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Schwartz ’17 Founder of Wesleyan Radio Control/ Drone Club

David Schwartz '17, founder and president of the Wesleyan Radio Control/ Drone Club, flies a drone behind South College July 28. He's also on Wesleyan's ski team, rock climbing team and sailing team. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

David Schwartz ’17, founder and president of the Wesleyan Radio Control/ Drone Club, flies a drone behind South College July 28. He’s also on Wesleyan’s ski team, rock climbing team and sailing team. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with David Schwartz from the Class of 2017.

Q: David, where are you from and what is your major?

A: I grew up in Amherst, Mass. When I first came to Wesleyan, I walked around wearing my Amherst sweatshirt for awhile before realizing there was a bit of a rivalry. I’m an Economics and Government double major, with a minor in data analysis. I’m particularly interested in applying “big data” techniques to government policymaking.

David Schwartz operates the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone "that was very user-friendly and intuitive to learn," he said.

David Schwartz operates the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone “that was very user-friendly and intuitive to learn,” he said.

Q: You are founder and president of the Wesleyan Radio Control/ Drone Club. How did your interest in aerial photography begin?

A: I’ve always had a passion for flying, but unfortunately I get air-sick in small planes, so I’ve been able to apply my interest by being involved in the radio control community. Last summer, I spent my free time building an aerial photography quad copter and coding a basic auto-pilot system. For example, if the gyroscope was leaning left, the program would simply instruct the servos (motor) controlling the ailerons (parts on the wings that tilt the plane) to counter this movement until the plane was stable again. When I was able to stabilize the aircraft, I noticed that the camera on it was able to take some really clear photographs.

Q: Why did you decide to start the club? How many members do you have?

A: After telling my friends about my project building a drone last summer

Uchendu ’17 Researches Production of Biofuels as McNair Scholar

Stacy Uchendu ‘17 is researching second generation biofuels with Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry and environmental studies, as a McNair Scholar.

Science in Society major Stacy Uchendu ‘17 is researching second generation biofuels as a McNair Scholar.

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we talk with Stacy Uchendu from the Class of 2017. Uchendu is participating in Wesleyan’s Ronald E. McNair Post Program, which assists students from underrepresented groups in preparing for, entering and progressing successfully through post-graduate education.

Q: Stacy, where are you from and what is your major?

A: I’m from Houston, Texas, and my major is Science in Society with concentrations in chemistry and religion.

Q: When did you become a part of the McNair Program? Why did you decide to participate?

A: McNair offers a wonderful opportunity to do paid research over the summer and during the academic school year.

Holmes ’17 Studies Congressional Tweets in QAC Summer Apprenticeship

Joli Holmes ’17, an economics major, is one of 24 students in the Quantitative Analysis Center's Summer Apprenticeship Program.

Joli Holmes ’17, an economics major, is one of 24 students in the Quantitative Analysis Center’s Summer Apprenticeship Program.

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Joli Holmes from the Class of 2017. She is one of 24 students in the Quantitative Analysis Center’s Summer Apprenticeship Program.

Q: Joli, what is your major and what’s your specific area of interest?

A: I’m an economics major. I’m particularly interested in studying investment-related practices from an environmental and social perspective.

Q: Have you worked in the Quantitative Analysis Center before this summer?

A: I’ve taken a lot of classes through the QAC, including “Working with R,” “Excel with Visual Basic for Applications,” and “Python.” These are all classes on how to use statistical software, which also cover some statistical analysis topics.

Q: What does an average day look like in the QAC Apprenticeship Program?

A: We start our days at 8:30, and have class for an hour and a half. The classes are taught by Emmanuel “Manolis” Kaparakis, [director of Centers for Advanced Computing], Pavel Oleinikov, [associate director of the Quantitative Analysis Center, visiting assistant professor of quantitative analysis], and Jen Rose, [research professor of psychology]. The topics of these classes really vary. We cover everything from basic statistics – like how to do a simple linear regression and looking at correlations – to different types of clustering and factor analysis. In the future we might do some latent variable analysis. They make sure all the students have a good foundation, and then cover advanced topics. In these lessons, we work with statistical software and example data sets. For the rest of the day, we work on our individual research projects.

Gavin Pittore ’16 is Playing in the Prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this Summer

Gavin Pittore pitching for Wesleyan in Spring 2015.

Gavin Pittore pitching for Wesleyan in Spring 2015. (Photo by Brian Katten ’79)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Gavin Pittore of the Class of 2016. This summer, Pittore is playing with the Bourne Braves of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), the foremost of the dozen or so wooden-bat summer collegiate baseball leagues sanctioned by Major League Baseball. A second-team all-NESCAC pick in 2015, Pittore posted a 7-2 record with a 1.54 ERA and seven complete games over his 10 starts during Wesleyan’s 30-11 baseball season. Through games of July 21, Pittore has seen 10 relief appearances for the Braves (15-17-2), throwing 14-2/3 innings while giving up a mere six hits and no earned runs with 17 strikeouts and a 1-1 record. He has been chosen as one of nine pitchers for the West squad in the annual Friendly’s Cape Cod League All-Star Game to be played in Wareham Sat., July 25.

Q: You have accomplished perhaps every college player’s summer dream of playing in the Cape Cod League. Can you describe how you prepared for and earned an opportunity for a spot on one of the 10 teams?

A: Playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League is definitely a dream come true for me. I’ve always been familiar with the league, but not until relatively recently did I think I would have a chance of playing there. I played on the Cape last year and really got to understand what it was about. My sophomore year at Wesleyan was filled with growing experiences and many obstacles, which definitely prepared me for the mental and physical challenges presented by playing a summer on the Cape. One thing I took away from two years of trying to get into the league is that patience is key. As a sophomore, I was very anxious to be placed in a league and [Wesleyan Head] Coach [Mark] Woodworth made sure to emphasize the fact that as long as I pitched well in front of the right people, I would end up where I belonged. I took his advice and went to the annual tryout for the Cape League after both my sophomore and junior years. Both years I was signed to a temporary contract, both of which luckily turned into permanent contracts. Listening to my coaches and sticking with my daily routine prepared me to play in such a prestigious league.

Q: As a member of the Bourne Braves, you are the only Division III pitcher on a staff of some 17 hurlers. Some are from Division I powerhouses like LSU, Illinois and Notre Dame. How do you feel throwing alongside players from such high-powered programs?

A: It definitely is intimidating at first. There is a big adjustment, especially mentally, going from playing Division III baseball to facing lineups that are essentially all college all-star teams. Similarly, it is difficult to adjust to being surrounded by players that come from such storied programs.The first few weeks everyone is still getting to know everyone else and starting to understand where everyone fits in, so it was important for me to prove that I belonged. After a couple successful outings, I no longer viewed myself as D3 guy playing amongst SEC, Big 10, and ACC players, but rather just another member of the Bourne Braves. At the same time, it is an honor to be competing with and getting to know such talented and successful guys. It’s been a privilege getting to know and getting to learn from the 2015 Bourne Braves pitching staff.

Res Life’s O’Neill Oversees 26 RAs, Creates Dynamic Women of Wesleyan Group

Krystal-Gayle O’Neill says she enjoys the way Wesleyan students challenge her "on every front as it keeps me on my toes."

Krystal-Gayle O’Neill says she enjoys the way Wesleyan students challenge her “on every front as it keeps me on my toes.”

In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak with Krystal-Gayle O’Neill, an area coordinator in Residential Life. In addition to her role with Res Life, O’Neil leads Dynamic Women at Wesleyan, a group that was created as a way for women or persons who identify as women to come together, talk about various topics, and gather under a common purpose

Q: Krystal-Gayle, when did you join the staff at the Office of Residential Life and where were you working prior to Wesleyan?

A: I joined the Res Life staff in the Summer of 2011. Prior to Wes, I worked in Res Life at The Juilliard School in New York and in campus recreation at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.

Q: As an area coordinator, what areas of student housing do you oversee? Also, where is your office?

A: I oversee the Foss 1-10 residence halls (West College, Nicolson, Hewitt and the program halls).

Mathew ’18 Participates in Summer Session’s Biology Institute

Christine "Cj" Mathew '18 is taking two intensive science classes this summer that equate to an entire year's worth of credits.

Christine “Cj” Mathew ’18 is taking two intensive science classes this summer that equate to an entire year’s worth of credits. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Christine “Cj” Mathew from the Class of 2018.

Q: Cj, have you chosen a major?

A: I’m a prospective neuroscience and behavior major.

Mathew's second Summer Session class began June 29.

Mathew’s second Summer Session class, Principles of Biology II, began June 29.

Q: This summer, you are enrolled in the new Biology Institute, which is held as part of the Wesleyan Summer Session, and includes intensive Principles of Biology I and II Lecture and Lab. Why did you decide to participate in the institute?

A: For my major requirements and pre-med requirements, there are tons of science classes that I have to take, and I didn’t want to feel too overwhelmed by taking more than one science class in a year.

Q: How many students were in your Bio I class? Do you enjoy the more intimate learning atmosphere?

A: There were 11 people in the class, and I absolutely love having a small class. This class is pretty fast paced, so it’s really helpful to have more individual attention. We spend a lot of time together between class and labs; by the second week of class, it was like we’d all known each other for a long time!

Q: When are you in class? Also, have you done any interesting lab experiments?

A: We’re in class every day from 9-10:40 a.m. and the lab meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30-4:20 p.m., but most of the labs don’t take that long so we’re let out earlier. In Bio I, we’ve done some pretty cool labs including genetic engineering, where we transformed bacteria. One of my personal favorites was when we looked at what proteins are found in milk and how much protein is found in milk. This one was particularly interesting because so many people are lactose intolerant because of these proteins.

Q: The Biology II course began June 29. How do you feel about jumping right into another class?

A: Luckily, there was a small, five-day break in between the two sessions. But, it’s not too bad. Since we’re only taking one class, not all of our time is consumed with class, so it’s manageable.

Q: After Bio II, do you have any summer plans?

A: Maybe a little traveling!

Q: Where are you from and why did you choose Wesleyan?

A: I’m from Long Island, N.Y. I chose Wesleyan because I knew I wanted a small school, and I loved the fact that Wesleyan has a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing classes.

Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities on campus? What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I’m part of Women in Science and I enjoy playing tennis.

Farrar Selects, Monitors Investment Managers to Support Wesleyan’s Endowment

Jonathan Farrar

Jonathan Farrar

In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak with Jonathan Farrar, a senior investment associate in the Wesleyan Investments Office.

Q: Jonathan, when did you join the staff at Wesleyan’s Investments Office?

A: I joined the investments office in mid-October 2014, though in most appropriate fashion (as you’ll soon discover) my first day on the job was actually on the road in San Francisco with Anne Martin, our Chief Investment Officer. I seized the opportunity to tag along since she was seeing some of our existing investment managers as well as a few that I have invested with in the past. I moved my family up on Halloween day just in time for my oldest, Jay, to throw on his elephant costume and go trick or treating in his new neighborhood.

Q: The Investments Office offers guidance and makes recommendations to the Investment Committee in the ongoing management, evaluation and growth of the University’s Endowment. What is the Wesleyan Investment Committee? Who are members?

A: The Wesleyan Board of Trustees is the primary fiduciary of the University’s endowment with the ultimate responsibility for how these assets are invested. The Board fulfills that responsibility by establishing policies governing its management, delegating appropriate responsibilities to the Investment Committee, and taking reasonable steps to verify that the Board’s policies are being adhered to. The Investment Committee is responsible for a number of things, including setting asset allocation, overseeing the work of the investments staff, and making recommendations to the Board for adjustments to the endowment’s investment policy.

Staff on the Move, April and May 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires, transitions and departures for April and May 2015:

Newly hired

Kyle Archer was hired as an assistant football coach, quarterbacks and passing game on April 1.

Brendan Plake was hired as a desktop support specialist on April 6.

Kyle Tousignant was hired as a desktop systems engineer on April 8.

Daniel Mercier was hired as an instructional design director on April 20.

Laurie Kenney was hired as an editor/writer on April 20.

Jeff Murphy was hired as a facilities business manager on May 4.

Stacey Cuppett was hired as a public safety dispatcher on May 18.

Charlotte Freeland was hired as a research assistant/lab coordinator on May 18.

Transitions

Kevin Webster was hired as an electrical shop working foreperson on April 20.

Meg Zocco was hired as the director of parent development on April 27.

Mary Ann Matthews was hired as a public safety dispatcher on May 18.

Departures

Joe Filanda, locksmith.

John Gudvangen, director of financial aid.

Mario Velasquez, facilities manager.

Michele Matera, office assistant.

Adam Fischer, research assistant/lab coordinator.

Morgan Hamill, Unix systems administrator.

Janani Iyer, research assistant/lab coordinator.

Daniel LaBonte, area coordinator.

Peter Staye, director of utilities management.

Wimer ’19 Raises $2,175 in “Swim for Nepal” Fundraising Event

On May 29, pre-frosh Max Wimer ’19 swam laps for 60 minutes to raise money for children affected by the April 25 Nepal magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and injured an additional 23,000. The event, titled “Swim for Nepal,” was part of the Save the Children Fund non-profit group that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. More than $37,000 was donated, with Wimer as one of the fundraisers, collecting $2,175.

This is not the first charity event for Wimer, who organized and swam in the 2013 “Swim for the Philippines” event. On Oct. 15, 2013, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the Philippines, and relief efforts were disrupted three weeks later by Super Typhoon Haiyan. This event raised more than $43,000 for children afflicted by these two events.

Read more about the charity event here.

9 Faculty Retire in 2014-15

Nine members of the Wesleyan faculty retired during the 2014-15 academic year.

They include John Carr III, professor of theater (1984-2014); James Donady, professor of biology (1972-2015); Richard Elphick, professor of history (1971-2015); Brian Fay, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy (1971-2015); Gale Lackey, adjunct professor of physical education (1978-2015); Laurie Nussdorfer, the William Armstrong Professor of History (1986-2015); George Petersson, the Fisk Professor of Natural Science (1973-2015); Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies (1975-2015); and Ann Wightman, professor of history (1981-2014).

On May 23, the faculty gathered for a reception. Several faculty also held their own private celebrations.

Brian Fay, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor of philosophy, was recognized at a reception on May 23. (Photo by Hannah Norman '16)

Brian Fay, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor of philosophy, was recognized at a reception on May 23. (Photo by Hannah Norman ’16)

Yin ’15 Repeats First-Team Academic All-American Honor

Andrew Yin '15

Andrew Yin ’15

Baseball player Andrew Yin ’15, who helped Wesleyan win two straight NESCAC titles, along with a perfect 12-0 conference record in 2015, was recently named a CoSIDA/Capital One First-Team Academic All-American for the second straight year. He is the only player among the 33 honorees on the three national teams in 2015 to repeat as a first-team choice.

Yin also is the only player among those cited to be a three-time Academic All-American. In 2013, Yin, then a sophomore, made his first appearance as an Academic All-America third-team selection. Sophomores are rare on the squad as only one of the 33 players in 2015 is a sophomore, also a third-teamer. Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once, and is the fifth Cardinal baseball player since 1972 to grace the list.

Yin started 38 of 41 games at second base during Wesleyan’s banner 2015 campaign as the Cardinals posted an overall record of 30-11, just the third 30-win campaign in program history. The 2014 Cardinals set the record for wins in a season, going 31-13. Yin hit .309 with 43 hits in 139 at-bats in 2015. He led the Cardinals in walks with 21 and stolen bases, going 17-for-21. His 32 runs scored were second-highest on the team. He knocked in nine runs, had seven doubles and fielded at a crisp .957 mark. He ended his career on a 10-game hitting streak. Three of his doubles came in one game and keyed Wesleyan to its 4-3, 12-inning victory over Amherst in the NESCAC title game May 10. Yin doubled and scored in both the 5th and 7th innings, then doubled in the 9th inning to drive in the tying run. Wesleyan won the game on Guy Davidson’s (’16) 12-inning solo homer.

Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once,

Andrew Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once.

Davidson was among six Cardinals named all-NESCAC in 2015 as he joined pitcher Sam Elias ’15, also named Pitcher of the Year, and first-baseman Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 on the first team. Named to the second team were center fielder Donnie Cimino ’15 and pitchers Nick Cooney ’15 and Gavin Pittore ’16.

Yin was a first-team all-NESCAC choice in 2013 as well as second-team all-ECAC New England Division III.

Yin also was the recipient of Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard Award, given to the top senior male scholar-athlete at the university. Yin, who graduated May 24 with degrees in chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry, and neuroscience and behavior, held a cumulative GPA of 4.01.

Read more here.

Carr ’15 Explores Concept of “Little” in Children’s Literature

Siri Carr ’15 explored the concept of "little" in children's literature in her thesis, "Little Do We Know: Conceptualizing the 'Little' in Children’s Literature."

Siri Carr ’15 explored the concept of “little” in children’s literature in her thesis, “Little Do We Know: Conceptualizing the ‘Little’ in Children’s Literature.”

#THISISWHY

In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak with Siri Carr ’15, who double majored in the College of Letters and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. Carr’s thesis, Little Do We Know: Conceptualizing the “Little” in Children’s Literature, explores the concept of the “little” in children’s literature. The thesis was submitted for honors in the College of Letters.