Tag Archive for Class of 2011

Teutsch ’11 Receives Fellowship from Tony Blair Faith Foundation

Nomi Teutsch '11 (Photo by Zach Subar)

Nomi Teutsch ’11 received a Faiths Act Fellowship from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. This year-long, paid international fellowship brings together exceptional future leaders inspired by faith to serve as interfaith ambassadors for the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with particular focus on malaria. Fellows build partnerships across faith lines in their home countries to show the world how faith can be a positive global force in the 21st century, and they work in local NGOs to mobilize communities to take part in malaria-focused, multi-faith action.

Teutsch grew up in a vibrant, diverse neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. A progressive Jewish activist who is fluent in Hebrew, she majored in philosophy at Wesleyan. She has worked with a number of nonprofit organizations including the Center for Constitutional Rights, Encounter, J Street, and Shining Hope for Communities. As a volunteer, she has worked with incarcerated women in Connecticut and has led campus activism around issues of violence against women.

EE&S Students Develop Research, Observational Skills through Puerto Rico Fieldwork

Laura Anderson '11 (center) and fellow earth and environmental science majors and faculty kayak off the coast of Puerto Rico in January. The students worked on research projects on the island, and presented their findings in April.

This semester, 18 earth and environmental sciences majors explored dwarf mangrove forests, studied landslide susceptibility in a rainforest, examined if cave rocks record bat inhabitation, and analyzed the chemistry of coastal seagrass – all in Puerto Rico.

The students, who are enrolled in the E&ES 398 course Senior Seminar, developed observational, interpretative and research skills through their island studies. The seniors traveled to Puerto Rico in January for fieldwork, and spent the past few months analyzing their findings.

They presented their Senior Seminar Presentations on April 19 and 21 as part of the Stearns

Knittle ’11 to Experience Student Freedom Ride

Davy Knittle ’11 will participate in the 2011 American Experience Student Freedom Ride, created by PBS.

From May 6-16, Knittle and 39 other college students will join original Freedom Riders in retracing the 1961 historic rides from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, La. via bus.

They will explore the state of civil engagement today.

“I’m getting on the bus to work with and learn from several generations of student activists,” Knittle says. “I’m interested in thinking about what student activism can look like, does look like, and has looked like by considering what we can do to provide a model for new ways of thinking about collective engagement.”

Watch Knittle’s video online here.

Friedman ’11, Olsen ’11, Steidl ’11 Receive Exchange Grants

Jesse Friedman ’11, Anya Olsen ’11 and Catherine Steidl ’11 received a Baden-Württemberg–Connecticut Exchange Grant for one year’s study in Germany.

The Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program offers students an opportunity to earn college credits in one of Germany’s top nine universities. Students spend the academic year at the university they choose.

The Baden-Württemberg Exchange originated from a legislative partnership formed between the State of Connecticut and the German state of Baden-Württemberg in 1989. The agreement invites all students enrolled in four-year colleges and universities in Connecticut to study at any institution of higher learning in Baden-Württemberg. With nine universities from which to choose and a large number of Fachhochschulen and Kunsthochschulen, students of all disciplines can be accommodated.

The Baden-Württemberg Exchange is a reciprocal exchange program. This means that Connecticut students prepay their usual tuition and then trade places with a German student from the Exchange, who has paid their German tuition.

Watson Fellows Awarded Year Abroad for Independent Study

At left, Zully Adler and Davy Knittle received 2011-12 Thomas J. Watson Fellowships.

Zully Adler ’11 hopes to document cassette culture in five countries while Davy Knittle ’11 aims to explore the relationship between public space and location-based identity in three major cities.

As 2011-12 Thomas J. Watson Fellows, Adler and Knittle will have one year to travel outside the United States for an independent study. Each student receives a $25,000 stipend, which is funded by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.

The Wesleyan students were among 148 finalists nominated this year to compete on the national level. Of those, only 40 were selected for a fellowship.

Adler, a history major focusing on European history, will travel to Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, Belgium and Sweden for his project titled, “Redubbing the World: Cassette Culture and the Power of DIY Production.”

Adler’s interest in cassette culture stems from running the student radio station in high school, where he hosted local musicians from the Los Angeles area. He observed that most musicians used cheap and recyclable cassette tapes to distribute their own releases and trade music with others.

Johnson ’11 Honored for Exoplanet Research

Marshall Johnson '11 presented his research poster at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting, Jan. 10-13 in Seattle, Wash. The AAS awarded Johnson with the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award.

Marshall Johnson '11 presented his research poster at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting, Jan. 10-13 in Seattle, Wash. The AAS awarded Johnson with the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award.

Marshall Johnson’s research is out of this world.

For the past two years, the senior astronomy major used the Van Vleck Observatory’s 24-inch Perkin Telescope to study the transits of “exoplanets,” or planets outside our solar system, that orbit another star.

His study, titled “First Results from the Wesleyan Transiting Exoplanet Program,” explains a refined orbital period of a newly-discovered planet named WASP-33b (Wide Angle Search for Planets). Ultimately, Johnson may prove that he’s discovered another planet, WASP-33c.

“Here in Connecticut, with clouds and haze, we don’t have the best observing conditions, but I was still able to obtain high-quality data using our modest-sized telescope,” Johnson says. “The most interesting result, which is still tentative, is that I am seeing transit timing variations in one target. This could be due to an additional planet in the system.”

For his efforts, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) awarded Johnson a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award, which “recognizes exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students.” Awardees are honored with a Chambliss medal

28 Students Honored at Early Graduation Reception

The Office of the President and the Deans' Office hosted a reception Dec. 10 honoring the 28 students who are graduating from Wesleyan early. The students, who come from 11 states and seven countries, have 955 credits with an average GPA of 90. Five of the students are double majors, three are doing a senior thesis and one student is doing two.

HFOSS Software Featured in Chronicle of Higher Education

Sam DeFabbia-Kane ’11 and Eli Fox-Epstein ’11 interned on the Humanitarian Free Open Source Software 2009 project creating "Collabbit," software that makes communication in disasters easier for relief organizations.

The Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) project was featured in the Aug. 1 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education in an article titled “In Emergencies, Aid Agencies Turn to a College-Created Software Program.”

The article focuses on an emergency-management program called Collabbit. Collabbit is a continuing effort involving undergraduates and computer science faculty at Wesleyan and Trinity College.

The software tool helps coordinate large numbers of people and supplies involved in responding to disasters like blackouts and flooding.

This is by far the largest project of any kind that I’ve worked on,” Samuel DeFabbia-Kane’11 says in the article. “The developers are seeking to add new features, like the ability to generate a summary of relief efforts after an event, or to allow users to post updates from ordinary cellphones—not just smartphones—by sending a text message.”

HFOSS’s Collabbit also was featured in an Aug. 25 issue of New York’s Messenger Post in an article titled “Making Disaster Communication Easier.”

Chan ’11 Teaching Athletes, Helping Teens Through Mind, Body Training

Business partner and trainer Adrian “A.J.” Chan ’11, at right, guides a student-athlete through sit-ups at Ant's Mind and Body in Oakland, Calif., where athletes go to refine their skills. Chan’s gym was recently featured in The San Francisco Chronicle. (Photo by Lance Iversen/ The San Francisco Chronicle)

When Wesleyan student-athlete Adrian “A.J.” Chan ’11 isn’t studying for an economics exam or making a tackle on the football field, he’s busy training Olympic athletes, college and high school students, NFL Superbowl Champions and NBA and NCAA team members.

He’s also working with underprivileged youth who use sports as a vehicle for life lessons.

Chan, who co-manages the Oakland, Calif.-based gym, Ant’s Mind and Body, prepares athletes by training the body, mind and soul as one. His business, which celebrates its 1-year-anniversary this month, was recently featured in The San Francisco Chronicle.

“The training system is a combination of the most efficient, effective, and progressive systems in the world,” Chan explains. “It takes from some programs like the Soviet Black Training Model of building strength and speed and martial arts to increase free range of movements,

West ’11, Kottos Published in Physical Review Letters

Carl West ’11, Tsampikos Kottos, assistant professor of physics, and Tomas Prosen of the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, are the co-authors of an article titled “PT-Symmetric Wave Chaos,” published in Physical Review Letters 104 in 2010.

“This work studied the universal properties of this crossover and demonstrated that a simple scaling function could embody the effects of such dramatically different changes as increasing the system size, varying the initial energy, or having varying degrees of imperfections / disorder in the system,” West explains. “While these results were obtained from a toy model, they carry direct applications to optics where the balanced use of gain and loss has become a booming field over the past years, yet general questions of the effects of disorder or system size scaling were as of yet unknown.”

Hussein ’11 to Study Public Policy as Junior Summer Fellow

As a Public Policy & International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellow, Jourdan Hussein '11 will spend six weeks at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University this summer.

As a Public Policy & International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellow, Jourdan Hussein ’11 will spend six weeks at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University this summer.

This summer, Jourdan Khalid Hussein ’11 will be given the skills and experiences necessary to create, analyze, implement, evaluate, and affect policy in a multicultural, multiethnic society.

As a Public Policy & International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellow, Hussein will spend seven weeks at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. The program’s mission is to increase leadership opportunities for future global policy leaders in both the public and nonprofit sectors by preparing students for graduate study in related fields.

“The Junior Summer Institute is a highly focused and rigorous academic program that will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the Woodrow Wilson School and the opportunities available in the fields of public policy and international affairs,” says Jose Ochoa, director of MPP Admissions and Programs Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.

The program begins June 10 and ends July 30.

“I applied because I knew this is going to change my post-Wesleyan education significantly to an extent that it will provide me with unprecedented

Xu ’11 Asks Massachusetts Residents to Support Clean Energy

Lesley Xu ’11, front center, and her friends handing out literature and hosting symposiums urging people to take action for solving the climate crisis. (Photo by Roger Darrigrand/Eagle Tribune)

Lesley Xu '11, front center, and her friends handing out literature and hosting symposiums urging people to take action for solving the climate crisis. (Photo by Roger Darrigrand/Eagle Tribune)

Lesley Xu ’11 was featured in a July 25 issue of The Eagle Tribune of North Andover, Mass. for her efforts helping the climate crisis.

Xu and five of her friends from other universities have been biking across Massachusetts for eight weeks handing out literature and hosting symposiums urging people to take action for solving the climate crisis. They knock on doors and ask residents to sign a petition that calls for “100 percent clean electricity” in Massachusetts.

“We want to mobilize the population and take action,” Xu says in the article.

The students said they and other activists want to lower the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. The current portion is 390 parts per million due to industrialization and extensive burning of coal and oil, they said in the article.