Students

Ex-Inmates Use Dante to Learn, Inform, Entertain

A feature in The Boston Globe profiles a class at York Correctional Facility taught by Ron Jenkins and aided by his Wesleyan students that has provided opportunities for inmates after their release. The class led Jenkins to write a play about some of the inmates interspersing Dante’s Divine Comedy with their own experiences. The now ex-inmates and Jenkins will do a reading from the play at Harvard University this week.

 

Faculty, Students Present at International AGU Conference

Graduate student Austin Reed presented his first results for his MA thesis at the American Geophysical Union conference. Reed and his advisor, Johan Varekamp, are examining the evolution of two large explosive volcanic eruptions in the Greek arc.

Three faculty members from Earth and Environmental Sciences, as well as two graduate students and two undergraduate students, presented their research at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 5-7. The conference drew more than 20,000 scientists and policy makers from around the world.

Associate Professors Suzanne O’Connell and Dana Royer, Assistant Professor Phillip Resor, and Austin Reed MA-candidate, Rosemary Ostfeld BA ‘10/MA ‘12, and Julia Mulhern ’12 all attended. In addition, a poster by Katherine Shervais ’13, was also presented.

“Our research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is so diverse, and it is exciting to see Wesleyan faculty, students, and alumni contributing to technical sessions spread across many of the AGU sections,” Resor says.

Video Feature on Intelligent Landscape Design Group WILD Wes

Below is a video featuring WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan). WILD Wes is a Wesleyan student group working to transform fossil-fuel-intensive lawns into food-producing, ecologically-regenerative landscapes. WILD Wes is currently working on its first project: a 3/4 acre courtyard situated in a cluster of West College.

The video was created by WILD Wes member Erin O’Donnell ’12 and Ofer Levy ’12, who were enrolled in the “Documentary Advocacy” class. Jacob Bricca, adjunct assistant professor of film studies, taught the FILM 150 course last fall.

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Khan ’12 Brings “Brighter Dawns” to Bangladesh

ABC News 7 in Chicago has a feature on Tasmiha Khan ’12, who, with her sister, founded the non-profit organization Brighter Dawns after a family vacation to Bangladesh. Khan and her sister were horrified at the lack of access to fresh water and sanitation in parts of the country, particularly in Ward 12, a slum in Khalishpur. They are working on a $15,000 budget to create 10 wells and 30 latrines in Ward 12 by the end of the year. Khan’s efforts with Brighter Dawns was also featured in a number of Wesleyan Connection stories which can be found here, here, here and here.

Varekamp, Students Chart Mercury Pollution in Cove

A recent piece in The Hartford Courant details the work done documenting more than 300 years of pollution in a local cove by Johann Varekamp, professor of earth and environmental sciences, and his graduate students. The study examined at Wethersfield Cove, which is located just south of Hartford off the Connecticut River and was cut off from the river by a violent storm in 1692. The researchers found high levels of mercury, which was used extensively by industrial manufacturers until the early 20th century. The study resulted in a paper titled “Wethersfield Cove, Hartford, CT – A 300 Year Urban Pollution Record,” which Varekamp presented at the annual national meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) this month in Minneapolis.

Nicholas Kristof’s Column Extols Shining Hope Project

“Just Look at What You Did!” is the headline on a Nicholas Kristof column, letting readers know that his request that they commemorate Mother’s Day with donations led to a $135,000 gift to Shining Hope for Communities, a project in the Kibera slum of Kenya led by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09. Kirstof writes: “So while in Kenya recently, I dropped by to see what was being done with your money. In the grim alleys of the Kibera slum in the capital of Nairobi, I found a dazzling girls’ school being built with some of those donations — and, yes, I found a love story.” Read more.

Profile of Khan ’12 Founder of Brighter Dawns

In a recent story in The Chicago Tribune profiles Tasmiha Khan ’12 a psychology and neuroscience and behavior major, who has founded the nonprofit organization Brighter Dawns, which brings clean water to impoverished residents in Bangladesh. Khan, whose organization has been awarded grants from The Dell Innovation program, the DoSomething foundation, and the Davis Projects for Peace foundation, learned first hand about the difficulty to get fresh water in the dirt floor homes of Bangledesh after a family trip to the country. She has since provided thousands of water sanitation kits, as well as diabetes kits, nutritional screening, and other preventative health care methods. Khan’s work has also been featured in The Wesleyan Connection here, and here.

Hughes Poster Session Friday, July 29

Hughes Fellow Patrick Sarver '14 is spending his summer working with Michael Calter, associate professor of chemistry. He studies “The Catalytic, Asymmetric ‘Interrupted’ Feist-Benary Reaction."

Hughes Summer Research Program culminates with a poster session in which Hughes Fellows and other summer research undergraduates present their research.  The 2011 poster session is free and open to the public. It will take place between 1 and 3 p.m., Friday, July 29 in the lobby of Exley Science Center.

This summer, Wesleyan is hosting 43 Hughes Fellows and approximately 65 Hughes Associates. Hughes Associates are not funded by Hughes, but they participate in Hughes activities.

Wesleyan faculty members serve as mentors in the summer program. For more information on the 2011 summer fellows, click here.

Abrams ’12 on “A Gift that Came too Soon”

In the weekend Fashion and Style section of The New York Times, Lindsay Abrams ’12 has written a rumination on finding that great college romance, but perhaps timing it wrong. The piece discusses a relationship that might be as close to perfect as she could’ve hoped in everything but the time in her life when she and her partner entered into it.

Social Media Changes First Day of College Experience

Writing for ‘The Choice’ blog in The New York Times, Caren Osten Gerszberg contrasts her experience of meeting her college roommate and the first day of college 25 years ago with her daughter Nicole’s ’15 current path toward Wesleyan. Where Osten Gerszberg had a single phone conversation with her roommate to-be, Nicole has met dozens of her future classmates through Facebook groups and corresponded through texting and other methods. She’s also met other new friends from the Class of 2015 at WesFest.