Tag Archive for Class of 2015

Video of WeSlam Poet Myers ’15 Receives 1.7M Views

Lily Myers ’15, a member of WeSlam, performed a poem about her family that has received more than 1.7 million views on YouTube.

The poem, titled “Shrinking Women,” won Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in April, and expresses the pressure women feel to take up less and less space, to be quiet, to be small and to eat sparingly.

Fellow slam poet Evan Okun ’13 said, “Her piece exemplifies Wesleyan’s progressive thinking, innovative writing, and emotional honesty when it comes to Slam Poetry.”

Myers also appeared in Upworthy.com and The Huffington Post. She is currently studying abroad in Argentina.

Watch the video below:

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10 Students Tend 2 Acres at Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm

Students learn about sustainable agriculture at Long Lane Farm.

Students learn about sustainable agriculture at Long Lane Farm.

While their classmates spend the summer growing business contacts at off-campus internships, 10 Wesleyan students hope to cultivate something equally lucrative – sustainable agriculture.

The “dirt in the nails” days are long but satisfying at Wesleyan’s Long Lane Organic Farm, a student-run organic farm that gives students a place to experiment and learn about sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals – environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

Johnson is one of 10 student farmers working at Long Lane this summer. After graduating, Johnson hopes to study astrophysics and ultimately become an astronaut.

Coady Johnson ’15 harvests radishes at Long Lane Farm this summer. After graduating, Johnson hopes to study astrophysics and ultimately become an astronaut.

This summer, the students are cultivating two acres of land, the biggest plot they’ve ever farmed. They’re growing cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, asparagus, basil, broccoli, lettuce, blueberries and much more. They’re also building a second hoop house, similar to a greenhouse, which will allow the students to grow leafy greens, peppers and other crops during the fall and winter months.

Not all students have a farming background. Summer farmer Coady Johnson ’15 grew up an hour north of Chicago in Wadsworth, Ill. where “most of the surrounding area is cornfields, but even so I didn’t get involved in farming until coming to Wesleyan,” he said.

At Wesleyan, Johnson fell in with a group of people who inspired him to think about the state of food production and consumption in this country.

“Industrial farming and a disconnect between what we eat and how it is produced is hurting our well-being, and I think that the best way to remedy that is to educate myself and others on growing our own food in a more responsible and sustainable way.”

A day down on the farm begins at 7 a.m. with a morning meeting . There, the students discuss plans for work, “like whether or not we should companion plant radishes with the squash. We try to be horizontally organized and make decisions only with 100 percent consensus, so that everyone can have a say in what we’re doing, and can suggest new ideas if they want,” Johnson said.

The students work until 11 a.m. and take a midday heat break. During time, the farmers run errands and do other work for the farm that can be done in the field, like emails and budget spreadsheets. At 3 p.m., the students return to the fields and work until 7 p.m. The farmers also choose to participate in various building projects such as planning and building the mass irrigation system.

Jessup Smith ’14 and nine other Wesleyan students enrolled in the Architecture II course designed and built a new chicken coop for Long Lane Farm.

Jessup Smith ’14 and nine other Wesleyan students enrolled in the Architecture II course designed and built a new chicken coop for Long Lane Farm. Pictured, Smith is crawling through the coop’s exterior entryway.

Food harvested from the farm is sold at the North End Farmers’ Market throughout the summer, and at the Wesleyan Farmers’ Market during the academic year. The student farmers donate excess food to Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown, and have an arrangement through which Bon Appetít dining services funds positions for students to work on the farm in exchange for weekly deliveries of farm vegetables. In addition, the students invite local families to the farm and teach children about the various aspects of farming and producing food. Children are sent home with a bag of produce that they personally harvested.

Next fall, a flock of feathery friends will join the students at the farm. A newly-designed and installed chicken coop will enable the farmers to harvest local eggs for use at Usdan University Center. Learn more about the coop in this Wesleyan Connection article.

The summer farmers are Laura Cohen ’14, Kate Enright ’15, Coady Johnson ’15, Ben Guilmette ’15, Josh Krugman ’14, Maggie Masselli ’16, Anna Redgrave ’16, Rebecca Sokol ’15, Hailey Sowden ’15 and Cat Walsh ’16. And they’re always looking for extra working hands.

“Whoever wants to help is a farmer, and we’re always looking for new people, from Wesleyan or from Middletown at large,” Johnson said.

Learn more about the farm’s

Photos of the farm are below:

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Johnson ’15 Tends Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm, Tutors Physics Students

Johnson is one of 10 student farmers working at Long Lane this summer. After graduating, Johnson hopes to study astrophysics and ultimately become an astronaut.

Coady Johnson ’15 harvests radishes at Long Lane Farm this summer. After graduating, Johnson hopes to study astrophysics and ultimately become an astronaut.

Q: Coady, what are you majoring in and why did you choose Wesleyan?

A: I’m double majoring in astronomy and physics. I had actually never been to Wesleyan before applying, but I had heard very good things from friends, and its reputation for being unconventional was very appealing to me. The clincher though was the very generous financial aid that the university offered me, without which I definitely would not be here.

Coady Johnson '15, who is double majoring in astronomy and physics, tends a booth at the North End Farmers' Market, where he sells produce from Wesleyan's Long Lane Organic Farm. Johnson is one of 10 student farmers working at Long Lane this summer. After graduating, Johnson hopes to study astrophysics and ultimately become an astronaut.

Coady Johnson ’15, who is double majoring in astronomy and physics, tends a booth at the North End Farmers’ Market, where he sells produce from Wesleyan’s Long Lane Organic Farm.

Q: Tell us about your efforts with the Long Lane Organic Farm. Why did you decide to become a student-farmer?

A: After coming to Wesleyan, I fell in with a group of people who really got me thinking about the state of food production and consumption in this country. Industrial farming and a disconnect between what we eat and how it is produced is hurting our well-being, and I think that the best way to remedy that is to educate myself and others on growing our own food in a more responsible and sustainable way.

Q: What is your role with the farm this summer? Please describe a day “down on the farm.”

A:  We don’t really have set roles, although I often choose to participate in or initiate various building projects, like planning and building our irrigation system. Our day begins at 7 a.m. with a morning meeting at the farm. There, all the people who are working that day discuss plans for work, like whether or not we should companion plant radishes with the squash. We try to be horizontally organized and make decisions only with 100 percent consensus, so that everyone can have a say in what we’re doing, and can suggest new ideas if they want. We work until 11, and then have a midday break, during which we eat lunch, run errands and do other work for the farm that can be done in the field, like emails and budget spreadsheets. At 3 p.m., we return to the farm and review what was accomplished in the morning, and then finish up whatever wasn’t quite done by lunch. At 7 we close up the shed and gates, and then return home for dinner. Nine of us live in the same house, and so whoever takes the afternoon off cooks dinner for the house.

Q: Who else is working on the farm this summer? Are you looking for new recruits?

A: Laura Cohen ’14, Kate Enright ’15, Ben Guilmette ’15, Josh Krugman ’14, Maggie Masselli ’16, Anna Redgrave ’16, Rebecca Sokol ’15, Hailey Sowden ’15 and Cat Walsh ’16 are all living in Middletown to work on the farm this summer. Whoever wants to help is a farmer, and we’re always looking for new people, from Wesleyan or from Middletown at large.

Q: Where are you from? Did you have any farming background or is this all new to you?

A: I’m from Wadsworth, Ill., which is about an hour north of Chicago and 15 minutes west of Lake Michigan. Most of the surrounding area is cornfields, but even so I didn’t get involved in farming until coming to Wesleyan.

Q: What does the farm do with the produce that you grow?

A: We give a lot of it to Bon Appetít, the campus dining service, so that they can serve it in the dining hall. Another large portion we take to the North End Farmers’ Market in Middletown. Anything we bring to the market and don’t sell is then donated to the Amazing Grace food pantry. We also have a new program this year with families in the area called the Middletown Food Project. We have the families over to the farm and teach the children about various aspects of farming and producing food, and also send everyone home with a bag of produce they harvest themselves. And we eat some of it ourselves, of course.

Q: What other extracurricular activities are you involved with at Wesleyan?

A: I tutor other students in General Physics II, and also have a job at the Star and Crescent, helping the head chef prep and serve the meals. This past spring I was in the Spring Dance performance, and I plan on auditioning for other dances in the future.

Q: As a rising junior, do you know what your post-Wesleyan plans might be?

A: After Wesleyan I hope to get my Ph.D. in astrophysics, though I haven’t given much thought about a particular institution to attend. After that I plan on applying to NASA in order to be an astronaut. I know it sounds farfetched, especially given the current state of NASA, but I believe strongly in the scientific and societal benefits of manned space exploration, and also have a great personal passion for science, space and discovery.

 

Garcia ’15 is Pre-Med, a WesEMT, Tutor, Latin Dancer

Zaida Garcia '15 is double majoring in African-American studies and feminist, gender and sexuality studies. She's on the board for Ajùa Campos, she teaches about health sexual attitudes and education to high school students, she is a Latin dancer and a gallery monitor at Zilkha Gallery.

Zaida Garcia ’15 is double majoring in African-American studies and feminist, gender and sexuality studies. She’s on the board for Ajùa Campos, she teaches about health sexual attitudes and education to high school students, she is a Latin dancer and a gallery monitor at Zilkha Gallery.

Q: Zaida, where are you from and what attracted you to Wesleyan?

A: I’m from Flushing, New York. Initially, I was attracted to Wesleyan because many students from the program I attend, Prep for Prep, have gone to or currently attend Wes. Since many students I respect went there, I figured that there must be something about this school that keeps bringing us here. I realized through my visits and talks with students that I love Wesleyan’s openness and diversity. Of course, no institution is perfect when it comes to embracing so many views, but Wesleyan offers far more than many other places. Everyone I met was so interesting!

Q: What are you majoring in and why is it important to you to have a liberal arts education?

A: I’m a double major in African-American studies and feminist, gender and sexuality studies. I’m also pre-med! My fields of study aren’t traditionally thought of as routes to the medical world, but I believe the humanities are necessary towards any career path. I find the sciences fascinating and vital, but in medical school they will surround me constantly, and I do not want to ever loose sight of the fact that the job requires that I interact with people. We need to understand why certain populations have unequal access to quality treatment, or why someone may be afraid to report their injuries of domestic violence. Otherwise, a doctor can’t serve anyone fully. Wesleyan’s liberal arts education allows me the flexibility to explore these while still fulfilling my pre-med requirements. I am especially glad to be surrounded by Wesleyan’s amazing visual arts.

Q: Who are some of your favorite professors, and classes at Wes?

A: Last semester, I took Service-Learning at Connecticut Valley Hospital with Professor Jim Donady. The concrete end-goal of the course was to interview our psychiatric patients using the CASIG (Client’s Assessment of Strengths, Interests, and Goals). But it was the intangible that I will never forget from this class: the affirmation of humanity. We are all people, yet some discard those with mental illness as “crazy”, as “other”, literally denying someone’s personhood. You might not think someone else, or even your own self, is interesting or deserving of respect. But you can make a movie out of anyone’s life, it is that important. You can make a life out of your life if you wanted to, you and everyone else is that important. Professor Donady’s stories and quirky ways have affirmed that. Additionally, Leah Wright’s Introduction to Modern African American History is the reason why I am an African-American Studies Major and Leticia Alvarado’s Latina Feminisms is why I’m pursuing FGSS. These amazing women have also taught me to dissect and trace back the chain reactions that create a person.

Q: What do you hope to do after Wesleyan?

A: After Wesleyan, I hope to become a gynecologist for underserved communities.

Wesleyan Slam Poets Place 13th in National Competition

Wesleyan’s WESlam team placed 13th out of 59 college teams from around the country in the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, held April 3-6 at Barnard College in New York City.

Five students, Evan Okun ’13, Lily Myers ’15 , Zachary Goldberg ’13, Cherkira Lashely ’15 and Markeisha Hill ’16 competed on the team and Emily Weitzman ’14 coached. Lily Myers won the award for best love poem.

“‘Most moving’ was the response Wesleyan got from community ,” Okun said. “We were complemented for our creative manner in which we resisted the typical ‘slam-poem-formula’ that is often over dramatic and exploitative of personal trauma.”

Watch Zachary Goldberg, Evan Okun and Lily Myers perform “We Made It:”

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Burgunder ’15 Competes in U.S. Ski Mountaineering World Championships

Mateusz Burgunder ’15

As part of the United States team, Mateusz Burgunder ’15 competed in both the sprint and men’s individual races in the 2013 Ski Mountaineering World Championships.

Mateusz Burgunder ’15 returned recently from competing in the 2013 Ski Mountaineering World Championships, where the U.S. National Ski Mountaineering Team finished ninth out of 23 competing teams.

This year was Burgunder’s third time competing for the U.S., participating in both the sprint race and the men’s individual race. He placed 51st and 65th, respectively. The U.S. won its first medal in the world championships, with Dartmouth College alumna Nina Silitch taking a silver medal in the sprint race.

The Ski Mountaineering World Championships, hosted by the International Ski Mountaineering Federation, were held in Pelvoux, France from Feb. 9–16.

 

Biology Major Dominguez ’15 Planning Dominican Student Conference

Konnie Dominguez '15 is planning the the 7th National Dominican Student Conference, which will be hosted at Wesleyan. She also blogs for the Office of Admission and works as a book shelver in Olin Library.

Konnie Dominguez ’15 is planning the the 7th National Dominican Student Conference, which will be hosted at Wesleyan. She also blogs for the Office of Admission and works as a book shelver in Olin Library.

Q&As with outstanding students is an occasional feature of The Wesleyan Connection. This issue we speak with Konnie Dominguez from the Class of 2015.

Q: Konnie, what are you planning on majoring in and why?

A: I’m planning on majoring in biology. With a bachelors in biology, I can continue to pursue a career in biological anthropology, specifically in paleoanthropology, the study of human fossils. I’ve had at least one class in science ever since the sixth grade and this year, I had three – biology, chemistry and neuroscience!

Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

A: Most of my free time, when not spent in classes, labs, or my job, goes to the Dominican Students Association or WesQuisqueya. We are a student group for Wesleyan students of Dominican descent or those who just enjoy Dominican culture.

Q: What is your role in planning the upcoming National Dominican Student Conference?

A: The 7th annual conference will be hosted by Wesleyan on March 29 and 30. For this conference, I am a student coordinator. I’m on the publicity team and, along with another group member, I’m in charge of reaching out to past participants of the conference and inviting them to come again. Our team currently expects around 500 students! It is a lot of work.

Battat ’15 is “Onward and Upward” in the Jewish Ledger

Sivan Battat '15 is pictured second from right.

Sivan Battat ’15 is mentioned in the Jan. 19 edition of The Jewish Ledger for being “Onward . . . and Upward.”

Battat and seven other Ezra Academy alumni visited their alma mater to chat with students about their experiences since graduating from high school.

The article is online here.

Wesleyan Welcomes First-Year Students on Arrival Day (with videos)

Students move in on Arrival Day. Wesleyan students and staff assisted new students with their move. (Photo by Nick Lacy)

Jimmy Albrecht '15 moves into Clark Hall on Arrival Day.

At 8:50 a.m., Jimmy Albrecht ’15 began lugging in boxes of clothing, canvas totes of athletic equipment, a 3.1 cubic-square-foot fridge, an X-Box, microwave, bedding, toiletries and six – make that eight – pairs of shoes, into his new student residence in Clark Hall.

“Oh, there’s another pair over there. And there’s another pair. Jimmy, you’re going to need a shoe rack,” says his mother, Sharon, who drove Jimmy to Wesleyan from their home in Chicago, Ill.

Jimmy’s father, George, also helped with the unloading. “Our Jeep was so packed with stuff, there wasn’t even room for a toothbrush back there,” George says.

Jimmy Albrecht, who will play hockey at Wesleyan, joined 810 other Class of 2015 students for Arrival Day 2011. Students and their families began trickling in around 8 a.m. with carloads of back-to-school supplies. Eighty-seven international students arrived three days prior for International Student Orientation.

In addition, Wesleyan welcomed 18 transferred sophomores, seven transferred juniors, five visiting international students and four college-exchange program students on Arrival Day.

At left, Elizabeth Binswanger '15 enlisted her father, David, for help moving in.

Elizabeth Binswanger ’15 and her parents, David and Dorothy, traveled from Philadelphia, Pa. to Middletown Aug. 30. Together, they hauled in “lots of clothes,” bedding, food and a computer.

Wesleyan Welcomes 87 International Students

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International students shout "Go Wes!" during a group photo shoot Aug. 30.

Wesleyan welcomed 87 international students to campus Aug. 28-31. International Student Orientation is held prior to new student orientation in order for international students to recover from travel, often from across the globe. ISO also offers sessions that address health and medical insurance issues, programs about cultural adaptation, weather adjustment, and liberal arts education,

DiCandeloro ’15 Learns Persian Language, Culture through Summer Program

Incoming frosh John DiCandeloro, pictured at top, right, is currently studying the Persian language Farsi in Dushanbe, Tajikistan through the State Department's National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y). NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships to U.S. high school students and recent graduates interested in learning less-commonly studied foreign languages. DiCandeloro is pictured with his peers and Ken Gross, the U.S. Ambassador to to the Republic of Tajikistan. The Ambassador spoke about the United States' political and economic relationship with Tajikistan and opportunities to work with the State Department in the future.

DiCandeloro and his peers participated in a national cuisine cooking class. Here, volunteers made "manta" (dumplings) by filling flattened dough-squares with a mixture of meat/onion or potato/onions. The students are living with local families and studying their language. They're also learning the culture, touring cities, meeting dignitaries and volunteering in the city. At Wesleyan, DiCandeloro plans to study international relations.