Tag Archive for faculty

Wesleyan Oral History Project Available on WesScholar

The Wesleyan Oral History project features an interview with Bob Rosenbaum.

The Wesleyan Oral History project features an interview with Bob Rosenbaum.

Twelve oral history interviews of Wesleyan community members, including faculty emeriti and administrators, are available at Olin Library. Transcripts and recordings have been deposited in Special Collections and Archives, and Leith Johnson, university archivist, has worked to make the transcripts available on WesScholar.  (A link to the collection of memoirs will also be available from the Wasch Center website.)

The set includes an extensive interview with Bill Firshein, the Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, Emeritus, who passed away in December 2015. In this interview, Firshein related a whole complex of matters having to do with his Wesleyan career—his work as a scientist, his Jewish identity, his relationship with the administration, his colleagues, his hobbies and avocations. Another treasure in the collection is an interview with Bob Rosenbaum, who just completed his 100th birthday celebration in November. Rosenbaum is a University Professor of Sciences and Mathematics, Emeritus. He also served as academic vice president, acting president, and chancellor at Wesleyan.

“Should anyone undertake a history of the last 50 years of Wesleyan, going forward, these oral histories will be invaluable resources,” said Karl Scheibe, director of the Wasch Center. “And if no such history emerges, the oral histories will be even more important for the detail they contain and the perspectives they represent.”

Heather Zavod and Christine Foster, freelance writers who have contributed to Wesleyan magazine, are working on a new set of interviews this year, thanks in part to funding from the Friends of the Wesleyan Library and the library. The new participants are Jelle DeBoer, John Driscoll, Rick Elphick, Dick Buel, Duffy White, and Allan Berlind.

(This article was originally printed in the Spring-Summer edition of Check it Out, a publication from Wesleyan University Libraries and written by Karl Schiebe.)

Morgan Speaks on Laser-Induced Breakdowns at Plasma Physics Conference

Tom Morgan

Tom Morgan

Tom Morgan, Foss Professor of Physics, recently attended the 43rd Institute of Physics U.K. Plasma Physics Conference in Isle of Skye, Scotland. He presented a flash verbal presentation and a poster contribution dealing with the properties of water following focused laser induced breakdown.

After a plasma (a gas of ions and free electrons) is formed in water by laser breakdown, the energy is dissipated through light emission, shockwaves and cavitation bubbles. When the breakdown is close to the surface of the water, surface waves and water ejection from the surface up to heights of 60 cm also occur.

All of these phenomena have been observed in the laboratory at Wesleyan in conjunction with Lutz Huwel, professor of physics, Matt Mei ’18, and international collaborators. Joining the effort from abroad are Professor Tomoyuki Murakami, Seikei University, Tokyo, and Professor Bill Graham, Queen’s University, N. Ireland.

New effects not seen before have been observed, particularly near the surface at the air-water interface. The air-water interface is ubiquitous with applications to biology, environmental studies, chemical analysis and medicine, but its detailed behavior under different conditions is not well understood. The research uses both state of the art computer simulation and experimentation to elucidate the evolutionary dynamics and structure of bulk water and the air-water interface.

“Since the meeting was in Scotland, the researchers though it appropriate to try a liquid other than water and results were reported on whiskey as well,” Morgan said.

5 Tenure-Track Faculty Hired for Fall 2016

Wesleyan recently hired five additional tenure-track faculty who will begin their appointments during the Fall 2016 semester. They join eight other faculty who were hired in February.

The new faculty include:

Joan Cho, assistant professor of East Asian studies. Cho’s BA is from the University of Rochester, and she is completing her dissertation at Harvard, titled “The Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Modernization and Generation Turnover under Authoritarianism.”

Master Drummer Adzenyah Celebrated at Ceremony, Hall Dedication

Wesleyan President Michael Roth, at right, congratulates Abraham Adzenyah for teaching at Wesleyan 46 years and for the naming of the Abraham Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall (formerly the Center for the Arts Rehearsal Hall). A ribbon cutting ceremony took place May 7.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth, at right, congratulates Abraham Adzenyah for teaching at Wesleyan 46 years and for the naming of the Abraham Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall (formerly the Center for the Arts Rehearsal Hall). A ribbon cutting ceremony took place May 7.

On May 7, Master drummer Abraham Adzenyah, adjunct professor of music, emeritus, was honored with a ceremony, farewell concerts, and reunion featuring past and present students (View photo set here). Adzenyah taught West African music, dance and culture at Wesleyan for 46 years and retired in May.

Abraham Adzenyah speaks to the audience.

Abraham Adzenyah speaks to the audience.

During the event, Adzenyah was honored with the naming of the Abraham Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall (formerly the Center for the Arts Rehearsal Hall). This is the first time that a leading U.S. university has named a building after a traditional African musician. In addition, grateful students, alumni and friends have raised more than $225,000 to establish the Abraham Adzenyah Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship.

COE Hosts Community Discussion on Middletown’s Future

On April 26, the College of the Environment hosted a discussion on “Middletown/Mattabesset and the Connecticut River: Past, Present and Future” in the Community Health Center in Middletown. Several Wesleyan staff and faculty attended, along with members of the Middletown community.

On April 26, the College of the Environment hosted a discussion on “Middletown/Mattabesset and the Connecticut River: Past, Present and Future” in the Community Health Center in Middletown. Several Wesleyan staff and faculty attended, along with members of the Middletown community.

Panelist Stephen Devoto, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, is a community activist who is a member of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission.

Panelist Stephen Devoto, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, is a community activist who is a member of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission.

The panelists shared short vision statements on Middletown’s past, present and future and discussed what will and should the Middletown/Mettabesset look like in 50 years. Panelists welcomed questions and comments from the audience.

The panelists shared short vision statements on Middletown’s past, present and future and discussed what will and should the Middletown/Mettabesset look like in 50 years. Panelists welcomed questions and comments from the audience.

William “Vijay” Pinch served as the moderator. Pinch is professor of history, chair and professor of environmental studies. William “Vijay” Pinch served as the moderator. Pinch is professor of history, chair and professor of environmental studies.

William “Vijay” Pinch served as the moderator. Pinch is professor of history, chair and professor of environmental studies.

Other panelists included John Hall, founder and director of the Jonah Center for Earth & Art in Middletown; Erik Hesselberg, president of the Middlesex County Historical Society; Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections for the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn.; and Meg Walker, vice president of Project for Public Spaces in New York, NY.

Other panelists included Meg Walker, vice president of Project for Public Spaces in New York; Erik Hesselberg, president of the Middlesex County Historical Society; Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections for the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn. and John Hall, founder and director of the Jonah Center for Earth & Art in Middletown.

Attendees continued their conversation at a reception following the event. (Photos by Richard Marinelli)

Attendees continued their conversation at a reception following the event. (Photos by Richard Marinelli)

Faculty Learn How to Enhance Their Online Profiles at CFCD Workshop

Through grants, workshops, seminars, publications, and formal and informal discussions, the Center for Faculty Career Development (CFCD) aims to cultivate dialogue among Wesleyan’s faculty and encourage association with faculty members at other academic institutions.

On April 12, about 25 faculty members attended a CFCD workshop titled “Becoming More Visible: Enhance Your Online Profile” in Usdan University Center. The workshop taught faculty ways to become more visible to colleagues, students and non-campus organizations by optimizing their work and presence online through search engine optimization as well as social media.

The workshop was taught by editor Naedine Joy Hazell MALS ’14 and Scott Johnson. Hazell has been editor-in-chief of The Hartford Courant, a three-time judge of the Pulitzer Prizes, editor of Hartford Magazine and New Haven Living and more. Johnson spent 25 years in journalism before moving into rebranding and strategy. Beginning as a graphic artist and designer, he then moved into newspaper redesign. He then moved from newspapers to the Associated Press in New York as director of graphics and visuals and authored the AP visual style guide. He currently works at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Strategy and Innovation Department.

(Photos by Tom Dzimian)
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Slobin Honored for 45 Years at Wesleyan

Mark Slobin, second from left, was celebrated by colleagues, friends and family during a day long conference and concert April 16.

Mark Slobin, second from left, was celebrated by colleagues, friends and family during a day long conference and concert April 16.

Mark Slobin, the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music, was honored April 16 with “Ideas on the Move,” a conference celebrating his career and many accomplishments. Slobin will retire from Wesleyan June 30.

Slobin is an ethnomusicologist who has written extensively on the subject of East European Jewish music and klezmer music, as well as the music of Afghanistan.

The daylong event featured talks by alumni from as far back as 45 years. Topics included “Mark’s Metaphors: Visual Poetics, Pedagogy and Theoretical Clarity;” “ONCE Upon a Time: Mark Slobin’s Experimental Ethnomusicology;” “How Mark Slobin Became an Ethnomusicologist;” and “Growing Up With Mark.” A concert, featuring Irish, Yiddish, Korean and other music, also was held in honor of Professor Slobin in World Music Hall. View a list of all speakers and musicians on this website.

Slobin came to Wesleyan on July 1, 1971. He has been president of the Society for Ethnomusicology, president of the Society for Asian Music, and editor of Asian Music. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Seeger Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award (for lifetime achievement) from the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Curt Leviant Award In Yiddish Studies from the Modern Languages Association (honorable mention). He was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Chosen Voices (1989).

In his blog, President Michael Roth said: “He is at home with all kinds of sounds, and his students (many of whom were present at the conference) work on everything from Mongolian throat singing and African funeral music to hip-hop and klezmer. He’s even written the book on music at Wesleyan.

“Mark spoke briefly at the conference about how Wesleyan has fostered groundbreaking research, practice and teaching in music for a very long time. Thanks to him, and to his colleagues and students, we expect that to continue far into the future.”

The evening concluded with a Javanese Wayang Puppet Play “Arjuna in Meditation,” performed with the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble under the direction of I. M. Harjito and Sumarsam (dhalang) and guest musicians.

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Stanton, Hoggard, Brown: ‘Storied Places’ Unites Dance, Music, Text of Collaborative Cluster

Professor of Dance and Department Chair Nicole Stanton notes that faculty dance concerts play a crucial role in academic life: "For many of us in the dance department, this is our creative research. This how we explore our ideas and passions and how we engage with the world and with critical, cultural, social and political themes."

Associate Professor Nicole Stanton notes that faculty dance concerts play a crucial role in academic life: “For many of us in the dance department, this is our creative research. This how we explore our ideas and passions and how we engage with the world and with critical, cultural, social and political themes.”

On the weekend of April 15-16, the CFA theater was home to the spring faculty dance concert, Storied Places. In addition to the dance, which was choreographed and directed by Chair and Associate Professor of Dance, Associate Professor of African American Studies, and Environmental Studies Nicole Stanton, the performance also featured original compositions and musical direction by Adjunct Professor of Music and African American Studies Jay Hoggard ’76. Adding a further layer of texture was narrative text, written and performed by Chair and Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Professor of English and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Director of the Center for African American Studies Lois Brown.

Additionally, Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy L’Merchie Frazier created visual scenography and design—some based on the photographs that grace the cover of Hoggard’s new two-CD set, Harlem Hieroglyphs.

The collaboration, which featured a host of musicians and dancers—including Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Dante Brown ’09 and Rick Manayan ’17—had begun with Hoggard’s compositions, which were inspired under the theme of “Migrations”—as he thought specifically of the migration his own family had made from the rural South to a new home in Harlem, as well as more generally about the movement of peoples throughout history and how that was illustrated in music, particularly jazz.

Nicole Stanton recalls that she had reached out to Hoggard, at the suggestion of Pam Tatge ’84, MALS ’10, P’16, who was then director of the Center for the Arts.

“I enjoy very much the idea of collaboration and collaboration across disciplines,” Stanton explains. “I’m interested in dance and the total art form that engages a lot of different senses and a lot of different modes of expression.”

Siry Speaks on Energy and Modern Architecture

As part of Wesleyan’s Earth Month celebration, the College of the Environment presented a talk on “Energy and Modern Architecture 1935-2015” April 7. Joe Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and processor of art and art history, led the discussion.

As part of Wesleyan’s Earth Month celebration, the College of the Environment presented a talk on “Energy and Modern Architecture 1935-2015” April 7. Joe Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and processor of art and art history, led the discussion.

Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”

Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”

Siry traced the history of ideas about energy usage in architecture, especially those related to air condition from the era of the Great Depression, to the first efforts of energy conservation after World War II, the redirection of architecture following the energy crises of the 1970s and the contemporary idea of zero-energy buildings.

Siry traced the history of ideas about energy usage in architecture, especially those related to air condition from the era of the Great Depression, to the first efforts of energy conservation after World War II, the redirection of architecture following the energy crises of the 1970s and the contemporary idea of zero-energy buildings.

Wesleyan Hires 8 New Tenure-Track Faculty

On Feb. 2, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce Jacobsen announced that Wesleyan has hired eight new tenure-track faculty in fields including African American studies, sociology and physics, among others. Wesleyan also made a senior hire, which will be announced later this semester after a successful tenure review, Jacobsen said. Nine other faculty searches are ongoing and will hopefully be completed this spring.

“With 18 searches going on, we will likely have a larger than usual group of new faculty coming to campus next fall,” said Jacobsen. “We’re excited to welcome this accomplished and diverse group of scholar-teachers.”

Brief bios of the eight new tenure-track faculty follow:

Abigail Boggs, assistant professor of sociology, is a Wesleyan alumna whose PhD thesis from University of California – Davis is titled “Prospective Students, Potential Threats: The Figure of the International Student in U.S. Higher Education.” Her work crosses the boundaries of feminist studies, popular culture, queer studies, and transnational studies. Her first book manuscript, “American Futures: International Studies and the Global U.S. University” is currently under review.

Basinger Praised as Iconic Film Professor in The Hollywood Reporter

Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies

Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies (Photo credit: Smallz + Raskind)

Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, was recently featured in a Hollywood Reporter article “The Professor of Hollywood,” by film historian and best-selling author Sam Wasson ’03, who studied with Basinger at Wesleyan. The magazine brought together 33 of her former pupils who work prominently in the film industry for “an A-list class reunion” photo—and several of them talk about how Basinger inspired them, encouraging their self-expression while also sharing with them her love for the medium.

In the article, Basinger discusses how and why she came to devote her life to the study of film and how working as an usher in a movie theater, watching the same film over and over, helped her to understand the filmmaking process—and gave her the foundation for her future as a film scholar at a time when there were no film schools. In 1960 she began work in the advertising department at a scholastic publisher on the Wesleyan campus, but within a decade, she began teaching at the University some of first film study classes in America.