Alumni news.

Video Feature on Matt Donahue ’14

Matt Donahue ’14 is a double major in psychology and neuroscience and behavior, works in several departments on campus, and is the chapter president of Brighter Dawns, a student run non-profit that aims to improve health conditions in the slums of Bangladesh. Learn more about Donahue in the video below:

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Roth OpEd: Liberal Education Is Freedom

In an OpEd for The New York Times, President Roth discusses the recent calls to further specialize education and narrow what we teach students from K-12 and on to college at the exclusion of the liberal arts, especially the humanities. Roth says this drive to turn students into “human capital” is not a new and in fact the esteemed 19th Century educational philosopher John Dewey argued against the very same calls, saying in part “that learning in the process of living is the deepest form of freedom.”

Khan ’12, of Brighter Dawns, Attends White House Event

Tasmiha Khan ’12, founder of Brighter Dawns, a charitable organization committed to improving health in the slums of Bangladesh, was invited to the White House to participate in a forum to discuss the important role that faith-based social innovators play in expanding opportunity and addressing social issues. Khan, who was selected by as one of 11 Young Women To Look Out For, founded Brighter Dawns in the fall of 2010 after working on a health and hygiene project in Bangladesh with the World Peace & Cultural Foundation that summer. Back on campus, she convinced other students to join her in addressing the concerns she’d observed.

The White House event, arranged by the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, in coordination with the Office of Public Engagement, brought together leading faith-based social innovators from around the country.

The afternoon offered briefings, panels, and small-and-large group discussions to explore the ways that these faith-based organizations are creating entrepreneurial ventures. They offer innovative models to create positive change in our economy, and they frequently serve at-risk communities.

“I was able to meet with senior officials such as Mr. Jonathan Greenblatt [executive director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation] and Mr. Joshua DuBois [executive director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships] and had an exclusive opportunity to present our work,” Khan says. “Of course, Wesleyan was mentioned—how could it not? It was a phenomenal event.”

Khan and members of the Brighter Dawns team are planning to return to Bangladesh later this summer.

Video Feature on Bruce Corwin ’62, Hon ’87

In the video below, Bruce Corwin ’62 Hon ’87 talks about his life, his career in the Motion Picture Exhibition Business, and his second career in philanthropy. Bruce founded the group “Alumni On Campus,” to help address the social and educational issues that plague Los Angeles High School.

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Barsotti ’12 Signs Pro Baseball Contract

Michael Barsotti ’12, signed a contract to pitch for the minor league Joliet Slammers of the independent Frontier League. Barsotti, a government major, is Wesleyan’s all time strike-out leader. In his first appearance for Joliet he threw a scoreless inning in relief and did not allow a batter to reach base. More on Barsotti can be found here.

Corwin ’62, Wasch ’52, P’84 Honored with Baldwin Medals for Service to Wesleyan

Baldwin Medal recipients Bruce Corwin ’62 and Bill Wasch ’52. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Two Baldwin Medals, which honor the late Judge Raymond E. Baldwin ’16, were bestowed on Bruce Corwin ’62 and William Wasch ’52, P’84 on May 27. The Baldwin Medal is the highest honor that Wesleyan’s alumni body presents for extraordinary service to Wesleyan or for significant contributions to the public good.

Bruce Corwin is chairman and CEO of Metropolitan Theatres Corporation, a motion picture theater circuit of 125 viewing screens in California and Colorado. He has served on the executive committee of the National Association of Theatre Owners, as well as with other professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Santa Barbara and Palm Springs International Film Festivals and has been a trustee of the American Film Institute.

Corwin has received numerous awards for his remarkable service to his community. He served on former Mayor Tom Bradley’s Blue Ribbon Commission of 40 in the City of Los Angeles, as president for the Los Angeles Fire Commission, and on the board of directors of Rebuild Los Angeles. He is past president and current chairman of the board of directors of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

An Evening with Julia Louis-Dreyfus P’14

On April 12, Julia Louis-Dreyfus P’14, producer and star of “VEEP,” sat down with President Michael Roth ’78 and nearly 300 Wesleyan students, alumni, and parents at The Times Center in New York City for a premiere screening and conversation about her new HBO show. A video of the event is below:

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Video Feature on Wesleyan Students Addressing Global Issues

Rachel Levenson ’12, saw a need for an elevated, intellectual based conversation on how to evaluate programs, scale up effective programs, and allocate funds in a way that will have the biggest positive impact. Levenson designed The Forum For International Development to create a space at Wesleyan for that discussion so people could learn from each other as well as from speakers that Wesleyan Students brought in from all over the country.

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Khan ’12 is a “Young Woman to Look Out For”

In honor of International Women’s Day, named Tasmiha Khan ’12 one of the “11 Young Women to Look Out For.”

Through the organization Brighter Dawns, Khan raises awareness about the water-related illnesses in Bangladesh and builds wells, latrines and shower rooms in an effort to combat sanitary ignorance and the inability to access safe sanitation.

With a goal of 5 million active members by 2015, is one of the largest organizations in the U.S. for teens and social change.

The story is online here.

Article by Hussein ’11 Published in Islamic Journal

Jourdan Khalid Hussein ’11

Government major Jourdan Khalid Hussein ’11 has published an article based on his thesis at Wesleyan. The article “Not Secular Enough? Variation in Electoral Success of Post-Islamist Parties in Turkey and Indonesia” has been published in the journal STUDIA ISLAMIKA. Hussein currently works in the Indonesian “White House,” as the assistant to the head, Indonesian President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight.”

STUDIA ISLAMIKA is a journal published by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society. It specializes in Indonesian Islamic studies in particular, and South-east Asian Islamic Studies in general, and is intended to communicate original researches and current issues on the subject.

Hussein also appears in a November 2011 Jakarta Globe Q&A. Raised Muslim and educated at Muslim schools, Hussain was able to see and experience the religion differently while living in the United States. Along with his political studies and life experiences, Jourdan, 22, came to realize that what Indonesia needed was a separation of state and religion.

“I must say I have a very biased perception of how Americans perceive Islam. People at Wesleyan University were very open towards Islam. Depending on where you live, study, or work, this might not always be the case,” he says in the story.

The story is online here.