Campus News & Events

E&ES Faculty, Students Contribute to GSA Annual Meeting


uzanne O’Connell, professor of earth and environmental sciences and faculty director of the McNair Program,  with Kate Cullen '16.

Suzanne O’Connell, professor of earth and environmental sciences and faculty director of the McNair Program, with Kate Cullen ’16.

Wesleyan Earth and Environmental Sciences students and faculty attended and contributed to this year’s Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting, held Nov. 1–4 in Baltimore, Md.

WESU Fall Pledge Drive Ends Nov. 30

wesu 2WESU 88.1 FM is in the final days of its annual Fall Pledge Drive. Listener contributions between now and the campaign’s end on Nov. 30 will allow the station to continue to offer its unique blend of programming, including The Moondog Matinee, playing “oldies” every Saturday morning for nearly 40 years, as well as to support locally produced public affairs shows like Think Twice Radio, a Connecticut “watchdog” media show, and new music shows like Black Music Matters.

Wesleyan Community Members Attend Conference for College and University Chaplaincy

On Nov. 17, several members of the Wesleyan community participated in the Conference for College and University Chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary. Protestant Chaplain Tracy Mehr-Muska, who is a doctor of ministry student at the seminary, worked with Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program Scott Thumma to organize the conference.

Other participants from Wesleyan included Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and Jewish Chaplain David Leipziger Teva, Therapist/Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator Alysha Warren, and a student. Teva participated in a workshop on mindfulness, while Warren and the student participated in a workshop about responding to sexual assault on college campuses. More than 80 chaplains from around the northeast participated in the conference.

See more information and photos from the conference here.

Student Artists, Bands Record Music at Red Feather Studios

Red Feather Studios head engineer Mikah Feldman-Stein '16 is one of the studio's founding members. 

Red Feather Studios head engineer Mikah Feldman-Stein ’16 is one of the studio’s founding members. Red Feather Studios has been responsible for the production of multiple EPs and dozens of songs.

The basement of the University Organizing Center at 190 High Street is now home to Red Feather Studios, Wesleyan’s first and only student-run recording studio.

Red Feather officially opened in spring 2015 after being a work in progress for a few years.

Oscar Parajon '16 at Red Feather Studios.

Oscar Parajon ’16 at Red Feather Studios.

“The music culture at Wesleyan is unlike any I’ve seen at other universities,” added Oscar Parajon ’16, a founding member and head studio manager at Red Feather, who is majoring in American Studies. “Before Red Feather Studios, what was happening was a plethora of ‘bedroom producers’ throughout campus that did not have a platform to make their art.”

According to Parajon, the studio’s name comes from the Wesleyan cardinal mascot, “and the idea that its red feathers have the potential to lift the cardinal to extraordinary heights.”

“I think the need for Red Feather stemmed from a discrepancy between Wesleyan students’ creative output and our collective access to creative resources on campus,” said Derrick Holman ’16, another founding member and head of external affairs. While other colleges and universities have student-run studios, Holman said that Red Feather is unique in being a completely student-run venture, with everything from the idea to the funding to the construction to the day-to-day operations under student control.

Derek Holman in the studio.

Derek Holman ’16 in the studio.

“In my personal experience, I have found that there is so much value in creative freedom and—unlike any other musical space on campus—Red Feather provides its leadership and users with the ability to experiment in an unconstrained manner, not only musically, but also with the process of developing and managing a creative space,” Holman, a sociology major, said.

In its first semester of operation, the studio was booked for upwards of 175 sessions, during which artists, bands and performers logged more than 500 hours of recording, production and musical output, according to Holman.

“So far the response has been amazing,” he added. “To date, we have been responsible for the production of multiple EPs and dozens of songs, and even have a member whose self-produced album is now available for purchase on iTunes that was completed almost entirely in our facilities.

Basinger Interviewed in Ingrid Bergman Documentary

Jeanine Basinger

Jeanine Basinger

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, appears in an interview about internationally renowned film actress Ingrid Bergman in the new documentary Ingrid Bergman—In Her Own Words, directed by Stig Bjorkman, which recounts the life of the cinema luminary through the subject’s home movies, photographs, diary entries and letters to family and friends.

The director had access to these materials from the Ingrid Bergman Collection at the Wesleyan Cinema Archives, making ample use of them in the film. The documentary also features interviews with Bergman’s daughter, actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini, as well as other relatives and actresses Liv Ullmann and Sigourney Weaver, who worked with Bergman.

In her New York Times review of the film, which recently opened theatrically in New York City, Manolha Dargis writes: “Bergman’s voluminous personal archives have been a valuable resource for assorted popular biographies and academic studies, enriching the historical record of her films, family and loves.”

Professor Basinger comments: “We are all very proud of this documentary that is showing both in theaters and on television. We’re very excited to see the Wesleyan campus and the cinema archives building suddenly appear on screen. I enjoyed doing the interview because Isabella Rossellini was there with me and because the film crew was so totally committed to making an accurate documentary on Bergman’s life.”

An interview with the director, which mentions the Ingrid Bergman Archives is in this article.


Composer Matthusen’s U.S. Premiere Performed Nov. 21 at Crowell

Paula Matthusen, assistant professor of music, delivered a speech titled “Sounds in Remembered Spaces.”

Paula Matthusen in Memorial Chapel.

(By Fred Wills ’19)

A composition by Assistant Professor of Music Paula Matthusen will debut in the U.S. on Nov. 21.

Her work, “on the attraction for felicitous amplitude,” will be performed by the string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, in Crowell Concert Hall. Join Matthusen for a pre-concert talk at starting at 7:15 p.m. In addition, on Dec. 3, violinist Todd Reynolds will perform a composition written by Matthusen at CFA Hall.

Matthusen returns to Wesleyan this fall after being named a 2014-2015 Rome Prize recipient. Through a fellowship awarded by The American Academy in Rome, she received the opportunity to expand upon her own professional and artistic pursuits.

An acclaimed composer who writes both electro-acoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations, Matthusen had the pleasure of composing for a variety of different ensembles, choreographers, music festivals, and theater companies around the world including Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Mantra Percussion, the Estonian National Ballet, the Tanglewood Festival, the MusicNOW Series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Ecstatic Music Festival, Other Minds, and the Aspen Music Festival to name a few—and now adds another to her ever growing list.

Matthusen’s awards include honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Awards, the Elliott Carter Rome Prize and many others. She also has held residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, STEIM, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Jenkins Celebrates Indonesia’s Cultural, Linguistic Diversity in International Simulcast

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins, professor of theater, will participate in an international simulcast on Nov. 27 to celebrate Balinese language and Indonesia’s cultural and linguistic diversity.

The simulcast will take place at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington where Jenkins will be helping to celebrate Saraswati Day by reading from his new book, Saraswati in Bali. Saraswati Day is the Balinese day set aside for honoring wisdom, knowledge and culture.

The celebration will be streamed simultaneously to Indonesian diplomatic missions in New York, Tokyo, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Australia.

The program also will include live simulcasts of a reading of a Balinese poem; greetings from Indonesian Ambassadors to the participating countries; introductory remarks from Professor Gabriela Perez Baez, director of Recovering Voices, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; a presentation of new books in Balinese; and dance, music and singing performances.

Jenkins will also be speaking about his book at the Indonesian Consulate in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at an event featuring an exhibition of the Balinese paintings related to Saraswati analyzed in his text. To register for the free event, e-mail

Support Wesleyan Students on Giving Tuesday


On Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, the Wesleyan community will join together to support Wesleyan students. This will be Wesleyan’s third year participating in the global giving campaign, which encourages people to give back by supporting their favorite causes during the holiday season.

Last year Wesleyan doubled its initial goal of 1,000 donors, with more than 2,000 members of the Wesleyan community giving a total of more than $500,000 in support of students at Wesleyan. This year, Wesleyan’s goal is 3,000 gifts between Nov. 20 and the end of the day on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1.

“The Wesleyan community is known for its generosity in supporting students,” said Chuck Fedolfi, Wesleyan’s director of annual giving. “If we all join together, I have no doubt we’ll exceed our goal this year.”

Give Now to support Wesleyan students.

Muslim Coalition of Connecticut Honors Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts


The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut honored Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts on Nov. 15 for its “outstanding contributions and standards of excellence in advancing higher education,” according to a proclamation from Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. The awards dinner in Hartford was attended by Center for the Arts Director Pam Tatge, Associate Provost Mark Hovey, and faculty, staff and students from the advisory committee and Wesleyan’s Muslim Students Association. View the event’s photo gallery online.

Center for the Arts Director Pam Tatge accepted the award from the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut.

Center for the Arts Director Pam Tatge accepts the award.

The honor recognized the CFA’s Muslim Women’s Voices series during the 2014-15 academic year. The series explored and celebrated the complexity of Muslim women today, and the historical and cultural context from which they have emerged, through music, theater, film, dance and artist talks.

“The Wesleyan community and the entire State of Connecticut have benefited immensely from the leadership and integrity Wesleyan University Center for the Arts has exemplified through its work both on and off campus,” Wyman’s proclamation said. “CFA’s unwavering dedication to its community and the promotion of shared values and understanding is truly extraordinary. Its work has improved the quality of life for so many, and serves as an inspiration to all.”

Changemakers Convene at Wesleyan Social Impact Summit

Wesleyan students, staff, faculty, alumni and guests participated in several workshops during the Social Impact Summit Nov. 13-14 on campus.

Wesleyan students, staff, faculty, alumni and guests participated in several workshops during the Social Impact Summit Nov. 13-14 on campus.

More than 100 alumni and other members of the Wesleyan community attended the Social Impact Summit, Nov. 13-14, on campus. The summit was sponsored by the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns. Endowed by James Shasha ’50, P’82, the seminar supports lifelong learning and encourages participants to expand their knowledge and perspectives on significant issues. The event included keynote speakers with TED-style talks on the theme “The Change I Want to See,” panel discussions, and workshops, as well as networking opportunities.

“Social impact and entrepreneurship are deeply embedded in Wesleyan culture, and our students and alumni are known for creating significant change in the world,” said Makaela Kingsley ’98, director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Rob Rosenthal, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; and Cathy Lechowicz, director of the Center for Community Partnerships also provided welcoming remarks.

​Kirk Adams '73 P'13, International Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union, talked about the transition to online voting as the change he wants to see because our society is evolving into an increasingly technological one, and doing so would be a surefire way to include the youth in the vote.

​Kirk Adams ’73 P’13, International Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union, talked about the transition to online voting as the change he wants to see because our society is evolving into an increasingly technological one, and doing so would be a surefire way to include the youth in the vote.

Keynote speakers offering TED-style remarks in Memorial Chapel, which were open to the public. They included Kirk Adams ’73 P’13, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, who leads the work of SEIU Healthcare; Irma Gonzalez, the principal of Zoen, specializing in change and transition management in support of social justice advocacy; Jessica Posner Odede ’09 chief operating officer and co-founder of Shining Hope for Communities; and Kennedy Odede ’12, the CEO and co-founder of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).

In their talks, Adams spoke on making voting “accessible, universal, and familiar,” calling for the effort to “push this country to be what it should be.” Gonzalez highlighted the qualities of an equitable society—one where our success would not be predetermined by birth and skin color. “How do we harness technology in the service of social justice?” she asked.