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Gottschalk Named Director of Faculty Career Development

Professor of Religion Peter Gottschalk is the recipient of a $20,000 National Endowment for the Humanities "Enduring Questions" grant.

Peter Gottschalk

Peter Gottschalk was named the Director of the Center for Faculty Career Development for a three-year term starting July 1.

Gottschalk is currently Professor of Religion and has been at Wesleyan since 2002. He earned his BA at the College of the Holy Cross, his MA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his PhD at the University of Chicago. Gottschalk has co-edited one volume, co-authored another with a Wesleyan student, and authored three monographs, including the recent Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India. His work has also been published in The Los Angeles Times and the OnFaith website formerly of The Washington Post, and his teaching has been recognized with an NEH Enduring Questions grant.

Staff on the Move, January 2016

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires, transitions and departures for January 2016:

Newly hired
Robert Jasek was hired as chief information security officer in Information Technology Services on Jan. 1.
Aidan Earle was hired as gallery supervisor in the Davison Art Center on Jan. 4.
Jenna Starr was hired as assistant director in the Wesleyan fund on Jan. 4.
David Malone was hired as HVAC/utility mechanic in Physical Plant on Jan. 4.
Sonia Vega was hired as department assistant in Admissions Office on Jan. 4.
Olivia Berry was hired as a softball intern in Athletics on Jan. 4.
Michael O’Brien was hired as director of athletic communication on Jan. 11.
LaDarius Drew ’15 was hired as men’s and women’s track and field intern in Athletics on Jan. 11.
Elizabeth Bianco was hired as project coordinator in University Relations on Jan. 19.
Jeremiah Kenney was hired as dispatcher in Public Safety on Jan. 19.

Transitions
Ray Mason was hired as central power plant foreperson on Jan. 18.
Rosalind Adgers was hired as administrative assistant in the Wesleyan Career Center on Jan 25.

Departures
Geraldina Muzik, medical office manager in Health Services.
Kathleen Roberts, assistant director, Wesleyan events and conferences.
Alice Scholar, administrative assistant in the Wesleyan Career Center.
Robert West, research analyst in University Relations.
Lee Maes, volleyball intern in Athletics.

Bush ’93 Receives Leadership Award from Tufts Medical Center

Jonathan Bush '93, chair, CEO, and cofounder of athena health, was named a visionary leader by Tufts Medical Center.

Jonathan Bush ’93, chair, CEO, and cofounder of athenahealth, was named a visionary leader by Tufts Medical Center.

Tufts Medical Center selected Jonathan Bush ’93 to receive the Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership. Chairman and CEO of the health care technology company, athenahealth, Bush was cited for “exemplifying visionary and transformational leadership” as well as his “passion for uniting individualized and coordinated patient care with the demands and practicalities of healthcare management.”

Bush co-founded athenahealth in 1997. In 2007 it was the most successful initial public offering, and it is now one of the health care information technology industry’s fastest growing companies, considered by many to be industry standard. In announcing the award, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children Dr. Michael Wagner said, “I am proud that we share Jonathan’s enthusiasm to drive change in health care for the greater good.”

Staff on the Move, December 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires and departures for December 2015:

Newly hired
Colin Desjardins was hires as HVAC/utility mechanic in Physical Plant on Dec. 7.
Janet Desmarais was hired as administrative assistant in the Physics Department on Dec. 10.

Transitions
Chris Wojick was hired as data analyst in the Office of University Relations on Dec. 1.

Departures
Gail Binezewski, custodian in Physical Plant.
Randolph Alan Bougor, carpentry shop foreperson in Physical Plant.
Ralph Connolly, plumber in Physical Plant.
Peter Filanda, a/c refrigeration journeyman in Physical Plant.
Camille Martin, administrative assistant in Mellon Mays/AFAM.
David Pompei, Central Power Plant foreperson in Physical Plant.
Dara Young, Prison Education Program manager in the Center for Community Partnerships.

Staff on the Move, November 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires and departures for November 2015:

Newly hired
Terry Emmons was hired as accounting specialist in chemistry on Nov. 2
Celestine Schwenneker was hired as administrative assistant in university relations on Nov. 2
Martha Crebbin was hired as administrative assistant in the college of social studies on Nov. 30

Transitions
Renee Johnson-Thornton was hired as the Dean for the Class of 2018 on Nov. 16

Departures
Nicholas Vennochi, sports information intern in communications.

Staff on the Move, October 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires and departures for October 2015:

Newly hired
Timothy Bacon was hired as assistant squash coach intern in the Department of Athletics on Oct. 1
Mildred Rodriguez was hired as health professions advisor in the Wesleyan Career Center on Oct. 9
Jordan Knicely was hired as associate director of institutional research on Oct. 29

Departures
Mickie Dame, administrative assistant in the College of Social Studies
Devin Ford, Public Safety dispatcher
Annette Howard, analyst programmer, project leader in Information Technology Services
Armando Ortiz, Public Safety officer
Parker Smathers, acquisitions editor for Wesleyan University Press

Personick Studies Chemistry of Noble Metals

Michelle Personick joined the faculty this fall, and is teaching courses in Chemistry of Materials and Nanomaterials and an Integrated Chemistry Lab. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Michelle Personick joined the faculty this fall, and is teaching courses in Chemistry of Materials and Nanomaterials and an Integrated Chemistry Lab. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Michelle Personick, a new member of Wesleyan’s Chemistry Department.

Q: Welcome! Please fill us in on your life before Wesleyan.

A: I’ve lived in the Northeast for most of my life. I grew up in New Jersey and then moved a bit further north to go to college in Vermont. I did my graduate work at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, which is just outside of Chicago. It was fun to be a short train ride away from Chicago and to be able to experience a new city for a few years. Then I moved back to the East coast to Cambridge, Mass. to do postdoctoral research at Harvard. I really enjoy the Boston area. I went there a lot as a kid and my best friend moved there after college, so it’s a place that’s always been home to me and it was nice to be back there for a couple of years.

Q: How did you first get interested in studying chemistry?

A: I was interested in science from a very young age, partly because my father is an electrical engineer, so I was exposed to a lot of science and engineering. In high school, I went back and forth between wanting to study chemistry and being interested in physics. As a junior in high school, I wrote a report on gold nanoparticles in cancer treatment for a science writing competition as a part of a class assignment. I got really interested in the topic of metals in chemistry while doing research for the report, and that’s when I decided on chemistry.

Q: Why did you want to teach chemistry in a liberal arts school like Wesleyan?

A: I went to Middlebury College as an undergrad, and as a student I enjoyed being able to interact with my professors and appreciated that they knew who I was and cared about how I was doing in their particular class.

Cardona, Ramiz, Daniels Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

Elisa Cardona and Bulaong Ramiz from the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development each received a Cardinal Achievement Award for their extraordinary efforts in facilitating a series of community discussions and educational workshops (over several weekends) in the wake of the publication of a controversial op-ed about the Black Lives Matter movement in the Wesleyan Argus.

“These have been significant time commitments in addition to their already hectic job responsibilities” said Dean Mike Whaley. “I also want to highlight my observation that these discussions have been especially helpful and healing because they were designed in a way that participants were talking with each other, rather than at each other. The effectiveness of these important discussions is clearly a result of Elisa and Bulaong’s skilled facilitation as well as their deep commitment toward cultivating a campus environment that values diversity and inclusion as a cornerstone of students’ campus experience.”

Christine Daniels, executive assistant to the vice president for finance and administration, was awarded with a Cardinal Achievement Award for coordinating events for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education assembly meeting in October. Administrators from 35 colleges in the United States visited Wesleyan’s campus for this significant meeting.

Daniels worked with campus staff and vendors, and staff at the Inn at Middletown.

“Christine came in early and stayed late over a period of several days as she managed the entire event. The event went flawlessly and in many ways that was because of her extraordinary dedication and effort,” said John Meerts, vice president for finance and administration.

This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for those extra efforts. Award recipients are nominated by department chairs and supervisors.

Nominations can be made anytime throughout the year. For more information or to nominate a staff member for the award, visit the Cardinal Achievement Award website. Recipients will continue to be recognized in News @ Wesleyan. See past Cardinal Achievement Award recipients here.

Naecker an Expert on Behavioral, Experimental Economics

Jeffrey Naecker, assistant professor of economics, joined the faculty this fall. He teaches a field course on behavioral and experimental economics, which are his primary areas of research.

Jeffrey Naecker, assistant professor of economics, joined the faculty this fall. He teaches a field course on behavioral and experimental economics. Part of Naecker’s research looks at organ donation registration behavior.

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Jeffrey Naecker, a new member of Wesleyan’s Economics Department.

Q: Welcome to Wesleyan, Professor Naecker! Where are you from?

A: I grew up in beautiful and sunny Pasadena, Calif. I was also educated in California, first doing my bachelor’s degree at Berkeley and then my Ph.D. at Stanford. Wesleyan is my first job after graduate school, and my first experience living on the East Coast. I’m excited to try out this “winter” thing I’ve been hearing about!

Q: And what drew you to Wesleyan’s Economics Department?

A: I knew throughout graduate school that I wanted to be able to do work on the topics of my own choosing, and also teach economics to bright students. The economics department here offered me the freedom and resources to work on my research agenda, as well as the chance to create courses that interest me and are useful and relevant for the students here.

Q: What has been your impression so far of the Wesleyan community?

A: The entire faculty at Wesleyan is incredibly impressive: producing well-published research while also teaching rigorous classes to extremely intellectual students. I’m honored to have a chance work with everyone here. My colleagues have also been very curious and supportive of my research,

Davenport Grant Takes Ertas ’16 to Turkey for Senior Thesis Research

As a Davenport Grant recipient, Deren Ertas '16 was able to spend a month in Istanbul, speaking with activists, politicians, neighborhood organizers and academics in Turkey about the period leading up to the uprising and the Taksim Commune. 

As a Davenport Grant recipient, Deren Ertas ’16 was able to spend a month in Istanbul, speaking with activists, politicians, neighborhood organizers and academics in Turkey about the period leading up to the uprising and the Taksim Commune.

In this Q&A, we speak with Deren Ertas from the Class of 2016.

Q: Deren, what are you majoring in?

A: I’m majoring in the College of Social Studies. I’m also getting the Social, Cultural and Critical Theory Certificate.

Q: You received a Davenport Grant to do research for your senior honors thesis. Could you tell us a little about the grant?

A: Yes, the Davenport Grant is a nifty $3,000 grant that the Public Affairs Center awards to a number of students who want to pursue research that might require them to travel. You apply with a research prospectus and a budget proposal. I’m writing a political theory thesis that engages with the city from the perspectives of neoliberalism, resistance and democracy. My argument is that we can arrive at a radical pluralist democracy by resisting the conditions created by the neoliberalization of cities, or something to that effect. I am using the Gezi Protests (2013) in Istanbul as my case study.

Q: Where did you conduct your field research?

A: With the Davenport Grant, I was able to spend a month in Istanbul.

Employees Honored for Service to Wesleyan

The Employee Service Recognition Luncheon was held on Oct. 19 to recognize numerous faculty and staff for their many years of commitment to the university.

The Employee Service Recognition Luncheon was held on Oct. 19 to recognize numerous faculty and staff for their many years of commitment to the university. Pictured in the center is library assistant Dianne Kelly, who celebrated 30 years of service.

The Office of Human Resources hosted its annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon Oct. 19 in Beckham Hall. President Michael Roth attended the lunch and commended the employees for their many years of service at Wesleyan. Employees who were celebrating their 20th, 25th, 30th, 35, and 40th year were invited to the luncheon with a guest. Employees honored included:

Admissions
Clifford Thornton, 30 years
Sheila von Schoeler, 30 years
Christian Lanser, 20 years

Center for the Arts
Mark Gawlak, 30 years