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Wesleyan Celebrates Arbor Day with 45 New Tree Plantings

This spring, crews are planting new trees at multiple locations on campus. 

This spring, crews are planting new trees at multiple locations on campus.

In honor of Arbor Day on April 28, Wesleyan is celebrating the planting (or proposed planting) of more than 45 new trees on campus in 2017.

Pale-pink blossoming cherry trees, a hardy pin oak, an endangered dawn redwood and a Chinese lobed-leaf Ginkgo biloba are among the new perennial plantings peppered across the Wesleyan landscape.

Since trees become a permanent fixture, Grounds Manager Rob Borman takes many factors into consideration before tilling up any soil and planting roots.

He notes the history of campus; the existing tree canopy; what trees will thrive in Connecticut’s climate; proximity to buildings, sidewalks and roads; surrounding landscape; how it would affect snow plowing, mowing and other grounds maintenance; and benefits to the environment.

“We also consider the Wesleyan tour route and high visibility areas, and we always value feedback from the Wesleyan community,” Borman said. “All of this is considered both for time of planting, as well as the tree’s full maturity.”

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Click to enlarge the 2017 campus tree map.

The trees and their planned locations include:
One birch cluster in front of the Freeman Athletic Center;
Two Norway spruce on Warren Street near the Freeman Athletic Center;
23 Yoshino cherry trees along Vine Street;
Eight Kwanzan cherry trees near West College;
Two red maples, two red oaks and one pin oak near the Foss residences;
One Ginkgo in front of the Public Affairs Center;
Two paper bark maples, a birch cluster and dawn redwood between the Davison Art Center and Davison Health Center;
Two paper bark maples near the Center for African Studies;
One red maple across from Alpha Delta Phi;
One hybrid elm in front of Judd Hall;
And one red oak in the center of College Row.

Since 2014, Borman has led the effort to plant more than 230 trees and shrubs on campus.

Wesleyan’s efforts have contributed to the City of Middletown receiving an Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA designation for 27 years.

While many trees grow up, others come down.

“We try to avoid cutting down existing trees at all costs,” Borman explained. “If we remove a tree, it’s because the tree has died, it was injured due to a storm, it is too close to structures or construction projects, or it is a safety hazard to the community. We always try to plant one tree for every felled tree.”

Wesleyan grounds will continue to plant more species in the fall.

Eight Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are planted near the West College Courtyard. They will be in full bloom in early May.

Eight Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are planted near the West College Courtyard. They will be in full bloom in early May.

Wesleyan Refugee Project Hosts Panel, Exhibit on Refugee Resettlement

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The Wesleyan Refugee Project is hosting an exhibit, “Stronger Shines the Light Inside” at the Center for the Arts Green. SSTLI traces processes of refugee resettlement though a series of photographs and interviews with the refugee community in Boise, Idaho.

On April 21, the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) hosted a speaker panel in Memorial Chapel about refugee resettlement. WRP is a student-led group dedicated to volunteering, advocating, fundraising, and raising awareness of current refugee crises. The team works with a number of international and local nonprofit organizations, assisting in areas such as tutoring, legal aid, and refugee resettlement.

Angie Smith, a photographer based in Los Angeles, Calif. and the founder of Stronger Shines the Light Inside (SSTLI), delivered the keynote address. SSTLI traces processes of refugee resettlement though a series of photographs and interviews with the refugee community in Boise, Idaho. Smith spoke about the inception, development and execution of SSTLI, refugee resettlement in the U.S., using photography to tell impactful stories, and applying skills from a liberal arts college in the real world to create new initiatives promoting social justice and change. During her presentation she shared a series of photographs from the project that have been featured in numerous publications online and in print including National Geographic, WIRED, The New Republic, and The New York Times Magazine. She also read excerpts from interviews that accompanied the photographs.

In addition, brothers Maher Mahmood and Mahmood Mahmood spoke about their experiences with resettlement in Connecticut. Both described their journey from Iraq to Connecticut

Junger ‘84, Garcia ‘99 Screen Their Work at the Tribeca Film Festival

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger (left) in the field with the late Tim Hetherington, a collaborator on a number of his past films.

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger (left) in the field with the late Tim Hetherington, a collaborator on a number of his past films.

This month, Sebastian Junger ’84 and Liz W. Garcia ’99 will each feature their films at the annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Founded in 2001 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert DeNiro and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival attracts nearly half a million attendees.

Junger, a journalist, author and filmmaker, is co-director, with Nick Quested, of the film Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, 

It follows an extended family and its attempt to flee their homeland in the face of violence and tragedy. Edited down to 99 minutes from an extensive 1,000 hours of footage, it will also carry viewers into the center of conflict as it captures the combat of Kurdish fighters in Sinjar and Shia Militias in Iraq.

Hell on Earth is the latest product of Junger’s long held interest in war journalism. In the past he has directed the award winning documentary Restrepo (2010), which documents US military personal stationed in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. This film would eventually become part of a trilogy that includes Korengal (2014) andThe Last Patrol (2016).

Prior to his war journalism, Junger authored two notable works of non iction,The Perfect Storm, which was adapted into a film staring George Cooney, and A Death in Belmont. His writing and journalism has earned him a Magazine Award and a Peabody Award and has appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Harpers andThe New York Times Magazine.

Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia '99

Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia ’99

One Percent More Humid, which will also play at the festival, is director Liz W. Garcia’s second narrative film. It follows two college-age childhood friends, played by Juno Temple and Julia Garner, who return home from school for a New England summer. Although together they engage in typical summer mischief, the effects of their shared past traumas become increasingly pronounced. Yet as they attempt to process their traumas, a rift eventually arrises in their old friendship.

Deborah Rudlph, an assistant programmer at the festival describes One Percent More Humid as “a sun-soaked, atmospheric coming-of-age tale of two young women looking to free themselves from distractions, to repair their friendship, and help each other reach the other side of grief.”

Previously, Garcia directed The Lifeguard, her directorial debut, which premiered in 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival. She was the co-creator of the 2010 TNT series Memphis Beat, and has written for television series like Wonderfalls, Cold Case, and Dawson’s Creek. Currently she is writing the final installment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Festival literature calls her “one of the most prolific female voices working today in film and television.”

Fundraiser Supports Historic Russell Chapel Restoration

The Russell Chapel is located on the southwest hill of Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown near Wesleyan.

The Russell Chapel is located on the southwest hill of Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown near Wesleyan. Constructed of Portland Brownstone and embellished with small brownstone carvings, the Russell Chapel notably houses its original Meneely Bell, forged in Troy, New York in 1868. Its interior is adorned with notable stained glass windows and elegant woodwork in need of refurbishing.

On May 13, All American Productions and The Friends of Indian Hill Cemetery are proud to present “From Gothic to Light: A Day of Art, History, Music and Fashion.” This fundraiser, held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will benefit the restoration of The Russell Chapel, which is located on the grounds of Indian Hill Cemetery, 383 Washington Street, Middletown.

The day will include:

  • A drawing class outdoors on the grounds of the cemetery led by Kate Ten Eyck, visiting assistant professor of art. Included in this 90 minute activity are large vintage postcards with a blank front, and all supplies needed to create a beautiful drawing of the chapel. Ten Eyck will offer instruction in composition, perspective, and shading. All levels of drawing welcome and encouraged. Start time is 10:15 a.m.
  • A Gothic Fashion Show, to lead off from the entrance of the chapel, featuring incredible attire courtesy of Redfield Design. Start time is noon.
  • Live music courtesy of the The Latin Quarter Jazz Collective.
  • Civil War presentation at the Grand Army of the Republic and General Mansfield’s gravesite.
  • Notable tours of the cemetery every half hour throughout the day.
  • See the current restoration progress of the chapel.

This event is family friendly, and food and refreshments will be available on site.

Although this is a free event, donations are encouraged! All money raised will go directly to the restoration and rehabilitation of the chapel, built in 1867. The rain date is May 20. For more information visit this Facebook event.

Any Wesleyan students, alumni or employees who would like help preserve a piece of Middletown’s celebrated past, may make a donation to the Russell Chapel Rehabilitation Fund. Memorial gifts and multi-year pledges are welcome, as are designated gifts.

To make a gift or to learn more about the history of the chapel, visit http://indian-hill.org/chapel/.

PhD Candidate King Speaks about Nanomaterials at Graduate Speaker Series

Chemistry graduate student Melissa King presented a talk on “Synthesis of Shaped Nanoparticles with Bimetallic Surfaces via Iodide Facilitated Reduction of Palladium“ April 19 in Exley Science Center. Her talk concluded the 2016-17 Graduate Speaker Series.

Chemistry graduate student and PhD candidate Melissa King presented a talk on “Synthesis of Shaped Nanoparticles with Bimetallic Surfaces via Iodide Facilitated Reduction of Palladium “ April 19 in Exley Science Center. Her talk concluded the 2016-17 Graduate Speaker Series.

Bimetallic nanoparticles, King explained, may provide an exciting avenue toward the development of novel catalysts potentially useful in meeting the growing demand for energy.

Bimetallic nanoparticles, King explained, may provide an exciting avenue toward the development of novel catalysts potentially useful in meeting the growing demand for energy. (Photos by Will Barr ’18)

Stewart Leads Annual Earth Week Rant

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Brian Stewart, professor of physics, led his 10th annual Earth Week Rant on April 19 and 20.

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Brian Stewart, professor of physics, led his 10th annual Earth Week Rant on April 19 and 20. Stewart discussed energy and argued that a surprisingly simple, nature-oriented way of organizing public information can help us to make decisions as we navigate a murky future. (Photos by Will Barr ’18)

Wesleyan Celebrates Completion of Science Theses with Poster Session

Wesleyan’s Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division recently hosted a Celebration of Science Theses, a poster session featuring the work of Honors and MA students in the NSM fields. Organized by Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and behavior; and Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy, the event took place in Exley Science Center on April 21, where students from a wide range of disciplines proudly presented their work, marking the culmination of their thesis.

Wesleyan’s Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division recently hosted a Celebration of Science Theses, a poster session featuring the work of Honors and MA students in the NSM fields. Organized by Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and behavior; and Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy, the event took place in Exley Science Center on April 21, where students from a wide range of disciplines proudly presented their work, marking the culmination of their thesis.

New Minor in Design, Engineering and Applied Sciences Announced

Professor of Physics Greg Voth, at right, will teach a new course, CIS 170, Introduction to Engineering and Design, as part of Wesleyan's new Interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences (IDEAS

Professor of Physics Greg Voth, at right, will teach a new course, CIS 170, Introduction to Engineering and Design, as part of Wesleyan’s new Interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences.

Amid rising student interest, Wesleyan has announced a new interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences (IDEAS), beginning in 2017-18. It will be hosted within the College of Integrative Sciences (CIS).

The IDEAS minor will introduce foundational skills in engineering and design, and bring together existing arts, design, and applied science courses to create a more formal structure to guide students interested in these fields.

According to Professor of Physics Francis Starr, a co-proposer of the minor and director of the CIS, “The new minor plays into Wesleyan’s unique capabilities and dovetails with Wesleyan’s commitment to prepare students for the challenges facing society today. Our aim is to provide students with practical design and problem solving skills, coupled with the context to understand the social and cultural implications of their work.” The minor passed the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) in April.

Wesleyan is at the forefront of an emerging approach in academia

Garver ’20 Trains in Air Force ROTC

Dalton Garver '20 participates in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Yale University.

Dalton Garver ’20 participates in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Yale University. He juggles football, academics and ROTC by having a set schedule for each day that allots time for reading, studying, working out, and practices.

Every Thursday morning, beginning at 6 a.m., Dalton Garver ’20 finds himself at Yale University engaged in physical training—ranging from weightlifting to running to core circuits. This is followed by marching practice, a review of Warrior Knowledge, and, on occasion, lectures from guest speakers about the Armed Services.

Garver, of Fresno, Calif., is believed to be the first Wesleyan student to participate in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Yale. He joined this semester, but first decided to do ROTC as a junior in high school after talking to his brother’s friend about his own experience in the Army ROTC at Fresno State.

“I joined because I have always wanted to be a lawyer as well as serve our country,” said Garver, who plans to major in psychology. “I felt becoming a JAG (Judge Advocate General) for the Air Force would be a great way to do so.”

MacSorley a Finalist for Connecticut Science Center STEM Achievement Award

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Sara MacSorley

Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center and the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science, was a finalist for the 2017 Connecticut Science Center STEM Achievement Award.

The STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Awards Committee sought individuals and organizations in the service of STEM, STEM education, and the participation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math.

MacSorley was recognized in part for her work at Green Street in starting the Girls in Science Summer Camp with Wesleyan faculty members.

Center for the Americas Hosts its 2017 Americas Forum on “Food Justice and Sustainability”

 Photo: Jade Beall.

Alok Appadurai ’00 (Photo by Jade Beall)

On April 28, the Center for the Americas will host its 2017 Americas Forum on “Food Justice and Sustainability” at the Ring Family Performing Arts Hall at 2:30 p.m. The keynote address will be given by Alok Appadurai ’00. Appadurai is the the founder of Fed by Threads, a sustainable, sweatshop-free, multi-brand, American-made organic vegan clothing store that has fed over half a million meals to Americans in need. He also recently founded GoodElephant.org, a global network that aims to promote social and environmental reform by nurturing compassion and empathy.

His time at Wesleyan helped to inform his current projects. As a student, he majored in American studies fashioning his own concentration that incorporated colonialism, workers’ rights, utopian communities, the environment and gender/class issues.

After the keynote, three scholars on a panel will present talks on food Justice and agricultural sustainability.  Elizabeth Hoover, the Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University, will give the talk, “From ‘Garden Warriors’ to ‘Good Seeds’; Defining and Enacting Food Sovereignty Through American Indian Community Gardening Projects.” Following her, Brian Donahue, associate professor of American environmental studies at Brandeis University, will present his “Woodlands, Farmlands, and Communities: Visions for New England’s Future.”

Wesleyan’s Courtney Fullilove, associate professor of history, will conclude the panel with “Seed Saving in Economies of Scale: Some Questions about Sovereignty and International Governance.”