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Student Singer-Songwriter on Ballot for 3 Grammy Awards


Skye LoGuidice ’09 is on the ballot for three Grammy awards. She write songs on life, tackling love, life and loss.
Posted 11/05/07
Skye LoGuidice ’09 is working toward graduating with a degree from the College of Letters, but first she may receive a Grammy Award – or two, or even three.

LoGuidice, who musically goes by Skye Claire, is listed on the 50th Annual Grammy Awards official ballot in three categories. The singer-songwriter was chosen among thousands of artists and bands nation-wide.

“I haven’t told that many people yet, because I don’t know how to react to this, or how to bring it into a conversation,” says LoGuidice, who learned of her ballot placement Oct. 30. “It’s hard to just say to someone, ‘I am on the Grammy ballot.’ I’m still spending a lot of time in my room just freaking out.”

Skye Claire is on the ballot in Category 1: Record of the Year with her song, “Hope It Helps;” Category 5: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Hope it Helps;” and Category 11: Best Pop Vocal Album for her seven-track 2006 EP Good Boys Don’t.

She writes her songs based on actual events that have occurred in her life, tackling love, life and loss. She sets her vocals to guitar in rock-infused pop.

“A lot of that album is about a guy I broke up with my freshman year at Wes,” LoGuidice says. “And my most recent songs are about my new boyfriend. He’s a student here, too.”

Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will vote for their favorites on Nov. 7, and the top five in each category will be announced Dec. 6. Nominees will have the opportunity to attend the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles Feb. 10, 2008.

LoGuidice is well aware of her steep competition. In the Record of the Year category, she’s up against Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, George Strait and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. Among those with her on the ballot for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance are Nelly Furtado, Christina Aguilera and Norah Jones. In the Best Pop Vocal Album, she’s up against 263 others, including Carly Simon and KT Tunstall. Still she hopes she will make the cut to be a finalist.

“That would be a fairytale ending,” LoGuidice says. “I could go to the Grammys and be among all those celebrities, and actually get to say, ‘Hi Avril (Lavigne)!’”

Louise Brown, associate dean of the college and dean for the Class of 2009, was thrilled to learn about her student’s success.

“I’ve heard her CD and she definitely rocks,” Brown says. “The nominations, even at this early stage, give her a greater visibility and a new and bigger audience than she’s had, so it’s all good. What a fabulous opportunity and recognition of her work this is.”

“Skye Claire” rarely meshes her musical career with her academic life. The Manhattan, N.Y.-raised performer prefers to keep her music in New York and her studies in Middletown. Although her ideal goal would to become a famous singer-songwriter, she’s also planning to pursue a law degree after graduating from Wesleyan.

“I guess I lead a double life,” she says, smiling. “Here, I just like to concentrate on my school work and friends. I don’t want to have to think about performing too much when I’m on campus, so it’s better than I just keep them separate.”

Skye started writing music at 13, and recorded her first demo album at 16. At 19, she recorded her second CD and produced and arranged all but two songs. Now, at 20, she’s a self-taught guitarist, singer and group leader of a four-member band. Her proud parents and independent music promotion firm Big Noise help market the rising pop-star.

More information about Skye can be found online at http://www.skyeclaire.com/.
 

By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Artist Examines Media Coverage of Worldly Events


Alfredo Jaar is displaying three of his exhibits inside Zilhka Gallery.
Posted 11/05/07
Is a media giant like Newsweek able to shape public opinion by defining what is newsworthy? This is one question internationally acclaimed artist Alfredo Jaar leaves for his audience to answer in a current exhibition in Zilkha Gallery.

Jaar’s exhibition is on display in Zilkha Gallery through Dec. 2. He will present an art seminar at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 6 in Zilkha 106 and a music colloquium at 4:15 Nov. 7 in the Music Department.

Through a straightforward photography installation that addresses the media coverage of the Rwandan genocide, Jaar expands the ongoing debate among art and cultural critics about documentary photography. His work, Untitled (Newsweek) is one of three works reflecting his ongoing examination of the dichotomy between the authority of an image and its failure to fully convey an event.

The work in this exhibition examines economic and social injustice in Africa, specifically Rwanda, Angola, and Sudan. He draws attention to poverty, economic exploitation, global injustice and genocide.

“The work is about much more than conditions and events in these particular countries—genocide, colonialization, and famine—it is about systemic injustice, about the dynamic and tension between those who have absolute power and those who have absolutely none, suggesting parallel or related situations in Iraq, New Orleans, the Middle East, the South Bronx, or Bridgeport, Connecticut,” says Nina Felshin, curator of the exhibition.

Untitled (Newsweek) consists of 17 digital prints of Newsweek magazine covers chosen from issues published over a four-month period, from April 6 to Aug. 1, 1994. On April 6, the plane carrying Rwandan President Habyarimana was shot down as it was preparing to land at the airport in Kigali. This event triggered the beginning of 100 days of premeditated slaughter, which resulted in the deaths of one million members of the Tutsi minority and moderate Hutus. International response was barely audible. Newsweek’s response was silence, raising questions about the mainstream media’s relationship to those in power.

Jaar has added text below each Newsweek cover reporting statistics and events in Rwanda that correspond to the date of the magazine. After 16 weeks of the genocide, Newsweek finally accorded it a cover.

In addition to Untitled (Newsweek), a film and haunting video-installation are on display. The film, Muxima, meaning “heart” in Kimbundu, an indigenous language of Angola, is a cinematic elegy dedicated to the people of Angola.

“During the process of organizing my extensive collection of Angolan recordings, I discovered that I had in my possession six different versions of a song called ‘Muxima,'” Jaar explains.

And a film was born —a film that poetically portrays the evolving history of Angola through alternate interpretations of this single folk song. Muxima is rooted in his love of African music and the belief that music can resonate with and therefore help communicate the experiences of the people.

The video installation, titled The Sound of Silence, features a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph shot in the Sudan in 1993 by the late South African photojournalist Kevin Carter and the controversy it sparked. The eight-minute videotape is housed within a structure that evokes the interior of a camera obscura, forcing the viewer to become part of a captive audience while at the same time implicating us in the controversy that surrounds this image. The predominantly text-driven video challenges us to examine the broader implications of another’s suffering in terms of our personal ethics.

Alfredo Jaar was born in Santiago, Chile in 1956. He currently lives and works in New York City. His work has been shown extensively around the world. He has participated in the Venice, São Paulo, Johannesburg, Sydney, Istanbul and Kwangju Biennales and in Documenta in Kassel. Major solo exhibitions have been presented at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Whitechapel in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985 and was named a MacArthur Fellow in the year 2000.

Alfredo Jarr’s exhibition is sponsored by the Raymond E. Baldwin Lecture Fund, Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Affirmative Action, Department of Art and Art History, Raymond E. Baldwin Lecture Fund, Center for African American Studies, The Office of the Dean of the Arts and Humanities, Music Department and The President’s Office.

Wesleyan Replaces Loans with Grants for Neediest Students


Posted 11/05/07
Wesleyan University will eliminate loans for its neediest undergraduates and replace these with additional grants, President Michael S. Roth has announced. The policy will be part of a new initiative to reduce overall student indebtedness by 35 percent to make Wesleyan even more accessible to students regardless of their financial capacity.

“Access to a Wesleyan education for students from all backgrounds has long been one of the core values of this community,” Roth says. “It remains one of our highest priorities. As I begin my presidency, I see this new effort as a down payment on our goal to endow financial aid and need-blind admission more fully in the next campaign.” Roth was formally inaugurated as Wesleyan’s 16th president at ceremonies on campus on Nov. 2.

Beginning with the first-year class enrolling in the fall of 2008, most students whose total family incomes are $40,000 per year or less will receive an aid package that substitutes grants for any loan obligation. Beginning with the same class, all other students who receive aid will graduate with a four-year total loan indebtedness reduced by an average of 35 percent. Aid packages will include a single student loan, the federally subsidized Stafford Loan. The interest rates for Stafford Loans are among the lowest available.

Wesleyan will raise endowment sufficient to fund the $3.2 million annual cost of this initiative. In fact, preliminary conversations with Wesleyan donors about the goal of reducing student indebtedness already have yielded over $10 million in new commitments to student aid, Roth reported.

Wesleyan admits students without regard to their financial circumstances and then provides a financial aid package that meets each student’s full demonstrated need. Forty percent of its 2,900 students currently receive grant aid. The average grant is $27,151. Wesleyan currently budgets $35.4 million of its own resources annually for grant aid for undergraduates. Federal and state sources contribute an additional $2.7 million.

Since the 1960s, Wesleyan has aggressively pursued diversity in the form of affirmative action and need-blind admissions.

Thirteen percent of Wesleyan students currently receive Pell grants; the federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education.

Wesleyan also is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Upward Bound program. Upward Bound is an educational opportunity outreach program supported through federal TRIO funding, as well as through grants from Connecticut Department of Education and the boards of education of the Middletown, Meriden and Portland schools; it provides fundamental support to low-income students in their preparation for college. Wesleyan recently received a TRIO grant to establish a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program focused on students in the sciences; the McNair program prepares students from disadvantaged backgrounds and who have demonstrated high academic potential for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.
 

By Justin Harmon, vice president of Public Affairs

Roth Inauguration a Celebration of Ideas, Possibilities


Jim Dresser ’63 shakes hands with Michael Roth during the 16th Wesleyan President Inauguration event Nov. 2.  Roth was installed as president in front of more than 1,500 people.

Posted 11/05/07
“Today, Michael Roth, you are formally charged with the duties, obligations and opportunities of the office of president of Wesleyan University. Today, especially, we express our gratitude that you have so fully and enthusiastically assumed these duties in the service of our beloved University.”

With these words by Jim Dresser ’63, Michael S. Roth ’78 was formally installed as the 16th President of Wesleyan Nov. 2 in front of more than 1,500 faculty, students, staff and members of the university community at Silloway Gym in the Freeman Athletic Center. Hundreds more watched the event live on the web. An archived webcast of the full ceremony can be found here: http://condor.wesleyan.edu/openmedia/ur-media/video/HC07/inauguration.qtl.

The ceremony brought together the Wesleyan community with words, music, awards and, perhaps most important, ideas and goals for the future of the university. These ambitions were reflected in Roth’s theme for his inauguration: “Liberal Education and Public Life.”

“Our campus community is a learning community,” Roth said in his written introduction featured in the inauguration program. “It helps us consider how we can all be more engaged in connecting the lessons in freedom through liberal learning to our social and political lives – to our public life.”

The ceremony opened with a procession of Wesleyan faculty as well as delegates from other universities and academic organizations from across the nation, a tradition that reaches back centuries. Participants included representatives from Yale University, Williams College, Amherst College, Trinity College, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, Spelman College, and 52 other institutions.

The ceremony included greetings and congratulations from Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and chair of the Wesleyan faculty, Matt Ball ’08, chair of the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA), and Nancy Stack ’74, chair of the Wesleyan Alumni Association. A letter of congratulations from Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell was read.

Extended remarks were provided by Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75, P’04, president of Spelman College, and by Carl Schorske P ’81, a historian who taught at Wesleyan from 1946 to 1960, and later as a visiting professor in 1976-77. Roth was a student of Schorske’s at Wesleyan that year, and Schorske supervised Roth’s Ph.D. dissertation in history a few years later at Princeton. They have remained friends ever since.

“Having observed him for 30 years in a variety of functions and contexts, I have some sense of the dimensions of his approach in the past,” Schorske said of Roth. “Scholar, teacher, institutional leader, if Michael’s past experience and performance are any guide, he will remain vigorously active in all of these dimensions of academic and intellectual life. … I invoke this record of Michael’s performance to introduce you to a person fully committed to the holy trinity of scholarship, teaching and administration.”

Roth’s inaugural speech complemented Schorske’s, focusing on teaching, scholarship, and sustainable institutional excellence in all areas (the full text can be found at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/president/inauguration/speech.html ).

In his address Roth emphasized that the commitment to the highest quality academic work characterized his own Wesleyan professors, as well as today’s faculty:

“Our faculty expect that students bring ‘their best selves’ to class, but they are also wise enough to know that this won’t always happen. That’s where great teaching comes in. Our professors understand that there will be times when students don’t know how to access their capacity to be rigorous, passionate learners. And our professors know how to help students find that capacity and to use it.”

Roth described having been mentored both as a student and after, citing Professor of English Henry Abelove, who helped Roth when he was writing his first book, and Professor of Philosophy Victor Gourevitch, who assisted with the translation of a previously unknown correspondence between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve that Roth had unearthed while studying in France.

“These were heady experiences, but they were not singular,” Roth said. “I know of many, many Wesleyan students who can tell similar stories of close relationships with their teachers that led to an active life of the mind, of research, of creativity and of productivity.”

Roth also noted the link between the high quality of teaching at Wesleyan and the high standards of scholarship among the university’s students, and he challenged the institution to add a new measure of learning at Wesleyan.

“We should require that every student have the experience of producing original research,” Roth said. “Whether one majors in biology or music, film or philosophy, as a Wesleyan student you should become a participant in, and not just a spectator of, the professional practices in your area of study. We have a glorious tradition of active learning at this university, and we must ensure that every student who receives a diploma has a first-hand experience of it.”

Roth also announced a new financial aid initiative that will replace student loans with grants for Wesleyan’s neediest students beginning with the Class of 2008. As part of the initiative, students who do receive loans will see their four-year total loan indebtedness drop by an average of 35 percent—with the difference made up in grant aid.

During the ceremony, trustee emeritus Kofi Appenteng ’81, P ’07 was presented with the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal for his service to Wesleyan over the past three decades, including his role leading the recent presidential search that resulted in Roth’s selection as president. The Baldwin Medal is the highest award of the Wesleyan University Alumni Association. It was presented by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Emeritus, Alan M. Dachs ’70, P ’98, who himself had received an honorary doctorate at Commencement in May.

Roth added his recollections and thoughts regarding the inaugural event, which can be read online at: http://roth.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2007/11/07/coming-home/.

The theme “Liberal Education and Public Life” was reflected in several special Inaugural Events during Homecoming/Family Weekend. Read more about them at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/newsletter/campus/2007/1107homecoming.html.
 

By David Pesci, director of Media Relations. Photos by Bill Burkhart and Nick Lacy.

Film Studies Faculty Speaks on Technicolor Process at Museum of the Moving Image


Posted 11/05/07
In the 1930s, Hollywood unveiled a new way of watching film with the introduction of three-color Technicolor.

Scott Higgins, left, associate professor of film studies, will speak on the 75-year-old color film process technique during a three-weekend retrospective of Technicolor films at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. His lecture, which begins at 2 p.m. Nov. 17, will be held in conjunction with the publication of his book Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow: Color Design in the 1930s (University of Texas Press).

“Filmmakers had already mastered the art of monochrome, of translating stories into a world of black and white, light and shadow. Technicolor was both a threat and a gift,” Higgins explains. “Now cinematographers, set designers, and directors had to consider how to guide the viewer’s attention, highlight key actions, and underline dramatic developments with this new tool. On one hand, color was thought distracting, glitzy and detrimental to drama. On the other hand, it could offer a new emotional register, a new form of spectacle, and a fresh way to shape the image.”

Although many producers and filmmakers initially resisted the use of color, Technicolor designers developed an aesthetic that complemented the classical Hollywood filmmaking style while still offering innovative novelty. By the end of the 1930s, color in film was thoroughly harnessed to narrative, and it became elegantly expressive without threatening the coherence of the film’s imaginary world.

Higgins’ book, published in November, is the first scholarly history of Technicolor aesthetics and technology, as well as a thoroughgoing analysis of how color works in film. He draws on extensive primary research and close analysis of well-known movies, including “Becky Sharp,” “A Star Is Born,” “Adventures of Robin Hood,” and “Gone with the Wind,” to show how the Technicolor films of the 1930s forged enduring conventions for handling color in popular cinema.

Higgins argues that filmmakers and designers rapidly worked through a series of stylistic modes based on the demonstration, restraint, and integration of color—and shows how the color conventions developed in the 1930s have continued to influence filmmaking to the present day.

Technicolor taught filmmakers how to use a broad palette to tell stories. But in the past 10 years or so, digital techniques have returned color’s pride of place in popular filmmaking.

“Filmmakers again face a new color technology and we can see them repeating some of the aesthetic struggles of the early Technicolor era,” Higgins says.

He sites films like “O Brother Where Art Thou “and “The Aviator,” which use this digital technology to emulate the old Technicolor look. Other productions like “Sin City” and “300” revel in color’s power and experiment with its potentials in a manner akin to the earliest three-color Technicolor films.

“It is a very exciting time for color in the cinema, quite like the 1930s in that regard,” he says.

He also formulates a new vocabulary and a method of analysis for capturing the often-elusive functions and effects of color that, in turn, open new avenues for the study of film form and lay a foundation for new work on color in cinema in the 312 page book.

Higgins will host a book signing after his lecture, and the museum will continue its celebration of Glorious Technicolor! through Dec. 2. The first three-strip Technicolor feature, “Becky Sharp” (released in 1935), and the first commercial three-strip cartoon, “Flowers and Trees” (released in 1932), will be shown at the museum. A rare, three-strip camera used by the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation will be on display.

For more information about the Museum of the Moving Image Glorious Technicolor event go to: http://www.movingimage.us/.

For more information about Higgins’ book, or to order the book, go to:
http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/highar.html.
 

By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Upward Bound Celebrates 40th Anniversary


Posted 11/05/07
For 40 years, Wesleyan’s Upward Bound Program has prepared hundreds of underrepresented local youth for college by providing rigorous academic summer experiences, motivational “boot camps”, college visits and assistance with the challenging college application and financial application processes.

On Nov. 10, Upward Bound will celebrate its 40th anniversary inside Wesleyan’s newly renovated Fayerweather Building in the Edgar F. Beckham Hall. Beckham was one of the Upward Bound founders, and along with Willard McRae and others, they had a vision that local, low income students should have the opportunity to consider the college dream.

“Upward Bound has been empowering eligible youth to pursue their dream of a higher education,” says Donna Thompson, ’80, Upward Bound project director. “Students receive so many negative messages from peers and adults saying ‘you can’t’ or ‘you don’t belong.’ We create a culture of challenging academic expectations and expect students to push themselves continuously.”

Thompson says many students confess that initially, they secretly believed that college was not a possibility for them.

“As they are the first in their families to consider college, our students become trailblazers for their extended families and friends,” she says. “Through intensive leadership development experiences and self-directed learning activities, coupled with high expectations from a committed staff, students gradually realize and demonstrate that their dreams can become reality.”

More than 80 percent of the students who begin the four-year commitment continue with the program compared with a 60 percent retention rate nationally. Between 90 and 95 percent enroll in college and graduate at significantly higher rates then their peers.

The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the Connecticut Department of Education and the boards of education of the Middletown, Meriden and Portland Schools. In addition, Upward Bound has received supplemental funding from the Liberty Bank Foundation and other sources.

“We are grateful for the many supporters and cheerleaders in the community who have believed in our mission over the years,” Thompson says.

The Wesleyan Upward Bound 40th Anniversary Gala will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 10 in Beckham Hall. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for Wesleyan students and children, and $40 for Wesleyan faculty, staff and the general public.

For more information go to http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice, www.wesleyan.edu/upwardbound/ or call 860-685-3194.

Protestant Chaplain Supports Students With Christian-Based Spiritual Guidance


Rev. Joan Cooper Burnett leads Sunday worship services that include music, dance and other artistic talents of Wesleyan students. She encourages students of any faith to attend the 2 p.m. services.
 
Posted 11/05/07
Q: Q: Rev. Burnett, what attracted you to Wesleyan, and when did you begin working on campus?

A: My term at Wesleyan began the week of new student orientation, and I’m so excited to be here! The motivating factor for my accepting the position as Chaplain was the desperate quest for some Christian students to practice Christianity at Wesleyan without trepidation. During my employment interview I was asked, “Rev. Burnett, what will you do on a campus where a student is on his way to church, runs into a colleague and when asked where he was going he responded, to a friend’s house?” Days following the interview I pondered the question in my heart, prayed and was determined that Wesleyan was a place I desired to be, even for one student. It is important whatever one’s faith tradition; you should be able to openly worship your God without intimidation.

Q: What denominations do you attract?

A: It is my belief that Jesus is not of any denomination, denominations are man-made. Jesus said, “Whosoever will come.” That is my philosophy about Christianity, that whosoever believes in Christ and accepts Him as the Son of God is part of the Christian community.

Q: What is your interaction with the students?

A: Students interact with me as pastor, someone that holds their beliefs, has their best interest at heart and respects them as individuals of faith seeking spiritual formation. There are a few Christian groups on campus and I lend my support as someone available to advise them as needed. Also, this is a decisive and critical period in students’ lives and I’m able to bring support through individual counseling and pastoral care to anyone seeking assistance, churched or unchurched—Christian or non-Christian. On Sundays, in Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m. there is an All-Campus Christian worship service open to all.

Q: When are your services and what goes on during a service?

A: The All-Campus Christian Worship services are held most Sundays in the Chapel. There are two Sundays this academic year we will have services in other locations, this Sunday, Nov. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 17. Worship is a time to reverence God, give thanks, leave debilitating issues and concerns at the altar, and to edify each other. The student worship leaders organize teams of singers and musicians, dancers, and theatrical performers to edify their colleagues and to bring glory to God through the use of their artistic gifts and talents. If you were to attend a worship service (and you should) you will experience students demonstrating their love of God through song, dance, music, and acts of love and kindness towards one another. And, we are just getting started!

Q: What are messages you share with students who question their religious identity?

A: There is no set message, I seek to understand. And upon understanding, wisdom then guides me with, I pray, an appropriate response for the individual. One message I share with students is “To thine own self be true.” (Shakespeare).

Q: What is your personal mission? What do you hope to accomplish by working with the Wesleyan community?

A: My personal mission is to provide a venue for students to worship freely and openly express who they are utilizing their gifts and talents to worship God. To provide a safe and sacred space that frees them to let their lights shine. We are to let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. (Mt 5:16). To support Christian students in being as open in expressing their beliefs and faith as do other traditions on campus, no longer being the silent majority. I aspire to see students do well at Wesleyan, as they prepare to enter the global marketplace.

Q: Prior to Wesleyan, where were you preaching or working?

A: Currently, I am serving as the senior pastor at the First Baptist Church on Main Street here in Middletown. Formerly, I was the chaplain at Connecticut Baptist Homes, Inc., an assisted living facility for the elderly, and pastor of the Black Church at Yale; a student-led Christian interdenominational Church at Yale University. Prior to accepting the call to ministry, I invested more than 15 years in corporate America, in management positions with The Travelers Insurance Companies, and Heublein, Inc. I am also the former president and founder of PathWays International, an executive recruiting and human resources consulting firm and Strategies to Employ People (STEP), Inc. a job placement and training firm that partnered with faith-based organizations to support the employment and training of at-risk youth and young adults. After managing and operating the two business enterprises, I launched in 1994 and 1999 respectively, I suspended my entrepreneurial ventures in September of 2001, to answer the call of God to ministry.

Q: Where did you receive your divinity degree?

A: I earned a master’s of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, a master’s of education in human resource education from Boston University Graduate School, and a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Q: What other local religious affiliations do you have?

A: As an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church, I serve on the executive board of the Ministers Council of Connecticut and the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut Board of Managers. As a local pastor, I am affiliated with the Middletown Clergy Association and the Middletown Ministerial Alliance. Also, I am a member of the Board of Directors for The Children’s Home of Cromwell, St. Vincent De Paul Place, and Judah House. And I was most recently elected to serve on the Yale Divinity School Alumni Board.

Q: What are your hobbies, interests or other interesting tidbits we should know about Rev. Burnett?

A: I’m rediscovering my interest in dance and golf, following years of dedicated work. I love music and enjoy singing. Perhaps, some students and faculty will assist me with revitalizing my passions.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

SOUNDS OF EAST ASIA: The group IIIZ+ (Three Zee Plus) performed for an audience inside the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Oct. 11. From left to right are Ryuko Mizutani playing a Japanese koto; Yi-Chieh Lai, playing a Chinese zheng; Il-Ryun Chung playing Korean percussion; and Jocelyn Collette Clark ’92 playing a Korean kayagum. Combining these instruments is not traditional in East Asia.

Clark, who majored in East Asian studies, says the ensemble relies on collaborations with contemporary composers in order to build its repertoire.
At left, Vera Schwarz, director of the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, chair of the East Asian Studies Program, professor of East Asian studies and professor of history applauds the musicians in between songs.
Il-Ryun Chung and Clark performed a duet. The event was co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Program and the Music Department. More information about the ensemble is online at http://threezeeplus.com/. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett)

New Assistant Professor Expert on Space, Number Representations

 

Posted 10/16/07
Anna Shusterman has joined the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor of psychology. This semester she is teaching PSYCH110, “Issues in Contemporary Psychology: What Makes Us Human?”

Shusterman’s research interests are on the structure and development of mental representations, interactions between language and cognitive development, and representations of space and number.

She comes to Wesleyan from Harvard University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies.

“Wesleyan has provided me with everything I need to do my research, including a beautiful new child development laboratory,” she says. “I also appreciate that Wesleyan values both research and teaching, which is important to me and very hard to find at many institutions.”

Shusterman received a bachelor of science in neuroscience from Brown University in 1998, and a Ph.D in developmental psychology from Harvard University in 2006.

At Harvard, she was the recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Student Research Fellowship between 2003-06; the McMaster Restricted Funds Grant in 2006 for her project “Spatial language and cognition in Nicaraguan Sign Language”; the Mind/Brain/Behavior Graduate Student Grant in 2005; the Stimson Restricted Funds Grant in 2005 for her project “The Comprehensive Survey on Trichotillomania.”

Shusterman is an active member in the Cognitive Development Society and Society for Research on Child Development; an Ad hoc reviewer for Cognition; a past organizer for The Diversity of Children’s Spatial Representations symposium and at the 4th Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society; and co-founder of the Harvard-MIT Philosophy & Experimental Psychology Reading Group.

She is the co-author of several articles, including “Reorientation and landmark-guided search in children: Evidence for two systems,” published in Psychological Science in 2006; and “Language and the development of spatial reasoning,” published in The Structure of the Innate Mind by Oxford University Press in 2005. She also has several articles under revision or in preparation.

She has presented at more than a dozen conferences, most recently at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development March 29 in Boston, Mass. She will speak on “Does spatial language guide spatial representation? Evidence from Nicaraguan Sign Language” during the Fifth Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Santa Fe, N.M. this year.

In addition to teaching, Shusterman has worked as a research supervisor and reading/research advisor for undergraduates from Wesleyan, Harvard, and other institutions participating in cognitive development research for work-study, Research Methods, Advanced Methods, Honors thesis projects, and summer internship program since 2002.

The Wesleyan students, she says, are a pleasure to be around, work with and teach.

“I came in with high expectations of the students, and my expectations are exceeded every day in new and surprising ways,” she says.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Farmers’ Market, Cob-Oven Demos at Pumpkin Fest 2007


The Long Lane Farm Club is spearheading the fourth annual Pumpkin Festival Oct. 20 for the Wesleyan and local community. The event will be held at the student-run Long Lane Farm.
Posted 10/16/07
The Wesleyan community and people from the surrounding area can paint and purchase pumpkins during the fourth annual Long Lane Farm Pumpkin Festival Oct. 20.

The event offers educational composting and organic gardening workshops, beekeeping, pumpkin face painting, tours of the farm, T-shirt designing, free bike tune-ups, garlic planting, music by student and local bands, games and a farmer’s market, selling farm produce and pumpkins. Long Lane Farm Club members will also offer demonstrations of the “cob oven” they constructed last summer.

“Pumpkin Fest is a chance to celebrate fall harvest and the changing of seasons, to bring together folks with connections to long lane both from Wesleyan and the broader Middletown sphere, and to make the farm accessible to students who miss out on the summer season when it is most alive and productive,” says Long Lane Farm Club member Jordan Schmidt ’08.

Although the farm successfully produces more than 80 different types of vegetables from eggplants to tomatillos, the pumpkin patch never produced a successful harvest until this year. Schmidt says the farm will display their 20 “own big beautiful pumpkins” at the fest, and supplement them with pumpkins and apples grown at an eco-friendly orchard in Meriden, Conn.

The Long Lane Farm was created in 2004 so students would have a place to come together and learn about food security issues. Students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of running the farm.

People of all ages are welcome to participate in Pumpkin Fest activities.

Farm Club member Grace Lesser ’08 says Pumpkin Fest provides an excellent opportunity to introduce children to organic farming. As a freshman, she brought a class of students from a local elementary school to Middletown’s Washington Street Community Garden, and helped them plant a plot with lettuce, carrots and flowers, and met those students three months later to harvest to their crops.

“Some of these students had no idea where their vegetables at dinner came from, and definitely no idea that they could in fact eat food that they, themselves planted,” Lesser says.

The Long Lane Farming Club is extending festival activities into a series of other events highlighting the exploration of urban agriculture and broader food-agriculture interaction.

On Oct. 18, the farm club and Environmental Studies Certificate Program will host the agricultural film, “The Future of Food” from 8 to 10 p.m. in PAC 001; on Oct. 19, the Farming Club will meet between 2 and 5 p.m. to make pizza in their cob oven and work on the farm. At 7 p.m. Oct. 19, Scott Kellogg, co-founder of the Rhizome Collective, will discuss Urban Agriculture in the Russell House. The Rhizome Collective operates out of a self-renovated building in urban Austin, Texas where they work on creating accessible forms of autonomous energy and growing their own food using recycled water and nutrients from the available city-scape.

The 2007 Pumpkin Fest will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Long Lane Farm. The farm is located at the corner of Long Lane and Wadsworth Street, south of Physical Plant and Wesleyan University Press. Admission and activities are free. This year’s special musical guest is the band Busted Roses.

”I hope people can come out and have a good time, meet some new folks, share good food, become familiarized with the fall tasks of organic gardening, and just feel comfortable hanging out at the farm,” Schmidt says. “

The event is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Certificate Program, First Year Matters and Student Budget Committee. For more information contact Valerie Marinelli at 860-685-3733.
 

By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan Faculty Member of Nobel Peace Prize Winning Panel


Wesleyan’s Gary Yohe is a member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel is supported by the United Nations.
Posted 10/16/07
Gary Yohe, the Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics, is a senior member and coordinating lead author on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is a co-recipient of the 2007 the Nobel Peace Prize.

The other co-recipient was former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

The official press statement from The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the IPCC and Gore for: “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

IPCC efforts were also further noted in the statement:

“Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.”

Yohe, who has been involved with IPCC for more than a decade, is one of the leading members of the panel. Currently he serves as the Coordinating Lead Author in the Contribution of Working Group II of the Fourth Assessment Report and member of the Core Writing Team for the Synthesis Report of the Fourth Assessment.

When contacted about the award, Yohe was elated.

“The authors who participate in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have always been secure in the knowledge that their assessments contribute to their respective climate research communities,” Yohe said. “We are, as well, always gratified when the member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change accept the summary reports of our work as the natural and social scientific basis for their negotiations on how to frame global climate policy. It is now particularly rewarding to hear that the Nobel Committee thinks so highly of our work and recognizes its role in elevating the public discourse on climate change. We are, collectively, humbled and invigorated by this award.”

Yohe is featured in a New York Times article about the award at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/13/science/13climate.html?ex=1192852800&en=25796fc30d0797cc&ei=5070&emc=eta1;

A Hartford Courant article at: http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-yohe1013.artoct13,0,812879.story;

And on WNPR Connecticut Public Radio at: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wnpr/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1165858
 

By David Pesci, director of Media Relations

Wesleyan Tests New Emergency Notification System


Posted 10/16/07
In the event of catastrophic weather, accidents that threaten the campus or other life-threatening situations, Wesleyan has furthered its capabilities to inform the campus community quickly and effectively.

A recently-implemented Emergency Preparedness Notification System was tested university-wide on Oct. 10. The emergency notification system alerts students, parents, faculty and staff of serious campus-wide emergencies.

“If Wesleyan has an extended power outage, an incident requiring mass evacuation, or possibly a hostage situation, we will use this system to quickly notify the Wesleyan community,” says Cliff Ashton, director of Physical Plant and chairperson of Wesleyan’s Business Continuity Committee.

Wesleyan has had an emergency preparedness plan prior to 2000, but the new, expanded system includes considerations for long term recovery and on-going business continuity for the university following a major emergency. As a result, the Business Continuity Committee developed the Emergency Preparedness Notification System.

“The need for an expansion in the plan’s scope became apparent to colleges across the U.S. following hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where operations for several universities came to a halt for extended periods, severely challenging the on going viability of those institutions,” Ashton explains.

Wesleyan began implementing the new system in March of 2007. This notification system contacts regular phones, cell phones and e-mail addresses through a Web-based system provided by Connect-Ed. This system is designed specifically for electronic messaging at colleges and universities.

The system notification occurs by voice message to regular telephones or cell phones that students, faculty, and staff identify in the emergency contact listing in their portfolio. Consequently, once someone have been informed of an emergency through e-mail, home phone or cell phone. Employee’s voice mail box will serve as a secondary source of information.

“We needed a way to get campus-wide electronic emergency messages out quickly and reliably,” explains Steve Machuga, director of administrative systems and member of the Business Continuity Committee.

Machuga says the new system is still undergoing some inherent technical and human difficulties with trying contact 4,000 students, staff, faculty and parents as simultaneously as possible. The test on Oct. 10 revealed some problems, such as getting messages past spam filters and simplifying the e-mail format. Machuga and his colleagues are currently addressing these problems.

“We’ve gotten a lot of good information and encouragement through the Emergency Notification Confirmation, which we requested, and we’ve responding to all of them,” Machuga says. “We are moving forward because this is very important for the Wesleyan community.”

The possibility of adding text messaging to the system is being investigated, and additional protocol for the types of notifications that will be sent through the system is under consideration.

In order for the system to work, students, their parents and Wesleyan staff and faculty must update their contact information.

Students can update their phone numbers and their parents’ phone numbers by visiting the Enrollment, Hold & Addresses link in the student portfolio or by navigating to the following http://quicklink.wesleyan.edu/ved.
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Faculty and staff can update their campus-wide emergency numbers through the Personal Profile link in the electronic portfolio or using the following link http://quicklink.wesleyan.edu/personal_profile.

Graduate students can update their phone numbers and e-mail addresses by visiting Enrollment, Holds and Addresses under my Enrollment status in your portfolio or by using the following link http://quicklink.wesleyan.edu/GRADved.

Graduate Liberal Studies Program students can update their phone numbers by visiting the “Address Verification Tab” of the “GLSP On-Line Registration” in your portfolio or by using the following link http://quicklink.wesleyan.edu/GLSPreg.

The Business Continuity Committee has also proposed low-tech options such as using Public Safety officers and their vehicles or limited public announcement systems to alert people of emergencies.

The following members of the Business Continuity Committee helped implement the new system: Ashton, Machuga, Anna van der Burg, registrar; Camille Dolansky, associate director of Parent Programs; Eloise Glick, faculty resource specialist; Justin Harmon, vice president for Public Affairs; Fran Koerting, director of Residential Life; David Meyer, director of Public Safety; David Pesci, director of Media Relations, and Dan Pflederer, human resources management systems functional specialist; Ganesan Ravishanker, associate vice president for Information Technology Services; and Mike Whaley, dean of student services and interim dean of the college.

The committee plans to test the system at regular intervals. Staff will also routinely review Wesleyan’s preparedness procedures to ensure that the university maintains the safest possible campus.

A team of staff members is also currently updating Wesleyan’s emergency response plan in order to comprehend more recent threats, such as the possibility of a pandemic contagion, and to ensure consistency with protocols established in the National Incident Management System created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This same team recently conducted a training drill implementing Wesleyan’s plan in conjunction with the City of Middletown police, fire, and health departments.
 

By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor