A piece in The New York Times discusses how applications for the Class of 2013 remained strong at the nation’s most competitive colleges, despite the economy’s recent economic recession. Mentioned in the article was Wesleyan which, unlike several liberal arts colleges, saw an increase in applications this year. In fact, Wesleyan’s dramatic increase set a record: 10,065 applications, which is up 22% over last year’s admissions cycle (which was also a record). The Times had previously written about Wesleyan’s increase in applications during the November early decision application period, which was also up a record 40% over the previous year. President Michael Roth has also written a piece for The Huffington Post on the economy’s impact on the Class of 2013 both nationally and here at Wesleyan.
This year, Wesleyan has gone to a web-based notification system for admissions. In addition to the traditional notification letters, mailed March 26, applicants received an e-mail from the university with a link to a website. The online site was created in part to give admitted students rapid access to their admissions status, and to provide them with more time to schedule a visit to the University in April.
Once at the online site, applicants were able to log in to see their admission status. The long-awaited online letters went “live” on the afternoon of Friday, March 27. The response was brisk. Within the first two hours, the site received more than 3,000 visitors. During one point the rate was over 250 visitors per minute and more than 5,600 unique log-ins the first weekend. In addition, as of Monday, March 30, 521 accepted students had joined Wesleyan’s frosh Facebook group.
Approximately 22 % of this year’s applicants have been admitted to Wesleyan, including some 350 students who were admitted during the early decision period. The class of 2013 is expected to comprise approximately 745 students.
Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science and Society, professor of biology, was one of three guests on WNPR’s “Where We Live” discussing the international scientific stem cell conference in New Haven known as StemCONN. She and Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of feminest, gender and sexuality studies, both presented at the conference.
Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, reviews the historic novel Blindspot in The Chicago Tribune. Set in 18th Century Boston, Swinehart says Blindspot “succeeds as raw entertainment; better, it soars as cunning academic revisionism.”
In an opinion piece in The Hartford Courant, Jonathan Cutler, associate professor of sociology, associate professor American studies, comments on the proposal by the Obama Administration to eliminate secret ballot union elections. While Cutler admits this may expose some employees to possible intimidation, he believes it can work if workers are also given the right to throw out ineffective unions.
In a piece for The Moscow Times, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, points out that the initial treatment of Russia by the Obama Administration has begun with clumsy missteps and a perspective toward U.S.-Russian relations that offers nothing new compared to what Russia has seen from previous U.S. administrations.
Michael Singer, assistant professor of biology, recently published a study of caterpillars in PLoS 1 that details the possible self-medication by Wooly Bear caterpillars that have been infected with parasites. The study, cited in Discover gives evidence to the theory that some animals are able to self-medicating without being taught to do so.
Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science and Society, professor of biology, discussed the implications as President Barack Obama is poised to lift the ban on research using human embryonic stem cells. Grabel is a renowned stem cell researcher and co-director of of the University of Connecticut Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core Facility, part of a $100 million human stem cell research initiative created by the State of Connecticut in 2006.
Norman Danner, mathematics and computer science, Fernando Degiovanni, romance languages and literatures, and Greg Voth, physics, were the lastest faculty members awarded tenure at the most recent Board of Trustees meeting. These appointments do not conclude tenure announcements for the 2008-2009 academic year, and more may be forthcoming.
Gary Yohe, Sysco-Woodhouse Professor of Economics, is co-author of a new report issued by the United Nation’s Internation Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that discusses the rapidly increasing risks of global warming. A story in Scientific American summarizes the article and quotes Yohe, an economist who studies climate change with regards to its inherent risks.
Sean McCann, professor or English, director, Center for Career Development, has an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journaldiscussing the artistic bounty generated during the Great Depression in literature and film that hinged on issues of class differences and thwarted social mobility. McCann wonders if the current economic conditions will yield a similar outpouring from authors and film-makers.