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Katie AberbachMay 18, 20202min
In this continuing series, we explore a selection of the latest books by Wesleyan alumni. The volumes, sent to us by the alumni authors themselves, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Amy Meyerson ’04, The Imperfects (HarperCollins/Park Row Books, 2020) Generations of secrets loom large in this novel about the dysfunctional Miller family. When the eccentric family matriarch, Helen, passes away, the items she leaves behind—including a 137-carat diamond hidden in her bedroom—stir up old resentments, new tensions, and plenty of questions among her daughter and grandchildren. As…

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Katie AberbachMay 12, 20204min
The timing of the release of The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life (Penguin Random House, 2020) was far from ideal. Officially out March 3, the new book by Melody Moezzi ’01 was barely in readers’ hands before social distancing restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Moezzi was able to participate in a handful of events near her home in Wilmington, N.C. . . . and then the remainder were canceled or rescheduled in virtual form. However, The Rumi Prescription is the sort of book that people with extra free time on…

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smccreaApril 5, 20202min
In the eighth of this continuing series, Sara McCrea ’21, a College of Letters major from Boulder, Colo., reviews alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Christina Pugh ’88, Stardust Media (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020) In this time of social distancing, I find myself surrounded by media more than ever. My Wesleyan friends, thousands of miles away, flicker on all my screens; I watch from my…

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Olivia DrakeApril 5, 202025min
A number of Wesleyan alumni act in, write, direct, and produce popular TV programs. We've compiled a list of those alumni and their shows below, as part of our "Best of Wes" series. (Do you have a favorite that's not listed? Email your idea to newsletter@wesleyan.edu, and we'll add it in! You can also view previous "Best of Wes" pieces.) The alumni and their roles on various TV shows are listed below: Phillip Abraham '82, P'20 has directed, produced, or directed the photography of episodes of Most Dangerous Game, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Glow, Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, Ozark,…

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Katie AberbachMarch 30, 20202min
A lack of fast, reliable diagnostic testing has played a major role in the rapid proliferation of cases of COVID-19. Rahul Dhanda ’95 and his team at Sherlock Biosciences are working furiously to change that, potentially shortening the testing’s time horizon to a matter of minutes. Dhanda is co-founder, CEO, and president of the engineering biology startup based in Cambridge, Mass., which is creating two different diagnostic tests for COVID-19—one rooted in CRISPR technology, the other in synthetic biology. The hope is that the tests can be released during the course of the current pandemic, Dhanda said, each with its…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 30, 20202min
Starting April 1, Matthew Arkin '82 will read from his suspense thriller In the Country of the Blind (2013) on YouTube Live. "I'll be reading in an effort to fight the strain and isolation [of the COVID-19 pandemic] and perhaps provide a little entertainment," he said. This is Arkin's first attempt at livestreaming, which he's calling "social distance storytime." "It's an idea I had because we're all under quarantine right now, we're social distancing, stuck at home, and like many of you, I wonder how I can fill fill my time, what I can do to help others fill their…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 26, 20206min
Plug in those earbuds, crank those dials, and tune in to some of the many podcasts written, produced, and hosted by Wesleyan alumni. Two more alumni-produced podcasts are making their debut this summer. Ian Coss ’11, a producer for PRX and Radiotopia, is the host of the new podcast Forever is a Long Time (August 2021). In the five-episode series, Coss interviews every living member of his family who had ever been married had also gotten divorced: parents, grandparents, and all his aunts and uncles on both sides — some of them twice. The series weaves reflection and original music…

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Randi Alexandra PlakeMarch 16, 20202min
Wesleyan in the News 1. USA Today: “America Has a History of Lynching, but it’s Not a Federal Crime. The House Just Voted to Change That” Benjamin Waite Professor of the English Language Ashraf Rushdy is interviewed on the topic of legislation that would make lynching a federal crime. In the interview he called lynching “the original hate crime.” “Lynching is a blot on the history of America,” he said. “But it’s never too late to do the right thing." 2. The New York Times: “Starbucks Baristas Accuse Service Company of Abuse and Pay Gaps” Associate Professor of Sociology Jonathan…

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Cynthia RockwellMarch 16, 20203min
Award-winning writer/director Jan Eliasberg ’74, P’19 made her debut as a novelist with Hannah's War, a story inspired by the real-life physicist Dr. Lise Meitner, whom an article in the Aug. 6, 1945, issue of the New York Times referred to as “a female, non-Aryan physicist,” noted for helping the Americans develop the atomic bomb. Hannah's War was published by Little Brown on March 3. "Jan Eliasberg knows how to open big with strong suspense and wry humor and take us for a hurtling ride through one of America's most complex moments," said Amy Bloom ’75, Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 3, 20202min
On Feb. 27, the Gordon Career Center hosted a Google Career Virtual Panel featuring Wesleyan alumni who offered insight on their roles in sales, business, product management, marketing, legal issues, and other roles at Google. The panel was assembled by Sherry Liang ’20, who completed a WEShadow at Google last winter, and Peer Career Advisor Esmye Lytle ’21. Speakers included: Aaron Stoertz '03: Stoertz graduated with a BA in English. Since then he worked in conservation biology, public health, and international health policy at the World Health Organization before landing in tech, where he's worked his way into a position…

Lauren RubensteinMarch 2, 20204min
Wesleyan in the News 1. The Open Mind: "Democratizing the Jury" Associate Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti is interviewed in connection with her new book, Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life, in which she offers a "full-throated defense of juries as a democratic institution." "I am very interested in how ordinary people engage with political institutions, and juries are the place where ordinary people have the most power," she says. Chakravarti calls for more robust civic education, continuing into adulthood, in order to have a "more effective, modern jury system." 2. Hartford Courant: "Sen. Murphy, Aiming to…