|Erhard Konerding, Olin Library documents librarian, flips through the pages of Survey for the Transcontinental Railroad, dated 1860, located in Wesleyan’s Congress Serial Set in Olin Library. In 1906 Wesleyan became a designated depository for U.S. government documents.|
| In October 1906, United States Representative George Lilley allowed Wesleyans libraries to receive publications of congress, the president, federal courts and federal agencies, at no cost. Wesleyan was designated as one of the nations few depository libraries, under the auspices of the U.S. Government Printing Office.
In October 2006, Wesleyan libraries are celebrating their centennial as a Depository Library for United States Government publications. Judy Russell, superintendent of documents, will take part in the ceremony, scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 20 in Olin Memorial Library.
An exhibit will accompany the celebration. It will feature documents from 1906-2006 and focus on the technologies that were present at the time.
We are fortunate to receive the publications, whether monographs or subscriptions; both would cost us lots of money if we purchased them or subscribed, explains Erhard Konerding, Olin Library documents librarian.
Konerding estimates there are about 1,100 designated Depository Libraries in the U.S., however the number is declining. The Regional Depositories, averaging one per state, receive 100 percent of the offerings; other libraries varying percentages. Wesleyan receives, free of charge, about 30 percent of the publications offered in pre-selected categories by the Government Printing Office, and is required by federal law to make them available to the general public.
Students, faculty and staff can access United States Government publications from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the United States government in several formats: paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, diskette, videocassette, and online. Wesleyans collection emphasizes the social sciences, and is strongest in Congressional publications, statistics and government policy.
The main documents collection is housed on the Ground Floor of the Olin Library stacks. Publications printed after 1976 are listed in Wesleyans library catalog, or online at http://www.marcive.com/webdocs/webdocs.dll.
As part of the centennial celebration, Olins Special Collections and Archives will be hosting an exhibit inside the library tentatively titled “A Century of Government Information. This exhibit will feature examples of government documents, which Wesleyan possesses.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
Campus News & Events
by Olivia Drake •
|Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, speaks on “Neurons looking back before firing: the timing of action potentials” during the Molecular Biophysics Retreat Sept. 21.|
| Established and budding scientists attended the Seventh Annual Wesleyan University Molecular Biophysics Retreat at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown on Sept. 21. The retreat is an annual celebration of the Molecular Biophysics Program, which is co-directed by David Beveridge, professor of chemistry and Ishita Mukerji, associate professor and chair of molecular biology and biochemistry.
Organized this year by Beveridge and Manju Hingorani, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, the event was supported by the Edward W. Snowdon lecture fund, the Molecular Biophysics Program, the departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The retreat was designed to bring together students and faculty in the molecular biophysics and biological chemistry programs and provide them an opportunity to discuss their current research, explore new ideas and possible collaborative work. About 50 people attended this year’s retreat.
Jacqueline Barton, pictured at right, the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences, was the keynote speaker.
Barton discussed how electrons move through DNA structures and how this process can mediate DNA damage and repair.
“By researching what happens inside the cell that leads to DNA mismatch formation and repair, we may better be able to understand how certain types of cancer occur,” Barton says.
In a complementary talk titled “Mopping up after messy polymerases,” Professor Hingorani discussed her research on mechanisms of DNA damage and repair, involving proteins linked to carcinogenesis.
The event also featured 26 posters by several Wesleyan students and alumni including, Katherine Augustyn, a fifth year graduate student at the California Institute of Technology and double major in chemistry and molecular biology and biochemistry.
Augustyn’s poster detailed how electric charges migrate through DNA, more specifically how cells, like those exposed to UVA radiation, could be damaged by charge migration. She also spoke with students about her research at a Wesleyan Women In Science seminar Sept. 22.
Rex Pratt, Wesleyan University professor of chemistry, described his studies about a class of enzymes that catalyzes the last step in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis.
“These enzymes are the targets of beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin,” says Pratt. “Our aim is to learn more about these enzymes at a molecular level to assist further drug development.”
Ryan Pelto, a fourth year chemistry graduate student at Wesleyan, who conducts research with Pratt, presented a poster about bacterial resistance to current ß-lactam antibiotics and how ß-lacatamase enzymes play a major role in bacterial defense mechanisms.
Other Wesleyan University scientists presented research, including new faculty member Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, neuroscience and behavior, and T. David Westmoreland, associate professor of chemistry.
Aaron’s research investigates how neurons communicate with each other and produce precise patterns of activity. The title of his talk was “Neurons looking back before firing: the timing of action potentials.”
“In this ongoing work, we are demonstrating that slow currents in some groups of neurons produce, in a sense, a memory of past communications from other neurons,” says Aaron.
“Thus, the decision of when to fire an action potential can incorporate messages from further back in time than had previously been assumed. This research may help us understand how precision is produced in a network that appears at first glance to be composed from imprecise elements.”
Westmoreland’s talk was titled “Marcus Theory and Atom Transfer: It’s not just for electrons.
“The most important type of atom transfer, both from a biological and an industrial point of view, involves the transfer of a single oxygen atom,” says Westmoreland.
Westmoreland’s talk reported on the progress in showing how the conceptual framework previously developed for reactions that involve transferring a single electron can be extended to include single atoms as well.
He hopes that this work will provide new insights into the functions of a number of important enzymes and may point to new industrial catalysts.
|By Laura Perillo, associate director of Media Relations; photos by Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
| The Center for African American Studies is hosting a fall lecture series titled “Revisiting Slavery.” The schedule includes:
Slavery and the United States Constitution
Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery
“Cultivating Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and Enterprise in Colonial New England
American Slavery: A Most Complete Story
Other fall events include:
The Need to Question
A Discussion with Immortal Technique
A Reading by Author Nathaniel Mackey
Democracy and Captivity: Race and the Penal Landscape” by Joyce James
The War in Iraq presented by Jonathan Cutler, associate professor of sociology and associate professor of American Studies
A Discussion of Stem Cell Research
by Olivia Drake •
| Each year, the Office of University Communications collects objective and comparative measures of Wesleyan’s strengths from data compiled by outside sources. Following is a brief list of recent findings:
No. 1 in National Science Foundation (NSF) Funding among Liberal Arts Peers
No. 1 in Science and Math Publications Among Liberal Arts Peers
No. 10 in the 2006 U. S. News & World Report Rankings of Liberal Arts Institutions
Wesleyan also ranked within U.S. News:
No. 7 in Economic Diversity
No. 3 among All National Universities & Colleges by Washington Monthly
No. 8 Wesleyan Athletics Power Ranking among Div. III Schools by NCSA
No. 10 of Top 50 Colleges in the U.S. for African Americans as Ranked by Black Enterprise magazine.
Wesleyan is a Top 30 Private School according to Reform Judaism magazines “Insider’s Guide to Jewish Campus Life
|List compiled by David Pesci, director of Media Relations and the Office of University Communications staff|
by Olivia Drake •
|Science teachers in Connecticut teachers take classes at Wesleyan through the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science Program (PIMMS). PIMMS is teaming up with the Connecticut Science Center to provide science and math education techniques to K-12 teachers.|
| A new partnership between Wesleyan University and The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford will be designed to engage more students across the state to the sciences than ever before.
Specifically, The Connecticut Science Center will be partnering with Wesleyan’s Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Sciences (PIMMS). Together they will train Connecticut middle school science teachers how best to teach the sciences to students in grades K-12.
“We are very excited about the new Science Center,” says Joseph Bruno, vice president for academic affairs and provost at Wesleyan.
“Coming at a time when we are actively promoting the excellence of Wesleyan science, we view the partnership as an opportunity to contribute to this exciting project and to inform others about our science programs. The contributions of our faculty and students at the Center would also be entirely consistent with Wesleyan’s strong commitment to service in the community,” he says.
Both PIMMS and The Connecticut Science Center have a mission to foster public interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The new partnership will offer teachers graduate level credit through Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies Program (GLSP) for those who enroll in the Science Center’s Institute for Inquiry. The Science Center’s Institute for Inquiry is a professional development program for Connecticut teachers of science. It’s available to all teachers in grades K-12 who have an interest in teaching the sciences. Teachers must enroll, and be accepted to the program where they research and develop a unit of study pertaining to science.
This summer, the Institute accepted 150 Connecticut area teachers-an enrollment spike from 125 teachers last year. The program runs for six weeks starting each July and each week-long session trains approximately 30-40 teachers.
Christine Moses, director of Program Outreach for the Connecticut Science Center, says that the Center has always thought of Wesleyan’s PIMMS as a leader in the state for the development of teachers in the sciences.
“This mutually beneficial partnership will teach teachers how to take their students through the inquiry process,” she says. “When you engage students first in the sciences, instead of lecturing, they retain the information better.”
Moses anticipates that next summer, even more teachers will apply to the Institute for Inquiry for credit through Wesleyan University, to prepare for the new state science cumulative testing requirements for grades 5 and 8 beginning in 2008.
The new partnership between PIMMS and The Connecticut Science Center also involves Wesleyan University faculty, who will help the Center write curricula for their science labs.
“Wesleyan’s science and mathematics faculty have always shown a keen interest in working with teachers and students in Connecticut’s schools,” says Mike Zebarth, director of Wesleyan’s PIMMS.
“This partnership will provide additional opportunities for the Wesleyan faculty to be involved with one of the State’s key educational resources in science and math. Faculty members may serve in advisory capacities, present public seminars and work with PIMMS on the Center’s Inquiry Institute. There will also be opportunities for Wesleyan’s graduate and undergraduate students to be involved directly with the Center in the role of exhibit tour guides,” he says.
Robert Rosenbaum, University Mathematics Professor at Wesleyan University, established the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science at Wesleyan in 1979. Annually, 1500 teachers attend one or more of PIMMS 50 high-quality professional development programs. For more information, contact Mike Zebarth at 860-685-6456 or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/pimms/ or www.ctsciencecenter.org.
|By Laura Perillo, associate director of Media Relations|
by Olivia Drake •
| On May 4, 2006, Doug Bennet ’59, P’87, P’94, Wesleyan’s 15th president, announced his decision that the 2006-07 academic year will be the 12th and final year of his presidency. The Wesleyan Board of Trustees is in the process of convening an 18-person search committee composed of alumni, trustees, faculty, staff and students to undertake a comprehensive search to identify and successfully recruit Bennet’s successor.
The alumni and trustee members of the search committee are Kofi Appenteng ’81 and chair, Stephen Daniel ’82, Jim Dresser ’63, Joe Fins ’82, Ellen Jewett ’81, Michael McPherson P’98, Megan Norris ’83, Ted Shaw ’76, Shonni Silverberg ’76, and John Usdan ’80. Peter Patton, vice president and secretary, will also serve as a member of the search committee.
In keeping with the process used in the search that resulted in Doug Bennet’s selection by the Board in 1995, the faculty will select five members and the student body will select two members to join the search committee.
Several other leading colleges and universities will be conducting presidential searches this year, so to ensure that Wesleyan has its first choice among search consultants, several trustees, staff, faculty and students initiated a competitive process to select a search firm in July.
Consultants Jennifer Bol and Michele Haertel from Spencer Stuart will work as search consultants to Wesleyan. They bring a combination of extensive experience in higher education plus world-wide experience in other markets.
Many thanks to the faculty, student and trustee leadership for enabling the search consultant selection process to proceed so smoothly, Appenteng says. We look forward to working with as many of you as possible as we take this important next step in Wesleyan’s future.
Appenteng says it is critical to have staff on campus to support the search process. Peter Patton, vice president and secretary of the university, professor of earth and environmental sciences, has agreed to serve as executive secretary to the search committee. Patton will be joined by Joan Adams, formerly the assistant to the dean of admission and financial aid, who will serve as special assistant to the Presidential Search Committee.
Current committee members have established a Web site to collect confidential nominations and feedback from the community at http://www.wesleyan.edu/presidentialsearch.
Anyone may make suggestions, comments or nominations to the search committee.
Once the search committee membership is complete, the full search committee will begin a more formal outreach process with the Wesleyan Community and review the submissions.
by Olivia Drake •
|Drew Black, wrestling coach and strength and conditioning coach, explains how to use a medicine ball for strength training via video on a new Strength and Conditioning Web Site.|
With moves like the spider lunge, chest fly, sumo squat, wood chop, push jerk and the inch worm, strength and conditioning lessons have never been so easy and entertaining.
Through a series of online videos and written training plans, Drew Black, Wesleyan wrestling coach and strength and conditioning coach, shows how to properly execute 241 movements in the weight room. Some can be applied in the workplace or at home, as well.
The new Strength and Conditioning Web Site, launched Sept. 7, can be seen online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/athletics/strength/. All high-quality video clip demonstrations were filmed in the Freeman Athletic Centers Andersen Fitness Center.
This new site is for the entire Wesleyan community, Black says. Our fitness center is one of the most used facilities on campus and I want everyone to have a tool and resource they can turn to for information on how to reach their strength and fitness goals whether you are a varsity athlete, a recreational athlete, a lifetime fitness enthusiast, or someone who is recovering from an injury.
In addition to the video clips, the site highlights six performance principles including sport specific training, multiple joint movements, multiple plane movements, ground-based movements, nutrition, rest and recovery, and periodization, a scientific, systematic training model used to continuously make gains in training.
It offers training notes on speed and agility, general strength programs, warming up, core training. Site visitors can download and print log forms to chart and record training sessions.
Black suggests a number of general strength training programs, categorized into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of strength training. Users can view a three-day program, weight training for total body, interval training ideas and a bodyweight strength program.
These programs are set up into two different formats where you may choose how you would like to train during the week, Black explains. You may like to train your total body each time you lift or you may choose to train only certain movements such as upper body pushing movements, lower body only, and upper body pulling movements. Both methods are effective for increasing strength. Its important to choose a plan that works best for you.
Student athletes can use the site to enhance their individuals athletic potential on the field, mat, ice, court and water. Since strength training is a major supplement to the athletes specific sport, the athletes always have access to the video-coach as they train.
Black says the site also will attract top prospective student-athletes to Wesleyan.
There are not many sites around the country that offer this information, Black explains. It shows that we love what we do and at Wesleyan we strive for excellence.
The site was designed by Ryan Lee, Web designer; coordinated by Jen Carlstrom, director of New Media Services; and categorized by Mary Glynn, application technology specialist. Michael Leone, son of Pat Leone, World Wide Web administrator, filmed and edited the digital videos.
Black, who initiated the idea for a video-coach Web site, says strength and conditioning are the two best supplements a person can add into his or her daily regimen.
In order to run faster, jump higher, and be able to play longer, you must strength train, cross train, and condition your body, Black explains. Many of our fitness center users also have goals in terms of losing weight, become more flexible, get stronger, and put on some muscle. All of these goals will be realized and attained by following a strength program. Quality of life and quality experience in your sport are directly related to following a consistent strength and conditioning program.”
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
David Titus, Professor Emeritus of Government, died on June 13, 2006.
Professor Titus taught at Wesleyan from 1966 until his retirement in 2004, serving as chair of the Government Department, the College of Social Studies and the East Asian Studies Program. He played a crucial role in establishing East Asian Studies at Wesleyan; he served as Resident Director of the Kyoto Program three times, and was a member and frequent chair of its Executive Board. His masterwork was his Palace and Politics in Prewar Japan, which established his reputation as a leading scholar of Japanese politics; it was translated into Japanese in 1979.
Professor Titus as an avid birdwatcher, and a vital participant in the Mattabesset chapter of the Audubon Society, which he also served as president. Until his recent stroke, he loved to play the violin, enlivening numerous campus occasions over the years.
He is survived by two sons, Brian and Jeffrey, a daughter in law, Rie, and two grandchildren, Sion and Neo. A memorial service will be scheduled in the fall.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Mattabeseck Audubon Society, c/o Alison Guinness, DeKoven House, 27 Washington St., Middletown, CT 06457.
by Olivia Drake •
| Wesleyan celebrated the 10th anniversary of Constitution Day.
According to Federal law, Wesleyan and other federally-funded institutions are required to offer programs commemorating the Constitution.
We want to take something that is required by law, and turn it into something meaningful for the Wesleyan community, says the Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian Barbara Jones.
Jones, whose primary professional interests include intellectual freedom, presented a talk titled Libraries and the Constitution After 9/11 in recognition of Constitution Day 2006 Sept. 19 in the Smith Reading Room in Olin Library. R
Jones has served one term as chair of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and two terms as a member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. She was the first chair of the American College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Intellectual Freedom Committee. Jones has spoken to library, general academic, legislative and community groups about the First Amendment in libraries of all types, and has just returned from a lecture tour in Japan.
Olin Library will celebrate its centennial as a depository library with an event during Homecoming, including an exhibit in the library on the Constitution.
Constitution Day, Inc., a non-partisan non-profit organization, coordinates an annual national simultaneous recitation of the Preamble across all of America. All 50 states participate in a roll call in the order they ratified the Constitution or were admitted to the Union.
This year, General Colin Powell led a nationwide annual recitation of the preamble. The recitation was dedicated to and honored the United States military.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Ron Jenkins, professor of theater, reads a Sanskrit prayer during a Sept. 11 Memorial Service in the Memorial Chapel while Jason Harris ’09, left, listens.|
| On Sept. 11, 2001, Marc Arena 07 was in class when his high school principal announced over the P.A. that the World Trade Center towers were struck by two planes. He and his classmates at Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham, N.Y. gathered around a radio, listening in awe.
With an ear on the broadcast, and a pencil at hand, Arena wrote a poem.
Bodies leaping from 61 floors. Like roaches in the light. The people flee from the dark cloud. The shrapnel rain. Suffocating smog and fumes. Complete darkness even in daylight, Arena wrote.
Five years later, Arena presented this poem during a 9-11 Memorial Sept. 11, 2006 in the Memorial Chapel. He was one of six speakers who offered a reflection or poem during the 45-minute service, attended by Wesleyan students, faculty and staff.
Jewish Rabbi David Leipziger Teva organized the service, noting that 1,825 days have passed since the terrorist attacks; 3,500 Wesleyan undergraduates have received degrees; and a baby born on Sept. 11, 2001 could be attending kindergarten this year.
Leipziger Teva read off 24 names of Wesleyan alumni and friends who perished in the attacks, starting with Maile Hale 97 and Andy Kates 85.
Let us reflect on all those who were killed five years ago today, he said. They were our fathers, our wives and our children. They were alumni students who walked the halls we walk today. They were friends and loved ones of our beloved Wesleyan community.
Like Arena, Ethan Kleinberg, associate professor of history, associate professor of letters, shared his memories of Sept. 11, 2001 with the audience, mentioning that his first day teaching classes at Wesleyan was at 10:30 a.m. that morning. Not knowing what to do, he asked the students to speak. Several wanted to explore the reasons of what led to the attacks.
Kleinberg followed his story with summarized points adapted from French philosopher Georges Sorels Reflections on Violence.
By reading a Sanskrit prayer excerpt, Ron Jenkins, professor of theater, mimicked how victims of terrorist bombings in Bali prayed during a ceremony at Ground Zero.
I chose to read and discuss this ceremony because I believe it is important to understand 9/11 in an international perspective, and to reflect on cultures like Balinese Hindus, Jenkins said. They live in the worlds largest Muslim country and chose to respond to terror with art instead of war.
Elizabeth Willis, assistant professor of English, said as a poet, she was struck by how poetry was being circulated on the internet post Sept. 11. She read 1969 Pulitzer Prize poet George Oppens Power of the Enchanted World and an excerpt from Walt Whitmans poem, Leaves of Grass.
Other speakers included Karl Scheibe, professor of psychology, emeritus, who read Robert Frosts Choose Something Like a Star, and Jason Harris ’09 who shared a reflection titled Is it Just a Myth?”
In addition to the memorial, panelists spoke on the topic, “9/11 in Retrospect: in what ways, if any, has the world changed?” in the Public Affairs Center. Donald Moon, dean of the social sciences and John. E. Andrus Professor of Government served as moderator.
Panelists included Peter Gottschalk, associate professor of religion; Bruce Masters, professor of history; Joel Pfister, professor of English and Len Burman,75, director of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.
Bells rang at 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m., the times when planes struck the World Trade Center.
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor
The following poem was written by Marc Arena ’07 (pictured above) while listening to the radio during live broadcast coverage of Sept. 11, 2001.
The day shattered by the pierce of the P.A.
The World Trade Center fell
Bush in the air
Reporters choking back fear
War seems only footsteps away
Car bomb explosion
It is the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history
Children stranded at schools
New York City is on full terrorist alert.
Family on Chambers St.
THE SECOND TOWER COLLAPSED!
Bodies leaping from 61 floors
The shrapnel rain
NYC is in shambles
Reports from the air suspended
The globe paralyzed
There might as well be war
Giant flame-throwers erupt from the towers
Half hour between collapses
The word here is Oh My God.
People trapped inside
Smoke tidal wave.
The skyline altered forever
Read another Sept. 11 poem, spoken during the recent Memorial Service, here.
by Olivia Drake •
|Tom Morgan, the Foss Professor of Physics, developed a laser lab in the basement of Exley Science Center. He uses a control panel to fire atoms and study quantum mechanics. His atom research is supported by a recent National Science Foundation award of $200,000.|
| In outer space, some protons and electrons can travel millions of years alone before colliding, forming super-excited exaggerated atoms. Tom Morgan, the Foss Professor of Physics, wants these atoms to come back down to earth.
For the past 20 years, Morgan, an atomic and molecular physicist, has experimented with these excited atoms known as Rydberg atoms.
With the help of Wesleyans Scientific Support Services, hes designed and created two accelerator collision systems in the basement of Exley Science Center. By shooting a laser beam at a series of regular atoms, he can create Rydberg atoms, which escalate the electrons orbit 10,000 times further than in a regular atom. These giant atoms, with elusive properties, are ideal to study to gain insight into the connection between quantum mechanics and classical physics.
What Ive always been interested in is what I learn about an atom or molecule on a fundamental level, Morgan says from his second floor office in the Exley Science Center. I want to learn about their structure, their dynamics, and how the size of an atom affects its behavior.
Over the years the Research Corporation, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation have supported his research. On Aug. 15, the NSF awarded a grant of $200,000 for laser research equipment.
Morgan began his career at Wesleyan 33 years ago by studying properties of fast protons colliding with alkaline atoms magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium. In the mid-80s, he began investigating Rydberg atoms in hydrogen and helium. Recently, his research interests include molecular spectroscopy and dynamics of highly excited Rydberg states in strong electric fields and plasma environments. His most recent contributions include studying Rydberg argon dynamics and the first measurement of a scaled-energy recurrence spectrum for molecules.
Morgan says he is among about a hand-full of researchers in the world studying scaled-energy laser-excited atoms in strong electric fields and the first to apply the technique to hydrogen molecules.
When youre doing cutting-edge research, its not going to be easy, he says overlooking his self-designed laser-accelerator control panel. Everything has to be perfect to get the right conditions and results. Doing this type of work requires not only brains, but a lot of patience and good hands.
Lutz Huwel, chair of the Physics Department and professor of physics, says Morgan’s positive and constructive attitude in the classroom stands out just as much as his love for physics.
“Tom loves physics of all kind above all the Rydberg atoms and molecules he and his dedicated group of students are investigating in his lab,” Huwel says. “He is always on the lookout for interesting things to do and to talk about. He has a knack for getting students excited about physics.”
In October, one of Morgan’s undergraduate students, Jack DiSciacca ’07, will be presenting his research results at a national laser science conference in Rochester, N.Y. DiSciacca is a Goldwater Scholar for the academic year 06-07 and is writing his senior honors thesis on Rydberg hydrogen molecules.
Morgan, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., says his interest in physics came about in high school, when his algebra teacher said he had quite the ability in math.
I perked up at this, because this person thought I was actually good at something. That was my defining moment. It gave me the confidence to pursue math, and later physics, he says.
He studied math and the sciences at Carroll College in Helena, Mont. and Montana State University, Bozeman and received his Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. His thesis covered the collisional formation and destruction properties of excited hydrogen molecules.
In 1973, after two years at Queens University of Belfast, N. Ireland, Morgan came to Wesleyan, and began teaching general physics classes, more advanced classes for majors and graduate level courses. Morgan has published more than 85 articles in leading physics journals. Hes overseen dozens of students pursuing Ph.D degrees and senior honors theses, who often report their findings at national conferences and publish in scientific journals.
Morgan, who also is Wesleyans Academic Secretary, served as the Chairman of the Physics Department for five years, and the Dean of the Sciences and Mathematics for three years. He has held several visiting research appointments at other universities, including the University of Paris, France, the University of Colorado, Boulder, the University of Mexico, Mexico City and at Dublin City University, Ireland, where as a Fulbright Senior Scholar he established a physics undergraduate student exchange program with Wesleyan.
Wesleyan was great when I arrived here, and its great now, Morgan says. The teaching and research environment is wonderful and my colleagues are superb, but what I really love about Wesleyan is the students. It is the bright students in the classroom and in my lab that have kept me here all these years.
He is presently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he is collaborating on research programs devoted to plasma physics. Hes also a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Hes also a four-time marathon runner, a big New York Yankees fan, and a singer/musician for an Irish Celtic band.
Morgan is one of three in his family to work at Wesleyan. His wife, Janet, retired in 2003 from Information Technology Services, and his son, Brent Morgan, is an instructional media specialist for ITS and the Center for the Arts. But after more than three decades here, Tom has no plans to leave Wesleyan just yet.
No, I cant even think about (retirement), he says, turning the knobs on his laser lab control panel. I am having too much fun.”
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
A team of staff members is updating Wesleyan’s emergency response plan, which describes protocols for maintaining personal safety and the continuity of operations in the event of a crisis.
Led by Director of Physical Plant Cliff Ashton, the Business Continuity Planning Committee is updating a plan that was implemented in 2002. The plan covers hurricanes and other natural disasters, as well as such manmade crises as power outages and chemical spills. The committee is exploring responses to more recent threatssuch as the possibility of a pandemic contagion. It also is reviewing the plan for consistency with protocols established in the National Incident Management System created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The committee, which began its work last spring, will recommend a revised plan to the senior administration in the fall.
Questions and comments may be directed to Cliff Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|By Justin Harmon, vice president for Public Affairs and director of University Communications|