| Above, Midge Bennet chats with men’s basketball coach Gerry McDowell during the Winter Athlete Reception April 13 in the Freeman Athletic Center.
At right, President Doug Bennet speaks to winter athletes during the reception.
Below, wrestling coach Drew Black, pictured on left, shakes hands with John Biddiscomb, director of Athletics.
President Doug Bennet, Midge Bennet and John Biddiscombe, director of Athletics and chair of Physical Education, honored winter athletes at a reception in the Freeman Athletic Center’s Bridge Lobby April 13.
The positive spirit and enthusiasm of the teams seemed very strong this winter, President Bennet said. “Midge and I have enjoyed coming to some of the games and sharing in the excitement.”
Bennet acknowledged this year’s recipients of Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard Memorial Award, presented annually to the outstanding male and female scholar-athletes. The winners were Hannah Stubbs 06 and Owen Kiely 06.
Stubbs is captain of the women’s basketball team and has a 3.52 GPA. She will stay on at Wesleyan after graduation to get her masters. She is a three-time, first-team NESCAC basketball player. She is ranked number two on the all time scoring list. Last year, she was was an Academic All-American.
Kiely, a cross country, indoor and outdoor track team member, has a 3.57 GPA. He won the 2006 New England Division III Championship and finished 14th at the Division III NCAA Championship earning All American status.
The winter teams were lead by the women’s basketball team that had an 18-8 record and this team was among the top four teams in NESCAC and also participated in the NCAA tournament. The women’s basketball team was coached by Kate Mullen and assisted by Chris Lanser and Molly Dullea.
The men’s and women’s swim teams also distinguished themselves. Bennet honored the men’s team for it’s 12-4 record and for finishing fourth in the NESCAC Championship. The women’s team had 12 wins and six losses. The swim teams are coached by Mary Bolich and assisted by Molly Parrish and Jeff Miller.
Individual swimmers that qualified for the NCAA Championship were Ben Byers ’07 and Amanda Shapiro ’08. Shapiro earned All-American honors by finishing fifth in the 200-yard breast stroke and sixth in the 100-yard breast stroke.
Two other Wesleyan athletes also distinguished themselves by becoming NCAA All Americans in indoor track. Bennet honored Ellen Davis ’07, who qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships in the 5,000 meter, where she performed superbly in finishing fourth in the nation. Wes Fuhrman ’05 also represented Wesleyan at the national meet, competing in the 5,000-meter and placed seventh in his last race of his college career.
In addition, Ben Byers ’07 went to NCAAs for swimming and Dan de Lalla ’07 went to the NCAAs for wrestling but didn’t place.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor, and Brian Katten, director of Sports Information|
by Olivia Drake •
|Steven Jacaruso, art director, designs the look and feel for Wesleyan magazine.|
|Q: When did you come to Wesleyan?
A: I was hired in July 1998 as the assistant art director. Later on I became the associate director, and then the art director in 2000 for the Office of University Communications.
Q: How did you become interested in graphic design?
A: When I was a kid, I was always into drawing and I was intrigued by logos and full-page movie ads in the New York Times. Ive always had my eye on the visual aspect of things. Back then, graphic design wasnt a common career, so after high school I went to business school, which led me to the University of New Haven where I studied graphic design.
Q: Do graphic designers have a distinct style, as would an oil painter or writer?
A: Some do, but I try hard not to have a style. I like to approach each project with an open mind because one style is not applicable to all problems.
Q: How has your job changed in your eight years here?
A: My first year here, I was doing a lot of budgetary work and handling the production aspect of things, as well as most of the design work. When I was promoted to an associate director, my responsibilities grew and when I became the art director, it became my sole responsibility to design the Wesleyan magazine, which was something Ive never done before.
Q: I imagine that was a big challenge.
A: I was basically handed a magazine and it was a challenge to learn the process. I had to keep true to the Wesleyan message while implementing my own design elements. It is a constant evolution.
Q: When you say design elements, how do you use them to keep the magazine cohesive?
A: On a visual level Wesleyan magazine is all about great images images that are a step above most alumni magazines. I use color and layout to enhance the visual appeal of the images. I do the same with typography. I like to experiment with type settings and headlines that will draw a reader into the story. I dont like my design to overshadow the main purpose of the magazine, which is to report on successes of our alumni.
Q: You designed the Wesleyan logo, correct?
A: I refreshed the existing Wesleyan logo. It was time to move into a new direction with the logo. We wanted to move it into the new millennium without sacrificing its historical relevance. The shield is used sparingly as a nod to tradition. The new logo treatment has been very well received and works in many different mediums from campus signage to print publications.
Q: How long does it take to get the magazine designed and what goes on?
A: Its about a three month process for each issue from beginning to end. After our initial meeting, I see what stories the writers will be working on and I begin creating the color pallet and templates for the issue and determining the amount of real estate dedicated to each section and feature. Stories that are longer, or the most significant, or have quality images, get more pages in the magazine. Then I meet with Bill Burkhart, the university photographer, and we discuss what images need to be taken. I lay out the magazine and we go through a month and a half of critiques. I take all comments, positive and negative, into consideration.
Q: What is your reaction when a magazine is finally finished and you get your first peek at the printed product?
A: Since we only publish four times a year, I am always happy to see it designed, trimmed to size and published. But being a perfectionist, I go through it page by page and notice little things that we couldve done differently. Im always striving for perfection in each issue.
Q: In addition to the magazine, what other publications do you design?
A: I oversee all creative for most of the publications. When a certain department needs to be folded into the Wesleyan brand, such as Wesleyan Annual Fund for Excellence, campaign and most recently the timeline exhibit that will be unveiled at Reunion and Commencement weekend, I usually take the lead. Sometimes Ill start a design and set up the specs, and hand it off to Anne Marcotty, our senior designer, or Shelley Burchsted, our production manager, who will have our student interns work on projects.
Q: Where did you work before Wesleyan?
A: I started out working for my fathers computer business, then I worked at a t-shirt company, a newspaper, and then I got into the music industry. I designed CD covers for artists like Richard Elliot, Barbara Mandrell, Bon Jovi, the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and then art directed a small record label in New York City. The music industry isnt real consistent and seemed really one-dimensional to me, so I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone and open my own business in Waterbury. I worked on a lot of civic-minded projects for the community with the local Chamber of Commerce. I had to do it all, from the budget to production to client relations to design. This enabled me to hone my business skills, which helped when I started at Wesleyan.
Q: Why did you want to work in academia?
A: Being in a university is a nice blend of my experiences and I can be creative but also business-minded. I get to do projects for alumni and external audiences, but also for students, which have a youthful element to them.
Q: How do you keep your design ideas fresh and creative?
A: I am submerged in the design world. Im always reading design magazines, and when I read other publications, Im always looking at how they are designed. I tend to surround myself with people who are very creative and through that I find inspiration. In college I was trained by a professor who learned design in Basel, Switzerland and Yale University. We never had computers so we designed everything in a very organic way. I learned a lot by that method. Computers are a tool. They do not make a good designer.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Graphic design is my hobby and I have turned it into a career, but I also like working out, yard work, hanging out with friends and family, watching movies and listening to music. Music has been a big influence in my life. I always wanted to be the guy who advises the careers of music artists. Who knows, I still might do that one day.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Greg Pyke, senior dean of admission, stands outside the Office of Admission.|
|Every year, the Office of Admission begins with a prospective student pool of over 30,000 and mails information to another 88,000 based on PSAT and ACT scores and grades. Of these, about 7,000 apply, and after review, this number is whittled down to less than 2,000. Of this amount, ultimately, 720 of the applicants will become Wesleyans newest freshman class.
As a senior associate dean of admission, Greg Pyke reviews hundreds of these applications, and he meets almost as many potential applicants each year. Hes currently preparing to welcome the Class of 2010. But the process that got these students here is long and exacting.
Pyke and 10 other admissions personnel divvy up all the applications. Each one must be reviewed at least twice before acceptance or denial is granted.
This year, Pyke and Leah Kelley, assistant dean of admission, reviewed applicants from northern New England states, eastern Massachusetts, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Africa and Europe. Each application is scrutinized not only for test scores, grades and achievements, but also for traits that show the applicant would benefit from Wesleyan’s educational program and environment.
We want our student body to have variety, so were looking for students who have a combination of talents, experience, unique backgrounds and opinions, and who have demonstrated social involvement, Pyke explains.
Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid, determines which students are accepted.
Greg is the office data-base guru and numbers cruncher, she says. In that work, as well, he brings the sensitivity of the practitioner to every task and report.
Pyke seems to have a new job for every season.
In the fall he travels to schools across the country and the world, meeting prospective students and parents. In winter, Pyke begins the process of going through the stack the hundreds of applications with special attention paid to those applying for early admission.
In spring, Pyke concentrates his efforts on convincing the accepted students to choose Wesleyan through WesFest and face-to-face conversations. By June, the incoming frosh class will be announced. In the summer, Pyke is busy meeting and speaking with campus visitors, compiling statistics on the incoming fall class, and planning his next year.
The process is cyclical year to year, with new changes and challenges implemented every season.
Never knowing what is coming next and wondering what questions or concerns will arise the next year is one of the biggest reasons I enjoy working in the Admission Office, says Pyke, who has been a member of the department since he started in at Wesleyan 1978.
And as for this years frosh, Pyke reports that the Class of 2009 comprised 6,879 applicants, of which 1,902, or 28 percent of those who applied, were admitted. Of the 1,902, 71 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class; 13 percent are the first generation in their family to go to college; 79 percent live outside of New England; 41 percent are students of color; 77 percent have taken biology, chemistry and physics before entering college; and 76 percent had studied a foreign language for at least four years.
Pykes responsibilities have grown over the past 28 years. He previously handled the transfer student admission process, and later the senior interviewer program. Hes currently the statistical information reporter. In this role, Pyke generates class profiles for the university, public media and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, designed to collect data from all primary providers of postsecondary education. He reports on the total number of students accepted, students of color, geographical information, average SAT and ACT stores, among several other factors.
In addition to reviewing college applications and collecting and reporting statistical information, Pyke collaborates with Joan Adams, assistant to the dean, on the High School Scholars Program. Through this program, local high school seniors have the opportunity to take classes at Wesleyan with no tuition charge. They attend classes with Wesleyan students, and are graded on the same scale as a college student would be. Of the 23 high school scholars who applied this past academic year: 15 were accepted into the program and enrolled in courses either in the fall of 05 or the spring of 06.
When parents ask me, What is an average class size, I try to understand what they are really asking. They dont want me to say, 17.2 or some decimal number, Pyke says. What they really want to know is, if their child will be able to talk in class or will their child get to work with his professor one on one? The answer cannot be given in a simple number. There is never a short answer to a question or concern.
Pyke knows some of the emotions parents go though during the college application process. He and his wife, Karen Bovard 77, have gone through the procedure themselves with their two children Alan and Josh, who are both currently enrolled in college. Pyke also has an older daughter, Jenny, who was an interim class dean at Wesleyan and is currently in a similar, permanent position at Mt. Holyoke College.
Greg is such a wonderful colleague: smart, funny and thoughtful, Meislahn says. He brings a great balance of Wesleyan history, as well as an educator’s and father’s sensibility to the process. No one knows his or her territory better. Greg helps us all understand the importance of access, context and opportunity for each applicant.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Jen Shea, head softball coach, assistant field hockey coach, teaches swimming as an adjunct professor of athletics.|
|Q: At what age did you first pick up a bat and ball, and where was this?
A: I grew up in Hatfield, Massachusetts. Hatfield is a small town of 3,500 people with a strong athletic tradition. When I was in elementary school, the high schools varsity softball team won back-to-back state titles and that is when I really became interested in the sport. I started off playing T-ball when I was in first grade and then graduated to slow-pitch softball when I was in fourth grade. I started playing fast-pitch when I was in seventh grade.
Q: Did you always excel in softball or other sports? What positions did you play?
A: I was a three-sport athlete in high school: field hockey, basketball and softball. I was always a pitcher in softball, but it wasnt until my sophomore year of high school that I really started to be successful. During my senior year of high school, I threw four consecutive no-hitters. Also during my senior year, our field hockey team went undefeated and won the Division I state title. Team accomplishments have always been more important to me than individual ones.
Q: Are softball and field hockey similar in any way?
A: Softball and field hockey really arent similar at all. I started playing them both when I was younger because they were the only sports offered in my school during their respective seasons. I really enjoy field hockey, but softball has always been my first passion.
Q: During your undergraduate years at Amherst, I understand you were the team captain of both the softball and field hockey teams. What were your biggest accomplishments?
A: My biggest accomplishment in softball was definitely winning the Little Three title my senior year. We had never beaten Williams in softball and then we swept them in a doubleheader the last weekend of the regular season to not only win the Little Three title, but also to secure a bid to the NCAA tournament. We went into NCAAs as the No. 5 seed in the New England Region and made it all the way to the finals. Being named to the New England Region All-Tournament Team was definitely an honor. In field hockey, I was selected to play in the Division III North-South All-Star game in 1997, but being the No. 1 team in New England my junior year and being selected for the NCAA Division III tournament was a bigger thrill.
Q: What did you receive your degrees in and when did you decide that coaching is what you wanted to do for a living?
A: I have a bachelors degree in American studies from Amherst and a masters degree in exercise and sports studies from Smith College. I went to college planning on majoring in math or computer science, but realized during my sophomore year that sports meant more to mean than just another extra-curricular activity. I had an internship in the sports department of a local newspaper during the summer of 1997 because I thought I wanted to go into sports journalism. It was during that time that I realized I wanted to be on the field teaching and coaching, not just covering games from the sidelines.
Q: How old is your softball glove, and how many have you gone through in your softball career?
A: My current glove is only about a year old. The previous one I had was from when I was in college and it finally became time to retire it last year. This is probably my fifth glove since I started playing.
Q: What months does the softball season span? Field hockey? When do the women begin training?
A: Softball practice begins on Feb. 15 each year and the season goes through the end of April. Field hockey practice begins during the end of August and the season ends at the end of October. Training for both sports really occurs year-round these days as the athletes need to stay in shape and on top of their game mentally and physically.
Q: Youre midway through the current softball season. How is the team looking?
A: Each year since Ive been here the team has gotten better and I feel the same is true this year. Theres a mix of eight returners and nine new players, so there has definitely been learning and growing processes involved. The women on the team are supportive of one another and work hard everyday in practice. I dont think our record is a true indicator of the potential that the team has and we have a lot left to show in the next two weeks.
Q: Who are you leading hitters and fielders?
A: Molly Gaebe 07 is our leading hitter and also a top pitcher along with Karla Hargrave 08 and Dayna Yorks 07. Marcia Whitehead 08 is a rock defensively at third base and Becca Feiden 08 patrols center field. They are also two of our top hitters as well. Tri-captains Beth Bernstein 06, Sarah Gillooly 06 and Lynn Leber 06 have all done an excellent job in leading this young team.
Q: Tell me about your spring break.
A: We went to California for spring break and played 14 games while we were out there. The trip was highlighted by the teams first win over NESCAC rival Tufts in 11 years.
Q: What do you look for in student-athletes?
A: I want student-athletes who are going to work hard, want to be coached, and are going to make the team a priority. I think academics and athletics go hand-in-hand and I look for student-athletes who want to succeed in both arenas.
Q: Do you currently play on any teams or are you strictly focusing on coaching?
A: I started playing club field hockey this past fall after a hiatus of several years. I also played a little slow-pitch softball last summer and am planning on continuing to play this summer.
Q: What class do you teach as an adjunct assistant professor?
A: I teach Swimming for Fitness. I enjoy teaching physical education classes at Wesleyan because it gives me a chance to meet more of the student body than just my players. Swimming is a life-long sport so I feel Im helping the students learn something that they can use after they leave Wesleyan.
Q: During the summers of 1999 and 2000, you were the head coach of the West scholastic division softball squad in the Bay State Games in Massachusetts. Where else did you coach before coming to Wesleyan in 2001?
A: After graduating from Amherst, I was selected as the colleges Hitchock Fellow in Physical Education. My responsibilities included being an assistant coach in three sports – field hockey, basketball, and softball – as well as teaching physical education classes. During that year I decided that coaching was the career I definitely wanted to embark upon. While I was in graduate school at Smith College, I continued to coach at Amherst as the assistant field hockey coach in 1999 and co-head softball coach in 2000 and 2001. I also was a sub-varsity field hockey coach at Williston-Northampton School in the fall of 2000 and the middle school girls basketball coach at my alma mater, Smith Academy, in the winter of 2000-2001.
Q: Who are your assistant coaches in softball?
A: My assistants this year are E.J. Heng and Leah Kelley. Both were stand-out players at the Division I level. E.J. is from California and played college ball at U.C.-Santa Barbara, while Leah is from Western Massachusetts. She played softball at Yale and is now an assistant dean of admission at Wesleyan. They are great assistants who have added a great deal of insight and have helped make me a better coach.
Q: Do you ever just go out and throw a ball for fun?
A: Sure! Just yesterday after practice, Leah and I jumped in the batting cage to take some swings. And often while the team is warming up at the beginning of practice, my assistants and I will warm-up our arms, too. It keeps us young!
Q: How influential was your family in your sports career?
A: I am very close with my family and my parents have been very supportive of me and my teams. They often travel down to Middletown from Massachusetts to watch us play. I really appreciate all the advice and encouragement they have given me over the years. If it werent for them, I would have never gotten involved in sports in the first place.
Q: Do you have any plans for the summer?
A: My summer project, besides recruiting for softball, is going to be renovating a house that Im in the process of buying. Its a little daunting, but Im excited to get started and finally have a place to call my own. Im also a huge Red Sox fan and I try to go to some games every summer and was even lucky enough to see a play-off game at Fenway in 2004 when the Sox were on their way to winning the World Series. Theres nothing like baseball in the summer!
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
Rebecca Gordon 06 and her thesis advisor, John Seamon, professor of psychology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, pose with brain scans used in a recent study.
| For psychology major Rebecca Gordon 06, developing a research project idea was practically a no-brainer. Well, except for the fact that she had to study brains.
By examining functional magnetic resonance images, known as fMRIs, Rebecca Gordon 06 was able to see how the brain reacted on a cognitive and emotional level with healthy subjects and subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Her study The Mere Exposure Effect and Schizophrenia: An fMRI Study was completed April 11 after nine months of research. The mere exposure effect is a psychological way of saying people express likeness for things merely because they are familiar with them.
“There have been no published fMRI studies of the mere exposure effect so I wanted to do a study that would contribute something new and important to several fields of psychology, says Gordon, who will graduate this year with a dual degree in psychology and music.
Gordon, whose father is a clinical psychologist, coordinated her own research projects throughout high school including working with Parkinson Disease patients at a lab in New York. During her first year at Wesleyan, Gordon excelled in Psychology 101, taught by John Seamon, professor of psychology, professor of neuroscience and behavior.
Knowing that his student already had research experience, Seamon suggested that she follow up on procedures he and other students conducted in the 1980s and 1990s on explicit and implicit memory. Explicit memory is a form of memory that involves conscious retrieval of past events; implicit memory is a nonconscious retrieval of past events.
I encourage students who do well in my classes to get involved in research, either in my own lab or with others in psychology, and Rebecca was one of those special students, says Seamon, who became Gordons thesis advisor on the study.
Gordon, who was working at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living in Hartford last summer, had access to fMRI technology. Seamon suggested that she look for brain differences in explicit and implicit memory by measuring blood flow changes using the fMRI scanner.
Since July 2005, Gordon has spent her summer, winter and spring breaks immersed in conducting research, as well two to three days a week during the school year. She continually sought research advice from Seamon and technical advice from Godfrey Pearlson, director of the Neuropsychiatry Research Center and professor of psychiatry at Yale University.
By studying patients at the center in Hartford, she was able to perform two tests on 10 healthy control subjects and 10 schizophrenia patients. The subjects were placed inside the fMRI scanner during the study so she could monitor their brain activity.
Using an assessment method called the recognition memory test to measure explicit memory, Gordon projected a series of novel objects, each for a few seconds. Subjects were then asked to answer the question: Is this a possible or impossible object? After viewing these novel objects several times and recording the decisions, Gordon collected her results. She then resented pairs of objects, one old and one new, and asked the subjects to select the object in each pair that they previously viewed. When she analyzed the neurological activity during this explicit recognition test, she found memory accuracy was correlated with activation of the hippocampus, the part of the brain used for new learning.
In another test, called the affective preference test, Gordon measured implicit memory by asking the subjects which shape they preferred without asking them which one they remembered. During this test she found that there was still hippocampus activity along with a strong response from the amygdala, the almond-shaped neural structure in the brain that processes emotion.
Gordon and Seamon were thrilled with the new discovery.
This is a remarkable achievement for an undergraduate to go from a discussion with her advisor, take an idea and turn it into a tangible experiment that she then performed over a period of months, learn about this state of the art technology, collect and analyze data with technical help from the staff at the Institute of Living and produce new and interesting findings, Seamon says.
Gordons report was submitted for partial fulfillment of the requirements for the bachelors of arts degree with departmental honors in psychology. She hopes to get her study published in a professional psychology journal.
In addition, she will present her study during the Psychology Department Poster Session April 18.
“I can’t believe that even as I got to the very end of my project, I never got tired of it. I was always excited about the idea of finding something completely new,” she says, holding two gray brain scans, speckled with colors. The colors illustrate where in the brain activity was happening during the subjects tasks.
Gordon will return to the Institute of Living this summer for continued research, this time focusing on autistic children and people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Next fall, she will begin graduate school at Yeshiva University in New York where she plans to continue her studies in psychology.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
| Pictured at top, Wesleyan students and staff walk down a street in Istanbul on their way to the mosque during a trip to Turkey and Israel March 12-23.
Pictured at right, the group takes a break in the Teldan Nature Preserve in Golan Heights, Israel with their tour guide. The Wesleyan students are Ben Sachs-Hamilton, Avi Smith, Phil Zegelbone, Jamal Ahmed, Mike Figura, Kulsoom Hasan, Maggie Mitchell, Tussy Alam, Rachel Berkowitz, Aaron Tabek, Jessica Eber and Joel Bhuiyan. Wesleyan Rabbi David Leipziger Teva and Abdullah Antepli, pictured in center in purple and black shirts, coordinated the overseas trip.
| Wesleyan Jewish Chaplain Rabbi David Leipziger Teva, wanted to prove to his students that Jews and Muslims can peacefully coexist with one another.
But Leipziger Teva, who also goes by Rabbi David, admits that for students to understand this complex co-existence, they must couple classroom knowledge with real life, personal experiences.
So Leipziger Teva and former Wesleyan Muslim Chaplain Abdullah Antepli chose five Wesleyan Muslim students and six Jewish students, out of 23 who applied, and set out for an 11-day spring break excursion of Istanbul, Turkey and Jerusalem, Israel.
The trip was very intense, admits Leipziger Teva, who says he was most moved after seeing Palestinian and Israeli Christian, Muslim and Jewish children learning together in one classroom at the K-6 Hand-in-Hand School in Jerusalem.
The group also visited Kibbutz Metzer, an Israeli socialist commune, where member Dov Avital shared his story about living peacefully, just yards away, from a Palestinian-Arab village.
In November of 2002, suicide bomber from a radical Palestinian terrorist group broke into this Israeli Kibbutz and killed five people. Leipziger Teva says that despite the terrorist attack the two communities remain committed to dialogue and friendship.
Dov told the story with tears in his eyes and we were all moved by it, says Leipziger Teva. This is just one hopeful example, despite the violence of how Jews and Muslims are trying to co-exist with each other in peace and we wanted the students to see this.
Jamal Ahmed, a Pakistani freshman from New York City, was also moved by Avitals story.
On the trip, we learned that there was a sense of hope, a hope for peace, says Ahmed. Despite terrible hardships, there are still great strives towards peace and beautiful co-existence. I learned more about the Jewish culture, religion, and Israeli society than I thought possible in such a short time.”
The group also met with journalists, lobbyists, human rights activists and political leaders,including Vatican Representative of Istanbul, George Marovitch and Chief Rabbinate and Rabbi of Turkey Isaac Halevo. They also visited popular landmarks including the Temple Mount, the Western Wall as well as other mosques, synagogues and visited with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders and families.
Rabbi David says that during their trip, he witnessed a progressive transformation among the students.
I saw a deepening of their individual religious spiritual identities, he says. They were all challenged and I was constantly motivated by the dialogue that was happening.
Rachel Berkowitz a freshman from Trumansburg, NY, says the trip helped her gain a strong desire to learn more about Islam, Judaism, interfaith dialogue and about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I think the difference I have made has been internal, rather than external, says Berkowitz. I have learned and changed so much. I feel I now have a broader perspective.
Leipziger Teva hopes that one day this Spring break trip will spark these students into making strides towards peace in the Middle East.
Someone from this trip might one day become a senator, a Fulbright Scholar, or eventually may help draft future peace plans for Israel, says Leipziger Teva, who feels that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides need to demonstrate compromise before real peace is established.
Next month Leipziger Teva, who is hoping to raise more funds in order to repeat the trip next year, will start showcasing a DVD documentary of the trip to mosques, churches, synagogues, and to high schools. He also plans on introducing the documentary at the Muslim Student Association Annual Conference and Hillel, the conference of Jewish College Communities later this year.
No other school has ever taken Jews and Muslims together in one group to the Middle East, says Leipziger Teva. Wesleyan is unique and we hope we can help jumpstart dialogue and peace among all the children of Abraham Jews, Muslims and Christians.
|By Laura Perillo, associate director of Media Relations|
by Olivia Drake •
Gary Yohe, the John E. Andrus Professor of Economics, suggests that the government place a growing tax on the cost of carbon during a hearing March 30 in Washington D.C.
| When Gary Yohe, the John E. Andrus Professor of Economics, received a call from Senator Joseph R. Biden’s office to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., he didn’t hesitate. In fact, he hurried.
Yohe, who was the sole expert, recommended by both the Environmental Defense Fund and Pew Center on Global Climate Change to Senator Biden’s office, had only a few days in which to prepare his brief testimony on “The Hidden (Climate Change) Costs of Oil.”
In a five-minute prepared opening statement, Yohe called attention to the sources of economic cost attributed to climate change and suggested that government respond by placing a permanent and growing tax on the cost of carbon. The point of such a tax (or any policy that would add the climate cost of carbon to the price of oil) is to hedge against, or reduce the likelihood, of the extreme consequences of global warming.
“We don’t have to go overboard,” Yohe explained, but “adopting a risk-management (hedging) approach to minimize the cost of future policy adjustments would be appropriate and economical over the long run.
Yohe says he believes Senators Biden and Richard G. Lugar seemed to agree with his testimony.
“We were there for almost two-and-one-half hours and the two senior members of the Foreign Relations Committee were fully engaged and almost thinking out loud with us, says Yohe. The staffers were incredulous that they spent so much time with us.”
According to Yohe, Senator Biden said that people might get used to paying a persistent tax on petroleum. Biden was particularly interested, though, in how such a charge might be factored into the investment decisions of American businesses as they frame the energy infrastructure for the next half-century.
Senator Lugar, on the other hand, was specifically interested on how best to implement an
“I had a short amount of time to get in front of two people who essentially could take my research and make a difference,” says Yohe. “After generating pages of points that I wanted to raised, I picked out what I thought was the most important information and tried to tell a
To read the full transcript of Yohes testimony, please refer to the following link:
|By Laura Perillo, associate director of Media Relations|
by Olivia Drake •
| The Wesleyan community will celebrate Earth Week April 16-April 22 with a series of activities, lectures and observations. Events include:
Lecture on “The Purpose of Nature”
Verlyn Klinkenborg, a writer and professor of literature and creative writing at Fordham University and Harvard University, will deliver the Earth Day address The Purpose of Nature at 8 p.m. April 20 in Memorial Chapel. A reception and book signing immediately follow in the Zelnick Pavilion.
Verlyn Klinkenborg is the author of Making Hay, The Last Fine Time, The Rural Life, and Timothy: Or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, and many magazine and newspaper articles. A modern Thoreau, his lyrical portrayals of rural living and nature captivate our imagination while delivering a critical message. He is a member of the editorial board of The New York Times.
Food Politics Week
Brooke Duling 08 says the group aims to raise awareness about the political implications people take simply by choosing to eat certain foods. They willhighlight the consumption of local, organic, vegetarian/vegan food and open a dialogue about how to access these foods.
For additional information, visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/earthweek/ or contact Kathleen Norris, administrative assistant, Environmental Studies Certificate Program at 860-685-3733 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
| In an ongoing initiative to increase connections between science and film at Wesleyan, a series of programs will be presented in April. This part of the series, arranged by Film Studies and Natural Sciences and Mathematics, is the last in the “Celebrating the Liberal Arts Tradition Through Film” program in which over 18 departments have participated.
This is the fifth semester the Film Studies Department has hosted the series of seminars, lectures, screenings and discussions.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
| Wesleyan will commemorate its 175th anniversary of its institutional charter during the 174th Commencement Ceremonies May 25-28. Wesleyans charter was granted on May 26, 1831.
John Hope Franklin, professor of history, emeritus at Duke University will give the principal address at commencement and will be awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree during the ceremony.
In addition, Wesleyan will award honorary doctors of letters to Mary O. McWilliams ’71, president of Regence BlueShield, pioneering alumna and trustee emerita.
Franklin is an internationally-renowned historian, intellectual leader and lifelong civil rights activist. He has served on the National Council on the Humanities, as well as the President’s Advisory Commissions on Public Diplomacy and on Ambassadorial Appointments. Franklin’s numerous publications include The Emancipation Proclamation, The Militant South, The Free Negro in North Carolina, Reconstruction After the Civil War, and From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans. Franklin has received honorary degrees from more than 100 colleges and universities.
McWilliams ’71 previously served as president of PacifiCare of Washington where she converted the provider network into groups, expanded statewide, and launched Secure Horizons as a Medicare-Risk plan. She also served as founding chief executive officer for the Sisters of Providence Health Plans in Oregon. She received a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Wesleyan.
Wesleyan will also award the Baldwin Medal to Jean Shaw P79 and Biff Shaw 51, P79. As an alumni leader, Biff Shaws diligent effort on behalf of Wesleyan underscores his commitment to public service. Jean Shaw has served Wesleyan since 1969 in many roles including director of the Center for the Arts, coordinator for exhibitions, events manger and coordinator of University Lectures. She has worked tirelessly to enrich the relationship between Wesleyan and Middletown. She played a key role as Reunion and Commencement coordinator and oversaw the joining of Reunion and Commencement into one weekend.
This initiative was introduced at the 1997 commencement and is becoming a much-beloved tradition at Wesleyan, Bennet says. I look forward to welcoming everyone to Wesleyan on this wonderful occasion.
Academic regalia will be worn by all who participate in the procession and can be ordered through the campus bookstore.
The Office of the Dean of the College will contact graduating seniors with information regarding graduation announcements and activities for Reunion and Commencement Weekend.
by Olivia Drake •
|Roslyn Carrier-Brault, administrative assistant for the Chemistry Department, also works as a digital photography instructor at Green Street Arts Center.|
|Q: What keeps you busy in the Chemistry Department?
A: I never have two days that are the same and I enjoy the variety of my work. I work directly with the professors and students, and I have many skills and abilities that aid me to be flexible and detail oriented to whatever tasks comes my way. I work a lot with my computers and keep in touch with all that happens here at Wesleyan University through emails and memorandums. I work with an open door policy, people come first and paperwork second, so I tend to work longer hours at the end of the day to stay on top of deadlines, campus and departmental projects, and coordinating departmental events.
Q: What led you into this position?
A: I first came to Wesleyan in November of 2000 as a temp. I returned to Wesleyan in March 2001 as a floating temp, and in July, I was hired to work in the Department of Finance and Administration as an administrative assistant. I became a permanent employee in December 2001, when I was hired by Philippa Coughlin, director of the Office of Behavior Health as the departments secretary. It was by Dr. Coughlins suggestion that I apply for the full-time opening in the Chemistry Department and my first day at my current position was August 3, 2003. I totally, love my position as the AA for chemistry. It offers me a wide variety projects and I enjoy working with the faculty and students.
Q: What are some of your job duties?
A: My responsibilities include preparing the agenda for the monthly meetings between the Chemistry department staff, the building manager, the stockroom support staff and the chair of the Chemistry department; overseeing the department budget; working with Payroll and Human Resources to oversee employee payroll; scheduling the workload of two undergraduate student workers; maintaining the Chemistrys Web site, providing administrative support to faculty for grant applications; among several other duties in the office. Also, I designed an Access database that assists me in managing important departmental records and budget reports. Overall, I provide support for 16 professors, four staff, 31 student teaching assistants, 27 chemistry majors, 39 graduate students and a few research associates and postdoctoral fellow.
Q: You also coordinate the annual Peter Anthony Leermakers Symposium.
A: The 34th Leermakers Symposium is planned for May 11 this year, and the program title is “Challenges to Chemistry from Other Sciences.” Michael Frisch, visiting scholar in chemistry, is the 2006 chairman. Also, this year I am facilitating a new event. The Department of Chemistry is hosting the Student Awards for the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemical Society on April 29.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: The long learning curve. It took me one academic year to learn all the various aspects and job responsibilities of being an administrative assistant in an academic department. I have a passion for learning and this position keeps me on my toes, there never is time to feel bored, and I enjoy working with my faculty, students, co-workers and the Wesleyan community at large.
Q: Do you have a personal interest in chemistry?
A: In 2005, I audited David Westmorelands Introduction to Chemistry and it opened my mind to the vast subject called, chemistry. Finally, I can understand the periodic table. I am amazed and inspired by the dedication that the professors and students have to excellence in their research and teaching assignments.
Q: What were you doing before you came to Wesleyan?
A: I worked for the San Diego Symphony, as the assistant to the director of Copley Symphony Hall. I coordinated events and rentals for the San Diego Symphony and Symphony Hall Promotions.
Q: Where did you attend college?
I have an associates degree in liberal studies and fine art from Middlesex Community College, an associates in photography/art from Grossmont Community College in El Cajon, California. I plan to complete a masters in art from the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.
Q: Youre also a teaching artist for Wesleyans Green Street Arts Center.
A: Anna Milardo, administrative assistant in physics, knew that I am a photographer asked me to photograph Green Streets open house/reception for the Saint Sebastian School. It was in the planning committee for this event, that Ricardo Morris asked if I would be interested in teaching at GSAC. This resulted me teaching a digital photography classes for the After School Program, photo club for the After School Program and introductory to digital photography for adults.
Q: Tell me about your recent photo exhibition, Divine Intersections, at Green Street?
A: My current exhibition presents images that are essentially inspired by intuitive guidance and inner reflection upon the things that are familiar to me from my childhood and adult experiences. I have been intertwining photographic images taken of the natural world with scanned images of other forms of life such as plants and animals. My favorite images are restful, reflective, and build a sense of union between the mind, body and spirit connection (an example of Roslyn’s photography is seen in the image above-right).
Q: I take it this wasnt your first show.
A: My first show was in 1996 and I have had several exhibitions in San Diego. In Connecticut, I have exhibited various art and photography shows through the Shoreline Artist Association, the Tracy Arts Center and the Essex Artist Association, and Face Arts Music in Deep River, Connecticut. My husband, William Brault is a gifted sculpture and painter and co-curates all of my photographic exhibitions. He is a talented custom framer and trained exhibition designer so it a perfect creative partnership.
Q: Have you volunteered your artistic abilities at any other non-profits?
A: In Connecticut, I have volunteered for arts organizations such as the Shoreline Arts Association, Images 2000 and 2001; Tracy Art Center in Old Saybrook and I am an active board member of the Friends of the Davidson Arts Center. In San Diego, I was an active volunteer for the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Holistic AIDS Response Program, The AIDS Foundation and with Grossmont College Student Exhibitions and Workshops.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
Guitarist Brings Musicians from around the World to Expose Wesleyan Students to New Styles, Cultures
by Olivia Drake •
|Cem Duruoz, private lessons teacher, just released his third CD, Desde El Alma Tango Classics.” The Turkey native performs internationally. (Photo contributed by Steve Savage)|
|Q: Cem, how long have you been a private lessons teacher of guitar for Wesleyans Music Department?
A: I started to teach at Wesleyan in September 2003 right after finishing my advanced studies at The Juilliard School.
Q: How many student guitarists do you teach at Wesleyan?
A: I have about 10-12 students each semester. I am trying to increase the number of students, especially by encouraging good players to come to Wesleyan to begin with. I am proud of my students; they are all talented. Some of my current students will perform on April 7 at the Chapel Concert Series at noon.
Q: In addition to private lessons, what opportunities are there for budding guitarists on campus?
A: The most important one is our student guitar organization called WesGuitars“, established last semester. We get together once every two weeks, play guitar and socialize. I encourage our guitarists to perform on various occasions such as the Chapel Series. Soon I will find venues in downtown Middletown are and other towns for concerts.
I am also working to bring guitarists from around the world to the campus so that all the guitarists at Wesleyan community could be exposed to their style and their cultures. Last year we had Carles Pons from Spain and Uros Dojcinovic from Serbia. This year so far we had a visit by Marcos Puña from Bolivia. The first guest invited by WesGuitars itself will be Spanish guitarist Juan Jose Saenz. He will give a concert of Spanish Music in Crowell Concert Hall on April 9.
Q: When did you first take an interest in classical guitar? At what age did you know you had a knack for the instrument?
A: I first heard the instrument at the age of 10. My cousin had already been playing it. Each time I would visit, he would let me try his guitar and show me techniques. I fell in love with the guitar the moment I touched it. I did not really have to hold and play; just touching the strings, making a sound and listening to it one by one was magical for me. Soon after, I started to take lessons. I remember asking my cousin to make copies of some difficult pieces and him saying they are too difficult for you now. During one of our family visits, I took the opportunity to hand copy them and surprised him few months later by playing them to him. Afterwards we did many concerts as a duo together.
Q: What is the classical guitar?
A: Classical guitar refers to a nylon string acoustical guitar. In most cases this name seems to imply wrongly- that it is used for classical music only. With this instrument one can play almost any type of music from anywhere in the world in addition to the Western Classical Music, which is the source of its name. However, in most places outside the U.S., when someone mentions the word guitar alone, they usually refer to the classical guitar. This is, after all, the original instrument just like violin and piano. I started directly with the classical guitar unlike many of my students and professional performers that I have met in the U.S. who first learned to play other types of guitar.
Q: Please elaborate on the guitars sound. Why does it appeal to you?
A: I think the main aspect of classical guitar sound is its warmth because of which the instrument lends itself to the performance of emotionally elaborate polyphonic music. The warmth comes from the nylon strings and the right hand fingernails. This combination provides the optimum sound and technique for bringing out the human emotions in almost any type of music in the world, as a soloist. Another peculiarity of the classical guitar is the way it is held. I think it is the only instrument that is embraced and held directly on ones heart. No wonder many classical guitarists are in love with their instruments!
Q: In 1990, you came to the United States from your native country, Turkey. What led you to the States?
A: The U.S. graduate education system is the best in the world. After staying in Turkey I wanted to get advanced degrees here and was able to get full scholarships in California. It is also important to get exposure to new repertoire, different approaches to music and participate in the classes of well-established musicians. All these opportunities widely exist in the U.S. At first I did not intend to stay, but after about six years, San Francisco started to feel like home as much as my home in Turkey.
Q: You recently released your third CD, Desde El Alma Tango Classics, which is quite a style change from your first album, “Pièces de Viole”, which consists of gamba music by French baroque composer Marin Marais; and your second CD “Contemporary Music for Guitar. What inspired you to change your musical interest for the third CD, and what type of audience is attracted to your music?
A: When making CDs I concentrate on a project and spend most of my energy to do the necessary research to understand the music and the culture that created it. Having studied at a French school for seven years in Turkey and having learned the language at the age of 11, I had a natural interest in the French Baroque music. This background and the music of the famous movie Tous Les Matins du Monde led to the first CD. The second CD is a reflection of my interest in supporting the creation of new music by playing works of emerging composers.
Q: Youre an international artist. Where have you performed recently?
A: Ive recently performed at the Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall in New York, and in countries such as Peru, Bolivia, France, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Serbia-Montenegro and the U.S. in various guitar festivals and concert series. I have also appeared as soloist with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Turkey, the equivalent of New York Philharmonic there. Last year I was invited to the Istanbul Festival in Turkey, one of the biggest and most prestigious in Europe. There I collaborated with gamba player John Dornenburg and harpsichordist Yuko Tanaka to play the music of the 14th Century French Court.
Q: Youve received critical acclaim in international magazines such as American Record Guide, Fanfare, Classics Today, Classical Guitar and BBC Music. The students you teach must feel honored to work with a famous musician!
A: I sometimes do feel famous! Nowadays, due to globalization it is ever more difficult to be individually recognized; there are so many musicians, so many CDs. However I have been working very hard to increase my output, and contribute to the music world. My students appreciate it; it is always exciting and inspiring to work with someone who has international experience and is a role model. I have to say it feels really good all of a sudden to hear your own CD played on NPR when driving, and felt very strange first time, when someone recognizes you having read an article or when someone stops you on the street and says he was at your concert. I think this aspect of music is very rewarding.
Q: Where are your degrees from?
A: I have a masters of arts in composition from Stanford University, and another masters degree in guitar performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I later completed my graduate guitar studies at The Juilliard School with Sharon Isbin, a Grammy award winner.
Q: Do you write your own music?
A: Although I have extensively studied composition, I enjoy performing much more. Therefore I dont compose much at all nowadays. However my compositional skills come very handy for arranging music to the guitar. Prime examples are on my French Baroque CD and the Tango CD. I have various collaborations with other composers. Some of them send their music to me, and I try to feature a new composer in every recital I play. I also commission music particularly written for me. One of these is a guitar concerto called In and Out of Blue by Robert Strizich. With Angel Gil-Ordonez, his Ensemble of the Americas and I are planning to perform this in the fall.
Q: You have an upcoming recital in Hartford on April 15 in conjunction with the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society, and another performance in New York May 27. What will you perform at these concerts?
A: The Connecticut Classical Guitar Society is one of the biggest in the U.S. I will be playing in their concert series on April 15. This program will include selections from my tango and baroque CDs as well as music from Rodrigo, Tárrega, Bach and Giuliani, composers well known to guitar audiences.
The concert in Merkin Hall/New York is part of an annual Turkish Cultural Festival organized by the Moon and Stars Project. It is titled A Mediterranean Journey and will include music from Turkey, Greece, Israel and Spain as well as tangos and Broadway favorites. In this performance I will be collaborating with a wonderful Greek/American soprano Demetra George.
Q: What are your interests and hobbies aside from music?
A: My main hobby has been dancing tango for many years. After I did my first tango lesson in San Francisco I studied with most of the well-known Argentine Tango dancers. In San Francisco, I used to go dancing three nights a week. In Connecticut there are some venues for dancing tango, but many more are in New York and I go there every now and then to dance.
Q: For more information, where can people find you online?
A: My Web site is http://www.duruoz.com/
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor.|