Tag Archive for Class of 2010

Cultural Experiences Discussed at Power of Language Conference

More than 110 Wesleyan students, faculty, alumni, and local guests participated in the second annual Power of Language Conference, April 26-27 at the Fries Center for Global Studies. The event was open to the entire Wesleyan community.

The two-day event featured six panels that focused on: Creative Language Learning, Crossing Time and Border through Translation, Language and Society, Language in Curriculum, Arabic in the U.S., and  Polyphony through Literature.

“The presentations ranged from class final projects (such as a comic version of Dante’s Inferno, reimagined at Wesleyan) to senior theses (such as the challenges of translating early modern Spanish into accessible contemporary English),” said Steve Angle, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies and director of the Fries Center for Global Studies. “Taken as a whole, the presentations captured the challenges and rewards of working with the world’s languages.”

Study by Tavernier, Students Published in Sleep Health Journal

oyette Tavernier, assistant professor of psychology, is director of Wesleyan's Sleep and Psychosocial Adjustment Lab housed in Judd Hall. Here, she monitors an individual's nightly sleep patterns. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Royette Tavernier, assistant professor of psychology, is director of Wesleyan’s Sleep and Psychosocial Adjustment Lab.

College-aged individuals are at an increased risk for mental health issues, as well as poor sleep. There is a rich body of research on the negative consequences of poor sleep for cognitive, physical, and mental functioning. Furthermore, several studies provide support for the importance of three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) for optimal mental well-being. Less well understood, however, is the issue of “directionality” between basic psychological needs and sleep as students transition across semesters.

“In other words, it is not clear whether an individual’s perceived fulfillment of these basic psychological needs predicts improvements in sleep later on; or whether sleep patterns at baseline might subsequently lead to improvements in these psychological needs over time,” said Royette Tavernier, assistant professor of psychology. “This issue of directionality (the ‘chicken and the egg’ phenomenon) is critical for understanding which factors interventions should target to promote optimal sleep and psychological well-being.”

Tamare Adrien '19 and Grant Hill '20 shared their sleep studies at the Department of Psychology’s Research Poster Presentation on April 25.

Tamare Adrien ’19 and Grant Hill ’20 shared their sleep studies at the Department of Psychology’s Research Poster Presentation on April 25.

In a recently published paper titled “Be well, sleep well: An examination of directionality between basic psychological needs and subjective sleep among emerging adults at university,” coauthors Tavernier, Grant Hill ’20, and Tamare Adrien ’19 examined the relationship between basic psychological needs and sleep quality. Their findings appear in the April issue of the journal Sleep Health.

They find that when University participants perceived that their psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness were met, they reported improvements in sleep duration (slept for longer hours) and sleep quality (reported fewer sleep problems) one semester later. Additionally, they found a significant ‘bidirectional effect’ between perceived fulfillment of the three basic psychological needs and lower daytime dysfunction (i.e., perceived enthusiasm to function during the day), indicating that both these variables mutually predict each other over time.

The authors conclude that while many sleep interventions focus on environmental aspects of sleep, their study highlights the importance of nurturing college students’ psychological needs as a possible approach to improve sleep among this vulnerable sample.

Tavernier is a developmental psychologist and is director of Wesleyan’s SPA Lab.

Bergstein ’88, Frosh ’68, Lesser ’10, Martin ’99, Rose ’08 Enjoy Election Success

Alumni who have met with success in the midterm elections include:

  • Democrat Alex Bergstein ’88, who won a Connecticut State Senate race;
  • Democrat Brian Frosh ’68, who won re-election as Maryland Attorney general;
  • Democrat Matt Lesser ’10, who prevailed in Connecticut’s State Senate race for the 9th district, which includes Middletown;
  • Democrat Amy Martin ’99 is judge-elect for the Texas District Court 263; and
  • Democrat Max Rose ’08, who won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 11th Congressional District.

An article in the Greenwich Time quoted Bergstein, post-victory, as saying, “‘I am elated. I am humbled. I am grateful and I am so ready to serve.’ … Calling herself a ‘different kind of Democrat,’ Bergstein said she would work outside of Hartford’s two-party system.”

A News 12 story noted that Bergstein’s win was historic because “A Democrat has not represented Greenwich and New Canaan in the state Senate for 88 years.”

Alumni Gather in London for Artists Reception, Honoring Gittes ’10

Artist Michael Gittes ’10, at right, speaks to fellow alumni and guests about his recent work during a gathering in London.

Forty-three Wesleyan alumni, students, parents, and friends gathered in London on July 3 for a reception featuring artist Michael Gittes ’10.

Gittes, an American studies major, discussed his work, which is being displayed as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit, Michael Jackson on the Wall. For the exhibit, Gittes created an experimental video.

In addition, alumni Glenn Ligon ’82, Jonathan Horowitz ’87, and Lyle Ashton Harris ’88 also have works exhibited in the gallery.

Rapper Latasha Alcindor ’10 Releases New Album

Latasha Alcindor ’10

Latasha Alcindor ’10

Brooklyn rapper Latasha Alcindor ’10, also informally known as LA, is following up the release of her debut album B(LA)K. with her newest project, Teen Nite at Empire. The project is named for the Empire Rolling Skating Center, a former nightlife venue in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, which closed its doors in 2007 due to increasing gentrification in the area. As described on her Bandcamp––where audiences can listen to and purchase the album––it is dedicated to “the around the way ones, 2 for $5 bootlegs and realizing freedom.” Having grown up frequenting and coming of age at Empire’s regularly hosted Teen Night, Alcindor uses music as a platform to remember and resurrect the culture that has been pushed out.

In a recent interview with Noisey, Alcindor discusses the significance of Empire to her experiences as a Caribbean-American teenager coming up in ’90s Brooklyn:

Film By Kaplan ’10 to Premiere at Slamdance Festival

Henry Kaplan '10

Henry Kaplan ’10

We Together, a short film by Henry Kaplan ’10, has been accepted into the Slamdance Film Festival and will be playing in Park City, Utah, later this month. Slamdance Film Festival runs alongside Sundance Film Festival every year, and is self-described as “a showcase for raw and innovative filmmaking,” with a focus on new and emerging artists, filmmakers, and storytellers.

We Together is a seven-minute long story of a zombie who comes to remember the person who he used to be, before he was a zombie. “The film premiered online this fall and garnered a lot of buzz from the online film community, like Vimeo Staff Pick, Fangoria, Gizmodo, among others,” explained Kaplan. “After getting into Slamdance, we’ve taken the film offline and it will have a ‘re-premiere’ at the festival.”

Kaplan explained the inspiration behind the film. “I liked the idea of going deep into the mind of a zombie, particularly one who is undergoing a transformation of sorts,” said Kaplan. “The film deals with a zombie who, under some odd circumstances, comes to remember little slices of what his life was like as a human. I think it’s a pretty universal experience, actually, such as when you smell or hear something that immediately (almost viscerally) puts you back in a time and place. My idea was to take this sort of visceral experience and adapt it to a fun zombie genre story.”

Additionally, several Los Angeles-based Wesleyan alumni were involved in the film, including Ben Kuller ’11, producer; Elizabeth Litvitskiy ’15, co-producer; Caillin Puente ’15, first assistant director; Matthew Wauhkonen ’08, digital VFX artist; Peter Cramer ’14, grip; and Jeffrey Kasanoff ’15 and Dan Fuchs ’15 as production assistants.

Kaplan, who was a film studies major, resides in Los Angeles and works as a director for music videos, commercials and short films.

We Together (Teaser) from American Painkillers on Vimeo.

Resor, Seixas ’10 Co-Author Paper on Structural Mapping of Hualapai Limestone

Phil Resor, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Gus Seixas ’10 are co-authors of “Constraints on the evolution of vertical deformation and Colorado River incision near eastern Lake Mead, Arizona, provided by quantitative structural mapping of the Hualapai Limestone,” published in the February 2015 issue of Geosphere, Vol. 11, pages 31-49. The paper includes research from Seixas’s honors thesis at Wesleyan.

In this study, the authors quantify the structural geometry of Hualapai Limestone, which was deposited in a series of basins that lie in the path of the Colorado River. The limestone was deformed by by a fault pair known as the Wheeler and Lost Basin Range faults.

Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education Celebrates Expansion to Women’s Prison

Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education hosted a celebration on Jan. 24 in honor of the program expanding to include women at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Conn. On Jan. 28, two Wesleyan professors will begin teaching classes for college credit. Nineteen prisoners have been selected to participate in the classes, out of 90 who applied. Alexis Sturdy '10 (center), Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education program manager, mingles with guests at the celebration.

Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education hosted a celebration on Jan. 24 in honor of the program expanding to include women at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Conn. On Jan. 28, two Wesleyan professors will begin teaching classes for college credit. Nineteen prisoners have been selected to participate in the classes, out of 90 who applied. Alexis Sturdy ’10 (center), Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education program manager, mingles with guests at the celebration.

Ostfeld ’10, MA ’11, Semi-Finalist for Sierra Club “Best Internship”

Rosemary Ostfeld ’10, MA ’11

Rosemary Ostfeld ’10, MA ’11, an E&ES and biology major, is a semi-finalist for Sierra Club’s “Best Internship on Earth.” The winner will spend the summer video-blogging on different Sierra Club outings sponsored by the club’s Inner City Outings, Building Bridges to the Outdoors, and Volunteer Vacations programs.

A four-year member of Wesleyan’s Outing Club and former house manager of OutHouse, Ostfeld also developed and led an outdoor program for Snow Elementary School in Middletown. She says that Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of service learning, encouraged her to apply for the internship with the Sierra Club.

She had learned about documentary film making in FILM 140, “Making the Science Documentary” a service learning course that she took in 2007, with Adjunct Assistant Professor of Film Studies Jacob Bricca and Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Manju Hingorani.

Ostfeld received the good news that she’d made it to the semi-finals, along with a message from the contest officials telling her, “This week, we’re inviting folks to view the videos and leave comments to let us know who they would like to see get the position and become our Outdoors Youth Ambassador. While this won’t be the determining factor in who we choose, we’ll be looking to see who’s getting attention.”

Ostfeld (“Contestant 21”) invites you to view her video entry and submit your comments.

(See an earlier WesLive for further information on Hingorani and Bricca’s course.)



Dwyer ’10 Named Gagliardi Trophy Finalist

Shea Dwyer ’10

Running back Shea Dwyer ’10 became the second Wesleyan player to receive the distinction of Gagliardi Trophy finalist when the 10 players still eligible for Division III’s version of the Heisman Trophy were announced Nov. 23.  In total, 26 players were nominated for the coveted award before the Gagliardi committee narrowed the choice to 10.  Dwyer joins Wesleyan receiver Matt Perceval ’00, who was a Gagliardi Trophy finalist during the 1999 season.

To see the breakdown of the 10 Gagliardi Trophy finalists on d3football.com and find out how to become a part of the voting for the winner, click  here.

Dwyer, who played during the 2010 football season, was a conference leader. He paced the NESCAC in rushing yards with 1,242, a school record; set a Wesleyan record for yards in a game (255 vs. Colby); was twice named NESCAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week; and was a Gridiron Club of Greater Boston weekly Gold Helmet Award winner. He ranked fourth in NCAA Division III for rushing yards per game (155.2) and was sixth nationally among all NCAA running backs. Dwyer, who had just 692 career rushing yards coming into the 2010 campaign, scored 12 touch downs, 11 of them on the ground. He ended his career with 1,934 career rushing yards and 20 touch downs. Dwyer also was named a Division II/III all-star by the New England Football Writers Association.

Hsu ’10 Honored by American Physical Society

The Department of Physics hosted a reception Oct. 8 in the Walter Cady Lounge to honor Wade Hsu ’10 (pictured at left), who received the LeRoy Apker Award from the American Physical Society. Hsu was the only student from a Ph.D-granting institution in the country to receive the award. (Photos by Brian Stewart)

The American Physical Society awarded Chia Wei “Wade” Hsu ’10 with its prestigious LeRoy Apker Award for his achievements while at Wesleyan.

The American Physical Society awards the Apker Award to only one student from a Ph.D-granting institution each year. Reinhold Blümel, the Charlotte Agusta Ayres Professor of Physics, calls it a “mini-Nobel Prize.”

The award provides encouragement to young physicists who have demonstrated great potential for future scientific accomplishment.

“This means that Wade out-competed students from MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and CalTech,” says Wade’s former advisor Francis Starr, associate professor of physics. “He’s the best of the best.”

On Oct. 8, the Physics Department hosted a reception in his honor.

“The celebration that people in physics department threw for me was a total surprise. I did not expect an event with such a scale, with so many professors, grads, undergrads and cheese and wine,” he says. “I felt like crying that so many people came, and that they seemed to be even happier than me. It was great. And certainly I had never felted as honored as on that day.”

The Apker award came with a $5,000 award,

Freeman Scholars Join Wesleyan from 11 Countries

The Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholars Program enables qualified young men and women from each of 11 countries or regions – The People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam to come to Wesleyan on full tuition scholarships.

This program is made possible by Wesleyan University and the Freeman Foundation, which aims to improve understanding and to strengthen ties between the United States and the countries of the Pacific Rim. Entry into the Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholars Program is highly competitive: only one student will be selected annually from each country.

Below are photos of the 2010-11 Freeman Scholars at Wesleyan on Oct. 8. This is the 16th class of scholars. (Photos by Bill Burkhart)

The Class of 2011.