Students

Mathew ’18 Participates in Summer Session’s Biology Institute

Christine "Cj" Mathew '18 is taking two intensive science classes this summer that equate to an entire year's worth of credits.

Christine “Cj” Mathew ’18 is taking two intensive science classes this summer that equate to an entire year’s worth of credits. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Christine “Cj” Mathew from the Class of 2018.

Q: Cj, have you chosen a major?

A: I’m a prospective neuroscience and behavior major.

Mathew's second Summer Session class began June 29.

Mathew’s second Summer Session class, Principles of Biology II, began June 29.

Q: This summer, you are enrolled in the new Biology Institute, which is held as part of the Wesleyan Summer Session, and includes intensive Principles of Biology I and II Lecture and Lab. Why did you decide to participate in the institute?

A: For my major requirements and pre-med requirements, there are tons of science classes that I have to take, and I didn’t want to feel too overwhelmed by taking more than one science class in a year.

Q: How many students were in your Bio I class? Do you enjoy the more intimate learning atmosphere?

A: There were 11 people in the class, and I absolutely love having a small class. This class is pretty fast paced, so it’s really helpful to have more individual attention. We spend a lot of time together between class and labs; by the second week of class, it was like we’d all known each other for a long time!

Q: When are you in class? Also, have you done any interesting lab experiments?

A: We’re in class every day from 9-10:40 a.m. and the lab meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30-4:20 p.m., but most of the labs don’t take that long so we’re let out earlier. In Bio I, we’ve done some pretty cool labs including genetic engineering, where we transformed bacteria. One of my personal favorites was when we looked at what proteins are found in milk and how much protein is found in milk. This one was particularly interesting because so many people are lactose intolerant because of these proteins.

Q: The Biology II course began June 29. How do you feel about jumping right into another class?

A: Luckily, there was a small, five-day break in between the two sessions. But, it’s not too bad. Since we’re only taking one class, not all of our time is consumed with class, so it’s manageable.

Q: After Bio II, do you have any summer plans?

A: Maybe a little traveling!

Q: Where are you from and why did you choose Wesleyan?

A: I’m from Long Island, N.Y. I chose Wesleyan because I knew I wanted a small school, and I loved the fact that Wesleyan has a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing classes.

Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities on campus? What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I’m part of Women in Science and I enjoy playing tennis.

Mehr-Muska, Ottaviano ’17 Discuss Interfaith Relations at Wesleyan

University Protestant Chaplain Tracy Mehr-Muska and Lydia Ottaviano ’17 were interviewed on the WESU 88.1 FM show “Reasonably Catholic” about a new interfaith organization on campus that is working to build ties between the various faith traditions.

Ottaviano is a member of the new interfaith council, which planned the first Faith Shadowing Week this spring. During the week of April 19, students attended regularly scheduled meetings of various religious and spiritual groups other than their own, including several Christian fellowship group meetings and bible studies, Shabbat services, Buddhist Faith Fellowship, Wesleyan Mindfulness Group, Quaker Meeting, Catholic Mass, Muslim Jumma Prayers and Vespers. The week concluded with a campus-wide interfaith dinner that was attended by about 30 students

“It really came from a genuine interest on the part of the students,” said Mehr-Muska said of the interfaith council’s planning.

 

Ottaviano explained that while the council had originally intended to pair up students of different faith traditions, the high degree of interest in Faith Shadowing Week led them to change that plan. Instead, students in small groups attended events held by different faith traditions. This helped students learn about and get comfortable with the unfamiliar traditions.

“Those who were able to participate and attend events other than their own really found it enjoyable and enlightening, in that they were able to learn and appreciate a little more about their own traditions just by experiencing those of others faiths,” said Ottaviano. She also got some new ideas by observing meetings of other faith communities.

 

“I think that the sense of community is really what bubbled to the top” for students visiting other faith communities, said Mehr-Muska. She said the week allowed the students to identify and celebrate common ground.

Read more about the Faith Shadowing Week here.

 

Wesleyan Posse Veterans Attend Benefit for Wounded Ranger

Michael Smith ’18, Bryan Stascavage ’18 and Andrew Po ’18 attended a Veteran’s Gala, sponsored by Homes For Our Troops, for wounded veteran Sean Pesce. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Michael Smith ’18, Bryan Stascavage ’18 and Andrew Po ’18 attended a Veteran’s Gala, sponsored by Homes For Our Troops, for wounded veteran Sean Pesce.

Wesleyan sponsored three Posse Veteran scholars to attend the Veteran’s Gala for Specialist Sean Pesce, an Army Ranger who was shot 13 times and paralyzed from the waist down during a mission in Afghanistan in fall 2012. Michael Smith ’18, Andrew Po ’18, and Bryan Stascavage ’18 attended the June 19 benefit to show support for a fellow veteran, and to learn more about a smaller non-profit organization that is helping those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The charity that is helping Pesce, Homes For Our Troops, modifies or builds homes that allow wounded veterans to live independently.

The gala, organized by WPLR morning radio show hosts Chaz and AJ and sponsored by a number of local and national corporations, took place at the Fantasia Banquet facility in North Haven, Conn.

“We were amazed by how our radio station rallied around the mission of Homes For Our Troops,” said Chaz and AJ, in a preamble before showing a video about Pesce.

Brianne McNamara, community fundraiser coordinator for Homes For Our Troops, spoke with the Wesleyan Posse Veterans. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Brianne McNamara, community fundraiser coordinator for Homes For Our Troops, spoke with the Wesleyan Posse Veterans. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Brianne McNamara, a community fundraising coordinator for Homes For Our Troops, spoke with the Wesleyan Posse attendees about the organization.

“We don’t do any self-promotion or advertising,” she said. “This allows us to give 90 cents out of every dollar directly to helping veterans. Instead, we rely on word of mouth and events like this gala to spread word of our organization.”

The national average for refurbishing a home for a veteran costs more than $400,000, she noted, and Home For Our Troops has been able to help more than 180 wounded veterans. The organization also provides financial counseling services to ensure that the veteran will be able to maintain the house after renovations are complete.

The gala was particularly important to the Wesleyan Posse Veterans: Po and Pesce served in the same Ranger Company while deployed to Afghanistan. Although they hadn’t known each other well at the time, the two spent much time in conversation at the benefit. Afterwards, Po shared some notes about his conversation.

Sean Pesce (left) and Po talk during the gala. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Sean Pesce (left) and Po talk during the gala. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

“Pesce still loves to golf, and is looking forward to attending the University of New Haven in the fall,” said Po, noting that Pesce is interested in earning a degree in business or political science. “He wants to open his own restaurant and perhaps run for public office one day.”

Despite his new home and college plans, the road ahead still has challenges for Pesce. “He still has a lot of medical appointments between now and when he starts college,” says Po. “He’ll also have building events at his new home over the summer—and while these events are exhausting for him, he knows it is for a great cause.”

Those in the Wesleyan community interested in volunteering with Homes For Our Troops can find more information here.

Additionally, details on Pesce’s story can be found here.

Danbury mayor Mark D. Boughton spoke at the event, offering support for veterans in Connecticut.

Danbury mayor Mark D. Boughton spoke at the event, offering support for veterans in Connecticut. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

The cover band Rum Runners played for free at the benefit. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

The cover band Rum Runners played for free at the benefit. (Photo by Bryan Stascavage ’18)

Students Gain Skills, Help Departments While Working on Campus this Summer

More than 185 Wesleyan students are employed in various campus departments over the summer. Of those, about 78 are work-study eligible. Students earn money that can be contributed to the cost of their education, while learning skills that will benefit them in the classroom and beyond. Employers benefit from students’ skills, insight and enthusiasm.

Andrea Vargas ’17 is spending her summer working as a student assistant for the Office of University Events and Scheduling. She also holds this job during the academic year. “I use a computer program to process information about campus events. We handle all the logistics for events, and right now I’m planning for faculty lectures that will be held next fall.”

Andrea Vargas ’17 is spending her summer working as a student assistant for the Office of University Events and Scheduling. She also holds this job during the academic year. “I use a computer program to process information about campus events. We handle all the logistics for events, and right now I’m planning for faculty lectures that will be held next fall.”

Greenwald ’16 Honored for Study of ‘Street Boys’ in Nepal

Michael Greenwald '16 speaking with a street boy who had approached him at Pashupatinath Temple.

Michael Greenwald ’16 spoke with a “street boy” who had approached him at Pashupatinath Temple. For an independent study project, Greenwald observed more than 150 boys age 5-16, and conducted interviews of NGO affiliates and former street boys.

#THISISWHY

An independent study project by Michael Greenwald ’16 was chosen as one of two winners of the 2015 SIT Study Abroad Undergraduate Research Award.

The project, titled, “Cracks in the Pavement: The Street Boys of Kathmandu,” was one of more than 2,000 independent study projects (ISPs) completed over the past three semesters, and among 20 nominated for the award. SIT has additionally nominated Greenwald’s project for the prestigious Forum on Education Abroad’s 2015 Undergraduate Research Award.

Students Take Intensive Courses During Summer Session

Summer Session students perform an experiment in Research Associate Rosemarie Doris's Biology I lab.

Summer Session students perform an experiment in Research Associate Rosemarie Doris’s Biology I lab.

A student sketches animal skulls in Kate Ten Eyck's Drawing I class.

A student sketches animal skulls in Kate Ten Eyck’s Drawing I class.

This summer, dozens of Wesleyan students are completing a semester-long course in only five weeks. Classes started on May 27 and conclude June 25.

The intensive Summer Session is open to students who feel they have the academic qualifications and stamina to complete intellectually challenging courses in a compressed schedule.

This summer, students are taking courses in drawing, writing creative nonfiction, financial accounting, legal thinking, principles of biology, introduction to programming and developmental psychology. Wesleyan faculty Anna Schusterman, James Lipton, Rosemarie Doris, Douglas Foyle, Marin Gosman, Anne Greene, Kate Ten Eyck, among others, are teaching the courses.

Wimer ’19 Raises $2,175 in “Swim for Nepal” Fundraising Event

On May 29, pre-frosh Max Wimer ’19 swam laps for 60 minutes to raise money for children affected by the April 25 Nepal magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and injured an additional 23,000. The event, titled “Swim for Nepal,” was part of the Save the Children Fund non-profit group that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. More than $37,000 was donated, with Wimer as one of the fundraisers, collecting $2,175.

This is not the first charity event for Wimer, who organized and swam in the 2013 “Swim for the Philippines” event. On Oct. 15, 2013, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the Philippines, and relief efforts were disrupted three weeks later by Super Typhoon Haiyan. This event raised more than $43,000 for children afflicted by these two events.

Read more about the charity event here.

Alumni, Parents Host Summer Sendoffs for Students Around the Globe

Students at a sendoff in Washington, D.C. in July 2014.

Students at a sendoff in Washington, D.C. in July 2014.

Alumni, students, their families, faculty and staff are invited to attend Wesleyan’s Summer Sendoff gatherings, happening around the globe throughout the summer. Generously hosted by alumni and parents, these casual receptions are the perfect opportunity to welcome Wesleyan’s newest students and their families to the community.

Sendoffs will be held in the following locations this summer: Washington, D.C., June 25; Denver, July 14; Chicago, July 19; San Francisco, July 19; Beijing, July 26; Mamaroneck, N.Y., July 30; Seattle, Aug. 1; Seoul, Aug. 1; West Hartford, Conn., Aug. 4; Boston, Aug. 6; Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 11; Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 13; New York City, Aug. 18; Philadelphia, Aug. 20; and Los Angeles, date to be determined.

For more information, including registration, visit the Summer Sendoff website.

Watch a video about Summer Sendoffs here, and see a photo album of 2014 Summer Sendoffs here.

The Chronicle Checks in on Wesleyan’s Three-Year Degree Program

With the first official cohort of students following a three-year path a BA having graduating this spring, The Chronicle of Higher Education checked in on the program, which was first announced in 2012. Fifteen of Wesleyan’s 799 graduates last month finished their degrees in six semesters.

While a few students have always graduated early, the university announced in 2012 that it would provide support for students who wanted graduate in three years, which could reduce the price of a degree by about 20 percent.

“I just wanted to make the three-year path more visible and more normal,” President Michael Roth told the Chronicle. While he expects the program to continue to grow as it becomes more visible, he said it’s not for everyone. “I don’t think a ton of people will want to do it, because they like being here.”

The university began offering summer courses in 2010, and winter courses in 2014 at a reduced rate to help students earn credits at an accelerated rate. Most students pursuing the three-year degree also bring in Advanced Placement credits from high school, and take extra courses during the regular school year.

The Chronicle interviewed Holly Everett ’15, a molecular biology and biochemistry major, who graduated with her original class but took a year off in the middle to conduct research outside of Wesleyan. Also featured was Tian Qiao, an international student from China who graduated in three years with two majors and a minor. In addition to his course work, he was chair of the Chinese Cultural Committee, performed with the Chinese Musical Ensemble, and worked two jobs on campus.

Read the full article here (available to on-campus visitors, and those with a subscription to the Chronicle of Higher Education).

Argus Wins Big in Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ Competition

The Wesleyan Argus won five awards in the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists' 2014-15 Excellence in Journalism college competition.

The Wesleyan Argus won five awards in the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ 2014-15 Excellence in Journalism college competition.

The Wesleyan Argus student newspaper had a big showing at the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism awards dinner on May 21. Gabe Rosenberg ’16, co-editor-in-chief of the Argus last semester, won a Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers, and Argus writers won several other awards, sweeping the editorial/op-ed category in the college competition.

The following writers/stories won awards:

According to Rosenberg, this is the first time in recent years that the Argus has entered the competition, and he was encouraged by the successful outcome.

Gabe Rosenberg '16 accepted the Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists on May 21.

Gabe Rosenberg ’16 accepted the Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists on May 21. (Photo c/o SCSU Journalism Department)

“I’m hoping these awards will encourage our writers and editors to enter their work in all the years to come, and that this will become more of a regular thing for us,” he said. “I think the Argus has always been under-appreciated with regards to the quality of journalism at our paper, and how much work we put into making a newspaper every week, twice a week, for pretty much the entire school year.”

Rosenberg said he and co-editor-in-chief Sofi Goode ’17 “worked hard to push our staff this semester to think beyond what the newspaper had done in the past–both in terms of content and in terms of execution, how we get our stories out there–and it’s really worked. More people are reading the Argus online than ever, interacting with us more on Facebook and Twitter, and while sometimes we mess up and get called out on it, it just means that people truly care about what we write about and what we don’t.”

In accordance with the Argus’ practice, Rosenberg and Goode stepped down as co-editors-in-chief at the end of the spring semester, and will serve as executive editors going forward.

As the first-place winner of the Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers, Rosenberg was awarded a $2,500 academic scholarship. He has worked in journalism since high school, and plans to pursue a career in the field. At Wesleyan, he has worked at the Argus and Wesleying, with responsibilities ranging from writing concert reviews to running social media accounts to editing breaking news and featuresThis summer, he is interning at his hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteLast summer he interned at a start-up called Contently and worked at The Columbia Journalism ReviewHe has continued to do freelance work for both organizations, as well as for the music blog Consequence of Sound and the publication Intern Magazine

Carr ’15 Explores Concept of “Little” in Children’s Literature

Siri Carr ’15 explored the concept of "little" in children's literature in her thesis, "Little Do We Know: Conceptualizing the 'Little' in Children’s Literature."

Siri Carr ’15 explored the concept of “little” in children’s literature in her thesis, “Little Do We Know: Conceptualizing the ‘Little’ in Children’s Literature.”

#THISISWHY

In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak with Siri Carr ’15, who double majored in the College of Letters and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. Carr’s thesis, Little Do We Know: Conceptualizing the “Little” in Children’s Literature, explores the concept of the “little” in children’s literature. The thesis was submitted for honors in the College of Letters.

Chong ’18 Claims NCAA Division III Tennis Title

Eudice Chong '18 with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women's tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 is pictured here with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 claimed the first-ever NCAA Division III tennis title for the Cardinals in a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory in the title match of the NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles championship in Mason, Ohio on May 23.

Named the NESCAC Player and Rookie of the Year, as well as the ITA Division III Rookie of the Year, Chong completed the 2014-15 campaign undefeated in singles play (22-0), dropping just two sets all season, both of them 4-6 to Joulia Likhanskaia of Bowdoin, whom she played for the third time this year in the NCAA finals.

Chong also earned All-America honors in doubles this spring as she teamed with Helen Klass-Warch ’18 to reach the NCAA Division III doubles quarterfinals, losing a three-set match to the top-seeded pair from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Cardinal tandem amassed a 20-4 record at No. 1 doubles this year.