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Global Warming Topic of Schumann Symposium


Posted 11/01/06
When it comes to global warming, where on earth are we going?

That is the question scholars hope to answer during the 3rd Annual Robert Schumann Environmental Studies Symposium titled: “Where on Earth Are We Going? Global Climate Change and Vulnerabilities: A Perspective for the Future.”

The event is open to the public and takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at Exley Science Center Room 150.

“Given the trend of global warming, we need to think about these issues and prepare for them and adapt,” says Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies and event coordinator. “

The symposium will begin with a welcome message by Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet and a perspective by Sally Smyth ’07.

Four internationally-recognized speakers will conduct presentations at the symposium and answer audience questions.

“The speakers will be addressing everything from food and energy to extreme weather to human health to global interactions,” Chernoff says. “Global warming affects not only the sea level but human health. Hopefully this will make a big difference to all of us and change how the way we act as a community.”

“Failed and Failing States: A Growing Threat to Social Stability and Economic Progress” will be presented by Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit, interdisciplinary research organization based in Washington, DC. Brown has authored or coauthored 50 books and is the recipient of many awards, including 23 honorary degrees, a MacArthur Fellowship, the 1987 United Nations’ Environment Prize and the Borgström Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, and has been appointed an honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“Healthy People 2100: Climate Change and Human Health” will be presented by Kristie Ebi, an independent consultant based in Alexandria, Va. Ebi is an epidemiologist who has worked in the field of global climate change for 10 years. Her research focuses on potential impacts of climate variability and change, including impacts associated with extreme events, thermal stress, food-borne diseases, and vector-borne diseases, and on the design of adaptation response options to reduce current and projected future negative impacts. Her scientific training includes a master’s degree in toxicology and a Ph.D. and MPH in epidemiology.

“Global Climate Change and Hurricanes” will be presented by Judith Curry, professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Curry received a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Chicago and currently serves on the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. She has published over 130 refereed journal articles. Curry is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. She is a recipient of the Henry Houghton Award from the American Meteorological Society.

“Apocalypse Now or Brave New World? Two Scenarios for Social and Cultural Responses to Global Warming” will be presented by Alaka Wali, curator and director at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Wali has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University. She is responsible for coordinating a range of programs designed to enhance interdisciplinary work at the museum, strengthening public programming on cultural issues and promoting efforts to link the museum closer to the Chicago community. She is the author of two books, several monographs and over 30 articles.

John Hall, from the Jonah Center for Earth and Art, will have concluding remarks.

Chernoff anticipates an audience of more than 400 people, including college and high school students who are bussed in for the event. Audio tapes from last year’s symposium were donated to five area high schools and implemented into their curriculum.

“We invite Wesleyan students, faculty and staff, but we encourage the local community to come and ask questions and meet the speakers,” Chernoff says. “This is an opportunity to meet these scholars and learn from them first hand.”

“Where on Earth Are We Going” is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Fund for Wesleyan’s Environmental Studies Program. Funding for the Environmental Studies Program also provides funding for the Long Lane Farm Annual Pumpkin Festival run by Wesleyan students and the Earth Day keynote address at Wesleyan.

For more information on the symposium contact Valerie Marinelli, administrative assistant, at 860-685-3733. More information and video clips from former symposiums, go to: http://www.wesleyan.edu/escp/.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

WesWELL Director Promotes Prevention


Lisa Currie, director of health education at WesWELL, promotes mindfulness and responsibility in all areas of health and wellness in order to prevent disease, injury and other health problems.
 
Posted 11/01/06
Q: Lisa, the Davison Health Center is home to three health-related offices, WesWELL, Health Services and the Office of Behavioral Health. How do these divisions differ?

A: WesWELL is the health education office so we focus on prevention education on health issues relevant to college students. Health Services is our medical clinic, which provides treatment and preventative care for illness, injury, sexual health, travel consults and such, while the Office of Behavioral Health for Students offers confidential mental and emotional health support. We like to consider the Davison Health Center “one stop shopping” for our student’s health needs!

Q: As the director of health education, which division do you oversee, and how long have you worked in this position?

A: I have overseen WesWELL since I joined Wesleyan in July 2000. And as the sole professional staff member in the office, I sometimes joke that I am WesWELL, though of course that’s not true – I supervise a great group of students who round out the staffing.

Q: What is the mission of WesWELL?

A: Our mission is to promote mindfulness and responsibility in all areas of health and wellness in order to prevent disease, injury and other health problems. We strive to promote good health of mind, body and spirit by helping members of the Wesleyan community, particularly students, connect with resources and gain knowledge that will aid in the enhancement of their well-being, encourage self-discovery, and support their intellectual proficiency and academic success.

Q: Do you meet with students one-on-one or what is your interaction with them?

A: I do meet with students one-on-one, but more often I lead workshops or discussions with groups and work with student peer educators who then go on to create their own outreach efforts. If I do meet with an individual student, it might be to help a Residence Life staff member with programming ideas, to assist a student who is looking for resources or ideas on a health issue or even as a judicial referral for an alcohol violation.

Q: In addition to offering health education programs, how does WesWELL help students?

A: The Peer Health Advocates and I reach out to students in a variety of ways – workshops are just one method. We might sponsor an outside speaker or provide a training to help students build new skills. I also sponsor a number of non-credit fitness classes for students and employees every semester. Students who drop by the office will also find we have a health resource library with books, videos, journals, periodicals, and brochures that address many different issues.

We even advocated for changes to campus policy and practices to help create a healthier environment for students. The most notable example of this is the implementation of smoke-free residential living areas in 2002. The Peer Health Advocates lead the effort and the policy was implemented the following academic year.

Q: What are typical concerns or questions students have when they visit the WesWELL office?

A: It really varies. Since we address a wide range of issues, it could be a student who has a concern about a friend who is engaging in risky drinking behaviors or who is seeking funding for an event on breast cancer awareness or who is simply looking for information for eating more healthfully. But truthfully, the thing that gets students in our office most often is the free safer sex supplies. Though, most of our traffic is not from office visits – we have much more contact with students outside the office through our outreach programs and such. I also answer a large number of phone and email questions from student each week as well.

Q: What are a few examples of the non-credit classes you offer and where is this information available?

A: WesWELL started offering yoga classes to students sometime in the 1990s, long before my arrival. We continue to offer yoga, along with meditation, tai chi, kung fu, and our most recent addition, cardio kickboxing. About 125 to 150 people enroll each semester. All the details can be found on the WesWELL website at www.wesleyan.edu/weswell. Online registration runs in the early weeks of each semester.

Q: What is the Student Health Advisory Committee and what is your involvement with them?

A: SHAC is a committee of students who help advise Health Services, and my office to a lesser extent, on what are current issues of concern amongst students and how we can better serve those needs. It is co-chaired by Joyce Walter, director of Health Services, and Jeff Walker, a student. I sit on the committee and assist the group in the outreach efforts they create to educate the student body on available services and health issues.

Q: What are a few recent examples of WesWELL-coordinated events?

A: The Sexual Health Expo is ours. It was the brainchild of Joshua Pavlacky, one of my Peer Health Advocates. He envisioned a fun, safe, educational environment where students could learn about all aspects of sexual health and I think we’ve been fairly successful in creating that. Other than that, we don’t have too many recurring events since the health needs of students change continually. We typically collaborate with Health Services and Behavioral Health to offer a series of discussions and workshops throughout the year. An example is a recent presentation by Davis Smith, our medical director, on the new HPV vaccine and changes to the availability of emergency contraception. We also have collaborated with Aramark the last couple years on a multi-part “Feed Your Brain” series on healthy eating and cooking to help students eat better.

Q: What are your degrees in and from where?

A: I earned my B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and my M.S. in Education – College Student Development from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse. That’s not what most people would consider a very traditional path into college health education, but it’s worked for me!

Q: You’ve spoken at numerous colleges and conferences including Connecticut College, Trinity College and University of Connecticut with a program titled “Coming Out of the Fridge.” Please explain what this program is about.

A: I started speaking about my experience with compulsive eating about four years ago, partly to educate about this less-talked-about eating disorder but also to help myself in my ongoing recovery and healing. I use my personal experience to illustrate the facts about this disorder. I get a great deal of satisfaction from public speaking and having the chance to impact the audience with my words and experiences. I’m realistic enough to know it may not be life-altering hearing me speak, but it might be what encourages someone to get help for themselves or someone they love.

Q: What are your personal goals as a health educator working with college students?

A: I often say to students “I want to help you put the tools in your toolbox that you need to be healthier.” So to me, health education is all about skills development and knowledge building. It’s also about helping students learn how to critically examine their choices around their health and striving to make choices that will help them succeed at a higher level both inside and outside the classroom.

Q: If anyone has a question about WesWELL, how do they get in contact with the office?

A: WesWELL is located on the second floor of the Davison Health Center at 327 High Street. Students can stop by Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm or evenings by request. They can also contact me at 860-685-2466 or e-mail lcurrie@wesleyan.edu. Our web site is http://www.wesleyan.edu/weswell/.
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By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Director of Public Safety Aims to Build Strong Rapport with Community


David Meyer, director of Public Safety, oversees two captains, four supervisors and 20 officers and patrol people that work around the clock.
 
Posted 11/01/06
Though David Meyer wears plain clothes to work every day, he still has the approach and sensibilities of an officer in uniform.

In the past 27 years, Meyer has worked his way up the ranks from patrol person to officer to supervisor to captain. In October 2005 he was named interim director and in May 2006, he was promoted to director of Public Safety.

“It’s a unique position to be in because as the director, I have to be available 24-7 for whatever might come up,” Meyer says from his second-floor office in the Public Safety Building on High Street. “Heading a department that is a 24-hour operation can be a real challenge.”

Meyer says he rarely works a regular schedule, and Monday through Friday shifts are unordinary. He and two captains rotate their schedules so at least one of them is available at all times. If an incident is serious, Meyer will be notified whether he is on or off duty.

As the new director, Meyer has a few goals in mind. For one, he wants to build a stronger rapport with the campus and Middletown community, and hopes the Public Officers can gain more respect for their problem solving abilities.

“We are geared towards helping people resolve issues and we pride ourselves on that,” Meyer says.

Meyer says implementing new technology, such as having computers in patrol vehicles, is on his list of to-dos. He wants to train his staff to use certain technology and equipment to make their jobs easier.

Meyer also wants to make the department more efficient and stresses that all officers work on being and doing their best every day.

“This department isn’t me. It’s every patrol person, supervisor and officer in here,” Meyer says. “They do an outstanding job and I regularly get compliments about how courteous and professional the staff is.”

The Office of Public Safety consists of Meyer, two other captains, four supervisors and 20 officers and patrol people. The staff is multifaceted, and staff members are called upon to do everything from break up physical confrontations to respond to mechanical problems.

Often times, they will be asked to make a uniformed presence at certain Wesleyan events such as football games and Reunion and Commencement Weekend. They not only work at keeping these events safe, they are available to offer friendly assistance to anyone in need.

Although Meyer’s job as director is primarily administrative, he still makes time to go on site. Recently, he worked at Homecoming/Family Weekend events. He regularly helps out at Residential Life functions.

Maureen Isleib, associate director of Residential Life, has worked with Meyer for six years and has requested his presence at dozens of events. Beneath that gruff exterior, she says, is a man who really cares about the safety and security of our community. 

“In particular, over the past few years we have teamed up to educate students about precautions they can take to ensure their own safety, and Dave actively solicits feedback from student leaders regarding how to best reach out to the campus,” Isleib says. “He’s not a man who just sits behind his desk, he leads by example often staffing many of the large events on campus, including the parties that run into the early hours of the morning.”

When Meyer started at Wesleyan in 1979, the Office of Public Safety was located in the basement of North College. His office remained there until 1999 when it moved to a former graduate student house on High Street.

During his time here, Meyer says he’s noticed a trend in campus consolidation, and this benefits his department tremendously.

“I’ve seen a lot of change on campus like the Freeman Athletic Center addition and the new Fauver Field Residences, which is a great thing for the campus,” Meyer explains. “Wesleyan doesn’t really have any boundaries. It blends in with the community, so it’s always good to bring the students in closer, and when they are closer, it’s easier for us to keep them safer.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Economics Professors Take on Role of Editors for National Journal


Gil Skillman, professor of economics and Joyce Jacobsen, the Andrews Professor of Economics are the co-editors of the Eastern Economics Journal.
Posted 11/01/06
Two Wesleyan professors are devoted to making one of the country’s leading economic journals even better.

Joyce Jacobsen, the Andrews Professor of Economics and Gil Skillman, professor of economics, are the co-editors of the Eastern Economics Journal. Jacobsen and Skillman volunteered to assume editorship of thee publication in July 2005. They will complete their term in 2010.

“This is a rewarding opportunity as well as an important service to the profession,” Skillman says. “Helping authors turn a interesting but perhaps undeveloped ideas into solid contributions to the field can be very gratifying.”

The Eastern Economics Journal, established by the Eastern Economic Association in 1973, publishes papers written from every perspective, in all areas of economics. The journal is published four times a year and features between eight and 10 articles per issue.

The editors seek advice from their 16-member editorial board, three associate editors, and get production assistance from managing editor Bill Boyd. Boyd is Jacobsen’s spouse.

The journal considers manuscripts addressing a broad range of concerns including issues in economic methodology and philosophy as well as more standard contributions in economic theory and empirical economic analysis. The theoretical and empirical arguments in these papers are generally couched in formal mathematical terms, although submissions using less technical analytical methods are also accepted.

Labor productivity growth in Chile, the demand for recycling services, salary in major league baseball, the sexual division of labor with households and anti-discrimination programs in the job market are all topics discussed in the journal’s most recent issue.

“We are particularly interested in articles that have a neat idea that may be a little out of the mainstream of economics, that don’t fall neatly into a standard research category, and that other economists may find intriguing,” Jacobsen says. “For instance, an upcoming issue will feature two articles debating about whether or not the penny should be dropped from our currency system.”

As new editors, Skillman and Jacobsen have several goals in mind. Their immediate goal is to publish a backlog of accepted manuscripts that were on hold prior to their editorship. Once they are caught up, they hope to become more selective with their manuscript selections. They are presently publishing about 25 percent of all submitted articles. Increased selectivity would help to raise the publication’s national profile.

Jacobsen and Skillman also want to expand their subscription by finding a commercial printer than can offer advertising and publicity. Already, the association distributes the journal to 700 members and 300 libraries, nation-wide. They also want to expand the journal’s presence online.

“We believe that electronic publications are the wave of the future,” Skillman says. “Indeed, the journal already manages the editorial process online, as authors can submit their papers online, and referees file their reports online as well.”

In addition, Jacobsen and Skillman want to create special symposia issues, in which several articles tackle the same topic. “Agent-based” computer modeling of complex economic interactions is one potential focus area.

When manuscripts are submitted, Jacobsen is the first to see them. She divvies up the submissions between herself and Skillman.

“It’s fortunate Gil and I have varied specializations,” she says. “I handle the more empirical articles, and ones on feminist economics, and give Gil any manuscripts on micro theory, Marxist or institutional economics.”

The editors skim the papers to make sure they contain original work and do not have glaring errors of reasoning or methodology. If the paper passes this initial screening, they send the paper to two or three “referees” who are considered experts in that particular field of economics.

Within a three-month period, the referees offer their feedback. If positive, then Jacobsen and Skillman will most likely eventually accept the manuscript for publication, although they generally recommend that the author first makes revisions. The editing and revising process can take up to 12 months.

Once finalized, the manuscript goes into a queue and awaits publication space.

“We have a pretty steady stream of article submission and there’s always lots of reading to do, but we don’t mind,” says Skillman. “We get to learn a lot along the way.”

Wesleyan, which is credited on the journal, has been supportive of the editors’ efforts, giving them both financial resources for some of the journal’s overhead expenses and some course relief.

The Eastern Economic Journal is online at http://www.iona.edu/eea/publications/publication.htm.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Former Wesleyan Trainer Dies


Posted 11/01/06
Walter Grockowski, a former Wesleyan trainer and trainer for the 1972 Winter Olympics, has died at the age of 86.

Grockowski died Oct. 25 at High View Health Care Center in Middletown.

He began his 39-year tenure in the Athletic Department in 1947. He became the school’s head athletic trainer in 1973, a position he held until retirement in 1986.

His involvement in athletics went beyond the university. For many years, Grockowski helped with athletic events around Middletown, where he made his home, especially events organized by the city parks department and the American Legion.

A native of Pittsfield, Mass., Grockowski moved to Middletown when he was 6. He graduated from Middletown High School and the New Haven College of Physical Therapy. Between high school and college, he spent two years in the Navy as a pharmacist’s mate.

Grockowski was one of four athletic trainers for the U.S. Olympic Team during the 1972 Winter Olympics, in Sapporo, Japan. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 1984, and the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

New Method Gives Insight into Plant Characteristics During Global Warm-Up, Says Professor


Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, presented his research on leaf economics at the Geological Society of America in October.
Posted 1./1./6/font>
Many scientists have long believed a major clue to rapid global warming is locked in leaf fossils that are millions of years old. Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, has just found a key.

Royer and colleagues have generated a reliable method to ascertain from fossils from the Eocene period, 34 million to 56 million years ago, the leaf mass per unit of leaf area, an important trait that is related to “leaf economics.” His findings were highlighted at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), which was held in Philadelphia from October 22-25.

“The early Eocene was a period when the planet experienced intense warming,” Royer says. “Quantify the leaf economics of that time allows us to see how plants and the environment around them responded to a warm-up and compare that with what’s happening now.”

Which brings us back to leaf economics, or more precisely, what kind of leaves the plants had and how quickly they grew. In essence, plants tend to be relatively quick or slow growing. Quick-growing plants tend to have a low leaf mass per area. They are typified by thinner leaves, a higher photosynthetic rate and use more nutrients. They also tend to have faster lifecycles and be more susceptible to insect damage. Plants with a high leaf mass per area tend to be slow-growing and have thicker leaves that are more resistant to insect damage. They also display slower photosynthetic rates, use fewer nutrients and longer lifecycles.

Obtaining these types of measurements is simple enough in present day, but, in all but a few examples, has been difficult to generate in the fossil record.

Royer and his co-investigators were able to solve this puzzle by relating leaf mass to the width of the petiole, the thin stalk that connects the leaf to the branch. Heavier leaves require thicker petioles for reasons of support. In fossils, petiole width and leaf area can therefore be measured to estimate leaf mass per area. They tested their methods on Eocene fossils from sites in Washington and Utah.

Royer hopes that this new method will open up a new area of inquiry into the fossil record that can provide important data for helping us understand the effects of climate change today.

“It’s always a best case scenario when you can find something from the geological record that helps us learn something new and useful about our own world,” Royer says.
 

By David Pesci, director of Media Relations

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

A SPECIAL COLLECTION: Kendall Hobbs, reference librarian, and Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections, flip through the pages of Secret City of Broken Scams. This book, written by Fred Rinne and illustrated by Scott Williams, was one of 30 artists books on display during the Artists’ Books Open House hosted by Special Collections and Archives Oct. 12.

The open house display featured a pop-out three-dimensional book titled The Veil, written by Julie Chen and published by Flying Fish Press of Berkley, Calif. Books owned by Special Collections & Archives cannot be checked out, but they are all available for viewing by the Wesleyan community and public.
Robin Price and Terri Tibbatts examine a book by Shireen Modak Holman and Tom Galt. Pictured in the foreground is Tibbatts’ book, Water for Tea
Anne Thompson reads one of the books on display. Pictured in the foreground is a one-of-a-kind book titled New Chapter by Laura Davidson. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett)

Asian Languages, Literatures Welcomes New Assistant Professor


Shengqing Wu, assistant professor of East Asian languages and literatures, is an expert on modern Chinese literature and culture.
 
Posted 10/16/06
Shengqing Wu has joined the Asian Languages and Literatures Department and East Asian Studies Program as an assistant professor.

Wu, a native of Hangzhou, China specializes in modern Chinese literature and intellectual history.

“Wesleyan’s commitment to the excellence of liberal arts education, its top-notch faculty, the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, and its convenient geographical location were all big attractions for me,” she says.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chinese literature at Fudan University in Shanghai, with a special emphasis on the late imperial era.

In 1996, Wu came to the United States to study Western theories of literatures, cultural studies, and gender studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. There, she expanded her research to include Chinese prose narrative and poetry and intellectual history, with a focus on both new and traditional literary forms from the 1890s to the 1940s. Her dissertation was titled: “Classical Lyric Modernities: Poetics, Gender, and Politics in Modern China (1900-1937).”

At UCLA she received a Lenart Travel Fellowship through the Division of Humanities, a Research Assistantship through the Center for Chinese Studies; a Confucian Studies Fellowship and a Chancellor’s Dissertation Year Fellowship. In 2005-06, she received an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University.

Wu has already taught numerous classes on Chinese-related topics. At UCLA she taught Chinese language and classical Chinese. At the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, she taught Chinese ghost stories, fourth-year Chinese readings in classical and modern literatures. At the University of Kentucky, she taught beginning Chinese, gender politics in Chinese literature, Chinese film and literature, and a course titled “All under Heaven: Conceptions of Chineseness over Time and Space.”

And at Wesleyan, this fall, she is teaching fourth-year Chinese and gender politics in modern Chinese literature. In the future, she will teach classes on Chinese film and culture.

“I’ve enjoyed the fact I am able to live across the cultures and help the students to gain some knowledge about China and East Asia,” she says.

Wu, who worked as an editor for the Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House, is the author of essays and a book in Chinese. Her research paper “ ‘Old Learning’ and the Re-Feminization of Modern Space in the Lyric Poetry of Lü Bicheng (1883-1943)” appeared in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. She is preparing her book manuscript tentatively titled The Treasured Pagoda in Ruins: Poetics and Literati Communities in Modern China.

Wu resides in Middletown.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

22 Years, 370 Wins and Counting


Gale Lackey, head women’s volleyball coach, has coached at Wesleyan 29 years.
 
Posted 10/16/06
Q: How many years have you worked here, and how many years here have you coached volleyball?

A: I think I have outlasted most of the coaches in NESCAC. This is my 29th year at Wesleyan, and my 22nd term coaching the volleyball team.

Q: In your opinion, why is Volleyball so exciting to play and watch?

A: Volleyball is one of the most popular team sports in the world. It requires efficient movement because, unlike many other popular team sports in our country, it is a rebound sport not a possession sport. The movement prior to the rebound contact is extremely important to one’s success. The team aspect is also very unique, very dependent and very reciprocal. Lots of fast scoring and dynamic, athletic and powerful movements on both offense and defense make it a terrific spectator sport.

Q: The volleyball season began Sept. 8. What is your record and what have been the highlights of the season so far?

A: As of Oct. 16, we are 13-6 and 4-3 in the NESCAC conference. Our highlight thus far was defeating both Tufts and Amherst, two of the top teams in our conference, in one weekend.

Q: Who are the stars of this year’s team?

A: We don’t like to single anyone out as a star. Statistically we do have some conference leaders in a variety of categories. Lisa Drennan ‘09 leads the conference in kills per game, Ellie Healy ’10 leads the conference in assists per game and Becca Rodger ’08 leads the conference in aces per game. We also have two top ten conference leaders for blocks in Allison Heaney ’09 and Caroline Rober ’08 and our lone senior Tory Molnar ’07 is a top ten leader in digs.

Q: After coaching for more than three decades, do you ever get tired of coaching? What keeps it interesting?

A: I have actually been coaching for 37 years, and no, I never get tired of the actual practice and match coaching. The game of volleyball has evolved over the years, like many sports, rules have been changed or been added, or methods of scoring have changed. I have been challenged by these changes. They have given me an opportunity to grow and to learn more. Embracing the changes and being enthusiastic about them has kept it exciting and interesting for me. Coaching is teaching with a competitive twist. My job as a coach is to push and enhance the competitiveness of these young women. I want them to improve every week we are together.

Q: You have more than 370 wins in your career. What is your goal?

A: Without question, I would love to be a part of 500-career wins, take a NESCAC Championship or more and win a few more Little Three Championships before I retire. But my real goals are more process-oriented, as they have always been. I want to be consistent in what I expect from my players, to be as prepared as possible so that I can perform as well as possible and to continue to learn as much as I can from my players and the game.

Q: Who are your assistant coaches?

A: Joe Rouse and Bonnie Fineman. Joe is the Hedding Professor of Moral Science, chair of the Science in Society program and professor of philosophy. He’s been my assistant coach for 22 years and deserves a great deal of credit for all of our successes over the years. Bonnie joined us in 2005. She was named Boys High School Volleyball Coach of the Year three times by the New Haven Register and twice by the Connecticut Post. She is a very talented young coach.

Q: Where did you begin your coaching career?

A: I coached volleyball at the University of Bridgeport for one year and at Spring Grove High School in Pennsylvania for seven years.

Q: Where are your degrees from?

A: I have a bachelor’s of science and a master’s of education in health and physical education from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

Q: Where did you grow up and what brought you to Connecticut?

A: I grew up in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, a very small town in Southern York County. I started playing competitive volleyball there at the age of 13. The opportunity for college coaching happened to bring me to Connecticut.

Q: In 2001, your team had a best-ever 30-6 record and a first-ever invitation to the NCAA Division III tournament. For this you were named the 2001 Coach of the Year. How did this make you feel?

A: The players on that team earned that record and the bid to the NCAA Championship. Being honored by our NESCAC coaching peers was very gratifying. That award belonged to the coaching staff. Jess Rooney ’00, a former player and Joe Rouse were my assistants that season. Jess’s enthusiasm and competitive spirit were very contagious, and I can’t say enough about the contributions of Joe over the past 22 years. He volunteers and is totally committed to our program from a pure love of the game.

Q: In addition to coaching, you are the associate director of athletics, physical education coordinator and the senior woman administrator for the Athletics Department. Tell me about these roles.

A: I am the NCAA and NESCAC compliance coordinator for our department. This involves interpreting rules and certifying and maintaining all eligibility for our athletes. I am also involved with student-athlete welfare issues. This involves working closely with our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and planning educational programming for our student-athletes. As the Senior Woman Administrator I attend all NESCAC Administrator meetings, the annual NCAA convention and serve on committees for the NESCAC conference. I also maintain and update the Student-Athlete handbook annually. I consistently serve on reappointment and promotion committees for my colleagues. I am also the coordinator for the physical education curriculum.

Q: Do you teach any physical education classes?

A: Yes, I teach Beginning Foil Fencing. I also teach a Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies course titled “Gender and Sport.”

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I enjoy reading, gardening and golf. I love to spend my free time near the ocean and beach. I am also an avid participant in Tai Chi, Pilates and meditation.

Q: Do you favor any other sports? Any teams you root for?

A: I have also coached field hockey and lacrosse here at Wesleyan in the past. I am very happy about both teams’ recent successes. Although this is hard to admit in Red Sox nation and Yankee land, I am a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan and love to catch a game or two every summer at beautiful Camden Yards.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

A Sweet Sound: Chapel Receives New Piano


Neely Bruce, professor of music, plays the new, seven-foot August Foerster piano inside the Memorial Chapel Sept. 29.
Posted 10/05/06
The secret is in the strings.

That’s how Professor of Music Neely Bruce defends the exceptionally clear sounds of Wesleyan’s new chapel piano.

“This piano is extraordinarily beautiful, and quite different from the Steinway sound you may associate with a grand piano,” Bruce explains. “It is clearer, more agile, more evenly balanced and is the perfect size for the chapel. It is the best piano of its size on campus.”

The new August Foerster is a brand that’s legendary in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. It’s the same type of piano that was favored by Serge Prokofiev, Emil Gilels, and most of the major Russian pianists of the first half of the 20th century.

The Music Department, with help from the Administration, purchased the $38,000, seven-foot instrument from piano dealer Wilhelm Gertz.

Three years ago, when the Memorial Chapel reopened, the department intended to move one of its 9-foot grand pianos into the space, however this proved impossible. A smaller Mason and Hamlin piano has been in use, but Bruce felt the piano was not appropriate for the chapel’s magnificent public space.

“The chapel piano is not just a concert instrument, it is used for weddings, funerals and memorials and campus worship,” Bruce says. “Many of you will appreciate that our community has this new resource.”

To introduce the new piano to the community, Bruce played a short recital Sept. 25 in the chapel.

“We are very privileged to have this great piano at Wesleyan,” he says.

(To hear the piano, view the video clips below of Neely Bruce playing.)

      
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Payroll Going Paperless


Posted 10/05/06
Wesleyan is pushing for its payroll to go paperless.

All faculty, staff and students who receive a Wesleyan payroll check now have the option of receiving their pay stub online. This will eliminate all paper-processing.

“By going all-electronic, this is going to save more than the 25 cents it costs to pay for the paper,” says John Meerts, vice president for Finance and Administration. “We’re going to save on distribution costs we well. And if you’re like me, I end up just tossing it aside, losing it or disposing of it. It will be more convenient not to get this every pay period.”

Going all-electronic can be completed in three steps.

First, sign up for paycheck direct deposit. Direct deposit eliminates the need to take paychecks to the bank, and an employee’s net pay is sent directly into his or her checking or savings account. To sign up, take a voided check to the Payroll Office located on the fourth floor of North College and complete the Direct Deposit Authorization Form. This form also can be printed from the Finance Web site at: www.wesleyan.edu/finance/financeDept/payroll/directDeposit.htt.
More than half of all students, staff and faculty already have direct deposit.

Secondly, register for a secure iPay viewer. iPayStatements allow employees and students secure, Web-based access to their pay statements and W2 wage and tax statements. This service is offered with secure, self service access to your pay data. You can enroll for iPayStatements online at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/finadm/introducing_ipaystatments_portfolio.htm
and access iPay through the staff and student Electronic Portfolio.

Thirdly, notify the Payroll Office to End Printed Pay Statements. Send an email to payroll@wesleyan.edu and request that printed pay statements are stopped. Employees should first make sure their pay amount is being deposited electronically into their bank account and they can access their electronic pay statement through iPay at least once.
Wesleyan’s Payroll Services and Finance and Administration Department will award anyone who completes the process with a $5 gift certificate to Pi Café or Red and Black Café.

All employees will continue to receive their W2 tax forms through the regular mail.

The idea to go all electronic is part of Project $AVE, an initiative to collect, review and implement new ideas for sustained cost savings and improved efficiencies throughout the Wesleyan community. More information is available at http://www.wesleyan.edu/projectsave/.

“We’ve had this option the past couple years, but now we want to make this a major initiative,” says Ed Below, director of administrative applications for Finance and Administration and Project $AVE coordinator. “It’s a win-win situation.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Presidential Search Committee Formed


Posted 10/05/06
Wesleyan’s Presidential Search Committee is fully constituted. The search committee is composed of alumni, trustees, faculty, staff and students and is undertaking a comprehensive search to identify and successfully recruit President Douglas Bennet’s successor.

The charge of the search committee is to review candidates and recommend a slate of finalists to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will select Wesleyan University’s 16th president.

The search committee is staffed by Joan Adams, special assistant, and search firm consultants Jennifer Bol, Michele Haertel and Kristine Johnson from Spencer Stuart.

The full description of the search committee can also be found on the Presidential Search Web site at www.wesleyan.edu/presidentialsearch. The committee will be spending the month of October conducting outreach in order to write a comprehensive position specification.

Anyone may use the Web site to make comments or suggestions for the search committee to consider and/or if you would like to make a confidential nomination.

The Wesleyan University Presidential Search Committee members are:

Kofi Appenteng, ’81, P’07
Chair, Presidential Search Committee, trustee emeritus of Wesleyan University and a partner in Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP

Stephen S. Daniel, ’82
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer of AllCapital

Jim Dresser, ’63, P’93
Chair of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and retired senior vice president and chief administrative officer of The Boston Consulting Group

Alex Dupuy
Chair of the Sociology Department, professor of sociology

Joseph J. Fins, ’82
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and professor of medicine

Susanne Fusso
Professor of Russian language and literature

Laura Grabel
Fisk Professor of Natural Science, professor of biology

Ellen Jewett, ’81
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and vice president, Investment Banking Division of Goldman, Sachs & Company

Michael McPherson, P’98
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and president of the Spencer Foundation

Brittany Mitchell
Member of the Class of 2007

Megan Norris, ’83
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and attorney and partner at Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone

Peter Patton
Executive Secretary to the Presidential Search Committee, vice president and secretary of the university and professor of earth and environmental science

Patrick Senat
Member of the Class of 2008

Ted Shaw, ’76
Trustee emeritus of Wesleyan University and director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

Shonni Silverberg, ’76
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and professor of medicine and director of the post-doctoral training program in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Ruth Striegel-Moore
Professor of psychology, Walter A. Crowell University Professor of the Social Sciences

Andy Szegedy-Maszak
Chair of the Classical Studies Department, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies, director for Faculty Career Development

John Usdan, ’80
Member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and president of Midwood Management Corporation