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Students Fight Invasive Plants at Local Park

Twenty-one first-year students participated in a Ravine Park community service project Aug. 30 under the guidance of Brian Stewart, associate professor of physics. The students removed several invasive alien species including Japanese barberry, oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose. Pictured above, from left, are Kuan-lin Huang '12, Jonathan Silva '12, Hannah Monk '12 and Katherine Mullins '12.

Twenty-one first-year students participated in a Ravine Park community service project Aug. 30 under the guidance of Brian Stewart, associate professor of physics. The students removed several invasive alien species including Japanese barberry, oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose. Pictured above, from left, are Kuan-lin Huang '12, Jonathan Silva '12, Hannah Monk '12 and Katherine Mullins '12.

Tololyan Meets with Basque Government

Khachig Tölölyan

Khachig Tölölyan

Khachig Tölölyan, professor of English, professor of letters and editor of Diaspora: A Journal of Transitional Studies, was invited to Bilbao, Spain to discuss methods of developing outreach to the Basque diasporas in Latin America and the U.S. He was invited by the research arm of the area’s autonomous Basque government because of his familiarity with the theory and practice of homeland-diaspora relations, and for having a role in analyzing the development of such relations by the Republic of Armenia. Tölölyan was one of several experts invited to meet with the Basque officials.

PIMMS Teaches Local Electricians About Solar Energy

Robert Borello, associate director of science for Wesleyan’s Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science (PIMMS), taught 19 teachers from Connecticut’s vocational training schools about the latest solar energy principles, technology and techniques during a day-long program Sept. 5 in Middletown. Borello demonstrated how the Earth moves in relation to the sun by using a using a mirror, a pad of paper on an easel, and a marker.

Grossman Chairs Health Care Meeting

Richard Grossman, professor and chair of economics, chaired a session at the Economic History Association annual meetings in New Haven, Conn. on “The Evolution of Health Care Practices and Institutions.” The session was held in honor of Stan Lebergott, the Chester Hubbard Professor of Economics, emeritus, a former president of the association. Grossman opened the session with a tribute to Lebergott. Wesleyan co-sponsored the meetings with Yale and the University of California, Davis.

Psychology Faculty, Student Study Emerging Sign Language in Nicaragua

Anna Shusterman, left, and Lisa Drennan '09 speak to a Deaf man by using Nicaraguan Sign Language. The language is only 30 years old.

Anna Shusterman, left, and Lisa Drennan ’09 speak to a Deaf man by using Nicaraguan Sign Language. The language is only 30 years old.

In the United States, Deaf people have had the ability to communicate by using sign language since the early 1800s. But in Central America’s largest nation of Nicaragua, the Deaf community had no formalized language until 30 years ago.

This emerging language, known as Nicaraguan Sign Language, is the topic of a recent study by Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, and psychology major Lisa Drennan ’09. The language was first created by local children to communicate with their friends and family and is rapidly changing.

“Nicaraguan Sign Language is certainly not a hodge-podge of different sign languages – it has its own structure, its own grammar, its own phonology, and its own words,” Shusterman says. “So it’s of great interest to researchers who are interested in the birth and evolution of language.”

Shusterman, whose broader research focuses on the development of language and thought, works with the Deaf community in Managua, Nicaragua to understand which cognitive capacities are spared despite limitations in language, and which cognitive capacities suffer when language is impaired. She invited Drennan to accompany her on a 10-day research trip in June.

Center for Humanities Fall Lecture Series Unveiled


Yonatan Malin, assistant professor of music, will speak Oct. 20 on “Music Theory and Humanistic Study: A Brief History and Some Reflections” during the Center for Humanities Fall Lecture Series.
Posted 09/04/08
Wesleyan’s Center for the Humanities Fall Lecture Series: Figuring “The Human” begins Sept. 8. with a presentation by Nancy Armstrong, professor of English at Duke University, titled: “Darwin’s Paradox.” The event will be at 8 p.m. at Russell House.

The fall lecture series is part of the Center for the Humanities’ 50th anniversary celebration. The lectures are free and the public is welcome to attend. Additional presentations in the series are listed below. All are at 8 p.m. and are held at The Russell House unless otherwise noted. For more information call 860-685-3044.

4 p.m. Sept. 15
Thierry Hoquet, professor of philosophy, Université Paris X Nanterre, speaks on “Our Posthuman Futures: Cyborgs and Mutants in an Evolutionary Perspective.”

Sept. 22
Kari Weil, professor of letters, speaks on “Figuring ‘The Animal;’ A Report on the Animal Turn in Critical Theory.”

Oct. 6
Emily Martin, professor of anthropology, New York University, speaks on “Sleepless in America.”

Oct. 13
Andrew Curran, associate professor of romance languages, speaks on “Inventing Human Science, circa 1750.”

Oct. 20
Yonatan Malin, assistant professor of music, speaks on “Music Theory and Humanistic Study: A Brief History and Some Reflections.”

Nov. 3
Jana Sawicki, professor of philosophy and women’s studies, Williams College, speaks on “Foucault and Sexual Freedom: Why Embrace an Ethics of Pleasure?”

Nov. 10
Wolfgang Natter, professor of political science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, speaks on “Director of the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought, Virginia Polytechnic Institute Universal Particulars: Space, Contingency, Universality.”

Nov. 17
Ulrich Plass, assistant professor of German speaks on “Franz Kafka and the State of Exception.”

Nov. 24
Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, speaks on “Numerical Thinking: Evolution and Culture.”

Dec. 1
Michael Bérubé, Panterno Family Professor in Literature, Pennsylvania State University, speaks on “Disability Studies and the Boundaries of the Human.”

Argus Editor Writes, Produces Stories for National Public Radio


Andrea Domanick ’10 participated in a National Public Radio internship this summer working on the program All Things Considered.
Posted 09/04/08
She’s already produced a story about Muslim voters’ role in the upcoming election and reported on gender identity at some of Baltimore’s most colorful ballroom events. But this is only the beginning for Wesleyan student Andrea Domanick ’10, who plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism post Wesleyan.

As a summer intern for National Public Radio, Domanick worked for All Things Considered, NPR’s signature afternoon newscast that reaches 11.5 million listeners weekly. She was one of 55 college students and recent graduates to participate in an internship program, held June 2 to Aug. 9 at the NPR headquarters in Washington, DC.

“I’ve been a fan of NPR since I was very young, so with my interest in journalism, applying for an intern position with NPR seemed like a natural choice,” says Domanick, who was selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. “Having the opportunity to produce solid pieces of journalism on relevant topics was incredibly rewarding.”

Student interns learn about broadcasting and the supporting areas of NPR through hands-on, practical experience. Interns are mentored by NPR reporters, editors, producers and engineers throughout the process. They learn how to pitch story ideas, record sound, write scripts and edit their final pieces for the program.

Aside from interning with All Things Considered, Domanick participated in Intern Edition a 40-minute web-based radio show produced entirely by NPR’s interns. The show, which is part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio Initiative, premiered July 31. For Intern Edition, Domanick and fellow intern Carina Giamerese co-developed a piece on Baltimore’s ballroom scene to combine their interests in subcultures and alternative lifestyles.

“Putting the story together was absolutely a team effort; though it’s my voice you hear on the piece, and my writing, Carina helped me edit my script, record and conduct interviews and edit our sound, not to mention do some of the driving on our three treks out to Baltimore,” she says. “That’s how producer/reporter teams work.”

Project Manager Doug Mitchell says the intern program aims to provide direct training in public radio journalism and program development:

“Shows come and go, news comes and goes. We want people who will consider staying in the public radio system,” he says. “Learning all aspects of the business, with lots of trial and error, is the best way to find people committed to public radio.”

Los Angeles, Calif. resident Domanick had her first journalism gig at the age of 13, when she wrote for a local paper called L.A. Youth. At Wesleyan, she joined The Wesleyan Argus staff, working her way up from a staff writer, to assistant arts editor, to arts editor to news editor. She’s also a staff writer for the music website, TinyMixTapes.com.

“I enjoy being at the crux of campus life and interests,” Domanick says. “Because there isn’t any academic or monetary incentive to be on the Argus staff, you have a very close-knit group of people who are interested in putting out a great paper for the sake of putting out a great paper. So because of this environment, and because it’s a small paper, I’ve really been able to find my voice as a journalist.”

After several years of working in print journalism, Domanick decided to give broadcast journalism a try. Last summer, she interned with NPR member station KPCC in Los Angeles, reporting and producing her own pieces. She found herself getting hooked on the added creative element of using sound.

“Radio is not just writing, it’s crafting a whole scene—a feel and an environment—for your listeners,” she says. “And the thought and vision you have to put into creating a good radio piece is so effective, so satisfying to me,” she says.

Domanick, a sociology major at Wesleyan, plans to go to graduate school for broadcast journalism. Ultimately, she hopes to work at NPR as a foreign correspondent or producer.

“Both positions demand very different things, but are equally exciting to me. I love the crafting, and technical, almost artistic, skill required of being a producer,” she says. “On the other hand, what’s more exciting than reporting from the heart of story—two or three continents away?”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor. Photos contributed by NPR.