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Professor Emeritus Stephen Crites Dies at 76


Posted 09/17/07
Stephen D. Crites, the Hedding Professor of Moral Science and professor of philosophy, emeritus, died Sept. 13 of prostate cancer. He was 76 years old.

Crites was born in Elida, Ohio and graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he majored in philosophy and concentrated in music. He earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Yale and a Ph.D. in philosophical theology also from Yale University. He was ordained to the Methodist ministry. Prior to joining the Wesleyan faculty, Crites was pastor of Grace Methodist Church in Stonington, Conn. and taught at Yale Divinity School and at Colgate University.

Professor Crites joined the Wesleyan Religion Department faculty in 1961, later moving to the Philosophy Department. He also served as Wesleyan’s chaplain during the 1960s. Crites was a much loved faculty member who taught courses in the Philosophy of Religion and related fields, focusing on19th century European philosophy and religious thought with a special interest in Hegel and Kierkegaard.

“Stephen Crites was an inspiring teacher, a thoughtful, engaged scholar, and a passionate and caring member of the campus community,” says President Michael Roth. “I remember Stephen vividly from my student days, and have met many alumni over the years whose lives were enriched by his devotion to teaching and to finding connections between narrative and experience, between faith and philosophy.”

Crites was a widely published scholar and edited several journals. He translated Kierkegaard’s Crisis Life of an Actress and Other Essays on Drama (Collins, 1967), and was author of In the Twilight of Christendom: Hegel vs. Kierkegaard on Faith and History (AAR Studies in Religion, 1972) and Dialectic and Gospel in the Development of Hegel’s Thinking: From the Early Writings through the Phenomenology of Spirit (Penn. State University Press, 1998). Crites was also a gifted musician and singer who performed a varied repertoire of works from German Lieder to sacred music to light opera.

After 40 years of service, Crites retired from Wesleyan in 2001.

He is survived by his wife, Ann Whall; his daughters, Thea Crites, Stephanie Lombardo and Lilli Crites Flesher; and by his stepchildren Jennifer Whall, Tony Whall, Amy Whall, Katherine Whall and their families. Crites was residing in Lyme, Conn. at the time of his death.

A service will be held at the Memorial Chapel, date to be announced. Chapel Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 1004, Meriden, CT 06450; to Wesleyan University; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
 

By Joe Bruno, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, professor of chemistry

Enzymologist Expert Keynote Speaker at Biophysics Program


Posted 09/17/07
Deciphering codes and genomes, DNA replication and biological catalysis are among topics to be discussed during the 8th Annual Molecular Biophysics Program on Sept. 20 at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown beginning at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public.

This year’s keynote speaker is Stephen J. Benkovic, the Evan Pugh Professor and Eberly Chair in Chemistry at Penn State University. Benkovic will speak on DNA replication.

Benkovic is one of the leading mechanistic enzymologists in the world, noted for the versatility of his research. His work on the chemistry of biological systems has made important contributions towards understanding the mechanisms of the T4 replisome, tetrahydrofolate-requiring enzymes, and coupled networks in enzymic catalysis, and towards the modular design of biological catalysts.

In addition to the biophysics program, Benkovic will speak on “Perspectives on Biological Catalysis” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 in Hall-Atwater, Rm. 84.

The schedule of speakers and topics includes:

10 a.m. Ishita Mukerji, chair and professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, will speak on “Spectroscopic and molecular dynamics evidence for a sequential mechanism for the A to B transition in DNA.”

10:45 a.m. Robert Lane, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, will speak on “The use of bioinformatics in deciphering regulatory code in the genome.”

11:30 a.m. Posters

12:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. Siying Chen, graduate student, “The work of a clamp loader in DNA replication“

2:15 p.m. Posters

3 p.m. Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, will speak on the “Exploration of lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis.“

4 p.m. Keynote Speaker Stephen J. Benkovic will speak on “DNA Replication.”

5 p.m. Reception and Posters

The program and seminar are sponsored by the NIGMS Molecular Biophysics Training Grant GM08271, Raymond E. Baldwin Lecture Fund, the Molecular Biophysics Program, and the departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Wesleyan.
 

Contributed by the Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Departments

Assistant Director of International Studies Helps Students Make the Most of their Study Abroad Experience


Gail Winter, assistant director of International Studies, says between 45 and 50 percent of Wesleyan students spend at least one semester studying abroad.
 
Posted 09/06/07
Q: Gail, how many years have you worked at Wesleyan?

A: It will be 14 years in November. I started working at Wesleyan as a long-term temporary administrative assistant in 1993, first in Academic Affairs and then in the Office of International Studies. I became the permanent OIS administrative assistant in October 1994 and was promoted to assistant director in 1999.

Q: What is the main purpose of the Office of International Studies?

A: Our primary work is to oversee study abroad at Wesleyan. We work with students, faculty, administrators, and program providers to ensure that students participate in substantive educational programs while studying in other countries. We are also involved in the internationalization initiatives on campus, and our office oversees the application and nomination process for a number of post-graduate fellowships and scholarships including Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Luce, St. Andrews, Keasby and Gates.

Q: What percentage of Wesleyan students study abroad and at what point in their undergraduate career do they go?

A: Between 45 and 50 percent of Wesleyan students study abroad at some point in their undergraduate career, which means that between 300 and 350 students study abroad each year. This does not include those students who study abroad in the summer months. Most students go abroad during their junior year, although a few sophomores and first semester seniors are part of the mix. We encourage students to start thinking about study abroad in their frosh year, because they may need to start a new language or continue with one they have already begun in order to participate in their program of choice. We like to start working with a student a year or so before the planned period of study abroad. This gives the student time to review all the programs and narrow his or her options to make the most out of their study abroad experience.

Q: How do you publicize study abroad and the OIS?

A: We hold a study abroad fair every fall semester which gives students the opportunity to meet with program representatives from the options on our Approved List. This year’s fair will be on Monday, Sept. 17 in Beckham Hall in the new Usdan complex. In addition to the fair, we hold study abroad information sessions throughout the academic year, including sessions specifically tailored to groups within the general student population.

Q: In which countries can students study abroad?

A: Our Approved List of programs includes 140 options in 40 different countries. Wesleyan has four administered programs in Paris, France; Regensburg, Germany; Bologna, Italy; and Madrid, Spain. Many programs require proficiency in a foreign language, but there are also programs for students who do not have a second language. More information is on our website at www.wesleyan.edu/ois.

Q: Have you personally visited any of the programs?

A: Yes. I’ve visited programs in Denmark, England, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

Q: How do you stay in touch with the students while they are abroad?

A: We communicate mostly through e-mail. We send them several letters each semester, updating them on campus news and providing them with information they will need at various points during their time abroad as well as when they return to Wesleyan. We require that each student send us a postcard, and award a prize each semester for the most outrageous one.

Q: What are the benefits to studying abroad?

A: Students who study abroad face the challenges of adapting to a different culture, different teaching styles, and different modes of assessment. Students on programs taught in a foreign language have the opportunity to improve their language skills dramatically because they are living in the language. Students who go on English-speaking programs also face adjustments as they acclimate to a new culture and different academic expectations. For many students, this is the first time they have been abroad and the experience has lasting effects on how they view themselves in the world.

Q: How do you prepare a student for going abroad, and returning?

A: Once students have selected their programs, we encourage them to become familiar with the country’s political, economic, and social issues by reading on-line newspapers. We also recommend that they see movies, read books, speak with someone who is from or has been to that country, and in general learn as much as possible about their destination before they go. All returning students must complete an evaluation questionnaire about their programs and these are available for students to read as they prepare for their study abroad experience. We hold pre-departure orientations at the end of each semester for the students heading out and a Re-Entry Workshop when they return. We remain in contact with returned students to help them use their abroad experiences in future endeavors.

Q: Where is the Office of International Studies located and when are drop-in hours?

A: We are located in 105 Fisk Hall. Our drop-in hours are 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Students who cannot come in during these times can make an appointment to meet with me, Carolyn Sorkin, director of International Studies, or Caitlin Zinser, our administrative assistant.

Q: Where did you attend college?

A: I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English and secondary education.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I enjoy needlework, flower gardening, attending Center for the Arts events and watching sports. I’m a fan of the Boston Red Sox and the University of Connecticut Women’s basketball team. I also love to watch figure skating. I see a skater execute a triple Salchow and think, ‘I wish I could do that!’
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Senior Studies Rare Type of Cancer Syndrome as Fellow


Posted 09/06/07
Adriana Cohen Rostoker ’08 always had a curiosity about how the body works. This summer, she had the opportunity to get a closer look as she worked with physicians and researchers on a rare type of cancer syndrome.

As a 2007 Alvan T. and Viola D. Fuller American Cancer Society Junior Research Fellow, Cohen Rostoker was awarded a $4,000 grant from the American Cancer Society’s New England Division to complete a 10-week fellowship. She applied for the fellowship last year, seeking an opportunity to learn more about the molecular basis and function of cells.

“I have always been fascinated by the nature of cancer and the ability of cancerous cells to defy the laws of replication, and thus proliferate aberrantly and indefinitely,” she says. “The Fuller Fellowship sounded like an amazing opportunity to do cancer-related research in a lab setting.”

Cohen Rostoker’s research focused on a familial cancer syndrome characterized by the formation of multiple tumors within the nervous system, called Neurofibromatosis type II. This syndrome is caused from a dominant genetic disorder at birth. She specifically examined a protein found in cells called Merlin, which functions normally as a tumor suppressor. Neurofibromatosis type II occurs in approximately 1 of 25,000 births and is caused when Merlin is mutated.

“I hope that my research will one day help determine Merlin’s role in Neurofibromatosis type II so that better treatments can be found for the disease,” she says.

The Newton, Mass. resident worked under the guidance of Andrea McClatchey, Ph.D. and Marcello Curto, MD, Ph.D. at the Center for Cancer Research, an affiliate for Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I was lucky to have such wonderful mentors to teach and challenge me, and I could not have done so much of the research on my own without their guidance and patience,” she says.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Fuller-American Cancer Society Fellowships, which offer grants to gifted young undergraduate students, introducing them to basic cancer research. The Fellowship began in 1967, when the family of Alvan T. and Viola Fuller made a major gift to the American Cancer Society to advance cancer research.

Cohen Rostoker, who is double majoring in neuroscience and behavior and biology and biochemistry, says several Wesleyan laboratory-based classes prepared her for the fellowship, including advanced molecular biology and genetics, organic chemistry and cellular anatomy and physiology.

“These classes provided me with a solid base, and they were essential for my summer fellowship,” she says.

Cohen Rostoker’s future plans are to volunteer abroad with a non-governmental organization in an area of public health, and then continue her education in medical school. She would like to become a pediatric oncologist one day.

“Even though I enjoy doing research, I have a passion to work directly with patients,” she says.
 

By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

PIMMS Graduates 9 Fellows from Leadership Academy


Posted 09/06/07
Nine Connecticut mathematics teachers were named “PIMMS Fellows” on July 11 following 15 months of study directed through the PIMMS (Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science) Mathematics Leadership Academy (MLA) and a summer intensive program in 2007. This group – the first to earn the distinction since 2001 – will join more than 650 others awarded the title since the inaugural Vanguard Mathematics and Science Fellows of 1984.

The MLA project, directed by PIMMS in partnership with the Hamden and Ansonia Public schools, was initiated in Spring 2006, with training provided during the summer and throughout the 2006-07 academic year. Forty-eight teachers from 13 Connecticut school districts and two technical high schools participated. The new fellows – among them three high school and six middle school teachers – chose to extend and cap their MLA experience with a two-course, two-week intensive workshop in 2007, completing a total of more than 160 hours of training.

“I cannot even come close to expressing how beneficial this PIMMS workshop was for me,” says algebra teacher Gina Zaleski DeMay, from Thomas Edison Middle Magnet School in Meriden. “I am actually a late bloomer; I returned to school after having four children and am a fifth-year teacher. I absolutely love my job as a math teacher to young teenagers in 8th grade.”

The summer program was designed and taught by Robert Rosenbaum, the University Professor of Mathematics and the Sciences, emeritus and founder and Chair of the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science (PIMMS) of Wesleyan.

The objective of the MLA project was to deepen teachers’ understanding of mathematical concepts and pedagogy, as well as to develop their skills as leaders and coaches. Workshops also addressed the use of software to enhance instruction in the classroom and for professional presentations, and provided guidance for analyzing school and district assessment data connected with the Connecticut Mathematics Framework across the grades. Teachers made presentations to their colleagues at department, school, and district meetings during the academic year. They also worked directly with teachers in their buildings to gain math-coaching experience. Through learning communities guided by a mentor, teachers had the opportunity to share their learning with other MLA teachers. They will continue their activities as presenters, mentors, and consultants.

“I am very excited to share what I have learned through PIMMS with students and colleagues, and I will continue to increase my mathematical expertise throughout my career,” says Fellow Paula Weinzimmer, who teaches grades five and six at Ferrara Elementary School in East Haven.

Summer 2007 training with Rosenbaum addressed conceptual frameworks of numbers and number systems, the geometry of two- and three-dimensional Euclidean space, and concepts and significance of non-Euclidean geometries – all in a historical context that highlighted the development and evolution of mathematics.

Rosenbaum, in his 68th year of teaching, at age 91, was impressed with the new group of fellows.

“Working with this group of dedicated teachers has been one of my most rewarding experiences,” he said, sustaining his belief that the development of cohorts of colleagues who are also friends represents PIMMS most important contribution.

Funding for the MLA project was provided by the Connecticut State Department of Education through the U.S. Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant Program. The extended Fellowship training with Rosenbaum was funded by PIMMS.

PIMMS will continue its mission for a 28th year “to improve mathematics and science education for all students throughout Connecticut by offering high-quality professional development programs to teachers.” The new PIMMS Fellows will help in that mission as they share their learning with colleagues and students and serve as resource staff for future PIMMS training.

The other seven new PIMMS fellows are:

Susan Corriveau, a teacher for 30 years Cromwell High School. Currently, she teaches Geometry and Algebra II in grades 10-12.

Mindy Gottlieb, an eighth grade teacher at Flood Middle School in Stratford.

Sharon Keegan, a 27-year veteran teacher, and is currently a mentor and grade 8 mathematics teacher at Illing Middle School in Manchester.

Danuta Mullen, who has taught grades 9 through 12 (Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry) at E. C. Goodwin Technical High School for 19 years. Through the additional training, Danuta’s goal was to grow as a leader so that her colleagues could look to her “for moral, academic, and professional support.”

René Pietrosimone, a teacher for nine years. She currently teaches 6th grade at Ridge Hill Elementary School in Hamden.

Basilla Stevens, who has been teaching math for 13 years at Seymour Middle School, is currently teaching grade eight math and Algebra I.

Angela Swanepoel, who teaches grades 9 and 10, algebra and geometry, at Bunnell High School in Stratford.

For more information on PIMMS, go to: http://www.wesleyan.edu/pimms/.

Roth Begins Presidential Blog


President Michael Roth has begun an online weblog, or blog, for the Wesleyan community.
Posted 09/06/07
Wesleyan’s new president has barely settled into his office and home, but has already started something will further engage him with the Wesleyan community. President Michael Roth has begun a blog.

Titled “Roth on Wesleyan,” the blog will be updated periodically with Roth’s views on Wesleyan and related topics. He also welcomes comments from readers.

The blog can be found at: http://www.roth.blogs.wesleyan.edu.

Studio Arts Technician Keeps Arts Area Environmentally Friendly


Kate Ten Eyck, art studio technician for the Center for the Arts, teaches students how to properly use mechanical equipment.
 
Posted 09/06/07
Early in life, Kate Ten Eyck developed a knack for understanding how things work. As a teen, she learned to fix cars, reconstructed a sewing machine and enthusiastically studied human anatomy. While she went on to pursue a career in the arts, she never lost her natural curiosity for mechanics.

In the Center for the Arts and the Art and Art History Department, where she has worked since 2000, Ten Eyck meshes her passions for art, teaching and technical problem solving in one position as art studio technician.

“One moment I could be talking with a student about artists who create work in line with that student’s interests, and the next, I could be fixing a drill press or mixing photo chemicals,” she says. “Since I understand both the artistic and technical sides of the arts, this position is a match made in heaven.”

Art students take full advantage of Ten Eyck’s abilities, and often ask her for advice on their projects.

“My favorite part of the job is when a student comes up to me and says, ‘I want to build this, but I don’t know how.’ I enjoy helping to teach students the skills they need to realize their creative potential,” she says.

Ten Eyck not only repairs machines, but also trains student artists how to use them properly – and safely. Several years ago, she helped acquire a flesh-sensitive table saw, which stops in 3 milliseconds if a finger lingers a little too close to the blade.

“I can sleep better at night knowing we have this special machine,” she says.

She also teaches chemical hygiene and environmental health-related issues to students enrolled in art classes.

“Until recently,” she explains, “many artists were using materials that we now know to be potentially hazardous to a person’s health. Here in the art facilities, we use ventilation, require protective clothing and in some cases phase materials out completely.”

Ten Eyck is always looking for ways to reduce and eliminate waste. For example, painting students now have a system to collectively recycle mineral spirits over and over again instead of disposing of them after one use.

“Wesleyan has been especially proactive when it comes to students’ health and caring for the environment, and our way of collecting hazardous wastes has improved dramatically,” says Ten Eyck, who is a member of Wesleyan’s Sustainability Committee. The Art and Art History Department has also dramatically increased paper, cardboard and wood scrap recycling in the past three years.

As an artist, Ten Eyck has worked in many different media, including drawing, sculpture, woodcuts, monotype printing, lithography and etching. She is a 1996 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and 2005 graduate of the Hartford Art School. She holds a bachelor of fine arts in sculpture and a master of fine arts in printmaking.

Her artwork has been featured in galleries nationwide. Some highlights include a series of etchings depicting the ecology of parasites, welded steel shoes in the shape of chicken feet, and mechanically-moving table and chairs activated by motion detectors.

In May 2007, she was one of 10 Wesleyan artists featured in The Faculty Show, showing her ambitious latest work, “Carousel.” Ten Eyck considers herself a “third generation tinker” and says the piece was inspired by her father and late grandfather, both builders and inventors. “Carousel,” pictured at right, is constructed of four wagon wheels, bark-peeled branches and a steel, crankshaft-like mechanism. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the piece. “Saw Machine,” another one of Ten Eyck’s three-dimensional, interactive sculptures, accompanied “Carousel” in the show.

“These are both sculptural vehicles and simple machines, and each represents my renewed interest in performance, tapping into my experience with dance, theater and music,” she says, regarding her recent creations.

Much of her theatrical interest stems from her experience working as Technical Director for Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown after college. In the summer of 2007, she furthered her theatrical studies with an internship at the Bread & Puppet Theater in Glover, Vt.

Largely through her experiences working with at-risk youth at Oddfellows, Ten Eyck discovered a personal devotion to young adults. In the past three years, she and her husband, pianist Noah Baerman, have become long-term foster parents to three teenagers, ages 14, 16 and 19. “There is a severe shortage of foster and adoptive parents, especially for teens,” says Ten Eyck. “No child should have to grow up without a family. My girls are amazing, and this parenting journey has been the most gratifying experience of my life.”

More of Ten Eyck’s artwork can be seen on her website, http://www.kateteneyck.com/.

A Quicktime video of Kate Ten Eyck’s piece, Carousel, can be viewed below.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor. Photos and videos contributed.

Career Counselor Helps Upcoming Graduates Seek Employment


Pictured in center, Vicky Zwelling, associate director of the Career Resource Center, talks with CRC peer career advisors Anthony Christiano ’10 and Chenelle Tanglao ’08 in the CRC library in Butterfield Unit A.
 
Posted 09/06/07
Q: Vicky, what brought you to Wesleyan?

A: I have spent nearly my whole adult life working at Wesleyan to which I’m clearly devoted. I came to the area in 1967 with my first husband who was offered a position on the faculty at Wesleyan. However, I did not start working at Wesleyan until I was hired as a part-time librarian for the Career Resource Center in 1984.

Q: Who hired you and what has kept you at the CRC?

A: Barbara-Jan Wilson, now the vice president for University Relations, hired me. From the beginning, under Barbara-Jan’s leadership, the CRC has practiced “total quality management” before the term was invented. Through many changes and careful hiring, the CRC has continued to function as a harmonious team, highly accessible to students, alumni and parent volunteers. As our director, Michael Sciola, said while we were training our Peer Career Advisors, the CRC is a “cool place to work.”

Q: How has the CRC library evolved?

A: Prior to 1984, the CRC library had never been open to students nor did it have any of the usual library systems in place. I spent most of my time during my first few years organizing and building up the collection, and finally getting it on line so that it is now accessible from anywhere on campus. Early on, however, I chose to spend most of my time as a counselor and assistant director. In 1996, I became one of two associate directors.

Q: In the CRC, what is your main goal when working with students?

A: I counsel primarily juniors, seniors, and young alumni interested in education. However, I also work with first and second year health professions students. So while my immediate goals might differ depending on which population I’m working with, the one goal I have in common for all students is helping them find their next best learning environment. That process consists of helping students translate their Wesleyan experience into marketable skills and to be able to speak articulately about these skills in both interviewing and networking settings. My ultimate goal is to help students find work that will enable them to live out the poet Rumi’s words, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

Q: At what year of their education do students start seeking career counseling advice?

A: Our motto to all students is to “come early and come often!” While we had seen 86 percent of the senior class by April of last year, we had also seen 57 percent of the junior class, 54 percent of the sophomore class, and 50 percent of first-years. This large number of first year students represents a substantial change from past years.

Q: What is your secret to good career counseling?

A: I always use humor in my counseling. Students are often anxious when they come to the CRC and laughing helps to restore perspective.

Q: What resources are available in the CRC for students?

A: We have a very robust Web site and a splendid new online database that reflects the internship/job/graduate school process followed by Wesleyan students. The process begins with self-assessment, exploration based on that self-assessment, development of a tool kit — resumes, cover letters, interviewing and networking expertise — and then putting all these skills to work in a job or internship search. One of our most important resources is an incredible network of alumni and parent volunteers available to share their knowledge and perspective. We also have an extensive print library.

Q: How often do you meet with students?

A: I meet with students on a daily basis and during my two weekly drop-in periods. When students get attached to me and can’t get an appointment with me for several weeks, I always tell them to relax and just sign up with another counselor. I add that it’s fine to see another counselor because they are all terrific as I hired them all, as part of the CRC team, of course.

Q: Can you give a few examples of where you helped students find employment last year?

A: A sampling of places students went to last year includes Teach for America, the NYC Teaching Fellows program, the Boston Teacher Residency program, and a variety of independent and public schools. I help students find employment by teaching them to become expert job seekers by using all the resources at hand, especially building relationships with alumni and parent volunteers. As Michael Sciola always says, “Luck happens (i.e. students land great jobs) when opportunity meets preparation.”

Q: What goes on during a typical day for you?

A: A typical day for me consists of three, one hour-long appointments, meeting with students on drop ins, researching information and alumni contacts, and planning networking programs involving alumni and parents volunteers, programs such as our upcoming Career Conference, a day-long event featuring a series of workshops and panels of alumni and special guests working in a variety of fields.

Q: What is the Urban Education Semester?

A: The Urban Education Semester (UES) is a Wesleyan-accredited, interdisciplinary immersion program that introduces students from all academic backgrounds to the complexity of issues facing urban public education. Students undertake supervised teaching in the NYC public schools and at night take graduate coursework at the Bank Street College of Education. My role is to publicize the program and to chair the Wesleyan selection committee. Wesleyan has an extraordinary rate of success getting students into this program. Many UES alumni report that UES was the most meaningful part of their entire academic experience.

Q: What is your educational background?

A: After graduating from Wellesley College, I got a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Harvard University, and I taught English in Newton, Mass. Subsequently, I worked at the New Haven community action agency, which founded Head Start. In 1987 I completed my Masters in Library Science. I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but have lived in New England since attending college at Wellesley.

Q: Tell me about your family, and what was the highlight of your summer?

A: I have a husband of 41 years, two grown, married children, and a 2 year-old granddaughter. I spend as much time hanging out with this gang as possible. This past summer, my husband and I did exactly what we have done since the summer of 1989. We traveled to the Loire Valley where we vacationed for several weeks in a charming limestone cottage in the beautiful countryside outside of Pontlevoy, a small French village. Our primary activity in the Loire Valley is biking which in the Loire Valley is like biking through an Impressionist painting. And then we spend a week in Paris which Henry James so aptly described “as the greatest temple ever built to material joys and the lust of the eyes.”

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I prefer to call them my other passions. I have been a professional potter since joining Wesleyan Potters in 1976. And though I hate to use the language of therapy, I have an addiction to fine fiction, I’m a plantaholic gardener, and I knit as a Zen practice.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

FIELD TRIPS: Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, Emeritus, took students enrolled in his Graduate Liberal Studies Program SCIE 641 Earth Resources course to the Old New Gate prison and copper mine in East Granby, Conn. July 12. Here, he points out copper sulfate in the mine ground’s walls.

Students walk near a malachite mineral-rich rock, inside the former copper mine, which opened in the early 1700s and later became Connecticut’s first prison in 1773.
De Boer uses a particle detecting instrument to locate uranium in the copper mine. His summer class studied the occurrences, origins, and usages of Earth’s principal mineral and energy resources.
De Boer, left, leads students over limestone rock formations, more than 430 million years old, located on the edge of the Housatonic River in Kent, Conn. on July 31.
De Boer, left, leads students to the top of a brick kiln, which once served as an iron smelting furnace. Built in 1826, the furnace produced Scotch “pig iron,” and was shipped down the Housatonic River.
Student Kelly Falvey looks at an illustration of an iron mine furnace, similar to the one sighted during the field trip.
Students Randy Smith and Carol Morris-Scata look over two copper-rich slag rocks, found on site near the iron mine. Slag is a glassy-like waste product of the iron smelting operation. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett)

Development Communications Director Meshes Creative Marketing Strategies with Design


Mark Bailey, director of Development Communications for University Relations, helps set the stage for fundraisers, senior staff and the president to conduct important conversations with donors.
 
Posted 08/07/07

Q: Mark, when did you come to Wesleyan, and why was there a need for a Development Communications director, and later a staff?

A: I came to Wesleyan in March 2005 fresh from more than 20 years based in sunny Southern California. My mission as director of Development Communications is to lead development communications strategies and projects for University Relations, based on Wesleyan’s new strategic plan and increased fundraising efforts. This includes developing and supervising ideas and information that marry message to dynamic visual presentation; and building a strategic marketing communications infrastructure to support alumni engagement initiatives. All of this to enhance Wesleyan’s relationship with alumni, parents and friends.

Q: Since Development communications is a fairly new department, can you explain its purpose?

A: Wesleyan does an impressive job of hewing close to its institutional strengths amid cultural stresses, cyclical economic swings, and the challenges of keeping up pace with expensive technological change.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president of University Relations, saw the need for preparing UR for an ever more challenging role in funding the 29 percent of annual operating costs that are not covered by Wesleyan tuition and fees – the so-called Gap. This Gap is usually covered by gifts to the annual fund along with withdrawals from the university’s endowment. As costs rise, the goal for funding rises. This year, University Relations must raise funds to cover current operating costs in 2007-2008, campus renewal and the endowment.

Everything that goes into planning, shaping, and delivering information is communication. Development Communications strives for a clear, vibrant, one-to-one channel between Wesleyan and its alumni to build relationships and foster support for the university.

Q: Who else is a member of the Development Communications staff? How often do you interact and how do your jobs overlap?

A: Jenny Fields ’03 is our Development Communications coordinator. An Etherington Scholar, she is a proactive coordinator of every project in which Development Communications is engaged. Adrian Cooke, our Web administrator, came to Wesleyan from Yale to manage UR’s many Web-related areas of concern. He is a talented interface developer and advocate for Wesleyan’s alumni on the university Web site. Although we each have distinct responsibilities and skill sets, we work closely, looking for ways to optimize every idea, publication, production and process. Teamwork is critical in creative disciplines. I am happy to say we have it in Development Communications.

Q: Can you name a few recent, and up-and-coming projects you’re involved with?

A: As the facilitator of most University Relations-related communications, Development Communications is deeply engaged in planning, scheduling, developing, producing and supervising or collaborating on all communications initiatives that touch alumni. For Wesleyan’s 175th Anniversary, Development Communications worked closely with Alumni and Parents Relations to plan Wesleyan’s 175th Anniversary observance and celebrations. This included conceiving the 175th stamp created by Ryan Lee; authoring the tagline “The Art and Science of Education since 1831;” creating parts of the 175th Web site; advocating for those fabulous building banners created by Steven Jacaruso, and being part of Jen Carlstrom’s “Then and Now” Web site development. I also wrote the scripts and helped co-produce the Wesleyan Fund and Reunion & Commencement multimedia Flash applications.

In addition, we’ve worked to rebrand the Wesleyan Fund, and branded the Voices of Liberal Learning speaker, seminar and lecture series with Linda Secord. We’ve created Fast Facts, designed by Anne Marcotty, which details the costs of a Wesleyan education; created the Donor Excellence ad series in Wesleyan Magazine; developed the new Wesleyan Note Cards; co-produced the Alumni Association News pages, gift announcements, and that great “Do You Know” photo series with Bill Holder, Cynthia Rockwell and Gail Briggs; and the Planned Giving ad series with Christina Posniak.

We’re now attempting to reframe the way we update supporters about the state of fundraising at Wesleyan and recognize supporters. We are creating a new way of seeing and reporting on support for Wesleyan as an annual update.

Q: What is Development Communications relationship with alumni, and how does it differ from the other branches of University Relations?

A: Ideally, Development Communications is invisible to alumni. We strive to set the stage for others – fundraisers, senior staff, the president – to conduct the important conversations with donors. We do that by creating the communications climate, the branding, the creative positioning, and the messaging to enhance their ongoing dialogue. We answer questions and concerns before they arise.

Q: What do you find most appealing about directing the Development Communications Department?

A: Creating a Development Communications Department at Wesleyan to support rising fundraising goals, finding talented, motivated individuals who thrive on excellence, and collaborating with other professionals in University Relations, on the Board of Trustees, and the Office of Public Affairs team in South College is challenging and rewarding for all of us.

Q: During a typical day, how do you spend the majority of your time?

A: My day breaks down into a 30-40-20-10 schedule. Typically, I spend about 30 percent of my time strategic planning, concepting, writing and editing; 40 percent in meetings, follow-up correspondence and calls; and 20 percent advocating initiatives; and 10 percent problem-solving.

Q: What attracted you to Wesleyan?

A: Wesleyan has it all: a history of scholarship, passion for liberal learning, an institutional commitment to positive change, and people who care deeply about making a difference every day. It is real and I value being a part of it.

Q: What did you study in college and where did you attend?

A: I studied journalism and film as an undergraduate at Syracuse University, then earned a master’s degree in communications from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse. I also did graduate work at UCLA and the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Q: Where are you from and where have you lived?

A: I moved here from Los Angeles. As a creative director, writer-director, strategic marketing communications specialist, and author based there for many years, I worked in major North American markets, Australia, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, and Switzerland. I was born in northern Vermont. Shoreline Connecticut is my idea of home and working at Wesleyan is a privilege and a pleasure.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Writing, photography, travel, history and being on the water.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan Open Raises $1,200 for Charity


Participants from the 14th Annual Wesleyan Open Golf Tournament donated $1,200 to the North End Action Team July 25. Pictured, from left, are Frank Kuan, Lou Onofrio, David Meyer, Lydia Brewster of NEAT and Sean Higgins.
Posted 08/07/07
Eighty-three Wesleyan staff, faculty and friends took a swing at the game of golf recently, while helping out their local community.

Participants in the 14th Annual Wesleyan Open raised $1,200 at the event and donated their earnings to the North End Action Team (NEAT). NEAT is a neighborhood organization created to develop grassroots leadership in the north end of Middletown and provide positive change.

The 18-hole round was held July 14 at Banner Lodge Country Club in Moodus, Conn. Players broke into 12 groups of four players each.

“The Wes Open, traditionally, has been a great way for members of the campus community to get together, enjoy a game of golf and have some fun,” says 14-year participant Lou Onofrio, maintenance and repair mechanic at Physical Plant- Facilities. “But once we got our participation number up, we decided to start raising funds for a local charity.”

All participants pay a $100 entry fee which includes an 18-hole round, prizes and dinner. A portion of the fee is collected for a charity. In the past, funds went to the American Red Cross of Middletown, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Connecticut Food Bank.

Frank Kuan, director of community relations, suggested the golfers support the North End Action Team this year. On July 25, Kuan and Wes Open co-chairs Onofrio; David Meyer, director of Public Safety; and Sean Higgins, Lock Shop foreperson for Physical Plant-Facilities, presented Lydia Brewster, NEAT community organizer, with the check for $1,200.

“We are so appreciative to be nominated for this support,” Brewster said. “We can really use this gift to help with our general operating costs.”

Joe Filanda, journeyman locksmith in Physical Plant – Facilities, brought home the first place Wes Open award, a three-foot-tall, recycled trophy. The prize, which appears to be a former Wesleyan Chess Club trophy, has been modified for the golfers, and is passed to the new Wesleyan Open winner each year.

“Most of us are avid golfers, but we cover every range of ability,” Meyer says. “Mostly we’re about having a good time and showing some support to local groups.”

As its name suggests, the Wesleyan Open is open to any Wesleyan staff, faculty, friends and family. The 2008 event will be held July 13. For more information, or to pre-register, contact David Meyer at 860-685-2809.

For more information on the North End Action Team go to: http://www.neatmiddletown.org.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

New Microscopes Aid Wesleyan Researchers

Pin-Fang Chen ’09 examines an eukaryote at a magnification of 12,000 times using Wesleyan’s new Transmission Electron Microscope. Wesleyan acquired two new high-tech microscopes.
Wesleyan’s Advanced Instrumentation Center has scoped out better way to conduct infinitesimal scientific research.

In the past six months, the center has acquired a new, state-of-the art scanning electron microscope (SEM) for 3-D imaging, and a transmission electron microscope for 2-D sample images. These microscopes are used by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

“These microscopes are allowing Wesleyan scientists to conduct research at levels never done before,” says Joe Bruno, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. “As more and more scientists pursue the study of novel materials and their applications, the ability to see surface morphology at high magnification is of considerable importance.”

Bruno, also a professor of chemistry, has already used the new scanning electron microscope to study the surfaces of interesting hybrid organic-inorganic solids made by a method known as the sol-gel process.

The new SEM is a JEOL JSM-6390LV model. The instrument is operated by placing a three-dimensional sample into a vacuum-tight chamber. The SEM creates highly-detailed three-dimensional images by bouncing and collecting electrons instead of light waves. The magnified image appears on a nearby computer screen.

““We are very fortunate to have this new SEM. It has replaced an old Amray microscope that was a from the 1970’s,”” says Jeff Gilarde, director of Scientific Imaging. “”This machine is well-automated, it has a higher resolution and its images are beautiful.””

The unit was supported by the Kresege Foundation Challenge for Science Equipment Endowment.

Tim Ku, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, has used the SEM to observe phytoplankton samples from a local lake (see image at right, top). Jim Greenwood, research assistant professor of earth and environmental science, has used it to examine mineral and element content in meteorites (see image at right, bottom).

“”This thing’s amazing. It conducts an elemental analysis on the Martian meteorite and tells us what’s it made of,”” Gilarde says, browsing digital images of the sample. “”It shows that it has some traces of calcium and sodium.”

The lab’s other new microscope, the Transmission Electron Microscope —or TEM — views samples in two-dimensions, but has the ability to magnify the finest cell structures. The instrument is a JEOL JEM-1011 model.

Prior to viewing, a sample will be sliced by an ultra microtome, which can cut biological specimens into extremely thin slices. Gilarde says the machine could slice through the edge of a single piece of paper six times. The super-thin samples are placed onto a slide inside the TSM.

On July 25, Hughes Fellow Pin-Fang Chen ’09 used the TSM to examine the eukaryote tetrahymena. The microscope is used in the dark and researchers use a computer to operate the instrument.

Chen magnified the eukaryote 12,000 times, although the TEM is capable of enlarging an object 300,000 times.

The TEM was a gift from Board of Trustee member Frank Sica ’73.

Both microscopes are located in the Advanced Instrumentation Center’s Scientific Imaging Laboratory, located under the pathway between Hall-Atwater Laboratory and Shanklin. For more information on the new microscopes, contact Jeff Gilarde at jgilarde@wesleyan.edu.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor