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Residential Life Staff Honored by National Organization


Residential Life student-staff members for the Butterfields and 156 High Street and 200 Church Street are among those trained by Residential Life’s award-winning Social Justice Training Program.
Posted 11/17/06
A program developed by Wesleyan’s Residential Life received the Program of the Year Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), based in Washington DC.

The Social Justice Training Program, spearheaded by Residential Life’s area coordinators, teaches and trains about 100 student-staff members on the topics of social justice, the cycle of socialization, dominant and subordinate group dynamics, privilege and power and the action continuum. It also stresses liberation from systems of oppression, through exploring specific forms of oppression, including racism, sexuality and gender systems of oppression, class and religious oppression.

Fran Koerting, director of Residential Life, nominated the program for the NASPA award.

“By participating in the program, our student-staff is able to apply the knowledge they learned in creating inclusive communities within their residential area, how to interrupt and confront instances of oppression and how to respond to hate and bias incidents,” Koerting says.

The Program of the Year award is awarded to programs that have been implemented within the three previous years. Programs were evaluated on innovation and creativity, contribution to student development and/or professional development, contribution to the home institution and timeliness of topic.

Program planning began in June 2006, with input from student leaders and colleagues from other departments, as well as the Residential Life central staff and student staff members.

During the two-hour sessions held on five consecutive days during August training, students had the opportunity to listen, discuss and reflect as well as participate in various activities. In-services are being held throughout the year.

The trainers taught the student-leaders how to appreciate different cultures and lifestyles; understand how social justice relates to the job; how to feel comfortable facilitating conversations; being aware of social justice resources, and knowing the protocol for bias and hate incidents.

Not only did the program have a significant impact on the student staff, but it also affected the area coordinators who had developed it, Dawn Brown, Sharise Brown, Brandon Buehring, Eric Heng and Robin Hershkowitz.

“All five of us have had significant experience as professionals in Residential Life for at least three years, yet we found the experience of developing and collaborating as well as conducting the training contributed a new and exciting opportunity,” explains Hershkowitz, the area coordinator of Nicolson, Hewitt and Fauver Residence halls. “Not only were we excited that we were able to conduct these trainings with our students, but the experience contributed greatly to our personal and professional growth.”

The university is considering adapting the Residential Life Social Justice Training Program for use with faculty and staff.

“As for the Wesleyan community, social justice is one of the most important issues for students and staff alike,” Koerting says. “Instituting a year long focus, and providing student staff with the information and tools to address the issues with their residents, makes it possible to have a significant impact on the entire community.”

The area coordinators have also shared the program with their colleagues in the field through a session at the Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers New Professionals Program on Oct. 20. In addition, they will present a session on the program during the annual NASPA/Association of College Personnel Administrators conference in Florida in March.

The NASPA, headquartered in Washington DC, is the leading voice for student affairs administration, policy and practice and affirms the commitment of student affairs to educating the whole student and integrating student life and learning. With over 11,000 members at 1,200 campuses, and representing 29 countries, NASPA members are committed to serving college students by embracing the core values of diversity, learning, integrity, service, fellowship and the spirit of inquiry.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Economics Professors Take on Role of Editors for National Journal


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Former Wesleyan Trainer Dies


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By David Pesci, director of Media Relations

Wesleyan a Top Fulbright Scholar Producer


Wesleyan Fulbright Program Advisor Krishna Winston helps students apply for the Fulbright grants. Six students received the award this fall.
Posted 11/01/06
For the second year in a row, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Wesleyan as one of the “Top Producers of Fulbright Awards for U.S. Students.” The report was published in the Oct. 20 edition.

Under the “Bachelor’s Institutions” category, Wesleyan tied for 9th place with St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minn. and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. In 2006-07, Wesleyan had 23 Fulbright applicants, with six students receiving awards.

The students who were awarded Fulbrights are:

Cara Chebuske ’06 and Amie Kim ’04 are currently in South Korea, teaching English as a foreign language. Emily Garts, Kate McCrery and Rose Tisdall, all of the class of ’06, are in Germany teaching English. Elizabeth Langston ’05 is in France teaching English. Laura Goldblatt ’06 also received the French Government Teaching Assistantship but declined the award, and Roger Yang, M.D. ’99 was named an alternate; he had applied for a grant to study Chinese alternative medicine in Australia.

“Wesleyan can be proud of these results,” says Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, who has served as Fulbright Program Advisor since 1979.

In recent years, the number of applicants with whom she works has risen from an average of 12 to more than 20, thanks to the larger number of Wesleyan students participating in study-abroad programs and the internationalization of the curriculum.

“Opportunities for teaching English have increased dramatically, and now attract a good percentage of the applicants, eager to be on the giving end in the classroom instead of the receiving end,” Winston says.

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholar, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, teaching and work in the creative arts. The program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

This fall, the 1,200 American students who received Fulbright awards are conducting research, taking courses, or teaching English in 122 countries.

Winston works very closely with seniors, graduate students and alumni, helping them refine their projects and write and rewrite their proposals and personal statements.

“I enjoy my role as Fulbright Advisor because I come to know very able and interesting students from a wide range of disciplines, including graduate students, and because I am essentially giving them individual writing tutorials,” she says. “I learn a great deal from discussing the projects with the applicants, and they learn a great deal about how to present their ideas cogently and concisely.”

Winston recruits faculty members with international experience to serve on the Campus Fulbright Committee, which interviews all the applicants who are on campus and any alumni who live within traveling distance of Middletown. This fall, the members of the committee were Annemarie Arnold, Robert Conn, Alice Hadler and Catherine Ostrow.

“I am tremendously grateful to these colleagues who give up an afternoon and an evening to interview up to 20 students,” she says.

For more information on the Chronicle of Higher Education ranking and the full report, go to: http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=q24mrmr4fpl57kywxgkz2lwlp4sr6twy#top.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Global Warming Topic of Schumann Symposium


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

WesWELL Director Promotes Prevention


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

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

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

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

Q: What is the mission of WesWELL?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: What are your degrees in and from where?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Director of Public Safety Aims to Build Strong Rapport with Community


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

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

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

Asian Languages, Literatures Welcomes New Assistant Professor


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wu resides in Middletown.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

22 Years, 370 Wins and Counting


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Who are your assistant coaches?

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

Q: Where did you begin your coaching career?

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

Q: Where are your degrees from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Do you teach any physical education classes?

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

Q: What are your hobbies?

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

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

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

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Voices of Liberal Learning Examine Issues that Shape Our World


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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