Campus News & Events

Patricelli Center Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

The Patricelli Center, opened in 2011, is working to close a funding gap. At the May 2011 ribbon cutting for the center, from left to right, are Jessica Posner Odede '09, Kennedy Odede '12, Board of Trustees Chair Joshua Boger '73, P '06, P '09, Bob Patricelli '61, P '88, P'90, Margaret Patricelli  P '88, P'90, and Alison Patricelli '90.  (Photo by Olivia Drake.)

The Patricelli Center, opened in 2011, is working to close a funding gap. At the May 2011 ribbon cutting for the center, from left to right, are Jessica Posner Odede ’09, Kennedy Odede ’12, Board of Trustees Chair Joshua Boger ’73, P ’06, P ’09, Bob Patricelli ’61, P ’88, P’90, Margaret Patricelli  P ’88, P’90, and Alison Patricelli ’90. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Since 2011, Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) has supported students who want to change the world by providing training, grants, advising, networking and an incubator workspace. PCSE has a funding gap for 2015-16, and is seeking to raise money through a crowdfunding campaign.

The crowdfunding campaign, the first run by the Patricelli Center, launched on Aug. 17 on the website Indiegogo and closes on Sept. 26. Donors can choose from a variety of different perks, depending on their contribution level, including a ticket to Wesleyan’s Social Impact Summit (Nov. 13-14), a mentoring session with a Wesleyan alumnus/a, lunch at the Patricelli Center, or a named grant.

About two-thirds of the Patricelli Center’s operating costs are currently supported by an endowment fund, created in 2011 by a founding gift from the Robert ’61 and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation, and built up over four years with gifts from Propel Capital and several alumni and parent donors. Until the Center is fully endowed and financially self-sustaining, it needs to raise approximately $50,000 annually.

Claudia Kahindi '18, left, and Olayinka Laval '15, right, at work in the Patricelli Center. The two used a Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch KIU, an English education program, in Kahindi's home area of coastal Kenya this summer. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell.)

Claudia Kahindi ’18, left, and Olayinka Laval ’15, right, at work in the Patricelli Center. The two used a Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch KIU, an English education program, in Kahindi’s home area of coastal Kenya this summer. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell)

The Patricelli Center’s $140,000 yearly budget covers personnel; seed grants, internship grants and enrichment grants for students; training, workshops and office operations.

“The Patricelli Center teaches practical skills for students seeking to have social impact. Raising money – in particular crowdfunding – is one of those skills, so it seemed fitting that we practice what we preach and launch a campaign of our own,” said PCSE Director Makaela Kingsley. “We hope this project will not only help close our urgent funding gap for 2015-2016, but also increase awareness about the Center overall. Obviously I’m biased, but I think social impact and entrepreneurship is a perfect fit for Wesleyan – and a great cause to support.”

Nearly 10 percent of Wesleyan students take advantage of PCSE’s services, and demand has been steadily growing. In 2014-15, PCSE held 37 workshops, trainings, and networking events; awarded 24 grants to 39 applicants; provided 277 advising sessions and dozens of professional connections to 121 students and alumni; and added 38 alumni volunteers to its growing network.

Learn more at the Patricelli Center’s website, or its Indiegogo page.

The Mash, “Bach to School” Kick Off CFA’s New Season

The Mash will kick off the 2015-16 Center for the Arts series on Setp. 11. Inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, the fourth annual festival highlights Wesleyan's student music scene.

The Mash will kick off the 2015-16 Center for the Arts series on Sept. 11. Inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, the fourth annual festival highlights Wesleyan’s student music scene.

Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts 2015-16 season includes two world premieres, one United States premiere, one New England premiere, four Connecticut debuts and the following events:

Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht will perform "Bach to School" at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Memorial Chapel. The concert will feature a lively recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck, Charles-Marie Widor, and John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce. (photo by Sandy Aldieri)

Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht will perform “Bach to School” at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in Memorial Chapel. The concert will feature a lively recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck, Charles-Marie Widor, and John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce. (photo by Sandy Aldieri)

• Sept. 11: The Mash at Olin Library, North College, Center for the Arts and Foss Hill.
• Sept. 11: “Bach to School” at the Memorial Chapel with Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht
• Sept. 13: Music at The Russell House: Julie Ribchinsky Bach and the Modern World
• Sept. 16-Dec. 13: “R. Luke Dubois—In Real Time” exhibition in Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
• Sept. 17-Nov. 7: Eiko Otake — “A Body in Places”
• Sept. 18: Nicholas Payton Trio featuring Gerald Cannon and Herlin Riley
• Sept. 24: “Theater After Wesleyan” panel discussion
• Sept. 25-26: Connecticut debut of Dorrance Dance
• Sept. 28: The Combat Paper Project
• Oct. 7-11: 39th annual Navaratri Festival
• Oct. 9: Daniel Beaty performing “Mr. Joy”

Wesleyan Welcomes 15 Faculty this Fall

This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 15 new faculty to the university. They are:

Francesco Aresu, assistant professor of Italian;

Joseph Coolon, assistant professor of biology;

Daniel DiCenzo, adjunct associate professor of physical education and head coach of football;

Candice Etson, assistant professor of physics;

Anthony Hatch, assistant professor of Science in Society;

Han Li, assistant professor of mathematics;

Jeffrey Naecker, assistant professor of economics;

Paula Park, assistant professor of Spanish;

Michelle Personick, assistant professor of chemistry;

Felipe Ramírez, assistant professor of mathematics;

Ben Somera Jr., adjunct associate professor of physical education, head coach of volleyball;

Ying Jia Tan, assistant professor of history;

Shellae Versey, assistant professor of psychology, faculty fellow for the College of the Environment;

Yamil Velez, assistant professor of government;

Kimberly Williams, adjunct assistant professor of physical education; head coach of women’s lacrosse.

Students Study Kangaroo Behavior in Response to Environmental Changes

Angus McLean and Mariel Becker collecting kangaroo droppings in Boundary Road Reserve. (Photo courtesy of the Bathurst Kangaroo Project)

Angus McLean and Mariel Becker collecting kangaroo droppings in Boundary Road Reserve. (Photo courtesy of the Bathurst Kangaroo Project)

Two Wesleyan students and a former visiting professor have just wrapped up a seven-week-long research project on kangaroo behavior in Bathurst, Australia. Working with Liv Baker, an animal studies postdoctoral fellow in the College of the Environment in 2014-15, Angus McLean ’16 and Mariel Becker ’18 have collected “more than 600 pages of data recording kangaroo behavior in response to daily changes and threats in their environment,” according to an article in Western Advocate.

“There were noticeable differences in behaviour between the kangaroos we observed out of town, and between the three different mobs around the Mount,” McLean told the paper.

Angus MacLean observes a kangaroo at one of their sites. At this site, kangaroos were extremely habituated to humans.

Angus McLean observes a kangaroo at one of their sites. At this site, kangaroos were extremely habituated to humans.

“We’ve also collected a freezer full of kangaroo droppings being stored at Charles Sturt University, and which University of Technology Sydney will be testing for cortisol levels, which indicate stress. Our supervisor Dr. Liv Baker from Wesleyan University will be analysing both sets of data and writing up a paper about how Mount Panorama kangaroos are responding to stressors in their environment.”

The project began in June, when Baker held a workshop at the Bathurst Art Gallery collating descriptions of kangaroo behaviors to inform the students’ character-state recognition records.

Mariel Becker collected fecal samples, which were sent to a lab in Sydney. The samples are analyzed for cortisol levels, which is a hormone produced when the animal is stressed.

Mariel Becker collected fecal samples, which were sent to a lab in Sydney. The samples are analyzed for cortisol levels, which is a hormone produced when the animal is stressed.

Tatge Joins Board of the New England Foundation for the Arts

Pam Tatge

Pam Tatge

Pam Tatge ’84, MALS ’10, P’16, director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts (CFA), was appointed to the board of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).

Noted for facilitating Liz Lerman’s “Ferocious Beauty: Genome” at the CFA, an exploration of repercussions of genetic research in 2006, Tatge received the 2010 William Dawson Award from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, given to an individual or organization in the presenting field for sustained leadership, innovation and vision in program design, audience building and community involvement efforts.

Additionally, Tatge worked closely with former NEFA executive director Sam Miller ’75 to create Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice and Performance, which offers an MA in performance curation. As a Wesleyan undergraduate, she majored in history.

“NEFA is an extraordinary institution with innovative programs that successfully marry artists to audiences in New England and across our nation,” Tatge says. “I’m honored to serve on their board.”

College Row Receives Safer Sidewalk Replacement

The new asphalt path on College Row is 13-feet wide.

The new asphalt path on College Row is 13-feet wide.

On July 16, Physical Plant began spearheading a College Row sidewalk replacement project. After removing the existing concrete sidewalk, that spans from Church Street to Wyllys Avenue, contractors installed a 13-foot-wide asphalt path that will accommodate large groups of people, such as campus tours. The existing path was 8-feet-wide.

“This sidewalk has a large amount of foot traffic all year round,” said Wesleyan grounds manager Rob Borman. “The concrete sidewalks around campus also have shown considerable decay, primarily due to salt use in winter.”

The wider sidewalk also will allow grounds maintenance staff to remove snow faster and easier by using a larger machine.

Asphalt, which is 100 percent recyclable, also can be milled and resurfaced easily. The black color will help melt snow and ice faster.

“The new surface will be much safer during the winter season,” Borman added.

Phase two of the project will include the installation of seating areas adjacent to the sidewalk near North College.

(Photos by Laurie Kenney)

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3 Wesleyan Baseball Players Sign Professional Contracts

Three key players in Wesleyan baseball’s fantastic run over the last three years have signed professional baseball contracts this summer. Gavin Pittore ’16 signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers; alumnus Nick Cooney ’15 signed a contract with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in the independent American Association; and Donnie Cimino ’15 was drafted in the 37th round by the Chicago Cubs.

“This is a thrilling achievement for Wesleyan baseball,” said Head Coach Mark Woodworth. “For three great young men to achieve at an elite level academically, while simultaneously becoming world-class athletes

NEH Supports Research, Writing Projects by Tucker, Curran

#THISISWHY
Two Wesleyan faculty received NEH Public Scholarships to encourage new research and support their upcoming publications. Only 36 writers in the country received the award.

The Public Scholar program, a major new initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is designed to promote the publication of scholarly nonfiction books for a general audience. On July 29, the NEH awarded a total of $1.7 million to 36 writers including Wesleyan’s Jennifer Tucker, associate professor of history, and Andrew Curran, the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities and professor of French.

Tucker received a grant worth $50,400 to support her book titled Caught on Camera: A History of Photographic Detection and Evasion.

Wesleyan Green Team Brainstorms Sustainability Measures

Wesleyan's Green Team focuses on making Wesleyan more environmentally friendly. (Photo Laurie Kenney)

Wesleyan’s Green Team focuses on making Wesleyan more environmentally friendly. (Photos by Laurie Kenney)

On July 31, nine Green Team members and a liaison from the sustainability office met outside the Allbritton Center to discuss their goals for the coming year. The Green Team focuses on finding simple measures that all Wesleyan offices can enact to conserve resources.

Anita Deeg-Carlin, administrative assistant for the Physics Department, who initiated the formation of the team in 2014, led the meeting. The team’s hope this year is to focus on small, practical steps that can spark interest and change among other community members. Anika Dane, administrative assistant in molecular biology and biochemistry, suggested the team look into the DEEP’s adopt-a-park program. The team also hopes to link up with wellness efforts and encourage employees to do a trash pick up during their fitness walks.

The group noted the importance of evaluating the progress they have made over the past year, and decided to conduct reviews of their own offices together as a group. This will help them identify areas that might need improvement.

The team also works with Olga Bookas, director of purchasing, on identifying sustainable products. The Green Team has tried to determine what disposable kitchen products have the lowest footprint. This question does not have a simple answer, and was turned over to Ruby Lang ’17 this summer, in an internship funded by the College of the Environment. Jen Kleindienst, sustainability director and liaison to the Green Team, shared some of the results so far.

“We have to be aware of a product’s entire life cycle,” Kleindienst said. “For example, a ceramic cup has to be used about 15 times before it is considered more sustainable than using disposable cups.” Kleindienst also explained the relatively new reusable Eco-to-Go food container program at Wesleyan.

Roslyn Carrier-Brault, administrative assistant in chemistry, raised the question of what to do with the lost and found items that accumulate in many offices over the course of an academic year. Kleindienst pointed out that the “Waste Not” collection and tag sale on 44 Brainerd Ave. is a great destination for these forgotten items, as well as Wesleyan’s Freecycle list.

Members of Wesleyan's Green Team: (back row, l to r) Blanch Meslin, Dawn Alger, Anika Dane, Anita Deeg-Carlin, Roslyn Carrier-Brault; (front row, l to r) Liz Tinker, Olga Bookas, Valerie Marinelli, Jayana Mitchell.

Members of Wesleyan’s Green Team: (back row, l to r) Blanch Meslin, Dawn Alger, Anika Dane, Anita Deeg-Carlin, Roslyn Carrier-Brault; (front row, l to r) Liz Tinker, Olga Bookas, Valerie Marinelli, Jayana Mitchell.

Liz Tinker, administrative assistant in English, requested ideas for potential “green minute” topics for the next meeting. The green minute is a short Green Team presentation at monthly Academic Affairs meetings that offers easy tips and tricks for reducing waste. Dawn Alger, administrative assistant in Theater, suggested having a catchy slogan, for example, “One Less”, to use as a theme for the semester that would encourage community members to use one less of any item that is inherently wasteful each day. Jayana Mitchell, accounting specialist in Chemistry, pointed out that reminder signs created by Blanche Meslin, administrative assistant for Biology, last year were effective in encouraging department members to “BYO” and should continue to be spread around campus.

Deeg-Carlin brought up the overlap of the goals of the Office of Equity and Inclusion with those of the Sustainability Office, and emphasized the importance of capitalizing on Wesleyan’s rich diversity as a resource for learning about more aspects of sustainability.

Valerie Marinelli wrapped up the meeting by suggesting the team shares their goals for 2015-16 with Provost Joyce Jacobsen and the Office of Academic Affairs. Academic Affairs has been supportive of the Green Team since its beginning in 2014.

Wesleyan Supports Historic Russell Chapel Restoration

The Russell Chapel is located on the southwest hill of Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown near Wesleyan.

The Russell Chapel is located on the southwest hill of Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown near Wesleyan. Several Wesleyan film students have used the Chapel as a backdrop for their projects.

In 1867, Middletown’s Frances Russell donated a Gothic Revival Chapel in memory of her late husband Samuel Russell. Samuel, an entrepreneur and trader, was the owner and namesake of Wesleyan’s Russell House.

The architecturally-distinctive brownstone Russell Chapel, which is listed on the Connecticut Register of Historic Places, sits atop the southwest hill on Indian Hill Cemetery and abuts Wesleyan University on Vine Street. Now, at 148-years-old, the Chapel has reached a dangerous structural tipping point and rehabilitation is desperately needed.

“Indian Hill Cemetery is an integral part of our community,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “Kari, Mathilde and I frequently take walks through the cemetery’s immaculate grounds, which offer pristine views of Middletown and sections of campus. I know several students and other employees who enjoy the grounds as much as we do, and the Russell Chapel is the iconic centerpiece.”

Ebenal ’18 Participates in Wireless Infrastructure Conference at White House

On July 15, Wesleyan Posse Scholar Royce Ebenal ’18 attended the White House Summit on Wireless Workforce Development, a conference that focused on the urgent need to train workers for careers in the wireless industry to ensure that the U.S. wireless network infrastructure capacity will be sufficient for the future.

More than 80 leaders from wireless companies, federal agencies and academic institutions attended the conference. Participants also recognized that this was an opportunity to hire and train underrepresented groups, including veterans, women and minorities, for well-paying technical jobs. Posse scholar Rob Mendez ’18, who is an intern at the National Science Foundation this summer, also attended the conference.

Ebenal is working as an intern at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) this summer. He’s been speaking with senior government officials, including the office of Second Lady Jill Biden, about the Posse Foundation in an effort to expand veterans’ access to elite colleges.

“While working at the White House has been truly humbling, I am motivated everyday to represent veterans, the Posse Foundation and Wes,” Ebenal said.

Ebenal co-authored an article on the White House Summit on Wireless Workforce Development. The story is online here.

Sumarsam, Students, Alumni Attend Traditional Music Conference in Kazakhstan

PhD candidate Ander Terwilliger, University Professor of Music Sumarsam and PhD candidate Christine Yong attended the International Council for Traditional Music conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

PhD candidate Ander Terwilliger, University Professor of Music Sumarsam and PhD candidate Christine Yong attended the International Council for Traditional Music conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

From July 14–23, two ethnomusicology PhD candidates — Christine Yong and Ander Terwilliger — along with five alumni —Tan Sooi Beng ’80, Donna Kwon ’95, Jonathan Kramer ’71, Sylvie Bruinders ’99, and Becky Miller ’94 — joined University Professor of Music Sumarsam at the 2015 conference of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) in Astana, Kazakhstan. Tan Sooi Beng was elected to the ICTO executive board.

The International Council for Traditional Music is a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. It aims to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music and dance of all countries.

At the conference, Sumarsam presented a talk titled “Expressing And Contesting Java-Islam Encounters In The Performing Arts;” and Kwon spoke on “Glimpses Beyond The Curtain: Making Sense Of North Korean Musical Performance in the Age of Social Media.” Kwon also was a recipient of this year’s prestigious American Council of Learned Societies grant.