Tag Archive for Class of 2015

Koplin-Green ’15 Studied Alpha Neurofeedback to Treat Anxiety

Matan Koplin-Green '15 wrote a thesis at the intersection of his interests in neuroscience, technology and music. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

Matan Koplin-Green ’15 wrote a thesis at the intersection of his interests in neuroscience, technology and music. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

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In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak with Matan Koplin-Green from the Class of 2015.

Q: Matan, what is your major and what was the title of your thesis?

A: I’m a neuroscience and behavior major. I wrote my thesis on “Application of Alpha Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.”

Q: Let’s back up. How did your interest in neuroscience and behavior develop?

A: I came to Wesleyan not knowing exactly what I wanted to study. I was interested in cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind, but also had a lifelong love of music. I took a year off between high school and college to play in a band in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wis., and read a lot about cognitive psychology. Once at Wesleyan, I took classes ranging from computer science to experimental music, but I was also very interested in being part of the fast-growing neuroscience major. Then in 2013, Psyche Loui (assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior) came to Wesleyan. I took her intro class and discovered that she teaches at the intersection of all my interests—neuroscience, technology and music. I decided I had to get involved. I applied to be in her lab, and was accepted.

Jung ’15 Employs Oral History to Study WWII Memories

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Hyo Jeong (Tina) Jung ’15 interviewed more than 40 Korean and Japanese elders for her thesis, “Conversation of Empathy: Understanding Children’s Lives During World War II in Korea and Japan through Oral History.” (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

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In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Hyo Jeong (Tina) Jung from the Class of 2015. She is a history major with concentrations in social movements and contemporary history, and an East Asian studies minor.

Cimino ’15, Baseball Team Featured in Courant

The Hartford Courant profiled two-sport athlete Donnie Cimino ’15, a member of the stellar Wesleyan baseball team that recently reached the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. Cimino, center fielder and team captain for baseball, is also a defensive back and two-year captain on the football team.

“It’s emotional,” Cimino, one of nine seniors on the team, told the Courant, “because everything comes to an end. It’s been such a journey, four years, and we experienced a lot of success. When I got here, there wasn’t a winning attitude or a winning culture. We [Class of 2015] wanted to change that as freshmen. We looked at each other, saw a talented class and great group. We worked really hard to get where we are.”

The baseball team celebrated 30 victories this season, just one shy of the program record of 31 it posted last year. Both seasons, the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The program’s record over the last three seasons is 88-39-1, with its first two NESCAC championships coming this year and last.

“What you’ve seen is a product of great people, the result being incredible individual and team success,” said coach Mark Woodworth ’94, who has completed his 14th year as coach. “But what I’m most happy about is that this is just a springboard for what they’re going to do in the future. You get great people around you everywhere — players, coaches, trainers, parents, athletic director, president — and great stuff starts happening. And now they’ll go on to be great husbands, fathers and sons.”

Brady ’15 Examines Conflict and Cooperation in the Nile Basin

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Aletta Brady ’15 conducted firsthand interviews with leaders in three Nile basin countries for her thesis, “Freshwater Negotiation in the Nile River Basin: What Explains the Patterns of Conflict and Cooperation?” (Photo courtesy of Aletta Brady)

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In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with C. Aletta Brady from the Class of 2015. Brady is a government major with a concentration in international politics. She is a research assistant in the Department of Government, president of the Wesleyan Chapter of Active Minds and co-chair of the Government Majors Committee.

Q: How did you choose your thesis subject?

A: Last summer when I was swimming in the Red Sea in Egypt, someone asked me why I was investigating water scarcity and transnational water cooperation. The water was turquoise and completely clear; I could see my toes. I told them that water is vital for life, and that the number of people without access to sufficient and clean freshwater is only growing. They pushed me to go deeper. I looked down at my red toenail polish surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and schools of fish. It hit me in that moment that the root of it all was that I love water. I grew up in water. I’m from Minnesota, where we have more than 10,000 lakes, and I grew up swimming, waterskiing, tubing, canoeing, skinny-dipping, fishing and floating in water. I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s my favorite drink, and it’s where I’m most alive and most at peace. So, while I have an intellectual interest in how to preserve scarce freshwater resources, at the root of it, my interest is personal.

Weiner ’15 Studies Urban Agriculture, Community for Thesis

Through hands-on fieldwork at East New York Farms!, Kate Weiner '15 examined urban agriculture as a political project for her thesis, Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture."

Through hands-on fieldwork at East New York Farms!, Kate Weiner ’15 examined urban agriculture as a political project for her thesis, “Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture.” (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

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In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Kate Weiner from the Class of 2015. Weiner is an anthropology and environmental studies major.

Q: Can you describe your thesis, “Reciprocity: Cultivating Community in Urban Agriculture”?

A: My thesis is an exploration of how community, identity and belonging interact in urban agricultural spaces, with my hands-on fieldwork with East New York Farms! serving as a case study for examining urban agriculture as a political project. Through melding creative non-fiction, feminist theory, community politics and environmental studies, the intention of my thesis is to provide a framework for understanding the various social, natural, socioeconomic and political factors that shape community-making within urban agriculture.

Q: How did you choose your thesis topic?

A: Arriving at my thesis subject was several years in the making. Throughout the summer of 2013, I photographed female urban farmers along the Eastern Seaboard

Rubin ’17, Brady ’15 to Study Critical Needs Languages Abroad

Lucy Rubin '17 will study Japanese in Hikone, Japan this summer. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

Lucy Rubin ’17 will study Japanese in Hikone, Japan this summer. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)

Two Wesleyan students, Lucy Rubin ’17 and Aletta Brady ’15, have been awarded U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) to study critical needs languages abroad this summer. Rubin will study Japanese in Hikone, Japan, while Brady will study Arabic in Amman, Jordan.

Taylor’s Papers Published in Molecular Biosciences, Biochemistry Journals

Erika Taylor

Erika Taylor

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies, has co-authored a paper published in FEBS Letters, an international journal established for the rapid publication of final short reports in the fields of molecular biosciences.

The paper, which is an expansion of her lab’s work on the enzyme Heptosyltransferase I, is titled “Cloning and Characterization of the Escherichia coli Heptosyltransferase III: Exploring Substrate Specificity in Lipopolysaccharide Core Biosynthesis,” The paper is co-authored by her former graduate student Jagadesh Mudapaka. FEBS Letters is published by Elsevier on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Taylor also is the co-author of “Improving Alternate Lignin Catabolite Utilization of LigAB from Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6 through Site Directed Mutagenesis,” published in Process Biochemistry, June 2015. The work in this paper describes molecular engineering of the enzyme LigAB to be better able to metabolize compounds derived from Lignin. Co-authors include Kevin Barry, PhD ’15; Erin Cohn ’15 and Abraham Ngu ’13.

Taylor presented her research “Thoughts about Adenosine: Efforts in Drug Discovery of Nucleoside Utilizing Enzymes” at the Gordon Research Conference: Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Oligonucleotides in July. Her talk described the work she is performing to help in drug discovery for two enzymes from E. coli, Heptosyltransferase I and the TrmD tRNA methyltransferase, and one human enzyme, p300 histone acetyl transferase.

“Our work in these systems involves computational modeling of interactions between small molecules and the enzymes, to help design new compounds with medical applications,” Taylor explained.

Students Present Research at Neuroscience and Behavior Symposium

On May 1, the Neuroscience and Behavior Program held its second annual undergraduate research symposium. Arranged in the format of a professional scientific conference, seniors in the program presented their research done in faculty labs, while students and faculty in attendance enjoyed dinner at Daniel Family Commons. Five seniors spoke and seven other students presented posters on topics ranging from sonification of measures of electrical activity in the brain to the study of characteristics of neuronal membranes. About 50 junior and senior neuroscience and behavior students attended, in addition to the NSB faculty. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)

Matan Koplin-Green '15 spoke about his research on alpha neurofeedback training for the purpose of reducing anxiety levels.

Matan Koplin-Green ’15 spoke about his research on alpha neurofeedback training for the purpose of reducing anxiety levels.

Students Receive Davis Projects for Peace Grant

Claudia Kahindi '18, left, and Olayinka Lawal '15 will use a Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch an English education project in Kenya this summer. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell.)

Claudia Kahindi ’18, left, and Olayinka Lawal ’15 will use a Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch an English education project in Kenya this summer. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell.)

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Claudia Kahindi ’18 and Olayinka Lawal ’15 have received a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch KIU, an English education project, in Kahindi’s home area of coastal Kenya this summer. Named for the Swahili word for “thirst,” KIU will serve more than 100 fourth-grade students at Kahindi’s alma mater, Kilimo Public Primary School, in Kenya’s Kilifi County.

Students in Natural Sciences and Mathematics Present Research

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On April 17, 30 senior and BA/MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research to the Wesleyan community. Nearly 100 people attended the annual Celebration of Science Theses poster session, which was held in the Exley Science Center lobby.

The event was co-organized by Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, director of the service learning center; and Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)

Dara Lorn '15 discussed his research, "Progress to Biofunctionalized Rotaxanes."

Dara Lorn ’15 discussed his research, “Progress to Biofunctionalized Rotaxanes.”

Anthropology Major Cooper ’15 Co-Creates Interactive Campus Map

DeNeile Cooper '15 is majoring in anthropology, minoring in archaeology and working toward a certificate in environmental studies. She and three other members of the Class of 2015 created an interactive map for the Wesleyan that would allow Wesleyan parents, students and prospective students to navigate the campus in a more engaging manner. 

DeNeile Cooper ’15 is majoring in anthropology, minoring in archaeology and working toward a certificate in environmental studies. She and three other members of the Class of 2015 created an interactive map for the Wesleyan that would allow Wesleyan parents, students and prospective students to navigate the campus in a more engaging manner.

In this issue of News @ Wesleyan, we speak to DeNeile Cooper from the Class of 2015.

Q: DeNeile, as part of a GIS (Geographical information systems) service-learning project, you’ve been working on a interactive campus map project. What is the purpose of the map?

A: We wanted to create an interactive map for the Wesleyan website that would allow Wesleyan parents, students and prospective students to navigate the campus in a more engaging manner. The interactive map not only illustrates every building on campus to-date, but color codes them according to their usage, for example, purple buildings represent dormitory halls, blue buildings represent academic buildings and offices, and yellow buildings represent woodframe houses. In addition, each building can be clicked on to reveal a pop-up with a photo of the building, details about its contents, and links for the building’s department or office contacts. We really wanted to synthesize the strengths of the current online map with the abilities available to an interactive map.

The interactive map provides information about every building on campus.

The interactive map provides information about every building on campus. Each building is clickable and contains a pop-up that gives a photo of the building, a description, and external links to the departments, staff members, and web pages that further explain the building’s content and contact information.

Q: How did you come up with this idea? Was there a need?

A: In our Introduction to GIS course, Professor Kim Diver (visiting assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences) had been teaching us how to use GIS online to make interactive maps, or “Story Maps” that are accessible to the public. Our group, consisting of Katy Thompson ’15, Rebecca Sokol ’15, Chloe Holden ’15 and myself, worked with Wesleyan’s Physical Plant to create two updated versions of the Wesleyan campus map. We thought that this would be a perfect way to update the current map found on the Wesleyan website. We wanted to give the viewers the option to have both an aerial view of the campus and a detailed photograph and description of each building.

Q: How does the interactive campus map differ from other Wesleyan maps?

A: The interactive map takes the concept from the current online map of conveying an aerial view of the campus, but color codes the buildings by their use purpose. We hope that these colors makes it easier for new students and parents to more quickly locate the building that they want to find. Each building is clickable and contains a pop-up that gives a photo of the building, a description, and external links to the departments, staff members, and web pages that further explain the building’s content and contact information. Alternatively, the viewer can peruse each building by clicking the white up and down arrows located on the far left side of the screen. Our map is also unique in that we have extended the scope from the current map to include the many different athletic fields Wesleyan owns, and even Physical Plant and Long Lane Farm. We hope that this new map breadth will help new students get a more complete understanding of the full extension of our campus and the activities we have to offer here.