Alumni

Alumni news.

Roth on Menand’s ‘The Marketplace of Ideas’

In The Los Angeles Times, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviews Louis Menand’s latest book: The Market Place of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University. Roth says the slim tome examines some of the challenges and conditions faced by universities and colleges today. This includes the question: “How do you create a general education program required by all undergraduates?” There is also an examination of the faculty and the process by which they become college-level educators.”This slim volume of loosely linked essays doesn’t offer any solutions to the resistance to innovation at America’s best universities,” Roth writes, “but it does show how we have created professional academic conformity.”

Sutton, MGMT Nominated for Grammy Awards

The 52nd annual Grammy nominations were announced and include works by three Wesleyan alumni. Desire, by Tierney Sutton ’86, was nominated for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.” The group MGMT (Ben Goldwasser ’05 and Andrew Vanwyngarden ’05) was nominated “Best New Artist,” while their song “Kids” from the album Oracular Spectacular received a nomination for “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.” Winners in all 109 Grammy categories, voted on by members of the Recording Academy, will be announced Jan. 31.

Whedon ’87 Honored by Producer’s Guild of America

The Producer’s Guild of America has announced that the 2010 Vanguard Award will go to Joss Whedon ’87. Whedon, the producer of the TV shows “Dollhouse,” “Firefly,” “Angel,” and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the Internet sensation “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog,” is also a renowned director and screenwriter. The award is presented for “achievements in new media and technology.” Whedon will receive the award at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Jan. 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Previous Vanguard Award recipients include George Lucas, James Cameron, John Lasseter, MySpace CEO and co-founder Chris DeWolfe and president and co-founder Tom Anderson, and YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Will Wright.

Perkins ’09 Awarded 2010 Rhodes Scholarship

Russell Perkins '09

Russell Perkins '09

Russell Perkins ’09 was awarded a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship. Perkins, from Evanston, Ill., graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University in May. He majored in the College of Letters (COL) with a senior thesis titled “Violence in Adornian Aesthetics and the Art of Anselm Kiefer;” his advisor was Khachig Tololyan, professor of English, professor of letters. Perkins co-founded Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education which offers Wesleyan courses at Connecticut’s Cheshire Correctional Institution. In addition to offering education for selected inmates, the program provides research and volunteer opportunities for Wesleyan students and faculty. A classical pianist and avid cyclist, he taught a small discussion workshop in philosophy at the Cheshire prison as an undergraduate. Russell plans to do the B.Phil. in philosophy at Oxford University.

Student-Created Prison Education Program Featured

A grant-funded prison education program created by two Wesleyan graduate students, Molly Birnbaum ’09 and Russell Perkins ’09, while they were undergraduates, was profiled in The New York Times. Administered in Connecticut’s Cheshire Correctional Facility, the program provides Wesleyan-level courses for selected members of the prison’s population. The inmate-participants must meet rigorous entrance requirements.

Benjamin ’93 on Searching for “Whitopia”

Rich Benjamin ’93 talks about his new book, Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, in Time. Benjamin discusses how “Whitopias” in America threaten to create a form of racial Balkanization within the country.

Roth on Goldhagen’s ‘Worse Than War’

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviewed Daniel Goldhagen’s Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the the Ongoing Assault on Humanity recently for The San Francisco Chronicle. In the book, Goldhagen attempts to show that  “that genocide is an extension of the politics of ‘eliminationism,’ which is decisively shaped by political leaders and fueled by profound and widely shared hatred. However, Roth found Goldhagen simple-minded in many of his conclusions and proposed solutions.

Hoyer ’96 Named San Diego Padres G.M.

Jed Hoyer ’96 has been named general manager of the San Diego Padres. According to a piece in The San Diego Union Tribune, Hoyer, who had been the assistant general manager of the Boston Red Sox, impressed the ownership of the MLB team immediately during his initial interview. In a separate story in the Union Tribune, Mark Woodworth ’94, Wesleyan’s baseball coach and former teammate of Hoyer, is quoted at length about what Hoyer brings to the Padres. At the ceremony, the Padres owner gave Hoyer a Padres shirt with 11, the number Hoyer wore for Wesleyan, on the back. More background on Hoyer is available on the Athletics Website and in a feature about Hoyer in a 2006 issue of the Wesleyan Magazine.