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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

Presidential Search Forum Provides Insight


Jennifer Bol, a consultant from Spencer Stuart, the agency selected to assist the Presidential Search Committee in recruiting Wesleyan’s new president, asks the Wesleyan audience what they are seeking in the university’s new president.
Posted 10/05/06
Pam Tatge wants a university president who has traveled or studied abroad. Michael Whitcomb wants a president who respects a diverse staff and student body. Suzy Taraba wants a president who values a liberal arts education.

These were all suggestions presented during a presidential search open forum Sept. 29 in Russell House. Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet ’59, P’87, P’94 announced his decision that the 2006-07 academic year will be the final year of his presidency.

The forum was set up by members of the Presidential Search Committee to hear views and gain valuable feedback to be used in the search process.

“We’re here to find a leader who will thrive here and inspire our staff, faculty and alumni,” said Presidential Search Committee Chair Kofi Appenteng ’81, P’07. “Doug Bennet’s leadership has strengthened the university considerably during the past eleven years, and the Presidential Search Committee is seeking to build upon this momentum.”

The attendees also met Jennifer Bol and Michele Haertel, consultants from Spencer Stuart, the agency selected to assist the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees in identifying and successfully recruiting Wesleyan’s 16th president.

Bol led the forum, requesting that attendees speak about what qualities they’d seek in a new president. Ideas from the audience were numerous and varied.

Pictured at left, speaking, Suzy Taraba ’77, university archivist and head of Special Collections, said she hopes the new president will respect and honor Wesleyan’s unique history with the trend of mainstreaming in mind.

“I’m looking for a president who can understand that Wesleyan’s history is terrific and not something to be ashamed of,” she said.

Carol Scully, director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, suggested that Wesleyan and the new president continue to actively promote the value of a liberal arts education with policy makers and funders of higher education.

“We have noticed that funding for the liberal arts has declined at several major national foundations,” she said. “We need to insure that liberal arts institutions are part of the broader conversation about higher education in this country.”

Pam Tatge ‘84, director of the Center for the Arts, stressed that the new president should know the importance of using the arts in interdisciplinary ways, have experience working abroad, and have an interest in developing a positive relationship with the Middletown community.

“We’ve had a good track record under Doug Bennet’s legacy, and we need a new president who also can see the community relationship as an asset,” she said.

Makaela Kingsley ‘98, associate director of Reunion Leadership Giving, suggested that having some sort of connection to Wesleyan would be a plus; and Faraneh Carnegie ‘05, assistant director of Regional Programs and Networks, pointed out that the new president should value and respect Wesleyan’s diverse community.

“I’d hope the new president would like to continue to insure diversity among students, staff and faculty,” said Michael Whitcomb, director of Institutional Research.

Bol also asked the audience to describe the culture of Wesleyan.

Taraba explained that Wesleyan students tend to be “interested in everything,” and Camille Dolansky, associate director of Parent Programs, described Wesleyan’s students as “nice and intelligent.” John Driscoll ‘62, alumni director, summed up the student body in one word.

“They’re feisty,” he said. “We think of arguing as a sport. We get very excited about points of view.”

Others said they wanted a president who values athletics, racial and economic diversity, had good listening and public speaking skills, values alumni from different backgrounds, enjoys spending time with students, who has the ability to back up why decisions are made and someone who understands the economics of higher education.

“I hope our next president will understand the vision of the university and get people excited and keep moving forward towards this vision,” said Pat Tully, associate university librarian.

Paula Lawson, associate provost, hopes the committee doesn’t rule out someone from a business or law background.

“This is the 21st century and we can think more broadly,” she said. “It’s OK to think outside the box.”

For more information on the Presidential Search Committee, go to:
http://www.wesleyan.edu/newsletter/campus/0906pressearch.html

Current committee members have established a Web site to collect confidential nominations and feedback from the community at http://www.wesleyan.edu/presidentialsearch.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Voices of Liberal Learning Examine Issues that Shape Our World


Posted 10/05/06
Poetry, slavery, monks and dialects are among several topics of this year’s Voices of Liberal Learning seminars.

Voices of Liberal Learning is a series of stimulating educational programs and presentations available to the Wesleyan community.

“The Voices of Liberal Learning programs enrich the intellectual exchange among members of the community and offer the kind of substantive, outside-the-classroom learning experience treasured by all of us,” says Linda Secord, director of alumni education and university lectures. “We have a remarkable selection of educational programs throughout the year which will foster the evolution of knowledge and understanding at Wesleyan and challenge participants to think in new ways. I welcome everyone to take advantage of these offerings.”

Speakers and events occurring on campus during the Fall 2006 schedule are:

8 p.m. Oct. 4, Russell House, 350 High Street
An Evening with Poet Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart’s poetry met a wide and appreciative readership with the publication of In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

8 p.m. Oct. 5
Mansfield Freeman Lecture
Japan as the Earth Writ Small: Ecological Issues
Seminar Room, Mansfield Freeman Center for Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Conrad Totman, professor emeritus of history, Yale University, will consider how industrialization has transformed Japanese society, making global rather than local environmental factors central to the history.

8 p.m. Oct. 10
Contemporary Israeli Voices — How Poets Think
Russell House, 350 High Street
Agi Mishol, Israeli poet, and Lisa Katz, her English translator, will lead a discussion about using marginal details and how they lead to metaphor.

8 p.m. Oct. 11
An Evening with Lynne Tillman
Russell House, 350 High Street
Lynne Tillman is a fiction writer, cultural critic, and oral historian whose books include Haunted Houses, The Broad Picture, No Lease on Life, and This Is Not It. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

8 p.m. Oct. 17
What’s Hot in Astronomy?!
McKelvey Room, Steward M. Reid Admission Building, 70 Wyllys Avenue
William Herbst, the John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University, will look at recent discoveries in the universe and their implications.

4:15 p.m. Oct. 19
Fall Lecture Series: Revisiting Slavery
Center for African American Studies (CAAS) Lounge
Veteran Hartford Courant journalists Anne Farrow, Joel Lang ‘68, and Jenifer Frank will speak on “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery.”

2 p.m. Oct. 21
Wesleyan Writers Conference 50th Anniversary Celebration
Featuring Readings by 2006 Conference Writers Katha Pollitt and Alexander Chee ’89
Russell House, 350 High Street
Award-winning journalist Katha Pollitt is known for her provocative columns in The Nation and essay collections including Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism. She will read from her new book, Virginity or Death! Alexander Chee’s first novel, Edinburgh, won numerous prizes and he received a 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award. His new novel, Queen of the Night, will be published this year.

5 p.m. Oct. 21
Dwight L. Greene Symposium
Unconventional Wisdom: Plurality and Innovation in Corporate America
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Darryl B. Hazel ’70, president, Ford Customer Service Department, Ford Motor Company; Amy Radin ’79, chief innovation officer, Citigroup. The symposium, held in honor of Dwight L. Greene ’70, began in 1993 as a memorial to Greene’s life and work.

8 p.m. Oct. 24
Contemporary Israeli Voices: Death of a Monk — The Relation Between History and Fiction
Russell House, 350 High Street
Alon Hilu, a finalist for the Israeli Saphir Award, will discuss the relationship between the historic blood libel of Damascus in 1840 and his novel, Death of a Monk, a gay retelling of the Damascus Affair. Hilu received the 2006 Presidential Prize for Literature for Death of a Monk.

8 p.m. Oct. 25
An Evening with Poet Jeffrey Skinner
Russell House, 350 High Street
Jeffery Skinner has published five collections of poetry. In addition to his work as a poet, Skinner has had success as a playwright, having had his short plays produced in New York, Ohio, and Kentucky. Currently he is professor of creative writing at the University of Louisville.

4:30 p.m. Oct. 26
Listening to Chinese Painting
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Susan Nelson, professor emeritus, Fine Arts and EALC, University of Indiana
Chinese landscape painting ranks among the great achievements of world art, capturing the beauty, grandeur, and variety of nature, and giving a sense of the unending dynamism of the cosmic forces—the qi—that shape it. Those forces are manifest in the sounds of nature as well as in its visible forms; Chinese painters, seeking to convey the essence of landscape in all its dimensions found ways to suggest its sonorousness in a silent medium. How to read this aural imagery, and some broader questions about sounds and images, are the subject of this talk.

8 p.m. Oct. 26
Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns: Triumph of the Sports Culture
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Frank Deford, senior writer at Sports Illustrated, commentator on Morning Edition on NPR, regular correspondent on the HBO show, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel kicks off the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns with his informed perspective on the role of sports in contemporary culture.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 30
Contemporary Israeli Voices: Out of Sight
Goldsmith Family Cinema, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace
Daniel Syrkin, winner of Best Director Prize and Best Cinematography Prize, Israeli Academy Awards 2005 will lead a talk and movie screening.

4:30 p.m. Nov. 2
Enzheng Tong Memorial Lecture: An Underground Palace in Ancient China — The Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng (d. 433 BC)
Seminar Room, Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Robert Bagley, professor of art and archaeology, Princeton University will lead an examination of the richest discovery ever made in Chinese Bronze Age archaeology, the burial and contents of the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng.

8 p.m. Nov. 7
Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression
Public Forums: The Affirmative Side of Free Speech
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Cass R. Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School, and author of many articles and books on constitutional law and free speech. This event is named in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Hugo L. Black.

8 p.m. Nov. 8
An Evening with Poet Anne Waldman
Russell House, 350 High Street
Anne Waldman is the author of over 30 books of poetry and prose. She is a two-time winner of the International Poetry Heavyweight Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico and co-founder, with Allen Ginsberg, of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

4:15 p.m. Nov. 8
Fall Lecture Series: Revisiting Slavery
Lois Brown, “Cultivating Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and Enterprise in Colonial New England.”
CAAS Lounge
Lois Brown, an associate professor of English at Mount Holyoke College specializes in nineteenth century African American fiction. She has won awards for her discovery and republication of a largely unknown 1835 biography of a freeborn African American child. She is currently working on a book about African American novelist Pauline Hopkins.

7:30 p.m. Nov. 9
Asian Migrations and Intimacy
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Nayan Shah, associate professor, University of California at San Diego
Professor Shah’s lecture, drawn from his new research project, pursues the history of the migration of men from the province of Punjab in British colonial India to Canada and the United States from 1890 to 1950. Court cases illuminate how regulatory systems shape subjectivity, social dynamics, and categories of race and sexuality in twentieth century North America.
Shah, author of Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown, is currently teaching a course at Wesleyan on the history of interracial and intercultural intimacy generated by the migrations from Asia in the Americas.

7:30 p.m. Nov. 9
Shackleton Memorial Symposium: A Living History of Marie Curie
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Susan Marie Frontczak presents a one-woman dramatization of the life of Madame Curie, the first European woman to earn a doctorate and the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes.

8 p.m. Nov. 14
Contemporary Israeli Voices: Writing about the Holocaust with Humor
Russell House, 350 High Street
Amir Gutreund, winner of the 2002 Buchman Prize from Yad Vashem Institute for Our Holocaust and the 2003 Sapir Prize for Seashore Mansions, will hold a conversation about his memories as a son of Holocaust survivors.

4:30 p.m. Nov. 15
Cyber-History, Memory, and Violence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Peter Perdue, T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations and professor of history, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In the spring of this year, Chinese students at MIT protested an educational web site on East Asian history developed by Professors John Dower and Shigeru Miyagawa. Professor Perdue will discuss the implications of this incident for researching modern Chinese history.

4:15 p.m. Nov. 29
Fall Lecture Series: Revisiting Slavery
Gerald Foster, “American Slavery: A Most Complete Story”
CAAS Lounge
Dr. Gerald Foster is Scholar-in-Residence at the United States National Slavery Museum, the first American museum dedicated to the history of slavery. The museum is currently under construction in Fredricksburg, Va.

8 p.m. Nov. 29
Public Scholarship and Community Engagement
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president, Syracuse University will speak on community engagement.

4:30 p.m. Dec. 7
Singing the Way Home: A Personal Research into Hokkien Dialect Songs
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
A lecture by Singapore actress Ang Gey Pin. Brought up in Singapore in a time when the use of dialects was strictly restricted, theater artist Ang Gey Pin describes how she searched for songs in her family’s Chinese dialect Hokkien. In this talk, she emphasizes the connection between imagination and memory, linking the process of recovering cultural heritage to her own creative experience as a performer.

For more information contact Linda Secord at lsecord@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-3003. To learn more about these programs and their sponsors visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/175/liberal.html.

WesHome Program Teaches Students How to Live


Barbara Spalding, associate director of Campus Fire Safety, teaches housemates Sally Smyth ’07 and Kara Brodgesell ’07 how to plunge a toilet and shut off a water valve at their student residence as part of the WesHome Program.
Posted 10/05/06
Home sweet home. Or is it?

If a student’s residence is too hot, has a broken toilet, a burned-out entrance light, sticky windows or drafty doors, his or her home may not be more sour than sweet.

WesHome, a new program spearheaded by Physical Plant and the Campus Fire Safety Office, teaches students how to use, maintain and be safe in their Wesleyan habitats.

Wesleyan currently has 143 wood-framed homes, which house more than 554 students. Already, about 40 Wesleyan staff members have “adopted” their own WesHome.

“At Wesleyan we teach students all kinds of things, but we haven’t educated them how to live in their homes,” says Barbara Spalding, associate director of Campus Fire Safety.

On Sept. 29, Spalding visited the six students living in the 88 Home Ave. house. She brought along a pizza, soda, cookies and a plunger.

“Does everyone know how to use this thing,” she asks, smiling.

After a brief introduction, Spalding gathers with the students in their living room. She asks if the students are having any problems with their home, and takes note of their concerns. Any immediate problems are reported to Physical Plant.

Spalding then goes down a checklist, making sure their keys, doors, lights, windows, appliances, exhaust fans and heating system work. She explains where they are able to park, where their fire extinguishers are, when trash and recyclables are collected, how to close a storm window, how to hang a shower curtain inside the bathtub and how to control their thermostat.

She talks about prohibited items and behaviors such as using candles, burning incense, the use of electric heaters and halogen floor lamps, or placing furniture too close to the heaters.

Basements and attics are locked and Spaulding reminds students that unauthorized access to these areas will lead to a $500 fine.

Heating issues alone are worthy of an extensive talk. Spalding estimates that half of the students living in Wesleyan’s wood-framed homes have no idea where their home’s thermostat is located.

“Before you call Physical Plant and say your home is too hot or too cold, make sure your thermostat is set at a comfortable temperature that everyone in your home can agree on,” Spalding says. “Fixing the heat is not usually a housing problem, it’s a behavior problem.”

Spalding proceeds with a home tour, showing the residents their boiler, electric box and fire alarm panel in the basement. She teaches the residents how to plunge a toilet and shut off a water valve.

Residents also receive an Emergency Planning Notebook, which contains a photo of the home, exit plans, emergency phone numbers, links to personal safety Web sites, Emergency Blue Light locations, fire alarm and sprinkler information, trash and recycling information, energy saving tips, cable modem information and a family-contact emergency form for each of the home’s residents.

Meredith Katz, an 88 Home Avenue resident, says she enjoyed learning how her home away from home works.

“Our home-mom, Barbara, taught us everything we need to know about maintaining a happy household,” she says. “Now we know how to respect and preserve our beautiful home.”

The WesHome program is seeking staff and faculty volunteers to adopt a home. For more information, contact Barbara Spalding at 860-685-3780.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Art and Art History Department Welcomes New Assistant Professor


Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art, works from his office in the Art Studios.
 
Posted 10/05/06
This fall, Elijah Huge joins the Art and Art History Department as an assistant professor of art.

Huge comes to Wesleyan after four-years working for a large architectural office in New Haven, Conn. At Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Huge worked on the design team for the Minneapolis Public Library, which opened to the public in May 2006. While working there, he also pursued a series of academic and speculative projects.

“As the library neared completion, it was increasingly clear to me that rather than move on to another large-scale, long-term architecture project, I wanted to partake more fully in the intellectual vibrancy and open exchange of ideas that happens in a university environment,” Huge says.

In addition, Huge knew he wanted to continue design work and remain active in architectural practice. An opening in Wesleyan’s Art and Art History Department was the perfect opportunity.

“In light of these varied professional interests, Wesleyan presented an ideal opportunity: encouragement to pursue my own creative work while engaging bright, lively minds in the studio, and interacting with Wesleyan’s outstanding Art and Art History faculty,” Huge says. “The fact that I would be working in the Center for the Arts – a wonderful collection of buildings – was icing on the cake.”

At Wesleyan, Huge is teaching Architecture I and Studies in Contemporary Urbanism, which explores the physical and environmental design conditions that shape the built environment.

Huge holds a bachelor’s of art in architecture and history of art from Yale University, a master’s of architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. He also attended Princeton University School of Architecture as a Princeton University Fellow and Merit Scholar. While pursuing his degree at Yale, Huge worked as a teaching fellow and teaching assistant for several architectural design and history of art classes. In addition, he was selected through a competitive application process as an editor for Perspecta, The Yale Architectural Journal. Titled “Building Codes,” this issue was published in 2004 by MIT Press.

Also while completing his graduate studies, Huge started an architectural research group with a classmate to pursue speculative projects and design competitions. The group has met and worked continuously since its founding, garnering a number of awards, including an honorable mention for their entry to an ideas competition for the Highline, a 1.5 mile long elevated rail structure on the west side of Manhattan. Their entry was exhibited in Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Terminal over the summer of 2002. In the spring of 2005, Huge and the group won an international design competition for a new 26-acre park in Buzzards Bay, Mass. Development of the park’s design is currently underway.

Huge’s professional background contains stints at several architectural firms prior to working as a senior designer for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. He worked as a designer for Turner Brooks, Architect of New Haven, on the Nicholas/DuPont House, West Yarmouth, Great Island, Mass. He held internships at Behnisch & Partner, Architekten and Buerling-Schindler, Architektenin Stuttgart, Germany; and Little & Associates, Architects in Charlotte, N.C. He helped design the Lothar-Gunther Buchheim Museum, Bernried am Starnberger See in Germany and the Daimler-Benz Exhibition Pavilion for the 1999 Detroit International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich.

In addition, Huge is currently on the City of New Haven’s City Planning Commission, and has formerly served as a commissioner for the City of New Haven Development Commission and as a Yale University President’s Public Service Fellow for The Community Builders, Inc. of New Haven. He was an exhibition coordinator for the “Architecture and Revolution: Charles Moore and Architecture at Yale in the ‘60s” exhibit in New Haven.

Huge lives in New Haven with his daughter and wife.

In addition to teaching, he is starting his newest design project – designing a home for a Web designer in New Haven.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Librarian Speaks on Intellectual Freedom in Japan


Barbara Jones, the Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian, is the author of two books on intellectual freedom.
 
Posted 10/05/06
If a Wesleyan professor wanted to know what books students have read in the past, the staff at Olin Library would not be allowed or able to give him an answer.

“By law, we cannot report to anyone what anyone else has been reading, asking or viewing on the Internet,” explains Barbara Jones, the Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian. “We have the right to provide people with information, but we do not have the right to share what information they have requested. Plus, we break the electronic link between the patron and the borrowed item as soon as the book is returned.”

Jones’ knowledge in this area is not just a result of he being a library administrator. She is also an internationally-acknowledged expert on intellectual freedom. It was this background that garnered Jones an invitation to speak on similar topics at three venues in Japan Aug. 28-31. The U.S. Embassy in Toyko, Japan hosted her visit.

She was accompanied by James Neal, vice president of Information Services and university librarian at Columbia University. Together, they spoke on “Intellectual Property and Intellectual Freedom.” Jones spoke primarily on the First Amendment and the U.S. Patriot Act; Neal spoke on copyright law issues in the United States.

Both of these issues are hot topics in Japan. Copyright laws in the U.S. are different from other parts of the world, Jones explains. And Japan contemplating its own version of the U.S. Patriot Act. Japanese library professionals are sensitive to these issues.

During World War II, library collections in Japan were heavily censored.

“In today’s prosperous and relatively open Japanese society, their librarians are very passionate about including all areas of thought in their collections and in daily discourse,” Jones says. “This is why they are so interested in U.S. library policies related to the First Amendment.”

Jones and Neal spoke at embassy and consulate information centers in Fukuoka, Sapporo and Toyko, Japan. Their audiences ranged in size from 50 to 150 people. Most in attendance were professionals, academics, legislature members, librarians and the general public. Radio, television and newspaper reporters also attended the meetings. The presentations were made in English and translated to Japanese.

In her talk, Jones brought up the importance of balancing security and privacy with the public’s right of access to information, how U.S. constitutional issues affect the international library community and how technology plays a role in controlling access to content. She also talked about how national security legislation can compromise librarians’ best practices in providing content and services, the importance of written polices and guidelines for library services, problems with information crossing national boundaries, and accessing electronic information.

Although the talk was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, Jones was able to speak against such U.S. government policies as Internet filtering requirements tied to federal funding, and the scope of the U.S. Patriot Act. While she is just as concerned about international terrorism as all U.S. citizens, Jones believes that current government policies that compromise library access and patron privacy in order to prevent terrorism are often ill conceived and do not achieve their objective.

Some Japanese audience members knew of her research in advance. Her book, “Libraries, Access and Intellectual Freedom: Developing Policies for Public and Academic Libraries,” is published in both English and Japanese. Her new book, “Intellectual Freedom in Academic Libraries,” is due to be published in spring 2007.

In these books, Jones takes first amendment theories and ties them to the real world of librarians in libraries with real patrons with actual examples of intellectual freedom problems.

“For example, it is all well and good to have a written policy on following the spirit of Connecticut state law regarding library patron privacy, but what should a student worker do when a distinguished faculty member asks the student to reveal what books a particular student has checked out?” she says. “What does that student do when an FBI agent approaches the desk and asks what books that student has checked out? Fortunately, such events don’t happen often at Wesleyan, but it’s important to know the legal and ethical obligations in such cases. My books are practical, but based on court decisions, legislation, and American Library Association policy.”

This fall, Jones begins her fourth year as Wesleyan’s head librarian. In addition to intellectual property, her interests include academic library space planning; legal issues; collection management and budgeting for the 21st century library; fundraising, library development and community outreach; scholarly communication in a digital environment; special collections’ role in the 21st century library and international librarianship.

The Chicago, Ill. native has various degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, Columbia University, New York University, and she has a Ph.D in U.S. history from the University of Minnesota.

At Wesleyan, Jones has been an active member of the Deans’ Council, a coordinator for the Academic Technology Roundtable; chair of the Intellectual Property Committee; chair of the Library Space Planning Advisory Group; convener for the Information Literacy Discussion Group with faculty and librarians and the coordinator of Constitution Day events 2005-07.

Jones says she’d like to return to Japan to speak at other information centers in the country.

“I’m really hoping that once my new book comes out they will want to invite me back,” she says, smiling.
 

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

City of Middletown Honors Wesleyan’s 175th


President Doug Bennet and Midge Bennet accept a proclamation honoring Wesleyan’s 175th anniversary from City of Middletown Majority Leader Tom Serra.
Posted 10/05/06
The City of Middletown honored Wesleyan University with a proclamation honoring its 175th anniversary. The designation was made during the City of Middletown’s Common Council meeting Oct. 2.

President Doug Bennet and Midge Bennet accepted the proclamation in front of the council members and the public. The proclamation is mounted on a wall plaque.

Following the ceremony, President Bennet presented a brief history of Wesleyan, noting that it was founded in 1831 through collaboration among Middletown’s civic leaders.

Some of these leaders were Methodists, some not, but all of them agreed that establishing a college in what was then a booming metropolis of 7,000 people would be a good thing for the town. So they banded together and purchased the land and buildings on High Street that had comprised Partridge’s Academy, which had closed for financial reasons.

Willbur Fisk, a young Methodist minister and educator got to work establishing the college that would become Wesleyan. In his first inaugural address, he articulated a value that remains fundamental to the way we think about education. He said: “Education should be directed in reference to two objects: the good of the individual educated and the good of the world.”

“175 years later, Wesleyan has let go of its affiliation to the Methodist church, but not its indebtedness to its home city, nor a sense of common purpose with the people of Middletown,” Bennet said at the meeting. “We hope to continue contributing to the city’s welfare. Thank you for this honor.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor and Elan Barnehama, contributing writer