Alumni

Alumni news.

Independent Filmmaker Series Thurdays in April

All through April, outstanding independent films and their filmmakers will be featured as part of Wesleyan’s 2010 Independent Filmmaker Series. The free-of-charge series is open to the public and begins April 1 and runs each Thursday night through April 29 at 8 p.m. at The Center for Film Studies’ Goldsmith Family Cinema. Noted independent directors, producers and writers will discuss their films then show them for the audience.

Roth on Richard Reeves ‘Daring Young Men’

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviews Daring Young Men: The Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949, a new book by Richard Reeves. The book details one of the seminal moments of the early Cold War chess match between The United States and The Soviet Union as Stalin sought to starve the Western sectors of Berlin into submission. The U.S. responded with an improbable plan to fly into Berlin everything the city’s residents needed to survive. Roth states: “Today, when the United States struggles with two wars only grudgingly supported by some of its citizens, Reeves’ account is a welcome reminder of the importance of a military willing to take risks to preserve freedom. ‘Daring Young Men’ brings to life a moment when altruism, guts and know-how inspired our country and saved a city.”

Center for Prison Education Draws Plaudits

Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education was featured in stories appearing in The Boston Globe, The Associated Press and on WNPR recently. The grant-funded pilot program, founded by current Center Fellow Russell Perkins ’09 and Molly Birnbaum ’09, provides for-credit “high caliber liberal arts education” to a small group of selected inmates at the Cheshire Correctional Institute. Perkins is also a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship winner.

Yohe on Costs of Polar Ice Melt, Global Warming

Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and a senior member if the U.N.’s IPCC panel, discusses the economic implications of polar ice melt with ABC’s Bill Blakemore ’65. Some estimates have the costs of polar ice melts and ensuing rising seas at $2.4 trillion over the next few decades. Yohe says that there have been more than 300 studies on the dollar costs of global warming with varying outcomes projected. Yohe points out more than 88% of the studies show negative implications and heightened dollar costs over the long term.

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.