Campus News & Events

Morgan Presents Phase Space Research at Gaseous Electronics Conference

Professor Tom Morgan, Andrew Murphy '11 and Jace Haestad '11 recently presented their research "Closed Orbits in Phase Space" in Hawaii. 

Professor Tom Morgan presented “Closed Orbits in Phase Space” in Hawaii.

Tom Morgan, Foss Professor of Physics, recently attended the 68th Gaseous Electronics Conference of the American Physical Society in Honolulu, Hawaii and presented a poster dealing with the behavior of giant atoms with an electron far from the nucleus in phase space. Andrew Murphy ’11 and Jace Haestad ’11 contributed to the study.

Phase space is a momentum-velocity space that provides a different perspective on atomic behavior. Looking at atoms from this viewpoint provides a mechanism to uncover new insight into their quantum nature.

Morgan also took the opportunity to reconnect with a Japanese colleague, Professor Tomoyuki Murakami, at Seikei University, Tokyo, whom Morgan spent the month of June visiting in Tokyo. Morgan and Murakami took the occasion to work on a paper on research undertaken collaboratively with Lutz Huwel, Professor of Physics, and Professor Bill Graham of Queen’s University, N. Ireland, on the behavior of the air-water interface after focused laser induced plasma breakdown. The air-water interface is ubiquitous with applications to biology, environmental studies, chemical analysis and medicine, but its detailed behavior is not well understood. The collaboration uses both state of the art computer simulation and experimentation to elucidate its dynamics and structure.

Naegele Honored by Society for Neuroscience

Janice Naegele accepting the award at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting.

Janice Naegele accepting the award at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting.

During the Society for Neuroscience‘s (SfN) annual meeting Oct. 17-21, Janice Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, received the Louise Hansen Marshall Special Recognition Award.

The Louise Hanson Marshall Special Recognition Award honors individuals who have significantly promoted the professional development of women in neuroscience through teaching, organizational leadership, public advocacy and more. Naegele shares the 2015 Louise Hansen Marshall award with Paul Greengard P’77, P’79, GP ’08, the Vincent Astor Professor at The Rockefeller University in New York.

Naegele began her career studying the characteristics of cortical neurons and more recently has performed pioneering studies of transplantation of inhibitory neurons in the brain as a potential treatment for severe epilepsy.

Students Celebrate Fall with Pumpkin Fest, Long Lane Farm Harvest

Students celebrated fall at the annual Pumpkin Fest Oct. 17.

Students celebrated fall at the annual Pumpkin Fest Oct. 17.

Several students are celebrating the fall season at Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm. Farm interns are still harvesting pumpkins, peppers, beets, tomatoes, fresh flowers, thyme and other herbs this October. The student-run organic farm is devoted to allowing students a place to experiment and learn about sustainable agriculture. Long Lane students also seek to foster good relationships with local farmers.

On Oct. 17, the College of the Environment hosted its annual Pumpkin Fest at the farm. Participants received farm tours, free veggie burgers, craft opportunities, face paintings and live music performances. Pumpkins, along with other produce, were sold at the festival.

View photos of Pumpkin Fest and the farm below: (Photos by Olivia Drake, Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19 and Will Barr ’18)



Long Lane Farm at Wesleyan University, Oct. 8, 2015.

Forster ’18 Studies Makeup Effects, Prosthetics

At left, James Forster '18 spend two months last summer at the Gorton Studios in the U.K. learning about film prosthetics and makeup effects. Pictured at right is an example of some his artistry. 

At left, James Forster ’18 spent seven weeks at the Gorton Studios in the U.K. learning about film prosthetics and makeup effects. Pictured at right is a creature named “Zerbei,” an example of some his artistry. (Photos by Christopher Goodman)

For seven weeks last summer, James Forster ’18 learned how to transform a female classmate into a bat and mold an older gentleman into a pointy-eared creature named “Zerbei.”

As one of six selected students enrolled in a “Make-Up FX and Prosthetics Creation” course at Groton Studios in the United Kingdom, Forster learned ways to work behind the scenes as a creative, workshop-based prosthetics artist. From concept designing through sculpting, moulding, casting and finishing, the curriculum focused on producing industry-ready craftspeople.

Forster, a potential English major with an interest in drawing and photo manipulation, got a taste for character creation while working in the costume shop for Second Stage during his freshman year.

Forster spent four weeks creating the creature, Zerbei as a final project.

Forster spent four weeks creating the creature, “Zerbei” as a final project.

“Up until then, I didn’t have much sculpting experience, so when I applied, I wasn’t sure whether my almost entirely two-dimensional portfolio would be what they had in mind,” he said. “I was overjoyed when I found out that they had admitted me.”

Prior to departing to the U.K., Forster, of Rye, N.Y. took a sculpting class at nearby Westchester Community College where he learned the basics of sculpting facial anatomy and expression. Five weeks later, he arrived at Gorton Studios in Chesham, which turned out to be one of the most surreal experiences of his life.

“The interior of the building itself resembled some kind of extraordinary crossbreed between a normal artists studio and a wax museum,” Forster described. “Dozens of busts, statuettes, costumes and small scale models from a variety of science fiction, fantasy, and horror films covered the walls, shelves, and floor – anywhere there was space, really. Mechanical components for animatronics were scattered in corners, and power tools covered the tabletops.”

The six students received a staggering array of tools, including saws,

Wesleyan Seeks to Raise $120K for Middlesex United Way

Wesleyan employees are once again being encouraged to participate in the annual Middlesex United Way campaign.

The university’s goal this year is to raise $120,000 in donations and 50 percent participation. For the first time this year, all donations can be made online through employees’ portfolios.

The campaign is being co-chaired by Gloster Aaron, associate professor of biology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, and Joyce Jacobsen, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Andrews Professor of Economics.

Klarren Remembered for Introducing Students to Religious Thinkers

Eugene Klaaren

Eugene Klaaren

Eugene Klaaren, associate professor of religion, emeritus, died Oct. 18 at the age of 78. Klaaren taught at Wesleyan from 1968 until he retired in 2006.

Klaaren’s courses introduced students to central Christian thinkers in the history of theology and philosophy, from Martin Luther to Soren Kierkegaard, John Calvin to David Hume and Jonathan Edwards, and Friedrich Schleiermacher to Friedrich Nietzsche.

Jacobsen Appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Joyce Jacobsen

Joyce Jacobsen

Joyce Jacobsen has accepted an appointment as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs through June of 2019.

Jacobsen joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1993 as an assistant professor of economics and in 2003 became the Andrews Professor of Economics. More recently, she served as Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Global Initiatives. A scholar of the economics of gender and employment, she is the author or co-editor of three books, including The Economics of Gender, Third Edition (2007), as well as numerous journal articles, book chapters, reviews and essays. Her outstanding contributions as an inspiring teacher-scholar were recognized with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2007.

She has served as chair of the faculty, chair of the Educational Policy Committee, chair of the Department of Economics, co-chair of the College of Social Studies, vice-chair of the Review and Appeals Board, and on the governing board of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard/Radcliffe College; a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics; and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.

“I have enjoyed working with Joyce in her capacity as interim Provost and VPAA, and I look forward to the many contributions she will make in years to come,” President Michael Roth wrote in an all-campus e-mail. “Please join me in congratulating Joyce and thanking her for serving Wesleyan so well.”

Hornstein Presents at American Financial Management Association Meeting

hornstein150Associate Professor of Economics Abigail Hornstein presented a paper at the 2015 American Financial Management Association Meeting, held in Orlando, Fla. Oct. 14–17.

Hornstein’s research paper, titled “Board Overlaps in Mutual Fund Families,” is co-authored with Elif Sisli Ciamarra of Brandeis University. Hornstein also was a discussant on a paper titled “Mutual fund home bias and market uncertainty” by Nicole Choi of the University of Wyoming and Hilla Skiba of Colorado State University.

Gruen Named Faculty Fellow at Tufts’ Center for Animals

Lori Gruen

Lori Gruen

This month, Lori Gruen accepted a three-year appointment as a Faculty Fellow at Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Animals and Public Policy. Gruen is the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, and professor of environmental studies at Wesleyan. She also coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies.

The mission of the Tufts University’s Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) is to conduct and encourage scholarly evaluation and understanding of the complex societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society. As a Faculty Fellow, Gruen will explore human-animal relationships with Tufts students by teaching classes, mentoring student research, leading service activities, and presenting public seminars under CAPP sponsorship. She’ll continue teaching at Wesleyan during this three-year term.

The title of Faculty Fellow is awarded by the Dean of Cummings School to participants who have shown a deep and consistent commitment to the Center’s efforts in graduate and veterinary education, research, service and outreach.

Gruen’s research lies at the intersection of ethical theory and practice, with a particular focus on issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations (e.g. women, people of color, non-human animals). She has published extensively on topics in animal ethics, ecofeminism, and practical ethics more broadly, and is currently thinking about intersections of race, gender, and species and chimpanzees.



Weild Directs New Musical, Indian Joe

indianjoeA new musical, directed by visiting associate professor of theater Kim Weild, runs Oct. 22-Nov. 15 at the Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn.

Inspired by true events, Indian Joe tells the unlikely story of a homeless Native American and a Texas beauty queen who never should have been friends. He’s looking for a fight. She’s looking for a cause. As they stumble toward friendship, both ultimately overcome fear and prejudice to discover that there’s more to family than what you see. From the streets of Waco, Texas to the streets of New York City, it’s a uniquely American story with a progressive Americana beat.

Elizabeth A. Davis will play the character Liz. Davis received a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for the hit Broadway production of Once.

At Wesleyan, Weild teaches Introduction to Directing, Directed Experiences in Acting and Performance Practice A.

For more information on the musical, see this Middletown Press article or this feature.

Siry Honored by Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

Siry accepted the award from Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member, who nominated him. (Photo by Mark Hertzberg.)

Joe Siry, at left, accepted the Wright Spirit Award from Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member. Perkins nominated Siry for the award. (Photo by Mark Hertzberg.)

On Oct. 3, Joseph Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, received the Wright Spirit Award in the Professional category from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy at its annual conference this year in Milwaukee, Wis. A prolific scholar of the venerable architect, Siry has written several books and scholarly articles about Wright. He also has contributed to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in many ways over the years, as a lecturer, panelist and contributor to the group’s magazine.

A citation read at the ceremony by Scott Perkins, a conservancy board member and director of preservation for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, began: “If one were to believe that Frank Lloyd Wright is the subject of more books and articles than any other figure in the visual arts, then among those responsible for that statistic would be Joseph M. Siry … I would also venture a guess that one could formulate a entire graduate seminar syllabus solely around Professor Siry’s contributions to the scholarship on Wright and his circle, and throw in a second one dedicated just to the information found in his footnotes, as it is clear he delights in primary research.”

Shinohara’s Woodcuts on Display at Roger Williams University


Artwork by Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, is on display at Roger Williams University through Oct. 28. After two separate showings at Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan and Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan, Shinohara’s “Color Harmony/ Color Woodcut” exhibit comes to a close at Roger Williams’ SAAHP Exhibition Gallery.

Shinohara describes his work as “employing ancient methods, while diverging from tradition by experimenting with ink application and different materials to add texture,” thus creating what he calls “a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Western modernism.”

“Color Harmony / Color Woodcut” focuses on his perception of different landscapes. The aim, he says, is not to portray “realistic accuracy,” but to concentrate on the “feelings and emotions behind these abstract landscapes.”

Shinohara is on the faculty in the Art and Art History Department and Department of East Asian Studies.