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Quiara Alegria Hudes Is a Bright New Voice in Theater

Nationally recognized playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes teaches playwriting at Wesleyan to beginning and advanced writers. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Nationally recognized playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes teaches playwriting at Wesleyan to beginning and advanced writers. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes was featured on the cover of the new Wesleyan magazine.

Hudes is currently the Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Writing and Theater, and teaches playwriting to both beginning and advanced writers at Wesleyan. Her plays include 26 Miles, Yemaya’s Belly, the children’s musical Barrio Grrrl!, and the acclaimed Elliot Trilogy, named after a recurrent character who served as a Marine and is based on the author’s cousin. The first in the trilogy, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, was a 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist, while the second installment, Water by the Spoonful, was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Hudes also wrote the Tony Award-nominated book for In the Heights, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical (with a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 and directed by Thomas Kail ’99) and was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

She spoke to the Wesleyan magazine about how her diverse family, roots in Philadelphia, and musical background have inspired her creative work.

“I always wrote,” she says. “It was just one of the ways I grew up playing—kids play around by picking up stories; it’s one of our natural instincts. My dad would teach me how to hit a whiffle ball, and then I would write poems. By high school, I was writing plays and writing for the literary magazine and for the weekly newspaper. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I had the notion that it would be something I would pursue in earnest to earn a living. But once I had that notion, it seemed quite natural because I had been doing it all of my life.”

Read the full feature story here.

Chong ’18 Claims NCAA Division III Tennis Title

Eudice Chong '18 with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women's tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 is pictured here with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 claimed the first-ever NCAA Division III tennis title for the Cardinals in a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory in the title match of the NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles championship in Mason, Ohio on May 23.

Named the NESCAC Player and Rookie of the Year, as well as the ITA Division III Rookie of the Year, Chong completed the 2014-15 campaign undefeated in singles play (22-0), dropping just two sets all season, both of them 4-6 to Joulia Likhanskaia of Bowdoin, whom she played for the third time this year in the NCAA finals.

Chong also earned All-America honors in doubles this spring as she teamed with Helen Klass-Warch ’18 to reach the NCAA Division III doubles quarterfinals, losing a three-set match to the top-seeded pair from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Cardinal tandem amassed a 20-4 record at No. 1 doubles this year.

Koplin-Green ’15 Studied Alpha Neurofeedback to Treat Anxiety

Matan Koplin-Green '15 wrote a thesis at the intersection of his interests in neuroscience, technology and music. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

Matan Koplin-Green ’15 wrote a thesis at the intersection of his interests in neuroscience, technology and music. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

#THISISWHY
In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak with Matan Koplin-Green from the Class of 2015.

Q: Matan, what is your major and what was the title of your thesis?

A: I’m a neuroscience and behavior major. I wrote my thesis on “Application of Alpha Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.”

Q: Let’s back up. How did your interest in neuroscience and behavior develop?

A: I came to Wesleyan not knowing exactly what I wanted to study. I was interested in cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind, but also had a lifelong love of music. I took a year off between high school and college to play in a band in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wis., and read a lot about cognitive psychology. Once at Wesleyan, I took classes ranging from computer science to experimental music, but I was also very interested in being part of the fast-growing neuroscience major. Then in 2013, Psyche Loui (assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior) came to Wesleyan. I took her intro class and discovered that she teaches at the intersection of all my interests—neuroscience, technology and music. I decided I had to get involved. I applied to be in her lab, and was accepted.

Jung ’15 Employs Oral History to Study WWII Memories

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Hyo Jeong (Tina) Jung ’15 interviewed more than 40 Korean and Japanese elders for her thesis, “Conversation of Empathy: Understanding Children’s Lives During World War II in Korea and Japan through Oral History.” (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

#THISISWHY

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Hyo Jeong (Tina) Jung from the Class of 2015. She is a history major with concentrations in social movements and contemporary history, and an East Asian studies minor.

Graduate Student Factor Studies Planet Formation Around a Young Star

Sam Factor, a graduate student in astronomy, at the Submillimeter Array, located on Mauna Kea in Hawai'i in March 2015.

Sam Factor, a graduate student in astronomy, at the Submillimeter Array, located on Mauna Kea in Hawai’i in March 2015.

#THISISWHY
In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Sam Factor ’14, a graduate student in astronomy.

Q: Sam, congratulations on completing your master’s thesis in astronomy! We understand you took your first astronomy class in the fall of your senior year at Wesleyan. What was your undergraduate major and how did your late-developing interest in astronomy come about?

A: Thank you very much! As an undergrad, I majored in physics and computer science. During the fall of my senior year I took Introductory Astronomy (ASTR 155). I signed up for the course mainly because I wanted an interesting and relatively easy course to fill out my schedule. I had been interested in astronomy since I was very young, but had never taken a formal class. I absolutely loved the class and decided to apply to the BA/MA program.

Q: How and when did you decide to stay on at Wesleyan to pursue a master’s degree in astronomy?

A: I actually decided to apply to the BA/MA program only a few weeks before the application was due!

Brady ’15 Examines Conflict and Cooperation in the Nile Basin

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Aletta Brady ’15 conducted firsthand interviews with leaders in three Nile basin countries for her thesis, “Freshwater Negotiation in the Nile River Basin: What Explains the Patterns of Conflict and Cooperation?” (Photo courtesy of Aletta Brady)

#THISISWHY
In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with C. Aletta Brady from the Class of 2015. Brady is a government major with a concentration in international politics. She is a research assistant in the Department of Government, president of the Wesleyan Chapter of Active Minds and co-chair of the Government Majors Committee.

Q: How did you choose your thesis subject?

A: Last summer when I was swimming in the Red Sea in Egypt, someone asked me why I was investigating water scarcity and transnational water cooperation. The water was turquoise and completely clear; I could see my toes. I told them that water is vital for life, and that the number of people without access to sufficient and clean freshwater is only growing. They pushed me to go deeper. I looked down at my red toenail polish surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and schools of fish. It hit me in that moment that the root of it all was that I love water. I grew up in water. I’m from Minnesota, where we have more than 10,000 lakes, and I grew up swimming, waterskiing, tubing, canoeing, skinny-dipping, fishing and floating in water. I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s my favorite drink, and it’s where I’m most alive and most at peace. So, while I have an intellectual interest in how to preserve scarce freshwater resources, at the root of it, my interest is personal.

Weiner ’15 Studies Urban Agriculture, Community for Thesis

Through hands-on fieldwork at East New York Farms!, Kate Weiner '15 examined urban agriculture as a political project for her thesis, Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture."

Through hands-on fieldwork at East New York Farms!, Kate Weiner ’15 examined urban agriculture as a political project for her thesis, “Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture.” (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

#THISISWHY
In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Kate Weiner from the Class of 2015. Weiner is an anthropology and environmental studies major.

Q: Can you describe your thesis, “Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture”?

A: My thesis is an exploration of how community, identity and belonging interact in urban agricultural spaces, with my hands-on fieldwork with East New York Farms! serving as a case study for examining urban agriculture as a political project. Through melding creative non-fiction, feminist theory, community politics and environmental studies, the intention of my thesis is to provide a framework for understanding the various social, natural, socioeconomic and political factors that shape community-making within urban agriculture.

Q: How did you choose your thesis topic?

A: Arriving at my thesis subject was several years in the making. Throughout the summer of 2013, I photographed female urban farmers along the Eastern Seaboard

Chong ’18 is NESCAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year

Eudice Chong '18 in action. (Photo by Brian Katten '79.)

Eudice Chong ’18 in action. (Photo by Brian Katten ’79)

Eudice Chong ’18 has been named both the women’s tennis NESCAC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, as well as a first-team all-NESCAC choice in both singles and doubles, following her tremendous rookie campaign as she surrendered just one set in singles all year with a 17-0 overall record. In doubles, almost exclusively with Helen Klass-Warch ’18, Chong fashioned a 20-3 record at #1 doubles. Klass-Warch received a nod to the all-NESCAC first team in doubles.

Csere Receives Social Justice Employee Award

David Csere, winner of the Morgenstern-Clarren Social Justice Award, is known for his legendary grilled cheese sandwiches and knack for memorizing student's birthdays.

David Csere, winner of the Morgenstern-Clarren Social Justice Award, is known for his legendary grilled cheese sandwiches and knack for memorizing student’s birthdays.

#THISISWHY

In this Q&A we sit down with David McClure Csere, chef for Bon Appétit, recipient of the 2015 Morgenstern-Clarren Social Justice Employee Prize. The award was created in 2009 in memory of Peter Morgenstern-Clarren ‘03 who pursued social justice while a student at Wesleyan. Morgenstern-Clarren’s activism included securing benefits for Wesleyan custodial staff, participating in the United Student and Labor Action Committee, and contributing his leadership to the campus chapter of Amnesty International. Peter’s parents, Dr. Hadley Morgenstern-Clarren and the honorable Pat Morgenstern-Clarren of Shaker Heights, Ohio, are sponsoring this award that honors their son’s activism for the public good.

Q: When and why did you decide to work for Wesleyan?

A: When I graduated from UCONN I worked a sales job and didn’t really like it. I wanted to work with my hands, to make things from scratch. After working odd jobs, I was finally given an opportunity to work as a cook, and then took classes to develop my chef skills. It was basically an apprenticeship program. After completing that training program, I applied to Wesleyan and was offered a job. That was in 1983, so I’ve worked here for more than 31 years.

Q: What is the best part about working for Wesleyan?

A: Meeting and interacting with the students. I like to go to at least one game of all of the Wesleyan sports each year. I also attend the senior thesis video and art projects.

Staff on the Move March 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires and departures for March 2015.

Newly hired

Zachariah Pfeifer was hired as coordinator of Greek life on March 2.

Julian Goldfield was hired as desktop support specialist and art workshops technology administrator on March 2.

Pierina Cheung was hired as a research associate on March 6.

Francesca Livermore was hired as digital projects librarian on March 16.

Alexander Vazquez was hired as the instructional media specialist on March 23.

Kera Jewett was hired as a development officer on March 30.

Pinette, Brown, Lenten Honored with Cardinal Achievement Award

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Lisa Pinette, library assistant V, was recently presented with a Cardinal Achievement Award for her work on the Signage Task Force, creating more than 200 new and color-coded signs installed in Olin Memorial Library and the Science Library.

Pinette coordinated a group effort to select sign styles that would allow for future changes as needed, solicited input from library staff, worked with University Communications on the design, and ensured that all signs were ADA compliant. Finally, she hired a company to manufacture and install the signs.

“The signs look great and provide wonderful consistency and clarity from floor to floor in the Library,” said Diane Klare, interim university librarian.