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Olivia DrakeJune 21, 20224min
On June 18, several members of the Wesleyan community gathered at Smith Park in Middletown to participate in City of Middletown's second annual Juneteenth Liberation celebration. Wesleyan’s Office for Equity & Inclusion was a co-sponsor of the event. "Juneteenth is a time when we can reflect on the painful mistakes of our nation’s past and work towards racial reconciliation, honoring the day as a time for healing, learning and taking action," says Alison Williams '81, vice president for equity and inclusion. "It's also a time when we celebrate the significant contributions of African Americans to every aspect of American culture."…

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Olivia DrakeJune 13, 20222min
In 2021 Wesleyan began construction on a reimagined southeast corner of Andrus Field. At the core of this work is an extension and gut renovation of the Public Affairs Center (PAC), and a new Davison Art Center gallery building. This latter project is part of a broader effort to expand the arts at Wesleyan beyond the Center for the Arts and to make them part of an inclusive, accessible, and interdisciplinary network of buildings at the core of campus. On June 4, as part of the Class of 2020's Weekend Celebration, Alan Rubacha, assistant vice president of construction and infrastructure…

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Olivia DrakeJune 13, 202218min
While most universities value either pedagogy or scholarship, Associate Professor of Biology Joseph Coolon appreciates how—at Wesleyan—both are celebrated concurrently. "Wes is a truly unique place," he said. "Wesleyan faculty aim to be true scholar-teachers with each benefiting the other synergistically." Coolon, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor of both biology and integrative sciences, has since co-authored 13 articles on ecological and evolutionary genomics in peer-reviewed publications such as G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics; Developmental Biology; and Insect Molecular Biology. Ten of these papers were co-authored by both his graduate and undergraduate students. Together, they…

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Olivia DrakeJune 10, 202212min
When Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell '76 arrived on campus the summer of 1972, she was in the second full class of women admitted to Wesleyan. "I chose to become educated in a place that was undergoing change," she said. "One principle that guides my life is, embrace change, it is inevitable." Barthwell, who delivered the keynote address during the Spring 2022 Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, graduated with a degree in psychology and went on to founding the health care policy firm Encounter Medical Group and directs Two Dreams, a comprehensive alcoholism and addiction treatment system. She previously served under President…

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Olivia DrakeJune 6, 20227min
Growing up in a religious and conservative town in Colorado, it wasn't easy being a gay kid. Now 29 and a PhD candidate in biology, Zachary Drum—who identifies as a gay cisgender male—is hoping to garner public support for LGTBQIA2S+ equality so youth nowadays can find pride in who they really are. (LGTBQIA2S+ is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and other ways in which people choose to self-identify.) On June 4, Drum joined a cohort of fellow Wesleyans for the City of Middletown's fourth annual PrideFEST, which included a Pride parade and…

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Steve ScarpaJune 6, 20229min
The Class of 2020 engaged in a bit of time travel over the course of their long-awaited in-person Commencement Celebration Weekend, which took place June 2-5, 2022. In the warmth of the perfect weather, the former classmates lounged on Foss Hill, gathered in the residence halls, shared meals and events together, and danced under the tent on Andrus Field. For a few days, they were able to interrupt daily life and experience the end of senior year feeling that COVID-19 took away. “I wanted to meet the special group of people who had decided to redo the past, this time…

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Olivia DrakeJune 2, 20227min
Last fall, while working as the lead production assistant for WesWorks, a performance featuring Wesleyan facilities staff, Erin Byrne '24 became acquainted with Victor Ignacio Rosario— a custodian at Wesleyan who is contracted through SMG. Rosario, who primarily works in Exley Science Center and the Science Library, allowed Byrne to job-shadow him and in return, Byrne gained a deep appreciation for his day-to-day responsibilities. "Victor is a vital and enthusiastic member of the Wesleyan community," Byrne said. "Especially during the pandemic, keeping communal spaces on campus clean constantly was difficult and necessary, and Victor helped me realize just how much…

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Olivia DrakeMay 24, 20225min
Children enrolled in Wesleyan's Neighborhood Preschool (NPS) recently got a first glimpse at their new 7,000-square-foot daycare facility. The school is due to open next October at 60 Long Lane. During an early morning field trip on May 23, the students, parents, teachers, and caregivers met with project managers. Each child was given a safety vest and hard hat to wear into the construction zone. After a quick snack, the children were escorted to the site where they placed painted handprints on the exterior of the building. The new facility, which will accommodate 52 children, will replace the two current…

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Steve ScarpaMay 22, 202218min
On a joyous day marked by ritual and ceremony, Wesleyan University bid a fond farewell to the accomplished Class of 2022 at its 190th Commencement on Sunday, May 22.  “I am extremely excited. I’ve been ready for this day,” said Ama Hagan ’22. “College is full of trials and tribulations, but there is a lot of success headed (our) way.” Wesleyan University conferred 793 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 12 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 38 Master of Arts, two Masters of Philosophy in Liberal Arts, 31 Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, and six Bachelors of Liberal Studies. (View all photos…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 20226min
Gloria Steinem, who was named an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement, called for the Class of 2022 to build on the steps their generation has already taken to address the ills of the world and to do so with laughter. “You are already the generation of Black Lives Matter and Bans Off Our Bodies. You know that the amount of melanin or hormones in our bodies doesn’t change the fact that each of us arrives on this Earth as a unique miracle; one who could never have happened before and could never happen again,” Steinem said.…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 20225min
Kalli Jackson '22, who delivered the Senior Class Welcome, made the following remarks during Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement Ceremony on May 22:   There is so much to look at at Wesleyan University. The first time I ever stepped foot on this campus, I was amazed by how much there was to see. The friends gravitating toward Foss Hill when the sun is out, the proud sidelining every sports game, the outfits roaming the halls of WestCo. The students themselves are enough to be a spectacle. Wesleyan is home to the unique. No two walls, no two classrooms, no two people…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 202213min
Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the commencement speaker at Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement ceremony, chatted with a few members of the highly accomplished Class of 2022 in preparation for his remarks. By knowing your own story and telling it, by being bold and plotting your path, and most importantly, Hrabowski said, never giving up, the Class of 2022 can become leaders. Hrabowski is a writer and passionate advocate for underrepresented groups studying in STEM fields; he has served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis…