Students

Weinstein ’17, Scruggs ’17 to Join Teach For America Following Graduation

Michael Weinstein ’17 will head to Milwaukee, Wis. to teach.

Michael Weinstein ’17 will head to Milwaukee, Wis. to teach.

Two members of the Class of 2017 and the Wesleyan athletic community have committed to join Teach For America after graduation: Michael Weinstein ’17 of Brookline, Mass. and Katie Scruggs ’17 of Vail, Colo. Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity.

Weinstein, who is the captain for both the men’s rugby team and ski team, will teach middle school special education in Milwaukee, Wis. This will be his first experience living in the Midwest.

“I think Wesleyan, as opposed to any other liberal arts school, put me into contact with a lot of people who are really smart and conscientious,” Weinstein said, reflecting on how Wesleyan is preparing him for this experience. “They care about each other and about injustices in America. Any liberal arts school can provide a ‘well-rounded’ education, but Wesleyan students generally try to apply what they learn to real life issue. Hopefully I can do the same!”

teach-for-americaScruggs, who is a member of the women’s cross country team, will teach high school science in Boston.

According to Teach for America, more than 16 million children are growing up in poverty in the U.S. By eighth grade, they are nearly three years behind higher-income peers in reading and math and are 1/10th as likely to graduate from college as students from affluent communities.

Teach For America seeks to combat this problem by enlisting promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence.

Graduate Student Hossain Speaks on Reverse Fault Geometry

On Feb. 8, John Hossain, a MA candidate from the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, presented a talk on “The Role of Reverse Fault Geometry on Slip Rate Estimates” during the Graduate Speaker Series.

Estimates of fault slip rates are an integral part of assessing seismic hazard because they affect estimates of earthquake renewal and moment release rates. For some faults, however, slip rate estimates vary among geodetic studies or between geodetic and geologic investigations. In his talk, Hossain explained why by using a series of numerical models.

Graduate Speaker Series events are open to the entire Wesleyan community. (Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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Levin ’19 Interviews Entertainment Professionals for Master Chat Mag

Hannah Levin ’19 (photo by Olivia Drake).

Hannah Levin ’19. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Hannah Levin ’19 is passionate about film, television, theater and comedy. Since early high school, she has run a website for other young aspiring entertainment professionals featuring interviews with many top actors, directors and others about their careers.

Q: Where are you from, and what are you studying at Wesleyan?

A: I’m from Westport, Conn. I’m planning to declare a double major in film and English.

Q: You launched your website, Master Chat Mag, when you were only 15-years-old. Please tell us about your site and what inspired you to start it.

A: When I was a freshman in high school, I was always Googling for advice for aspiring actors from people whose work I loved. I couldn’t find anything like that. There was Inside the Actors Studio, but it came out infrequently and I craved more information to satisfy my interest. I decided to fill that gap in Google and start my own site as a resource for students who are passionate about TV, film, theater and comedy. Around the same time, I saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway and was so inspired by it, I wanted to talk to the creators and cast about how they made it.

Record Number of Students Enroll in Winter Session 2017

James Lipton, professor of computer science, teaches Introduction to Programming on Jan. 9. His class is one of seven being taught this January during Wesleyan's fourth Winter Session.

James Lipton, professor of computer science, teaches Introduction to Programming on Jan. 9. His class was one of seven taught in January during Wesleyan’s fourth Winter Session. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

More than 100 Wesleyan students completed a full-semester course in two weeks as part of Winter Session 2017. Now in its fourth year, this was the highest enrollment to date.

Winter Session was held Jan. 9-24 and classes typically met for four hours a day for 10 days.

Courses this year included Introduction to Digital Arts, taught by Christopher Chenier; The Dark Side of the Universe, taught by Edward Moran; Homer and the Epic, taught by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak; Introduction to Programming, taught by James Lipton; U.S. Foreign Policy, taught by Douglas Foyle; Masculinity, taught by Jill Morawski; and Applied Data Analysis taught by Lisa Dierker.

The small class sizes allowed students to develop close relationships with one another and faculty. Students completed reading and writing assignments before arriving on campus.

“A quieter campus, and a singular focus on just one course,

Four Students Awarded NASA Connecticut Space Grants

Grant recipient Rami Hamati '19, left, at a workshop sponsored last summer by the CT Space Grant on helicopters and other small aircraft.

Grant recipient Rami Hamati ’19, left, is pictured at a workshop sponsored last summer by the Connecticut Space Grant on helicopters and other small aircraft.

Four Wesleyan undergraduate students have received grants from NASA’s Connecticut Space Grant Consortium.

Astronomy major Hannah Fritze ’18 was awarded $5,000 for an Undergraduate Research Fellowship Grant titled, “Searching for Intermediate Mass Black Holes in Ultraluminous X-ray Binaries.” This grant will support her research this coming semester on black holes with Roy Kilgard, support astronomer and research associate professor of astronomy.

Avi Stein ’17, who is majoring in astronomy, was awarded $1,000 for a Student Travel Grant. He will be presenting his research on Venus—conducted with Martha Gilmore, the George I. Seney Professor of Geology, professor of earth and environmental sciences—at the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in March.

Rami Hamati ’19 and David Machado ’18 each received a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship. According to Seth Redfield, associate professor of astronomy, associate professor of integrative sciences, these scholarships are awarded to students who show promise as a major in a STEM field related to NASA’s mission.

Read about past recipients of Connecticut Space Grants here and here.

Students Share Quantitative Analysis Research at Poster Session

On Dec. 9, more than 100 students participated in the Quantitative Analysis Center Research Poster Session in Beckham Hall. The poster session served as the students’ QAC 201 final exam. The event provides students with the opportunity to share the fruits of their work with others. Several Wesleyan faculty and alumni evaluated the students’ poster presentations.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the QAC 201 course allows students to ask and answer questions about which they feel passionately. Students generate hypotheses based on existing data; conduct a literature review and evaluate the content of empirical research; prepare data for analysis; select and conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses; and present research findings to expert and novice audiences. By providing opportunities to learn one of four major statistical analysis software packages, and translate across them, this course aims to empower students to manage, analyze and interpret large data sets from a range of different disciplines.

Photos of the poster session are below: (Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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14 Seniors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

Fourteen members of the Class of 2017 were inducted into Wesleyan's Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest national scholastic honor society.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth, pictured in the back row, joins the new members of Phi Beta Kappa for a group photo following their initiation ceremony on Dec. 7 at the Office of Admission

On Dec. 7, 14 members of the Class of 2017 were inducted into Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest national scholastic honor society.

To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. He or she also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations, and must have achieved a GPA of 93 and above. The students in this particular group have GPAs of 93.47 and above and have already met all their undergraduate requirements.

“It’s delightful to be here and celebrate your accomplishments today,” said President Michael Roth during the PBK initiation ceremony. “Being a member of Phi Beta Kappa is a tribute to your abilities and accomplishments, but also your curiosity and desire to learn. We celebrate you and your work as a community of friends, colleagues and teachers.”

They new inductees and their majors include: Rachel Aronow, astronomy and mathematics; Redwan Bhuiyan, College of Integrative Sciences, molecular biology and biochemistry, neuroscience and behavior; Grace Carroll, American studies, sociology; Jennifer Cascino, Hispanic studies, molecular biology and biochemistry; Kaitlin Chan, art studio, College of East Asian Studies; and Roxie Chuang, psychology.

Also Emma Davis, College of Letters; Jenny Davis, English; Julia Indivero, biology, environmental studies; Melissa McKee, earth and environmental sciences; Jessica Perelman, feminist, gender and sexuality studies, psychology; Elizabeth Shackney, government and psychology; Meredith Smith, economics, psychology; Danny Weiss, mathematics, physics.

The Wesleyan Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was organized in 1845 and is the ninth-oldest chapter in the country.

Photos of the initiation ceremony are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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5 Classes Perform at Worlds of Dance Concert

The Worlds of Dance Concert, held Dec. 4 at Crowell Concert Hall, featured the works of five different dance courses in their semester-end culminating performance. Beginning and intermediate dance students performed works in various styles including Bharata Natyam (South Indian classical dance). The classes were taught by Pedro Alejandro, associate professor of dance; Susan Lourie, adjunct professor of dance; Hari Krishnan, associate professor of dance; and Katja Kolcio, associate professor of dance.

(Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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Wesleyan Hosts 8th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of Connecticut

Professor Gilmore accepting the Joe Weber Award

Marty Gilmore accepts the Joe Webb Peoples Award at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of Connecticut.

On Nov. 18, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (E&ES) hosted the 8th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of Connecticut (GSC). The event featured a student scholarship wine-tasting fundraiser and a public science lecture called “The Real Jurassic Park in the Connecticut Valley,” by paleontologist Robbert Baker.

During the meeting, Phillip Resor, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, Martha “Marty” Gilmore, the George I. Seney Professor of Geology, were awarded the Joe Webb Peoples Award for their efforts in hosting the 2015 New England Intercollegiate Geologic Conference. The award recognizes those who have contributed to the understanding of the geology of Connecticut through scholarship, education and service.

Many other E&ES faculty were in attendance, including Dana Royer, Suzanne O’Connell, Johan Varekamp, Peter Patton and Timothy Ku. Additionally, several E&ES graduate students attended, including John Hossain, Melissa Luna, Shaun Mahmood, and alumni Bill Burton ’74, Nick McDonald MA ’75, and Peter LeTourneau MA ’85.

Mitchell Scholar Treuhaft-Ali ’17 Will Continue Theater Studies in Ireland

May Treuhaft-Ali '17, donning a reindeer sweater she acquired from a study abroad experience in Ireland, poses near the '92 Theater where she "spends half her time." Treuhaft-Ali recently was awarded a Mitchell Scholarship to study theater and performance in Dublin.

May Treuhaft-Ali ’17, donning a sweater she acquired from a study abroad experience in Ireland, poses near the ’92 Theater where she “spends half her time on campus.” Treuhaft-Ali recently was awarded a Mitchell Scholarship to study theater and performance in Dublin.

Next spring, May Treuhaft-Ali ’17 will graduate from Wesleyan with a degree in theater, but that won’t be her final curtain call. As a Mitchell Scholar, Treuhaft-Ali will have the opportunity to advance her studies on theater and performance at Trinity College in Dublin.

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program is a nationally competitive award for U.S. citizens sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance. Named in honor of the former U.S. Senator’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, the Mitchell Scholarship is designed to introduce and connect future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering academic excellence, leadership and a commitment to public service.

The scholarship will allow Treuhaft-Ali to return to Ireland; she studied abroad there in 2015 and “completely fell in love with Irish theater and the city of Dublin.”

“So many of the plays and playwrights I studied there are fascinating not just from an artistic standpoint, but because they were directly in dialogue with Irish politics,” Treuhaft-Ali said. “For example, it’s one of the only countries I know of where the content of a play has caused a riot to break out in the theater!”

At Wesleyan, Treuhaft-Ali wrote and directed plays for the Theater Department and Second Stage.

Ishiguro Awarded Research Fellowship to Study Acehnese Dance

Maho Ishiguro MA'12, and doctoral student, was awarded the Nadia and Nicholas Nahumck Fellowship. Contributed photo.

PhD candidate Maho Ishiguro MA’12 was awarded the Nadia and Nicholas Nahumck Fellowship.

Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Maho Ishiguro MA ’12 was honored at the 2016 Society of Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting with the Nadia and Nicholas Nahumck Fellowship for her research titled “Seudati and the Social Contestation of Female Dance in Aceh, Indonesia.”

The award is given to help support research on a dance-related subject and its subsequent publication, and consists of a $4,000 research fellowship and $1,000 award for publication.

“This fellowship will allow me to continue doing my research on the topics of Acehnese dance and music forms, women’s practice of performing arts, and changing socioreligious climate in the post-tsunami Aceh, from 2004 to today,” she said.

Ishiguro, who spent 15 months in Indonesia on a Fullbright-Hays Fellowship studying Acehnese performing arts, will now take a deeper look into the seudati dance form.

“In my research, I plan to look more closely into seudati as a case study to examine the issues of female and male aesthetics expressed through movements in Acehnese dance and how choreographers navigate through social expectations and Islamic regulations today when they create movements,” she said.

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.