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Olivia DrakeJune 2, 20227min
Last fall, while working as the lead production assistant for WesWorks, a performance featuring Wesleyan facilities staff, Erin Byrne '24 became acquainted with Victor Ignacio Rosario— a custodian at Wesleyan who is contracted through SMG. Rosario, who primarily works in Exley Science Center and the Science Library, allowed Byrne to job-shadow him and in return, Byrne gained a deep appreciation for his day-to-day responsibilities. "Victor is a vital and enthusiastic member of the Wesleyan community," Byrne said. "Especially during the pandemic, keeping communal spaces on campus clean constantly was difficult and necessary, and Victor helped me realize just how much…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20225min
Wesleyan has successfully launched a pair of online mini-courses this spring as a way for the university to further explore opportunities in online learning. The new initiative, which started the spring semester, featured two popular undergraduate courses: Living a Good Life, taught by Stephen Angle, Jennifer D’Andrea, Steven Horst, and Tushar Irani, and Black Phoenix Rising, taught by Anthony Ryan Hatch. Living a Good Life was a seven-week exploration of how philosophy and psychology teach us how to live lives of meaning and fulfillment. Black Phoenix Rising was a multimodal project that explores Black people’s practices of resisting death and…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20224min
Every year, as Wesleyan students empty their rooms at the end of the Spring semester, they fill dumpsters with usable items – everything from clothing and room décor to small appliances. “There was still more waste generated than we like,” said Hayley Berliner, temporary sustainability director. “We want to divert as much as we can.” Debbra Goh ’24 and Annie Volker ’24, both eco-facilitators for Wesleyan Sustainability, have come up with an idea on how to lessen the waste. The duo will launch WesThrift at 284 High next fall, a free store for clothing and dorm essentials located in the…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 15, 20212min
One in five women and one in 16 men experience sexual violence in college, according to recent studies. The percentages are even higher amongst women of color and the LGBTQ+ community. The frightening thing about those already disturbing numbers is that they are almost certainly not the whole story. “We know that this is one of the most underreported experiences of harm,” said Johanna DeBari, director of the Office of Support, Healing, Activism, and Prevention Education (SHAPE). DeBari and her team at SHAPE are hoping that their work during Dating Violence Awareness Month this October will help draw attention to the…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 31, 20213min
After an unusual 18 months of hybrid teaching, working remotely, and navigating university life during a pandemic, Wesleyan's faculty and staff are eager for some normalcy this fall. In this News @ Wesleyan piece, we speak to several employees about what they are most looking forward to during the fall 2021 semester. Morgan Keller became director of international student affairs on Aug. 23 after stints at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Santa Cruz, and Clemson University. He learned of Wesleyan through his cousin, Adam Keller '14, who spoke favorably of the university during his time here as a film…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 17, 20214min
Every day the workers of Wesleyan’s facilities staff labor to keep the University going in the most fundamental ways. Their work can often be invisible but without properly ventilated performance spaces, clean laboratories, and functional classrooms, just to give a few examples, the University would grind to a halt. An upcoming multidisciplinary dance project titled “WesWorks” takes the rituals and movements of their days and creates choreography that transforms the ordinary, mundane, and skillful movements of work into a performance accompanied by live, original music and stories told in the workers’ voices. The performance will take place outdoors on Andrus…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 5, 20213min
Ninety-nine thousand and counting. That's how many times Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff have stuck, swiped, and swirled cotton swabs in their nasal cavities over the past seven months at the Wesleyan COVID-19 testing facility, with hopes for that negative result indicating no presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. "Implementing an effective testing program was essential to returning for in-person learning," said Associate Vice President/Dean of Students Rick Culliton, who spearheads Wesleyan's Curricular Contingency Planning Task Force (CCPTF). "Our number one priority is keeping the campus community safe. Having accurate, timely test results has been critical to identifying and containing any cases…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 9, 20211min
During the spring semester arrival period, Feb. 5–8, volunteers from Wesleyan's Campus-Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) assisted with welcoming students to campus, checking them in, and ensuring they had a COVID-19 test within five days of arriving on campus. Members also shoveled snow to keep paths clear and delivered students' suitcases, via an ATV, to their residences. Joe Fountain, director of athletic injury care, loaned the Athletics Department ATV to C-CERT for this purpose. Wesleyan's C-CERT group consists of staff, faculty, and student volunteers. (Photos by Olivia Drake and Roseann Sillasen) (more…)

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Olivia DrakeDecember 3, 20203min
For 19 years, Joyce Topshe took on the role of managing Wesleyan's construction services, environmental services, rental properties, and Physical Plant-Facilities. Now in her 20th year of working at Wesleyan, the associate vice president for facilities is powering through "the most challenging year of my career," she said. "As we approach the end of the fall semester during a raging pandemic, I am feeling like we almost won the World Series. My entire team has worked exhaustively to make our campus safe during the pandemic, and I am so grateful to every member of my team for staying the course…

Olivia DrakeSeptember 29, 20207min
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected the way faculty teach, students learn, and staff work to help the University. In this article, we spotlight Linda Hurteau, Science Library assistant, who has helped make the library a safe environment for patrons and staff alike. The once busy and bustling Science Library, which stays open until 2 a.m. to accommodate those who study late into the night, is open for service this fall semester. However, the pandemic has drastically changed the way students interact with and use the library. And no one knows this better than Science Library Assistant Linda Hurteau, a 16-year…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 28, 20203min
Sean Higgins, Wesleyan's Lock Shop foreman, passed away suddenly on Sept. 25. He was 60 years old. Higgins worked for Wesleyan's Physical Plant for 16 years maintaining the physical security of the campus where he insured the safety of students, faculty, and staff. According to his obituary in The Middletown Press, Higgins "showed his love in the form of full-body hugs, homemade pasta sauce, big family breakfasts, and a shared Guinness, no matter the time of day. He loved to hate the New York Giants, indulged in bad action films, and never turned down helping someone in need. His quick…

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Lauren RubensteinJuly 8, 20203min
In late June, Wesleyan was among more than 300 colleges and universities to issue a joint statement, “Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19,” organized by the Making Caring Common Project and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The movement underscores a commitment to equity and to encouraging students to balance self-care, meaningful learning, and care for others. We spoke to Wesleyan’s Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez ’96 about this shared commitment, as well as how admissions at Wesleyan has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has obviously…