Top Story

President Roth and Professor Weil Make Second Major Campaign Gift

President Michael S. Roth and Professor Kari Weil have made a new six-figure gift to Wesleyan in support of endowment for financial aid, including a provision that royalties from President Roth’s latest book, Beyond the University, go to financial aid.

In announcing the gift, Joshua Boger ’73, chair of Wesleyan’s board of trustees, said: “This is the second major gift that Michael and Kari have made to Wesleyan’s campaign, and I am so grateful for their leadership and generosity. Their support of financial aid is particularly welcome because it underscores the University’s commitment to increasing access – the highest priority of our campaign. THIS IS WHY.”

Wesleyan has raised $125 million for scholarship endowment. Overall, Wesleyan’s generous supporters have contributed $354 million toward the campaign’s $400 million goal.
Roth established a policy of eliminating loans in favor of outright grants for most students with a family income below $60,000. The policy has also reduced the amount of loans required in all final aid packages by about 35 percent. This effort and all of Wesleyan’s financial aid grants, including a special scholarship program for veterans, are supported by gifts from alumni, parents and friends.

“Wesleyan continues to attract students of extraordinary potential from diverse economic backgrounds, meeting their full financial need,” says Roth. “The University’s commitment to financial aid fosters a campus community based on equality and freedom, where differences in the classroom emerge not from privilege, but from talent and effort.”

As University Protestant Chaplain, Mehr-Muska Mentors, Offers Confidential Support

As the university’s Protestant chaplain, Tracy Mehr-Muska wears many hats, including mentor, cheerleader, religious tutor, celebrant of sacraments, caregiver, counselor, listener, worship leader and event planner, among others.

As the university’s Protestant chaplain, Tracy Mehr-Muska wears many hats, including mentor, cheerleader, religious tutor, celebrant of sacraments, caregiver, counselor, listener, worship leader and event planner, among others. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

In this Q&A, meet Tracy Mehr-Muska, Wesleyan’s Protestant chaplain. 

Q: Rev. Mehr-Muska, how long have you been Wesleyan’s Protestant chaplain, and what did you do before this?

A: This is my third year as a university chaplain at Wesleyan. Like many, my professional journey was not a direct route. After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, I served as a Deck Watch Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. My love of the sea and my degree in Marine/Environmental Science led me to subsequently work as a marine scientist, conducting oceanographic surveys and engineering subsea cable routes for a company that installed transoceanic fiberoptic telecommunications cable. although I loved my job, I felt most deeply fulfilled when attending church, visiting sick or homebound parishioners, or volunteering with the church’s youth. I then transitioned to Princeton Theological Seminary, and after graduating, became an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). I served as a chaplain for a hospice program in Boston, where I ministered to people approaching death and to their families. Although I loved hospice chaplaincy, it has been thrilling and fun to now work with people at the other end of their lives—students newly emerging into adulthood who are working to discern their vocational identity and establish their priorities, distinctiveness and values.

Q: Coming from such a different background, what made you want to become a university chaplain?

A: My years at the Coast Guard Academy were immensely challenging personally, physically, and spiritually. The two caring and patient military chaplains who served as my chaplains were not only instrumental in my surviving, thriving, and graduating, but they were also influential in helping me find joy and deepen my faith.

Stemler’s New Study Finds Educational Interventions Cannot be “Scaled Up”

Steven Stemler, associate professor of psychology, collaborated with researchers at a number of other universities on a major new study, which found that context matters when implementing educational interventions.

Steven Stemler, associate professor of psychology, collaborated with researchers at a number of other universities on a major new study, which found that context matters when implementing educational interventions.

It turns out that teaching language arts, math and science to fourth graders is not the same as manufacturing cars on an assembly line.

That is, the microeconomics principle of economies of scale—or the cost advantages that businesses get by increasing the scale of production—do not always apply to educational interventions. Put another way, an intervention that works great in one specific educational setting cannot necessarily be “scaled up” to work in many other settings. This is the finding of a major new study funded by the National Science Foundation, on which Associate Professor of Psychology Steven Stemler collaborated with colleagues at a number of other universities including Yale, Cornell and the University of Sydney.

The study, carried out in 223 classrooms across the country in the early- to mid-2000s, was published in the American Psychology Association’s Journal of Educational Psychology in August. The paper is titled “Testing the Theory of Successful Intelligence in Teaching Grade 4 Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science.”

ITS Launches Security Awareness Campaign

The ITS training videos teach computer users about cyber criminals.

The ITS training videos teach computer users about cyber criminals.

As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, Information Technology Services launched a new security awareness campaign titled “Protecting You, Securing Wesleyan”.

The campaign consists of security awareness training videos; tips and tricks provided on the ITS Facebook and Twitter pages; posters distributed around campus; and a new website about cyber security initiatives on campus. The information will help Wesleyan faculty, staff and students be safer online, at work, home or on the road.

Football’s Fuchs ’17 Receives Regional Honors, Gold Helmet Award

Placekicker Ike Fuchs '17. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Placekicker Ike Fuchs ’17. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Placekicker Ike Fuchs ’17 (#10) accounted for 16 of the Cardinals’ 22 points during a 22-0 football victory at Williams College Nov. 1, raising Wesleyan’s record on the season to 6-1.

For his performance, Fuchs received three regional awards and one national honor. Fuchs was named NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week as well as ECAC Division III Northeast Special Teams Player of the Week. He also was the recipient of the New England Football Writers’ Association weekly Gold Helmet Award for the top effort by a regional Division II/III player during the week.

Ike Fuchs '17

Ike Fuchs ’17

He is the first Cardinal to earn this coveted honor since Shea Dwyer ’10 was recognized for his 213-yard rushing performance with five TDs in a win over Hamilton in 2010. Fuchs also was named USA College Football’s Placekicker of the Week, a national honor.

Fuchs went 5-for-5 on field goals including a career-best 39-yarder and added an extra point on Wesleyan’s lone touchdown, that by running back Lou Stevens ’17 in the second quarter. Fuchs’ other three-pointer came from 31 yards, 35 yards, 23 yards and 25 yards. He entered the game 3-for-6 on field goals but had made his last two before the Williams game. As a result, Fuchs established a pair of school records as he broke the mark for field goals in a game, set by Greg Zlotnick ’86 when he booted four field goals against Coast Guard in 1983. Fuchs has now made seven straight field goals, breaking Zlotnick’s season record of six in a row, also set in 1983.

Backer, Culliton, Quinones Honored with Cardinal Achievement Awards

Scott Backer

Scott Backer

Rick Culliton

Rick Culliton

Scott Backer, associate dean of students, and Rick Culliton, assistant vice president/dean of students, received a Cardinal Achievement Award in October for completing the federally mandated campus crime (Clery) report for the past two years. This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for those extra efforts.

They completely revised and updated the report from previous years and incorporated additional edits to ensure the data in the report was accurate. This involved collaborating with various offices on campus. They took on this responsibility in the absence of the Public Safety Director who is typically responsible for coordinating the report.

Maritza “Cookie” Quinones

Maritza “Cookie” Quinones

In addition, Maritza “Cookie” Quinones, After School supervisor at the Green Street Arts Center, received a Cardinal Achievement Award in November for her “selfless giving and community-minded approach to assisting families during their experience at the GSAC and beyond,” explained Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Arts Center and PIMMS. Quinones makes thoughtful phone calls to parents regarding their children’s progress and behavior in the program. She makes a point to invite and to escort Middletown families to arts and cultural events at the Center for the Arts.

“Cookie tirelessly works to ‘make it happen’ for the community,” MacSorley said.

Award recipients are nominated by department chairs and supervisors. Nominations can be made anytime throughout the year. For more information or to nominate a staff member for the award, visit the Cardinal Achievement Award website.

Recipients will continue to be recognized in News@Wesleyan.

See past Cardinal Achievement Award recipients here.

#THISISWHY

Wesleyan Media Project Launches New Attack Ads Website, Videos; Provides Campaign Analysis

WMPbanner_20perThe Wesleyan Media Project, which analyzes campaign television advertising in federal elections, has launched a new initiative to educate the public about attack ads and dark money in elections, thanks to funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

As anyone who watches television is well aware, the airwaves are filled with attack ads. Negativity in advertising is especially pronounced in some races, such as the Connecticut governor’s race, in which only 15 percent of ads were positive from Sept. 1 to Oct. 23. At the same time, dark money—or spending by outside groups who do not disclose their donors—is playing an increasingly prominent role in campaign advertising. This is concerning to those who care about transparency in elections.

The Wesleyan Media Project’s new website, AttackAds.org, aims to educate voters about attack ads and dark money.

Grossman Discussant at Economics Research Conference

Richard Grossman

Richard Grossman

On Oct. 24, Richard Grossman, professor of economics, was a discussant at a conference titled “Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development,” organized by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass.

Grossman commented on a paper by Dan Bogart (University of California at Irvine) titled “Securing the East India Monopoly: Politics, Institutional Change, and the Security of British Property Rights Revisited.” The paper focuses on the history of the English East India Company and ways it yields new insights on the relationship between politics, institutional change, and the security of property rights in Britain.

Hughes Finds Magnetic Fields in Stardust; Study Published in Nature

Assistant professor of Astronomy Meredith Hughes and eight colleagues have found evidence of magnetic fields in stardust – an indication that magnetic fields are important in the process of planetary system formation, according to a new paper in the journal Nature.

The discovery is another step in work by Hughes and other astronomers to understand how celestial bodies are formed. It is known that magnetic fields in the “accretion disks” of stars play a dominant role in the star formation process.

Meredith Hughes

Meredith Hughes

Using data from an observatory near Bishop, Calf., Hughes and her colleagues were able to spot signs of magnetic fields in the dust of the disk of a star about 300 light years away. While magnetic fields have been detected in regions that represent the very earliest stages of star formation (the so-called Class 0 and Class I stages), this is the first time they have been seen around a star with an older age closer to when we believe planetary systems form.

“This is an important result,” Hughes said. “It’s the first time that we’ve seen magnetic fields this late in the process of star and planet formation. And like any good scientific result, when you find something new it opens up whole new sets of questions we can ask.”

In fact, Hughes said the astronomers did not expect the results they got. “I honestly didn’t think it was going to work – we had been trying so long with Class II sources and hadn’t found anything,” she said. “But I thought, we might as well try this last source that is just a little younger than most Class II sources. You want to try everything you can – but it was really a surprise when it worked.”

The paper, “Spatially resolved magnetic field structure in the disk of a T Tauri star,” was published Oct. 22. Nature is the world’s most highly-cited interdisciplinary science publication. The 145-year-old journal is published weekly.

Men’s Soccer Victory Highlight of Wesleyan Homecoming Sporting Events

Wesleyan cheerleaders root on the Cardinals during the annual Homecoming football game against Amherst College, Oct. 18. The team fell to its rivals in overtime, 33-30, the team's first loss of the year.

Wesleyan cheerleaders root on the Cardinals during the annual Homecoming football game against Amherst College, Oct. 18. The team fell to its rivals in overtime, 33-30. This was the Cardinals’ first loss of the year. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Scoring the “golden goal” in the 95th minute during Wesleyan's Homecoming game Oct. 18, Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 netted his fourth goal of the year and second game-winner in propelling men’s soccer past Amherst 2-1.

Scoring the “golden goal” in the 95th minute during Wesleyan’s Homecoming game Oct. 18, Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 netted his fourth goal of the year and second game-winner in propelling men’s soccer past Amherst 2-1. (Photo by Peter Stein ’84)

During Homecoming, men’s soccer highlighted the day with a 2-1 overtime win against Amherst College to gain a share of the Little Three title. Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 delivered the golden goal as Wesleyan handed Amherst, ranked 10th nationally, its first loss against a NESCAC rival in three years, spanning 37 games.

Also scoring his third goal of the year in the game was Matt Lynch ’15, as he spotted the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the second half. Goalie Emmett McConnell ’15 posted seven saves, five in the second half, in holding Amherst to a lone goal. Watch a video of the men’s winning soccer goal here.

Football led a good portion of its homecoming game against Amherst before falling in overtime, 33-30, the team’s first loss of the year. Quarterback Jesse Warren ’15

New Public Safety Director Looks Forward to Campus Partnerships

Scott Rohde became director of Public Safety on Oct. 1.

Scott Rohde became director of Public Safety on Oct. 1. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Scott Rohde became Wesleyan’s new Public Safety director the first week of October. The long-term police chief at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse says he’s looking forward to new partnerships between the campus community and Public Safety, and pursuing other initiatives as head of the university’s 30-plus member safety team.

Q: Welcome to Wesleyan, Scott. What attracted you to Wesleyan?

A: I was attracted to Wesleyan by its reputation as well as its strong commitment to a solid liberal arts education. During the interview process and my visit here I felt very welcome and comfortable both on campus and in the community.

Q: What are the first challenges you hope to tackle as director of Public Safety? 

A: I want to expand partnerships between the department and members of the campus community, in an effort to increase awareness about preventing crime and how to respond in problem situations. I would like to see Public Safety more integrated into the campus community.

Q: Have you had specific experiences that will help you in your Wesleyan job?

A: Having worked with students, faculty and staff extensively, I feel my experience will offer some new perspectives in the areas of both prevention and response to safety issues. I also have had good success in implementing a problem-solving methodology of service delivery.

Q: Since 1998, you’ve served as director of Police Services at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Are you from Wisconsin? Tell us more about yourself.

A: I am a native of Wisconsin, and until last week it was the only state I have been a resident of, although I have traveled pretty extensively throughout the U.S. I grew up in the Milwaukee area and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in Criminal Justice. I started working in law enforcement in 1987 and served in a number of capacities, most recently as police chief for U.W.-La Crosse. My wife Michelle and I have been married for almost 30 years and have two children and two grandchildren.

Q: Any first impressions of Wesleyan you’d care to share?

A: My first week here has been superb. Everyone on campus and in Middletown has been extremely helpful and has made us feel at home. I look forward to the future!

Read more about Scott Rohde in this News@Wesleyan article.

 

Chemistry, English Major Yoo ’15 Coordinates WesReads/WesMath Program, Korean Dance Group

Angela Yoo '15 is co-coordinator of the tutoring program, WesReads/WesMath, which allows Wesleyan students to tutor at two different local elementary schools. (Photo by Olivia Drake) 

Angela Yoo ’15 is co-coordinator of the tutoring program, WesReads/WesMath, which allows Wesleyan students to tutor at two different local elementary schools. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Q: Angela, where are you from and why did you choose Wesleyan to further your education?

A: I am from Nanuet, New York but I went to a boarding school called Phillips Exeter Academy. I chose Wesleyan because I was intrigued by how people were given the freedom to pursue their interests, no matter how different these interests might be. I was also attracted by the collaborative atmosphere and how people seemed to encourage and support their peers.

Q: What are you majoring in?

A: I’m double majoring in chemistry and English, and I hope to write a thesis on non-beta lactam inhibitors of beta-lactamses. This entails synthesis of potential inhibitors as well as investigating the efficacy of these compounds through enzyme kinetics. I have been working in Professor Pratt’s lab in the Chemistry Department since sophomore spring. I chose to also pursue English because I was really interested exploring the different stories that people tell, the various ways in which they tell their stories and how we understand them.

Q: You’re currently the co-coordinator of a tutoring program called WesReads/WesMath. Tell us a bit about this program.

A: WesReads/WesMath allows Wesleyan students to tutor at two different local elementary schools. More than 70 Wesleyan students volunteer through the program and we help teachers with classroom activities or work with a small group of advanced learners on a math or reading curriculum that we developed or organized.