Fresh off the digital presses! Check out the new Social Media website from University Communications. This site was created as a resource for social media usage tips + best practices, for guidelines and policies on using social media on behalf of Wesleyan University and as a place to find tools to help you manage and measure your social accounts. You can also request a new social media account, a strategy session or a social share from the main Wesleyan University channels.
Tag Archive for employee news
by Olivia Drake •
The Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning provides educational opportunities outside of formal degree-granting programs to members of the broader community. Wesleyan University has been devoted to liberal learning since its founding in 1831. This program is an extension of that mission—a dedication to the improvement of human well-being by means of education throughout the course of life.
“Curiosity is ageless! This new year promises to be a fascinating one, with another intriguing round of WILL course offerings,” says Richard Friswell, associate director of the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning. “Delve into the work of literary icons like Chekhov, Shakespeare and Hemingway. Create your own memoir or share laughs and a fancy two-step with comedic American icon, Will Rogers. Travel a road back in time with Chaucer as he spins his Canterbury Tales, or ‘romance the stone’ as you explore 19th-century English painting. Adventure awaits!”
During the Spring 2018 semester, WILL will offer the following courses:
- Maybe It’s My Imagination: Writing Memoir and Fiction
- Once Upon a Time: Short Stories in Pairs
- Meet me at Les Deux Magot: The Lost Generation in 1920s Paris
- Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
- Romantic Landscapes of Constable and Turner: Common Goals, Contrasting Outcomes
- Masterminds and Martyrs: Women in Ancient Greek Drama
- A Shakespearean Romance, The Winter’s Tale
- Russian Theater on the Eve of Revolution
- Be Amused by the Muse of Classic American Humor
Enrolled students will have access to the academic resources of Wesleyan University, including Olin Library. Classes are conveniently scheduled in the afternoons and early evenings. Parking is available and classrooms are accessible. Classes will be quite small, with a few exceptions, allowing close interactions between instructors and students.
Online registration is now open. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Olivia Drake •
by Olivia Drake •
During University Relations’ Jammin’ Holiday Party on Dec. 13, staff collected more than 1,000 items for Puerto Rico residents affected by Hurricane Maria.
128.5 lbs. of pet food
795 diapers and baby wipes
13 gallons of water
186 cans/boxes of food
4 solar lights
248 oz. of hand sanitizer
5 can openers
3 power strips
5 first aid kits
12 insect repellents
by Cynthia Rockwell •
Yaniv Feller is the Jeremy Zwelling Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and assistant professor of religion. Feller specializes in Jewish philosophy, Jewish-Christian relations, post-Holocaust theology, material culture and museum studies. His current book project is titled “Leo Baeck and the Tradition of Dialogical Apologetics.” Prior to Wesleyan, Feller worked as an exhibition curator for the new permanent exhibition project at the Jewish Museum Berlin.
In this Q&A, Feller speaks about his time working at a renowned Jewish museum, the importance of incorporating the lives and histories of objects into his courses and woodworking.
Q: You just joined the faculty at Wesleyan this year. What are you enjoying and how would you characterize your new academic home?
A: It is hard to believe that a semester has already passed—time flies by when you are having fun! Reflecting on the last couple of months, I realize that Wesleyan is indeed everything I hoped it to be: it is a passionate community of learners, and this is true of faculty and students alike. I obviously heard about how smart and engaged people at Wesleyan are, and it was a pleasure to discover that sometimes, positive reputation is more than justified.
Q: What courses are you teaching this spring?
A: I am teaching RELI 203, Jews and Judaism, and RELI 213, Refugees and Exiles: Religion in the Diaspora.
Q: Do you have a favorite course? (Or is that like asking a parent about a favorite child?) Is there one that seems particularly well received or apropos?
A: It IS a bit like asking for a favorite child. I like them all! I like to teach classes that examine Jewish history and philosophy as a springboard for larger theoretical questions, or ones that ask the theoretical questions through a series of case studies. Perhaps most relevant this semester is “Refugees and Exiles” in which we will examine contemporary discussions on refugees in light of philosophical, literary and historical perspectives. What do narratives about the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, for example, have to teach us about today? More than you might suspect.
by Olivia Drake •
Whether you live in Middletown or elsewhere in the region, commuting to work is often time-consuming, stressful and costly. Setting up a carpool—an arrangement between people to travel together in a single vehicle—is a great way to save money, connect with coworkers and cut your carbon footprint, explains Sustainability Director Jennifer Kleindienst.
The Wesleyan Sustainability Office, in conjunction with CT Rides (a service of CT DOT), is hosting an Employee Commuter Event in February for Wesleyan faculty and staff. This will be a chance to meet other faculty and staff who live near you and potentially find a carpool buddy. CT Rides helps commuters find the best way to get to work or school and offers information and resources for travel options throughout Connecticut.
The event will take place from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Usdan 110. RSVP by Friday, Feb. 16, at bit.ly/ctridesrsvp. Contact Jen Kleindienst at email@example.com with any questions.
by Olivia Drake •
An article by Barbara Juhasz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, has been published in the January 2018 edition of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. The study, titled “Experience with compound words influences their processing: An eye movement investigation with English compound words” appears in Issue 71, pages 103–12.
Recording eye movements, Juhasz explains, provides information on the time-course of word recognition during reading. Eye movements also are informative for examining the processing of morphologically complex words such as compound words.
In this study, Juhasz examined the time-course of lexical and semantic variables during morphological processing. A total of 120 English compound words that varied in familiarity, age-of-acquisition, semantic transparency, lexeme meaning dominance, sensory experience rating and imageability were selected.
The impact of these variables on fixation durations was examined when length, word frequency and lexeme frequencies were controlled in a regression model. Juhasz discovered that the most robust effects were found for familiarity and age-of-acquisition, indicating that a reader’s experience with compound words significantly impacts compound recognition. These results provide insight into semantic processing of morphologically complex words during reading.
In 2003, Juhasz and her former graduate mentor, Professor Keith Rayner, co-authored a related study on “Investigating the effects of a set of intercorrelated variables on eye fixation durations in reading,” published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. This study examined the impact of five-word recognition variables, however focused on relatively short, morphologically simple words.
Juhasz’s new article is published in a special issue devoted to honoring Rayner, who passed away in 2015. Rayner, the Atkinson Family Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, oversaw an Eyetracking Lab at the university.
“Keith was a very well-respected cognitive scientist who was a pioneer in using eye movements to study reading processes,” Juhasz said. “I’m honored that I could follow up on research that we worked on together more than a decade ago and have it published in this special issue.”
by Himeka Curiel •
Melanie Khamis, assistant professor of economics and assistant professor of Latin American studies, has co-authored a new paper published in the December 2017 issue of Labour Economics. The paper, titled “Women make houses, women make homes,” examines the effects of historical labor market institutions and policies on women’s labor market outcomes.
To conduct the research, Khamis and her colleagues studied the “rubble women” of post–World War II Germany, who were subject to a 1946 Allied Control Council command that required women between the ages of 15 and 50 to register with a labor office and to participate in postwar cleanup and reconstruction.
The study showed that this mandatory employment had persistent longstanding adverse effects on German women’s overall participation in the labor market. Possible reasons for this include physical and mental exhaustion associated with the demanding manual labor involved in removing war debris; an increase in postwar marriage and fertility rates; and a reversion to traditional gender roles as men returned from war.
The findings highlight how important it is for countries—especially those recovering from conflict—to develop labor market institutions and policies that support women’s participation in the workforce. In addition, the paper concludes, “Our results also provide suggestive evidence that work-contingent income support programs may have limited positive effects on female future labor market outcomes and welfare dependency unless such policies are further backed up by the provision of quality child care and labor market institutions at large.”
by Himeka Curiel •
A new article by Visiting Assistant Professor in Computer Science Kelly Thayer and students in her Spring 2017 Scientific Computing class is challenging conventional metrics used in allosteric signaling—the regulation of an enzyme by a binding molecule at a site other than the enzyme’s active site.
“What’s special about allostery is that a molecule called an allosteric effector binds at one location, and the change happens somewhere else,” Thayer explained. “What we were trying to understand was: How does that signal get across?”
by Himeka Curiel •
According to Campus Coordinator Paul Turenne, more than 400 Wesleyan employees, retired faculty and authorized vendors (including 38 “Leadership Givers” pledging $1,000 or more) participated. Together they donated a total of $122,150 in support of United Way programs in Middlesex County and throughout the state.
Contributing to this year’s increased giving was the implementation of lessons learned from previous years, including moving campaign dates earlier (Oct.1–31) in order to avoid competing with other fundraising initiatives and streamlining the donation process to ensure donors were being reached through the channels that made the most sense for them.
by Olivia Drake •
Paula Paige, adjunct professor of romance languages and literatures, emerita, is the author of five short stories published in literary magazines in 2016-18. These include:
“Flu Story” published in Newfound, Vol, 8, Issue 2, 2018.
“Daddy,” published in The Umbrella Factory, Issue 29, September 2017.
“Roman Ruins: an Update on a Once Great Beauty,” published in Artes Magazine, May 26, 2017.
“The Baby Sitter,” published by the Diverse Arts Project, August 2016.
“Gluten and Other Abominations,” published by Sundress Publications, June 2016.
Paula Paige taught at Wesleyan for 30 years. She is the recipient of the 2010 Our Stories Gordon Award for her flash fiction piece “Mosiach is Here.” Most recently, she was shortlisted for Glimmer Train’s February 2014 Short Story Award for New Writers, and First Runner-up in Red Hen Press’s 2015 Short Story Award. Paige also has translated two 19th century Italian literary fiction pieces with Northwestern University Press.
by Bill Holder •
Wesleyan is making determined efforts to hire individuals from historically underrepresented groups, which have resulted in significant advances lately.
In 2017, 45 percent of staff hired (not including faculty) were of color — a dramatic increase from 26.4 percent the year before and the previous five-year high of 30.6 percent in 2014. Overall, 22.8 percent of staff identify themselves as of color.
Julia Hicks, chief human resources officer, points out that increasing diversity in the workplace has been shown to improve organizational performance. Diversity fosters inclusive cultures where individual differences are respected, teamwork is promoted, and intercultural competence and respect increase.
“We’ve made progress in part by changing our internal approach,” she says. “When hiring, we don’t take the easy way out. We partner with hiring managers to slow down their searches, to think harder about the pool than they might have in the past, to probe more and consider if candidates whose skills aren’t an exact match might be able to transfer those skills successfully to a different environment.”