Snapshots

Campus Community Captures Themselves Wearing COVID-19 Protective Masks

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that United States residents not only practice social distancing, but wear masks in public. In this piece, we highlight Wesleyan faculty, staff, students, and alumni donning their masks and explain a bit about them.

mask sillasen

Roseann Sillasen MALS ’07, associate director/project manager for Physical Plant-Facilities, wears a standard-issue surgical mask that was donated by families of Wesleyan students. The mask “has special meaning because it demonstrates caring and concern for our safety from around the world,” she said. Sillasen, who continues to work on campus, wears the mask daily in the office. “It not only protects me from others but also protects others from me. Although we practice social distancing, you do not realize how exposed you are unless you truly trace every contact every day,” she said. “This virus is insidious. It knows no boundaries.”

mask williams

Frantz Williams, Jr. ’99, vice president for advancement, wears a mask crafted by his wife, Anne Johnson ’01, from felt samples they had in their house. Johnson also made one for herself. “I wear this to the grocery and pet store when I need to get supplies,” Williams said.

Students Discuss Wesleyan’s Sustainability Efforts during Earth Month

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Wesleyan’s Sustainability Office led a virtual WesFest session to introduce Class of 2024 admitted students and their families to the office.

Several Eco Facilitators and Sustainability Interns from the Wesleyan Sustainability Office, and members of the Wesleyan Green Fund and other environmental sustainability groups on campus shared information on the sustainability scene at Wesleyan. There are currently a total of 16 Eco Facilitators, two Eco Facilitator coordinators, five compost interns, three sustainability coordinators and one Sustainable Middletown intern.

Sustainability Director Jen Kleindienst explained the office’s three main purposes: to reduce Wesleyan’s environmental footprint; to ensure students are exposed to information on sustainability and environmental justice in their courses; and to focus on the office’s intern program to build more of a culture of sustainability on campus.

“We’re trying to bring sustainability to more people [and] make it more accessible, . . . bring in intersectional issues as much as possible, and we’re always looking to evolve,” Kleindienst said. “We’re excited to have you here today to talk about what we do and get you excited about coming to Wesleyan!”

salma

During a virtual discussion on Wesleyan’s Sustainability Office, Eco Facilitator Salma Hassan ’22 shared her efforts on encouraging students to return their eco-to-go food containers; collaborating with the Wesleyan Resource Center on including intersectionality in environmentalism; and expanding the topic of environmental justice into more Wesleyan classes. Hassan, a psychology, French studies, and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies triple major, worked with fellow Eco Facilitator Chloe Johnson ’22 to start eco-to-go collection hours in first-year student residence complexes where students could drop off the containers on site rather than returning them to the dining halls. The effort worked, and Wesleyan’s Dining Services reported an uptick in the amount of containers returned.

Earth and Environmental Science Seniors Conduct Research in Hawaii

Sixteen earth and environmental science majors from the Class of 2020 recently conducted field research in Hawaii as part of their Senior Field Research course.

The class, E&ES 498, is taught by Tim Ku, chair and associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Suzanne O’Connell, professor of earth and environmental sciences. The course is open to students who completed E&ES 497: Senior Seminar, and focuses on improving scientific research skills.

Past classes have conducted research in Death Valley, Calif., the main island of Puerto Rico, the Connecticut River Valley, and the Big Island of Hawaii. The field research took place on the Big Island of Hawaii on Jan. 5-12 and the course concluded with student group presentations on March 3 and 5 and written reports.

The trip was funded by the Lawrence H. Davis ’76 Fund.

The students and their project titles are below:

Emmy Hughes, Avery Kaplan, Haley Brumberger, and Shuo Wang worked on a project titled "Assessing Microplastic Accumulation and Distribution on Four Beaches in Hawaii.

Shuo Wang, Haley Brumberger, Emmy Hughes,and Avery Kaplan worked on a project titled “Assessing Microplastic Accumulation and Distribution on Four Beaches in Hawaii.”

Emily Litz, Jackie Duckett, Miles Brooks, Katie Toner, and Allegra Grant worked together on a project titled "Coffee Soils: Carbon Source or Sink?"

Emily Litz, Jackie Duckett, Katie Toner, Miles Brooks, and Allegra Grant worked together on a project titled “Coffee Soils: Carbon Source or Sink?”

Middletown Public School Students Display Artwork at Wesleyan

The 39th annual Middletown Public Schools Art Exhibition was on exhibit from March 7-15 at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The show featured a wide variety of visual art from children in Kindergarten through 12th grade.

The 39th annual Middletown Public Schools Art Exhibition was on view from March 7–15 at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The show featured a wide variety of visual art from children in Kindergarten through 12th grade.

The exhibition was sponsored by the Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Public Schools Cultural Council, and Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts. Due to the threat of the coronavirus, the show was closed to the public on March 13-15.

The exhibition was sponsored by the Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Public Schools Cultural Council, and Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts.

Students Engage with Google Employees through Career Virtual Panel

On Feb. 27, the Gordon Career Center hosted a Google Career Virtual Panel featuring Wesleyan alumni who offered insight on their roles in sales, business, product management, marketing, legal issues, and other roles at Google.

The panel was assembled by Sherry Liang ’20, who completed a WEShadow at Google last winter, and Peer Career Advisor Esmye Lytle ’21.

Speakers included:

Aaron Stoertz '03

Aaron Stoertz ’03

Aaron Stoertz ’03: Stoertz graduated with a BA in English. Since then he worked in conservation biology, public health, and international health policy at the World Health Organization before landing in tech, where he’s worked his way into a position as a product manager at Google Health.

Terry Wei ’07: Wei has 13 years of experience in public relations and communications. She currently leads communications for Waze, the world’s leading crowdsourced navigation app. Previously, Wei was head of public relations at Squarespace and managed product communications at Mercedes-Benz. Originally from California, Wei studied English at Wesleyan and graduated in 2007.

Paul Vidich ’72, P’00, ’03 Discusses Espionage Novel at Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore

Paul Vidich

Paul Vidich ’72, P’00, ’03 spoke about his new book, The Coldest Warrior, on Feb. 24 at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore. The espionage novel, published by Pegasus Crime in February 2020, explores the dark side of intelligence that is exposed when a CIA officer delves into a cold case from the 1950s―with fatal consequences.

Paul Vidich

Many of those who attended Vidich’s talk were friends and fellow members of Wesleyan’s Class of 1972. Vidich, a College of Social Studies (CSS) major, said, “What I learned at CSS was critical thinking and healthy skepticism, but not cynicism. I think I’m a skeptical person, but I also think that every generation goes through periods in which government disappoints. … Skepticism, to me, is a healthy way of looking at the world, and my characters in the novel are intentionally skeptical.”

Students Enjoy Spring-Like Temperatures in Late February

Several students took advantage of the 60-plus degree temperatures and warming sun rays Feb. 24 on campus. While some students enjoyed outdoor study time in solitude, others rode bikes and skateboards, played with flying discs, had lunch, and enjoyed socializing under the sun. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

students outside

students outside

Best of Wes: Campus Exhibits

Wesleyan boasts several exhibits on display this month that are open to the public and are free of charge. View a collection of architect Henry Bacon’s campus plans and building designs, student artwork, professional photographs, a cardboard-art installation, an experimental musical commemoration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and more!

Be sure to check out the following exhibits as they are the best of Wes! (Photos by Olivia Drake)

RING FAMILY LOBBY DISPLAY CASE:

usdan cases

The Ring Family Lobby display case, located on the first floor of Usdan University Center, features artwork by students in the Printmaking I (ARST 237) and Beginning Japanese Printmaking Woodblock Technique (ARST 261) classes. The classes were taught during the fall 2019 semester by Alexander Osborn, visiting assistant professor of art, and Keiji Shinohara, artist-in-residence.

artwork

Nicole Rizutto ’20 created this artwork in the Japanese Printmaking class.

OLIN LIBRARY:

Olin Library is celebrating Black History Month with several book displays, and the Wesleyan Music Department community is commemorating the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) with an inspired, diverse mix of traditional and experimental tributes. Stop by to browse books about Ludwig van Beethoven, view his musical scores, and experience Leif Inge’s sound installation 9 Beet Stretch (2002), which stretches Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony into a 24-hour recording.

Materials sourced from Wesleyan's Henry Bacon Collection are displayed in Olin Library's new display cases located in the basement. Architect Henry Bacon, best known for designing the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., also helped shape the Wesleyan campus. He designed Wesleyan's Eclectic Society building (1907); the Skull and Serpent Society building (1914); Clark Hall (1916); the Van Vleck Observatory (1916); and provided the initial designs for Hall Laboratory (1927, now raised) and Olin Library (1928). The exhibit showcases Bacon's work on the Lincoln Memorial, correspondence letters, and work on Wesleyan's campus.

Materials sourced from Wesleyan’s Henry Bacon Collection are displayed in Olin Library’s new display cases, located in the basement. Architect Henry Bacon, best known for designing the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., also helped shape the Wesleyan campus. He designed Wesleyan’s Eclectic Society building (1907); the Skull and Serpent Society building (1914); Clark Hall (1916); and the Van Vleck Observatory (1916), pictured; and provided the initial designs for Hall Laboratory (1927, no longer standing); and Olin Library (1928).

Graduate Student McNeill Speaks on the Social, Cultural Aspects of the Black New Orleans Brass Band

graduate student speaker

As part of Wesleyan’s Graduate Speaker Series, Marvin McNeill, a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology, spoke about “Structures of Feeling and the Significance of Affectivity in the Social and Cultural Survivals of the Black New Orleans Brass Band,” on Feb. 7 in Exley Science Center.

McNeil explained how the institution of the Black New Orleans brass band represents a genealogic continuum that extends back to the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the Louisiana Territory. "This continuum connects a violent past, marked by physical abuse of black bodies in the form of institutionalized slavery, to a violent present confounded by systemic poverty, social injustice, and police brutality," he said. In spite of extreme oppression, the brass band community continues to enrich and enliven both local communities through their iconic musical offerings.

McNeill explained how the institution of the Black New Orleans brass band represents a genealogic continuum that extends back to the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the Louisiana Territory. “This continuum connects a violent past, marked by physical abuse of black bodies in the form of institutionalized slavery, to a violent present confounded by systemic poverty, social injustice, and police brutality,” he said. “In spite of extreme oppression, the brass band community continues to enrich and enliven both local communities through their iconic musical offerings.”