FEMINIST POLITICS: Carolle Charles, associate professor of sociology from Baruch College, City College of New York, presents “From Confrontation to Negotiation: CONAP and a New Form of Doing Feminist Politics in Haiti” in the Center for African American Studies Lounge Feb. 27. Charles is the mother of Jane Charles-Voltaire ’07.
|The well-attended event was sponsored by the the Center for African American Studies. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)|
by Olivia Drake •
|Pictured at top, Alex Gorelick ’09 performs during a WesGuitars meeting March 9. Pictured in back, from left, are Bolivian guitarist, Marcos Puña and Cem Duruoz, private lessons teacher of classical guitar and WesGuitar coordinator. Pictured below is WesGuitars member Sylvia Ryerson 09.
(Click the speaker button to hear Gorelick playing Prelude No. 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos)
| Sylvia Ryerson 09 came to Wesleyan with an interest in classic guitar, but no real ability to play the instrument. But after joining a new club called WesGuitars, shes already memorized pieces by Brazillian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and Cuban conductor Leo Brouwer.
Ive always loved the sound of classical guitar, she says. It’s great to sit in a room with a bunch of other guitarists and share what I’ve been working on, and hear music by others. It’s a really fun and encouraging group.
WesGuitars, a campus group generated last semester, meets twice a month in the Davenport Campus Center. During the March 9 meeting, Ryerson played a Villa-Lobos composition live for the club. Afterwards, fellow WesGuitar members complemented her efforts and offered constructive criticism.
The performance-oriented meetings serve as an opportunity for players to get feedback, tell stories, discuss different composers, ask questions, meet guest artists and be inspired. Sometimes, the WesGuitars will break out into a jam session.
The Music Departments Cem Duruoz, private lessons teacher of classical guitar, coordinates the informal club gatherings. He says the clubs purpose is to promote classical guitar awareness at Wesleyan and the Middletown community. The students may also perform in various concerts throughout the year.
Although the guitar originated in Spain, the students study music from American, Mexican, Turkish, Brazilian, Japanese musicians, among others.
Everyone has their own diverse interests, so we encourage each other to learn music from all over the world, says Duruoz, who has studied and performed internationally. The students are always free to write their own music, too.
Alex Gorelick 09, a chemistry and music major, has played guitar for seven years. During the recent meeting, he performed “Prelude No. 1” by by Villa-Lobos and “Sakura,” a popular fast-fingered folk song from Japan. The song took him three months to master and memorize. Afterwards, guest artist Marcos Puña of Bolivia inspired Gorelick by playing the same song an octave higher.
There are many variations on how to play a song, and writing the music for guitar is close to impossible, Duruoz explains. So much the way someone plays a song comes from the way they were influenced. I just recommend that they play the way they are most confident with.
Graduate student Glenn Henshaw says audiences respond the varied sounds of the guitar. The instrument can be tender and sonorous or it can be deeply rhythmic and angular, he explains.
The guitar is a relatively young instrument but it has timeless qualities, says Henshaw, who is learning “Homenaje – Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy” by Manuel de Falla. We want people to walk away from our performances and say, I had no idea the guitar could do that.
The guitar repertoire is diverse and affective. Some members of the group have performed duets with pianists, flautists and vocalists. Guitar newbie Ryerson says her life-long experience with the violin and reading music has helped the learning process tremendously, even though the fingering on the violin and guitar are backwards.
Most of the club members take or have taken private lessons with Duruoz, however WesGuitars welcomes all musicians from campus and the surrounding area to join. Henshaw says the relaxed environment ensures that beginners or non-classical players can feel comfortable enough to pick up a guitar and play.
Despite the fact that the Wesleyan music program is decidedly theory based there is widespread interest in performance; groups like ours will cater to both the casual and serious musicians on campus and in the community, Henshaw says. Wed really like to make Wesleyan and Middletown a mecca for classical guitar.
The club will culminate this year with a concert as part of the Chapel Music Series on April 7. They also are sponsoring a concert by Spanish guitarist Juan José Sáenz at 7 p.m. April 9 in Crowell Concert Hall. He will play a program of Spanish works.
For more information on WesGuitars e-mail Cem Duruoz at email@example.com.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
Passers-by walk across Cross Street at a pedestrian walkway. Brightly-colored signs have been installed in the center of the street in an effort to improve campus safety.
| In its on-going efforts to continually improve campus safety, Wesleyan has been taking various measures to upgrade services and capabilities appropriately. These include:
Public Safety’s on-going dialogue with the city to investigate other areas for crosswalk improvement has yielded a plan for further improvements that will add traffic calming measures by moving curbs, removing on-street parking in some areas, adjusting crosswalk locations to fit pedestrian traffic patterns, installing raised crosswalks and improving signs both on the sides of the road and painted on the roadway. The plan is pending approval and funding by the city.
Other renovations include fire alarm upgrades to 200 High St., 200 Church St., Center for the Arts Art Studio North and South, the CFA Cinema, 5A & B Fountain, 14 A, B & C Warren, and Physical Plant’s Cady Building on Long Lane.
In addition, part of a recent $10 Million Bond-funded project includes $2.5 Million for fire alarm and fire sprinkler upgrades to existing wood frame houses.
Campus Shuttle Program
In addition, all shuttle drivers have completed a driver safety course and attend several meetings each semester on driver safety and customer service skills. Each shuttle van has comment cards students can complete and send to the transportation services manager. All comments, complaints and suggestions are followed up on immediately.
Residence Hall Card Access
Wesleyan is always looking for ways to improve campus safety. Please direct suggestions to David Meyer, interim director of public safety, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|By David Pesci, director of Media Relations|
by Olivia Drake •
|Drew Black, wrestling coach, stresses intelligence, power, quickness, superb conditioning, flexibility and a high degree of self-confidence with his Wesleyan athletes.|
|Q: Youve been coaching wrestling at Wesleyan since 1998. What spurred your interest in the sport initially?
A: It all started my freshman year of high school in Mahwah, N.J. My brother was a sophomore wrestler on the team. My intention was to go and play basketball at the vertically challenged height of 4-foot-9 and 75 lbs. The wrestling coach spoke to me in the locker room just before the wrestling season was about to begin and said, “You may play basketball as a freshman, but after that JV and Varsity you will probably not play much. You should really think about coming out for wrestling. That weekend, my brother and I talked and I decided to try something new and took my basketball sneakers to the mat that Monday afternoon. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
Q: What is the objective in wrestling?
A: Wrestling is the oldest sport known to mankind. It was part of the first Olympic games. I find that people who have never seen wrestling, all they need to do is come to one wrestling event and they will be hooked. It is difficult at first to understand the points awarded, but in basic terms, you have two people out at the center of the mat. The wrestlers start on their feet and look to take the other down to the mat. Next goal is to turn your opponent over and pin his shoulders to the mat for the pin and the win. In and around the takedown and pin there is a lot of maneuvering for an advantageous position to dominate your opponent. A college match lasts seven minutes with three periods.
Q: In addition to strength, what skills are needed to do this sport?
A: Wrestling takes intelligence, power, quickness, superb conditioning, flexibility and a high degree of self-confidence. In the sport of wrestling there is no place to hide. There are no time-outs or substitutes. It is you versus another opponent. One of the greatest feelings in the world is to work so hard for something and then achieve that goal within the circle on the mat.
Q: As an adjunct assistant professor of education, what classes do you teach?
A: I currently teach indoor technical climbing and fitness swimming, but have also taught the strength training classes as well.
Q: In addition to coaching wrestling, youre also the strength and conditioning coach, and fitness center coordinator. In these roles, are you working with all Wesleyan athletes?
A: I work with many of our athletic teams. My goal is to have our student-athletes receive the best and most advantageous strength and conditioning programs needed for each student-athlete to reach his/her individual and team goals. Our student-athletes are some of the best and most dedicated people you will meet. Here they are at one of the best schools in the country, no one is getting a scholarship to play, yet so many of our student athletes want to train and prepare themselves to compete at a national level and represent Wesleyan with pride and honor.
Q: What is the Cardinal Speed and Agility Program?
A: Its a program that has become extremely popular over the past eight years. I have come to learn that most of our student-athletes call this Drew Black. They say, I have Drew Black today. This is a voluntary program where in the fall and spring we have 75-90 athletes in our field house going through speed drills, agility drills, games and conditioning activities. I have even had a professor or two come and join in the fun.
Q: Where did you go to college and when did you decide to become a coach?
A: At Syracuse University I majored in athletic training and wanted to work with athletes in prevention and care of injury setting. I also wanted to get my teaching certification so I could be more marketable in a public school setting. This led me to Kent State where I was a graduate assistant in the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport. I did attain my teaching certification and this is where coaching became a love and passion. It was during my student-teaching experience at Stow-Monroe Falls High School in Ohio. The varsity wrestling coach needed a freshman/JV coach to help. It paid $2,000 dollars and to a college student that is like being a millionaire. I took the job and at my first tournament I said to myself, Coaching is awesome, I think I want to coach and teach at the college level.
Q: Before coming to Wesleyan, where did you work? What attracted to you to Wesleyan?
A: Before Wesleyan, I was the head wrestling coach, strength and conditioning coach and fitness center coordinator at Phoenix Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. When I applied to Wesleyan, I was not familiar with Wesleyan at the time, but soon came to realize what a great school and opportunity this was for me.
Q: You led Wesleyans wrestling team to the highest-winning season in history in 2001-02 with a 17-2 mark and four winning seasons over the past five years. The team has earned scholar All-American status in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. What is your secret?
A: To be honest, the secret lies within the people you are able to work with. Wesleyan is a great school, which does attract top people to this campus. As a faculty coach, I need to get in touch with the very best and brightest young men all around the United States. Part of the secret to successful teams and consistent successful seasons is having top students who are also dedicated and committed to the sport of wrestling.
Q: What do you look for in student-athletes and what lessons do you stress?
A: I have been fortunate to have some great student-wrestlers in my eight years here. I stress hard work, smart work and teamwork. This all starts with setting goals so there is a destination set. The process of being a top student and a top athlete is the secret to success. These are the things that each member of our team has 100 percent control over. They have control over attending every class, studying, seeking out professors for help and guidance. They have control over how much strength training, running, conditioning and mat-time they do throughout the year. They also have control over their nutrition, eating smarter and healthier. The last thing they have control over and something we talk about a lot is being a quality community member, their actions away from the classroom and the mat. At Wesleyan, we want the total package of a top student, top wrestler, and a top citizen in the community and beyond. Set these as priorities, focus on them, and have the student-athlete take responsibility and there you have it.
Q: What are your thoughts on Dan deLalla ’07, who received the New England College Conference Wrestling Association Championship title after sitting out the regular season with an elbow injury?
A: Dan is one of those special kids you get to work with at Wesleyan. He is a competitor and someone who is so positive. He believes in himself because he works extremely hard all throughout the year. I must admit that it was difficult for me to believe that Dan could sit out the entire season, train for two weeks and then win the New England Championship to qualify for the national tournament. It brought great life and excitement to our team and really boosted our team morale. The outlook and future of this wrestling program is bright due to Dans accomplishments, his leadership and also the great young talent that this team has right now.
Q: Josh Wildes ’08 and Mike Lima ’08 also took conference titles this year. Do you foresee them going far in the next few years?
A: The team and I are so excited about next year and the next three years. We did not having a winning season this year mainly due to the amount of injuries our team sustained. The future is very bright with quality wrestlers such as Josh and Mike. Both of these guys can be impact wrestlers for our program in the next two years, but both need to continue to dedicate themselves throughout the year, not just from November to February. There are many bright spots throughout our team. Jeremy Stuart 08 is going to be tough the next two years as well. I should basically name our entire team right now because I see the potential in each of them to be very successful in the next few years.
Q: In 2005, the U.S. Marine Corps awarded you with a Coaching Leadership Award for your outstanding work in the development of leaders at Wesleyan and in the state. What was your reaction to this honor?
A: It was a great surprise. It was awarded to me at our annual National Wrestling Coaches Conference. I am just trying to give back to the sport of wrestling which has given me so much in my life. It is my pleasure to work hard for this great sport and to be involved in young peoples lives and try to set them in the right direction so they too can be successful people in the world today.
Q: What wrestling organizations are you a member of?
A: I have been a member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association for 11 years now, and member of the executive committee for eight years, and the president of our New England Wrestling Conference for four years.
Q: Does your family get into wrestling or other sports?
A: My wife, Jennifer; son Sean, 6; daughter Leah, 1 attend many of my colleagues games and competitions. Right now, lacrosse games are Seans favorite and Leah is just happy to be with her brother. We also love to use Wesleyan as our playground. This is such a great environment to raise a family. My son Sean gets to be around great people, use the great facilities and play different sports and activities.
Q: Aside from wrestling, what are your other hobbies and/or interests?
A: I am pretty simple. I love to go out to eat. I also try to stay fit partaking in weight training, running, and the occasional noon faculty hoop games, especially after wrestling is over. My other hobbies are quality family time and playing with both Sean and Leah. My family is my pride and joy. Seeing them laugh is the best hobby.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Five Wesleyan faculty members received Mellon Career Enhancement Grants for the 2006-07 academic year.Wesleyan, along with Amherst College, Grinnell College, Oberlin College, Pomona College, Reed College, Smith College and Williams College, are in the third year of a major collaborative grant from the Mellon Foundation to enhance faculty career development. Faculty members from each of the institutions compete for semester research leaves, summer stipend grants, and workshop grants designed to encourage and promote increased scholarly activity for the faculty of the eight institutions.
Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, and Abigail Hornstein, assistant professor of economics, received Mellon Summer Stipend Grants. Laurie Nussdorfer, chair of the College of Letters and professor of letters and history, and Ethan Kleinberg, associate professor of letters and history, received a Mellon Workshop Grant. Stephen Angle, associate professor of East Asian Studies, associate professor of philosophy, chair of the East Asian Studies Program and director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, received a Mellon Semester Research Leave.
Proposals for these grants are reviewed at each participating institution by a committee including the academic deans. This is the fourth year the Mellon grants were issued.
Barths research project is titled “Visual statistical processing in young children.” The project is based on the previous finding that adults can rapidly extract certain kinds of quantitative information from visually-presented sets.
For example, after a very brief look at a large set of elements, we have a good idea of the average size of all of the elements in the set, Barth explains. We don’t have to be told beforehand to try to figure out the average size of this bunch of objects: we seem to extract this statistical summary information about the set very quickly and automatically.
This finding is relevant to her broader research program, which concerns the remarkable quantitative skills children possess even prior to formal education. The rapid extraction of statistical summary information from visual stimuli is likely to play an important role, yet scientists know very little about this ability in children. This summer, Barth and her lab assistant will explore the way this ability contributes to young children’s quantitative cognition.
Hornstein plans to work with Minyuan Zhao from the University of Minnesota to study the relationship between effective capital budgeting and the internalization of research and development using a panel dataset of U.S. firms in the 1990s. To estimate the efficacy of a firms capital budgeting decisions, she will use a self-developed process, and acquire patent application data from the U.S. Patent Office. Hornsteins proposed study will examine issues that she discusses regularly with her Wesleyan students, for example corporate investment criteria, how firms make capital budgeting decisions, and how firms evaluate investments.
This research may also be of interest to my colleagues who teach industrial organization courses as firms use patents to buttress firm boundaries and maintain first-mover advantages, she explains.
In the long-term, Hornstein anticipates teaching courses that combine corporate finance and corporate strategy. These courses would share a common theme: how to develop and maintain a firms competitive edge while maximizing shareholder wealth.
Nussdorfer and Kleinberg are spearheading a workshop collaboratively. It will be titled Philosophy and Literature: Reading across the Disciplines, and is scheduled for May 9-10, 2007. The professors are inviting several scholars to explore the intersections, relations and tensions between literary and philosophical studies.
The workshops morning sessions will be open to the public and academic community, in which two invited presenters, one from literary studies and one from philosophy, tackle the same text, each from his or her perspective. In addition, experts from Wesleyan and other area institutions will convene to explore specific aspects of topics raised in more detail, drawing on the insights of the public sessions.
The focus will be not so much on what the two different disciplines are as on what literary scholars and philosophers actually do when they interpret a text, and what assumptions or mechanisms guide their arguments and interpretations, Kleinberg explains.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Nancy Healy, manager of Broad Street Books, says the shop’s new cosmetic changes, like the new bookshelf behind her, are meant to create the ambiance of a small independent bookstore.|
|Q: When were you hired to manage Broad Street Books and how is it going so far?
A: I was brought on board in the last week of January. It has been an interesting and eventful month! I have spent this first month learning about the history of the store and getting to know my staff, as well as getting acquainted with Wesleyan. Things are going very well so far, and I am confident that things will continue to get better and better as we move forward.
Q: Please describe the purpose of Broad Street Books.
A: Broad Street Books is a full service bookstore. Our goal is to serve both the Wesleyan and Middletown communitys needs. Students can find all their text materials, a wide selection of trade books, basic supply needs, as well as Wesleyan clothing and gift products.
Q: I hear there has been some changeover at the bookstore.
A: There certainly has been some changeover! In addition to myself, we have a brand new textbook manager, Ben Brown. Ben had been our textbook coordinator for the last year and has had an opportunity to learn about the business from the ground up. Carrie Brochu has also recently come on board as our general merchandise coordinator. Carrie also comes from Barnes and Noble and will be involved in building and promoting our apparel and gift sections.
Q: How many employees are there?
A: Our store employs roughly 20 to 25 people at any given time.
Q: What was the purpose of the bookstores recent remodeling?
A: The bookstore recently underwent some cosmetic changes. The changes are meant to create the ambiance of a small independent bookstore, while still promoting our Wesleyan home. Shoppers will find a redesigned trade book floor, as well as the addition of display bookcases on our mezzanine level. We are in the process of redefining the Broad Street brand. I believe it is important that our presentation and selection are reflective of Wesleyans reputation, as well as respectful of the diverse community that we serve.
Q: As a manager, do you spend more time behind the scenes or do you get much time to mingle with customers and staff?
A: I believe that establishing relationships with my staff and with the community that our store serves is the single most important component to building our success. Our hours differ from many campus bookstores. We are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I work weekdays and at least one weekend per month and one night per week. This allows me to interact with all of my staff members, as well as the different segments of our shopping community.
Q: What are typical job duties as a book store manager?
A: I am involved in all facets of our business. Of course, I am responsible for ensuring the operational soundness of the business, customer satisfaction, and sales growth. Currently, two of my main focuses are increasing awareness of the bookstore through the promotion of unique events and networking within the Middletown community, and the re-design of our store website. This will help to provide family, alumni, as well as prospective students access to Wesleyan apparel and gifts, as well as giving students additional access to textbooks during the school year.
Q: What are your daily challenges?
A: Learning all the many aspects of a new company can be challenging. There is something new to confront everyday. However, while I have many friends who cant imagine why I have stayed in retail all these years, the answer is simple. It is never boring. There are always new challenges in creating something. I find managing similar to directing a play. Somehow you are constantly engaged in creating the right dynamic both within your staff, as well as visually to entice your audience, grab their attention. When you finally get the right combination the results are extraordinary.
Q: What led you to Wesleyan and what type of field were you working in before?
A: Actually, I was contacted by a recruiter from Follett Higher Education, the company that runs the bookstore. At that time I was working for Barnes & Noble in the superstore division. I was immediately excited about the possibility of working in an atmosphere that promotes learning, growth and creativity. Previously, I had been an executive team leader for Target stores specializing in operations and merchandising.
Q: What is Follett Higher Education Group and what is the relationship with Wesleyan?
A: Follett Higher Education Group is the company contracted by Wesleyan to operate the bookstore. Follett operates over 700 bookstores at college campuses across the United States, as well as in Canada. Folletts resources provide the store access to many text materials, in particular, a variety of used text titles to help ease costs for students.
Q: What is your favorite book section at Broad Street and why?
A: Im not sure that I have a favorite section. I am quite intrigued by our faculty author sections. I find it fascinating what people are captivated by, and what they choose to write about. The same held true when I worked for Barnes & Noble. I was always interested in the local authors who came in. There are so many wonderful books published by smaller presses that simply dont have the capital to promote them as vigorously as the larger publishing houses. I also love the childrens section.
Q: Do you enjoy reading, yourself? What are your other hobbies and interests?
A: I do enjoy reading. You would be most apt to find me with a biography or history book. I have many interests! I have been engaged in a genealogy project for over a year. It has been an extremely rewarding and fascinating experience. It certainly gives history a new face. I also enjoy music. I play the tenor saxophone and flute. And then theres going to the theater, tennis and I am determined to learn to golf this year.
Q: Tell me about your family.
A: I am very fortunate to have a wonderful and supportive family. My life partner, Melissa, is a trainer with the Hartford Insurance Company. My 15 year old son, Chris, is the best part of everyday. We enjoy doing all kinds of things together. The beach, musicals, museums, and Red Sox games are some of our favorite things to do.
Q: Is there anything youd like to say to your new Broad Street customers?
A: I am always available and open to new ideas. I am excited about the coming months and thrilled to have the opportunity to work on such a thriving campus. Please come visit!
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|David Phillips, senior class dean, talks to seniors about their personal challenges, academic records, postgraduate options, and academic goals.|
|Sometimes a students academic problems are caused by something not-so-academic.
As a class dean, David Phillips spends much of his time advising students – discussing academic, social, and personal challenges and achieving personal goals. Hell work with individual students, professors and even parents, to support students in their pursuit of a positive learning experience.
“What I like about my job is that I get to deal with the whole student rather than just a particular aspect of a students life, Phillips says. Thats our mission as class deans. We want to get to know them on an academic and personal level.
Phillips, associate dean of the college and dean for the Class of 2006, oversees about 725 students in his class. Hes a source of information on academic standing; major choices; graduation requirements; university policies and procedures; and services, opportunities and resources available at the university and surrounding Middletown community.
As this years senior class dean, Phillips certifies students for graduation. He talks to the seniors about their academic records, postgraduate options and preparing themselves for life after Wesleyan. He runs an audit on every student to insure they have 32 credits and meet other graduation requirements.
Each students credit analysis is about five pages long, so I go through a stack of papers about two feet high, Phillips says, smiling. Its exciting to know that these students will be graduating soon and they will go off and begin their life-long careers.
The New Haven, Conn. native has a special bond with the international community. Phillips, whose father worked for the State Department, considers himself an international student having lived in Peru, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand and India before returning to the States for college.
Some seniors he knows only through phone calls and e-mails, but others he sees on a regular basis during daily drop-in hours.
I wish more would come by and say hello, he says. I get to meet a lot of the students that way.
Class of 2006 president Pacho Carreno is a frequent visitor in the Deans Office. Phillips helped Carreno prepare for his post-Wesleyan career, at a real estate consulting firm in Boston.
Dean Phillips has been my most helpful academic advisor at Wesleyan, Carreno says. His advice has enhanced my experience and has helped me to take advantage of the best that Wesleyan has to offer. I’m ready to graduate but I wish I could have an advisor like him guiding me through the real world.
Maria Cruz-Saco, dean of the college, says as senior class dean, Phillips is instrumental in helping students complete their educational pathways at Wesleyan and as they move out into careers.
“David has a deep knowledge of Wesleyan’s students and the curricular requirements, she says. He is insightful, supportive, a problem-solver by-excellence and loves his advising role.
Phillips came to Wesleyan six years ago as the associate dean of the college and dean for the class of 2006. It is his first administrative job, but his background in social history, cultural studies, and the history of technology makes him an ideal advisor for students with interests across the curriculum.
Phillips earned his bachelors of art in photography and printmaking and his masters of art, in comparative social history from the University of California Santa Cruz. He earned his Ph.D in American studies from Yale University. His dissertation is titled“Art for Industrys Sake: Halftone Technology, Mass photography, and the Social transformation of American Print Culture 1880-1920.
Prior to Wesleyan, Phillips worked as an assistant professor at Bennington College; a site editor for the Center for Electronic Projects in American Culture Studies at Georgetown University; a teaching fellow at Yales American Studies Program; assistant director of the Asian American Cultural Center at the Yale University; and a Web developer for the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale.
In 2004, he taught a class on mass culture titled “The Culture Industry” for Wesleyans Graduate Liberal Studies Program.
“I enjoy teaching, but I really love being a class dean because you get to work with real people who have real issues in need of real solutions,” he says.
Next year, Phillips will become the first-year dean, as part of the Office of the Deans class management system implemented in 2004. He will stay with this class throughout their four years at Wesleyan.
With Dave’s leadership were planning ways to enhance the first year experience, Cruz-Saco says. His position is at the moment more challenging that usual: helping seniors graduate, while at the same time, planning the transition for incoming students next year.
This summer, Phillips will acclimate himself to the new student orientation program, but during his time off, he plans to continue learning guitar, develop online projects related to American studies and social history, and going for walks at the Portland reservoir with his wife Christina and his dog Lucky.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
A Class Act: Assistant Professor of Theater Busy Teaching, Acting, Directing Local and International Productions
by Olivia Drake •
|Yuriy Kordonskiy, assistant professor of theater, will receive an award in April for directing the performance of The Heart of a Dog, performed at the National Theatre of Bucharest, Romania. Below, at left, is a scene from his Wesleyan production, Crime and Punishment, and at right, a scene from Sorry.|
|Yuriy Kordonskiys stage is not limited to Wesleyan. Kordonskiy is international.
Kordonskiy, is an assistant professor of theater, teaches acting and directing courses and has directed student productions such as M. Bulgakovs A Cabal of Hypocrites, Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment and the Thornton Wilders The Long Christmas Dinner in the Center for the Arts.
But Kordonskiy also directs performances and leading workshops at top international theaters. In fact, his recent production, Bulgakovs The Heart of a Dog, performed at the National Theatre of Bucharest, Romania received three nominations for the Award of Union of Romanian Theatre including The Best Production. The ceremony will take place on April 3.
So, how does he do it?
I just love what I do, and I want to be working every minute, he explains.
Internationally, Kordonskiy is somewhat of a celebrity. In fact, he holds almost rock star status in Romania, says Jack Carr, chair of the Theater Department and professor of theater.
As a performer and director, Kordonskiy has been involved in productions in nearly two-dozen countries. He has conducted workshops in Russia, Italy, Romania, Germany and Spain. He recently directed Disappearance and House of Bernarda Alba at the Maly Drama Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia; A Diary of a Madman at the West End Theatre, Gloucester, Mass; and Uncle Vanya, Sorry and The Marriage at the Bulandra Theatre, Bucharest, Romania. Uncle Vanya received five nominations for The Union of Romanian Theatres award (the Romanian equivalent of a TONY award) and received The Best Director prize.
Kordonskiys productions have won other awards in Romania, and garnered awards in Russia, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Great Britain. As a performer, Kordonskiy received two Golden Masques for the Best Production, the highest Russian theater award.
Every theater director should be able to do what their actors do, but do it even better, he says.
Though Kordonskiy is low key about the accolades hes received, he does keep a production portfolio, thickened with performance photographs, newspaper clippings and flyers from the shows. Among them, features from the Washington Post, the Washington Times, St. Petersburg Theatre Journal, and even a three-page spread in the November 2005 Romanian issue of Elle Magazine. Hes also been featured on National Public Radios All Things Considered and three shows on National Television in Bucharest, Romania.
The acclaim is even more impressive considering the stage was not Kordonskiys first calling. In fact, he has a masters degree in math and worked as an engineer before turning to professional theater.
I was walking to work one day and said, My job is boring. I dont want to do this anymore, and I turned around and went home, he says.
But he did have a plan. During his years at Odessa State University in Ukraine, he participated in theater. His improve theater group, The Club of Cheerful and Witty Ones, competed against other student teams and was aired on a national television. He continued on in repertory theater after getting his masters in mathematics.
Kordonskiy decided to apply to the State Academy of Theatre Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. There were thousands of applicants. Kondonskiy was one of only nine students.
He entered the Academys theater boot camp and danced, acted, sang, directed and even practiced acrobatics six days a week while studying mythology, theory and history of arts, among other theoretical disciplines. He received his masters in fine art in acting in 1995 and in directing in 1997 under Russian director Lev Dodin.
Kordonskiy was hired as a resident director and actor with the Maly Drama Theatre Theatre of Europe in St. Petersburg. He produced an original play and took original roles, one of which he played for several years and took him with Malys touring company through 20 countries.
In 2001, Kordonskiy moved to the United States and was hired to direct The Marriage, Dangerous Corner, The Little Prince and Antigone in the Classika Theatre in Arlington, Va. He also taught classes as an acting teacher and resident director.
A year later, he came to Wesleyan as an assistant professor of theater and began teaching classes in directing, acting and his self-invented class on the theater of Anton Chekhov, which is cross-listed with the College of Letters and Russian Studies Department. Kordonskiy also advises frosh, tutors senior-year honors projects, and serves as a guest lecturer for the theater history course on Russian theater.
Having a conservatory-trained artist at Wesleyan who brings his rich and intense background to liberal arts context is big advantage to the Theater Department, explains Carr.
I admire the way he has adapted this conservatory, no compromise, approach to directing and teaching to our diverse, multi-focused students, Carr says. The students regard him as possibly the most demanding professor in the department, and at the same time they love working with him.
Kordonskiy has opted for advanced acting, directing and lighting design classes to merge during class times to create a full production. This collaboration has led to increased enthusiasm by the students.
Mosah Fernandez-Goodman 04, associate director of the annual fund, says being a student under Yuriy was one of the best academic experiences he has had at Wesleyan.
He was extremely well organized, insightful and patient, and his expectations were clear from the beginning of the project and he worked to develop each student’s talent to their highest levels, Fernandez-Goodman says. I think working with him is something I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.
For Kordonskiy, teaching has become as much a passion as directing and acting.
Ive worked with some very creative, interesting students here at Wesleyan and in general, they seem to be very mature, Kordonskiy says. They bring a lot of joy to the classroom and when I learn from them, I feel younger.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Trevor West, library assistant in acquisitions, orders, receives and accounts for the materials added to Wesleyan’s main library collections|
|Q: When were you hired at Olin Library as a library assistant in acquisitions?
A: I began on January 31, 2005.
Q: What libraries on campus do you order books for?
A: I place and receive orders for the Art Library, the Science Library, and the Olin Library, including the Scores and Recordings collection, and reference materials for the Special Collections and Archives.
Q: What is the purpose of the librarys Acquisitions Department?
A: Working in direct collaboration with the collection development librarian, the Acquisitions Department orders, receives and accounts for the materials added to Wesleyan’s main library collections.
Q: What are your key responsibilities as a library assistant?
A: My responsibilities include bibliographic record transfer or creation for requested monographs, order record creation, the research of availability and publisher information and monograph gift processing.
Q: If a professor, for example, requests a particular book for the Art Library, what is the process of getting this publication to the library?
A: First I must make sure that there is accurate bibliographic material for the title to be located. This may require some online research. In what country the book has been published and when, whether the particular book is an exhibition catalogue, a dissertation, or a collection of essays, these are a few of many factors that will determine which vendor will receive our purchase order. The order is marked RUSH to ensure a priority shipment. I unbox the shipment when it comes in, verify the contents against the invoice, and locate the purchase order for the item at my computer. I then verify that the book has the proper title and edition requested, mark the professor’s name, e-mail and campus address on a slip placed in the book and send it off to the library cataloguers. Once through the cataloguers, the book is sent to marking and shortly thereafter the professor is notified that his or her request is ready to be charged.
Q: How are acquisitions paid for?
A: There is a substantial budget allotted annually to the Acquisitions Department. A smaller portion of library acquisitions is provided by gifts and donations, often from Wesleyan professors and students.
Q: How do you spend most of your day?
A: Most of my day is spent at the computer, however the best part of my day is spent at the receiving table opening recently boxed shipments of books I’ve ordered.
Q: That must be exciting.
A: There’s a great satisfaction unboxing book shipments at the receiving table. Having the first look at all of the new books is very cool.
Q: Can you mention a few examples of recent acquisitions?
A: Regularly I receive well over a hundred monographs each week, but I’ll name just a few of the most recent ones. I also recommend these books to be enjoyed after I return them! Saga: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Thirty-five years of Photographs; The Best Early Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald; Stanley Kubrick: Drama & Shadows: Photographs 1945-1950; Come on in!: New Poems by Charles Bukowski; Pizarro: Conqueror of the Inca; The Complete Stories of Truman Capote; Hanging Captain Gordon: the Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader.
Q: Is your job here challenging?
A: Yes, I find my job here to be very challenging, but I enjoy it immensely.
Q: Who are the key people you work with in the Acquisitions Department and where are you located in the library?
A: Ed Allen is the Collections Development librarian, JoAnn Dootson is our bookkeeper,
Q: Where did you attend college?
A: I attended Connecticut College and I have a bachelor’s degree in English with
Q: What led you to work in a library acquisitions type field?
A: I worked at the Charles E. Shain Library at Connecticut College during my undergraduate education. I have also worked in the main corporate medical library of a major pharmaceutical company in Manhattan, and in the Mary Cheney Public Library of Manchester, Conn. I’ve always loved libraries, but for me nothing compares to working in a private university environment.
Q: Since you work in a library, I would assume you like reading. Do you?
A: Yes, I love to read. When I’m not working, in class, or reading, I am at work framing art. I worked full-time as a fine-art custom framer’s apprentice in lower Manhattan five years ago and have continued my interest in archival framing with private consulting here in Connecticut.
Q: You’re also enrolled in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.
A: Being a student, I’m able to continually remind myself how necessary and beneficial my professional duties are to my education.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
Wesleyan University is one of 93 colleges and universities nationwide competing in a recycling program through April 8.
As part of RecycleMania 2006, Wesleyan aims to collect the largest amount of recyclables, the least amount of trash, and have the highest recycling rate over a 10 week period. A RecycleMania trophy will be presented to the winning school.
Schools participating in RecycleMania 2006 represent 33 states, 880,000 students and more than 275,000 faculty and staff. Eight of 11 campuses in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), including Wesleyan, are RecycleManiacs.
Bill Nelligan, associate director of Environmental Health and Safety works with Dainty Rubbish Service of Middletown to determine the totals in each collection category. Dainty collects and removes trash and recyclables from campus. Nelligan reports measurements on a weekly basis, via RecycleManias Web site, www.recyclemaniacs.org, which also has more information on the project.
RecycleMania is endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys WasteWise program, the National Recycling Coalitions College and University Recycling Council and the National Wildlife Federations Campus Ecology Program.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|In 2006-07, room rates for students will increase.|
| On Feb. 25, the Wesleyan Board of Trustees set tuition, room and board rates for the 2006-2007 academic year. Tuition and fees will increase 5 percent to $34,844. Room rates will increase 8 percent, bringing the base double room rate to $5,808, and the base 12-meal dining plan rate will increase 5 percent to $3,732.
The increase in the room rate reflects the escalating cost of utilities in the residence facilities. Wesleyan is also continuing a program to renovate residence halls to improve safety and security. This summer will see completion of the installation of proximity access locks on all undergraduate residence hall facilities accommodating more than 20 students. Tamper-resistant ground-floor windows in the Foss Hill residences and improved fire alarm and sprinkler systems will be installed; lounges will also be renovated.
Additionally, in response to requests from students and parents, senior houses and apartments will be furnished; $200 will be added to the room rate for these units for this purpose. This change was endorsed by the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee, which includes representatives from the Wesleyan Student Assembly, Physical Plant and Residential Life.
Maintaining Wesleyan’s commitment to providing access to students from all backgrounds remains one of the universitys highest priorities. Wesleyan provides financial aid awards that meet 100 percent of demonstrated need. Awards typically include loans, campus employment and grants. In 2005-06, 44 percent of students received grant awards averaging $24,756; scholarships for all four classes totaled $29.3 million.
Wesleyan continues to manage its finances strategically and prudently. The university administration has been efficient in this endeavor, having one of the lowest ratios of administrative costs to educational expense among our peers. While Wesleyan continues to identify new efficiencies, the university administration has been mindful to do so in a way that does not compromise support of the primary academic mission of the university. Wesleyan remains committed to strong financial discipline while providing a first-rate liberal arts and science education that prepares its students to be leaders in a global society.
|By Justin Harmon, director of University Communications|
by Olivia Drake •
| Pictured at top, right, Yashan Zhou ’09 and Mo Sarakun ’07 teach seventh graders from Woodrow Wilson Junior High School how to make their own sushi rolls.
Pictured at left, Ada Fung ’06 teaches the students how to paint cherry blossoms on rice paper.
Pictured below, Alex Weber ’06 teaches martial arts and the history of the shaolin.
| Seventh-grader Liam Wolfram had tried sushi at Japanese restaurants, but hes never attempted to make his own. Last month, Liam did just that as he and 25 of his classmates from Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown experienced a taste of East Asian Culture at Wesleyan by preparing their own sushi rolls.
It only took about a minute to make, and its really good, Liam says, chomping off a bite of his seaweed wrap, teeming with tuna, cucumber and carrot. The rice sticks to the top of your mouth, though.
The student-run program is offered Friday mornings throughout the academic year and reaches about 300 students each year. Wesleyan students plan and run the activity workshops for each visiting class.
What do you know about Japan? asks the programs co-coordinator Mo Sarakun 07.
Its made up of islands, one student answers.
They have a lot of noodles there, another replies.
Sarakun, a China native who studies Japanese culture at Wesleyan, taught the sushi session and talked to the students about Japan. Afterwards, the seventh graders moved to another room to learn about painting on rice paper.
Program co-coordinator Ada Fung 06 taught painting techniques and the students participated and went back to school with their own paintings of cherry blossoms.
Fung, who has worked as a coordinator for three years, says she enjoys working with area children because of their eagerness to learn something new.
Curiosity and open-mindedness are the two most important things a student can bring when they come to participate in the program because theyll get a lot more out of it, she says. It’s a crash course in East Asian culture, but if we can plant the seed, just inspire and encourage them to keep learning about other cultures and countries, I think we will have achieved our purpose.
The Outreach Programs coordinators tailor each session to the incoming classs age level, ranging from preschool through high school. Visiting classes average about 25 students in size, and are split into three smaller groups which rotate among the activity sessions. This way, each student has the opportunity to participate in three different activities.
Other sessions offered include Writing and Language, Food in East Asia, Martial Arts, Japanese Tea Ceremony, East Asian Music, Traditional Clothing, Kamishibai Story-telling and Origami. Po-wei Weng, a graduate student in the Music Department, also has taught segments on Peking Opera, introducing the music, techniques, gongs and symbols.
The sessions may include visits in the Freeman Centers Japanese-style tatami room and garden, a kitchen to prepare Chinese and Japanese meals, and a gallery with changing exhibitions of East Asian art.
Wesleyan students benefit from teaching the sessions, explains Stephen Angle, chair of the East Asian Studies Program, director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies and associate professor of East Asian Studies and philosophy.
The Outreach Program gives our own Wesleyan students the opportunity to practice communicating their understanding of East Asian culture to others, Angle says. At the same time, our students are serving a younger generation of students in the community surrounding Wesleyan.
This is the second year Kim Fentress, a teacher at Woodrow Wilson school, brought her geography students to the Wesleyan program.
Were just beginning to study East Asian culture, and the program here at Wesleyan really ties in with that were learning, Fentress says. Its wonderful we have Wesleyan right here in Middletown.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|