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Students Receive Awards, Prizes, Scholarships


Pictured in center, Migdalia Pinkney, administrative assistant for the Center for Community Partnerships and Lisa Currie, director of Health Education, congratulate Gabrielle Tynes-Labonte ’06 (left) and Vladrose Petit-Frere ’05 during the Academic Awards, Prizes and Scholarships program May 3. The students both received the Mosaic Award, given to four students who have brought about cultural awareness and education on race, ethnicity, culture or sexual orientation.

 
Posted 05/23/05
More than 240 Wesleyan students received accolades and formal recognition during the 2005 Academic Awards, Prizes and Scholarships program May 3 in the Russell House.

“These are honor students who represent the highest ideals of Wesleyan University: intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, creative expression, leadership and service,” says Peter Patton, interim dean of the college, vice president and secretary of the university and professor of earth and environmental sciences.

Students were honored for excellence in astronomy, music composition, biology, chemistry,  earth and environmental sciences, mathematics, history, film, women studies and computer science, among other subjects. Others earned awards for demonstrating outstanding leadership, special aptitude in the history or art, debating and public-spirited citizenship.

While celebrating these recipients of awards, prizes and scholarships, Patton also honored and thanked alumni and friends for their generous contributions and gifts. Several awards are the result of legacies of alumni, administrators, faculty and friends whose lives and work are honored through endowed gifts.

For the complete list of students and their awards go to:

http://www.wesleyan.edu/deans/awards2005.html.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Administrative Assistant Makes Plans to Retire After 42-Year Career at Wesleyan


Georgie Leone, administrative assistant for the Center for African American Studies, has worked at Wesleyan for 41 years in four departments. She started here at the age of 18.
 
Posted 05/23/.05
Q: So, you’re one of those rarities.

A: Yes. I am originally from Middletown. We were referred to by the Wesleyan boys as “townies” way back when. I was born right here at the Middlesex Hospital. My maiden name is Lockhart and I am the oldest child of three children — the only girl and two brothers. One brother has passed on, but I have a baby brother who is 16 years younger than me. He obviously was a big surprise.

Q: When were you hired at Wesleyan and in what department?

A: Wesleyan hired me on October 14, 1963 to be a catalog assistant and the secretary to the head of the Catalog Department in Olin Library. I worked there for 15 years.

Q: How many departments have you worked for over the years?

A: I worked at the Graduate Liberal Studies Program as a secretary to the assistant director and I left there after 3 1/2 years. I then went to the Office of Admission for about two years as the secretary to one of the deans. And this year I will celebrate 21 years as the administrative assistant in the African American Studies Program, Center for African American Studies. I still can’t believe it myself that I have been at Wesleyan going on 42 years.

Q: What about Wesleyan has kept you here?

A: I enjoyed the work I did at the library and the people who I worked with were wonderful. I think most of them were in their early 30s and 40s and older, and me being 18 years of age I was like a little sister or daughter to some of them.

Q: When you came to Wesleyan, wasn’t in an all-male university?

A: Working at Wesleyan when you are 18 years old with that many male students around was so much fun. I definitely had a date every Saturday night if I wanted one. I wasn’t “boy crazy”, but I wasn’t Sister Theresa either so I can remember going to football games, dances and fraternity parties. Curfew was midnight for the girls to be on campus. The students dressed for dinner in the navy blue jackets. I really did meet some real nice guys back then, however, I ultimately married a high school classmate and we’ve been happily married for 39 years.

Q: What have been the major changes at Wesleyan that you have noticed in your time here?

A: I would have to say the addition of the women to Wesleyan in the late 1960s. I am from the ”old school” in many ways and it was difficult to get used to seeing the women around campus. I guess now it is old hat but back then was another story.

Q: What are your thoughts on your co-workers?

A: My co-workers are the best. The faculty that have come through our doors over the many years I have been here have been fantastic. The concern for the program and the members of its staff is a major priority. We definitely all get along very well. The only big change now is that I am turning out to be the “oldest in age” and not the youngest any longer. The new hires seem to be younger and younger all of the time. I am treated with a great deal of respect by the members of the faculty, staff and the students. I guess you might say my reputation has preceded me know matter where I have been. The faculty and staff at the center are my extended family.

Q: Do you interact much with the students?

A: The students have changed in some ways, but I do enjoy the interaction I have with them. I supervise about four to six students each semester as office assistants. They seem to be a little needier and maybe a little bolder. But they seem to know what they want and they go for it. In general, I would have to say that most of my dealings with students are positive. I always like the beginning of the school year when the frosh enter. They look so young and I feel like I have to “mother” them.

Q: What’s a day like for you there in the Center for African American Studies?

A: My day can change from minute to minute. It also changes with the time of the year. Right now I’m dealing with the graduation reception, students storage at our center and making sure that all of our senior majors have passed their spring courses successfully to complete the major. I also am on the phone a lot, and we hold a class in our lounge each semester so students are always in and out. I meet with people, take computer courses when necessary, take care of the office budget, faculty accounts and just be here.

Q: How has the African American Studies Program grown and evolved over your time there?

A: I think the program has seen some highs and lows during the years I have been here. I came to the department in 1984 on the first day of school. Can you imagine! And this was a first for me. I had never worked in an academic department before. In 1984 the AFAM major had just been approved. It was a big time and our first graduating class of AFAM Majors was in 1985. We had five of them. It was a very exciting time. Now we have anywhere from 15 to 20 each year. Then, the chair and the director were one and the same. A few years later a director was hired specifically to direct the center and the chair was a tenured faculty member. We now have two tenured faculty members serving, one as chair and one as the director. We also have five tenured faculty members as opposed to having one or two tenured faculty members in the earlier years. So I guess you can say we’ve grown in that respect. And that’s a good thing for sure.

Q: Being here so long, do many people come up to you and ask, “So, what was it like back then?”

A: Yes, they do ask, but most of the time I think they are more taken by the fact that I have been here so long. You don’t hear of anyone staying in one place of employment for a long time. I have one professor that when she introduces me to someone and tells them the length of time I have been here, she proceeds to tell them that, “Georgie knows where all of the bodies are buried.” And I guess she is right, I can go back and remember some things like they were yesterday, but then again, trying to remember what went on 42 years ago is not always easy. Some of it is starting to escape me.

Q: Can you elaborate on your community services?

A: I am very active in an organization called the Middletown Emblem Club No. 452. It is affiliated with the Middletown Elks Lodge in Middletown. I am a charter member and have been active since 1970 when the organization was instituted in Middletown. It is definitely a service club more than social. We foster and perpetuate patriotism, we are involved in many aspects of community service with the elderly and the youth. I also have been very involved in coordinating a program called “Hawkwing,” which provides children and the elderly on the Lakota Indian Reservation in South Dakota with warm clothing, personal items and books. Presently I am in the process of coordinating with the Head Librarian at the York Women’s Prison in Niantic with providing the women with books and personal items. I was chosen Citizen of the Year by the Middletown Elks Lodge in 2001 and was also chosen by the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Prevention Council as the Father Michael O’Hara Volunteer of the Year Award in 2002.

Q: What’s your involvement with drug rehabilitation services in the area?

A: I’ve put in many volunteer hours with our local Drug Rehabilitation Centers. I have received Emblem state and national awards for my volunteerism in Drug Awareness. I am also the Treasurer for the Substance Abuse Prevention Council in Middletown where I have been an active member for the past 10 years.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: In my not so spare time, I am an avid gardener and I love to flower arrange. I call it my therapy. Just let me play in that dirt and I let the rest of the world go by. I have also been an active member and Past President of the Portland River Valley Garden Club for the past 15 years. I also like to cook and bake and believe it or not I like to clean my house too.

Q: Tell me about your family.

A: My husband Ray and I are of Italian descent, you know the Mellili Sicilian’s that infiltrated Middletown over the years. We both attended and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1963. We do not have any children, but we have lots of nieces, nephews and now great nieces and nephews and they have grown up with us. They are scattered mostly in Florida and Texas.

Q: Do you have any plans to retire? If so, when?

A: Right now, I am looking at June 2006. I think 42 years is a long time to work and I would like to take some time for me. I would also like to be home with my mom for a while. She will turn 80 years old in June and has had some health problems this year. I want to be able to be home with her while the two of us can still have some fun shopping, go to the spa, take in a movie, or just stay at home and spend the day doing nothing at all. I think I am ready. It has been a glorious ride, but now it is time to get off.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

University Archivist Researches, Teaches, Presents Wesleyan’s History


Suzy Taraba, head of Special Collections & Archives and university archivist, searches for a 15th century book housed in the Davison Rare Book Room. George W. Davison donated Olin Memorial Library’s oldest printed books.
 
Posted 05/23/05

Q: You’re the university archivist and head of Special Collections & Archives. What led you into this area?

 A: I was drawn to librarianship at an early age in part because my mother’s two sisters are librarians. Later on, after thinking about various other careers, I realized that librarianship, especially special collections librarianship, was a natural outgrowth of my education as well as being work that I enjoyed. The archival component of my career came later, when I worked at Duke and the University of Chicago.

Q: Where are your degrees from and in what?

A: I earned my bachelor’s of art from Wesleyan from the College of Letters in 1977 and a Master of Library Service from Columbia University in 1982. My College of Letters major was especially germane for my job here at Wesleyan.

Q: When did you come to Wesleyan and what were you doing before that?

A: I came back to Wes in 1997 as university archivist. I was promoted in 1998 to head of special collections and university archivist. Immediately before that, I was the head of Public Services in Special Collections and Archives at the University of Chicago. Before that, I was director for Collection Development in Special Collections at Duke University.  Before that, I was head of Rare Book Cataloging at Duke. And before that, I was senior rare book cataloger at Duke.

Q: What are your objectives as the university archivist?

A: My to-do list is endless, but my central goal is to get the greater Wesleyan community excited about Wesleyan’s fascinating history. That’s the first step in preserving it and documenting for the future.

Q: What types of material are included in the Special Collections & Archives?

A: Special Collections & Archives has first rate collections in many areas. Our collections include rare books, manuscripts, university archives, and local history.  We have materials in nearly all formats: paper, audio and video tapes, photographs, CDs and DVDs, electronic records and objects. We have superb rare book collections in English and American literature, history, poetry, Methodistica, 19th century British social and economic history, Arthuriana, fine press, and artists’ books.  We have a strong queer periodicals collection. We have the remains of the original Wesleyan Library.

Q: Can you give a few examples of projects people would use these archives for?

A: Three recent projects using the Wesleyan University Archives were extensive historical photo documentation research done by Rob Olson and associates as they worked on the new campus landscape plan; Web sites about Middletown and the river prepared by students in Vijay Pinch’s Waterways class; and an alumnus researching the history of Eclectic. The rare book collections are heavily used as well, most often in conjunction with class assignments.

Q: How do you go about helping people find what they need?

A: First, we listen carefully and ask questions to be sure we understand what they really want. Then we rely on a combination of our knowledge of the topic and of our holdings, and a range of different tools, including archival finding aids, the library’s online catalog, card files, published sources or other things to help them find sources.

Q: Do you recommend the Wesleyan community to send you copies of their publications to be archived?

A: We are definitely interested in additions to the Wesleyan University Archives. Materials you give to the archives today will support the researchers of the future.

Q: What are your thoughts on your job?

A: The work is always interesting and challenging. It’s extremely varied as well.  Although I do spend a fair amount of time in meetings, I also teach, write, acquire materials, do research and reference, supervise staff, plan for the future of Special Collections & Archives and work with donors. I especially enjoy working at Wesleyan because of my connections with the university going back to childhood. Wesleyan and Middletown feel like home to me. 

Q: Do you set up exhibits in the library?

A: I’m in charge of the library’s formal exhibit program, so I set the schedule and approve requests to install exhibits. The student art exhibits on the lower level and exhibits in the Olin lobby are not coordinated by me. I’m often, but by no means always, the one who puts together the exhibits as well.

Q: And you also give presentations and teach?

A: Teaching and presenting about our collections is an enormous part of my job.  This academic year, I gave presentations about our holdings to 45 classes of Wesleyan undergraduates, three graduate classes, and one graphic design class from Mitchell College. These classes ranged from English classes studying Shakespeare to early modern European history students to the Atomic Theory seminar. I’m a regular presenter at alumni events and professional meetings as well. In addition to sessions that are part of classes taught by Wesleyan faculty, I taught two classes of my own this year. During the fall semester, I taught a five-week course in the history of the book through the new Continuing Studies program. In the spring semester, I taught a full-credit, 13-week master’s level course, Texts in Context: The Book as Cultural Artifact, through the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. Teaching these classes was a wonderful, rewarding experience for me.

Q: What is your personal interest in the history of Wesleyan?

A: My connections to Wesleyan go back a ways, since my father, Wolfgang F. Taraba, came here in 1950-51 as a foreign student from Germany. He also taught German here from 1959 to 1963, so Wesleyan was very much a part of my early childhood.

Q: Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

A: Not too surprisingly, I love to read and visit libraries and museums, both art and history. I collect found photographs of women in couples or groups – imaginary ancestors, in a way. My partner, Marie Clark, and I live in Middletown in a 19th century house with our elderly Labrador retriever, Sappho, and our two cats, Sebastian and Victoria.

Q: Is there anything else that I should know about your role here in special collections?

A: I love my job!

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Professor of German Studies Concludes                 35th Year at Wesleyan


Krishna Winston, professor of German Studies, chair of the German Studies Department, and coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, holds her translation of “Crabwalk” by Nobel-Prize-winning author Günter Grass.

 
Posted 05/23/05
In 1956, Richard and Clara Winston left their farm in Vermont to spend some time in Switzerland. Their two daughters, Krishna, 12, and Justina, 10, were enrolled in Swiss public school. They knew only a few words of German.

“There were little boys who brought their gym shoes to school in cloth bags,” Krishna Winston recalls. “As we were walking home, they would swing those bags by the drawstrings and hit us in the back of our legs, chanting, ‘Khaschdu Düütsch?’ which means ‘Do you speak German?’ We hated going to school.”

Yet those nine months in Switzerland ended up shaping Winston’s life.

Winston went on to earn degrees in German from Smith College and Yale University. In 1970, she was hired at Wesleyan as an instructor. Now a full professor and chair of the German Studies Department, Winston is concluding her 35th year at Wesleyan.

“I feel grateful for all the ways in which Wesleyan has allowed me to contribute,” Winston says. “I’m thankful for the opportunities I have had to learn in the course of committee service; for the friendship, support, and intellectual stimulation I receive from my colleagues in the department; for the joy of working with bright students in the classroom, and for the chance to act locally while thinking globally.”

At Wesleyan, Winston has taught more than 20 different courses in German and in English, including Dada and Expressionism, Thomas Mann, The Simple Life, The German Volksstück, and Giants of German Literature. She also regularly teaches language courses.

In addition to teaching, Winston coordinates the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, a highly selective mentoring program that prepares students of color for graduate study and eventual careers as professors. She also serves as advisor to the Student Judicial Board. Since 1979 she has been the campus Fulbright Advisor, and she also guides students applying for Connecticut–Baden-Württemberg Exchange and German Academic Exchange Service grants.

Winston is demanding of her applicants, who include seniors, graduate students and alumni. She has been known to ask students to revise their application essays as many as 10 times. This year, of 17 Fulbright applicants, seven received grants and two were named alternates.
“I love working with the grant applicants,” she says. “I get to meet some of the brightest seniors and alumni, and much of my work with them involves teaching writing.”

Robert Conn, associate professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and associate professor of Latin American Studies, says his colleague is one of the most committed and generous educators he knows. He admires her voluntary roles as advisor of the Mellon-Mays and Fulbright Fellowship programs.

“In her commitment to both these programs, Krishna is selfless and tireless,” he says. “Fulbright recipients and Mellon Mays undergraduate scholars owe Krishna a debt of gratitude. But so, too, do faculty at large who like myself are inspired by her intelligence, generosity, and work ethic. This institution would not be the same without her.”

Such service, she says, is a tradition in Wesleyan’s German Studies Department. The late German Professor T. Chadbourne Dunham was a driving force behind bringing minority students to Wesleyan in the mid-60s, and women to Wesleyan in the 70s. German Professor Lawrence E. Gemeinhardt was Wesleyan’s first Fulbright advisor and advisor to all of Wesleyan’s foreign students.

German Professor A.S. Wensinger, now professor emeritus, taught in and chaired the Freshman Humanities Program for many years and still serves on the Landmarks Advisory Board. And Peter Frenzel, also professor of German emeritus, took on the responsibility of training students to ring the South College Bells and spearheading fundraising for new bells, served as Dean of the Arts and Humanities and was Faculty Marshal.

“There was a sense of serving not just the department, but also Wesleyan and the larger community,” Winston says.

She took over as chair of the Freshman Humanities Program, and served on the Committee on Honors and General Education, the Wesleyan Press editorial board, and the Planning Committee for the Language Laboratory. In 1993–94 she did a stint as acting Dean of the College.

Outside of Wesleyan, Winston has served as president, secretary, and newsletter editor for the Connecticut Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, as a trustee of the Independent Day School in Middlefield, as an evaluator of books for publishers, as a member of the Fulbright-Hays National Screening Committee for Germany, and as long-time chair of the Middletown Resource Recycling Advisory Council. She has also chaired Wesleyan’s United Way campaign. For several years she was a member of the North End Action Team’s Housing Committee.

But these activities aren’t all that’s keeping her busy. Since her graduate school days, Winston has been a professional translator. To date, she has translated 25 books from German to English. She is currently working on Peter Handke’s 750-page novel “Crossing the Sierra de Gredos.”. She has also translated Günter Grass’s “Two States, One Nation,” “Too Far Afield,” and “Crabwalk.”

“Günter Grass invites all his translators to Germany and goes over the book we will be translating page by page with us, answering any questions and providing a running commentary,” she says. “It is a rare privilege for a translator to work so closely with an author.”

For her translation of Grass’s “Too Far Afield,” Winston received the Schlegel-Tieck prize and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, conferred by the German government.

“Translating is an art as well as a craft,” Winston says. “First, you have to plunge into the work, and try to capture the sound and rhythm of the text. After I complete the rough draft, I go over the manuscript at least four times, reading each sentence aloud to myself. It is a slow process and requires a great deal of what the Germans call Sitzfleisch, or persistence, but to get a sentence just right is such a satisfaction.”

Winston plans to continue working through her parents’ papers, which include a wealth of materials on writers exiled from Hitler’s Germany. She started this research three years ago, while she was a visiting fellow at the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College, and her paper about ‘Second-Class Refugees’ appeared this year in volume of essays that grew out of the Institute’s “Anatomy of Exile” project.

“Often I’m working 18 hours a day,” she says, smiling. “But the things I do are so varied and interesting that they keep my energy up.”

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan Professors Lecture to Local High School Students


 
Above, Rob Rosenthal, professor of sociology and director of the Service-Learning Center, draws a troubadour to illustrate how the message of music is perceived differently during a lecture to high school students.

At right, high school students listen to Rosenthal’s lecture during the High School Humanities Program.

Posted 05/23/05

This semester, local high school students read “The Odyssey,” and watched “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” but it wasn’t with their high school English teachers.

As part of the High School Humanities Program, more than 80 high school students had the opportunity to participate in six discussions at Wesleyan. Wesleyan faculty members facilitate the lectures. Students were bussed in from Vinal Technical High School and Middletown, Killingworth, Mercy and Xavier high schools.

Rob Rosenthal, professor of sociology and director of the Service-Learning Center, lectured about social music and culture on May 6. He played music samples for the students including songs by Woody Guthrie and Aretha Franklin.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. What kind of respect is Aretha asking for here,” Rosenthal asks the students. “If you study this stuff, you can’t simply listen to the lyrics. Think about the style, the voice, the year it came out.”

Rosenthal sketched a troubadour and other people on the chalkboard to illustrate how the music, or the message, is interpreted differently. One person may really favor the lyrics, another may like the beat and rhythm, and still another may not really be paying any attention, he explained.

“It’s difficult to pin-point the real connection between music and social movement, he says. “Individuals take this in and react, as well as reflect, differently,”

Other viewings this year included “Glory,” “Monsoon Wedding,” “Slam,” “The Godfather: Part II,” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

The High School Humanities Program is supported by Community and University Services for Education, most commonly known as CAUSE.  Established in 1967 by Marjorie Daltry Rosenbaum, CAUSE facilitates the implementation of cooperative programs and projects between Wesleyan, the Middletown community and the public and private schools in the Middletown area.

In addition to the High School Humanities Program, CAUSE also supports the following:

  • The Art Show, a unique exhibition of more than 1,200 artworks of Middletown students in grades K-12 at Wesleyan’s Zilkha Gallery. This annual event in April showcases the art curriculum in Middletown public schools and attracts hundreds of students and their families to the Wesleyan campus each spring.

  • Silent Sounds, a collection of selected literary works submitted by students in Middletown Public Schools grades 6-12. Categories include poetry, short stories, literary analyses and personal essays.

  • Mini-grants to local Middletown teachers to develop innovative and creative short-term projects to engage their students in learning.

    Rosenthal is one of six professors involved with the High School Humanities Program. Other lecturers this semester have included Andy Szegedy-Maszak, the Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies, and the director of the Center for Faculty Career Development; Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English and professor of American Studies; Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies and associate professor of women’s studies; Kate Rushin, adjunct assistant professor and visiting writer of African American studies; and Sean McCann, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies and chair of the American Studies Program. Peter Frenzel, professor of German Studies Emeritus, served as faculty director of the program and Frank Kuan, director of Community Relations, offered administrative support for the program.

  • For more information, call 860-685-2245 or 860-638-1401.

     
    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Stereochemistry Topic of 33rd Leermakers Symposium


    Posted 05/02/05

    More than 150 guests, many from academia and the pharmaceutical industry, attended the 33rd Peter A. Leermakers Symposium May 5 at the Exley Science Center.

    The annual, one day meeting brings together internationally recognized chemists for a day of intensive examination of a particular subject in chemistry.

    This year’s symposium, titled “Chirality,” united scientists working in the general area of stereochemistry. The speakers have played a fundamental role in the control and understanding of stereochemistry.

    Stereochemistry is a property that certain molecules have that can make two molecules behave completely differently as drugs, even though the structures of the two molecules look very similar. Stereochemistry depends on the symmetry of a molecule and is very difficult to control when one is synthesizing the molecule.

    Speakers of the day-long event included Judith Brown, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost; Michael Frisch, visiting scholar in chemistry; Professor Kendall Houk from the University of California, Los Angeles; Professor David Evans from Harvard University; Edward Grabowski from Merck Research Laboratories; Professor Eric Jacobsen from Harvard University; and Professor Geoffrey Coates from Cornell University.

    The speakers presented results related to asymmetric catalysis, the synthesis of stereoregular polymers, the computer modeling of stereoselective reactions and the use of spectroscopy.

    “These scientists are all at the very top of their fields and have been recognized by numerous awards,” says Michael Calter, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Leermakers Symposium.

    The first symposium was held in 1972 on the chemistry of vitamin B12 and featured the late Robert B. Woodward, who reported on the just-completed total synthesis of this complex molecule. Since then topics have included natural biology, theoretical chemistry, extraterrestrial chemistry and chemical reaction dynamics.

    The symposium was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Merck Research Labs and Pfizer Global Research Division.

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    The Speakers Judith Brown, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, Wesleyan University

    Professor Geoffrey Coates, Cornell University spoke on “New Catalysts for Constructing Small Molecules and Polymers of Defined Stereochemistry.”

    Professor Eric Jacobsen of Harvard University spoke on “Seeking General Asymmetric Catalysts.”

    Michael Frisch, Visiting Scholar in Chemistry spoke on “Spectroscopy of Chiral Molecules.”

    Professor Edward Grabowski of Merck Research Laboratories spoke on “Novel, Asymmetric Hydrogenations.”

    Professor Kendall Houk, University of California, Los Angeles spoke on the “Theory and Modeling of Stereoselectivity”

    Professor David Evans spoke on “From Crystal Structures to Chiral Catalysts.”

    Wesleyan Jewish and Muslim Students Explore Faith, Society in Turkey


    At left, Wesleyan Jewish Chaplain Rabbi David Leipziger and Muslim Chaplain Imam Abdulla Antepli try on traditional Turkmenistan hats in an Egyptian Bazaar. At right, Jessica Strom ’07, Alana Miller ’08 and Jeremy Gillick ’07 observe the only mosque in Ankara, Turkey.
     
    Posted 05/02/05

    What is life like in a secular Muslim nation, especially for Jews?

    This was the question that motivated 17 Wesleyan students – 12 Jewish, 5 Muslim – to go to Istanbul, Turkey, in March during spring break to see for themselves.

    The eight-day trip, which was envisioned and created by Wesleyan’s Muslim Chaplain Imam Abdullah Antepli and Wesleyan’s Jewish Chaplain Rabbi David Leipziger, was discussed at a presentation on April 19 in Judd Hall.

    Leipziger says the objectives of the inter-religious trip were to study successful Jewish-Muslim coexistence in Istanbul, to interact and build bridges with the Jewish and Muslim communities and to visit major religious and historical sites.

    “Most importantly, we wanted to them to learn about each others’ backgrounds in order to build strong and vibrant inter-religious programming at Wesleyan,” he says.

    During the discussion, nine of the students took turns discussing their views on the country’s politics, government, social interactions, impressions of the country and interactions between the Wesleyan students. Dan Janvey ’06 of New York, N.Y., presented a short documentary on the trip, which included clips of a mosque, prayer, music, and personally delivering a Wesleyan T-shirt to a chief rabbi.

    Students went on guided tours through Istanbul. Destinations included old Istanbul, a Jewish museum, the Turkish parliament, and a historical home in the Galata area. The students also went to an Egyptian Bazaar, mosques, Faith University, a Turkish music concert, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, a sufi dance performance, and a Muslim prayer service.

    The students influential religious and secular leaders in the city, including Chief Rabbi Ishak Halevo and local Jewish leaders, Turkish journalist Ekrem Dumanli local Christian leaders, as well as Vatican representative George Marovitch, and Turkish peace activists and interfaith workers. They also met with U.S. Ambassador Eric Edelman in the U.S. Embassy.

    But it was during dinners that the students received the most personal interaction with the Turkish people. Every night they’d share a meal at a local resident’s home, one night with a Muslim family, the next with Jewish hosts.

    Yaneez Nojib, ’08, of Saint-Pierre, Mauritius, said for a few of the Muslim families, this was their first time hosting Jews in their homes. They also allowed the Jews to pray in their living rooms during Sabbath.

    “One night, we ate at this man’s home,” Nojib says. “He was dressed like he was from the O.C. so we thought he was a businessman, but when we sat down for dinner, he didn’t have servants to bring us our food. He personally came and brought us out food, and that just shows what wonderful, hospitable, welcoming people they are. If there’s one thing I learned, it is that I need to find myself a Turkish wife.”

    The country of Turkey has welcomed Jews, expelled from Spain, and Muslims since 1492. Because Turkey is a secular state and forbids census-takers to include questions of religious affiliations, the exact number of the Jewish population is unknown. By 1477, Jewish households in Istanbul numbered 1,647 or 11 percent of the total, and the present estimation is around 26,000, with the majority living in Istanbul.

    Although Judiasm has a small presence in Turkey, among nearly 70 million Muslims, Andrew Inchiosa ’07 of Woodcliff, N.J. says the Jewish community is evolving with the Turkish culture. During a Shabbat service, one practice seemed especially anomalous to the group. 

    “At the mosques, they’d hold out their hands in prayer, but we also observed that at the synagogue,” Inchiosa says. “It involved a partial, one-handed waving motion. We met an American student studying in Istanbul after the service, and he explained that this was a distinctly Turkish tradition.”

    Inchiosa says there were also few religious divisions from a culinary standpoint.

    The students were served Turkish tea at many different religious functions, and experienced a version of Turkish delight, featuring milk chocolate, at the home of the ambassador to the Vatican.

    Other students who went on the trip were Alana Miller ‘08, Jeremy Gillick ‘07, Jessica Strom ’07, Leora Abelson ‘07, Saad Mustafa Handoo ‘06, Marie Brophy ‘08, Lillian Siegel ‘08, Nitzan Ziv ’07, Jacob Goldin ’07, Ben Smyser ‘08, David Abravanel ‘08, Emiria Wijayanti ‘07, Joel Bhuiyan ‘06 and Nabil Ansari ’06.

    Handoo, of Clarksville, Md., says the students want to reach out to area newspapers, deliver presentations in their hometowns, write articles for Turkish newsletters, hold discussions and conferences about their trip, and reach out to Wesleyan alumni regarding their interfaith experience.

    “Now that we have this knowledge, we want to share it with a broader base and other religious circles,” he says. “What we have been through has been a transforming experience.

    Another trip is being planned for March 2006.

    Anyone interested in ordering a DVD of the students’ documentary, or having the Wesleyan students make a presentation at individual synagogues, mosques, schools or other venues, contact Rabbi Leipziger at 860-685-2278 or dleipziger@wesleyan.edu.

     
    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Director of Publications Says “Wesleyan” Magazine is Collaborative Effort

    Bill Holder, director of Publications, is the the editor of “Wesleyan” magazine.
    Q: Your history with Wesleyan goes back more than three decades. How did it start?

    A: My story with Wesleyan begins in 1971, when I came here as a freshman, graduating in 1975. I ended up working here most of my professional career here in the Office of University Communications, formerly the Office of Public Information.

    Q: As director of publications, what are you in charge of?

    A: I’m the editor of “Wesleyan” magazine. I plan content for the magazine, write, edit and oversee production, but really, the magazine is a collaborative venture with a number of people here in communications, from beginning to end. I’m glad to be part of this publication, which has been very well received. Our office also produces most of Wesleyan’s publications: everything from invitations to the course catalog.

    Q: Sounds like a satisfying career.

    A: The opportunities that came with doing the magazine have been very gratifying. I’ve met so many wonderful people on and off campus, and the job presents unending opportunities for personal growth. There are always challenges ahead.

    Q: Who is the audience of the magazine?

    A: Both campus and alumni. The magazine has various names that reflect its history. The correct name is “Wesleyan: the University Magazine,” but many people still call it older names, such as ‘the Alumni Magazine,’ or ‘Alumnus,’ which I think originated in the single-sex era here. Some people still call it “The Bulletin,” and that name goes way back. It’s funny how these old names stick around.

    Q: What was your degree, and what led you into journalism/publications?

    A: I actually graduated with a degree in chemistry, and then I went on to graduate school at the University of California at Berkley, wanting to become a research chemist. But after one year, I realized it wasn’t for me.

    Q: Then what led you into journalism?

    A: I learned mostly through on-the-job training. After I graduated, my Wesleyan connection served me well. I got a job as a science journalist with the American Chemical Society in Washington D.C. and my supervisor had a master’s from Wesleyan. Also, we both knew Max Tishler, who was a professor of chemistry at Wesleyan between 1970 and 1987 and served a term as president of the American Chemical Society. He influenced a lot of people, including me.

    Q: How did you end up working at Wesleyan?

    A: My wife, Elisabeth, and I wanted to move back to New England, so I came here and worked at the Middletown Press as a reporter for two years. My beat was covering Wesleyan, so I got to know many people here. And when a job opened up in Wesleyan’s public information office, I joined as a writer/editor.

    Q: What were you writing/editing?

    A: We had a newsletter for faculty and staff called the “Campus Report” and a tabloid for alumni called “WesNews.” I wrote for those, and the magazine, and later started WesOnline, which has since been replaced by the online newsletter.

    Q: How has the Office of University Communications changed?

    A: The public information office in South College was much smaller. There were only six or seven of us. Now there are 16, and the name changed to the Office of University Communications in 2000 when Justin Harmon was hired as the director. So back then I was doing a little bit of everything, including writing and editing stories for the magazine and writing a lot of press releases. Now there are three departments under the Office of University Communications: Media Relations, headed by David Pesci, which handles the media inquiries, press releases and the online newsletter; Web Management, headed by Jennifer Carlstrom, which handles the design of the bulk of the University’s Web pages; and my department, Publications, which produces the “Wesleyan” magazine and most of Wesleyan’s higher profile publication pieces.

    Q: You left Wesleyan for a few years. Where did you end up going?

    A: In 1990, I went to Cornell’s news bureau. I was a full-time science writer, and that was an interesting change, as Cornell is a much different institution. My beat was the College of Agriculture, and I wrote articles on everything from cows and apples to molecular biology. I was there three years, until the magazine editor job opened here at Wesleyan and I came back.

    Q: What do you enjoy doing after work or on weekends?

    A: I work out regularly at the Freeman Athletic center, read, and I like to travel. Recently, I went to visit my daughter in L.A.; other trips have included visits to friends in Ottawa and in Switzerland. Our Swiss friends have a view of Lake Geneva and the Alps to die for. I also am on the Middlesex County United Way board of directors and a member of the Rockfall Foundation, a local conservation and environmental group.

    Q: Tell me more about your family.

    A: My wife, Liz ‘’76, teaches earth science at Rocky Hill High School. I have three children, Anne, who is at USC in LA now; Luke, who will graduate from Wesleyan this spring with the class of ’’05, and Zoe, a freshman here at Wesleyan.

    Q: Any pets?

    A: We have two dogs, Acadia and Kona. We go on lots and lots of dog walks.

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Flory joins Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department


     
    Mark Flory, assistant professor of molecular biology, studies genomic integrity in Hall-Atwater Laboratory.
     
    Posted 05/02/05

    Mark Flory joined the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department as an assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry in January 2005.

    Flory, a native of Roanoke, Virginia, completed his bachelor’s of science degree at the University of Richmond majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry in 1994. He earned his Ph.D. at the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2001. His dissertation was titled, “Isolation and Characterization of Calmodulin-Binding Centrosome Components Related to Sacharomyces cerevisiae Spc110p from the Fission Yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Humans.” Flory completed his postdoctoral research in proteomics and mass spectrometry in Ruedi Aebersold’s group at the Seattle Institute for Systems Biology in 2004.

    Flory’s research interests involve understanding the specific mechanisms that ensure genomic integrity. These mechanisms are fundamental to the prevention of chromosomal abnormalities that accompany carcinogenesis. A core set of proteins, conserved in yeast and human cells, protects telomeric chromosome ends by forming a physical cap structure, termed the “telosome,” that regulates access to chromosome ends. The low-abundance and biophysical properties of telomere-associating factors have hampered their identification and characterization, but he has successfully applied mass spectrometry to the identification of telomeric proteins in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    “I hypothesize that the telosome serves as a repository for factors that dynamically function in an equilibrium balancing telomeric protection and DNA repair according to the needs of the cell under different conditions,” Flory says.

    While conducting postdoctoral research in Seattle, Flory also taught “Introduction to Biochemistry and Metabolism Parts I and II” at the University of Washington Extensions College for two years prior to coming to Wesleyan.

    “I value highly the merits of a smaller-campus environment, but did not want to sacrifice the quality of my research program,” he says. “Wesleyan provides a truly unique combination of high-level research with an intimate teaching environment ideally suited for effective training of undergraduate and graduate students. During my recent national job search, I found the Wesleyan life sciences environment is unique not only to Connecticut but across the country.”

    Flory is the co-author of nine articles, one technical report and a chapter in a book. He lives in Middletown with his partner Amy Sanchez, a chocolate lab named Ace, and a cat named Denson. He enjoys listening to and playing classical and jazz piano, kite boarding on water and snow and hiking.

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Assistant Dean of Admission Reads Applications, Recruits Students, Plans WesFest


    Leah Kelley, assistant dean of admission, looks through a student’s file in the Office of Admission.
     
    Posted 05/02/05

    Q: When did you come to Wesleyan?

    A: I came to Wesleyan as an assistant dean last fall after graduating from Yale in the spring.

    Q: What led you into working in an admission office?

    A: I have a bachelor’s of arts in psychology, but in college, I became very involved in college awareness and SAT prep outreach programs. The different programs that I worked with opened up my eyes to the complexity of admissions. After working with high school students for three years, I knew that I wanted to work on the inside as well to get a better understanding of the process before returning to the advising/counseling side again someday.

    Q: What are you enjoying most about working here so far?

    A: Wesleyan is a wonderful place to work, but what I enjoy most about this job is the opportunity to travel and interact with students at their schools and in their communities.

    Q: Working in the Office of Admission, do you get to work face-to-face with the students and parents or are you behind the scenes?

    A: Both. All of the deans in the office spend time meeting students and parents at college fairs, school visits and information sessions. But of course a lot of the work in admissions goes on behind the scenes. We spend a lot of time reading applications, coordinating alumni outreach, planning travel and putting special programs together just to name a few duties.

    Q: And what about that successful WesFest?

    A: It was a community wide effort that Wesleyan can be proud of!

    WesFest is our admitted student’s weekend, and I was involved with the planning of it. It could be thought of as a celebration of all things Wesleyan and requires coordination between the Office of Admission and dozens of faculty and student groups on campus. Around 400 admitted students visited that weekend and I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things from both parents and students.

    Q: What are your thoughts on the Wesleyan students?

    A: I absolutely love working with both our prospective students as well as our current students. One of the greatest parts of this job is getting to meet so many individuals and hearing their stories and plans for the future.

    Q: What are typical questions that high school students or parents have about Wesleyan?

    A: Our information sessions are driven by the audience’s questions so we get asked almost everything and anything about Wesleyan. Some common themes are social life on campus, study abroad opportunities, campus culture and academic programs. One of the neat things about our information sessions is that a current senior sits on the panel with an admissions dean. Having a student on the panel is invaluable to families that are trying to find out what it’s really like to be a student at Wes.

    Q: Students are also tour guides, correct?

    A: Yes. Our tour guides are also excellent and we get a lot of great feedback about them. The Cardinal Key Tour Guide Program is a volunteer program and so the students who give tours really do it for the love of the university, which makes for a wonderful tour. 

    Q: How does your job change throughout the year?

    A: Admissions is a cyclical process, so I’ll describe the different seasons of admissions. In the fall, the deans in our office travel all over the country — and the world — to visit high schools, meet students, work at college fairs and host receptions. It’s a hectic schedule where we visit up to five schools during the day and then host a reception or attend a fair at night. In the winter, you will find most of the deans reading applications. Once decision letters go out in the spring, our office gets busy planning for WesFest, reaching out to admitted students though phone-a-thons and recruiting the next year’s class. Throughout the year, we hold daily information sessions and answer questions from students, parents and counselors.

    Q: Is reading applications a pretty intense process?

    A: Yes. Last winter, I often found myself reading applications six days a week, sometimes from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Most of the deans work at home to avoid office distractions.

    Q: Are you involved with any Wesleyan activities?

    A: The on-campus activity that I am most heavily involved in is varsity softball. I played in college and jumped at the opportunity to volunteer with the team here at Wesleyan. It’s a great way to spend more time interacting with students and sharing a passion that they have. 

    Q: What are your hobbies?

    A: Probably the most interesting “hobby” of mine, if you can call it that, is football. This past winter I joined a women’s professional football team here in Connecticut called the Connecticut Crush (www.ctcrush.com).  Few of the women on the team have played full-contact football before, so we put in a lot of time practicing and learning the sport. I’m also active in my church in New Haven, Christ Presbyterian, and can often be found spending time with that family on the weekends.

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Center for the Arts Director Brings the Arts to Campus, Town


    Pamela Tatge is Director of the Center for the Arts and spearheaded the development of the Green Street Arts Center.
     
    Posted 05/02/05

    When Pamela Tatge became the director of the Center for the Arts (CFA) six years ago, Wesleyan had a golden reputation in the arts.  Unfortunately, not enough people in the community – or on campus  –  were taking notice.

    “We were an undiscovered gem,” Tatge recalls.” I saw the richness in this institution and believed the resources should be shared with the community.”

    Tatge would spend the first five years of her Wesleyan career raising the public’s awareness of arts at Wesleyan. By 2004, the CFA increased its attendance by the general public by 70 percent, while increasing student attendance by 18 percent and faculty-staff attendance by a staggering 1,720 percent. Overall ticket sales climbed 14 percent and revenues for CFA sponsored events went up 24 percent.

    Tatge also spearheaded the development of the university’s Green Street Arts Center, which opened in January of 2005 in Middletown’s North End. She conducted feasibility studies, focus groups and derived the business plan.

    “Nothing in my working life has been as tremendous as creating the Green Street Arts Center,” she says. “I know the institution is here to stay, and it will only grow and continue to assist children and adults.”

    Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2003, she was awarded the Elizabeth Mahaffey Fellowship for Arts Administration from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. In March, the Connecticut Dance Alliance honored Tatge and the CFA with an achievement award.

    In addition, the Center for the Arts was recently named a Hub Site for the National Dance Project in recognition for their ongoing commitment to the creation and presentation of new dance work. As a result Tatge will serve on the NDP Board.

    But these are just the extras that Tatge takes on. As director, her main duties are to oversee programming in an arts complex that includes a theater, cinema, two music halls and a contemporary art gallery. Offerings include the Crowell Concert Series, the Breaking Ground Dance Series and Outside the Box, a series of theater performances and talks, well as several professional and student installations annually in the Zilkha Gallery.

    LiLy Milroy, Dean of the Arts and Humanities program and professor of American studies and art history says her colleague devotion to promoting arts in the Middletown community is signaled by such projects.

    “I think Pam is a dynamic director of the Center who has developed an exciting and innovative program of events for the Center and has as a result significantly raised the profile of the Center for the Arts both on campus and in the wider community,” Milroy says. “I enjoy working with her immensely.”

    Working in the CFA is not Tatge’s first experience with Wesleyan’s fine arts. After growing up in Bethesda, Md., and Milan, Italy, the bilingual student enrolled at Wesleyan in 1980 to pursue a degree in history.

    But in between courses on 20th Century Europe with Professor of History Nat Greene and psychohistory with Professor of History Phil Pomper, she took an interest in Wesleyan’s overabundance of art, dance and music classes. She acted in a play every semester, took several dance classes and sang in the concert choir. These experiences, along with a year abroad in Paris, led to a deep love for international cultures.

    “These four years here were a precious time for me to take advantage of the arts and the arts faculty here,” she says. “I aimed to be a triple threat. I was going to be an actress, singer and dancer and I was determined to make my fame in New York,” she says.

    After graduating in 1984, she worked for two years as an actor in New York, supporting her career by grant writing and fund-raising for several arts organizations. In time, her home life and administrative interests in the arts outweighed her desire to be cast in roles that would require her to travel.

    From 1989-99, she was the Director of Development at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, where she spent 10 years developing the theater’s fund-raising  and community outreach programs, including mounting what was at the time, the most successful single year fundraising campaign in the theater’s history.

    While at Long Wharf, she ran fund-raising workshops for arts organizations throughout the state, worked to create the Arts Industry Coalition and the Regional Cultural Plan for Greater New Haven, and was hired by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts to mentor first-time arts managers.

    “My life experiences had taken me in many different directions, so I came back to Wesleyan, looking at it through new eyes,” she says.

    She oversees a staff of 15, including an exhibitions curator, technical operators, an art director, box office manager, art studio and audio-visual technicians and the staff of the Green Street Arts Center. She’s also been recruiting artists for Middletown Dances!, a town-wide dance festival which will feature the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. As a result of Tatge’s efforts and the interest of the dance and science Departments, GLSP and the Continuing Studies Program, among others, the dance exchange will be in residency throughout the year, culminating in world premiere of Ferocious Beauty: Genome as part of the Breaking Ground Dance Series.

    “Pam has done wonders in bringing the Green Street Arts Center to life, establishing important arts connections between Wesleyan and its surrounding community,” says Eric Charry, associate professor of music. “Her great energy has helped to bring a wide array of musical events to campus that gives Wesleyan its distinctive character.”

    Tatge lives in Madison, Conn., with her husband, artist Jerry Zinser, her two children and two step-children. She also spends time as a Madison Foundation board member, a volunteer at her children’s schools, and attends events that the CFA sponsors.

    She regrets not having the time to sing, dance or perform. However, she still sneaks in an occasional jam session with her family.

    “I still love to dance,” she says. “I still love to rock out.”

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Telfair Paints from Memory Via Her Heart


     
    Above, Tula Telfair, professor of art, sits near her students’ work inside her office in Art Studio South. At right, Telfair’s oil on canvas, “Obscured to the Eye Apparent on the Map,” measures 79 by 100 inches.
     
    Posted 05/02/05
    Many people who see Tula Telfair’s landscape painting titled “To Make Space Distant,” are confident the artist painted a place familiar to them. However, before she painted it, the grassy field, split by a pond highlighted in fire brush existed nowhere but in Telfair’s mind. It’s part of a world that the professor of art at Wesleyan creates from her life experiences.

    “The paintings trigger a connection in people,” says Telfair. “Two people, one from Florida and one from Maine will swear they grew up near there, and they know these places.”

    Telfair’s work is nationally recognized. Her large-scale paintings have been shown in dozens of solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and other large city galleries. They are also held in numerous public collections including MasterCard Corporation, General Electric Corporation and The New Orleans Museum of Art.

    The scenes she creates are expressions of metaphoric visual short stories. She invents landscapes with skies blazing with white, golden, gray or saffron clouds. In her square format paintings, skies often make up most of the image. Others include water, which leads viewers through the picture to an indefinite end. The water reflects the light in the sky, as it cuts through the shifting land surface, contributing to the mood of the scene.

    “I work from my own memories and feelings,” she says. “I don’t paint on location. I paint in my studio where I can determine the colors. Colors are so meaningful to the expression.”

    Telfair recently exhibited work at the Forum Gallery in Los Angeles. Many of those multi-paneled pieces are set off with wide bands of color, which lead views around the painting. Telfair says these self-invented bands – which wrap around or cut through an image – are painted with colors found within the landscapes contained in the painting itself.

    The bars also add depth. “The Relationship is Symmetrical,” is actually painted on five canvases, each at a different elevation.

    “The bands have their own intensity that yields a sensual roadmap to the scenes they contain,” says Robert Fishko, director of the Forum Gallery. “They magnify our approach and deepen our desire to penetrate the suggested story of the landscape.”

    Telfair is currently Wesleyan’s only painting instructor, and describes her lessons as “challenging and demanding.”

    “See these paintings? These are all done by students who have never painted before,” she says, pointing at finished work on display in Art Studio South. “I teach each student real technical skills and help them foster unique expression. I am thankful for that privilege.”

    David Schorr, professor of art, says his colleague is known for her toughness and “extremely high” standards.

    “Tula demands and gets the most from everyone: her students, her colleagues, and above all herself,” he says. “Sometimes she scares people or puts them off but she never worries about that, because her standards matter and because they always like her in the end for making them perform to their utmost.”

    Telfair never intended on becoming a painter. In fact, she entered into a required art course in high school and felt overwhelmed. Frustrated by her ignorance, Telfair decided to teach herself how to draw and began copying the drawings of Michelangelo and DiVinci. Two years later, she went to college with aspirations of becoming a medical illustrator.

    Six years later, she ended up a painter, with a bachelor’s degree from Moore College of Art and a master’s of fine arts degree from Syracuse University. In 1989 she was hired by Wesleyan University as an assistant professor of art. She soon became the chair of the Department of Art and Art History and then served as acting academic dean for the Arts and Humanities.

    Telfair currently teaches all levels of painting, introductory drawing and senior thesis, while she continues to work from her studio in New York. Teaching and painting go hand in hand, she says. She’d never want to do one and not the other.

    “Teaching to me is essential,” she says. “I am stimulated by the challenge to teach students how to paint.”

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor