Students

Psychology Majors Present Research at Poster Session April 24

More than 45 students presented their research or thesis research at the Psychology Research Poster Presentation April 24 in Beckham Hall. Oluwaremilekun Ojurongbe ’14 presented her study, “Illegality, Criminality and the Taxpayer’s Burden: The Incomplete U.S. Immigration Narrative.” Her advisor was Sarah Carney, visiting faculty with the Psychology Department.

More than 45 students presented their research or thesis research at the Psychology Research Poster Presentation April 24 in Beckham Hall. Oluwaremilekun Ojurongbe ’14 presented her study, “Illegality, Criminality and the Taxpayer’s Burden: The Incomplete U.S. Immigration Narrative.” Her advisor was Sarah Carney, visiting faculty with the Psychology Department.

Victoria Mathieson ’14 presented her research on “Identity, Appraisal, and Emotion: The Role of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy among Latino/a Middle School Students.” Her advisor was Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, associate professor of psychology.

Victoria Mathieson ’14 presented her research on “Identity, Appraisal, and Emotion: The Role of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy among Latino/a Middle School Students.” Mathieson’s advisor was Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, associate professor of psychology.

McNair Fellows Research Plasma Underwater, Serpentine Soil Plants in Puerto Rico

Two Wesleyan students presented their research at the McNair Research Talks April 17 in Exley Science Center. The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is one of the federal TRiO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The program’s mission is to create educational opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance. It assists students from underrepresented groups prepare for, enter, and progress successfully through postgraduate education.

First generation college students from low-income families or African-American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Native American Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Natives qualify as McNair Fellows. Since 2007, four McNair fellows have entered Ph.D. programs and 15 are working in research fields.

McNair Research Talks are designed for interested, non-expert students.

Rashedul Haydar '14 presented his study on "Laser Induced Plasmas Under Bulk Water: Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Spectral Analysis."

Rashedul Haydar ’14 presented his study on “Laser Induced Plasmas Under Bulk Water: Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Spectral Analysis.”

Lavontria Aaron '14 presented her research on "The Remote Sensing and Mapping of Serpentine Soil Plants in Puerto Rico."

Lavontria Aaron ’14 presented her research on “The Remote Sensing and Mapping of Serpentine Soil Plants in Puerto Rico.”

Smith ’17 to Study Arabic as a Critical Language Scholar in Oman

After participating in an intensive 10-week language institute this summer, Casey Smith '17 plans to continue studying Arabic at Wesleyan. She also hopes to earn certificates in international relations and Middle Eastern studies.

After participating in an intensive two-month language institute in Oman this summer, Casey Smith ’17 plans to continue studying Arabic at Wesleyan. She hopes to use her language skills to work with refugee populations in the future. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Casey Smith ’17 has received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Arabic—considered a “critical needs language” by the U.S. government—in Oman this summer.

Smith, who plans to major in the College of Social Studies, was one of approximately 550 American undergraduate and graduate students to receive the Critical Language Scholarship. CLS participants will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes in one of 13 countries. They will study critical needs languages such as Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu, among others.

Smith currently studies Arabic at Wesleyan. She began learning the language as a senior in high school, when she enrolled in a course at nearby University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Her interest in the language was sparked by her work in high school with local refugee populations, including an internship at a refugee resettlement organization.

“Through the internship, I met a lot of people from the Middle East and North Africa. I was struck by the fact that millions of people had to flee their homes in the region, and wanted to learn more,” said Smith.

She previously had studied French in high school, but found the experience of learning Arabic to be different.

Smith's interest in Arabic was sparked by her work in high school with local refugee populations.

Smith’s interest in Arabic was sparked by her work in high school with local refugee populations.

“When you learn a Romance language, a lot of the words are similar to English, so it’s easier to pick up vocabulary. Arabic is difficult, because you don’t find many words that are familiar. The alphabet is also different, and you write from right to left,” she explained. “Once you get used to it, though, it becomes more like learning any other language.”

Smith was eager to study abroad at some point during her college career. This semester, when her Arabic professor emailed the class about the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship, Smith saw an opportunity to study in the Middle East—a part of the world she has always wanted to visit.

According to Smith, the CLS program sends students to Morocco, Jordan and Oman to study Arabic. She was surprised to learn she would be studying in Oman.

“I didn’t know anything about Oman, really, until I started researching the places I’d be going. It got a lot more exciting because it’s so unfamiliar and different,” she said.

Honors, Graduate Students Present Posters at Celebration of Science Theses

Honors and MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research at the Celebration of Science Thesis, April 18 in Exley Science Center. Xi Liu '14 presented her study on "Consequences of Priming Status Legitimizing Beliefs in Whites: An Investigation of Perceived Anti-White Bias, Zero-Sum Beliefs and Support for Affirmative Action." Liu's advisors are Clara Wilkins, assistant professor of psychology, and Joseph Wellman, postdoctoral fellow in psychology.

More than 20 honors and MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research at the Celebration of Science Theses, April 18 in Exley Science Center. Xi Liu ’14 presented her study on “Consequences of Priming Status Legitimizing Beliefs in Whites: An Investigation of Perceived Anti-White Bias, Zero-Sum Beliefs and Support for Affirmative Action.” Liu’s advisors are Clara Wilkins, assistant professor of psychology, and Joseph Wellman, postdoctoral fellow in psychology.

Graduate student Caleb Corliss ’13 presented his study, “High-Performance Genotypes of Polygonum cespitosum Show Greater Competitive Ability.” His advisor was Sonia Sultan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies.

Graduate student Caleb Corliss ’13 presented his study, “High-Performance Genotypes of Polygonum cespitosum Show Greater Competitive Ability.” His advisor was Sonia Sultan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies.

Admitted Students Celebrate All Things Wesleyan at WesFest

Jennifer Swindlehurst Chan attended WesFest with her father Kyle Chan.

Jennifer Swindlehurst Chan attended WesFest with her father Kyle Chan. Jennifer is an admitted student.

WesFest, the annual three-day celebration of all things Wesleyan, was held April 16-18 for admitted students and their families. WesFest allows the students to experience university life first-hand and explore the diverse opportunities that a Wesleyan education has to offer.

Admitted students and their parents tour campus on April 16 during WesFest.

Admitted students and their parents tour campus on April 16 during WesFest.

During Wes Fest, Class of 2018 admitted students had the opportunity to tour campus, visit Exley Science Center and the Center for the Arts, have lunch at the all-campus barbecue, meet Wesleyan students at student-to-student panels, attend a Student Activities Fair, participate in “Homerathon,” an all-day reading of Homer’s “Odyssey,” learn about classes and programs during academic departmental open houses, and meet Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Watch a video of President Roth’s welcome to students and families online here.)

Jennifer Swindlehurst Chan of San Diego, Calif. attended WesFest with her father Kyle Chan. She learned about Wesleyan through its website and reading about it online.

“Wesleyan sounded like a nice place and it’s one of the top schools on my list,” she said. “Now that I’m here, I think it is a beautiful campus and I enjoyed the students who led the campus tour. I also met [President Roth] this morning. That was so cool to meet the president!”

Hannah Levin of Philadelphia, Pa. attended WesFest with her mother Joan Joanson. The mother-daughter duo, who enjoyed lunch at Usdan’s Marketplace, previously visited campus in 2012.

“I applied to Wesleyan because I was looking for a liberal arts education that offered professor access and a science program. I also like Wesleyan’s vibrant and creative community,” Levin said.

At the all-campus barbecue April 18, families braved unseasonably chilly temperatures to sit out on Foss Hill and enjoy lunch while a student band played.

Caroline Diemer attended WesFest with her father. The two hail from San Jose, Calif.

Caroline Diemer attended WesFest with her father. The two hail from San Jose, Calif.

Caroline Diemer of San Jose, Calif. relaxed over lunch with her father. She had applied to Wesleyan early decision, and returned to learn more about the school she will be attending next fall. Diemer plans to play on Wesleyan’s volleyball team, so she hung out with her future teammates. She also attended a class called “Living in a Polluted World,” watched an a capella concert, and spent the morning wandering the stacks of Olin. Despite the cold, she said she was really enjoying her visit.

David Hoffman of Wilmington, Del. shared lunch with his parents. Visiting Wesleyan since the previous day, he had taken a tour, attended an info session, sat in on chemistry and architecture classes, and gone to a film screening.

“I love it—the culture, the kids,” he said. “Everyone is very relaxed, and very smart. They know when to have fun and when to work.”

Anthony Springate of Louisville, K.Y. stayed overnight at Wesleyan with a current student.

“I made lots of new friends and met a lot of new people,” he said. “It seems like such a community, and such a diverse group of people, but it’s all so harmonious and cool. I love it!”

Photos of WesFest are below.

Leaving His Mark on Two Fields

Donnie Cimino ’15, captain of both the baseball and football teams, “has been having fun from the day he stepped on the Wesleyan University campus 2-1/2 years ago,” according to a feature article on the Wesleyan student in the New England Baseball Journal. “A junior center fielder and No. 3 hitter, he’s a two-time NESCAC batting champion, and, last year as a sophomore, set a program record with 69 hits.”

In addition, “In the fall, he earned All-NESCAC football honors for the second time, a safety who helped the Cardinals go 7-1, their best record since 1997, and one that included wins over Amherst and Williams that secured an outright Little Three title for the first time since 1970.”

“We knew he was a great player coming in, and he’s fulfilled that,” baseball coach Mark Woodworth told the Journal. “But he’s also become a great, great leader for us. This is the best team I’ve had, and Donnie’s a big part of that. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence the football team had its best season in 40 years.”

 

Myers ’15 Slam Poem Keeps Spreading

Wesleyan junior Lily Myers stunned an audience and won slam honors last winter break with her heartbreaking, funny and authentic poem “Shrinking Women.” The poem, which expresses Myers’ frustrations about family dynamics involving gender, body image, and food, has now attracted more than three million views on YouTube.

The Chronicle of Higher Education posted the video this week on its Say Something podcast.

 

Wesleyan Joins Universities Offering Winter Courses

A story by the Associated Press says that Wesleyan has joined a growing list of Connecticut universities and colleges offering for-credit courses during winter break. During the initial year, four classes are being offered, in foreign policy, data analysis, computer programming and the graphic novel. About 45 students have signed up, according to Jennifer Curran, the interim director for continuing studies.

Tom Dupont, 18, a  freshman from Cheshire, Conn., is taking the foreign policy course.  His class meets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day with an hourlong break at noon.

“I’m trying to take advantage of every opportunity I have to get ahead,” he said. “I also want to get as many major credits as I can, and it will allow me to explore in depth something that I’m really, really interested in.”

Curran said that while some students, like Dupont, want to get ahead in their major, others just like the more leisurely pace of winter at Wesleyan, which allows for greater concentration on academics.

“They like the idea of smaller classes, a calmer campus where they can really focus on their classwork,” she said. “Students are usually involved in activities and performances and taking multiple classes. There is something so satisfying about delving into one single topic and focusing really hard.”

 

SHOFCO Featured in Documentary on Paul Newman

Shining Hope for Communities, founded by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09 is featured in a new documentary: Give It All Away: Newman’s Own Recipe for Success, a new CPTV Original program premiering Tuesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV). The documentary, which looks at actor Paul Newman’s extraordinary record of philanthropy, interviews Professor of Sociology Rob Rosenthal as well as Odede and Posner.                                                                  

The e half-hour documentary chronicles the path of the Newman’s Own Foundation food company – the highly regarded brainchild of Paul Newman – as it has evolved and provided millions of dollars for a variety of charities .

SHOFCO is one of several nonprofits that have benefited from the generosity of Newman’s Own Foundation.

Work Based on Wesleyan Class to Premiere

The New York Times previews “Spill,” a drama that grew out of a class taught at Wesleyan by Leigh Fondakowski on the work behind “The Laramie Project.” Fondakowski co-taught the course with Barry Chernoff, director of the College of the Environment, as part of the Creative Campus Initiative.