Students

More than 100 Students Are Enrolled in Winter Session 2017 Courses

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 is one of seven being taught this January during Wesleyan’s fourth Winter Session. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

More than 100 Wesleyan students are completing a full-semester course in two weeks as part of Winter Session 2017. Now in it’s fourth year, this is the highest enrollment to date.

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

Courses this year include 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 allow students to develop close relationships with one another and faculty. Students complete 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.

Chemistry, Physics Students Attend Biomedical Research Conference

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From Nov. 9-12, two faculty members and five students from the physics and chemistry departments, attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Tampa, Fla.

Candice Etson, assistant professor of physics, and Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, were joined by McNair Scholars Luz Mendez ’17, Tatianna Pryce ’17, Stacy Uchendu ’17 and Hanna Morales ’17; and Wesleyan Mathematics and Science (WesMaSS) Scholar Helen Karimi ’19.

Students observed other research being performed around the nation by students who are members of underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In addition, the Wesleyan students presented their own research and Morales and Karimi were awarded Outstanding Poster Presentation Awards.

“Through the PIE Initiative, Wesleyan has a deliberate strategy to support underrepresented students and faculty in STEM fields by providing resources that increasing post-Wesleyan mentorship and exposure to research excellence, all of which were fulfilled through this conference,” said Antonio Farias, vice president for equity and inclusion/Title IX officer. “It cannot go without saying that without Professor Taylor’s and Professor Etson’s holistic mentorship approach, these type of opportunities for our young scholars would not be possible.”

Students Help Local Residents Prepare for a Thanksgiving Day Feast

Fred Ayres '17 helps stock shelves at Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown on Oct. 4. Ayers is one of several Wesleyan students and alumni who are volunteering at the food pantry this month.

Fred Ayres ’17 helps stock shelves at Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown on Nov. 4. Ayers is one of several Wesleyan students and alumni who are volunteering at the food pantry this month in preparation for Thanksgiving. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

On Nov. 24, dozens of low-income Middletown families will enjoy a Thanksgiving Day feast courtesy of a local food pantry and the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships at Wesleyan.

Fred Ayres helps a patron gather a ration of food at Amazing Grace. The pantry serves an estimated 3,000 individuals, or 1, 075 households each month.

Fred Ayres, at right, helps a patron gather a ration of food at Amazing Grace. The pantry serves an estimated 3,000 individuals, or 1,075 households each month.

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 18, four Wesleyan students, three alumni and JCCP staff are hosting Middletown Community Thanksgiving Basket Project registration at Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown. Families who sign up will receive a baked turkey and traditional fixings on Thanksgiving Day.

In addition, the JCCP is hosting a Stuffing and Gravy Drive (jars or cans) from now until Nov. 18. Boxes are placed in North College, Usdan, Olin, Freeman Athletic Center and Allbritton. Wesleyan volunteers also will assist Middletown Police Department with a turkey drive on Nov. 18 and 19. They also hosted fill-a-bus events at local supermarkets on Nov. 5 and 6.

Volunteer Fred Ayres ’17, a neuroscience and economics double major, has served as an intern for the St. Vincent de Paul Middletown group, which includes Amazing Grace, throughout the fall semester. In addition to directly volunteering with families who shop at the pantry, he has also learned how Amazing Grace stocks their shelves, how they raise funds and collect donations,

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Begin 2-Year Research Projects in Michigan, Washington

Kelly Lam ’19 (second from left), Ryan Nelson '19 (back row with shovel), Gabby Vargas ’18 (front row in Wesleyan t-shirt) and Emily Murphy ’18 (green hat) participated in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program this summer at the University of Michigan. The students will return next summer to complete their second segment of the research program.

Kelly Lam ’19 (second from left), Ryan Nelson ’19 (back row with shovel), Gabby Vargas ’18 (front row in Wesleyan t-shirt) and Emily Murphy ’18 (green hat) participated in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program this summer at the University of Michigan.

Five Doris Duke Conservation Scholars spent the past summer researching sustainability, environmental justice and policy, agriculture, water ecology and ecosystem productivity.

As Doris Duke Scholars, Kelly Lam ’19, Gabby Vargas ’18, Emily Murphy ’18, Olivia Won ’18 and Ryan Nelson ’19 received two summer experiential learning and research opportunities at the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. They will return next summer to complete the second segment of their research program.

Kelly Lam, pictured second from left, joins fellow Doris Duke Conservation Scholars for a paddle in Michigan. 

Kelly Lam, pictured second from left, joins fellow Doris Duke Conservation Scholars for a paddle in Michigan.

Kelly Lam ’19 conducted her research on farms and orchards in the greater Ann Arbor, Mich. area through the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment. Her study is titled “Effects of Field Management and Surrounding Landscapes of Pumpkin and Squash Farms on the Species Richness of Bees: How Local Agriculture and Landscape May Affect the Diversity of Pollinator Communities.”

“My main interest in the environment has always been policy, and conducting scientific research has allowed me to broaden my scope of interest in the environmental field—not limited to just social policy,” she said. “My experience as a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow allowed me to appreciate the natural environment and coexist with other species.”

A New York City resident, Lam rarely explored natural places on her own, and the DDCSP provided opportunities to view landmarks such as Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls State Park and an urban community garden in Detroit. She learned how to catch bees, use ArcGIS programming and statistical analysis software and work alongside fellow researchers. Lam also attended seminars on promoting diversity in the environmental field.

“There was a lot of flexibility in what I wanted to research