Campus News & Events

Residential Life Staff Honored by National Organization


Residential Life student-staff members for the Butterfields and 156 High Street and 200 Church Street are among those trained by Residential Life’s award-winning Social Justice Training Program.
Posted 11/17/06
A program developed by Wesleyan’s Residential Life received the Program of the Year Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), based in Washington DC.

The Social Justice Training Program, spearheaded by Residential Life’s area coordinators, teaches and trains about 100 student-staff members on the topics of social justice, the cycle of socialization, dominant and subordinate group dynamics, privilege and power and the action continuum. It also stresses liberation from systems of oppression, through exploring specific forms of oppression, including racism, sexuality and gender systems of oppression, class and religious oppression.

Fran Koerting, director of Residential Life, nominated the program for the NASPA award.

“By participating in the program, our student-staff is able to apply the knowledge they learned in creating inclusive communities within their residential area, how to interrupt and confront instances of oppression and how to respond to hate and bias incidents,” Koerting says.

The Program of the Year award is awarded to programs that have been implemented within the three previous years. Programs were evaluated on innovation and creativity, contribution to student development and/or professional development, contribution to the home institution and timeliness of topic.

Program planning began in June 2006, with input from student leaders and colleagues from other departments, as well as the Residential Life central staff and student staff members.

During the two-hour sessions held on five consecutive days during August training, students had the opportunity to listen, discuss and reflect as well as participate in various activities. In-services are being held throughout the year.

The trainers taught the student-leaders how to appreciate different cultures and lifestyles; understand how social justice relates to the job; how to feel comfortable facilitating conversations; being aware of social justice resources, and knowing the protocol for bias and hate incidents.

Not only did the program have a significant impact on the student staff, but it also affected the area coordinators who had developed it, Dawn Brown, Sharise Brown, Brandon Buehring, Eric Heng and Robin Hershkowitz.

“All five of us have had significant experience as professionals in Residential Life for at least three years, yet we found the experience of developing and collaborating as well as conducting the training contributed a new and exciting opportunity,” explains Hershkowitz, the area coordinator of Nicolson, Hewitt and Fauver Residence halls. “Not only were we excited that we were able to conduct these trainings with our students, but the experience contributed greatly to our personal and professional growth.”

The university is considering adapting the Residential Life Social Justice Training Program for use with faculty and staff.

“As for the Wesleyan community, social justice is one of the most important issues for students and staff alike,” Koerting says. “Instituting a year long focus, and providing student staff with the information and tools to address the issues with their residents, makes it possible to have a significant impact on the entire community.”

The area coordinators have also shared the program with their colleagues in the field through a session at the Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers New Professionals Program on Oct. 20. In addition, they will present a session on the program during the annual NASPA/Association of College Personnel Administrators conference in Florida in March.

The NASPA, headquartered in Washington DC, is the leading voice for student affairs administration, policy and practice and affirms the commitment of student affairs to educating the whole student and integrating student life and learning. With over 11,000 members at 1,200 campuses, and representing 29 countries, NASPA members are committed to serving college students by embracing the core values of diversity, learning, integrity, service, fellowship and the spirit of inquiry.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

United Way Campaign Begins With Hope to Raise $143,000 from Wesleyan


Wesleyan is raising awareness and support for the Middlesex United Way.
Posted 11/17/06
Each fall, Wesleyan employees have an opportunity to demonstrate an enduring connection with the greater Middletown community by simply making a donation to the Middlesex United Way.

By giving to the Middlesex United Way, Wesleyan employees are insuring that the local community has greater access to essential health and human services. Contributions to United Way have translated into disaster relief, support services for the homebound and disabled, emergency food and shelter and after school programs.

Middlesex United Way is working to fight the root causes of chronic human service needs including substance abuse, mental health and housing.

“In my tenure as president, I have encouraged a deepening of Wesleyan’s connection to the community with the belief that what is good for Middletown is good for Wesleyan,” says Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet. “Our gifts help address several needs.”

Wesleyan has achieved an outstanding record in past campaigns. Wesleyan is one of the top three institutions in the Middlesex County United Way Campaign, and nationally ranks in the top four percent for contribution and participation among colleges and universities.

Wesleyan’s goal this year is to raise $143,000. Frank Kuan, director of community relations for the Center of Community Partnerships, and Pam Tatge, director of the Center for the Arts, are this year’s co-chairs.

“To achieve our goal, we need a community-wide effort,” explains Tatge. “We hope to encourage 75 people to become new givers this year, and if you have not participated in the past, please consider doing so.”

Although the average gift has increased to $288, the percentage of Wesleyan employees contributing to the campaign has slipped from more than 65 percent to less than 50 percent. Kuan and Tatge hope to reverse the downward trend in participation.

Employees can donate to the campaign in a lump sum or by payroll deduction.

For more information contact Frank Kuan at fkuan@welseyan.edu or Pam Tatge at ptatge@wesleyan.edu.

Economics Professors Take on Role of Editors for National Journal


Gil Skillman, professor of economics and Joyce Jacobsen, the Andrews Professor of Economics are the co-editors of the Eastern Economics Journal.
Posted 11/01/06
Two Wesleyan professors are devoted to making one of the country’s leading economic journals even better.

Joyce Jacobsen, the Andrews Professor of Economics and Gil Skillman, professor of economics, are the co-editors of the Eastern Economics Journal. Jacobsen and Skillman volunteered to assume editorship of thee publication in July 2005. They will complete their term in 2010.

“This is a rewarding opportunity as well as an important service to the profession,” Skillman says. “Helping authors turn a interesting but perhaps undeveloped ideas into solid contributions to the field can be very gratifying.”

The Eastern Economics Journal, established by the Eastern Economic Association in 1973, publishes papers written from every perspective, in all areas of economics. The journal is published four times a year and features between eight and 10 articles per issue.

The editors seek advice from their 16-member editorial board, three associate editors, and get production assistance from managing editor Bill Boyd. Boyd is Jacobsen’s spouse.

The journal considers manuscripts addressing a broad range of concerns including issues in economic methodology and philosophy as well as more standard contributions in economic theory and empirical economic analysis. The theoretical and empirical arguments in these papers are generally couched in formal mathematical terms, although submissions using less technical analytical methods are also accepted.

Labor productivity growth in Chile, the demand for recycling services, salary in major league baseball, the sexual division of labor with households and anti-discrimination programs in the job market are all topics discussed in the journal’s most recent issue.

“We are particularly interested in articles that have a neat idea that may be a little out of the mainstream of economics, that don’t fall neatly into a standard research category, and that other economists may find intriguing,” Jacobsen says. “For instance, an upcoming issue will feature two articles debating about whether or not the penny should be dropped from our currency system.”

As new editors, Skillman and Jacobsen have several goals in mind. Their immediate goal is to publish a backlog of accepted manuscripts that were on hold prior to their editorship. Once they are caught up, they hope to become more selective with their manuscript selections. They are presently publishing about 25 percent of all submitted articles. Increased selectivity would help to raise the publication’s national profile.

Jacobsen and Skillman also want to expand their subscription by finding a commercial printer than can offer advertising and publicity. Already, the association distributes the journal to 700 members and 300 libraries, nation-wide. They also want to expand the journal’s presence online.

“We believe that electronic publications are the wave of the future,” Skillman says. “Indeed, the journal already manages the editorial process online, as authors can submit their papers online, and referees file their reports online as well.”

In addition, Jacobsen and Skillman want to create special symposia issues, in which several articles tackle the same topic. “Agent-based” computer modeling of complex economic interactions is one potential focus area.

When manuscripts are submitted, Jacobsen is the first to see them. She divvies up the submissions between herself and Skillman.

“It’s fortunate Gil and I have varied specializations,” she says. “I handle the more empirical articles, and ones on feminist economics, and give Gil any manuscripts on micro theory, Marxist or institutional economics.”

The editors skim the papers to make sure they contain original work and do not have glaring errors of reasoning or methodology. If the paper passes this initial screening, they send the paper to two or three “referees” who are considered experts in that particular field of economics.

Within a three-month period, the referees offer their feedback. If positive, then Jacobsen and Skillman will most likely eventually accept the manuscript for publication, although they generally recommend that the author first makes revisions. The editing and revising process can take up to 12 months.

Once finalized, the manuscript goes into a queue and awaits publication space.

“We have a pretty steady stream of article submission and there’s always lots of reading to do, but we don’t mind,” says Skillman. “We get to learn a lot along the way.”

Wesleyan, which is credited on the journal, has been supportive of the editors’ efforts, giving them both financial resources for some of the journal’s overhead expenses and some course relief.

The Eastern Economic Journal is online at http://www.iona.edu/eea/publications/publication.htm.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan a Top Fulbright Scholar Producer


Wesleyan Fulbright Program Advisor Krishna Winston helps students apply for the Fulbright grants. Six students received the award this fall.
Posted 11/01/06
For the second year in a row, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Wesleyan as one of the “Top Producers of Fulbright Awards for U.S. Students.” The report was published in the Oct. 20 edition.

Under the “Bachelor’s Institutions” category, Wesleyan tied for 9th place with St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minn. and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. In 2006-07, Wesleyan had 23 Fulbright applicants, with six students receiving awards.

The students who were awarded Fulbrights are:

Cara Chebuske ’06 and Amie Kim ’04 are currently in South Korea, teaching English as a foreign language. Emily Garts, Kate McCrery and Rose Tisdall, all of the class of ’06, are in Germany teaching English. Elizabeth Langston ’05 is in France teaching English. Laura Goldblatt ’06 also received the French Government Teaching Assistantship but declined the award, and Roger Yang, M.D. ’99 was named an alternate; he had applied for a grant to study Chinese alternative medicine in Australia.

“Wesleyan can be proud of these results,” says Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, who has served as Fulbright Program Advisor since 1979.

In recent years, the number of applicants with whom she works has risen from an average of 12 to more than 20, thanks to the larger number of Wesleyan students participating in study-abroad programs and the internationalization of the curriculum.

“Opportunities for teaching English have increased dramatically, and now attract a good percentage of the applicants, eager to be on the giving end in the classroom instead of the receiving end,” Winston says.

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholar, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, teaching and work in the creative arts. The program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

This fall, the 1,200 American students who received Fulbright awards are conducting research, taking courses, or teaching English in 122 countries.

Winston works very closely with seniors, graduate students and alumni, helping them refine their projects and write and rewrite their proposals and personal statements.

“I enjoy my role as Fulbright Advisor because I come to know very able and interesting students from a wide range of disciplines, including graduate students, and because I am essentially giving them individual writing tutorials,” she says. “I learn a great deal from discussing the projects with the applicants, and they learn a great deal about how to present their ideas cogently and concisely.”

Winston recruits faculty members with international experience to serve on the Campus Fulbright Committee, which interviews all the applicants who are on campus and any alumni who live within traveling distance of Middletown. This fall, the members of the committee were Annemarie Arnold, Robert Conn, Alice Hadler and Catherine Ostrow.

“I am tremendously grateful to these colleagues who give up an afternoon and an evening to interview up to 20 students,” she says.

For more information on the Chronicle of Higher Education ranking and the full report, go to: http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=q24mrmr4fpl57kywxgkz2lwlp4sr6twy#top.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Global Warming Topic of Schumann Symposium


Posted 11/01/06
When it comes to global warming, where on earth are we going?

That is the question scholars hope to answer during the 3rd Annual Robert Schumann Environmental Studies Symposium titled: “Where on Earth Are We Going? Global Climate Change and Vulnerabilities: A Perspective for the Future.”

The event is open to the public and takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at Exley Science Center Room 150.

“Given the trend of global warming, we need to think about these issues and prepare for them and adapt,” says Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies and event coordinator. “

The symposium will begin with a welcome message by Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet and a perspective by Sally Smyth ’07.

Four internationally-recognized speakers will conduct presentations at the symposium and answer audience questions.

“The speakers will be addressing everything from food and energy to extreme weather to human health to global interactions,” Chernoff says. “Global warming affects not only the sea level but human health. Hopefully this will make a big difference to all of us and change how the way we act as a community.”

“Failed and Failing States: A Growing Threat to Social Stability and Economic Progress” will be presented by Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit, interdisciplinary research organization based in Washington, DC. Brown has authored or coauthored 50 books and is the recipient of many awards, including 23 honorary degrees, a MacArthur Fellowship, the 1987 United Nations’ Environment Prize and the Borgström Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, and has been appointed an honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“Healthy People 2100: Climate Change and Human Health” will be presented by Kristie Ebi, an independent consultant based in Alexandria, Va. Ebi is an epidemiologist who has worked in the field of global climate change for 10 years. Her research focuses on potential impacts of climate variability and change, including impacts associated with extreme events, thermal stress, food-borne diseases, and vector-borne diseases, and on the design of adaptation response options to reduce current and projected future negative impacts. Her scientific training includes a master’s degree in toxicology and a Ph.D. and MPH in epidemiology.

“Global Climate Change and Hurricanes” will be presented by Judith Curry, professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Curry received a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Chicago and currently serves on the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. She has published over 130 refereed journal articles. Curry is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. She is a recipient of the Henry Houghton Award from the American Meteorological Society.

“Apocalypse Now or Brave New World? Two Scenarios for Social and Cultural Responses to Global Warming” will be presented by Alaka Wali, curator and director at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Wali has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University. She is responsible for coordinating a range of programs designed to enhance interdisciplinary work at the museum, strengthening public programming on cultural issues and promoting efforts to link the museum closer to the Chicago community. She is the author of two books, several monographs and over 30 articles.

John Hall, from the Jonah Center for Earth and Art, will have concluding remarks.

Chernoff anticipates an audience of more than 400 people, including college and high school students who are bussed in for the event. Audio tapes from last year’s symposium were donated to five area high schools and implemented into their curriculum.

“We invite Wesleyan students, faculty and staff, but we encourage the local community to come and ask questions and meet the speakers,” Chernoff says. “This is an opportunity to meet these scholars and learn from them first hand.”

“Where on Earth Are We Going” is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Fund for Wesleyan’s Environmental Studies Program. Funding for the Environmental Studies Program also provides funding for the Long Lane Farm Annual Pumpkin Festival run by Wesleyan students and the Earth Day keynote address at Wesleyan.

For more information on the symposium contact Valerie Marinelli, administrative assistant, at 860-685-3733. More information and video clips from former symposiums, go to: http://www.wesleyan.edu/escp/.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Former Wesleyan Trainer Dies


Posted 11/01/06
Walter Grockowski, a former Wesleyan trainer and trainer for the 1972 Winter Olympics, has died at the age of 86.

Grockowski died Oct. 25 at High View Health Care Center in Middletown.

He began his 39-year tenure in the Athletic Department in 1947. He became the school’s head athletic trainer in 1973, a position he held until retirement in 1986.

His involvement in athletics went beyond the university. For many years, Grockowski helped with athletic events around Middletown, where he made his home, especially events organized by the city parks department and the American Legion.

A native of Pittsfield, Mass., Grockowski moved to Middletown when he was 6. He graduated from Middletown High School and the New Haven College of Physical Therapy. Between high school and college, he spent two years in the Navy as a pharmacist’s mate.

Grockowski was one of four athletic trainers for the U.S. Olympic Team during the 1972 Winter Olympics, in Sapporo, Japan. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 1984, and the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

New Method Gives Insight into Plant Characteristics During Global Warm-Up, Says Professor


Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, presented his research on leaf economics at the Geological Society of America in October.
Posted 1./1./6/font>
Many scientists have long believed a major clue to rapid global warming is locked in leaf fossils that are millions of years old. Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, has just found a key.

Royer and colleagues have generated a reliable method to ascertain from fossils from the Eocene period, 34 million to 56 million years ago, the leaf mass per unit of leaf area, an important trait that is related to “leaf economics.” His findings were highlighted at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), which was held in Philadelphia from October 22-25.

“The early Eocene was a period when the planet experienced intense warming,” Royer says. “Quantify the leaf economics of that time allows us to see how plants and the environment around them responded to a warm-up and compare that with what’s happening now.”

Which brings us back to leaf economics, or more precisely, what kind of leaves the plants had and how quickly they grew. In essence, plants tend to be relatively quick or slow growing. Quick-growing plants tend to have a low leaf mass per area. They are typified by thinner leaves, a higher photosynthetic rate and use more nutrients. They also tend to have faster lifecycles and be more susceptible to insect damage. Plants with a high leaf mass per area tend to be slow-growing and have thicker leaves that are more resistant to insect damage. They also display slower photosynthetic rates, use fewer nutrients and longer lifecycles.

Obtaining these types of measurements is simple enough in present day, but, in all but a few examples, has been difficult to generate in the fossil record.

Royer and his co-investigators were able to solve this puzzle by relating leaf mass to the width of the petiole, the thin stalk that connects the leaf to the branch. Heavier leaves require thicker petioles for reasons of support. In fossils, petiole width and leaf area can therefore be measured to estimate leaf mass per area. They tested their methods on Eocene fossils from sites in Washington and Utah.

Royer hopes that this new method will open up a new area of inquiry into the fossil record that can provide important data for helping us understand the effects of climate change today.

“It’s always a best case scenario when you can find something from the geological record that helps us learn something new and useful about our own world,” Royer says.
 

By David Pesci, director of Media Relations

Scientists Share Research at Molecular Biophysics Retreat


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.
Posted 10/05/06
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

A Sweet Sound: Chapel Receives New Piano


Neely Bruce, professor of music, plays the new, seven-foot August Foerster piano inside the Memorial Chapel Sept. 29.
Posted 10/05/06
The secret is in the strings.

That’s how Professor of Music Neely Bruce defends the exceptionally clear sounds of Wesleyan’s new chapel piano.

“This piano is extraordinarily beautiful, and quite different from the Steinway sound you may associate with a grand piano,” Bruce explains. “It is clearer, more agile, more evenly balanced and is the perfect size for the chapel. It is the best piano of its size on campus.”

The new August Foerster is a brand that’s legendary in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. It’s the same type of piano that was favored by Serge Prokofiev, Emil Gilels, and most of the major Russian pianists of the first half of the 20th century.

The Music Department, with help from the Administration, purchased the $38,000, seven-foot instrument from piano dealer Wilhelm Gertz.

Three years ago, when the Memorial Chapel reopened, the department intended to move one of its 9-foot grand pianos into the space, however this proved impossible. A smaller Mason and Hamlin piano has been in use, but Bruce felt the piano was not appropriate for the chapel’s magnificent public space.

“The chapel piano is not just a concert instrument, it is used for weddings, funerals and memorials and campus worship,” Bruce says. “Many of you will appreciate that our community has this new resource.”

To introduce the new piano to the community, Bruce played a short recital Sept. 25 in the chapel.

“We are very privileged to have this great piano at Wesleyan,” he says.

(To hear the piano, view the video clips below of Neely Bruce playing.)

      
By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Presidential Search Forum Provides Insight


Jennifer Bol, a consultant from Spencer Stuart, the agency selected to assist the Presidential Search Committee in recruiting Wesleyan’s new president, asks the Wesleyan audience what they are seeking in the university’s new president.
Posted 10/05/06
Pam Tatge wants a university president who has traveled or studied abroad. Michael Whitcomb wants a president who respects a diverse staff and student body. Suzy Taraba wants a president who values a liberal arts education.

These were all suggestions presented during a presidential search open forum Sept. 29 in Russell House. Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet ’59, P’87, P’94 announced his decision that the 2006-07 academic year will be the final year of his presidency.

The forum was set up by members of the Presidential Search Committee to hear views and gain valuable feedback to be used in the search process.

“We’re here to find a leader who will thrive here and inspire our staff, faculty and alumni,” said Presidential Search Committee Chair Kofi Appenteng ’81, P’07. “Doug Bennet’s leadership has strengthened the university considerably during the past eleven years, and the Presidential Search Committee is seeking to build upon this momentum.”

The attendees also met Jennifer Bol and Michele Haertel, consultants from Spencer Stuart, the agency selected to assist the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees in identifying and successfully recruiting Wesleyan’s 16th president.

Bol led the forum, requesting that attendees speak about what qualities they’d seek in a new president. Ideas from the audience were numerous and varied.

Pictured at left, speaking, Suzy Taraba ’77, university archivist and head of Special Collections, said she hopes the new president will respect and honor Wesleyan’s unique history with the trend of mainstreaming in mind.

“I’m looking for a president who can understand that Wesleyan’s history is terrific and not something to be ashamed of,” she said.

Carol Scully, director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, suggested that Wesleyan and the new president continue to actively promote the value of a liberal arts education with policy makers and funders of higher education.

“We have noticed that funding for the liberal arts has declined at several major national foundations,” she said. “We need to insure that liberal arts institutions are part of the broader conversation about higher education in this country.”

Pam Tatge ‘84, director of the Center for the Arts, stressed that the new president should know the importance of using the arts in interdisciplinary ways, have experience working abroad, and have an interest in developing a positive relationship with the Middletown community.

“We’ve had a good track record under Doug Bennet’s legacy, and we need a new president who also can see the community relationship as an asset,” she said.

Makaela Kingsley ‘98, associate director of Reunion Leadership Giving, suggested that having some sort of connection to Wesleyan would be a plus; and Faraneh Carnegie ‘05, assistant director of Regional Programs and Networks, pointed out that the new president should value and respect Wesleyan’s diverse community.

“I’d hope the new president would like to continue to insure diversity among students, staff and faculty,” said Michael Whitcomb, director of Institutional Research.

Bol also asked the audience to describe the culture of Wesleyan.

Taraba explained that Wesleyan students tend to be “interested in everything,” and Camille Dolansky, associate director of Parent Programs, described Wesleyan’s students as “nice and intelligent.” John Driscoll ‘62, alumni director, summed up the student body in one word.

“They’re feisty,” he said. “We think of arguing as a sport. We get very excited about points of view.”

Others said they wanted a president who values athletics, racial and economic diversity, had good listening and public speaking skills, values alumni from different backgrounds, enjoys spending time with students, who has the ability to back up why decisions are made and someone who understands the economics of higher education.

“I hope our next president will understand the vision of the university and get people excited and keep moving forward towards this vision,” said Pat Tully, associate university librarian.

Paula Lawson, associate provost, hopes the committee doesn’t rule out someone from a business or law background.

“This is the 21st century and we can think more broadly,” she said. “It’s OK to think outside the box.”

For more information on the Presidential Search Committee, go to:
http://www.wesleyan.edu/newsletter/campus/0906pressearch.html

Current committee members have established a Web site to collect confidential nominations and feedback from the community at http://www.wesleyan.edu/presidentialsearch.
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Payroll Going Paperless


Posted 10/05/06
Wesleyan is pushing for its payroll to go paperless.

All faculty, staff and students who receive a Wesleyan payroll check now have the option of receiving their pay stub online. This will eliminate all paper-processing.

“By going all-electronic, this is going to save more than the 25 cents it costs to pay for the paper,” says John Meerts, vice president for Finance and Administration. “We’re going to save on distribution costs we well. And if you’re like me, I end up just tossing it aside, losing it or disposing of it. It will be more convenient not to get this every pay period.”

Going all-electronic can be completed in three steps.

First, sign up for paycheck direct deposit. Direct deposit eliminates the need to take paychecks to the bank, and an employee’s net pay is sent directly into his or her checking or savings account. To sign up, take a voided check to the Payroll Office located on the fourth floor of North College and complete the Direct Deposit Authorization Form. This form also can be printed from the Finance Web site at: www.wesleyan.edu/finance/financeDept/payroll/directDeposit.htt.
More than half of all students, staff and faculty already have direct deposit.

Secondly, register for a secure iPay viewer. iPayStatements allow employees and students secure, Web-based access to their pay statements and W2 wage and tax statements. This service is offered with secure, self service access to your pay data. You can enroll for iPayStatements online at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/finadm/introducing_ipaystatments_portfolio.htm
and access iPay through the staff and student Electronic Portfolio.

Thirdly, notify the Payroll Office to End Printed Pay Statements. Send an email to payroll@wesleyan.edu and request that printed pay statements are stopped. Employees should first make sure their pay amount is being deposited electronically into their bank account and they can access their electronic pay statement through iPay at least once.
Wesleyan’s Payroll Services and Finance and Administration Department will award anyone who completes the process with a $5 gift certificate to Pi Café or Red and Black Café.

All employees will continue to receive their W2 tax forms through the regular mail.

The idea to go all electronic is part of Project $AVE, an initiative to collect, review and implement new ideas for sustained cost savings and improved efficiencies throughout the Wesleyan community. More information is available at http://www.wesleyan.edu/projectsave/.

“We’ve had this option the past couple years, but now we want to make this a major initiative,” says Ed Below, director of administrative applications for Finance and Administration and Project $AVE coordinator. “It’s a win-win situation.”
 

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Voices of Liberal Learning Examine Issues that Shape Our World


Posted 10/05/06
Poetry, slavery, monks and dialects are among several topics of this year’s Voices of Liberal Learning seminars.

Voices of Liberal Learning is a series of stimulating educational programs and presentations available to the Wesleyan community.

“The Voices of Liberal Learning programs enrich the intellectual exchange among members of the community and offer the kind of substantive, outside-the-classroom learning experience treasured by all of us,” says Linda Secord, director of alumni education and university lectures. “We have a remarkable selection of educational programs throughout the year which will foster the evolution of knowledge and understanding at Wesleyan and challenge participants to think in new ways. I welcome everyone to take advantage of these offerings.”

Speakers and events occurring on campus during the Fall 2006 schedule are:

8 p.m. Oct. 4, Russell House, 350 High Street
An Evening with Poet Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart’s poetry met a wide and appreciative readership with the publication of In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

8 p.m. Oct. 5
Mansfield Freeman Lecture
Japan as the Earth Writ Small: Ecological Issues
Seminar Room, Mansfield Freeman Center for Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Conrad Totman, professor emeritus of history, Yale University, will consider how industrialization has transformed Japanese society, making global rather than local environmental factors central to the history.

8 p.m. Oct. 10
Contemporary Israeli Voices — How Poets Think
Russell House, 350 High Street
Agi Mishol, Israeli poet, and Lisa Katz, her English translator, will lead a discussion about using marginal details and how they lead to metaphor.

8 p.m. Oct. 11
An Evening with Lynne Tillman
Russell House, 350 High Street
Lynne Tillman is a fiction writer, cultural critic, and oral historian whose books include Haunted Houses, The Broad Picture, No Lease on Life, and This Is Not It. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

8 p.m. Oct. 17
What’s Hot in Astronomy?!
McKelvey Room, Steward M. Reid Admission Building, 70 Wyllys Avenue
William Herbst, the John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University, will look at recent discoveries in the universe and their implications.

4:15 p.m. Oct. 19
Fall Lecture Series: Revisiting Slavery
Center for African American Studies (CAAS) Lounge
Veteran Hartford Courant journalists Anne Farrow, Joel Lang ‘68, and Jenifer Frank will speak on “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery.”

2 p.m. Oct. 21
Wesleyan Writers Conference 50th Anniversary Celebration
Featuring Readings by 2006 Conference Writers Katha Pollitt and Alexander Chee ’89
Russell House, 350 High Street
Award-winning journalist Katha Pollitt is known for her provocative columns in The Nation and essay collections including Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism. She will read from her new book, Virginity or Death! Alexander Chee’s first novel, Edinburgh, won numerous prizes and he received a 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award. His new novel, Queen of the Night, will be published this year.

5 p.m. Oct. 21
Dwight L. Greene Symposium
Unconventional Wisdom: Plurality and Innovation in Corporate America
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Darryl B. Hazel ’70, president, Ford Customer Service Department, Ford Motor Company; Amy Radin ’79, chief innovation officer, Citigroup. The symposium, held in honor of Dwight L. Greene ’70, began in 1993 as a memorial to Greene’s life and work.

8 p.m. Oct. 24
Contemporary Israeli Voices: Death of a Monk — The Relation Between History and Fiction
Russell House, 350 High Street
Alon Hilu, a finalist for the Israeli Saphir Award, will discuss the relationship between the historic blood libel of Damascus in 1840 and his novel, Death of a Monk, a gay retelling of the Damascus Affair. Hilu received the 2006 Presidential Prize for Literature for Death of a Monk.

8 p.m. Oct. 25
An Evening with Poet Jeffrey Skinner
Russell House, 350 High Street
Jeffery Skinner has published five collections of poetry. In addition to his work as a poet, Skinner has had success as a playwright, having had his short plays produced in New York, Ohio, and Kentucky. Currently he is professor of creative writing at the University of Louisville.

4:30 p.m. Oct. 26
Listening to Chinese Painting
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Susan Nelson, professor emeritus, Fine Arts and EALC, University of Indiana
Chinese landscape painting ranks among the great achievements of world art, capturing the beauty, grandeur, and variety of nature, and giving a sense of the unending dynamism of the cosmic forces—the qi—that shape it. Those forces are manifest in the sounds of nature as well as in its visible forms; Chinese painters, seeking to convey the essence of landscape in all its dimensions found ways to suggest its sonorousness in a silent medium. How to read this aural imagery, and some broader questions about sounds and images, are the subject of this talk.

8 p.m. Oct. 26
Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns: Triumph of the Sports Culture
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Frank Deford, senior writer at Sports Illustrated, commentator on Morning Edition on NPR, regular correspondent on the HBO show, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel kicks off the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns with his informed perspective on the role of sports in contemporary culture.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 30
Contemporary Israeli Voices: Out of Sight
Goldsmith Family Cinema, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace
Daniel Syrkin, winner of Best Director Prize and Best Cinematography Prize, Israeli Academy Awards 2005 will lead a talk and movie screening.

4:30 p.m. Nov. 2
Enzheng Tong Memorial Lecture: An Underground Palace in Ancient China — The Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng (d. 433 BC)
Seminar Room, Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Robert Bagley, professor of art and archaeology, Princeton University will lead an examination of the richest discovery ever made in Chinese Bronze Age archaeology, the burial and contents of the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng.

8 p.m. Nov. 7
Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression
Public Forums: The Affirmative Side of Free Speech
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Cass R. Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School, and author of many articles and books on constitutional law and free speech. This event is named in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Hugo L. Black.

8 p.m. Nov. 8
An Evening with Poet Anne Waldman
Russell House, 350 High Street
Anne Waldman is the author of over 30 books of poetry and prose. She is a two-time winner of the International Poetry Heavyweight Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico and co-founder, with Allen Ginsberg, of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

4:15 p.m. Nov. 8
Fall Lecture Series: Revisiting Slavery
Lois Brown, “Cultivating Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and Enterprise in Colonial New England.”
CAAS Lounge
Lois Brown, an associate professor of English at Mount Holyoke College specializes in nineteenth century African American fiction. She has won awards for her discovery and republication of a largely unknown 1835 biography of a freeborn African American child. She is currently working on a book about African American novelist Pauline Hopkins.

7:30 p.m. Nov. 9
Asian Migrations and Intimacy
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Nayan Shah, associate professor, University of California at San Diego
Professor Shah’s lecture, drawn from his new research project, pursues the history of the migration of men from the province of Punjab in British colonial India to Canada and the United States from 1890 to 1950. Court cases illuminate how regulatory systems shape subjectivity, social dynamics, and categories of race and sexuality in twentieth century North America.
Shah, author of Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown, is currently teaching a course at Wesleyan on the history of interracial and intercultural intimacy generated by the migrations from Asia in the Americas.

7:30 p.m. Nov. 9
Shackleton Memorial Symposium: A Living History of Marie Curie
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Susan Marie Frontczak presents a one-woman dramatization of the life of Madame Curie, the first European woman to earn a doctorate and the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes.

8 p.m. Nov. 14
Contemporary Israeli Voices: Writing about the Holocaust with Humor
Russell House, 350 High Street
Amir Gutreund, winner of the 2002 Buchman Prize from Yad Vashem Institute for Our Holocaust and the 2003 Sapir Prize for Seashore Mansions, will hold a conversation about his memories as a son of Holocaust survivors.

4:30 p.m. Nov. 15
Cyber-History, Memory, and Violence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
Peter Perdue, T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations and professor of history, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In the spring of this year, Chinese students at MIT protested an educational web site on East Asian history developed by Professors John Dower and Shigeru Miyagawa. Professor Perdue will discuss the implications of this incident for researching modern Chinese history.

4:15 p.m. Nov. 29
Fall Lecture Series: Revisiting Slavery
Gerald Foster, “American Slavery: A Most Complete Story”
CAAS Lounge
Dr. Gerald Foster is Scholar-in-Residence at the United States National Slavery Museum, the first American museum dedicated to the history of slavery. The museum is currently under construction in Fredricksburg, Va.

8 p.m. Nov. 29
Public Scholarship and Community Engagement
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street
Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president, Syracuse University will speak on community engagement.

4:30 p.m. Dec. 7
Singing the Way Home: A Personal Research into Hokkien Dialect Songs
Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace
A lecture by Singapore actress Ang Gey Pin. Brought up in Singapore in a time when the use of dialects was strictly restricted, theater artist Ang Gey Pin describes how she searched for songs in her family’s Chinese dialect Hokkien. In this talk, she emphasizes the connection between imagination and memory, linking the process of recovering cultural heritage to her own creative experience as a performer.

For more information contact Linda Secord at lsecord@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-3003. To learn more about these programs and their sponsors visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/175/liberal.html.