Tag Archive for employee news

Wesleyan Makes Efforts to Hire Underrepresented Employees

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.”

Update from the President’s Office

Wesleyan President Michael Roth shared these remarks with the Wesleyan Community on Aug. 29:

Dear friends,

Welcome to our university’s 186th academic year!

This fall marks my 10th year as president of Wesleyan. I’m using this occasion to try to look at our university with fresh eyes: What could we do better? What should we preserve, and what should we change? I look forward to feedback from all around campus and will be meeting with a wide variety of groups throughout the fall.

In recent months, we’ve worked to strengthen the curriculum – hiring new faculty and preparing new programs such as the minor in integrated design, engineering, and applied sciences. I’m also particularly excited about changes to the Shapiro Writing Center (now located at 116 Mt. Vernon) that reflect the importance we place on writing here. There have also been positive developments in the Theater Department, including the hiring of Kathleen Conlin as the new department chair, and several additions to the curriculum.

Staff Spotlight: Borman Planting Trees for Wesleyan’s Next Century

Grounds Manager Rob Borman notes that the trees he and his team plant will shape the campus for decades to come.

In this Q&A, we speak with Rob Borman, grounds manager for Physical Plant.

“The trees we are planting this year are creating the face of Wesleyan 100 years from now,” Borman says. Offering a guided tour of the central campus, he noted recent plantings, the decision process behind those choices, and the history of what felled any previous trees on those spots.

He also focused on present details, taking note of the health of the foliage—color and thickness—as well as any recent stressors, like extreme weather or insect-related events, which may be affecting these future giants of Wesleyan.

Q: When did you become the grounds manager?

A: I became the grounds manager in October 2014. Prior to this, I was in facilities maintenance, focusing solely on athletics, including event preparation and set-up. However, I’d been forming my impressions of the entire campus, even then.

Q: What was first on your list?

Williams Named 2017 Berkshire Region Coach of the Year

Kim Williams

Wesleyan University women’s lacrosse head coach Kim Williams was honored by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association (IWLCA), as she was named the 2017 Berkshire Region Coach of the Year following a historic season.

The regional coach of the year award is the second postseason accolade for Williams, who was also named the 2017 NESCAC Coach of the Year during the spring.

In just her second year at the helm of the program, Williams led Wesleyan to its best season in program history. The Cardinals finished 11-6 overall and 7-3 in the ultra-competitive NESCAC, setting program records for overall wins and conference victories. Wesleyan qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since 2009, and earned its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.

The Cardinals ranked within the top-20 for the majority of the season, and finished the year ranked No. 19 in the final IWLCA Division III Coaches Poll. Wesleyan went 4-6 against teams ranked in the top-20, and won its first Little Three Championship outright since 1982 .

Williams will be honored at the IWLCA Honors Banquet held on Nov. 15 during the IWLCA Annual Meetings at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida.

C-CERT Welcomes 11 New Members

On July 13, Wesleyan’s Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) welcomed 11 new members to the group. Formed in September 2009, Wesleyan’s C-CERT members are trained to assist first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize volunteers at a disaster site.

Pictured, back row, at left: Bill Ollayos, Andres Sarda, Erica Wright, Megan Conte, Smith Kidkarndee, Victor Diaz. Pictured front tow, at left: Mary from the City of Middletown, Janet Desmarais, Sandy Durosier, Bobby Spignesi, Christine Daniels.

Pictured, back row, at left: Bill Ollayos, Andres Sarda, Erica Wright, Megan Conte, Smith Kidkarndee and Victor Diaz. Pictured front row, at left: Mary Emerling, Janet Desmarais, Sandy Durosier, Bobby Spignesi and Christine Daniels.

Faculty/Staff Band Mattabesset String Collective Performs

The Mattabesset String Collective is a five-piece Wesleyan-affiliated acoustic ensemble playing an eclectic mix of bluegrass, blues, folk, mountain, country and rock, all in a string band style.

The group’s name, Mattabesset, is the Algonquian name for the region that became Middletown. “Since our music reaches back into history, we thought it was appropriate. We were attracted to the term collective because it suggests the egalitarian nature of our enterprise,” said band member Marc Eisner, dean of the Social Sciences Division, the Henry Merritt Wriston Chair in Public Policy, professor of government, professor of environmental studies.

The band performed July 29 in Higganum, Conn. Photos of the concert are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

The Mattabesset String Collective is a five-piece string band featuring dobro, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, bass, banjo or cuatro. Pictured from left is Gil Skillman, Rebecca McCallum, Kevin Wiliarty, Marc Eisner and Barry Chernoff. 

Pictured from left is Gil Skillman, Rebecca McCallum, Kevin Wiliarty, Marc Eisner and Barry Chernoff. They have about 80 songs in their repertoire, ranging from old-time traditional jug band music, to string band versions of Jimi Hendrix and Guns N’ Roses, and a few songs written by band members. “One of the pleasures of playing in this band involves reaching for, and occasionally attaining, new levels of musical cohesion,” Skillman said.

Gil Skillman is professor of economics, tutor in the College of Social Studies. He plays the banjo, cuatro and dobro with the string collective.

Gil Skillman is professor of economics, tutor in the College of Social Studies. He plays the banjo, cuatro and dobro with the string collective. Skillman taught himself guitar as a teenager. “Once you learn to play one fretted instrument, learning others is primarily a matter of varying the approach to sounding the strings, which is easier than learning to play an instrument from the ground up,” he said.

Staff on the Move May-August 2017

The Office of Human Resources announces the following hires, transitions and departures for May-August 2017.

Patrick Bohan, Video Producer in Creative Services on May 1
Jeremiah Kenney, Public Safety Dispatcher on May 29
Erin Ogrean, Administrative Assistant in Academic Writing on May 30
Elizabeth Morrison, Admissions Coordinator in Graduate Liberal Studies on June 5
William Ollayos, Area Coordinator in Office of Residential Life on June 12
Heather Fox, Assistant Director, Wesleyan Events and Conferences on June 19
Robert Mirabal, Director of Student Accounts on June 19
Matthew Coyne, Assistant Football Coach; Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers in Athletics on July 6
Penney Beaubrun, Assistant Director for Alumni and Parent Relations in University Relations on July 7
Rachel Schnepper, Director of Academic Technology on July 10
Andres Garcia, Assistant Director, The Wesleyan Fund in University Relations on July 14
Sona Kumar, Research Coordinator in Psychology on July 17
Sitar Terrass-Shah, Center for Prison Education Fellow in Community Service and Volunteerism on July 19
Ruthann Coyote, Career Advisor in the Gordon Career Center on July 31
Chandra Joos, Director of Admission on Aug. 1
Claire Wang, Administrative Assistant in College of East Asian Studies on Aug. 1
Amanda Daddona, Assistant Registrar in the Registrar’s Office on Aug. 7
Jessica Naecker, Postdoctoral Clinical/Counseling Psychologist on Aug. 7
Stephanie Scarpato, Assistant Athletics Director for Facilities and Operations in Athletics on Aug. 7
Anthony Sensei, Assistant Dean of Admission on Aug. 14
Trevor Wenners, Athletic Communications Intern on Aug. 14
Imelda Guerrero Mongillo, Marketing Project Manager in University Communications on Aug. 17

Jeanne McNeff, Administrative Assistant in Alumni and Parent Relations on June 5
Joy Mlozanowski, Library Assistant/Licensing Management Specialist in Reference on June 5
Pamela Grande, Associate Director of Career Advising in the Gordon Career Center on July 1
Diane Klare, Associate University Librarian for Research and Access Services on July 1
Rachel Prehodka-Spindel, Associate Director of Operations, Usdan University Center on July 1

Bill Jack, Associate Director of Admission
Kelly Miller, Public Safety Dispatcher in Public Safety Office
Beatriz Pazmino Betancourt, Research Assistant in the Physics Department
Brian Nangle, Area Coordinator in Residential Life
Kathleen Vecchitto, Department Assistant in University Relations
Iain York, Investment Associate
Lauren Dellipoali, Athletic Communications Intern
Marla Zubel, Acquisitions Editor in WesPress
Andrew Harazim, Athletic Facility Maintenance in Athletics
Kera Jewett, Development Officer in Major Gifts
Bruce Strong, Department Assistant III/Customer Service in Physical Plant
Brittany Richard, Associate Director, Wesleyan Fund in Annual Fund
Emily Pagano, Health Education Specialist
John Wareham, Video Producer in Creative Services
Miho Antoku, Research Associate
Rebecca Jacobsen, Civic Engagement Fellow in Community Service and Volunteerism
Madeleine Barclay, Research Coordinator in Psychology
Joy Zelikovsky, Postdoctoral Clinical/Counseling Psychologist
Ashleigh Corvi, Assistant Dean of Admission
Emily Przysinda, Research Assistant/Lab Coordinator in Psychology
Mark Chadsey, Energy Manager in Physical Plant
Elsa Hardy, Center for Prison Education Fellow in Community Service and Volunteerism
Alexandra Zax, Research Associate/Lab Coordinator in Psychology Department

Faculty Spotlight: Michelle Personick

Michelle Personick joined the faculty this fall, and is teaching courses in Chemistry of Materials and Nanomaterials and an Integrated Chemistry Lab. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Michelle Personick, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of integrative sciences, is an advocate for Wesleyan Women in Science (WesWIS). “The more women (and underrepresented minorities) who pursue careers in the sciences, the more younger female and underrepresented students will be able to imagine themselves in those roles, and the sciences will begin to diversify,” she said. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

In this Q&A, we speak with Michelle Personick, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of integrative sciences. Personick, who joined the faculty at Wesleyan in 2015, is interested in developing tailored metal nanomaterials that improve the clean production of energy and enable the efficient use of energy resources. Her work has recently been published in the journals Particle and Particle Systems Characterization and American Chemical Society Catalysis.

Q: Professor Personick, how would you describe your main research interests?

A: The main research areas in my group are controlling the shape and composition of noble metal nanocrystals, and exploring the use of these nanoparticles as catalysts to improve the efficiency and selectivity of reactions that are important in chemical industry and in energy production.

When she's not teaching or working in the lab, Michelle Personick, at right, rows crew with the Riverfront Recapture masters racing team in Hartford.

When she’s not teaching or working in the lab, Michelle Personick, at right, rows with the Riverfront Recapture masters racing team in Hartford, Conn.

Q: When did you develop an interest in chemistry?

A: I’ve always been interested in science in general, but it was more a broader interest than a specific focus on chemistry. There was actually a period of time in high school when I wanted to be a particle physicist. I chose chemistry after writing an essay about a cool new light-controlled nanoparticle cancer treatment for a class my senior year in high school.

Q: What attracted you to Wesleyan and how has your experience been here over the last couple years?

A: I had a really positive small liberal arts college experience at Middlebury, where most of my professors knew who I was and cared about how I was doing in their class. Once I decided I wanted to be a professor, I knew that was the type of environment I wanted. In the different courses I’ve taught in my first two years, I’ve found the atmosphere at Wesleyan to be well-matched to pursuing that kind of teaching philosophy. What attracted me to Wesleyan specifically are the unique research opportunities that come out of having a small, but strong, graduate program in addition to being a top-tier undergraduate institution. The advanced research instrumentation here at Wesleyan, such as the electron microscopy facility, is also crucial to our ability to successfully carry out our research. I’d always wanted to work primarily with undergraduates once I set up my own research lab, but having even just two graduate students in that lab as well makes an enormous difference in the level of research I’m able to carry out. In turn, that creates an environment in which the very talented undergraduates I’ve had in my group so far have the opportunity to work on independent projects that get published in peer-reviewed journals and that are well-received by other scientists at major conferences. It’s been very rewarding over the last two years to get our lab up and running and to begin to see the results of the hard work put in by all of my research students, undergraduate and graduate.

When the Stars Align: Stanley’s Most Challenging Quilt

Tracey Stanley completed her most challenging project so far, “Amazon Star,” a quilt pattern by Judy Neimeyer and made for her cousin in the colors of the Barbados flag. It also became a memorial to her son, who would have turned 30 this year.

What might be most obvious about Tracey Stanley, an administrative assistant in the registrar’s office for 10 years (out of a 20-year total at Wesleyan), is that she is the on-campus go-to “mom” for many students—those she supervises in her office, those who appear at the registrar’s window looking lost, and those she mentors through AFCA, the Administrators and Faculty of Color Association, for which she has served as co-chair.

Warm, outspoken, determined and with a strong protective instinct, Stanley also is a union steward.

What colleagues might not know is that Stanley is an avid quilter. She began teaching herself the craft the year that her eldest son, Andre, would have turned 16. He was just 8 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer and died only nine months after that. While Stanley is grateful that Andre’s friends have remained in touch, each milestone they share is also a reminder of her own family’s loss.

It was 2003, and as Andre’s friends were celebrating learner’s permits and driver’s licenses—Stanley recalls, “I felt an awful, awful void. I asked myself, what could I do to fill the void? And it was quilting.” With a pattern and yards of brightly colored fabric, Stanley immersed herself in stitching together small pieces to create a design called “Broken Bricks for Broken Hearts.”

That one still sits in her living room. “I wrote on the label on the back that many tears went into this—but this is what I get to look at, to celebrate making it through.”  And her takeaway: “I haven’t stopped since that first quilt,” she says. The other 20 or so have become well-used, well-loved cozy coverings on cold nights for family and friends, including the quilt she made for her daughter, Reba (now a teacher in New Jersey), and the one for her son, Trey (living in Hartford; working in Rocky Hill). Stanley’s sewing room remains her haven, a place to lose herself in her art.

Until last spring, though, she’d made only one quilt on commission,

4 Home Football Games Highlight Community, Athletes, Service, Alumni

The first home football game is Saturday, Sept. 23.

The first home football game is Saturday, Sept. 23.

This year, Wesleyan’s four home football games each offer a highlight to draw fans from near and far to Corwin Stadium on Andrus Field.

The first home game, Saturday, Sept. 23, against Tufts, is a night game — “The second home night game in Wesleyan’s history,” notes Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83. “I’m thinking of it as our time to focus on Middletown, and we’re reaching out to local high schools. Dario Highsmith ’20, a sophomore running back—an outstanding player—graduated from Middletown High. He’s a former Gatorade High School Player of the Year, and someone to watch.”

On Saturday, Oct. 7, with the Cardinals at home vs. Colby, Whalen notes that the focus will be on celebrating Wesleyan alumni athletes from all decades. This, he adds, is really a particular interest for Head Coach Dan DiCenzo. “We invite alumni to be honorary captains for the game,” says Whalen. “It’s a way to connect the current team with previous players. Our alumni attend practice the night before, have breakfast with the team that morning, and even go on the field for the coin toss to start the game.”

The annual “Salute To Service” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, when Wesleyan faces Bates. “We’re hoping to get even more veterans—alumni and community members—this year, including, of course, Wesleyan’s Posse cohort. We’ll have bagpipes—and possibly a color guard,” Whalen says.

Nov. 4, the Homecoming/Family Weekend Game, vs. Williams, is the final home football game of the 2017 season—and promises an exciting game, playing out the intense rivalry between the Cardinals and the Ephs. Tailgating on Andrus Field— surrounded by both alumni and families new to the Wesleyan community—is a highlight each year for those who cheer “Go, Wes!”

Title IX Policy Committee Updates Processes

Building on the efforts of the previous committee, the 2016-2017 Title IX Policy Committee is busy reviewing and revising important processes, many of which coincided with recommendations made by a Victims Rights Law Center report. As a result:

The 2016-2017 Policy Committee members include:
Tri-Chairs: Chuck Sanislow, Debbie Colucci and Nila Ravi ’18.
Members: Laura Patey, Maureen Isleib, Frank Gramuglia, Sheryl Culotta, Kate Mullen, Kevin Butler and Kate Macken ’19.

ITS Suggests Ways to Keep Data, Computers Safe

Information Technology Services offered these helpful security tips:

To identify phishing and SPAM:

The following are easy and quick phish/SPAM identifiers: poor grammar, run-on sentences, missing or incorrect punctuation, missing signatures, and succinct emails with attachments or links from unknown senders. ITS will never ask you for your credentials (ID and password) nor ask you to verify your credentials by entering them on a webpage.

ITS will tell you how to change your password in your portal. For examples of phishing attempts, see Security > Security Notices in your WesPortal.

ITS will be releasing tutorial videos in your portal during the semester that cover many facets of cyber security. These videos will be followed by helpful quizzes. You may re-watch these videos at any time and as frequently as you like. Look in the Security bucket for the link when it gets published. In addition, there are numerous free options for antivirus software like Sophos, Avast, malwarebytes, to name a few.

Additionally, Wesleyan offers the anti-virus software ESET at no charge to faculty, staff and students. It is available for both Mac/OSX and Windows in the Security > Virus protection section of your WesPortal.

To report malware, phishing email, email security@wesleyan.edu. Sending the original email as an attachment can be helpful as the header information shows how the email arrived at Wesleyan and where it might have originated.

For device recovery in case of loss or theft: Prey software is located at preyproject.com, which enables users to track and find phones, laptops, or tablets – free for up to three devices. It is available for Linux, Android, OSX, iOS, and Windows.

Don’t share your Wesleyan credentials with others. Your Wesleyan account provides access to resources including applications, data, printing, library subscriptions, and more. You don’t want to see your work missing!

Once you login to your portal you can see more security-related information. ITS has policies, information about public computing labs, staff and more.

ITS has a checklist to help keep your computer and data more secure. For more information, email security@wesleyan.edu.

In addition, in an effort to improve access and streamline communication, ITS is moving service.wesleyan.edu into WesPortal. Along with a link to submit a request for a variety of WesITS services, ITS also will have a search box to find answers to common questions. Later, ITS will add a section highlighting recent WesITS blog posts where important updates and security information is posted.