Tag Archive 'alumni'
Over a lunch of pizza in Beckham Hall on Dec. 5, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, a serial entrepreneur and author of Without Their Permission, addressed a crowded hall of nearly 200 students. He spoke on the importance of the internet, which allows us to access “an incredible amount of information,” and our ability to make use of it to develop new ideas, through maintaining an entrepreneurial mindset. Asking for a showing of hands of those involved in their own creative endeavors, he invited students to seize all opportunities to tell people about their idea—and to view all failures as the initial step in becoming an expert. He also chatted with Peter Frank ’12, founder and CEO of Texts.com, a text-book exchange site, about startups, creativity and freedom of information.
Afterwards, he signed copies of his book, Without their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed, shaking hands, asking each about his or her project, offering encouragement.
Peter Frank ’12, now CEO of Texts.com and one of the sponsors of the luncheon, has been interested in entrepreneurship since middle school. He has built several businesses and sold hundreds of domain names. In January 2011, he sold the nation’s largest anonymous college confession board.
After graduation, Frank, an English major at Wesleyan, served for six months as a “jack of all trades” associate at Hatch Labs, a mobile app incubator, and has interned at Demand Media and Capital Group, where he was a member of the TAP Program.
Other sponsors for the luncheon were the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Wesleyan Career Center. A video of the event will be available through these offices.
Kate Cooper ’82 has written a new history of the early Christian movement, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women (Overlook Press), in which she provides a vibrant narrative of the triumphs and hardships of the first mothers of the infant church. As far as recorded history is concerned, women in the ancient world lived almost invisibly in a man’s world. Piecing together their story from the few contemporary accounts that have survived required painstaking research, and Cooper offers a fresh perspective on the triumphs and hardships encountered by these early women.
The book tells the intriguing story of how a new way of understanding relationships took root in the ancient world. As Cooper demonstrates, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity’s growth to become a world religion. Peasants, empresses, and independent businesswomen contributed what they could to an emotional revolution unlike anything the ancient world had ever seen.
Cooper is professor of ancient history at the University of Manchester. Born in Washington, D.C. and also educated at Princeton and Harvard universities, she is the author of The Virgin and the Bride and The Fall of the Roman Household. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome
Author web site: kateantiquity
Stuart Frank ’70, has been awarded the Historic New England Book Prize for 2013, for Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum, published in Boston by David R. Godine. The award was formally presented on Nov. 3 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The book is also the recipient of the Boston Bookmakers Prize for the year’s best work in the pictorial category.
Frank’s book brings his expert’s eye to the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s intriguing collection. By the middle of the 19th century, the New England port of New Bedford was among the ﬁve richest cities in America, and it derived its wealth from whale oil, the “fossil fuel” of the early Industrial Revolution. The New Bedford whaling ﬂeet was the most numerous, adventurous, and far-ranging in the world, taking long voyages as far as the Antarctic and Siberia.
In their spare time, some whalemen carved materials harvested from the whales themselves: the teeth and bones of sperm whales, baleen from right and bowhead whales, and walrus tusks acquired by barter from Native people in the Arctic. These resulting practical and decorative objects made from ivory and bone were often intricately carved and carefully crafted and served as mementos and treasured souvenirs to take back home. The objects included not only decorated sperm whale teeth that the word “scrimshaw” ordinarily brings to mind, but also crimpers and canes, umbrellas, and swifts.
The collection at the New Bedford Whaling Museum is the largest, most varied, and most representative in the world. Frank, who is senior curator at the museum, covers every possible permutation of these whalemen’s fancies. The comprehensive survey has 700 detailed and dramatic photographs by Richard Donnelly with compelling stories behind the objects themselves.
Frank, who earned master’s degrees at Yale and Brown and a Ph.D. in American civilization at Brown, is director emeritus of the Kendall Whaling Museum, and founder/director of the Scrimshaw Forensics Laboratory®. His previous books include Herman Melville’s Picture Gallery (awarded the John Lyman Book Award of the North American Society for Oceanic History), Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists (also received the John Lyman Book Award), More Scrimshaw Artists, The Book of Pirate Songs, Jolly Sailors Bold: Ballads and Songs of the American Sailor (expanded from his doctoral dissertation), The New Book of Pirate Songs, and Scrimshaw and Provenance (published this year by Mystic Seaport).
With his wife, Mary Malloy, he has performed concert tours on four continents, presenting traditional sailors’ songs and ballads excavated from shipboard manuscripts in the New Bedford Whaling Museum collection.
Larry Woolard II ’03 was sworn into the City of Middletown Police Department in October 2013. At Wesleyan, he was a religion studies major and captain of the football team.
“Larry was quite a football player for Xavier High School and for the Cardinals, especially in an exciting Homecoming win over Williams. I suspect he is one of Wesleyan’s first local police officers,” said John Driscoll, advisor in the Wesleyan Career Center.
On Nov. 20, Zoe Mueller ’13 spoke about “GIS in the Real World: How to Land a GIS Job” during National Geography Awareness Week celebrations at Wesleyan. GIS (geographic information systems) allow users to visualize, question, analyze, interpret, model and understand data to reveal relationships, patterns and trends.
Mueller spoke to current students about careers in GIS, differences between non-profit and for-profit work, and applications of GIS outside of academia.
Wesleyan’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences also sponsored multiple events in honor of National Geography Awareness Week, including a crowdsourced GIS map and geocaching scavenger hunt.
Dr. Henri Lamothe ’80, MD, CMSL, received the Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year from the New York State Association for Rural Health.
As the medical director of 22 emergency medical service (EMS) agencies in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties, Dr. Lamothe ensures that the EMS providers he represents have the skills and training they need to provide emergency medical care.
Paramedic Todd Reisner, general manager of Trans Am Ambulance Service in Olean, N.Y., said of Lamothe, “He’s a very active medical director. He makes himself available to the EMS providers and his vision of a solid EMS system starts with the people who provide the services. He holds volunteer EMS providers to the same standards as the paid providers.”
In a press release, Dr. Lamothe noted that he shares the award with the EMS providers in the counties in which he serves. “We have a great EMS system and this award is a reflection of their hard work as much as anything I do as their medical director,” he said. “Without their support and professionalism, none of this would be possible.”
Lamothe, who majored in chemistry at Wesleyan, earned his medical degree from University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1986.
B. J. Buckley ’76 has written a new collection of poems, Spaces Both Infinite and Eternal (Limberlost Press) which considers the natural world, quiet, unspoken events—the accidental death of an owl, a porcupine gorging on apples, unobserved fragrant meadows, the roar of wind through cottonwoods. The presence of man is barely acknowledged in the rugged western landscapes of these poems. Buckley’s voice is a quiet guide through rural, mountainous territory.
Her book is printed letterpress, using lead type on a old hand-fed platen press.
A native of Wyoming, Buckley lives on a ranch near Power, Montana. She has worked in Arts-in-the-Schools programs throughout the Rocky Mountain West for more than 30 years. She is the author of two previous books of poems, Artifacts (Willow Bee Press) and Moonhorses & The Red Bull, with artist Dawn Trask (Pronghorn Press). For her writing, she has received the Joy Harjo Prize from Cutbank: A Journal of the Arts, the Rita Dove Poetry Award from the center for Women Writers at Salem College, The Robert Penn Warren Narrative Poetry Prize, and the Comstock Review Poetry Prize. Her work also currently appears in About Place: The Future of Water.
by B. J. Buckley
In the low bluffs, bones of buffalo lie exposed
by spring rains. So much meat, and the wind still hungry,
still cold at heart. Rain: a thousand hooves pounding dust.
Scattered out of the cattails the red-winged blackbirds,
evading for now, a hawk’s pursuit — falling, winged ash,
back into the green fire of the reeds, raining song over their enemies.
The horses are turned ass into the wind, rain saddling their flanks.
Clouds of breath rise from flared nostrils, manes knotted with damp,
the beautiful muscles rippling beneath their skins like rain-swollen rivers.
By late afternoon the sun’s corralled the thunderheads,
reined them in. Meadowlarks flash out of the coulees, yellow,
yellow — if only all wars could be so easily broken.
So many acres of stony ground, so many acres of clay —
It takes long hard rains to soak in, to crack the dessicated
seed — rainbows of wildflowers arching over the hills.
Fifty years might pass before another blossoming;
a lifetime between rains. The heart’s a mustang — it won’t be broken.
Look, how swallows thread the sky, weaving the blue cloth of darkness!
From Spaces Both Infinite and Eternal
Katey Rich ’06 has a new position as digital Hollywood editor at Vanity Fair, where she is overseeing The Hollywood Blog.
Before Vanity Fair, Rich worked at the Cinema Blend website for six years, and her last job there was editor-in-chief. She was previously an editorial assistant at Film Journal International. As Wesleyan she major in film studies and English.
For those who have read Rich’s writing at Cinema Blend, they already know she has been a savvy chronicler of the film scene and an entertaining film critic for years. At vanityfair.com, Wesleyan alumni can currently enjoy her thoughts on a possible film of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, the Gotham Independent Film Awards, the current state of silent films, and the new Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis.
Anna Moench ’06 and Arturo Vidich ’03 were 2013 recipients of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowships—an honor that only 3 percent of the applicants are awarded. Anna Moench was named in playwriting/screenwriting discipline and Arturo Vidich was named in choreography, selected by state-wide peer panels.
First launched in 1985, NYFA’s Artist Fellowship Program has provided over $27 million in unrestricted cash grants to artists in 15 disciplines at critical stages in their careers. Awards are made in five disciplines a year on a triennial basis. Past recipients include the winners of five Academy Awards, five Tony Awards, eight Pulitzer Prizes and 17 MacArthur ‘‘Genius’‘ Fellowships.
Vidich’s “Body Island,” was shown on campus this fall as part of The Alumni Show II, curated by John Ravenal ’81 P’15, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Center for the Arts. Vidich has been working in New York City since 2003 and is co-founder of Culture Push, a nonprofit arts organization, with fellow artist Aki Sasamoto ’04. The catalog for The Alumni Art Show II describes Vidich as “a hybrid performance/visual artist who merges the scripted and improvised, live and taped. His boundary-pushing performances often feature intense relationships with animals as a means for exploring human identity. In his work ‘Body Island,’ rats climb freely over his limbs and torso as he navigates a small, damp room.”
His recent work, “142241” was reviewed in the New Yorker as “fierce, physical, funny and smart,” noting that Vidich has “a dream-like imagination, a lack of inhibition, and an ability to catch audiences off guard.”
Moench is a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and a Van Lier Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City. Her plays have been seen at the Old Vic, 59E59, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, NYU, and Dance Theater Workshop, to name just a few venues.
Moench’s awards include the Jerome Foundation’s 2009 Travel Grant, the 2010 T.S. Eliot Exchange with the Old Vic, and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship. Moench is a two-time recipient of the EST/Sloan Commission and has been commissioned by NYU Tisch’s Graduate Acting Program and Haggard Middle School in Plano, Texas. She was a writer in residence at Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE, the Lark’s Winter Workshop, the Tofte Lake Center, the Vineyard Arts Project, and the FAR Space. Her play, Hunger, was presented in Playwrights’ Week 2012 at the Lark.
A member of the 2011 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, she is also an alumna of New Georges’ writer-director lab, The Jam.
Moench has published two plays for young actors: Backwards At The Speed Of Light is available through Playscripts, and A Polar Bear In New Jersey is available through Samuel French.
Meiyi Cheng ’13 was selected as one of 32 fellows, from a pool of 700 applicants, to participate in Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization program focused on attracting and retaining talent in Detroit in an effort to spur revitalization.
Challenge Detroit, a one-year program, provides the opportunity for fellows to work at top regional companies while spending one day a week collaborating with area non-profits to address regional challenges and opportunities, including multi-modal transportation, homelessness, and community development. During her year with Challenge Detroit, Cheng will be working with partnering host company, Mango Languages.
Challenge Detroit’s executive director, Deirdre Greene Groves, calls the program, “…[T]ruly a community-wide effort that brings together amazing companies, non-profits, leaders and, of course, the next-generation of talent to reinvigorate this great city.”
“I’m excited to be part of this great city and to work with and learn from many talented and passionate people,” said Cheng, year two Challenge Detroit Fellow, who majored in economics at Wesleyan. She cites past leadership experiences that range “from successfully managing 45 performances as a house manager at Center for the Arts of Wesleyan University to serving as a summer camp counselor in Sichuan, China, after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.
During their year in Detroit, participants will share their stories through regular blogging, video logging and social media updates. Follow Cheng on her blog.
Rick Gilberg ’74, P’16, P’14 describes his Wesleyan education as a “game-changer.” The son of working-class parents who never attended college, Gilberg was able to attend Wesleyan only with the support of a generous financial aid package. A religion major in the College of Letters, he says the opportunity enabled him to discover sides of himself he never knew existed. Gilberg is now a labor attorney in New York with two children attending Wesleyan.
Watch the video below: