Campus News & Events

Astronomy Department Hosts Public Stargazing, Space Discovery Presentations

The Van Vleck Observatory on Foss Hill.

The Van Vleck Observatory on Foss Hill.

Beginning Feb. 4, Wesleyan’s Van Vleck Observatory will open to the public every Wednesday night, rain or shine, for presentations by faculty and students on the latest space-related discoveries, as well as a chance for everyone to view the sky through a telescope, weather permitting.

The program will start at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Presentations are intended to be accessible to visitors of all ages, although aimed primarily at high school level and above.

Wesleyan Honored with Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification

Several Wesleyan faculty, staff and students participate in the Center for Community Partnerships' Center for Prison Education program, helping to enrich the lives of those who are systematically denied access to educational opportunities. The CPE is one way Wesleyan involves itself in the community.

Several Wesleyan faculty, staff and students participate in the Center for Community Partnerships’ Center for Prison Education program, helping to enrich the lives of those who are systematically denied access to educational opportunities. The CPE is one way Wesleyan engages with its local community.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Wesleyan to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

“Wesleyan has always been a place where involvement with the world was important, but in the past decade or two we have truly become a much more ‘engaged university’ in many ways, and that’s good for everyone—students, faculty, staff and our community partners,” said Rob Rosenthal, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology. “This kind of recognition from our peers across the country reinforces our belief that we’re doing valuable work drawing together community and university.”

Grossman is Appointed Research Fellow, Journal Associate Editor

Richard Grossman

Richard Grossman

Professor of Economics Richard Grossman recently accepted two new posts. He was appointed to be a research fellow in the Economic History Program of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Founded in 1983, CEPR’s mission is “to enhance the quality of economic policymaking within Europe and beyond, by fostering high quality, policy-relevant economic research, and disseminating it widely to decision-makers in the public and private sectors.” Grossman is one of only a few American research fellows at CEPR.

He was also recently appointed associate editor for socioeconomics, health policy and law of the journal Neurosurgery. See here for a bio of Grossman and other editors of the journal.

Eighth Annual Israeli Film Festival Begins Jan. 29

filmfestivalBeginning Jan. 29 and running through March 5, the Center for Jewish Studies will present the Eighth Annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival. Five contemporary Israeli films and one television show will be screened; each will be commented on by an expert, including a script writer, a film professor, a director, a critic and others.

All screenings are at 8 p.m. in the Goldsmith Family Cinema in the Center for Film Studies. Admission is free.

Below are a list of films, dates and speakers:

Jan. 29
Arab Labor, Season 2 of the TV show, commented on by Sayed Kashua, the scriptwriter of the show.

Wesleyan Launches Responsive Homepage

The new Wesleyan homepage has been designed responsively, meaning that it adapts depending upon whether users are viewing it on desktops, tablets, smart phones or other mobile devices.

The new Wesleyan homepage has been designed responsively, meaning that it adapts depending upon whether users are viewing it on desktops, tablets, smart phones or other mobile devices.

Wesleyan has a new look online.

On Jan. 14, the Office of University Communications and Information Technology Services’ New Media Lab launched a new Wesleyan homepage and associated landing pages.

A new "Explore Wes" section, designed for prospective students, provides several factoids on Wesleyan's majors, faculty-to-staff ratio, student groups, affording Wesleyan, applying to Wesleyan and much more.

A new Explore Wes section, designed for prospective students, provides several factoids on Wesleyan’s majors, faculty-to-staff ratio, student groups, affording Wesleyan, applying to Wesleyan and much more.

The new design features a photo-rich look with an abundance of newsy campus content up top. As users scroll down, they’ll see links to upcoming events, President Roth’s blog, an Exploring Wes section catered to prospective students, and several more links connecting users to Wesleyan resources, tools and social media. Content, overseen by University Communications, is updated multiple times a week.

“The new page reflects current industry standards in web design, and we hope it will be more engaging for users,” explained Bill Holder, director of University Communications. “We want to appeal to prospective students and and other off-campus audiences, but also provide information and a useful navigational structure for our campus community, based on patterns of usage we’ve observed for several years.”

Wesleyan faculty and staff will see that a number of popular destinations — including portfolio and several sites currently subsumed in portfolio — are available both through a “tools” button in the top bar and through an expanded set of links in the page footer. These navigational options will be available on all Wesleyan webpages. Wesleyan students and prospective students can browse the new About, Campus and Community, Students and Academics page, which includes links to every area of study.

“Our hope is that campus users

Wesleyan Community Invited to Explore the Future of Campus

Wesleyan is undertaking a semester-long exploration of the future of campus.  One of the major changes to campus over the last decade has been the construction of the Usdan University Center.

Wesleyan is undertaking a semester-long exploration of the future of campus. One of the major changes to campus over the last decade has been the construction of the Usdan University Center.

Beginning this month, Wesleyan will solicit input from all faculty, staff and students about how they use the physical spaces on campus, and how campus should be optimized in the future.

Wesleyan has engaged Sasaki Associates to assist with this semester-long exploration of campus’ evolution over the next 10 to 15 years. The end result will be a digital report containing a framework and principles with which to create a new master plan. The report will be shared with the campus community and presented to the Board of Trustees in May.

“Wesleyan takes pride in the distinctive residential learning experience it offers,” said President Michael Roth, “and we want to explore how campus should evolve to best support scholarship, creative practice and teaching.”

Students, Faculty Invited to Metacognition Workshops Jan. 29-30

Saundra McGuire of the Center for Academic Success at Louisiana State University, will teach four workshops this month on metacognition. 

Saundra McGuire of the Center for Academic Success at Louisiana State University, will teach four workshops this month on metacognition.

The Center for Faculty Career Development is offering four different teaching and learning workshops and luncheon focusing on metacognition to Wesleyan faculty, students and staff.

The workshops will be led by Saundra McGuire, Ph.D, a widely acclaimed speaker who regularly runs workshops to train faculty and students in the techniques she has developed for learning, based on educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of learning and metacognition.

Seating is limited. To RSVP to any of the workshops, e-mail the Center for Faculty Career Development at cfcd@wesleyan.edu.

Workshop 1, titled “Get Students to Focus on Learning Instead of Grades: Metacognition is the Key!” will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in Usdan 108. Lunch is provided.

Description: 21st Century students come to college with widely varying academic skills, approaches to learning, and motivation levels.

Telfair’s Solo Oil Painting Exhibition Opens in Louisiana Museum

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Tula Telfair, professor of art, is having a solo exhibition of 21 new monumental oil paintings at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Jan. 10 through March 15. The opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29.

Tula Telfair works on one of her oil paintings.

Tula Telfair works on one of her oil paintings.

In a “World of Dreams— New Landscape Paintings,” Telfair paints monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that act as windows into another world — a dream world — where everything seems familiar yet remains beyond grasp. Drawing upon the long tradition of landscape painting from the backdrops of the Renaissance through the Romanticism of the 19th century, she presents a thoroughly contemporary perspective upon an archaic art form.

Instead of documenting actual sites, Telfair combines invented images with a variety of formal painterly techniques to achieve highly convincing yet fictitious illusions that invite contemplation upon the relationship between humankind and the environment.

This exhibition is made possible in part by a Local Project Assistance Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, funded by the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President and Metro Council.

The images, which were on display in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery in 2014, are featured in this past News @ Wesleyan article.

Green Street Revamped as Teaching and Learning Center

Green Street TLC serves 80 local children with its Discovery AfterSchool Program. Several Wesleyan students tutor the Green Street students.

Green Street TLC serves 80 local children with its Discovery AfterSchool Program. Several Wesleyan students tutor the Green Street students.

The Green Street Arts Center, also home to Wesleyan’s Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science, is now named the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center, or Green Street TLC.

“This structure better represents the work we do in the community and also allows us to grow our programs in the arts, math, and sciences for kids, teachers, and our broader community,” said Director Sara MacSorley.

Green Street TLC will continue its Discovery AfterSchool Program, which serves 80 Middletown students in Grades 1-8 each year; a Private Lessons Program, and a Green Street-to-Go Residency Program that brings teaching artists into community organizations to engage their clients and residents. Green Street TLC will build on its programming with the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science (PIMMS)

History Faculty Participate in American Historical Association Meeting

Screen shot 2015-01-06 at 12.52.34 PMFour faculty from the History Department participated in the American Historical Association Meeting in New York City Jan. 2-5. The topic was “History and Other Disciplines.”

Professor of History Ethan Kleinberg presented “Just the Facts: The Fantasy of a Historical Science.” Kleinberg also is the director of the Center for the Humanities, professor of letters and executive editor of History and Theory.

Assistant Professor of History Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock spoke on “From a Society Free of Religion to Freedom of Conscience: How Toleration Emerged from within Totalitarianism.” She also is assistant professor of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian studies and tutor in the College of Social Studies.

Professor of History Magda Teter spoke on roundtable panel on “Jewish History/General History: Rethinking the Divide.” Teter also is the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies, professor of medieval studies and chair of the History Department.

Associate Professor of History Jennifer Tucker was a commentator on a panel titled “The Photographic Event,” which reexamined the question of an “event” by looking at various visual technologies and texts, whether sketches, paintings or films. Tucker also is associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, associate professor of science in society and a faculty fellow in the College of the Environment.

NEH Awards Haddad, Shieh with Research Fellowships

Sanford Shieh and Mary Alice Haddad recently received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sanford Shieh and Mary Alice Haddad recently received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wesleyan recently received two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The awards will support research by Wesleyan faculty Mary Alice Haddad and Sanford Shieh.

Mary Alice Haddad, associate professor of government, received a $33,600 grant for the NEH Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan project titled, “Environmental Politics in East Asia: Strategies that Work.”

“Japan has experienced some of the world’s most intense environmental crises and taken leadership roles in finding solutions,” Haddad said. “The Fellowship for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan will enable me to examine the ways that Japan’s experience has served as a model for encouraging better environmental behavior among individuals, corporations and governments in East Asia and the world.”

Sanford Shieh, associate professor of philosophy,

Meyer Recipient of Excellence in Post-Secondary Teaching Award

Priscilla Meyer

Priscilla Meyer

Priscilla Meyer, chair and professor of Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, is the recipient of a 2014 Excellence in Post-Secondary Teaching award, granted by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL).

AATSEEL exists to advance the study and promote the teaching of Slavic and East European languages, literatures, and cultures on all educational levels.

Meyer received her award during the the 2015 AATSEEL Conference Jan. 9 held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The event featured scholarly panels, supplemented by advanced seminars, roundtables, workshops, informal coffee conversations with leading scholars, and other special events, such as poetry readings and receptions.

Priscilla Meyer received the prize from AATSEEL President Thomas Seifrid of the University of Southern California.

Priscilla Meyer received the prize from AATSEEL President Thomas Seifrid of the University of Southern California.

Wesleyan graduates Lindsay Ceballos ’07 and Emily Wang ’08, both Ph.D. candidates at Princeton University, delivered papers at the conference.

At Wesleyan, Meyer teaches courses on 19th and 20th century Russian literature. Her research interests include intertextuality, French and German sources of the 19th century Russian novel, and works by Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov. Learn more about her research here.