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20 Employees Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

The following employees received Cardinal Achievement Awards during the past few months for their efforts in demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with their work at Wesleyan.

This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for their extra efforts:

NAME TITLE DEPARTMENT
Noreen Angeletti Assistant Director Student Accounts Office
Jennifer Bomar Faculty Resource Specialist Academic Affairs
Marianne Calnen Associate Director of Gift Planning University Relations
Jennifer Curran Director, Continuing Studies and Graduate Liberal Studies Program Graduate Liberal Studies Program
Matthew Elson Unix Systems Administrator Information Technology Services
Gladys Fountain Payroll Administrator, NRA Compliance Finance Office
Hrissi Haldezos Associate Director of Student Accounts Student Accounts Office
Brandi Hood Senior Project Manager Physical Plant – Facilities
Linda Hurteau Library Assistant V/Science Library Science Library
Steven Jacaruso Art Director University Communications
Susan Krajewski Senior Associate Registrar Registrar’s Office
Tara Lindros Associate Dean of Admission Admissions
Kathy Macko Administrative Assistant V/Alumni Education University Relations
Jeff Murphy Facilities Business Manager Physical Plant – Facilities
Daniel Pflederer HRMS Functional Specialist Information Technology Services
Alan Rubacha Director of Physical Plant Physical Plant – Facilities
Andrew Stuerzel Development Officer University Relations
Karri Van Blarcom Associate Registrar Registrar’s Office
Amy Walsh Associate Director of Employee Benefits Human Resources Department
Janice Watson Coordinator of International Student Services Office of Student Affairs/Dean’s Office

 

Bello Balances CAAS Support and Mayoral Responsibilities

In this Q&A, we speak with Amy Bello, administrative assistant for the Center for African American Studies and newly elected mayor of the Town of Wethersfield.

Q: How long have you been at Wesleyan?

A: Five years. I started in November 2012 as a temp at the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.

Q: What do you do here now?

A: I work as an administrative assistant for the Center for African American Studies (CAAS), the African American Studies Program (AFAM) and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF). I have a beautiful office on High Street and am lucky to be working with vibrant, engaging faculty, staff and students.

Q: What do you like best about working at Wesleyan? 

A: I love the energetic, intelligent people I work with—both students and faculty. Their breadth and depth of knowledge is amazing. I also enjoy seeing the world from another perspective, which only enhances my vision.

Human Resources Advisory Group Formed

The Human Resources Advisory Group, formed in November 2017, is the voice between administrative staff and senior leadership. It is a consultative body in which members share ideas and provide input on issues of importance to staff. The members of the Human Resources Advisory Group discuss and provide feedback on institutional policies and practices and broader issues related to numerous work/life topics. The group solicits and expresses opinions, represents staff ideas, makes suggestions and recommendations for change.

Members include:

Luigi Solla, associate dean of admission; Michelle Jarvis, associate director of financial aid; Rachel Ludwig, deputy director of athletics; Joy Vodak, associate director of the Office of Academic Affairs; Rhoanne Esteban, data analyst; Deb Treister, director of planning and administration; Trisha Stephenson Gordon, administrative manager/Affirmative Action specialist; and Lauren Rubenstein, manager of media relations and public relations.

Also Patrick Bohan, video producer; Kevin Butler, assistant dean of students; Liliana Carrasquillo-Vasquez, assistant director of residential life; Barbara Spadaccini, senior project leader; Joe Rich, user services manager; Robert Mirabal, director of student accounts; and Jeff Murphy, facilities business manager.

University Communications Launches Social Media Website

Fresh off the digital presses! Check out the new Social Media website from University Communications. This site was created as a resource for social media usage tips + best practices, for guidelines and policies on using social media on behalf of Wesleyan University and as a place to find tools to help you manage and measure your social accounts. You can also request a new social media account, a strategy session or a social share from the main Wesleyan University channels.

9 Classes Offered by Wesleyan’s Institute for Lifelong Learning

The Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning provides educational opportunities outside of formal degree-granting programs to members of the broader community. Wesleyan University has been devoted to liberal learning since its founding in 1831. This program is an extension of that mission—a dedication to the improvement of human well-being by means of education throughout the course of life.

“Curiosity is ageless! This new year promises to be a fascinating one, with another intriguing round of WILL course offerings,” says Richard Friswell, associate director of the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning. “Delve into the work of literary icons like Chekhov, Shakespeare and Hemingway. Create your own memoir or share laughs and a fancy two-step with comedic American icon, Will Rogers. Travel a road back in time with Chaucer as he spins his Canterbury Tales, or ‘romance the stone’ as you explore 19th-century English painting. Adventure awaits!”

During the Spring 2018 semester, WILL will offer the following courses:

  • Maybe It’s My Imagination: Writing Memoir and Fiction
  • Once Upon a Time: Short Stories in Pairs
  • Meet me at Les Deux Magot: The Lost Generation in 1920s Paris
  • Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
  • Romantic Landscapes of Constable and Turner: Common Goals, Contrasting Outcomes
  • Masterminds and Martyrs: Women in Ancient Greek Drama
  • A Shakespearean Romance, The Winter’s Tale
  • Russian Theater on the Eve of Revolution
  • Be Amused by the Muse of Classic American Humor

Enrolled students will have access to the academic resources of Wesleyan University, including Olin Library. Classes are conveniently scheduled in the afternoons and early evenings. Parking is available and classrooms are accessible. Classes will be quite small, with a few exceptions, allowing close interactions between instructors and students.

Online registration is now open. For more information email will@wesleyan.edu.

Basinger Speaks to Staff about Film Studies, Musicals

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, spoke on her latest work during a luncheon for staff, Nov. 28 in Daniel Family Commons. Basinger, who has been employed at Wesleyan for 58 years, recently completed her 12th book manuscript with a working title of Musicals: History and Definition. The book tells the history of the musical and defines the genre.

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, spoke on her latest work during the Staff Luncheon Series Nov. 28 in Daniel Family Commons. Basinger, who has been employed at Wesleyan for 58 years, recently completed her 12th book manuscript with a working title of “Musicals: History and Definition.” The book tells the history of the musical and defines the genre. Basinger, who’s collected film memorabilia her entire life, said film studies is a relatively new field of study. “Film was officially born in 1895, it wasn’t until the 1960s that it began to become an academic field. Wesleyan was one of the pioneers; we were one of the first universities (in the country) to add it to our curriculum.”

University Relations Collects Items for Puerto Rico

During University Relations’ Jammin’ Holiday Party on Dec. 13, staff collected more than 1,000 items for Puerto Rico residents affected by Hurricane Maria.

University Relations employees load a vehicle with donations for Puerto Rico.

Items included:
128.5 lbs. of pet food
795 diapers and baby wipes
13 gallons of water
186 cans/boxes of food
41 towels
12 blankets/pillows
99 books/toys
4 solar lights
248 oz. of hand sanitizer
5 can openers
3 power strips
5 first aid kits
3 sunscreens
12 insect repellents

Former Curator Feller Expert on Jewish Philosophy, Museum Studies

Yaniv Feller joined the faculty in 2017. He’s teaching religion courses this spring.

Yaniv Feller is the Jeremy Zwelling Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and assistant professor of religion. Feller specializes in Jewish philosophy, Jewish-Christian relations, post-Holocaust theology, material culture and museum studies. His current book project is titled “Leo Baeck and the Tradition of Dialogical Apologetics.” Prior to Wesleyan, Feller worked as an exhibition curator for the new permanent exhibition project at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

In this Q&A, Feller speaks about his time working at a renowned Jewish museum, the importance of incorporating the lives and histories of objects into his courses and woodworking. 

Q: You just joined the faculty at Wesleyan this year. What are you enjoying and how would you characterize your new academic home?

A: It is hard to believe that a semester has already passed—time flies by when you are having fun! Reflecting on the last couple of months, I realize that Wesleyan is indeed everything I hoped it to be: it is a passionate community of learners, and this is true of faculty and students alike. I obviously heard about how smart and engaged people at Wesleyan are, and it was a pleasure to discover that sometimes, positive reputation is more than justified.

Q: What courses are you teaching this spring?

A: I am teaching RELI 203, Jews and Judaism, and RELI 213, Refugees and Exiles: Religion in the Diaspora.

Q: Do you have a favorite course? (Or is that like asking a parent about a favorite child?) Is there one that seems particularly well received or apropos?

A: It IS a bit like asking for a favorite child. I like them all! I like to teach classes that examine Jewish history and philosophy as a springboard for larger theoretical questions, or ones that ask the theoretical questions through a series of case studies. Perhaps most relevant this semester is “Refugees and Exiles” in which we will examine contemporary discussions on refugees in light of philosophical, literary and historical perspectives. What do narratives about the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, for example, have to teach us about today? More than you might suspect.

Carpooling Matching Event Feb. 20

Whether you live in Middletown or elsewhere in the region, commuting to work is often time-consuming, stressful and costly. Setting up a carpool—an arrangement between people to travel together in a single vehicle—is a great way to save money, connect with coworkers and cut your carbon footprint, explains Sustainability Director Jennifer Kleindienst.

The Wesleyan Sustainability Office, in conjunction with CT Rides (a service of CT DOT), is hosting an Employee Commuter Event in February for Wesleyan faculty and staff. This will be a chance to meet other faculty and staff who live near you and potentially find a carpool buddy. CT Rides helps commuters find the best way to get to work or school and offers information and resources for travel options throughout Connecticut.

The event will take place from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Usdan 110. RSVP by Friday, Feb. 16, at bit.ly/ctridesrsvp. Contact Jen Kleindienst at jkleindienst@wesleyan.edu with any questions.

Juhasz Authors Eye Movement Study on Compound-Word Processing

Barbara Juhasz

An article by Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, has been published in the January 2018 edition of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. The study, titled “Experience with compound words influences their processing: An eye movement investigation with English compound words” appears in Issue 71, pages 103–12.

Recording eye movements, Juhasz explains, provides information on the time-course of word recognition during reading. Eye movements also are informative for examining the processing of morphologically complex words such as compound words.

In this study, Juhasz examined the time-course of lexical and semantic variables during morphological processing. A total of 120 English compound words that varied in familiarity, age-of-acquisition, semantic transparency, lexeme meaning dominance, sensory experience rating and imageability were selected.

The impact of these variables on fixation durations was examined when length, word frequency and lexeme frequencies were controlled in a regression model. Juhasz discovered that the most robust effects were found for familiarity and age-of-acquisition, indicating that a reader’s experience with compound words significantly impacts compound recognition. These results provide insight into semantic processing of morphologically complex words during reading.

In 2003, Juhasz and her former graduate mentor, Professor Keith Rayner, co-authored a related study on “Investigating the effects of a set of intercorrelated variables on eye fixation durations in reading,” published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. This study examined the impact of five-word recognition variables, however focused on relatively short, morphologically simple words.

Juhasz’s new article is published in a special issue devoted to honoring Rayner, who passed away in 2015. Rayner, the Atkinson Family Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, oversaw an Eyetracking Lab at the university.

“Keith was a very well-respected cognitive scientist who was a pioneer in using eye movements to study reading processes,” Juhasz said. “I’m honored that I could follow up on research that we worked on together more than a decade ago and have it published in this special issue.”

Khamis Co-Authors Article on Effects of Historical Labor Policies on Women

Melanie Khamis

Melanie Khamis

Melanie Khamis, assistant professor of economics and assistant professor of Latin American studies, has co-authored a new paper published in the December 2017 issue of Labour Economics. The paper, titled “Women make houses, women make homes,” examines the effects of historical labor market institutions and policies on women’s labor market outcomes.

To conduct the research, Khamis and her colleagues studied the “rubble women” of post–World War II Germany, who were subject to a 1946 Allied Control Council command that required women between the ages of 15 and 50 to register with a labor office and to participate in postwar cleanup and reconstruction.

The study showed that this mandatory employment had persistent longstanding adverse effects on German women’s overall participation in the labor market. Possible reasons for this include physical and mental exhaustion associated with the demanding manual labor involved in removing war debris; an increase in postwar marriage and fertility rates; and a reversion to traditional gender roles as men returned from war.

The findings highlight how important it is for countries—especially those recovering from conflict—to develop labor market institutions and policies that support women’s participation in the workforce. In addition, the paper concludes, “Our results also provide suggestive evidence that work-contingent income support programs may have limited positive effects on female future labor market outcomes and welfare dependency unless such policies are further backed up by the provision of quality child care and labor market institutions at large.”

Thayer, Galganov ’17, Stein ’17 Publish Article on Allosteric Signaling

A new article by Visiting Assistant Professor in Computer Science Kelly Thayer and students in her Spring 2017 Scientific Computing class is challenging conventional metrics used in allosteric signaling—the regulation of an enzyme by a binding molecule at a site other than the enzyme’s active site.

“What’s special about allostery is that a molecule called an allosteric effector binds at one location, and the change happens somewhere else,” Thayer explained. “What we were trying to understand was: How does that signal get across?”