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25 Years with All That Money and Never a Dull Day


Katy Wichlac, CPP, is Wesleyan’s payroll manager and works in Financial Services.

 
Posted 03/15/05

Q: I’ve heard of a CPA but not a CPP. What does that stand for?

A: A Certified Payroll Professional.

Q: Are you a math person? What skills do you need to work in payroll and what is your educational background?

A:  I graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Connecticut.  I have a bachelor of arts degree in American Studies and British History from Cardinal Cushing College in Brookline, Massachusetts I am currently taking classes through the Graduate Liberal Studies Program here at Wesleyan.

Q: What courses have you taken?

A: I have taken Irish Music and Dance and International Organization and Evolution of Government: The Rise of the Modern Nation State.

Q: When did you become manager of payroll services?

A: In May 2000, I was new to Wesleyan, but I have been a payroll manager for over 25 years.

Q: You must be a real payroll pro. How would you describe a typical day working in payroll?

A:  Are you kidding? A typical day in payroll? That would be something to see. On a regular day I oversee the payroll staff – Evelyn Harris and Gladys Fountain. We process payroll for all the students and employees of the university. We get a lot of phone calls and e-mails every day. I spend a lot of time on the computer and not as much as I would like getting out to meet with employees. We see many of the students, but I am sorry to say I know most of the employees via phone or e-mail only.

Q: What do you like most about your job as a payroll manager?

A: Every day brings something new, something different. Payroll is never dull or predictable! We all try to have a laugh every day – it helps.

Q: Outside of work, what are your hobbies or interests?

A: I love to travel. I especially love London, and I serve on the board of the New England Payroll Conference. This year I will chair the conference for the third time. I also have spent a lot of years as member of a community theater group, the Windsor Jesters.

Q: Are you a performer? Or do you work behind the scenes?

A: I have been a member of the group and board member. I served as president for several years. Yes, I have been known to get on the stage. I have done a lot of musicals and my last play was “Dangerous Liaisons.”

Q: Do you have any children?

A:  I have two children. My son is Stephen and my daughter is Maria. My first grandchild was born on December 12th. Her name is Hollace Katherine Grace Grove, named after her two grandmothers, and she weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Digitization Specialist Creates Digital Instruction Materials


Allynn Wilkinson, digitization specialist, works on scanning and piecing together a map of Middletown inside the Information Technology Services digitization lab.
 
Posted 03/15/05

Allynn Wilkinson is leading Wesleyan into a digital world.

As Wesleyan’s digitization specialist, Wilkinson support curricular instruction by converting and creating multimedia instructional materials.

And campus wide, technology seems to be contagious.

“We give faculty members what they need, and that gets other people interested in these types of services,” she says. “It’s just amazing what we can do nowadays with technology.”

Wilkinson works in her own digitization lab at Information Technology Services. There, she uses five computers to convert one medium into another.

Music from a cassette tape can be transferred to a digital audio tape; video from a High 8 tape can be burned onto DVDs, slides from an art portfolio can be scanned and put on Web sites; and data from floppy disks can be burned to CDs.

“Right now, I’m converting a concert that was shot on mini digital video, to a DVD,” Wilkinson says, pointing to a computer, processing information. “And here, I’m scanning a giant map for a geology class. It’s so big, it won’t fit on the scanner all at once, so I scan it in pieces and put it together on the computer.”

Adobe PhotoShop is Wilkinson’s most-used program for digital image manipulation. She also uses Final Cut, DVD Studio Pro, Adobe Audition and iMovie.

“I set them up, but the computers do most of the work,” she says.

Although she devotes much of her day to technical processes such as scanning slides, posters or transferring data, she loves to tackle creative projects that come by her desk. Wilkinson opens her latest project, a digital photography slide show, for Jerry Wensinger, a professor emeritus for the German Studies Department. Wensinger photographed scenes in Munich, Germany, in 1948 and shot the same scenes in 2004.

Wilkinson morphed the 1948 black and white images with the recent color photographs to show the before and after. Wensinger will present the slide show to German classes or public talks.

“This is one of my favorite projects,” Wilkinson says, watching the presentation.

Each computer is set up to do different tasks. One has a flatbed scanner, another prints directly onto CDs and DVDs. Another computer is setup to make mini-movies called videostreams, which are becoming a popular teaching tool campus wide.

Anthropology Professor Betsy Traube uses Digitization Services to transform episodes of  “The Sopranos” TV show into streaming videos for television course; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Associate Professor Michael McAlear records his lectures onto VHS tapes, which Wilkinson transfers to videostreams for students to view online.

“I think having video streams is a great idea, because it gives students the opportunity to see classes that they might want to review, or might have missed due to sickness or other obligations,” McAlear says. “Seeing the video of the lecture is a much better way to get the information, rather than copying notes from friends. I’ve only had good feedback from it.”

Wilkinson said professors and students alike appreciate the convenience of on-demand video. “It saves class time when students can watch video assignments on their own time and they can review the material as often as they want,” she says.

One of Wilkinson’s up and coming projects is to turn videos of a brain dissection into streaming videos for Psychology Professor Harry Sinnamon’s neuroanatomy class. He formerly used VHS tapes.

 “Allynn did a fine job converting the tapes to the streaming video format,” Sinnamon says. “With no significant cost in resolution, we gained the benefits of convenient access, increased security, and minimized wear and tear on the tapes. I would recommend this service to any instructor who uses the same tapes from year to year.”

Wilkinson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Victorian studies, and master’s degrees in pop culture and library science, acquired much of the technology on her own time.

She learned to stream videos by recording soap opera clips, and time-lapse movies of flowers blooming.

“I have all these machines here. If someone brings me something I’ve never seen, I’ll figure it out,” she says.

She’s had a few cases where professors have brought her outdated hard drives, audio recorders and “little silver things,” but she’s always found a way to open, extract and re-record the material on more up-to-date formats.

“We’re always up for learning new things,” she says.

When not in the lab, she’s attending intellectual property committee meetings and works as a media digitations specialist for Leaning Objects, which are graphical simulations, data sets or learning modules that can replace text or lectures on a subject.

Wilkinson, 44, celebrated her one-year anniversary at Wesleyan in December 2004. Prior to Wesleyan, worked part-time for Brown University, also as a digitization specialist.

Wilkinson, who lives in Pawcatuck with her pet parrot and cat said once she’s home, she resorts to less techy hobbies, such as decorating her house and gardening.

“I have a lot of computers at home, but I try hard not to turn them on,” she said.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Officer Spends 23 Years Keeping Campus Safe


 
Public Safety Senior Officer William Heckstall has worked for Wesleyan more than 20 years.
 
Posted 03/15/05

In his distinctive black, gray and red uniform, a shimmering silver badge and a belt equipped with a jingling set of keys and nightstick, Public Safety Senior Officer William Heckstall appears daunting from afar. But once eye-contact is made with this 6-foot-3, broad-shouldered officer, his sweet, signature smile overwhelms his face.

“I like to greet everyone with a friendly smile, and let them know I’m a nice guy and can be trusted,” officer “Hex” says, modeling his beaming grin.

For 23 years, Officer Heckstall has patrolled Wesleyan’s campus. Originally hired by Wesleyan as a guard, Heckstall was promoted to a senior officer in 1993. When he started, there were seven patrol people; the department now has 17 officers and three patrol people working day and night shifts.

He spends his days with one mission in mind – to promote a safe environment for Wesleyan’s students, staff and faculty. When he’s not responding to reports, he is checking buildings on campus, doing parking enforcement and responding to calls for service such as medical escorts.

“I’m always on the lookout for safety hazards,” he says. “This could be anything from blown-out light bulbs to cracks in the sidewalk.”

While on duty, Heckstall takes turns with other officers, patrolling sections of campus by car. He routinely stops to talk walk-through the dorms and other buildings, looking for any hazards and making sure there are no broken locks.

Near the end of his shift Heckstall reports back to his office at 208 High Street for his least-favorite part of the job – writing reports.

“I much rather be out with public than in here, writing reports, but that’s a big part of the job, too,” he says.

Heckstall, an avid weight-lifter and long-distance runner, looks forward to campus-patrol duty in April. In 1995, Public Safety initiated bike patrol, which commences after the snow melts and continues through late fall.

Public Safety personnel on the bicycle are able to navigate through campus with greater ease than officers in patrol vehicles and faster than personnel on foot.

“Many areas of the campus are only accessible by walkways or one-way roads,” Heckstall says. “The bike patrol ads a great dimension to our work. We can respond to an event in a matter of minutes, rather than having to get through traffic.”

The bike patrol is just one way Public Safety strives to make Wesleyan a safer environment. Throughout Heckstall’s double-decade career, the department has set up emergency police/fire boxes and blue light phones, a campus shuttle service and an electronic card access system. Residence halls have been further secured with locking exterior doors. Public Safety also offers tips on its website regarding identity theft, bicycle security, jogging security, sexual assault awareness, and nuisance/harassing telephone calls.

In addition, all first-year students receive a campus safety brochure.

“Students can feel real safe here at Wesleyan,” Heckstall says. “Our office works very hard to keep the campus safe. Crime prevention is a partnership we share with our entire community and we need everyone’s help.”

Maryann Wiggin, director of Public Safety says the officers can always rely on Officer Heckstall for special assignments.

“William takes his responsibilities very seriously,” Wiggin says. “He has tremendous people skills, provides great customer service. He’s someone I depend on and it’s great to have him on the public safety staff.”

When not in uniform, Heckstall said he can be found at the gym or spending time with his twins. His son, Elijah, attends Trinity College; his daughter, Ebony, goes to Syracuse University.

He also likes to watch sports, especially basketball. The 1979 graduate of North Carolina’s Campbell University played Division 1 hoops.

“I’ve played against some of the pros,” he says, grinning. “Sometimes, I think I should have stayed with it.”

Being a dad of college-age kids helps him relate even better with Wesleyan’s student body.

 “I think I have a great rapport with the students,” he says. “If I can help one, two, 50 or 100 of the students out there, I feel that I have done my job.”

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Working to Minimize Brain Cell Damage in Stroke Victims


 
Biology visiting assistant professor Stanley Lin researches ways to prevent brain cell death in stroke patients.
 
Posted 03/15/05
Q: Professor Lin, you’re among only a handful of scientists, nationwide, studying excitotoxic cell death. Please explain your research, and what this means for stroke victims.

A: After a stroke, millions of brain cells can get over excited and the cells can die. This cell death is an ongoing process. This condition can be prevented if the neurological signaling pathways that that cause cell death are inhibited. If we use proteins that block excitotoxic pathways, we could prevent post-stroke death.

Q: How do you describe an “excitoxin?”

A: An excitoxin, is an excited poison. It is a normal neurotransmitter that damages neurons when released in large amounts. An excitoxin binds to certain nerve cell receptors, stimulates the cell, and either damages the cell or results in neuronal cell death. Excitatory amino acids, can produce lesions in the central nervous system and set off progressive diseases such as. It’s also a factor in nerve damage in patients who have epilepsy or asphyxiation.

Q: In addition to strokes, what types of medical problems can arise from cell death?

A: Excitotoxic cell death is thought to be a central and underlying cause of brain damage in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s disease. An understanding of what causes cell death and lesions after strokes will lead to prevention of the paralyzing cell loss.

Q: Where did you study this subject before coming to Wesleyan?

A: I earned my bachelors and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. Most recently I’ve collaborated with professors at Yale University on this subject. Prior to coming aboard at Wesleyan in 2002, I worked in both the oncology and neuroscience fields, studying serotonin-associated signaling pathways, cloning novel signaling molecules from the brain, and studying the mechanism by which salmonella can target tumors and slow tumor growth.

Q: What are some of your recent publication topics?

A: They cover a broad range of topics, including neuroscience, immunology, oncology, and microbiology. My most recent articles include “Oxidative damage and defective DNA repair is linked to apoptosis of migrating neurons and progenitors during cerebral cortex development in Ku70-deficient mice,” which will be published in “Cerebral Cortex,” and “Role of SptP in enhanced tumor necrosis factor-a secretion and ERK activation in murine macrophages by Salmonella typhimurium,” which appeared in “Cellular Microbiology.”

Q: Do you collaborate with any of the other professors?

A: I perform research with Janice Naegele who is an associate professor in biology and neuroscience and behavior. She investigates the role of DNA repair in neuroprotection. She’s more anatomical, and I’m more molecular, so our work complements each other’s. We, and student Jia Liu, study cell cultures and segments of rodent brain. Under a microscope, we study the activity of a specific molecule, technically called “striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase,” or STEP, a brain-specific molecule that turns off cell death pathways.  During nerve death, the STEP molecule gets degraded, and is no longer present to prevent cell death.

Q: Please explain more about these STEP molecules.

A: The STEP proteins, both normal and mutated, are fused to amino acids that allow the STEP proteins to enter cells, bind to enzymes in the cell death pathway, and block death-associated signaling. So far, we’ve shown that addition of certain STEP mutants, but not others, can block excitatory cell death. I plan to study the differences in action of the individual STEP mutants in order to identify the critical cellular reactions involved in cell death.

Q: What classes do you teach here and what do you want students to get out of your classes?

A: Last fall, I taught neuropharmacology and this spring, I’m teaching a molecular and cellular neurobiology laboratory course. I want students to get a fundamental understanding of how cells work in the brain, the anatomy of the brain, and hope they can visualize paths in the brain.

Q: How do you study the brain?

A: We study them directly. Along with graduate students Jia Liu and Mohit Neema, we bring out a mini ‘bologna slicer’ and will slice apart mice brains for students to study under the scope.

Q: Do you enjoy research or teaching more?

A: I’ve always done research, but I’m enjoying teaching, too. Research keeps me mentally active, whereas the students can really keep you on your toes. Those students who really get into neurology are the most rewarding to teach.

Q: I understand working here has some sentimental value to you.

A: Yes. My father, Po Chen Lin, earned his master’s degree in English literature from Wesleyan in 1948 under Professor Fred Millett.

Q: What do you do after a long day in the lab?

A: I studied violin at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins, so I like to meet up with my trio. We call ourselves Youth ‘n’ Asia. We have performed at various local venues, including Connecticut Hospice and the Neighborhood Music School. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my daughters, Shau-Ru a recent graduate of Smith College, and Fu-Fu.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wang Joins Asian Languages and Literatures Department


 
Lingzhen Wang, assistant professor of Asian languages and literatures stands outside Fisk Hall, where she teaches a class on 20th century Chinese literature and film.
 
Posted 03/15/05

Lingzhen Wang joined the Asian Languages and Literatures Department as an assistant professor of Asian languages and literatures in January 2005. She teaches China Modern: An Introduction to the Literature and Film of Twentieth Century China and Intermediate Chinese at Wesleyan.

Wang completed her undergraduate work at Nanjing University and earned her Ph.D at Cornell University. Her master’s thesis is a comparative study of a well-known Chinese writer, Shen Congwen, and Thomas Hardy, and her dissertation is on modern Chinese women’s autobiographical writing.

Wang’s main areas of interest are modern Chinese literature, gender studies, feminist and literary theories, and modern Japanese literature. She is currently researching Chinese female film directors.

She was drawn to Wesleyan in part because of its top-notch faculty.

“Wesleyan has some leading scholars and professors in Chinese Studies and Women Studies,” she says. “And the role of East Asian Studies is quite prominent at Wesleyan compared to many other places.”

The Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies and proximity to her husband’s workplace were also big attractions.

In September 2004, Wang’s book “Personal Matters: Women’s Autobiographical Practice in Twentieth-Century China” was published by Stanford University Press. She recently edited a translation anthology of a famous contemporary woman writer, Wang Anyi, titled “Years of Sadness,” which is pending publication. Wang is currently working on two essays, “Peeling Onion: Teaching China and Gender in the United States” and “The Ambivalence of Maternal Body and Voice in Contemporary Chinese Women’s Cinema.”

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Haddad Joins Faculty in Government Department, East Asian Studies Program


 
Mary Alice Haddad, assistant professor of government and East Asian studies, came to Wesleyan in June 2004.
 
Posted 03/05/05

Mary Alice Haddad joined the faculty in the Government Department and East Asian Studies Program as an assistant professor in June 2004.

Haddad, a native of Washington, D.C., completed her undergraduate work at Amherst College and earned a Ph.D at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her dissertation, “Creating Citizens: Volunteers and Civil Society, Japan in Comparative Perspective,” was about civil society in Japan. Her primary area of research is comparative civil society, with a focus on Japan. 

“I am especially interested in traditional organizations like neighborhood associations and volunteer fire departments that have largely been overlooked by other scholars,” she says.

Haddad taught Japanese politics this past fall and is developing a course in Chinese politics that she expects to teach in 2006. 

Her current research includes an examination of the ways traditional Japanese civic organizations such as neighborhood associations, which were instruments of social control used by the fascist state to manipulate the people, have become institutions of democratic accountability now used by citizens to lobby the government.

Haddad is the author of a journal article “Community Determinants of Volunteer Participation: The Case of Japan” published in “Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Research” 33:3, September 2004 and a book review “The Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector in Japan” published in “Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Research” 33:2, June 2004. She is working on a manuscript titled “Performing Their Civic Duty: Voluntary Participation in the US and Japan in Comparative Perspective.”

Haddad said she is very committed to liberal arts education, and that’s among the reasons she came to Wesleyan.

“I was also attracted to the ways that Wesleyan promotes both teaching and scholarship among its faculty, without privileging one over the other,” she says.

Haddad lives in Middletown with her husband Rami. She enjoys sports, outdoor activities and pottery. Her first child is due May 3.

“May 3rd is the last day of class, so people can see me waddle around campus this semester as I grow increasingly round,” she says.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

   
COOKIN’ IT UP AFTER WWII: An exhibition titled “Cookbooks and Gender in Postwar America,” is on display at Olin Memorial Library through March 31. The exhibit brings together 30 cookbooks and printed ephemera that document cooking and gender in midcentury America, and explores the changing social conditions under which Americans lived and worked after the war.

Director of Community Relations Focused on Wesleyan as a Partner with the Community

Frank Kuan, director of community relations, stands outside the Center for Community Partnerships.
Posted 02/23/05
Q: Community Relations collaborates initiatives between the university and the greater Middletown community. How does this benefit Wesleyan and the community?A: I would echo President Bennet’s sentiment: what is good for Middletown is good for Wesleyan, and vice versa. Wesleyan is a key employer and economic generator in Middletown. Under President Bennet’s leadership, Wesleyan has taken a proactive approach to town-gown relations – of course, the leadership of the City of Middletown has also reciprocated on this positive connection. One of our most recent efforts has been the establishment of the Center for Community Partnerships. The Center is comprised of the Service-Learning Center with Professor Rob Rosenthal, the Office of Community Service and Volunteerism with Cathy Crimmins Lechowicz, our administrative assistant is Migdalia Pinkney and the Office of Community Relations. Our goal is to look for opportunities that further collaborative relationships between Wesleyan and greater Middletown.

Another key contribution of Wesleyan to the community is in the form of employee contribution to the Middlesex United Way annual community campaign. This past year, I have the pleasure of serving as chair. Because of everyone’s diligence and effort, we raised a record amount of $140,018.18. This money stays in the local community to help with critical needs. Wesleyan University is one of the top three contributors in the County to the Middlesex United Way Community Campaign.

Q: What are some of your personal goals to strengthen partnerships with the city?

A: One of my goals is to be visible in the community and to actively participate in local events. Building partnerships between the city and Wesleyan University requires strong collaboration. I try to foster relationships with a diverse constituency. Working with my colleagues in the Center for Community Partnerships will also be a goal. There’s a great deal of synergy in this operation, and it will have a positive impact on strengthening town-gown partnerships. I work for Peter Patton, vice president and secretary of the university, and I look to support the work of his office as well in any way I can.

Q: How would you describe Wesleyan’s image in the city of Middletown?

A: I would say that our current relationship and image are generally positive. Folks in town are aware of the myriad of work with which Wesleyan is involved. Main Street Middletown, Inc., The Inn at Middletown, the Green Street Arts Center, Community and University Service for Education, and our work with Macdonough School are just a few of the many community collaborations of Wesleyan. The volunteer involvement of our students and faculty, staff and administration is also significant and appreciated by the local community. Not to say that everything is perfect; town-gown relations are not static. There are always issues to work on, and improvements could always be made. It takes all of us to work together to maintain communication and connection.

Q: How does Wesleyan help the local economy?

A: Because of Wesleyan, Middletown receives PILOT funding (Payment in Lieu of Taxes); in 2001, this was $3.6 million. The indirect economic impact of Wesleyan is estimated at $107.3 million this past year. The Center for the Arts brings world-class artists to Middletown, and this certainly enriches the cultural landscape locally. The CFA has increased its community audience by 60 percent over the past four years. Through the Admission Office, we have 15,000 visitors a year to Middletown, and this certainly adds to the vitality of Middletown.

Q: When did you come to come to Wesleyan, and were you hired in as director of community relations?

A: I began my work at Wesleyan as the director of community services in June 1998 and worked in this position until June 2002. On a temporary basis, I worked with the Green Street Arts Center. In November 2002, I was appointed to be the director of community relations.

Q: What is your education background, or what led you to this position?

A: I have an undergraduate degree in biology with minors in Asian-American Studies and chemistry from California State University, Fresno. I also earned a master’s degree from CSUF in counseling, with an emphasis in career counseling. I would say that having the scientific education helps me to be more analytical with my work. I feel that the counseling background has been helpful in my previous work in community service and now in community relations.

Q: Are you involved in any community service, personally?

A: I do my share of volunteering and am involved with a few boards locally – Girl Scouts Connecticut Trails Council, Inc., Northern Middlesex YMCA, North End Action Team, Main Street Middletown, and Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce – Central Business Bureau Executive Board. Over the years I have been active with the Chamber’s Holiday on Main Street and Annual Business After-work Auction. For the past few years, I have also worked with the Friends of Long Hill Estate on a dinner/dance gala to fundraise for the annual summer concert series at Wadsworth Mansion, which is free to the public.

Q: Why do you feel as though you should volunteer in the Middletown community?

A: Middletown has been a great place for me over the past twelve years. Being able to give back a little through my volunteer work is one way I can contribute to making Middletown a better community in which to live, work and play.

Q: On a personal note, let’s be ‘Frank.’ You sound very busy. Do you have any free time?

A: My life is fairly ordinary, actually. During our free time, my partner, Mike Sciola, and I enjoy going to the movies – Mike would say that this is one of two foundations of our relationship – the other being dining out. Our taste runs the gamut – independent films, blockbusters, B-movies, and horror flicks. We’re not too discriminatory but just enjoy movies in general. It’s a great escape. I also enjoy shopping – Mike would say that I am a “clothes-horse.” I do have a fun tie and watch collection.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Diversity Seminar and Training Scheduled for Faculty and Staff


Posted 02/23/05

Are traditional teaching methods keeping pace with the increasingly diverse population of college students nationwide? Or worse are college faculty shying away from balanced teaching or research on race and ethnicity issues altogether because of the incendiary nature of the topics? 

These are just some of the issues that were discussed at a seminar titled “Effective Teaching in Racially Diverse Classrooms,” February 28 in the Admission Office’s McKelvey Room.

The presenter, Franklin A. Tuitt, Ph.D., has done many seminars on the subject of race in the college classroom, as well as extensive research in the subject. This includes a recent stint as a Cabot Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning where he conducted a study on student evaluations on courses taught by black and white faculty. While at Harvard, Tuitt has also developed instructional resources for teaching effectively in racially diverse college classrooms. He also worked as director of residential life and housing at Wesleyan from 1991 to 1994.

“This program was a wonderful and timely opportunity for faculty to discuss important and complicated issues,” says Judith Brown, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “All of us have a lot to learn about this subject from conversations with each other and with experts in the field.”

Tuitt’s presentation for Wesleyan faculty will focus on methods for addressing situations that can emerge in racially diverse classrooms, as well as discussing issues that arise when teaching race-related content. There will be opportunity for faculty in attendance to discuss strategies, techniques and case studies related to their own classroom experiences.

The presentation is the latest installment of the Race in the Classroom Series that is being offered this academic year by the Center for Faculty Career Development and the Office of Affirmative Action.  Other presentations have included: “Stereotype Threat,” presented by Geoffrey Cohen assistant professor of psychology from Yale University and “The History of Whiteness,” presented by Nell Irvin Painter, Edwards Professor of American History, Princeton University.

“The presentations have been well attended, although there is always room for more,” says Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, professor of classical studies, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, and director of the Center for Faculty Career Development. 

Wesleyan staff will also be attending mandatory specialized diversity training workshops in the coming weeks presented by representatives from the A World of Difference Institute. The training will be called “A Campus of Difference” and will focus on practical skills to challenge prejudice and discrimination and foster inter-group understanding.

By David Pesci, Director of Media Relations

New Residences Building Campus Community


The Fauver Field Residence Complex, due to open in September, will house up to 269 students.
 
Posted 02/23/05
This September, when Wesleyan begins its new academic year, students will move into a new living facility: The Fauver Field Residence Complex. The residences will mark a new step in Wesleyan’s recent history; specifically, the university will be able to accommodate close to 100 percent of its students in university-owned housing.
The Fauver Field Residence Complex consists of two buildings that together will house up to 269 students including 165 frosh, which will allow virtually all frosh to live in proximity on Foss Hill. Modern apartments in the complex will house 104 upperclass students and will permit the university to sell the out-of-date In-Town apartment complex.

 
The design and location of the facilities is the product of a year-long planning process by Wesleyan students, faculty and administration and are part of the university’s long range facilities master plan.   “We have been planning and looking forward to this for a while,” says Marcia Bromberg, Wesleyan’s vice president for Finance and Administration. “It provides the opportunity to strengthen the student community in our central campus while relieving the neighborhoods of the pressures associated with accommodating student housing.”
 
University administrators believe that this will improve student-community relations as well as create opportunities for more families in Middletown to rent or buy the homes that were formerly rented by Wesleyan students. The neighborhood close to the university has become very attractive for homeowners and the university has worked closely with area neighborhood associations to further this process.    
 
“We see the new plan as a great way to be a better neighbor and strengthen the community on several levels,” Bromberg says. “It really is a win-win for everybody.”

For more information, please go to: http://www.wesleyan.edu/masterplan/fauver.html

 
By David Pesci, director of Media Relations

Stamp of Approval: Assistant Post Office Manager Celebrates 40 Years


Assistant post office manager Jerry Winzer hand sorts mail inside Wesleyan Station.
 
Posted 02/23/05
After working 28 years at Middletown’s U.S. Postal Service, Gerard “Jerry” Winzer decided to it was time to retire. Winter, he learned, is not the ideal time to call it quits.

“November was a bad time to retire,” the 62-year-old says. “I wasn’t too crazy about just hanging around. I needed to keep busy.”

To beat the winter blues, Winzer took up a part-time position at Wesleyan Station delivering mail. Part-time evolved into full-time work, and, this year, the assistant post office manager will celebrate 12 years working at Wesleyan, and his 40th year in the postal services profession.

Winzer’s workday begins at 7 a.m. when he’s greeted by heaps of unsorted mail. A mail messenger picks up the parcels an hour later to deliver.

“By 8, I’ve already sorted a lot of mail,” he says noting the dozens of wood shelves he packs with envelopes, papers, publications and packages. “You can’t be a slacker in the post office.”

Lisa Davis, the post office’s manager deals with budgets, equipment and bill paying. That leaves Winzer to oversee 20 student workers, two full-time office clerks and two full-time mail messengers, who each cover a specified route twice a day. They make approximately 80 stops per route, delivering and collecting mail at more than 100 departments.

Every letter or publication that comes through Wesleyan Station is hand sorted. With no mail delivery on the weekends, the postal workers have to deal with twice as much mail on Mondays.

“You should see it in here on a Monday. It’s crazy,” he says.

Campus mail used to be sorted alphabetically, but Winzer has since developed his own sorting system. Now, mail is bundled up inside Wesleyan Station in order of the carriers’ routes.

“It runs in order,” he says, glancing over the mail shelves. “If the carrier is in North College, he’ll go to the cashier’s office, then to the top floor for payroll, the trustees, academic affairs, then to the dean’s office, and then he’ll go over to where you’re at, in South College, to communications, to the president’s office, public information, and administration. He just follows that route, so it’s a pretty good system. It’s easy to follow.”

In addition to mail sorting, rerouting letters, managing the staff and working the window, Winzer spends a portion of his day on a postage metering machine.

Winzer examines the machine’s counter. It reads “337,062.”

“Three-hundred-thirty-seven thousand,” he says. “That’s how much money Wesleyan has spent on mailing through this machine, since we’ve got this machine. And the machine is going on its third year,” he said, while metering two envelopes from the Psychology Department.

Before any letter goes through the metering machine, Winzer types in a department code, to assure proper billing. Each department has its own six-digit code, but Winzer rarely sneaks a peek. He usually types in the codes by memory.

“I know a lot of them. I guess they’re just in my subconscious,” he says.

His good memory also is put to the test when he meets customers at the transaction counter.

“Somebody will say their name, and I just know what box number they have, and they are just amazed,” Winzer says. “It just becomes a habit.”

The post office has moved to different locations throughout campus. First in the Downey House, and then Fisk Hall, Wesleyan Station now occupies space in the Davenport Campus Center, formerly the John Bell Scott building’s science laboratory.

With barely enough room to pass a mail cart through, Winzer is eagerly awaiting the much larger mailroom that will be housed in the Usdan University Center. Construction will begin early this year.

According to Alan Rubacha of Construction Services, a mail receiving, sorting, distributing and package handling area in the basement will occupy 1,230 square feet. Another 1,700 square feet of space will accommodate 3,000 post boxes, two transaction counters and additional mail sorting space.

The postal workers can use the space. In the 2002-03 academic year, Wesleyan Station received and sorted more than 3.5 million pieces of mail and packages. Winzer and his staff handle approximately 8,000 pieces of campus mail every week.

The current facility is about 1,000 square feet.

“I wish more people from the departments would come over here and see what we do,” Winzer says. “We do a lot.”

After Winzer leaves the office at 3:30 p.m., he returns to his home in Middletown. He spends his leisure time jogging or with his wife, Missy, and nine grandkids. He’s also the vice chairman of the Board of Education, and hosts two television shows on public access television titled “Today’s Issues” and “Spotlight on Education.”

But Winzer never minds coming back to work — well, all but one day of the year.

“Valentines Day. It’s by far the worst,” he says. “Worst than Christmas time. Grandmas and grandpas and everybody is sending tons of candy and flowers here. There’s those chocolate kisses all over the floor. There’s lots and lots of mail around then.”

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Medical Aide Says Co-workers are Like Family


Robin Zup, a medical aide with the Health Services Department, is a Certified Medical Assistant and helps students seek medical care off campus.

 
Posted 02/23/05

Q: What does it mean to be a medical aide?

A: I really do not like the title medical aide. My actual title that I have earned through schooling is a Certified Medical Assistant. I have been trained both in clinical and administrative areas.

Q: What are your responsibilities?

A: I have many responsibilities here at the health center. Since I really enjoy working with numbers, I have been given the role of handling all of the accounting for all of the students who come into the health center. I also help students who seek additional medical care outside of the Wesleyan campus when needed.  Many projects come my way every week. Most say that I am the guru of everything depending on the situation. So yes, I do deal with the students each and everyday.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: It would first have to be my co-workers. They are really like my family. Some of them know me better than I know myself. The second thing would have to be the students. They are great, a lot of fun to deal with on a daily basis. Some of the kids I get to know pretty well.  I treat them as if they were my own. 

Q: Do you have kids of your own?

A:  I have two really nice kids. My daughter is Kayleigh, and she is 14, and my son is Cody, and he is 13. 

Q: How would you describe yourself? Your strengths?

A: This one is a hard one to answer. I would have to say that I am very much a perfectionist who is very smart with a really great sense of humor.

Q: When did you come to Wesleyan?

A: I was hired to work part time as a medical aide for 15 hours per week back in September of 1998. Over time I have been given additional hours, now I work 27 hours per week. I work every day, but the hours are scattered.

Q: Do you work anywhere else?

A: I do have another job outside of Wesleyan. I am a property manager for commercial real estate. I find this job to be therapeutic for me. It is a different type of job and I have different types of people to deal with. I do the work from home.

Q: You sound very busy. Do you have time for any hobbies?

A: My kids right now are pretty much my full time hobby. When I am not doing for my kids, there are a few things that I do like to do such as read, draw, ceramics or just hang out and do nothing. But most of all, I enjoy traveling.

Q: Where do travel? And when do you have time to travel?

A: Well, it’s nice, because I get the summers off, so I like to spend a month in Florida with the kids. We also try to go in April. My parents have a place there, so when we can get there, we go. We don’t like to stay at home.

 
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor