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Steve ScarpaOctober 17, 20223min
A new Wesleyan research project will explore the possibility that more chemical elements than previously thought could be used to help create inexpensive and renewable energy storage technologies. Associate Professor of Chemistry Michelle Personick’s lab was the recipient of a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage research into clean-energy technologies and low carbon manufacturing. Researchers at 54 universities and 11 National Laboratories received awards in late August. Platinum group elements (PGE) like platinum, palladium, and rhodium are crucial in the production of many energy storage technologies, like fuel cells and the sustainable production of liquid fuel…

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Andrew ChatfieldOctober 11, 20229min
The New England Foundation for the Arts awarded over $2 million to this year’s National Dance Project Production Grant recipients and finalists on September 28. Five of the 36 dance companies have close ties to Wesleyan University, from faculty and alumni to collaborative partners and guest artists. Twenty grantees will each receive $56,500 to create and tour a new dance work, and in support of production residencies and community engagement. The companies will also receive $10,000 in general operating support. And $700,000 is allocated to support U.S. organizations to present the projects in-person, digitally, or via new hybrid models. Hari…

Amy AlbertOctober 3, 20224min
Barry Chernoff, the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, has the look of someone who has just received everything they’d wanted - happiness combined with the realization of how much work there is ahead. “Be careful what you wish for,” he said with a laugh while describing the ambitious goals that will be realized by the recent $2 million grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation to support sustainability initiatives at the Robert F. Schumann Institute of the College of the Environment, at Wesleyan, and in the surrounding region. The goals include building a network of local community non-governmental…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 30, 20225min
For decades, the former Davison Art Center located in the Richard Alsop IV House at 301 High Street has been a focal point for the visual arts on campus, housing an invaluable and wide-ranging print collection. With the collection's move to the Olin Library, the old building has a new artistic focus as part of a Digital Design Commons on campus supporting music, dance, theatre, and visual art. “The idea is for this to be a tech hub for the arts,” said Roger Mathew Grant, dean of the arts and humanities. “The arts are always at an intersection of the…

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Editorial StaffAugust 1, 20226min
Citing the urgent need for more effective and equitable health communication, researchers at Wesleyan University are collaborating with two other universities on a unique rapid response research endeavor led by Cornell communication professor Jeff Niederdeppe and funded with a newly announced $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “At this moment it is crucial to understand both the nature of and the potential of messaging around policies promoting racial and health equity,” said Steven Moore, assistant professor of government and an expert on race and politics. “I’m excited to be a part of this fantastic team of…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 15, 20225min
As the recipient of a Chicken & Egg Pictures award, lauded filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain will continue telling the stories of ways underrepresented people experience life in the United States. Strain, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, associate professor of film studies, and co-director of the Wesleyan Documentary Project, is one of only six documentary film directors to receive the Chicken & Egg award in 2022. The honor comes with an unrestricted $50,000 grant. "The Chicken & Egg Award makes bold investments in the personal and professional wellbeing of visionary women and gender nonconforming documentary makers,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 9, 20225min
While scientific societies frequently approach diversity and inclusion efforts by supporting the professional development of historically underrepresented groups, data is lacking to evaluate the efficacy of these methods. As co-principal investigator I of a $701,000 National Science Foundation grant awarded to the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), Candice Etson, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, will help establish a network of experts who will collaboratively identify evidence-based inclusion strategies in STEM. The results will be reported and disseminated in open-access training materials and publications throughout the duration of the three-year project. The project, titled "Enhancing and Developing Biology (LED-BIO) Scientific…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 28, 20225min
A new Wesleyan University project funded by a three-year, $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will investigate Connecticut’s racial, industrial, and political history from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—the nation’s largest funder of the arts, culture and humanities—awarded more than $16.1 million to 12 liberal arts colleges from across the nation, including Wesleyan, as part of its Humanities for All Times initiative. Humanities for All Times was created to support newly developed curricula that both instruct students in methods of humanities practice and demonstrate those methods’ relevance to broader social justice pursuits. Wesleyan’s “Carceral Connecticut…

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Rachel Wachman '24September 15, 20213min
With the support of a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Teresita Padilla-Benavides will study how transition metals—such as copper—contribute to the development of muscle. The monetary award, called an NIH Research Project Grant (NIH R01), aims to support research and development in health-related fields that bolster the mission of the NIH. “​Thanks to this award, we will be able to investigate novel molecules and their association with transition metals, such as copper, and how they contribute to the development of muscle,” said Padilla-Benavides, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry. “My project will investigate…

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Olivia DrakeJune 2, 20217min
Two proposed Venus mission concepts co-developed by planetary geologist Martha Gilmore were selected by NASA’s Discovery Program this week. The selected missions aim to understand how Venus became a scorching planet after it was potentially another habitable world in the solar system with an Earth-like climate. Gilmore, George I. Seney Professor of Geology, professor of earth and environmental sciences, is a co-investigator of both winning concepts. Each project will receive approximately $500 million per mission for development and is expected to launch in the 2028–2030 timeframe. The projects include VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) and DAVINCI+…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 17, 20202min
If a spacecraft were to quickly travel outside the solar system—potentially en route to a nearby exoplanetary system—it would need to pass through an atmosphere unfamiliar to scientists on Earth. As a recipient of a $415,000 grant from NASA, Seth Redfield, chair and associate professor of astronomy, hopes to learn more about the mysterious makeup of this "outer space." "There are several very early designs for an interstellar probe, but first, we need to understand the properties of the space in between the stars if you are traveling through it, especially at high speed," Redfield said. "Given the vastness of…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 16, 20202min
Three Wesleyan faculty recently received Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). R15 grants stimulate research at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate training for a significant number of the nation's research scientists, but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. Awards provide funding for small-scale, new, or ongoing health-related meritorious research projects, enhancing the research environment at eligible institutions and exposing students to research opportunities. Amy MacQueen, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, received a $492,900 award on Aug. 7 for her research titled "How do Synaptonemal Complex Proteins Mediate the Coordinated?" MacQueen…