Campus News & Events

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized

The student-run organization Active Minds at Wes hosted an Open Healing Space Feb. 24 in Espwesso. The group welcomed all students and community members to come write anonymous messages of support to the students in the hospital. Resources and information on different support systems were provided by Active Minds and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Wesleyan. Pictured is Alison Znamierowski '15.

The student-run organization Active Minds at Wes hosted an Open Healing Space Feb. 24 in Espwesso. The group welcomed all students and community members to come write anonymous messages of support to the students in the hospital. Resources and information on different support systems were provided by Active Minds and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Wesleyan. Pictured is Alison Znamierowski ’15.

It is Feb. 24, 10:20 a.m., and Mike Whaley, vice president for student affairs, steps out of a meeting in the President’s Office to take a phone call. He returns two minutes later, takes his seat, and in an emotion-laden voice tells the group that a student whose life was endangered by poisoning from a variant of the drug Molly (MDMA) was improving.

It was a moment so many had been waiting for. As of Tuesday evening, eight of the 10 Wesleyan students hospitalized Sunday had been discharged. Two, however, remained hospitalized.

There was more news Tuesday night: four Wesleyan students had been arrested by Middletown police as a result of an investigation into the weekend’s events.

Here’s a brief recap of what happened:

Shinohara’s Solo Exhibitions to be Displayed in Japan

keijiMaster printmaker Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, will have three solo exhibitions in 2015.” The title is “Keiji Shinohara: Woodcut.”

The first will be at the Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan March 11-17. For more information call 03-3342-1111 (Japan).

The second show will be at Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan May 9-May 25. For more information call o75-754-0155 (Japan).

The exhibition will return to the United States and be on display at the Visual Arts Gallery at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. throughout the month of October.

In addition, Shinohara will be demonstrating Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking and techniques at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston from noon to 3 p.m. April 6 and April 19. He’ll also lead a workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C. Aug. 9-21.

Shinohara teaches in the Art and Art History Department and the College of East Asian Studies. While living in Kyoto, he trained for 10 years in the traditional Japanese woodblock printing style known as Ukiyo-e.  The technical foundation for his artwork is rooted in that training, accompanied by techniques of contemporary western printmaking, yet the imagery itself is very different from historical Ukiyo-e.

According to Shinohara’s artist statement, “the story behind the work is very important; there is a sense of narrative that is very private. The feelings and emotions that I convey through these abstract landscapes matter most to me. Almost always my images are of nature, but it is the essence of the landscape that I want to express, not realistic accuracy.”

Update on Greek Life at Wesleyan

Since the announcement last September that residential fraternities must become fully co-educational over the next three years, Greek life on campus has changed in several significant ways.

The decision to mandate coeducation of residential fraternities came after several months of deliberations among students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Board of Trustees. While the three all-male residential fraternities were given three years in which to become fully co-educational, the deadline to present an initial co-education plan was the end of fall semester.

Wesleyan Writers Conference Offering Scholarships, Fellowships

Wesleyan is hosting the 59th annual Wesleyan Writers Conference June 10-14.

Wesleyan is hosting the 59th annual Wesleyan Writers Conference June 10-14.

Registration is open for the 59th Annual Wesleyan Writers Conference. This year, the conference is offering scholarships and fellowships for alumni and other members of the Wesleyan community, including six scholarships for undergraduates.

The conference, held June 10-14, welcomes established writers, new writers, and everyone interested in the writer’s craft, and features seminars, workshops, readings and manuscript consultations.

Sessions include novel, short story, poetry, nonfiction, journalism and special sessions such as writing about science and medicine.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to start a new project or develop your current work with the help of distinguished writers, editors, agents and publishers,” said Anne Greene, director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference.

Faculty include Amy Bloom, Roxana Robinson, Alexander Chee, and William Finnegan of The New Yorker, as well as many others. To register, or apply for a scholarship, visit the conference website.

Men’s Tennis to Participate in Challenging Stag-Hen Invitational in California

Coach Mike Fried.

Coach Mike Fried.

Wesleyan men’s tennis will have ample opportunity this spring to test its mettle.

Head coach Mike Fried, who set up a challenging schedule for his young Cardinals, is hoping it will achieve the desired effect.

“When trying to bring the program up to the top national mix, we needed to do something more competitive with our spring training trip,” he said.

In past years, the Cardinals traveled to Orlando, Fla. during March break, playing 4-6 matches against high-level Divisions I, II, III and NAIA opponents, but not the top teams in Division III. Breaking from tradition,

Jazz Quartet Stanley Maxwell to Perform World Premieres March 1 at Russell House

Jazz quartet Stanley Maxwell will perform at 3 p.m. March 1 in the Russell House.

Jazz quartet Stanley Maxwell will perform at 3 p.m. March 1 in the Russell House.

Wesleyan’s “Music at the Russell House” series concludes with a free concert by the Connecticut-based jazz quartet Stanley Maxwell at 3 p.m. March 1 in the Russell House. The group plays music that blends tight arrangements with intricate group improvisations. The concert at Wesleyan will feature acoustic arrangements of original tunes from the past decade, including several world premieres.

Stanley Maxwell's Andy Chatfield, pictured second from left, composed several original tunes for the group that will make their world premier at the March 1 concert. (Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)

Stanley Maxwell’s Andy Chatfield, pictured second from left, composed several original tunes for the group that will make their world premiere at the March 1 concert. (Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)

Stanley Maxwell features the CFA’s Press and Marketing Director Andy Chatfield on drums, Mark Crino on bass, Eric DellaVecchia on alto saxophone, and Evan Green on piano.

The group has built a grassroots name for themselves at colleges and festivals throughout the northeast since 2001, combining the virtuosic and the simple into a visceral concoction, which helped lead to their winning “Best Jazz Band” in the Hartford Advocate’s Grand Band Slam Readers’ Poll in 2007, 2009, and 2010.

“Mousetrap,” an 11-bar blues written by pianist Evan Green, was influenced by Thelonious Monk, and was featured on Stanley Maxwell’s debut album Don’t Wake The Baby!  The band’s recording of the composition attracted international attention, including “Mousetrap” winning “Best Jazz Song” at the 7th annual Independent Music Awards in December 2007. The band also won the Relix Magazine November 2007 “JamOff” contest for unsigned artists, with “Mousetrap” featured on that month’s Relix CD sampler, included with over 100,000 issues of the internationally distributed magazine, dedicated to jam bands and improvisational music.

Bloom Co-Hosts NYT Magazine‘s “Ethicists” Podcast

Amy Bloom '75

Amy Bloom ’75

Novelist Amy Bloom ’75, the Distinguished University Writer-in-Residence, director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing, is co-hosting a new weekly podcast titled “Ethicists.”

The podcast, a re-imagination of the New York Times Magazine’s longtime “The Ethicist” column, features Bloom and two other ethicists answering questions for a half-hour.

NYT Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Wesleyan alumnus Jake Silverstein ’98 invited Bloom to participate in the show. The other panelists are Politico media columnist Jack Shafer and New York School of Law constitutional law professor Kenji Yoshino.

The first episode, titled “Close Quarters: Can I ask my neighbors to quiet their baby?” debuted Feb. 18 and is produced in partnership with Slate. Read an edited and condensed version of the podcast online here.

“Future topics will be, we hope, a wide range of ethical quandaries,” Bloom said.

Read more about the podcast launch in this Poynter.org article or download the podcast through iTunes.

Students Travel to Puerto Rico to Develop Research Skills

The group photo of the earth and environmental science team.  The group travelled to Puerto Rico in January to develop their research skills.

Twenty-one students, two faculty and one guest traveled to Puerto Rico in January. Students honed their research skills while on the chain of islands.

This semester, 21 senior earth and environmental science majors in the Senior Field Research Project (EES 398) course traveled to Puerto Rico to develop their research, data collection, analytical and presentation skills.

Students gathered samples in a bat cave while wading through inches of bat guano.

Students gathered samples in a bat cave while wading through inches of bat guano.

As part of the EES Department’s capstone course sequence, students are required to participate in a series of student-designed research projects. From Jan. 12-19, students performed independent research in the field.

“The overarching spirit is to have students participate in the full arc of a research project: from the design all the way to the presentation of the results,” said Dana Royer, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, associate professor of environmental studies. Royer has co-taught the class three times, this year with Suzanne O’Connell, professor of earth and environmental sciences, faculty director of the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

President Roth Speaks about Liberal Education (with video)

President Michael Roth delivers his speech at Memorial Chapel.

President Michael Roth spoke on the value of a liberal arts education Feb. 3 in Memorial Chapel.

#THISISWHY

On Feb. 3, President Michael Roth gave a talk on “How to Destroy Liberal Education” in Memorial Chapel. Since the publication of his book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale University Press, 2014), Roth has been speaking about liberal education to Wesleyan alumni and many others at various venues around the country. At this event, he spoke to students, staff and faculty about the relevance of the kind of education offered so compellingly at Wesleyan.

A video and more photos of the event are below:

A Body in Fukushima: Photo, Video Exhibit on Display at 3 CFA Galleries

Patrick Dowdey, curator for the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies gallery, introduced the <em>Body in Fukushima</em> exhibit Feb. 5.

Patrick Dowdey, curator for the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies gallery, introduced the Body in Fukushima exhibit Feb. 5.

A Body in Fukushima, a series of color photographs and video presented in a groundbreaking exhibition across three Wesleyan galleries, is on display through April.

"Eiko in Fukushima, Komagamine No. 146, 17 January 2014," digital photo, 13.3" x 20", photo by William Johnston.

“Eiko in Fukushima, Komagamine No. 146, 17 January 2014,” is on display in the exhibit. (Photo by William Johnston)

The series is an exploration into the area around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which destabilized and melted down after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The power plant released radioactive materials into the surrounding environment.

In 2014, dancer-choreographer Eiko Otake and photographer/historian William Johnston followed abandoned train tracks through desolate stations into eerily vacant towns and fields in Fukushima, Japan. Otake is a visiting instructor in dance and Johnston is professor of history, professor of east Asian studies, professor of environmental studies and professor of science in society.

“By placing my body in these places, I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. I danced so as not to forget,” Otake said. A project of witness, remembrance, and empathy, A Body in Fukushima grapples with the reality of human failure.

The explosions of the Daiichi Power Plant made the area uninhabitable. Sometimes in vulnerable gestures and at other times in a fierce dance, Otake embodies grief, anger and remorse. Johnston’s images capture her with the cries of the Fukushima landscapes.

The works can currently be seen at the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Gallery, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery and the Davison Art Center Gallery. More hours and more information see the exhibit’s website.

The exhibit features a photo and a video installation.

The exhibit features a photo and a video installation.

Gruen Speaks at Minding Animals Conference in India

Professor Lori Gruen visits India as a distinguished guest to the Minding Animals Conference.

Professor Lori Gruen recently visited India as a distinguished guest at the Minding Animals Conference. She’s pictured here at the Taj Mahal.

Gruen spoke on "Entangled Empathy," the topic of her most recent book.

Gruen spoke on “Entangled Empathy,” the topic of her most recent book.

Lori Gruen, chair and professor of philosophy, was a distinguished guest speaker at the third Minding Animals Conference (MAC) in New Delhi, India on Dec. 7. Gruen also is professor of environmental studies, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies.

During the conference, Gruen discussed “Entangled Empathy,” which is the topic of her most recent book.

Gruen notes “that we are already entangled in complex and life-altering relationships with other animals and argues for a version of empathy as a way of rethinking and practicing animal ethics.”

She also sat on a panel that discussed the state of the field of animal studies and led a workshop on “Feminism and Animals.”

The MAC is a conference held every three years and organized by Minding Animals International (MAI).  The MAI “has been designed to improve the status of nonhuman animals and alleviate nonhuman animal exploitation by facilitating research and discourse among scholars, students, artists, activists, advocates (and members of the general population) in the trans-disciplinary field of animal studies.  MAI’s main objectives are to further the development of nonhuman animal studies internationally and to help establish legal and moral protections for nonhuman animals.”

Gruen shared some of her pictures from her trip to New Dehli:

Picture taken by Gruen.

Picture taken by Gruen.

Gruen sits on a panel about the state of the field of Animal Studies and a workshop on "Feminism and Animals."

Gruen, third from left, sat on a panel about the state of the field of animal studies and led a workshop on “Feminism and Animals.”

 

Faculty, Students Invited to Workshops on Contemplative Pedagogy Feb. 19

How do faculty help students, and themselves, thread a path through an ever-growing body of information? What practices can faculty and students find that enable them to bring a clear and sustained focus to their work in the classroom and the laboratory?

Through two workshops and discussions, held Feb. 19, participants can consider how one might approach teaching from a contemplative perspective, in both the long and short term. Faculty and students will experiment with the adaptation of several traditional contemplative practices to classroom situations including “stilling” (breath and body awareness), contemplative writing, “beholding,” and explore how these might be instantiated in a classroom, laboratory or personal practice.

Michelle Francl

Michelle Francl

Michelle Francl, professor of chemistry on the Clowes Fund for Science and Public Policy at Bryn Mawr College, will lead the workshops along with Wesleyan faculty and staff. Francl is a quantum chemist who has published in areas ranging from the development of methods for computational chemistry to the structures of topologically intriguing molecules. She takes a contemplative approach to both, introducing students to practices to help them find stillness and focus, including contemplative writing, and feels strongly that a pedagogical stance that recognizes the role contemplation plays in research and writing — scientific or otherwise — has the potential to deepen students engagement in their work.

“Studies show that contemplative pedagogy – a teaching method to integrate secular meditation and mindfulness into the classroom – can help improve cognitive and academic performance,”