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Field Hockey Coach is Leading by Example


Patricia Klecha-Porter, head women’s field hockey coach, offers her team advice during half-time. She also is the assistant squash coach, and has worked at Wesleyan for more than 20 years.
 
Posted 07/28/06
Q: How were you first introduced to field hockey and squash, and at what age did you begin playing?

A: My older sister was involved in the sport of field hockey. After her practice she would play with me. Organized training began in ninth grade. Squash was introduced to me at Wesleyan under the Head Coach Don Long. He mentored and gave me a solid foundation of skills, strategy and coaching.

Q: At Ithaca College, you were a team captain and MVP in both field hockey and lacrosse. What were your secrets to success?

A: My strongest asset as a captain was the ability to show by example. I was determined to always compete hard every minute of the contest no matter what the score was. Respect the rules, respect your teammate and respect your opponent. Work at what is most productive and difficult for the opponent. I enjoyed communicating, encouraging my teammates to rally, do their best in both field hockey and lacrosse. What remained a constant with all three sports was my reminder that what effort you put into the sport, practice, game, was what you were going to achieve. My teammates knew that.

Q: What did you major in and why did you decide to pursue a career in coaching?

A: At Ithaca College I received a bachelor’s of science in physical education with a minor in psychology. At Springfield College I received a master’s of science in exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation. The coaching field had become an extension of my desire to pursue field hockey at the national level. Having the knowledge and training at a high level gave me the opportunity to teach and coach the sport.

Q: You’ve been at Wesleyan 21 years, 15 of which you were head coach of the squash team. What keeps your job interesting?

A: I truly enjoy watching players develop from the beginning of a season to the end, and their long term development, from their freshmen year to their senior year. Each fall, the team must pull together, from the early stages of the game to the end of postseason play. It is what gets them there that I have a passion for. I like to employ new ways of training, set a goal for that team for the season and create practices to make it happen. My gratification comes from observing their talent come together and over all improvement.

Q: What physical education classes do you teach at Wesleyan?

A: I teach Step Aerobics and Advanced Strength Training.

Q: In 1999, you were honored as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) field hockey coach of the year.

A: I was honored to be selected by my colleagues and to be honored as the Coach of the Year. I do credit the 1999  Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship team for this recognition. They were a solid team.

Q: As a field hockey coach, you guided the lady Cardinals to their most regular-season victories in team history with 11 in 2005, and have led the team to two ECAC New England Division III titles in 1999 and 2000. What are your other major accomplishments?

A: I was inducted into the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame and the New York State Section 5 Hall of Fame. In 2005 I was awarded the Chickie Possion Award for Service in Field Hockey in Connecticut.

Q: When does the field hockey season begin and how do you help prepare the team? What coaching lessons do you stress year after year?

A: Field Hockey season begins Sept. 1. Programs are set up for players to develop their fitness level. When the season begins we strive for players to play their best, work hard no matter what the score is, no matter how much time is on the clock. I stress to the team to be accountable for your actions, respect others, judge the situation and make the best decisions.

Q: You’ve taken your team to Bermuda, Barbados and the Netherlands. What is the advantage of these trips?

A: Tours are a definite perk for a team to develop bonding, friendship and camaraderie. To travel 10-12 days with each other, playing a sport you have a passion for in different countries makes the unknown exciting. Experiencing different customs and different styles of play allows the individual to go out of their comfort zone and accommodate, change and be charged with new ideas. Traveling allows for the students to become sports ambassadors for the U.S. and Wesleyan.

Q: You hold an International Umpiring rating, the highest level for umpires in the game of women’s lacrosse. Where have you umpired?

A: Besides numerous college games and NCAA playoffs here in the states, I have umpired for the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations World Cup during the summer of 2001 in Wycombe, England, the 2005 World Cup at the Navel Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and the International Owl tournament in Oshawa, Canada.

Q: What is the Cardinal Field Hockey Camp and what is your role with this camp?

A: The goal is to offer a fundamental clinic that exposes high school players to current techniques and skills of field hockey. The Cardinal Field Hockey Camp is an evening camp for 7-12th grade players. I direct, create the curriculum, manage the coaching staff and I am involved in the daily coaching. The camp has been running for over 10 years.

Q: At Wesleyan, who is your assistant coach?

A: Jen Shea is the field hockey assistant who played at Amherst College. She also is our head softball coach here at Wesleyan.

Q: You have competed at the Olympic Sports Festival.

A: The Olympic Festival was a great experience for me. It was an extensive selection process for athletes who where chosen by performing in the United States Field Hockey Association Developmental camps. I truly enjoyed the level of play and was honored to be selected twice in the 80s. I also had the opportunity to play with my younger sister on those teams.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests aside from sports?

A: I enjoy gardening, exercising, reading and doing home improvements.

Q: Tell me about your family, and do they enjoy sports, too?

A: I have a wonderful husband, Scott, who keeps me well balanced, two sons, Nathan and Andrew, and a daughter, Logan. All are involved with sports and keep me entertained!
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor. Photos by Brian Katten, sports information director.

Students, Alumni Bring Fatal Fire Story to Life through Play


The American Story Project, a theater company comprised of Wesleyan students and alumni, will perform We Can’t Reach You, Hartford at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival held in Edinburgh, Scotland Aug. 7-19.
Posted 07/28/06
In 1944, the Hartford Circus Fire caused more than 150 deaths during an afternoon circus performance. Although the cause of the fire remains officially undetermined, five employees of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus were charged with involuntary manslaughter, and the circus was forced to accept full financial responsibility for the fire that occurred during their show.

This tragic, yet compelling story, will be retold and performed by the American Story Project, a new theater company comprised of Wesleyan students and alumni. The seven-member group will premier We Can’t Reach You, Hartford, a play by Jess Chayes ’07 and Stephen Aubrey ‘06, at the Bedlam Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival held in Edinburgh, Scotland Aug. 7-19.

Under Chayes’s direction, the audience will witness the story of sad clowns, unlikely heroes and the forgotten tragedy under the big top. Performers include Annie Bodel ’08, Edward Bauer ’08, Elissa Kozlov ’08, Mike James ’07 and Hayley Stokar ’06.

In We Can’t Reach You, Hartford, Bauer plays the role of Emmett Kelly, a sad clown from the Depression-era 1930s who once performed as an actual member of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1942 to 1956. One of the most memorable pictures to emerge from the Hartford Circus Fire depicted Kelly, in full sad clown makeup, attempting to extinguish the flames that had already engulfed the entire circus behind him. Even until his death in 1979, Emmett Kelly never discussed what he saw that day in July.

James plays Meryl Evans, a band director who continued to conduct during the fire until the flames forced his musicians to flee.

“Jess really wanted to make the play a living document without following docudrama rules,” James says. “She and Stephen made something surprising. The play focuses mostly on the disaster’s periphery; it’s an eerie stage poem.”

This will be a second venture to the Fringe Festival for Chayes, James, Stokar and Kozlov. Last year, the American Story Project’s production of Tone Clusters premiered at the Bedlam Theatre and brought critical acclaim. The American Story Project has also performed at venues in Connecticut and New York.

“Each of our plays strives for honest, powerful expression among the more bizarre channels of the human experience,” Chayes says. “Each piece tackles difficult, haunting questions, striving not for answers, but for illumination, insight and a journey into the human condition.”

In 2001, a comprehensive history of the Hartford Circus Fire was published. Novelist Stewart O’Nan, author of “The Circus Fire: the True Story of an American Tragedy,” attended the company’s workshop performance in May. Afterwards, he wrote of the production: “We Can’t Reach You, Hartford re-imagines the tragedy of the Hartford Circus Fire with a strange and compelling immediacy. It’s a weird, nearly overwhelming tale, but director Jess Chayes, writer Stephen Aubrey and the players bring an intimate scale and bracing range to the material. Creepy, funny, touching–it’s a tour de force.”

A benefit performance of We Can’t Reach You, Hartford runs in Manhattan, N.Y., Aug. 2; and in Scarsdale, N.Y. on Aug. 3. For more information visit americanstoryproject.com.

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan to Host Summer Institute on U.S. Citizenship, Race


Posted 07/28/06
Immigration, race and the history of U.S. citizenship are just a few of the topics that will be discussed during a summer institute presented by the Center for African American Studies for secondary school teachers from Aug. 7-10.

“Race and Membership: A History of United States Citizenship,” has pre-registered more than 20 social studies teachers, most hailing from Connecticut. The four-day institute is open to all secondary school educators (grades six through 12), support staff, curriculum specialists and school librarians.

The institute aims to foster a sustained and in-depth discussion among the participants about how to teach United States history, how to bring many different racial groups into the historical narrative, and how to connect historical issues to contemporary problems in Connecticut’s secondary school curriculum. Last year, the institute focused on the Civil Rights Movement.

Participants will examine some of the most recent scholarship on the history of several different racial groups, including Blacks, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. With its focus on the theme of citizenship, the Institute will draw connections between historical debates about what it means to be American, how membership in the nation has been regulated, and contemporary debates about immigration and Native sovereignty rights.

“The summer institutes are so much fun for the Wesleyan faculty,” says Renee Romano, associate professor of History, African American Studies and American Studies and the institute’s director. “The teachers we work with are so dedicated and engaged and they are just a joy to work with.”

The following Wesleyan faculty members are participating in this summer’s institute: Demetrius Eudell, associate professor of History and African American Studies, Gayle Pemberton, professor of English, African American Studies and American Studies, Melanye Price, assistant professor of government, Kehaulani Kauanui, assistant professor of American Studies and Anthropology and Romano.

Besides engaging in activities and discussion with scholars, participants will also be split into four curriculum development groups to translate content into usable classroom lesson plans.

“It’s helpful to meet with teachers from different school districts and to discuss what effective materials and techniques are being used in their classroom,” says institute participant Doris Duggins, an eighth grade teacher of U.S. History at Silas Deane Middle School in Wethersfield, Conn. “The institute affords me the opportunity to absorb information in the hopes of continually improving myself as a teacher.”

Romano says it is particularly important to explore the history of U.S. citizenship laws and practices given the current political debates about immigration, border control, and how the nation should deal with illegal immigrants.

“This institute will ask what it means to be a full member of the state, how the United States government has sought to control, which people can be considered a member of the nation, and how groups that have been excluded from membership or who have faced restrictions on full citizenship rights have fought for inclusion,” Romano says.

“Race and Membership: The History and Politics of United States Citizenship” is funded by Humanities in the Schools, a program of the Connecticut Humanities Council, the We The People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Wesleyan University.

For more information about the Summer Institute, please contact Professor Renee Romano at rromano@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-3579.

 
By Laura Perillo, associate director of Media Relations

Data Services Manager Embraces Full-Time Position  with The Wesleyan Fund


Marcy Herlihy will be promoted to associate director of Wesleyan Fund Internal Operations. She’s spent the past two years working with the fund and Data Services.
 
Posted 07/28/06
In just under five years at Wesleyan, Marcy Herlihy’s role has changed three times. Next month, her responsibilities will change again, all for the better of the university.

Herlihy was hired in October 2001 as the assistant director of The Wesleyan Annual Fund, which is now known as The Wesleyan Fund. Two years ago, she took over the role of manager of UR’s Data Services, but has continued to divide her time between data and fund responsibilities. When the newly-created position, manager of University Relations Information Systems is filled, Herlihy will become the associate director for the Wesleyan Fund Internal Operations, and support the Wesleyan Fund full-time.

“All of these changes have been good for the department and they’ve always been a good fit for me,” she says. “It’s a win-win situation for all.”

Since she currently splits her time between Data Services and The Wesleyan Fund, giving each one equal attention can be a challenge, Herlihy says.

For her Wesleyan Fund role, she spends a good deal of time in meetings with her UR and Office of University Communications colleagues, planning, scheduling and producing upcoming communication materials or working on the various Wesleyan Fund solicitation programs. For her Data Services role, she manages and oversees the maintenance of the alumni and parent database, manages donor records and oversees the processing of gifts and pledges. In addition, she maintains The Wesleyan Fund Web site and works with Wesleyan’s student Red & Black Society callers.

Deb Treister, director for University Relations Operations, works with Herlihy on a daily basis. They’ve developed an online giving Web page, a volunteer module in WesNet, and serve on the WesNet Committee together. WesNet is Wesleyan’s alumni online community.

“Marcy is the perfect colleague,” Treister says. “She’s extremely detail orientated and very pleasant to be around and work with. She has a great sense of humor, which can be very important in our line of work.”

It helps that she doesn’t have to split her location when she is splitting her time. The Wesleyan Fund, including Data Services, moved to its own building on Mt. Vernon St. in November 2005.

“It is wonderful that we have this new space, and we’re all together, and I love that I can finally be settled in one location,” she says from her sunny office that overlooks the Annual Fund calling area.

“It keeps me pretty busy,” she says, smiling.

Gifts that are made to The Wesleyan Fund are crucial for the entire university. The fund supports the university’s operating budget, which includes financial aid, staff and faculty salaries, the upkeep and maintenance of facilities and student services.

This year the Wesleyan Fund team raised $11.8 million, with 54 percent of alumni participation. But next year, since the university will look to rely less on its endowment, the team’s goal is to raise over $15 million.

“Raising $11.8 million was tough, and raising $15 million will be a lot of hard work, but I am optimistic that we can do this,” she says. “It would be so wonderful for the university.”

Herlihy is no stranger to the Wesleyan campus. She grew up in Portland, Conn., the town across the bridge from Middletown, and frequented the campus her entire life.

“When I was a child, I would take classes at Wesleyan Potters so I got to know some people from the Wesleyan community, and I also went to Wesleyan football games in the fall and of course I’d go sledding down Foss Hill in the winter,” she recalls. “With the exception of a few new buildings, campus looks pretty much the same as it did then.”

But “never in a million years” did Herlihy think she would end up working at Wesleyan.

Herlihy says a college job prompted her to want to work in a fund-raising field. As a student at the University of Vermont, she worked in that school’s development office and enjoyed it. After college, a friend of her family suggested she look into an open position at Wesleyan. Herlihy applied, and has been here ever since.

Ironically, Herlihy didn’t major in public relations or a fund-raising field. She graduated with a bachelor’s of science in horticulture and sustainable agriculture. Nevertheless, she continues to put her degree to work. At her home in Ivoryton, Conn., Herlihy and her husband, Rory, and golden retriever, Annie, spend an abundance of time in the yard.

“Gardening and landscaping are my biggest hobbies, and I love vegetable and perennial gardens,” she says. “But we also have been busy planting a funky shrub garden in front of our house. We used some interesting maples and unusual shrubs. My parents like to say I majored in a hobby.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

SUMMER SERIES : East L.A.-based Quetzal performed as part of the Center for the Arts Nights series June 29. The group was found by guitarist/jarana/bajo sexto player Quetzal Flores, who brings a grass-roots approach to fusing the folk styles of Mexico and Cuba along with elements of rock and blues.

Quetzal’s beats got the audience dancing in the aisles of Crowell Concert Hall. The concert was intended to be outside but rainy weather moved it indoors.
Quetzal kicked off the CFA Night Series, which also includes upcoming performances Eclipse: Visions of the Crescent and the Cross Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company on July 6-7; Tim Crouch: An Oak Tree on July 20; and Jane Bunnett & Spirits of Havana on July 27. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett)

Kay Butterfield Celebrates 100th Birthday at Wesleyan


Friends and family celebrated Kay Butterfield’s 100th birthday July 27 in the Office of the President. Kay Butterfield is the wife of the late Victor Butterfield, who served as Wesleyan’s president 1943-1967. Pictured above is Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano declaring July 27 Kay Butterfield Day in the City of Middletown.
Posted 07/28/06
Kay Butterfield, wife of former Wesleyan President Victor Butterfield, turned 100 July 27. She celebrated the day with friends and family during a celebration at the President’s House.

Kay has lived a life of idealism and service. She was born July 27, 1906 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of Philip Geyer and Sophie Westerman Geyer. Her grandfather, Philip Geyer, Sr. had emigrated from Bavaria, settling first in Newark, N.J, where he and his brothers established a brewery. The family moved to Brooklyn, and Kay’s father followed his father into the profession of Master Brewer, eventually owning Frank’s Brewery.

In 1919, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibition, caused a reversal of fortune for the Geyer family, which had all its assets invested in the family brewery. One result was that Kay would eventually have to finance her own college education.

Kay graduated from Girls’ High School in Brooklyn in 1922, one month shy of her 16th birthday. In the spring of her senior year, searching the school bulletin board for employment opportunities, she spotted a notice for a city-wide essay contest for a one-year scholarship to the Manhattan Business School. She won the prize, attended in 1922-23, and then earned enough money as a legal secretary on Wall Street to pay for her first year of college.

In 1924, Kay entered Cornell University as a freshman. She was the publicity manager for the Women’s Varsity Council; the women’s editor for the Cornell Daily Sun, a varsity member of the women’s basketball team; and president of Delta Gamma Sorority. She also was involved in Alpha Chi Alpha, the honor society for journalism; Raven and Serpent, the junior honor society; and Mortarboard, the senior honor society.

During her junior year at Cornell, Kay met Victor Lloyd Butterfield at a dance. The duo got married June 11, 1928. Two days later, Kay graduated with a bachelor’s of art in English. She had paid her entire way through college by working as a secretary and typing student papers, and as a legal secretary in Manhattan during the summers.

The Butterfields moved to Deerfield, Mass. where Vic taught and coached at Deerfield Academy and Kay taught fifth and sixth grade in a single classroom in the Deerfield Elementary School. She called it “baptism by fire.”

In 1929, Vic joined the faculty of the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx. Kay taught mathematics to all grades at the Neighborhood School in Riverdale. An apartment and meals were included at Riverdale, allowing them to save all their earnings for graduate school for Vic. In 1931, the couple moved to Cambridge, Mass., where Vic entered Harvard as a Ph.D candidate. Kay became a door-to-door salesperson and typed doctoral theses for extra income. Her habits of thrift and industry enabled Vic and Kay to spend the summer of 1934 in Europe after Vic’s resident Ph.D work was completed.

Vic was hired by Wesleyan as the dean of Admission from 1935 to 1941, and worked as the associate dean from 1941 to 1942, acting president in 1942, then president from 1943 to 1967.

In 1938, the Butterfields built their first house on a four-acre plot on Randolph Road in Middletown. Kay cut all the studs and joists with a power saw, cut rock wool into bats for the insulation, and secured them with slats that she nailed in. They lived there until Vic’s appointment as president in 1943 and, then moved to a brick house on High Street. When the war ended, they moved into the President’s House at 269 High. After Vic’s retirement, they went back to their beloved small house on Randolph Road.

During the years of Vic’s presidency, Kay was heavily involved in college life. She loved the seminars, conferences, concerts, and the sporting events. She was a regular at games and matches, particularly football, basketball, and wrestling. She volunteered for decades at the Wesleyan Blood Drive, registering donors, as well as donating blood herself.

Much of her energy went toward the job of entertaining at the President’s House. Money was scarce in those days, and badly needed to improve faculty salaries. So Kay economized by cooking and baking for receptions and dinners for trustees, faculty, students and honorary degree recipients. On one occasion, during a period of intense rivalry in football between Trinity and Wesleyan, she even cooked and served dinner for both varsity teams on the night before the big game.

Kay became involved early on in the Middletown community. Before her own children were born, she was a Girl Scout leader. The YMCA was her earliest and longest commitment. As a member of the Women’s Board, she help nurture the girls’ club. She also raised large sums of money for the YMCA through her chairmanship of the Y’s annual Tour of Homes. When the women’s lounge needed new slipcovers, Kay and her fellow board members brought their sewing machines for a bee, and made them all themselves. It was through the “Y” that Kay was a long-time member of the Middletown League of Women Voters, as well as its president from 1936-37. She was also a member of the Board of Education (1952-1965), an annual campaigner for the United Way, and a Board member of Connecticut Citizens for Public Schools.

She also had a long connection with the Davison Art Center. In the early 1960s, Curator Heinrich Schwarz, hoping to add to the large print collection left to Wesleyan by George W. class of 1892 and Harriet Davison, proposed to Kay the idea of forming a “Friends of the Davison Art Center” to raise money for acquisitions.

Kay has been the recipient of a number of awards for her service, including the B’nai B’rith “Woman of the Year” award in the 1950s, the Baldwin Medal for service to Wesleyan in 1982, and received an honorary “Doctor of Humane Letters” from Wesleyan in 1997.

In the late 1960s, after Vic’s retirement from Wesleyan, Kay renewed her ties to the First Church of Christ, Middletown, which she had joined in the 1950s. Kay taught Sunday School until she was in her 90s, and after the Vietnam War, she tutored children from Vietnam and Cambodia through the church.

In the mid 1990s, she wrote a series of essays for the Middletown Press on backyard bird-watching, on her particular pleasure in crows, on Elderhostels, on her two hip replacements, and on her decision at the age of 94 to leave her beloved Randolph Road home and move to One MacDonough Place, where she now resides.

Another great love of Kay’s throughout her life has been music, and particularly singing. She had a huge repertoire – everything from Vaudeville to Negro Spirituals. Kay still loves singing – now with the One MacDonough Singers.

In honor of her 100 years, the Governor’s Office proclaimed July 27 as Kay Butterfield Day in the State of Connecticut, and the Mayor’s Office declared July 27 as Kay Butterfield Day in the City of Middletown.

 
Photos by Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor. Text contributed.

ITS VP Says His Department Can Handle Any Technology Problem


Ganesan “Ravi” Ravishanker has worked at Wesleyan 20 years. He was recently promoted to associate vice president of Information Technology Services.
 
Posted 07/07/06
When there’s nothing broken, don’t try to fix it.

That’s how Ganesan “Ravi” Ravishanker feels about Information Technology Services. The newly-promoted associate vice president of ITS says the university can feel comfortable that its technology needs are in good hands.

“I inherited a very hard working organization and I’m not intending to change anything drastically within the department,” Ravishanker says from his fifth floor office in Exley Science Center. “Technology problems can arise and hit us very fast, and our department is very capable of responding to these situations.”

This has always been the case, he says.

When Ravishanker arrived at Wesleyan 20 years ago, he shared a dual appointment in the former Wesleyan Computing Center and the Chemistry Department with David Beveridge, the University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics and professor of chemistry. Professor Beveridge’s group measured the movement of DNA molecules over time using molecular modeling program. Though they could only capture the motions over a hundred picoseconds (1 picosecond is one-trillionth of a second) the results from these simulations were huge.

He and Beveridge developed a program called Molecular Dynamics Analysis Toolchest, to analyze and present this data in a concise graphical format. This is still in active use by several molecular modeling labs.

“Keep in mind, this is 1986. Computer power was very limited, but we were doing cutting-edge simulations of DNA,” Ravishanker says. “It was very rare for a small university to have the computer equipment we had, and that has always been one of the best parts about working at Wesleyan. We are always able to go looking for the next best thing in technology and implement them.”

As technology became more complex, so did Ravishanker’s responsibilities. Although he enjoyed working in the Beveridge lab, he was offered a full-time management position in the Wesleyan Computing Center. The number of people using personal computers and applications such as e-mail was growing in leaps and bounds, and the Internet was just beginning to take form. Managing all these posed special challenges and Ravishanker wanted to be part of this, and jumped at the opportunity.

“I feel very privileged that I got to be part of the evolution of the Internet right from the start,” he says. “I had no idea the Internet would become so huge and simplify lives the way that it has. It’s been nothing but an exciting journey here.”

From 1994-1996, the Wesleyan Computing Center under went several iterations and changes in management. Ravishanker spent a year as interim director and was later promoted to director of Technology Support Services. He stayed in this role until June 2006, when he was promoted as associate VP.

“Ravi is one of the most energetic, customer-orientated, bright, down to earth, collegial people that I have ever worked with,” says John Meerts, vice president for Finance and Administration. “I’m supremely confident he will guide ITS in a superb fashion in his new VP role.”

Ravishanker leads monthly meetings for the entire ITS department to keep everyone abreast on each other’s projects and upcoming deadlines. He offers help and advice to anyone who needs it, and enjoys taking on his own projects when time allows.

Ravishanker is the E-Portfolio’s author and wrote several of its applications, such as the bulk email system and various e-mail tools. He’s mastered several programming languages including as Java, FORTRAN and PERL and understands all e-mail, server and networking issues on campus.

“I used to be a very hands-on manager,” he says. “I wanted to be able to do anything anyone else in this department can do, in addition to being a manager. But that has to change now.”

Ravishanker, a native of Sri Lanka, attended college in southern India and earned a Ph.D in theoretical chemistry Hunter College of the City University of New York. He has always had an interest in technology.

In his new VP role, Ravishanker has two immediate goals in mind. He wants to make Web Mail more efficient. A group of ITS staff are currently implementing various technologies to accomplish this. He also wants to explore with the cooperation of ITS staff opportunities available through Web 2.0 and see how these services can be advantageous to Wesleyan. The term Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that allows users to collaborate and share information online. He cites blogs and wikis as examples of Web 2.0 technologies. Leading by example, the “gone paperless” guru already uses a Web 2.0 blog to communicate with his department.

“Applying new Web technologies to enhance the sense of community and help collaborate better will be our goal in the coming year,” he says.

Ravishanker spends his free time playing golf and the occasional game of cricket. But he returns to the computer for his ultimate hobby – tuning into South-Indian music stations.

“I’m always humming along with them,” he says, smiling.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Chris Potter: Hockey, Golf Coach Busy on the Greens and Ice


Posted 07/07/06
Q: Chris, you’re the head men’s ice hockey coach and the head golf coach. How do you manage doing both?

A: I have a strong passion for both sports and I enjoy coaching both teams. It does get a little crazy, but being organized helps. Also, I have great support for both programs. Lastly, I am very fortunate to coach great student-athletes. They are very motivated and they know what it takes to balance their academics with athletics, which is not always easy.

Q: Who are your assistant coaches?

A: Jim Langlois and Matt Plante are assistant coaches in hockey. Jeff Gilarde is my assistant for golf. He has a great passion for the game and loves working with the players. Matt has been with me for two years and has been a tremendous asset for the program. We have been heavily recruiting for the past two years and he has done a great job. Jim has been with Wesleyan Hockey for more than 20 years and has a lot of experience in coaching. Having good people working with you is extremely important.

Q: How long have you coached at Wesleyan?

A: I have coached the hockey team for three years and the golf team for two and a half years.

Q: Do you consider ice hockey and golf at all similar?

A: I would have to say yes and no. I think the obvious reason for it not being the same is hockey is more of a team sport than golf. Golf you are out there on your own and you have to deal with ups and downs on your own. Golf can really test you mentally. Hockey from a coaching perspective is more difficult. We practice four days a week, focusing on how to get the team to work together to achieve our goal: winning. The team relies on individuals and the individuals rely on the team. I think where they may overlap is dealing with people on an individual basis. Coaching golf I tend to rely on coaching the individual and that can carry over to hockey. Not everyone is motivated the same way. Coaching golf has helped my coaching ability with hockey.

Q: How old were you when you began playing sports?

A: I started playing hockey when I was 4. I also played baseball growing up.

Q: At the University of Connecticut, you were a four-year ice hockey letterman, an All-American as a senior and a two-time all-NECAC and all-New England selection. When did you decide that you wanted to be a coach and where did you first coach?

A: At first, I always wanted to play. I was playing in Roanoke, Virginia after college and I really started to understand the game and learn more about coaching. I played for Frank Anzalone and he had a strong passion for the game and coaching. He was extremely detailed and always prepared. I finished my third year and received a call from my college coach Bruce Marshall. They started a graduate assistant program and asked me if I was interested. It was a great opportunity to get into coaching and further my education.

Q: What did you major in at UConn?

A: I graduated with an economics degree and earned my master’s in education.

Q: What classes do you, or have you taught, as an adjunct associate professor of physical education?

A: I teach a golf class, intro to skating and a fitness class.

Q: In 1997, you got involved with the USA Hockey-Team New England as an instructor, assistant coach, and later as a head coach. Are you still involved with this team?

A: I was fortunate to get involved with Team New England when I coached at UConn. Jim Tortorella at Colby College was the program director. I am still involved today and have also coached at the national festival for the 17 age group. New England is one of many districts in USA hockey. Every summer, New England runs a 13,14,15, and 16 camp in Burlington, Vermont. In conjunction with those camps we select players to participate in the national camps held in St. Cloud, Minnesota and Rochester, New York. For the past six years I have coached at the 17 festival, which this year is July 7-14. It is a great opportunity to see the best 17’s in the country and learn more about the game. Dallas Bossort, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, played for Team Dakota at the 17 festival.

Q: Do you follow the National Hockey League?

A: I do follow the NHL and I am very pleased with the rule changes and the leagues focus on improving the game. I am a Bruins fan but disappointed with the trade of Joe Thorton. I always enjoy watching the Red Wings play.

Q: What months does the hockey season span? Golf season?

A: Golf has two seasons. We have a fall schedule and a spring schedule. The golf team will begin practice in September. We get right into it. The NESCAC’s are Sept. 9-10. It’s like playing for the championship the first week of practice. We finish the fall season in October and hockey picks up Nov. 1. Hockey feels like two seasons because we have six to seven games before exam break and Christmas break. The players are off the ice for about two weeks. They return the first week of January and we play every weekend into the first weekend in March. After the playoffs and depending how far we go it usually ends middle of March right before Spring Break.

Q: Where does the golf team practice and play?

A: We have a great relationship with Lyman Orchards in Middlefield. They have two 18-hole courses and a great practice facility.

Q: In your opinion, what makes an ideal student-athlete? Would you like to mention any individuals who will be key players on the teams next year?

A: I think we have a lot of the ideal student-athletes here at Wesleyan. You have to be self-motivated and utilize good management skills to be able to balance both. We have a good core of players coming back next year and the addition of some new faces. Will Bennett has been the team’s captain for two years and he will be joined by Ryan Hendrickson. Last season our goaltending emerged. Freshman Mike Palladino did a tremendous job in the first half and when Dave Scardella returned he stepped up and helped our team into the playoffs, which earned him NESCAC 2nd Team. I was also very pleased with our D-core last year the sophomores took another step and the freshman class really adjusted well. Dallas Bossort was recognized as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.

Q: Do you continue to play hockey and golf aside from coaching the sports?

A: I do more golf than hockey, but I do occasionally skate. There is a charity league in Rhode Island I get to every now and then.

Q: Do you have any free time?

A: My wife, Lisa, and I have 15 nieces and nephews, so between spending time with them and hockey and golf, I am always busy.

Q: What are your thoughts on working in Wesleyan’s Athletic Department?

A: I have really enjoyed working here at Wesleyan. Duke Snyder built a tremendous hockey program and impressed a lot of people and they continue to give back. I have been amazed at the support. I look forward to adding to these two programs and continue to improve them everyday.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Summer Programs Extend Learning Year-Round


Harry Saranchak, a Wesleyan Writers Conference participant, reviews his writing outside the Davenport Campus Center June 19. The conference is one of 31 campus programs occurring this summer at Wesleyan.
Posted 07/06/06
Learning never ceases at Wesleyan, even in the summer.

 

The Cardinal Hoop Clinic. The Russian Intensive Program. The Health Professions Partnership Initiative. These are just a few of 31 on campus programs running during the summer months.

 

The programs are not just for college-aged students, either. Many are specifically designed for younger children and adults.

 

The programs actually began this year before the class of 2006 attended commencement May 18 with the Russian Intensive Program. May closed with the opening of the Hughes Summer Research Program.

 

June’s highlights included 50th edition of The Wesleyan Writers Conference and the beginning of the six-week-long Upward Bound program, which is designed to prepare selected students academically and socially for the upcoming school year. In addition to academics, students participate in activities addressing the issues which affect today’s teens: AIDS, teen pregnancy, drugs and alcohol.

From June 26-August 11, Wesleyan’s Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science  (PIMMS) holds nine day-long summer institutes for area teachers. Teachers can take workshops on problem solving; using math games and activities to teach estimation; helping students master fractions, ratios, proportions and percents; and using technology in the classroom.

The Health Professions Partnership Initiative (HPPI) began June 26 and ends August 4. Through this program, minorities who recently graduated high school can explore health professions. At Wesleyan, the students have the option to study anatomy, biochemistry, biology, biophysics, biotechnology, chemistry, pre dentistry, dentistry, epidemiology, biomedical engineering, genetics, pre-medicine, nursing, nutrition, pathology, pre-pharmacology, pharmacology, psychology, public health, science and biostatistics.

Several programs focus on athletics. The Cardinal Softball Camp, Summertime Sports Soccer Academy, Select Soccer Academy, Adult Baseball Clinic, Cardinal Field Hockey Camp, Fundamental Basketball Camps, The Lacrosse Schools, the East Coast Soccer Academy, the Total Volleyball Camp, and Tennis Camp all begin in July. Wesleyan coaches create the curriculum and teach at many of these camps, and Wesleyan student-athletes are often employed as instructors.

 

Summer activities round out Aug. 25 with International Student Orientation and New Student Orientation on Aug. 29.

 
By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Classical Studies Welcomes Latin Literature Expert to Department


Lauren Caldwell, assistant professor of classical studies, will teach Latin and a course on Vergil’s Aeneid next fall.
 
Posted 07/06/06
Lauren Caldwell was hired as an assistant professor of classical studies on July 1.

Caldwell has an A.B. in Classics from Princeton University and received her M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Michigan. Her research interests are Roman social history, Latin literature, Roman law and ancient medicine.

Strong support for the faculty’s scholarly and pedagogical goals attracted Caldwell to Wesleyan.

“I am strongly committed to my research and to my teaching, and Wesleyan does a remarkable job of supporting faculty scholarship, while also focusing on undergraduate instruction,” Caldwell says. “Universities that successfully balance these two parts of academic life are rare, and for this reason I am thrilled to be at Wesleyan.”

Moreover, since the days when she wrote a senior undergraduate thesis on literacy in the Roman world, Caldwell has recognized the value of students’ receiving close guidance from faculty.

“Wesleyan is wonderful because its small size allows faculty to follow students through their time at the university, especially in their major,” she explains. “When I visited the campus and the Classical Studies Department, I was impressed by both the students – many of whom asked excellent questions about my research and teaching – and by the faculty, who are dedicated to advising students and helping them gain the most they can from their coursework. I wouldn’t be here today without the support of advisers and mentors, and I am happy to have the opportunity to give some of that back at Wesleyan.”

Caldwell comes to Wesleyan from the Department of Classics at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she was a visiting assistant professor. At Georgetown, she taught intermediate and advanced Latin, including the authors Cicero, Vergil, Tacitus and Apuleius. She also taught the History of the Roman Empire and courses on Roman Egypt, Roman law, ancient slavery and ancient medicine.

At Wesleyan, Caldwell will teach First-Year Latin and a course on Vergil’s Aeneid in the fall and focus on revising her book manuscript, Scripted Lives: Girls’ Coming of Age in the Early Roman Empire, for Cambridge University Press. Her other publications include “Roman Girls’ Transition to Marriage in Legal Thought,” in Finding Persephone: Women’s Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean, forthcoming with Indiana University Press, 2007; and “Dido’s Deductio: Aeneid 4.127-168,” for Classical Philology.

Caldwell lives in Middletown with her husband, Bob, who is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, exploring Connecticut’s state parks, and, less often, traveling to Roman sites, most recently in Tunisia and Spain.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

SUMMER LECTURE: Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, pictured in center in blue, speaks to an audience as part of The Hughes Program in the Life Sciences Summer Lecture Series June 14 in Shanklin 107. Royer’s talk was titled “What Fossils Can Tell Us about the Climate and Ecology of Earth Millions of Years Ago.” The Wesleyan University Hughes Grant was awarded to encourage participation and interest in the life sciences by undergraduates. The Lecture Series is ongoing throughout the summer and open to the public. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

Adjunct Continues Film Editing Career while Teaching


Jacob Bricca will be appointed to adjunct assistant professor of film in July.
 
Posted 06/16/06
Jacob Bricca ’93, formerly a visiting assistant professor of Film Studies, will become an adjunct assistant professor in July. His appointment is for four years.

Bricca spent several years as a full-time film editor in Los Angeles, but left to come to Wesleyan to teach four years ago.

“I found Wesleyan a very empowering place as a student,” Bricca says. “The years I spent here were really important in helping me define who I was and what I thought about the world. I probably wouldn’t have considered it if it hadn’t been Wesleyan, but coming back here was a really attractive idea. I’ve found that I really love teaching, and still have enough time to keep active as a filmmaker.”

Bricca is the editor of Lost in La Mancha (2002), the feature documentary about Terry Gilliam that played in theatres worldwide, and Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew (2002), which won the Audience Award on PBS’s Independent Lens series in 2004. Other recent editing credits include Tell Me Do You Miss Me (2006), a music documentary about the rock band Luna, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2006, and What A Girl Wants, a short about the media’s impact on girls’ self-image that is currently used in media education programs throughout the country. He’s also had credits in Sink Or Swim (1998); Max, 13 (1999); Never Land (2000) and Dreamer (2000).

As director, Bricca recently finished his first feature Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore, the first documentary to look in-depth at the issues surrounding the growth of “super-chain” bookstores.

He’s taken editing and directing awards at the Berlin Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Chicago International Film and Video Festival and Trimmer’s Rock Film and Video Festival in Pennsylvania.

Bricca’s presented a paper titled “Found Footage and the Media Criticism Documentary,” at the 2004 University Film and Video Association Conference and “Teaching Documentary as an Extension of Fundamental Filmmaking Techniques,” at the 2003 University Film and Video Association Conference.

At Wesleyan, Bricca has taught Sight and Sound, Advanced Filmmaking and Senior Thesis Tutorial. In addition, he co-authored the Snowdon-funded “Celebrating the Liberal Arts Tradition in Film” series and co-directed and co-produced the 2004 “”Freeman Asian Scholars Program,” a series of 15-minute videos used by the Wesleyan’s Admissions Office in their recruitment efforts for the Freeman Asian Scholars Program.

Bricca received his bachelor’s of arts in film studies and sociology from Wesleyan and his master’s of fine arts in film editing from the American Film Institute.

Aside from film, Bricca loves music. This interest, he says, impelled him to go into video editing.

“When I was a kid, I made my mom listen to me play DJ as I cycled the LPs on and off the record player. I spend at least as much time listening to and learning about new music as I do watching new films,” he says. “At its best, a well edited film is very musical and rhythmic even when the subject matter has nothing to do with music.”

Bricca lives in New Haven and enjoys spending his free time with his wife and 2-year-old-son, Rory.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor