Staff

Ice Cream Social June 6

The Office of Human Resources will host an ice cream social for Wesleyan staff and faculty from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday June 6. 

 

Royer Finds Climate Could Soon Hit a State Unseen in 50 Million Years

Dana Royer

Dana Royer

New climate research by Dana Royer, professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences, finds that current carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented in human history and, if they continue on this trajectory “the atmosphere could reach a state unseen in 50 million years” by mid-century, according to an article in Salon.

The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere today are ones that likely haven’t been reached in 3 million years. But if human activities keep committing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at current rates, scientists will have to look a lot deeper into the past for a similar period. The closest analog to the mid-century atmosphere we’re creating would be a period roughly 50 million years ago known as the Eocene, a period when the world was completely different than the present due to extreme heat and oceans that covered a wide swath of currently dry land.

“The early Eocene was much warmer than today: global mean surface temperature was at least 10°C (18°F) warmer than today,” Dana Royer, a paleoclimate researcher at Wesleyan University who co-authored the new research, said. “There was little-to-no permanent ice. Palms and crocodiles inhabited the Canadian Arctic.”

Royer’s paper was published April 4 in Nature Communications and widely covered in the mainstream press. The implications, writes Salon, “are some of the starkest reminders yet that humanity faces a major choice to curtail carbon pollution or risk pushing the climate outside the bounds that have allowed civilization to thrive.”

According to an article in U.S. News & World Report:

 CO2 levels in the atmosphere have varied over millions of years. But fossil fuel use in the last 150 years has boosted levels from 280 parts per million (ppm) before industrialization to nearly 405 ppm in 2016, according to the researchers.

If people don’t halt rising CO2 levels and burn all available fossil fuels, CO2 levels could reach 2,000 ppm by the year 2250, the researchers said. CO2 and other gases act like a blanket, preventing heat from escaping into space. That’s known as the greenhouse effect, the researchers explained.

But the researchers note that CO2 levels are not the only factor in climate change; changes in the amount of incoming light also have an affect, and nuclear reactions in stars like the sun have made them brighter over time. Royer says this interplay is important:

“Up to now it’s been a puzzle as to why, despite the sun’s output having increased slowly over time, scant evidence exists for any similar long-term warming of the climate. Our finding of little change in the net climate forcing offers an explanation for why Earth’s climate has remained relatively stable, and within the bounds suitable for life all this time.”

Royer also is professor of environmental studies, professor of integrative sciences. See more coverage in Science Daily and International Business Times.

Tamhankar Honored with Cardinal Achievement Award

Anjali Tamhankar, associate director of human resources, received a Cardinal Achievement Award for her efforts in demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with her work at Wesleyan University.

This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for her efforts.

MacSorley Authors New Coloring Book Celebrating Women in Science

LaNell Williams '15, who studied physics at Wesleyan, is one of 22 women in science and technology careers featured in a new coloring book by Sara MacSorley.

LaNell Williams ’15, who studied physics at Wesleyan, is one of 22 women in science and technology careers featured in a new coloring book by Sara MacSorley.

Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center, is the author of Super Cool Scientists, a new coloring book celebrating women in science. It features stories and illustrations of 22 women in science and technology careers. Highlighting a wide range of diversity in scientific field, background, race, and more, it aims to show all young people that science can be for them.

The idea for Super Cool Scientists came to MacSorley a little over a year ago, and launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign.

“I had been looking for a side project that brought more direct science communication to my life,” she explained. “My background is in science and science outreach and I was missing that a bit. I was also learning to deal with my own anxiety issues so had started coloring to relieve stress. When I was doing some research on the things I’d want to color, I realized there was no book out there quite like this that celebrated women currently doing science in such an approachable way.”

Each scientist featured in the book has a full-page biography about the work they do, as well as a full-page illustration (by local artist Yvonne Page) to color. The coloring activity is designed to “let the stories of the scientists be told in a way that the reader/ artist can place themselves in the story,” explained MacSorley. And while the text was targeted to a middle school audience, since publication she has heard that younger children also get a lot out of the book.

“And, surprisingly to me, science college students have been really into the book too,” she added. “I hope that young people can read (and color!) the book and see that science is a field for everyone and that—regardless of what you look like or where you’re from—you can be a scientist. I also want people to understand that there are many types of science jobs. Not all of them require a white lab coat.”

Among the scientists featured is LaNell Williams ’15. Her bio describes how she grew up wanting to be a journalist, but transitioned to studying physics while at Wesleyan, and highlights her current graduate research projects. Williams is now at the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program. The accompanying illustration shows her in the laser lab on campus.

The response to the book so far has been very positive, said MacSorley, including healthy sales on Amazon and bulk orders with schools. The social media community (Facebook and Twitter) is growing and sharing their colored pages.

 

Wesleyan Editors Call for New Books by Alumni, Faculty, Students, Staff

WES_0411Wesleyan is known for its top-notch writing programs and for the accomplishments of its community of award-winning alumni, faculty, students and staff book authors, editors and translators.

Members of the Wesleyan community—alumni, faculty, students and staff—are invited to submit their latest books, as well as information about forthcoming and recently signed titles, and other literary news, to Laurie Kenney, books editor for Wesleyan magazine. Books and information received will be considered for possible coverage in Wesleyan magazine, on the News @ Wes blog and through Wesleyan’s social media channels, as well as through possible in-store display and event opportunities at Wesleyan’s new bookstore—Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore—which will open on Main Street in Middletown later this spring.

Fill out our simple Author Questionnaire to submit your book information now.

While the editors can’t guarantee coverage for any book, due to the sheer number published each year, they hope that gathering and sharing information about these projects through various university channels will help to better serve and promote Wesleyan authors and their work.

Advance reading copies and finished review copies can be sent to: Laurie Kenney, Books Editor, Wesleyan University, Office of University Communications, 229 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459.

Hutson, Sullivan, Calnen, Watrous Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

The following employees received Cardinal Achievement Awards for their efforts in demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with their work at Wesleyan University.

This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for their extra efforts:

Deana Hutson, director of special events, University Relations
Meghan Sullivan, associate director of alumni and parent relations, University Relations
Marianne Calnen, associate director of gift planning, University Relations
Elizabeth Watrous, administrative assistant, University Relations

Wesleyan Students, Staff Participate in Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project

On Nov. 21, Wesleyan students and staff helped stuff 1,000 boxes with everything families will need for a Thanksgiving dinner celebration.

On Nov. 21, Wesleyan students and staff helped stuff 1,000 boxes with everything families will need for a Thanksgiving dinner celebration.

This fall, Wesleyan students and staff took part in the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project, an annual collaborative effort to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need. Wesleyan was one of 70 community partners for the project, led by Fellowship Church in Middletown. The university’s involvement in the project was coordinated by Cathy Lechowicz and Diana Martinez, director and assistant director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.

MCTP 3For this year’s project, the Wesleyan community donated stuffing, gravy, pies and other foodstuffs; students and staff from the Allbritton Center helped register families at Amazing Grace Food Pantry from Oct. 31 to Nov. 18; students and staff, including the men’s crew and women’s lacrosse teams, helped with packing almost 1,000 boxes of food at Fellowship Church on Nov. 21; and staff from Wesleyan’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development helped distribute the food to Middletown residents in need on Nov. 22. The women’s lacrosse team also collected more than $600 to contribute to the project.

Patey Featured in A Peace of My Mind, a New Collection of Stories

Laura Patey (photo courtesy of appmm.com)

Laura Patey (photo by John Noltner for “A Peace of My Mind: American Stories”)

Laura Patey, associate dean for student academic resources, was featured in the newest book of the series, A Peace of My Mind: American Stories, by award-winning photographer and author, John Noltner. In his book, Noltner drove 40,000 miles across the country to ask people the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” This resulted in the stories of “58 people from diverse backgrounds, who share stories of hope, redemption, and forgiveness, paired with compelling color portraits.”

Patey’s personal story highlights the peace she has finally found with embracing her own identity, with a focus on her experience adopting her sons out of foster care and how her experience of not fitting in when she was younger made her into an advocate for the marginalized in society. She also spoke of her challenges of coming out and being accepted. In the end, she has found peace now that she realizes “it’s not about having people tolerate or accept you, it’s about embracing your identity.”

An excerpt of Dean Patey’s story, along with her full audio interview was published on the website for the Peace of My Mind Project. Moreover, her story was highlighted in one of Noltner’s blog posts as a tool he was able to use to connect with a young student who was having her own trouble and felt isolated dealing with the reality of her own similar family situation.

Employees Recognized for Service to Wesleyan

The Office of Human Resources hosted its annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon Oct. 18 in Beckham Hall. All employees who are celebrating their 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th year working at Wesleyan were honored at the lunch by President Michael Roth. The event concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting and a Wesleyan and world trivia game.

Those recognized included: Catherine Race, Psychology Department, 35 years; Simon Bostick, Public Safety, 35 years; Edward Manter, Physical Plant – Facilities, 35 years; Sandra Frimel, Health Services, 30 years; Chuth Prith, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Dawn Astin Lowe, University Relations, 30 years; and Paul DiSanto, University Relations, 30 years.

Also Meg Zocco, University Relations, 30 years; Mark Melmer, Wesleyan Station, 30 years; Michael Conte, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Jeffrey Sweet, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Jody Viswanathan, Olin Memorial Library, 25 years; Jennifer Hadley, Olin Memorial Library, 25 years; and Kim Krueger, Physical Plant – Facilities, 25 years.

Also, John Elmore, Center for the Arts, 20 years; Francis Marsilli, Usdan University Center, 20 years; Karen O’Leary, Office of Admission, 20 years; Scott Michael, Cardinal Technology Center, 20 years; Sun Chyung, Finance and Administration, 20 years; and Lisa LaPlant, President’s Office, 20 years.

Photos of the luncheon celebration are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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Transportation Services’ New 14-Passenger Bus Moves Students More Efficiently

Wesleyan’s Transportation Department announces the addition of a new 14-passenger bus to the Wesleyan RIDE system fleet.

Wesleyan’s Transportation Department announces the addition of a new 14-passenger bus to the Wesleyan RIDE system fleet.

Wesleyan’s Transportation Services Department announces the addition of a new 14-passenger bus to the Wesleyan RIDE system fleet. The RIDE is a free shuttle service with 17 stops around campus. The department also provides a free off-campus grocery shuttle service to Price Chopper and Aldi on Sunday afternoons.

“Adding this bus to the RIDE program will allow us to move more people, more efficiently, and more comfortably,” said Joe Martocci, transportation services manager.

The RIDE shuttles are available seven nights a week, and Martocci says volume picks up on the weekends.

“We move over 500 students every weekend. The idea to add another vehicle was to make it more enjoyable for students to use the shuttles,” he explained. On the weekends, there are now three vehicles in rotation to meet the high demand of students who need a safe way to get around campus at night. All are equipped with GPS units so students can see their location from a mobile app.

Joe Martocci, transportation services manager, explains the features of the RIDE's new 14-passenger bus.

Joe Martocci, transportation services manager, explains the features of the new 14-passenger bus. (Photos by Randi Plake)

Martocci, who has worked at Wesleyan for 11 years, says the changes to the RIDE come from listening to the students and seeking advice from Public Safety Director Scott Rohde.

“We have changed some of the stops. Adding a larger vehicle and modifying the routes will be an experiment, but historically when students suggest ideas, we listen.”

Moreover, Martocci and his crew have added new shuttle stops signs around campus. The new signs are reflective and more identifiable for students on the RIDE.

Martocci notes that the bus provides comfort as well as safety features. Well-lighted on both the inside and outside, with rows of comfortable leather seats, it is also spacious, with enough room for students to enter and exit the bus quickly. Additionally, four video cameras provide an extra layer of security for all who are riding the bus.

To learn more about RIDE and the other services offered by the Transportation department, click here. Students can download the mobile app—Wes Shuttle (iTunes and Android)—and see where the shuttle is in real-time. Persons with disabilities can access special shuttle services by calling 860-982-8031 (day) or 860-685-3788 (evenings).

Employees Sport Tie-Dye T-Shirts at Wesleyan

On June 1, the Office of Human Resources hosted an Ice Cream Social for faculty, staff and employed students to provide an opportunity for employees to mingle and celebrate the end of spring semester. As part of the day’s activities, employees were invited to create a tie-dye t-shirt.

On Aug. 10, Human Resources invited the tie-dye shirt makers to gather at Usdan’s Huss Courtyard for a brief meeting and photo opportunity.

“We thought this would be a fun way for employees to show off their ‘art work’ to the Wesleyan community,” said Julia Hicks, co-director of Human Resources. “It’s a very colorful day!”

Go Wes!

“Go Wes!”

1, 2, 3 … Jump!

1, 2, 3 … Jump! (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Green Team Hosts Mini-Bin Workshop

The Wesleyan Green Team hosted a mini-trash bin talk and workshop Aug. 10 at the Theater Department’s studio building. Dawn Alger, Theater Department administrative assistant and Green Team member led the workshop.

The Wesleyan Green Team hosted a mini-trash bin workshop and discussion Aug. 10 at the Theater Department’s studio building. Dawn Alger, Theater Department administrative assistant and Green Team member (pictured fifth from right, in back) led the workshop. “We’d love to see all staff and faculty members at Wesleyan use mini-bins in place of standard trash cans,” Alger said. “You’ll be surprised to see how little trash you create in a week.”

Mini-bins are small containers that are used in place of standard waste receptacles. They encourage recycling and reduce the number of trash can liners used on campus.

Mini-bins are small containers that are used in place of standard waste receptacles. They encourage recycling and reduce the number of trash can liners used on campus. Pictured are workshop participants Jordan Nyberg, program and events coordinator for the Office of Admission and Laura McQueeney, administrative assistant for the Office of Admission.