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Steve ScarpaNovember 28, 20225min
The first time Anna Shusterman walked into a classroom of Wesleyan undergraduates teaching math games to preschoolers a decade ago, she was surprised by what she saw – happy and deep engagement all around. The students – all of them – were on to something. “They were incredible. I had no idea how good they were,” said Shusterman, associate professor of psychology and co-chair of the College of Education Studies. Between the joyful (and productive) little ones and the thoughtful efforts of the Wesleyan students, Shusterman realized that there was a need that could be filled. “It turned out to…

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Editorial StaffNovember 7, 202211min
Updated November 28, 2022 Lin-Manuel Miranda '02 is the top Hot 100 Songwriter of 2022. Eight of the songs he wrote for the Disney film Encanto landed on the Billboard charts. Assistant Professor of the Practice in African American Studies Jesse Nasta '07 participated in a Veteran’s Day ceremony recognizing the service of Jesse Sips Caples of Middletown, an African American Revolutionary War veteran. Wesleyan University is cited by the New York Times as one of the reasons Middletown is a desirable place to live in a tight job market. Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation professor of Economics and Environmental…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 20, 20224min
A recent paper co-authored by Anna Shusterman, professor of psychology, shows that for deaf and hard of hearing children, immediate access to language is needed to develop abstract concepts, like numeracy. “Language is important in its own right, but it also serves as the foundation for many other domains, including social and cognitive development,” Shusterman wrote. Shusterman’s study was published in the June issue of the journal Child Development. Shusterman and her colleagues, Rebecca Peretz-Lange ’13 of SUNY Purchase (who wrote her senior thesis on the project), Talia Berkowitz of University of Chicago, and Emily Carrigan of University of North…

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Olivia DrakeJune 13, 202218min
While most universities value either pedagogy or scholarship, Associate Professor of Biology Joseph Coolon appreciates how—at Wesleyan—both are celebrated concurrently. "Wes is a truly unique place," he said. "Wesleyan faculty aim to be true scholar-teachers with each benefiting the other synergistically." Coolon, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor of both biology and integrative sciences, has since co-authored 13 articles on ecological and evolutionary genomics in peer-reviewed publications such as G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics; Developmental Biology; and Insect Molecular Biology. Ten of these papers were co-authored by both his graduate and undergraduate students. Together, they…

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Rachel Wachman '24February 17, 20222min
Royette Tavernier Dubar, assistant professor of psychology and director of the on-campus Sleep and Psychosocial Adjustment Laboratory, recently authored a commentary called “#NoJusticeNoSleep: Critical intersections of race-ethnicity, income, education, and social determinants in sleep health disparities,” published in Sleep Health on Feb. 1. Dubar’s work in #NoJusticeNoSleep examines the link between racial, ethnic, and socio-economic factors relating to inequality and how well people sleep. Her commentary uses the COVID-19 pandemic as a launching point for further exposing inequality in the United States and bringing it to the forefront of public discourse through social movements, with a new emphasis on health.…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 3, 20226min
A recent Wesleyan study showed that seeking out social media for emotional succor during COVID-19 did not improve emotional well-being among emerging adult college students. The study, conducted by Royette Dubar, assistant professor of psychology; Nicole Watkins, postdoctoral fellow in psychology; and psychology major Grant Hill '20, MA '21 asked more than 600 emerging adults in college (18-to-29-year-olds) across the U.S. to complete two online surveys over a five-month period at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID has had significant implications for how we interact with other people and how we think about our well-being. What we are trying to understand…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 9, 20216min
Wesleyan President Michael Roth '78 participated in a Newsweek podcast debate titled "Is Higher Education Broken?" "I think the idea that only rich people should be able to experience the benefits of learning—whether that's about math and science, or whether it's about literature and philosophy—that's a huge mistake. (Aug. 31) President Roth also wrote a book review of Allan V. Horowitz's A History of Psychiatry's Bible for The Washington Post. "In this history ... Horwitz emphasizes the social construction of scientific concepts. This account underscores the economic incentives in play as psychiatrists tried to reach consensus on how to describe…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 24, 20213min
At first glance, a viewer sees a single image of pink-tinted cubes, resembling a bacteria culture from high school biology. But upon closer examination, the viewer begins to see a series of other shapes—triangles to hexahedrons to tetahexahedraons (cubes with four-sided pyramids on each face). "If you stare at this image for a while, you can see that it's actually a series of five images in the top row, and five images on the bottom row, and each of these images show us nanoparticles that are made of gold and copper," said Brian Northrop, professor of chemistry. "It's intriguing, captivating,…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 16, 20214min
Wesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. A sampling of recent media hits is below: In The Washington Post, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy Lori Gruen is quoted in a story about neutering. In her early career, Gruen, who specializes in animal ethics, worked in shelters where she witnessed "perfectly healthy dogs destroyed" and the toll it took on employees. “The overpopulation issue sounds abstract,” she said. “But these are dogs whose lives end and the people who have to bring those…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 15, 20214min
So long are the days of slipping out the back door of a party to avoid confrontation with a date gone bad. Through social media, one can easily "ghost"— that is, cut off all communication without giving a reason. In a new qualitative study titled "Disappearing in the Age of Hypervisibility: Definition, Context, and Perceived Psychological Consequences of Social Media Ghosting," lead researcher Royette Dubar, assistant professor of psychology, and her former master's student Jhanelle Oneika Thomas '18, MA '19 investigated both the motives and psychological consequences of the act of ghosting. Dubar and Thomas discovered that this modern-age disappearing…

Olivia DrakeJune 16, 20214min
Thirteen Wesleyan faculty are rated among the top 1% most-cited researchers worldwide, according to a recent study by PLOS Biology. The study, led by Professor John Ioannidis from Stanford University, combines several different metrics to systematically rank the most influential scientists as measured by citations. More than six million scientists, who were actively working between 1996 and 2018, were analyzed for the project. The faculty include: David Beveridge, Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, emeritus Fred Cohan, Huffington Foundation Professor in the College of the Environment, professor of biology Mark Hovey, professor of mathematics, associate provost for…

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Editorial StaffMay 26, 20213min
Every spring, Wesleyan recognizes outstanding teaching with three Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the University’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education. Recommendations are solicited from alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, as well as current juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee of faculty and members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee. This year, Wesleyan honors the following faculty members for their excellence in teaching:…