Tag Archive for Class of 2013

3 Student-Athletes Participate in Soccer Night in Newtown

From left, Jen Brewer '13, Madeline Keane '16 and Kaylin Berger '13 attended the Newtown Youth Academy Sports and Fitness Center for Soccer Night.

From left, Jen Brewer ’13, Madeline Keane ’16 and Kaylin Berger ’13 attended the Newtown Youth Academy Sports and Fitness Center for Soccer Night.

Three Wesleyan women’s soccer players, two of whom are graduates of Newtown (Conn.) High School, took part in  Soccer Night in Newtown Jan. 7 as Newtown continued to heal from the tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14.

Team quad-captain Jen Brewer ’13 of Sandy Hook, Conn. and Madeline Keane ’16 of Newtown, Conn. were joined by Kaylin Berger ’13 of Farmington, Conn., at the Newtown Youth Academy Sports and Fitness Center for the festivities.

Nearly 50 major professional soccer players, including Major League Soccer (MLS) stars Landon Donovan and Kenny Cooper, women’s national team standouts Kristine Lilly, Christie Rampone and Mia Hamm, and former World Cup talent Alexi Lalas all made appearances with well over 1,000 Newtown youth benefiting from the opportunity. Soccer games, autographs galore and other soccer-oriented activity took place during the evening.

The night was the brainchild of Connecticut native Chris Canetti, president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.He got five of his players to sign on and the number grew to about 50 in the professional soccer community, including MLS player Marcus Tracy of the San Jose Earthquakes, a native of Newtown. Newtown’s soccer community rallied around its sport to aid the town.

“Growing up in Newtown, most kids start playing soccer in kindergarten,” said Brewer, who attended Sandy Hook Elementary as a kindergartener and first-grader. “We all play in the Park and Rec leagues. Then travel teams in U-10 and above keep us active. Being a ball boy or ball girl at the high school game was a big deal, too. Our girls team (at Newtown High School) won the state title this year.” Wesleyan assistant coach Brian Matzke, who is part of the Connecticut Football Club that helped sponsor the event, recruited the three Wesleyan women’s soccer players to help out.

Brewer, Berger and Keane were assigned to help with the autograph lines. “We got to talk with a few of the players afterwards,” Brewer added. “All the parents and kids were so appreciative. They were happy to just get away from eveything that had been going on and have fun for a while.”

Read more about the event in this Hartford Courant article and SI.com article.


15 Students with 93 Percent GPAs Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Fifteen seniors joined Phi Beta Kappa honor society on Dec. 5. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Fifteen seniors joined Phi Beta Kappa honor society on Dec. 5. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Fifteen students from the Class of 2013 were elected to early-decision membership in Phi Beta Kappa during an initiation ceremony Dec. 5. Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest surviving Greek letter society in America, dating back to 1776.

Sociology major Evan Okun accepts his Phi Beta Kappa papers from Class Dean Louise Brown, PBK chapter secretary and marshall. Okun teaches a class at the juvenile detention in Middletown, which examines literary technique and societal inequality through rap songs.

Sociology major Evan Okun ’13 accepts his Phi Beta Kappa membership papers from Dean Louise Brown, PBK chapter secretary and marshall. Okun teaches a class at the juvenile detention in Middletown, which examines literary technique and societal inequality through rap songs.

The organization’s Greek initials signify the motto, “Love of learning is the guide of life.”To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by his or her major department. He or she also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations, and have achieved a grade-point average of 93 percent. Members of the Fall 2012 class all have GPAs of 94.48 percent or above.

Sally Bachner, president of the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and associate professor of English, said for students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process and the election is an extremely prestigious one, because admittance is based on a student’s performance at Wesleyan only through their junior year.

“The students gathered here today represent a broad range of learning and commitment to excellence in a major, in some cases two or more majors, or a major that combines several disciplines,” she said, during the initiation ceremony. “These new members’ accomplishments during their years at Wesleyan should be a source of pride to themselves and to their families.”

Bachner was joined by the chapter’s vice president Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology; chapter treasurer Steven Horst, chair and professor of philosophy; chapter secretary and marshall Louise Brown, dean for academic advancement/dean for the Class of 2013; and chapter historian Lorna Scott, assistant to the vice president for student affairs.

The elected students and their majors are:

Benjamin Abravanel, English and psychology; Evan Baum, chemistry; Julianne Edwards, biology, molecular biology and biochemistry, Science In Society; Scott Greene, chemistry;

Chapter by Sanislow, Regan ’13, da Cruz ’11 Published in Personality Disorder Handbook

Chuck Sanislow, Liz Reagan '13 and Katie da Cruz '11 and  are co-authors of a chapter in this newly-published handbook on personality disorders.

Chuck Sanislow, Liz Reagan ’13 and Katie da Cruz ’11 and are co-authors of a chapter in this newly-published handbook on personality disorders.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Charles “Chuck” Sanislow, Liz Reagan ’13 and Katie da Cruz ’11 the co-authors of a chapter titled “Avoidant Personality Disorder, Traits, and Type,” published in The Oxford Handbook for Personality Disorders, Oxford University Press, pages 549-565, in 2012. May Gianoli, formerly a postdoc in psychology and now at Yale, also was a co-author. Katie da Cruz is currently working on her Ph.D in school psychology at Michigan State.

Read the abstract online here.

South Korea’s Choi ’13 is a Freeman Scholar, Humanities Journal Editor

Art history major Claire Choi '13 co-founded PYXIS, a new online and print project that aims to share and celebrate student academic writing in the humanities at Wesleyan. She also plays Korean drums and learned French and German at Wesleyan.

Art history major Claire Choi ’13 co-founded PYXIS, a new online and print project that aims to share and celebrate student academic writing in the humanities at Wesleyan. She also plays Korean drums and learned French and German at Wesleyan.

Q&As with outstanding students is an occasional feature of The Wesleyan Connection. This issue we speak with Claire Seo In Choi from the Class of 2013.

Q: Claire, what are you majoring in at Wesleyan, and why?

A: I’m majoring in art history at Wesleyan. I attended art high school before I came to Wes, and have been always interested in how socio-economic and cultural circumstances have shaped artworks, so I guess it was quite a natural choice for me. Besides my major credits, I explored many different disciplines; I learned French and German, and took various courses from the College of Letters, Philosophy and Studio Art departments.

Q: Coming to Wesleyan from South Korea, what were the biggest changes you encountered?

A: The education system was one of the biggest changes I encountered. My high school curriculum was very art-centric and did not have room for students to design their own curriculums. On the other hand, Wesleyan encourages students to take the full advantage of liberal arts education and explore different courses outside one’s major. Language barrier and cultural differences were also challenging changes, but I think the people I’ve met at Wesleyan have helped me a lot to transit into a new environment.

Q: You are involved with PYXIS, a new student-run online humanities journal. What is your position in the project?

A: Earlier this year, my friends and I co-founded PYXIS. PYXIS is a new online and print project that aims to share and celebrate student academic writing in the humanities at Wesleyan. We publish peer-edited papers and thought-provoking articles, both online and in print. By doing this, we hope to establish a dialogue across the humanities

Purdy ’13, Kurash ’13 Named NESCAC Players of the Year

Adam Purdy ’13

Adam Purdy ’13

Between 2000 and 2011, Wesleyan garnered just four New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Players of the Year honors. The first came in the spring of 2001 when John Landay ’01 led Wesleyan to a 17-3 record in men’s lacrosse and a spot in the ECAC Championship game by leading the nation in scoring with 121 points on 73 goals and 48 assists. The following fall, Alexis Keeler ’02 paced women’s volleyball to a best-ever 30-6 mark and a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament with 548 kills and a .379 hitting percentage. She was all-New England and a third-team CoSIDA academic All-American. Volleyball catapulted the third Cardinal to Player of the Year recognition as Lisa Drennan ’09 became a two-time winner, grabbing the laurels in both 2006 and 2008. She earned all-New England honors both seasons and as a senior, was a second-team AVCA All-American and second-team CoSIDA academic All-American. Wesleyan was a collective 40-16 those two campaigns.

In the fall of 2012, Wesleyan accomplished a new feat – a pair of NESCAC Players of the Year in the same season. And not only the same season, but the same sport. Adam Purdy ’13, for the men, and Laura Kurash ’13, for the women, both gained supreme conference recognition from the soccer coaches of the NESCAC. It was a perfect evolution for both players as each was a NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2009. Kurash, a high-scoring forward, also was a second-team all-NESCAC pick that year while Purdy, a goaltender, made the first team along with all-New England and third-team All-America honors. The next three seasons, Kurash found her way to the all-NESCAC first team and also gained all-New England and CoSIDA/Capital One District II academic All-America accolades in 2011. Purdy was a NESCAC first-teamer in 2011 to complement his all-New England status.

Laura Kurash ’13

Laura Kurash ’13

All the honors are not yet in for 2012. So far, Kurash has added CoSIDA/Capital One District II academic All-America recognition for a second year. Both are likely candidates for all-New England acclaim once again. Kurash was among the top three in the NESCAC for scoring points with 22 and goals with nine while ranking in the top 10 for assists with four. She ended her four years with 37 goals and 14 assists for 88 points, ranking her second all-time at Wesleyan in both goals and points. Of her 37 goals, 15 were game-winners. Purdy started every game in goal for Wesleyan since he arrived on campus, 69 in total, and posted a lofty 40-17-12 overall record. He recorded a school-record 31 shutouts over his four seasons and had a career goals-against average of 0.71 and a save percentage of .842. In 2012, he went 9-4-4 with a 0.62 goals-against average and a .836 save percentage with seven shutouts.

In 2012, Kurash helped her team to a spot in the NESCAC semifinals for only the second time in school history, the first coming last year. Wesleyan has qualified for the NESCAC women’s soccer tournament five times, four of those with Kurash on the roster. Purdy helped Wesleyan qualify for the NCAA Division III tournament for the fifth time in the last eight years and third time in the last four.

(Photos by Peter Stein ’84 and SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)

Stowell ’13 Writes, Edits, Translates 2 New Books of Poetry

Glenn Stowell '13

Glenn Stowell ’13

Glenn Stowell ’13, an economics major, is the editor and translator of, and an author of, two poetry books published in 2012.

Stowell recently edited, translated and wrote the introduction to Yan Jun’s You Jump to Another Dream, published by Vagabond Press.

Last spring, Stowell worked with Ao Wang, assistant professor of Asian languages and literatures, assistant professor of East Asian studies, on an independent study on translation of contemporary Chinese poetry. You Jump to Another Dream was the result of the independent study. Additionally, the Olin Fellowship provided Stowell with funds needed to travel to China this summer and to work with Yan Jun on their book.

Also last spring, Stowell’s first collection of poetry, Until We Leave, was published by Stethoscope Press, a Wesleyan-funded press.

Stowell began studying Chinese at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. and is completing his language studies at Wesleyan. He is the recipient of DKE international short story contest in 2010, was named a Wesleyan Student Poet for 2011-2012 and has been published in The Tulane Review.

In addition to being an author and full-time student, Stowell is currently a goaltender on the men’s hockey team, and is a former pitcher on the baseball team.

After Wesleyan, Stowell will work at Goldman Sachs in New York City, where he has signed a two-year contract.


28 Juniors Awarded Davenport Study Grants

The John E. Andrus Center for Public Affairs recently announced its 2012 Davenport Study Grant recipients. Twenty-eight juniors will receive funding to support research and scholarly projects in public affairs, beginning this summer. Grants typically range from $500 to $3,000.

The funds are made available to current sophomores and juniors thanks to a gift from the Surdna Foundation in honor of Frederick Morgan Davenport, Class of 1889, and Edith Jefferson Andrus Davenport, Class of 1897. Recipients are chosen based on “demonstrated intellectual and moral excellence and a concern for public affairs.” They must show promise for leadership in public service through their personal qualities and scholarly and vocational intentions.

This year’s recipients represent majors in the College of Social Studies, History, Sociology, Government, Latin American Studies, Science in Society, American Studies and Anthropology, Religion, Dance, French Studies and Neuroscience & Behavior.

The grant recipients and their project titles are:

Zain Alam ’13, Dreams and Disappointment: India’s Muslims, the Muhajir, and the Making of Pakistan

Dahlia Azran ’13, Memorials of the Holocaust: A Comparative Study of the planning process of Holocaust Memorials in the United States, Israel, Germany and China

Corey Guilmette ’13 Honored for Investor Responsibility Committee Efforts

Corey Guilmette '13, who is studying abroad in Spain this semester, is interested in socially responsible investments. He is double-majoring in government and psychology.

Q&As with outstanding students is an occasional feature of The Wesleyan Connection. This issue we speak with Corey Guilmette from the Class of 2013.

Q: Corey, you’re the 2012 recipient of the Peter Morgenstern-Clarren Social Justice Award for being chair of the Wesleyan Committee for Investor Responsibility. Tell us about that committee.

A: It has become increasingly evident in the wake of the financial crisis that the current investment system favors blind short-term gains and not long-term results that more often help people and the planet. The Committee for Investor Responsibility seeks to encourage investments that benefit society as opposed to investments that are harmful to people and the environment. For example, last semester we developed a proposal to have Wesleyan move some of its money from larger, national banks into local banks that help empower low-income communities.

Q:  What got you interested in investments?

A: During my freshman year of college I heard about socially responsible investment and was very excited about the great amount of good responsible investment could do. Wesleyan’s endowment is approximately $600 million, which means that its investment decisions can have a big impact, whether it is as a shareholder advocating for greater environmental responsibility or choosing investments that help disadvantaged communities.

Q:  What classes (or professors) at Wesleyan have been most instrumental to you, so far?

A: It’s tough to pick just one class or professor, but last semester I had the opportunity to take Environmental Politics and Democratization

Chin ’13 Attends Clinton Global Initiative, Seeks to Make Wesleyan Greener

Shamar Chin ’13

From March 30-April 1, Shamar Chin ’13 joined nearly 1,200 other students at a meeting in Washington, D.C. of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U).

According to the Clinton Global Initiative’s website, CGI U, launched by former President Bill Clinton in 2007, “challenges students and universities to tackle global problems with practical, innovative solutions.” CGI U hosts an annual meeting for students, national youth organizations and university officials to discuss solutions to pressing global issues.

Prior to attending the meeting, each student must develop and submit a Commitment to Action: a specific plan to address an important challenge on his or her campus or in the global community.

For her commitment, Chin is seeking to convert Wesleyan’s lawn mowers to produce fewer environmentally harmful emissions.

“At the meeting, I had the chance to network with many students from across the globe and learn about their commitments,” says Chin. “I had the opportunity to attend working sessions in my area of interest—environment and climate change—where we discussed the importance of campus sustainability and environmental entrepreneurship. The plenary sessions were inspiring and made me realize that failure comes with innovation, but we should embrace it rather than give up.”

Chin is majoring in Earth & Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. “I have always wanted to start a green initiative in my community,” she says. Over winter break this year, her thesis advisor, Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, associate professor of environmental studies, director of the Service Learning Center, urged her to apply to the Clinton Global Initiative.

O’Connell calls Chin a “self-starter.” She was impressed that Chin, after working with middle school girls at the Green Street Arts Center last summer, had taken the initiative to start her own environmental afterschool program for girls.

Chin is still gathering the necessary approvals for her CGI U commitment, which she has called “Go Green-Go Wes.” She aims to meet her goals before she graduates next spring.

“I firmly believe that global warming is linked to the emission of greenhouse gases, and this was the foundation for my Commitment to Action,” Chin explains. “Wesleyan University has signed the New England Governors/ Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan, which requires greenhouse gases associated with energy production to be reduced to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. I proposed raising funds to purchase two electric lawn tractors. However, Wesleyan does not own their own lawn equipment, so I have reworked my commitment to raise funds to purchase catalytic converters for our lawn tractors.”

“Participating in this program has been such a blessing and one of the best experiences of my life. I met incredible people, heard amazing ideas and I left feeling very inspired. I am positive that we as students can enact change,” Chin says. She encourages her fellow students to apply to the Clinton Global Initiative in the future.

Student-Athlete Jeff Legunn ’13 Says Men’s Tennis is Hungry for Success

Jeff Legunn '13 maintains a leadership role on the men's tennis team.

Q&As with outstanding students is an occasional feature of The Wesleyan Connection. This issue we speak with tennis star Jeff Legunn from the Class of 2013.

Q: You have been playing No. 1 singles for Wesleyan since your arrival and you currently have a career record of 33-11.  How do you see your role on the team as a top player and team captain?

A: I believe myself, and the other upperclassmen, all maintain leadership roles.  As the top player, I think I have the ability to set the bar high and hold the other players accountable. We have a talented team this year, but we will need everyone to perform at their best for us to have a successful season in the NESCAC.

Q: There are 11 players on the team this year and seven of them are freshmen. How has such a young team gotten off to a 12-1 start, the best in program history?

A: Our team is young, but hungry for success. The freshmen on our team got the taste of winning college matches early on in the fall, and they all have high goals for the upcoming portion of the season. Having a young team will never be an excuse for us not meeting our goals this spring.

Sanislow, Marcus ’13, Reagan ’13 Publish Paper on Borderline Psychopathology

Charles Sanislow, assistant professor of psychology, and two members of his lab, Katie Marcus ’13 and Liz Reagan ’13 published an article on challenging old assumptions about about the outcome of borderline psychopathology in the February 2012 issue of Current Psychiatry Reports. The paper details current findings from major longitudinal psychiatry studies including the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Study, which Sanislow has been as an investigator on for the past 16 years, and suggests new directions for clinical research. The article is online here.

Also published in February is a work that Sanislow co-authored from the Collaborative Personality Study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. The study results identified interpersonal styles that place people at risk for depression and chronic functional impairments. Findings have implications for psychotherapy treatments for chronic depression. The article, titled “Interpersonal Pathoplasticity in the Course of Major Depression,” appears in issue 80, pages 78-86. The study is online here.

Doernberg ’13 Marshals Occupy Coverage Through Social Media

Ben Doernberg '13 used the social media sites Twitter and Storify to report on a recent Occupy Movement event. He combined a series of live updates, photos and videos from fellow "citizen journalists" to create a timeline. His post received more than 22,525 reads.

At 1 a.m. on Nov. 15, the New York Police Department began clearing Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park of all Occupy Movement protestors. About 70 protesters and eight credentialed journalists were arrested that morning.

From his dorm room in Lo-Rise Residence Hall, sociology major Ben Doernberg ’13, followed the police raid through Twitter and various news sites. For eight hours, he tracked the story online.

Although he was 100 miles away from Zucotti Park, Doernberg, an active supporter of the Occupy Movement, served as a “citizen journalist” from his laptop at Wesleyan. He used the new social media site Storify to re-post incoming updates, photos and videos created by people on the scene.

His post, titled “Press Suppression at Occupy Wall Street Raid” tallied more than 22,525 reads within the week.

“Because I believe in the righteousness of the cause,