7

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During the Noah Langholz ’14 Memorial Lecture April 7, Melody Moezzi ’01 will talk about living with mental illness. (Photo courtesy of Melody Moezzi)

Iranian-American Muslim feminist writer, attorney and activist Melody Moezzi ’01 will deliver the Noah Langholz ’14 Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. April 7 in Daniel Family Commons.

Moezzi, who earned a BA in philosophy, will speak about living with mental illness and the broader impact of stigma.

Moezzi will share her experiences living with bipolar disorder from her unique perspective as an Iranian-American Muslim feminist writer, attorney and activist thriving despite, and because of, a serious mental illness. Moezzi also will speak on seeking help and cultural barriers to care, among other issues. She will also sign copies of her memoir, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life (2014), which will be available for purchase after the talk.

Langholz’s family shared the following message:

Noah loved his many friends at Wes. He stopped seeking help with depression and anxiety as his condition worsened, and he took his life in 2013. This did not have to be. If you are in terrible pain, please tell someone. If your friend is in crisis, please don’t ignore their odd behavior – listen, intervene, and tell someone who can help. Know the signs. Cherish your lives; it gets better. Pass it on.

The event is sponsored by Active Minds, Muslim Life at Wesleyan, and Wesleyan Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Graduate Liberal Studies to Host Info Session April 29

gls

Graduate Liberal Studies offers courses in visual arts, art history, creative and professional writing, literature, history, mathematics, film, government, education, biology, psychology, astronomy and more.

 

Graduate Liberal Studies will host an information session for prospective students at 7 p.m. April 29 in the Office of Continuing Studies, 74 Wyllys Ave.

Attendees will meet with Office of Admissions staff, hear a full overview of the program — including curriculum and requirements — and receive materials

GRAMMY Foundation Grant Supports Loui’s Research on Epilepsy Intervention

Psyche Loui uses equipment like EEG to run experiments on music perception and cognition.

Psyche Loui uses equipment like EEG to run experiments on music perception and cognition. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Psyche Loui, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, was awarded a grant of $20,000 in March from the GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program to study a musical biofeedback-based intervention for epilepsy.

The grant will fund three different studies that combine EEG sonification, translational research and basic neuroscience for this type of intervention. Loui anticipates that the results will apply music technology as a possible solution to a neurological disorder affecting 65 million people worldwide.

Loui noted that for the approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy who don’t respond well to seizure medication,

Alejandro, Alumnae Collaborate on Choreography Project

Pedro Alejandro

Pedro Alejandro

Pedro Alejandro, associate professor of dance, Brittany Delany ’09 and Sarah Ashkin ’11 are collaborating on a new choreography project in New Mexico.

The project titled “Chancy Dancing” will premier at 8 p.m. April 11 at the Railyard Performance Center in Santa Fe. Marcela Oteiza, assistant professor of theater, is developing the visual design of the work.

The first half of the performance features Ashkin and other local choreographers’ most recent works spanning a spectrum of modern dance, dance theater and improvisational systems.

Loui Talks Tone-Deafness on Radio Health Journal

Psyche Loui is assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior.

Psyche Loui is assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior.

Psyche Loui, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, discussed the phenomenon of tone-deafness on Radio Health Journal.

Millions people go through life thinking they’re hopelessly tone-deaf when they are not–they can distinguish between correct and incorrect notes, yet they’re just unable to sing them properly. Ironically, those who are truly tone-deaf cannot hear such distinctions, and thus may be unaware of their condition.

“You’ll see some people who don’t really know that they’re tone-deaf,” said Loui.

Identifying tone-deafness can be done by having people listen to, rather than sing, music. Many people who are tone-deaf don’t enjoy music.

“Some people think it all sounds the same, some people think it sounds like clanging, some people think it’s just really unpleasant,” said Loui.

People who are truly tone-deaf make up on about 2-1/2 to 4 percent of the population. They’re more likely have family members who are also tone-deaf, suggesting genetics play a role.

“It’s really a wiring problem, really a difference in connectivity in major pathways of the brain for regions that are important for sound processing and regions that are important for sound production,” said Loui.

Hear the full interview here.

Kaus Investigates Protein Structure by Using X-Ray Crystallography

Katie Kaus, a PhD candidate in molecular biology and biochemistry, spoke on "Molecular Detectives: Investigating Protein Structure using X-ray Crystallography" during the Graduate Student Speaker Series March 26 in Exley Science Center.

Katie Kaus, a PhD candidate in molecular biology and biochemistry, spoke on “Molecular Detectives: Investigating Protein Structure using X-ray Crystallography” during the Graduate Student Speaker Series March 26 in Exley Science Center.

The molecular structure of proteins is an important component in studying how proteins interact with each other, providing information about how cellular processes are carried out by specific proteins, Kaus explained. By studying the structure of specific proteins, scientists can understand why germs make us sick.

The molecular structure of proteins is an important component in studying how proteins interact with each other, providing information about how cellular processes are carried out by specific proteins, Kaus explained. By studying the structure of specific proteins, scientists can understand why germs make us sick.

Kaus focused her presentation on members of a family of proteins called bacterial pore forming toxins (PFTs); specifically Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC) and Vibrio vulnificus hemolysin (VVH). These proteins are secreted by pathogenic strains of the aquatic bacteria, V. cholerae and V. vulnificus. V. cholerae is the human pathogen that causes cholera, an endemic disease in several parts of the world. V. vulnificus is found in contaminated seafood, such as raw oysters, as well as contaminated seawater. V. vulnificus most frequently causes gastrointestinal distress but can also cross from the gut into the blood stream resulting in lethal septicemia.

Kaus focused her presentation on members of a family of proteins called bacterial pore forming toxins (PFTs)–specifically Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC) and Vibrio vulnificus hemolysin (VVH). These proteins are secreted by pathogenic strains of the aquatic bacteria, V. cholerae and V. vulnificus. V. cholerae is the human pathogen that causes cholera, an endemic disease in several parts of the world. V. vulnificus is found in contaminated seafood, such as raw oysters, as well as contaminated seawater. V. vulnificus most frequently causes gastrointestinal distress but can also cross from the gut into the blood stream resulting in lethal septicemia.

VCC and VVH are homologous proteins that are secreted by their respective bacteria, bind to macromolecules at the surface of host cells, and undergo structural changes creating lytic pores in the host cell membrane. As part of her research, Kaus is interested in understanding how these bacterial proteins recognize and specifically attack human cells. Guided by biochemical assays, Kaus used a technique called X­-ray crystallography to identify structural relationships between VCC or VVH and the biomolecules each protein binds.

KVCC and VVH are homologous proteins that are secreted by their respective bacteria, bind to macromolecules at the surface of host cells, and undergo structural changes creating lytic pores in the host cell membrane. As part of her research, Kaus is interested in understanding how these bacterial proteins recognize and specifically attack human cells. Guided by biochemical assays, Kaus used a technique called X­-ray crystallography to identify structural relationships between VCC or VVH and the biomolecules each protein binds.

X-­ray crystallography involves obtaining protein molecules in a crystalline form and taking advantage of the manner in which an X­ray beam is diffracted by the atoms that make up these protein crystals, to determine their arrangement within the 3-D space of a protein molecule. Pictured, Kaus looks at crystals under a microscope in Hall Atwater Laboratory.

X-­ray crystallography involves obtaining protein molecules in a crystalline form and taking advantage of the manner in which an X­ray beam is diffracted by the atoms that make up these protein crystals, to determine their arrangement within the 3-D space of a protein molecule. Pictured, Kaus looks at crystals under a microscope in Hall-Atwater Laboratory.

By using this approach, Kaus identified similar, yet distinct molecular mechanisms employed by VCC and VVH to specifically recognize and attack host cell membranes. Understanding how these proteins specifically attack human cells will aid in developing treatments against V. cholerae and V. vulnificus infection.

By using this approach, Kaus identified similar, yet distinct molecular mechanisms employed by VCC and VVH to specifically recognize and attack host cell membranes. Understanding how these proteins specifically attack human cells will aid in developing treatments against V. cholerae and V. vulnificus infection. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Jenkins Writes About “Eye-Opening” Performance of Indonesian Dancers

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins

Professor of Theater Ron Jenkins wrote in The Jakarta Post about recent performances of Rateb Meuseukat, a form of Acehnese dance from Indonesia, at Wesleyan and a few other New England colleges, which gave American audiences “an eye-opening introduction to an aspect of the Muslim world that is rarely seen in the West.”

The group “Tari Aceh” performed at Wesleyan’s Crowell Concert Hall on Feb. 27. The day after the performance, some audience members returned for a workshop in which they learned how to do the movements they had seen onstage.

Jenkins writes:

Images of Muslim women in Western media often focus on the restrictive nature of head scarves and other customary clothing, but the dancers of Aceh shattered these naïve stereotypes through the liberating power of their performances.

The women’s colorful woven headscarves accentuated the sassy energy of their movements. Their modest costumes used traditional textiles to heighten the dynamic quality of their choreography.

The hooting, stomping, finger snapping and body slapping that punctuated their dances gave the performance an unstoppable sense of momentum that erased all notions of female passivity.

The women dancers of the “Tari Aceh” tour were clearly the masters of the remarkable universe they created onstage.

New Volume of Elizabeth Willis’ Poetry Published

Elizabeth Willis

Elizabeth Willis

Alive: New and Selected Poemsa new volume of poetry by Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing, professor of English, was recently published by New York Review Books. The book contains poems spanning more than 20 years.

According to the publisher’s website, with these poems, Willis “draws us into intricate patterns of thought and feeling. The intimate and civic address of these poems is laced with subterranean affinities among painters, botanists, politicians, witches and agitators. Coursing through this work is the clarity and resistance of a world that asks the poem to rise to this, to speak its fury.

Willis is also the author of Address (2011), which received the PEN New England/L. L. Winship Prize, and four previous books of poetry.

Students, Faculty, Alumni Attend Planetary Science Conference in Texas

Students, faculty and alumni involved in planetary science attended the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 16-20 in Houston, Texas.

Jim Greenwood, assistant professor earth and environmental sciences, gave a talk titled “urCl-KREEP? Cl-rich glasses in KREEP basalts 15382 and 15386 and their implications for lunar geochemistry.” Martha Gilmore, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences and the George I. Seney Professor of Geology, met with the Venus Exploration Analysis Group as a member of its Executive Committee.

Jack Singer ’15 and Lisa Korn MA ’15 presented posters.

Several Wesleyan alumni also made presentations at the conference including James Dottin ’13 (E&ES), now a PhD student at the University of Maryland; Tanya Harrison MA ’08 (E&ES), now a PhD student at the University of Western Ontario; Ann Ollila MA ’08 (E&ES), now at Chevron; Nina Lanza MA ’06 (E&ES), now a scientist at Los Alamos National Lab; Bob Nelson MA ’69 (astronomy), senior scientist at Planetary Science Institute; Ian Garrick-Bethell ’02 (physics), assistant professor at the University of California – Santa Cruz.

Jack Singer ’15 presented a poster titled "High fluorine and chlorine in a chromite-hosted melt inclusion from Apollo 12 olivine basalt 12035.” He was supported by NASA Connecticut Space Grant and is the McKenna Scholar in E&ES. Jim Greenwood is his advisor.

Jack Singer ’15 presented a poster titled “High fluorine and chlorine in a chromite-hosted melt inclusion from Apollo 12 olivine basalt 12035.” He was supported by NASA Connecticut Space Grant and is the McKenna Scholar in E&ES. Singer’s advisor is Jim Greenwood, assistant professor earth and environmental sciences.

Lisa Korn, MA ’15 presented a poster titled "Possible Carbonate Minerals within an Unnamed Gulled Crater in Eridania Basin, Mars.”  She was supported by NASA Connecticut Space Grant and the E&ES Foye Fund. Scott Murchie, the Principal Investigator of the instrument whose data she uses (the CRISM spectrometer in orbit at Mars) showed her work to NASA as an example of the important new discoveries being made with the instrument. Korn's advisor is Marty Gilmore, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences and the George I. Seney Professor of Geology.

Lisa Korn MA ’15 presented a poster titled “Possible Carbonate Minerals within an Unnamed Gullied Crater in Eridania Basin, Mars.” She was supported by NASA Connecticut Space Grant and the E&ES Foye Fund. Scott Murchie, the Principal Investigator of the instrument whose data she uses (the CRISM spectrometer in orbit at Mars) showed her work to NASA as an example of the important new discoveries being made with the instrument. Korn’s advisor is Martha Gilmore, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences and the George I. Seney Professor of Geology.

E&ES major  James Dottin ’13 met Marty Gilmore at the conference.

E&ES major James Dottin ’13 met Martha Gilmore at the conference.

Blatt ’17 Selected As a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar

Kai Blatt '17 plans to major in studio art and biology. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

Kai Blatt ’17 plans to major in studio art and biology. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

#THISISWHY

Kai Blatt ’17 has been selected to take part in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington. This eight-week, all expenses paid “classroom-in-the-field” program helps students develop their vision for conservation, and gives them the natural and social science skills to become a conservation change-maker. The program is just entering its second year of existence, and this will be the second year a Wesleyan student has participated.

Blatt, who is from Los Angeles and plans to major in studio art and biology, learned of the program from her friend Joseph Eusebio ’17,