Tag Archive for employees

Wynn Named Vice President for Communications

Renell Wynn is Wesleyan’s new vice president for communications.

Renell Wynn has been hired as Wesleyan’s new vice president for communications, President Michael Roth ’78 announced in a campus email on Sept. 27. She will start on Oct. 21.

Roth shared Wynn’s “deep experience in higher education communications and marketing,” with leadership positions at the University of Denver, George Mason University, and The College of William & Mary, among others.

“In these positions, she has led efforts to elevate institutional reputation, played a critical role in successful fundraising campaigns, and served as a trusted senior advisor. Renell is skilled at developing productive working relationships with diverse populations and using skillful storytelling to advance strategic priorities. She brings a strong record of strategic, data-based thinking, creative energy, and dynamic leadership,” he wrote.

Gonzalez ’96 Named Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

Amin Gonzalez

Amin Gonzalez. (Photo by Adrienne Battistella)

Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez ’96 has been hired as Wesleyan’s new vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, President Michael Roth announced in an email to campus on July 17. He will begin in August.

Gonzalez, who was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and earned his bachelor’s degree in history at Wesleyan, previously worked in the University’s Office of Admission as an associate dean in the late 1990s and 2000s. In this role, he selected, trained, and supervised the senior interviewers; coordinated the University’s fall Ambassador Program and supported spring yield efforts; served on the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and University Scholarship selection committees; and worked with the QuestBridge partnership team.

“Since Wesleyan is both where I learned to think critically as an undergrad and got my start in the admission field two decades ago, I’m incredibly excited and honored to serve as its next dean of admission and financial aid,” said Gonzalez. “I look forward to collaborating closely with members of my team, senior administrators, faculty, current students, alumni, and community partners to ensure Wes continues to attract, enroll, and graduate some of the most exceptionally talented, socially conscious, and dynamically diverse students from across the country and around the globe.”

Williams ’81 Named Vice President for Equity & Inclusion

Alison Williams ’81

Alison Williams ’81

Alison Williams ’81 has been hired as Wesleyan’s new vice president for equity and inclusion/Title IX Officer, President Michael Roth announced in a campus email on March 26. Williams, who earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Wes and later served as an alumni-elected trustee in the 1990s, will begin on July 22.

She is currently the associate provost for diversity and intercultural education at Denison University. There, she is responsible for directing and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives across all sectors of the University, with a focus on faculty recruitment and retention and inclusive pedagogies. She also supports Title IX work at Denison, and has helped to increase consciousness on that campus about sexual violence and encourage reporting.

Previously, Williams worked as the associate dean of academic diversity and director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Oberlin College. Prior to becoming an administrator, she worked as a chemistry faculty member for 24 years at several institutions, including at Wesleyan from 1997-99. On the national level, she serves on the steering committee of the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, and is a member of the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Consortium.

Outside of work, Williams is a mom to two teenage children, a semi-professional oboist, and a die-hard fan of Cleveland and Ohio State sports teams.

In the email, Roth thanked the faculty and staff who worked to fill the role, and especially thanked Debbie Colucci for her service over the past several months.

“Debbie will continue in this interim role through June 30, and Alison and I look forward to her continued and valued contributions as Equity Compliance Director and Deputy Title IX Coordinator,” he wrote.

Faculty, Staff Earn Cardinal Achievement Awards

Cardinal Achievement Award winners were celebrated at a luncheon with President Michael Roth on May 14.

Cardinal Achievement Award winners were celebrated at a luncheon with President Michael Roth on May 14.

The following employees received Cardinal Achievement Awards in September 2018 through February 2019. These employees demonstrate extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with their work at Wesleyan University. This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for their extra efforts.

The recipients are:

Hrissi Haldezos, associate director of student accounts, Student Accounts Office
Gina Driscoll, associate director of alumni and parent relations, University Relations
Noreen Angeletti, associate director, Student Accounts Office
Robert Mirabal, director of student accounts, Student Accounts Office
Penney Jade Beaubrun, assistant director for alumni and parent relations, University Relations
Mary Kelly, senior associate director, Continuing Studies
Jenna Starr, assistant director of alumni and parent relations, University Relations
Cathy Race, administrative assistant, Psychology Department
Tina Frazer, administrative assistant, Continuing Studies
Robert Spignesi, area coordinator, Residential Life
William Ollayos, area coordinator, Residential Life
Jennifer Collingwood, administrative assistant, Center for Global Studies

Williams ’99 Tapped as Incoming VP, University Relations

Frantz Williams Jr. ’99, a 19-year veteran of University Relations, will succeed Barbara-Jan Wilson as vice president for University Relations when Wilson retires at the end of 2018. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

Frantz Williams Jr. ’99 has been named the successor to Vice President for University Relations Barbara-Jan Wilson, who has announced her upcoming retirement at the end of December 2018. A government major as an undergraduate, Williams joined the University Relations team right after his graduation and has continued to serve the University, most recently as assistant vice president for development.

“We’re fortunate that Frantz will lead University Relations,” said President Michael S. Roth ’78. “He is eminently well prepared to continue Barbara-Jan’s legacy of immensely successful fund-raising and friend-raising, and I am grateful that he will be at the helm when we launch Wesleyan’s next campaign.”

“Wesleyan has a strong, dedicated leader in Frantz,” said Wilson. “A loyal alumnus, he is a mentor to students and staff and alumni alike. His warmth, his care for the University and all of its people shine through in everything he does.”

Williams’s family was from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, moving to the States when Frantz, the third of four children, was 9: “In January 1986, on a very cold day, we landed at JFK airport, never having seen snow, and speaking only Creole—that was our start,” he recalls. “I entered the fourth grade, taking ESL courses, and trying to catch up with my classmates. It has been a journey.”

In a Q&A with the Connection, Williams traces his route to Wesleyan, talks about the mission that has kept him here, and reflects on what continues to engage him in Wesleyan’s future.

Vice President Barbara-Jan Wilson to Retire in December

Barbara-Jan Wilson (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Vice President Barbara-Jan Wilson will retire this year. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, recently announced that she will retire in December, ending a Wesleyan career that began in 1982 and included leadership of two major capital campaigns.

Wilson assumed her present role in 1999, but she is also well known to generations of alumni through her prior leadership of Admission and before that, Career Resources – the position she took when she was hired by President Emeritus Colin G. Campbell Hon. ’89.

Her efforts as Wesleyan’s energetic and highly successful fundraiser spanned two presidents and four Board chairs. She worked with President Emeritus Douglas J. Bennet ’59, Hon ’94, P’87, ’94 on a campaign that raised $281 million and more recently with President Michael S. Roth ’78 on the $482 million THIS IS WHY campaign. In announcing Wilson’s plans to the campus community, Roth said her leadership had made an enduring contribution toward establishing a sustainable economic model for Wesleyan and has greatly strengthened Wesleyan’s endowment.

Bello Balances CAAS Support and Mayoral Responsibilities

In this Q&A, we speak with Amy Bello, administrative assistant for the Center for African American Studies and newly elected mayor of the Town of Wethersfield.

Q: How long have you been at Wesleyan?

A: Five years. I started in November 2012 as a temp at the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.

Q: What do you do here now?

A: I work as an administrative assistant for the Center for African American Studies (CAAS), the African American Studies Program (AFAM) and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF). I have a beautiful office on High Street and am lucky to be working with vibrant, engaging faculty, staff and students.

Q: What do you like best about working at Wesleyan? 

A: I love the energetic, intelligent people I work with—both students and faculty. Their breadth and depth of knowledge is amazing. I also enjoy seeing the world from another perspective, which only enhances my vision.

Basinger Speaks to Staff about Film Studies, Musicals

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, spoke on her latest work during a luncheon for staff, Nov. 28 in Daniel Family Commons. Basinger, who has been employed at Wesleyan for 58 years, recently completed her 12th book manuscript with a working title of Musicals: History and Definition. The book tells the history of the musical and defines the genre.

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, spoke on her latest work during the Staff Luncheon Series Nov. 28 in Daniel Family Commons. Basinger, who has been employed at Wesleyan for 58 years, recently completed her 12th book manuscript with a working title of “Musicals: History and Definition.” The book tells the history of the musical and defines the genre. Basinger, who’s collected film memorabilia her entire life, said film studies is a relatively new field of study. “Film was officially born in 1895, it wasn’t until the 1960s that it began to become an academic field. Wesleyan was one of the pioneers; we were one of the first universities (in the country) to add it to our curriculum.”

Carpooling Matching Event Feb. 20

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 jkleindienst@wesleyan.edu with any questions.

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,

Faculty, Staff Mingle, Play Games at Ice Cream Social

On June 12, the Office of Human Resources hosted the third annual Faculty and Staff Ice Cream Social on Andrus Field and the Huss Courtyard.

“This event provides us with the opportunity to enjoy a fun afternoon with colleagues and a way for all of us to kick off the summer months,” said Julia Hicks, chief human resources officer.

In addition to ice cream and sorbet, Wesleyan employees enjoyed popcorn and pretzel snacks, live entertainment with DJ Mario Torres (also a material handler in Physical Plant), raffle prizes, a tie dye t-shirt station, bingo, water balloon toss, volleyball, a block-stacking game, bean bag toss, dancing and more. Employees were encouraged to wear their tie dye t-shirts to work on June 16.

Photos of the event are below: (Event photos by Olivia Drake and aerial photo by John Wareham)

Employees Recognized for Service to Wesleyan

The Office of Human Resources hosted its annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon Oct. 18 in Beckham Hall. All employees who are celebrating their 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th year working at Wesleyan were honored at the lunch by President Michael Roth. The event concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting and a Wesleyan and world trivia game.

Those recognized included: Catherine Race, Psychology Department, 35 years; Simon Bostick, Public Safety, 35 years; Edward Manter, Physical Plant – Facilities, 35 years; Sandra Frimel, Health Services, 30 years; Chuth Prith, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Dawn Astin Lowe, University Relations, 30 years; and Paul DiSanto, University Relations, 30 years.

Also Meg Zocco, University Relations, 30 years; Mark Melmer, Wesleyan Station, 30 years; Michael Conte, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Jeffrey Sweet, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Jody Viswanathan, Olin Memorial Library, 25 years; Jennifer Hadley, Olin Memorial Library, 25 years; and Kim Krueger, Physical Plant – Facilities, 25 years.

Also, John Elmore, Center for the Arts, 20 years; Francis Marsilli, Usdan University Center, 20 years; Karen O’Leary, Office of Admission, 20 years; Scott Michael, Cardinal Technology Center, 20 years; Sun Chyung, Finance and Administration, 20 years; and Lisa LaPlant, President’s Office, 20 years.

Photos of the luncheon celebration are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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