|University Relations created WesLink for faculty, staff, students and alumni to post events.|
| On a single site, Wesleyan alumni can market their businesses, faculty can promote their newly-released books, students can seek volunteers for their community service projects, and much more.
WesLink, a Web site launched Feb. 16 by the Office of University Relations, enables all alumni, faculty, staff and students to post non-Wesleyan sponsored events, announcements, activities, and services to the greater Wesleyan community.
We are always looking for opportunities to engage alumni with the university and with each other, and WesLink helps to bridge that engagement, while at the same time showcasing some of the extraordinary talents of the greater Wesleyan community, explains Jennifer Jurgen, senior associate director of Regional Programs and Networks.
WesLink, https://weslink.wesleyan.edu/ is reserved for all members of the Wesleyan community. Users can post events occurring on or off campus. These events may be theater, music, comedy, literary, athletic or community-service related.
WesLink offers a dozen regional sections where alumni living in these areas can post their own local events. These sections include the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC, and Connecticut.
In addition, the site features sections on Real Estate and Housing, Wesleyan Authors, Reunion & Commencement Weekend 2007; Business Marketing and an Everything Else category.
The site is maintained by University Relations and Information Technology Services staff. The site mirrors the Wesleyan Classifieds, which was established in 2005.
In the process of working with our regional club programming, we often hear from alumni who want to promote their theater events, concerts, comedy shows, art exhibits, etc, Jurgen says. Since the timing doesn’t always allow us to work these alumni-sponsored events into our club event calendars, we wanted to create a forum where they could still get their information out to the greater Wesleyan community.
Wesleyans online newsletter, The Wesleyan Connection, and online magazine, The Wesleyan Extra, also receive dozens of e-mails each month from the campus community eager to announce upcoming events or business endeavors. WesLink will provide a venue for people to post these announcements if they are unable to be published in one of these publications.
WesLink was an instant success with alumni, who contributed more than two dozen postings in the sites first week of being active.
Heidi Mastrogiovanni ’79 took advantage of the Los Angeles Events section by posting an animal rescue volunteer opportunity. In the ad, she mentions she is a board member of volunteer-operated Forgotten Animals of Los Angeles. Elizabeth Ehrlich ’04 posted an announcement of her business, Snuggle Up, in the Business and Marketing section of WesLink. In her posting, she mentions she is a stay-at-home mom selling personalized towels, hand-dyed clothing, fleece blankets and more for babies and kids.
She sells baby clothes with watermelons painted on them. They are too cute. I had to send the link to three of my friends, Jurgen says.
While the public may view the postings, only Wesleyan alumni, students, faculty, and staff have the ability to post items to WesLink. The site requires a Wesleyan username and password to log into the system. Users are allowed to upload one photo with each posting.
Items posted to the system automatically expire after 30 days, however users will be sent an email a week prior to the expiration date, which will offer the option to extend the posting for an additional month.
WesLink administrators reserve the right to edit or remove postings with inappropriate content.
For more information, to obtain a lost username or password, or to make a suggestion on the new system, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|
Campus News & Events
by Olivia Drake •
| Bill Herbst, John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy and chair of the Astronomy Department, has received a $330,990 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will benefit Wesleyan and the seven other elite liberal arts member institutions in the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC).
Along with Wesleyan, the other KNAC institutions covered by the funding are Colgate University, Haverford College, Middlebury College, Swarthmore College Vassar College, Wellesley College and Williams College. The funding allows the schools in the consortium to continue their summer research program for undergraduates, which has been in existence for 17 years.
“Since this program began almost two decades ago, we have provided approximately 175 summer research experiences for our students, Herbst, pictured right, says. The program has been very successful in engaging students with astronomical research and sparking long-term interest in science. In fact, nearly half of these students have gone on to graduate school and most are pursuing science-oriented careers.
Herbst adds that, since the program was begun, nearly half of the KNAC students have been female.
Were also seeking to include more students from underrepresented minorities, and from schools in the northeast where participation in astronomy research is not possible,” he says.
The 10-week summer research program sponsored by KNAC and the NSF grant provides opportunities for 12 students to work at a KNAC institution. However, to promote educational diversity, students from consortium schools cannot do research at their own institutions during the 10-week program. The program also reserves two to four spaces each year for students from institutions outside the consortium.
The idea is to provide more real research opportunities to students and expand their astronomy education at all levels while also increasing collegial interactions among faculty and students, Herbst says.
In the fall, all the KNAC faculty, mentors and participating students, including those who have been accepted to the program but have not yet begun research, are invited to a Student Symposium. KNAC-supported students from the summer give a 10-minute presentation on their research. There are also presentations by invited speakers, a poster session and a publication of the proceedings, which are distributed throughout the astronomical community.
Were very excited to receive this grant, which is vital to KNAC, Herbst says. KNAC has evolved into a great model for other small college astronomy departments of how a regional consortium can be created and managed to successfully address the issues of size and limited resources.
|By David Pesci, director of Media Relations. Photo by Bill Burkhart.|
by Olivia Drake •
| A research grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation will allow a Wesleyan faculty member to pursue her research on Jews and Christians in pre-modern Poland.
Magdalena Teter, assistant professor of history, received the Guggenheim award in March. The foundation makes grants in the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence, aggression, and dominance. Awards range between $15,000 and $30,000.
Teter, pictured at right, was one of eight recipients of the award. She will research the close social interaction between Jews and Christians; the role of lay and religious instigators in exploiting religious sentiments; position of the accused Jews in the community; local economic dynamics; and, the role of gender. She will publish her findings in a tentatively titled book, An Anatomy of Sectarian Violence: Jews and Christians in Pre-Modern Poland.
The Guggenheim grant will allow Teter to travel to Rome and Poland to conduct archival research. She plans to work in the General Archives of the Carmelite Order in Rome, the Roman Archive of Society of Jesus, the Secret Vatican Archives, and the Polish Archdiocesan archives in Poznan, Cracow, as well as a number of state archives.
This research will be completed throughout the summer and again, for a few weeks during the fall or winter.
In today’s world plagued with sectarian violence, roots of such violence have aroused a widespread interest, Teter says. I want to know what makes neighbors rise against neighbors? What’s the role of authorities in incitement or quelling of violence? And who benefits from it? These questions are not limited to modern times but are also pertinent to pre-modern societies, in which religion was crucial in shaping social order.
Teters project examines questions of social and religious violence and aggression between the two religious groups by looking at specifically religiously motivated violence aimed at asserting religious dominance of one group over the other.
Teter will publish her findings in a book titled An Anatomy of Sectarian Violence: Jews and Christians in Pre-modern Poland.
At Wesleyan, Teter has taught classes on Jewish history, Jews among Christians and Muslims, early modern Europe, East European Jewish experiences and senior thesis. In 2000, she received her Ph.D from Columbia University with a dissertation titled, Jews in the Legislation and the Teachings of the Catholic Church in Poland (1648-1772).
As a Guggenheim recipient, Teter is required to submit a written report within six months of the end of the grant period. The report includes a discussion of the scientific and scholarly accomplishments achieved under the grant.
For more information on the Guggenheim Foundation go to: www.hfg.org.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
|Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will speak April 18 on campus.|
| Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will deliver a keynote address on Connecticuts Role in the Fight Against Global Warming at Wesleyan Universitys Earth Day celebration at 8 p.m. April 18 in Wesleyans Memorial Chapel.
The event is free and open to the public. A reception will be held afterward in the adjoining Zelnick Pavilion.
The presentation is being sponsored by The Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Certificate Program.
For more information, contact Valerie Marinelli at 860-685-3733 or email@example.com.
by Olivia Drake •
|Wesleyan will keep its Internet services private.|
| Wesleyan will adjust its computer network access protocols in order to remain exempt from an order by the Federal Communications Commission that requires facilities-based Internet service providers to engineer their networks to assist law enforcement agencies in executing wiretap orders.
The changes, intended to ensure that the university’s network is viewed as “private” and thus exempt, include requiring log-ins for access to the campus wireless network, kiosks and library computers. To facilitate guest use, each Wesleyan user will be able to request as many as five guest accounts through the electronic portfolio; each guest account will remain active for three days. ITS expects to have these changes implemented in May.
The 2005 FCC order extends the terms of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to facilities-based Internet service providers. CALEA is a federal law that requires providers of commercial voice services to engineer their networks in such a way as to assist law enforcement agencies in executing wiretap orders. Only private networks are exempt from the FCC order. Analyses by EDUCAUSE and the American Council on Education support the use of two criteria in determining whether a college or university can hold itself exempt: it may not own the hardware that connects its network to the Internet, and it must authenticate all users who access the Internet from its network. The hardware Wesleyan uses is owned by the Connecticut Education Network.
The right of law enforcement agencies to legally intercept all forms of communication, including the Internet, and use the results as evidence in a court of law has existed since 1968. CALEA does not change the legal requirements to wiretap. CALEA requires providers to engineer their systems to make wiretapping easier and less expensive for law enforcement; in doing so, it places what can be a significant financial burden on the provider.
|By Justin Harmon, vice president for Public Affairs|
by Olivia Drake •
| This summer, Gaël Hagen 09 will be doing something a little different than hes used to. Specifically, hell have the opportunity to meet with such high-level government officials including Supreme Court Justices, the Secretary of State, U.S. Senators, U.S. Congressmen, as well as business leaders.
Hagen, pictured at right, is a newly-selected scholar to the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, a leadership program centered at Georgetown University. Each year, 24 minority male students are selected to participate in the two-summer program in Washington, D.C. During the first summer, students take courses on campus while interning in the D.C. Metro area. During the second summer, students work full-time and act as mentors to the next group of 24 newly-admitted candidates.
I feel very fortunate to have been chosen among a group of individuals who all are highly talented and have managed to do astonishing things with their lives thus far, Hagan says. It will be both a great honor and a privilege to be a part of the institute and enjoy all it has to offer.
A stipend is provided to cover the cost of transportation and food. Students live in university housing provided by the institute during the program.
Hagen, who is studying in the College of Social Studies, became interested in law during high school. Since then, hes tried to immerse himself in as many law-related activities as possible; the institute being one of them. The institute will provide him with not only a legal internship in Americas political powerbase, but offer encouragement within a valuable academic and social environment.
What personally draws me to law is the way in which it demands a person to perform and analyze in a constantly changing environment, Hagen says. The practice of law, at least as I have witnessed it, is something that is never a stagnant ordeal. New cases provide new hurdles, new personalities, and new problems. It seems as though it requires a person who likes a consistent challenge.
A resident of Centennial, Colorado, Hagen came to Wesleyan, seeking a university that offered a new environment. He favored the College of Social Studies for its closeness and intensity. He also joined the crew team as a freshman, looking for a different kind of intensity.
Certainly the culture here is much different than in Colorado, or most places west of here, for that matter; so it was a compelling move, Hagen says. For some, being involved in a two-season sport like crew and studying in the College of Social Studies is an all but desirable combo; but for me, it means that every day I get to do the two things that I love most about being at Wesleyan.
A recipient of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Academic Scholarship for his academic achievements, Gaël was also named Student of the Year by the Colorado Association of Black Engineers and Scientists in 2005 for his distinguished leadership skills. Last summer, Gaël interned at Holland and Hart LLP, where his proficiency in French aided the firm immeasurably.
Hagan says his background and cultural experience provides him with a toolset and a perspective with which he can employ as a unique advantage, not only at Wesleyan but at the institute.
The experience of the American minority is one that is highly important for the country as a whole given its melting pot origins, and I think that our voice is one that is, and rightfully should be represented and respected in the nations judicial activities, he says.
On the other hand, Hagan winces at sloppy references to cultural or ethnic groups as just the minorities and people of color. He believes it places too much emphasis on a separation of cultures, which only discourages unity and distances people from each other.
I do not consider myself to be a minority or a person of color before I consider myself a young person, a student, a person with career goals, an athlete; no different from any other person who might fit those categories, he says. Yes, I happen to have a multi-ethnic background which, if I were to explain in depth, would span four continents; but I dont feel that those are my primary personal attributes and encourage people in both camps the minority and the majority — to understand not how their cultural experiences differ them from others, but how their cultural experiences connect them to others.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor|
by Olivia Drake •
| Wesleyans 175th Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Sunday, May 27, and will complete the 2007 Reunion-Commencement Celebration that will run from May 24-27. During that ceremony, the following people will receive honorary degrees:
Jim Lehrer, P 85, who will also give the principal address at commencement, will be awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree during the ceremony. Lehrer has anchored The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service since 1995. Lehrer joined PBS in 1972, teaming with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to cover the Senate Watergate hearings. They began in 1975 what became The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and, in 1983, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the first 60-minute evening news program on television. Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including a presidential National Humanities Medal in 1999. In the last five presidential elections, he moderated 10 of the nationally televised candidate debates. Lehrer has written 15 novels, his latest, The Franklin Affair, published in April 2005. He also has written two memoirs and three plays. His daughter, Lucy Lehrer, is a member of Wesleyan’s Class of 1985.
Nobutaka Machimura, former Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, currently serves as a member of the Japanese House of Representatives representing Hokkaido 5th District. As foreign minister of Japan from September 2004 to October 2005, his efforts were directed toward signing a treaty with Russia resolving a border dispute and toward investigating the whereabouts of Japanese hostages who had been kidnapped by North Korean agents during the 1970s and 1980s. Educated in economics at the University of Tokyo, he attended Wesleyan for one year as an exchange student. His career in public service has included appointments to the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the National Land Agency, the Japan External Trade Organization, and the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy (from which he retired as director of the planning division for petroleum). He also served as minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture and director of the National Defense Division of the Policy Research Council. He has been elected to seven terms in the Japanese House of Representatives.
Alan M. Dachs 70, P98 serves as chair of the University’s Development Committee. He served 14 years as a member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and eight years as Board chair. In that role, he led in fund-raising for the Wesleyan Campaign, as well as in strategic planning and in strengthening the University’s finances, operations and reputation for academic excellence. He was elected trustee emeritus and chair emeritus in 2005 upon his retirement from the Board. Dachs is president and CEO of Fremont Group, a private investment company based in San Francisco.
Rosa DeLauro was elected to Congress from Connecticut’s Third District in 1990 and is currently serving her ninth term. She sits on the House Appropriations and Budget committees. In addition to her work on the full committees, Representative DeLauro chairs the House Appropriations Subcomittee on Agriculture, which is responsible for funding the Food and Drug Administration and the Food Stamps program. She also sits on the Labor – Health, Human Services – Education and Commerce – Justice – Science Subcommittees. DeLauro has built a reputation as an advocate for economic development, healthcare and education. She has been a strong proponent for student aid, advocating such measures as increasing the size of Pell Grants in order to restore their purchasing power, allowing the consolidation of student loan debt and cutting interest rates to make student borrowing more affordable, and defending against cuts in programs that help to increase students’ access to college , such as Upward Bound and TRIO. A frequent visitor to Wesleyan’s campus and to Middletown, DeLauro has shown herself eager to meet and talk with faculty and students. She has strongly supported Wesleyan’s efforts to establish and fund the Green Street Arts Center. Since she first came to Congress in 1990, DeLauro has put every pay raise she has received toward a scholarship program she founded in memory of her late father. To date, her scholarships have helped 420 students further their educations.
Jewel Plummer Cobb is renowned as a teacher, a research biologist, and an advocate for the participation of women and members of minority groups in the sciences. A graduate of Talladega College, she earned her Ph.D. in cell physiology at New York University. Her scientific research has centered on factors influencing the growth, morphology, and genetic expression of normal and neoplastic pigment cells and on the changes produced in vitro by chemotherapeutic agents, by hormones, and by other agents known to disrupt cell division. She taught at NYU, Sarah Lawrence College, and Connecticut College before becoming dean of the college at Connecticut, then dean of Douglass College, and finally president of California State University at Fullerton. Currently president and professor of biological science, emerita, at Fullerton, Dr. Cobb continues to be active in promoting science education programs for minority youth and in promoting the greater representation of women in science. In 1993 the National Science Foundation honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to the Advancement of Women and Underrepresented Minorities.
by Olivia Drake •
| A new WESU 88.1 FM radio program is gaining a nation-wide audience with its emphasis on indigenous politics.
The show, titled ”Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond,” was launched Feb. 5 from the Wesleyan-based radio station. J. Kehaulani Kauanui, assistant professor of anthropology and American Studies, is the producer and host of the program.
The multi-media program airs shortly after 5p.m., right after the Jive at Five community calendar, and runs until 6 p.m. each Monday with a live streaming Web cast on www.wesufm.org. ”Indigenous Politics” features interviews with political leaders, community activists, filmmakers and artists, and cultural authorities, as well as academic scholars whose work addresses cultural politics and sovereignty struggles.
Kauanui, a Native Hawaiian, says most guest speakers are indigenous or local to Connecticut and the New England area. She opens her show saying We are here in Middletown, Connecticut, also known as Mattabessettthe traditional homeland of the Wangunk tribe.
I really want to privilege the voices of Native New England, Kauanui says. The show is also Native New England and beyond but, first and foremost, I think we need to educate local listeners of the struggle going on right here.
Kauanuis first show featured an in-depth interview with Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee and a poet, writer and policy advocate who has helped Native peoples recover more than 1 million acres of land. The second program featured Richard Velky, leader of the Kent, Conn.-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation since 1987, who discussed his tribes legal battle in response to the Bureau of Indian Affairs reversal of their federal acknowledgement after state officials intervened. The follow week, Kauanui interviewed Randolph Lewis, assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who discussed his new book, Alanis Obomsawin: The Vision of a Native Filmmaker.
Kauanui hopes to include future shows on Hawaiians and the politics of federal recognition; Native feminisms; same-sex marriage bans in Indian country; indigenous environmental issues; U.S. militarism and indigenous peoples’ service; domestic violence and restorative justice; indigenous language revitalization; sports teams and Indian mascots; the U.S. presidential election and American Indian voters; indigenous peoples and the prison industrial complex; contemporary land rights; Indian gaming and the politics of casinos; and indigenous youth movements.
Ben Michael, WESU 88.1 general manager, expects Kauanuis new show to be a national success. Already, WESU transmits to sections of Connecticut, Massachusetts and the Long Island area of New York. But, since the scope of Kauanuis program is regional and national, Michael hopes to eventually syndicate it nationally through the stations affiliation with Pacifica Radio. This would create a potential audience of millions of people.
WESU has a mission to serve as a resource for underserved communities by providing access the radio airwaves for mass communication. Kehaulanis program accomplishes this in an educational and professional format, Michael says. Its very fulfilling to see WESU being utilized in such positive and effective manner. This is why community radio exists and is such an asset.
Kauanui was tapped for the radio program by Ken Weiner, the station’s public affairs director. Like any other student or community volunteer wanting to be an on-air host, she took a six-week training course. In addition, she completed two internships and community service hours before taking a practical and written exam on the station.
Kauanui said she is motivated by several key issues affecting nations across the country, most notably the fact that many tribes do not have ”basic” federal recognition. Historically, she explains, recognition differed between state-recognized tribes from the original 13 colonies and the ‘treaty tribes’ in the Western states.
More recently, the backlash against casino development has been instrumental in the opposition to federal recognition. The conflation of federal recognition with the specter of Indian casinos indicates that most non-tribal residents in these states refuse to uncouple questions of tribal economic development – a question of a nation’s political economy – and the social justice issue of honoring the U.S. trust doctrine,” Kauanui says.
The 21st century’s ”most notorious cases” involve two Connecticut tribes – the Eastern Pequot and Schaghticoke tribal nations, Kauanui says.
In addition to hosting the radio show, Kauanui is teaching two courses this year, US in the Pacific Islands, and Methodologies in Ethnic Studies, and is continuing her research on white settler colonialism and indigenous self-determination. She is currently co-editing a book with Andrea Smith, Native Feminisms: Without Apology, and embarking on two new book monograph projects: one on Native Hawaiian feminist decolonization and the other on Hawaiians in New England in the early 19th century. Her first book, Long Division: Genealogy, Hawaiian Blood Quantum, and the Question of Sovereignty is forthcoming from Duke University Press in 2007.
Her radio program has already had mentions in Hawaiian Independence Blog, Arizona Native Net, and Indian Country Today, an American Indian news source based in Canastota, N.Y.
Kalia Lydgate 07, Raffi Stern 08, Liz Love `07, and Amelia Dean Walker 07 help Kauanui produce the show.
|By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor. Segments of this article were adapted from a Feb. 19 article titled Native Radio/Web Program Launched by Indian Country Today writer Gale Courey Toensing.|
by Olivia Drake •
| Wesleyan will increase tuition for the 2007-2008 academic year and simplify its fee structure. The new comprehensive fee structure will combine charges that are now billed separately as room and board.
Tuition will increase by 5.5 percent to $36,536 for all students in 2007-2008. For freshman and sophomores, the residential comprehensive fee will be $10,130. For juniors and seniors, the fee will be $11,512. The residential comprehensive fees are based on the current room and board charges experienced by students at these class levels, plus a fee increase of $590 and $550, respectively.
The increases in student charges are attributable to growth in salary and benefits costs, as well as energy and other costs that outpace general inflation. In addition, students voted this fall to increase the Wesleyan Student Assemblys student activities budget, yielding an increase in the student activity fee to $270. Thus, next year student charges will total $46,936 for first-year students and sophomores and $48,318 for juniors and seniors.
The comprehensive residential fee will make it easier for families to budget by eliminating the variability in room and board rates. It will also enable the university to simplify recordkeeping and to increase grant aid to ensure that financial aid packages take full account of student expenses.
The higher residential comprehensive fee for juniors and seniors reflects the higher cost of the options available to them. Juniors and seniors have access to apartments and houses in addition to residence hall rooms. The university previously has charged a differential room rate according to the accommodation the student chose. In addition, juniors and seniors have greater flexibility in dining options, including the opportunity, in many cases, to cook for themselves. Students have reported to the administration that they value this progressive independence.
Wesleyan remains committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every student. Simplifying the fee structure will enable the Financial Aid Office to ensure that students’ full need is met whatever their housing choices. Wesleyan will increase scholarship grants by $850,000 to cover this change.
|By David Pesci, director of Media Relations|
by Olivia Drake •
|An image from: Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore” by Jacob Bricca ’93, adjunct assistant professor of film studies. The film was screened March 6 at the Center for Film Studies.|
| Though he loves to read, Jacob Bricca 93 admits that he was never a book person, one of those individuals who have an affinity for books and bookstores. But when he heard that an independent bookstore called Printers, Inc., in his hometown of Palo Alto, California, was closing, he was immediately saddened.
When I was growing up, even if you werent into books, that was the place to hang out, Bricca, an adjunct assistant professor of film studies, says. Everyone went there from singles to kids to parents with small children and senior citizens. It was a community place that had a reputation of being cool and welcoming.
And yet they were closing.
Bricca, pictured at left, a filmmaker and editor who was living in Los Angeles at the time, was curious: what would cause an iconic place so welcomed by the local community to suddenly shut its doors? Camera in hand, he drove up the coast to see if he could find out.
That was in 1999, and the trip became the beginning of what would become a six-year project that culminated in a multi-award-winning documentary film Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore. The film was shown March 6 in the Goldsmith Family Cinema at the Center for Film Studies. Admission is free. After the screening Bricca was joined by Stu Hecht, owner, The Book Vault in Wallingford, Conn., and Thomas Talbot 91, manager, Crawford-Doyle Booksellers in New York City. The event was sponsored by The Friends of the Wesleyan Library, www.wesleyan.edu/library/friends/, and The Center for Film Studies.
Indies Under Fire follows the fate of a handful of small independent bookstores located on the peninsula south of San Francisco Bay as they confront the pressures of large chain bookstores such as Borders and the explosion of Internet vendors such as Amazon.com.
The documentary is an engaging 56-minute production that draws in viewers as it explores the personalities and complexities beneath the surface issue of indie versus big box. Key players on both sides offer frank assessments of the marketplace as well as their opinions on their adversaries. There are face-to-face encounters between opponents with emotions coming to the fore on more than one occasion.
Bricca, who has edited such films as Lost in LaMancha, Jimmy Scott If You Only Knew, and Tell Me Do You Miss Me, had to handle several jobs on Indies Under Fire, in part because the way it came together.
I was working in L.A. as an editor for most of the process, so I didnt have time to chase financing or go after grants, Bricca says. But I kept at this because I thought it was a dynamic issue that was being played out all over the country. It became a real labor of love. As a result I directed it, edited it and acted as co-producer.
Still, any film is a collaboration, and for this one, Bricca was able to call on some friends and family to help turn it into a reality. Among them: Jonathan Crosby, a long-time friend, co-produced the film. Josh Ferrar 93, composed some of the films music and his guitar playing is featured on the soundtrack. Briccas wife, Lisa Molomot, visiting assistant professor of film studies, served as editorial consultant. His brother David created the films Web site, www.indiesunderfire.com, and his sister-in-law Morgan did the painting of Printers, Inc. that appears at the beginning of the film.
Released late in 2006, the movie won the award for Best New England Film at the Newberry Port Documentary Film Festival, was screened at the Wine Country Film Festival in Sonoma, and will be shown at the Santa Cruz film festival in April. It also recently made its PBS premier on KTEH in San Jose.
This isnt a monolithic film by any means, Bricca says. I tried to keep it balanced in its approach, but it does seem to generate some strong emotions with independent booksellers. Its nice to get some recognition, but I really enjoy the fact that people are finally getting to see it. It was a lot of work. Its nice to know its resonating with audiences.
|By David Pesci, director of Media Relations|
by Olivia Drake •
| A new Wesleyan program will facilitate the opportunity for one persons trash to become another persons treasure.
This month, the Wesleyan freecycle program is launching its own electronic mailing list. Staff, faculty and students are eligible to join the freecycle program.
Launched last May by the Wesleyan Recycling Committee with the appearance of the PODS, the Wesleyan freecycle program, encourages students, staff and faculty to exchange unwanted items, rather than throwing them away. Wesleyans program is part of the national freecycle movement where people give away things that they don’t need, or ask for items they do need.
Anyone who joins the freecycle program will have the opportunity to exchange items that are still usable, says William Nelligan, associate director of environmental health and safety and the Wesleyan recycling coordinator. These items will be free and recycled, hence the name freecycle. If a student has a working TV in her dorm room that she no longer wants, she can post it on the list. Everyone on the list will get this posting, and if someone is interested, they can contact the student and make arrangements to pick it up. The best part is that the TV is going to be reused and not thrown away.
Leslie Starr, assistant director and marketing manager at Wesleyan University Press, has previously donated unused reams of large-size paper from the Presss office to another department that used them. Shes also asked for plastic filing tabs and within a week, two departments with extras donated them to her. This email list will make exchanges like this easier.
It would be wonderful if everyone on the campus joined the new Wesleyan freecycle list, to exchange excess or needed office supplies, furniture and other work-related stuff, Starr says. We all have office supplies in the back of our closets that were not using. Why not see if another department can use them?
Personal items can also be exchanged, including clothes, art supplies, cameras, text books, gardening supplies, kitchenware, curtains, even pets. All of them are eligible to be placed on the freecycle list.
We all come together to the same place everyday, so it would be easy to exchange items, Nelligan says. Freecycle can be a nice community builder.
To join the Wesleyan Freecycle list, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with a blank subject and one line in the body: join freecycle. Lyris will reply back with a confirmation e-mail link needed to confirm the membership. Once confirmed, users can send messages through email@example.com and will receive all messages sent to that list.
Basically, you can’t play Wesleyan Freecycle if you don’t sign up for the list, Starr says. And the list will work much better if lots of folks sign up!
by Olivia Drake •
| Nelson Polsby, renowned political scientist, died on February 6 at the age of 72. Polsby was a member of the Wesleyan faculty from 1961 through 1968, rising meteorically from the rank of assistant professor to full professor.
According to Karl Scheibe, professor emeritus of psychology, Nelson left an indelible mark on Wesleyan, even though he was only here for seven years.
Polsby was a prolific author of books and articles and editor of The American Political Science Review, the premier political science journal. Perspectives on Politics noted that Polsby ranked in the top ten of most frequently cited political scientists among those entering the field when he did.
In the early 1980s, Polsby was a visiting professor at the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., a private think tank that specialized in issues of defense policy and disarmament. Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet was the Roosevelt Centers first president and he and Polsby remained life-long friends.
Nelson Polsby is survived by his wife, Linda, his children, and grandchildren.
|Photo by Jane Scherr, University of California, Berkley.|