Tag Archive for student achievements

Khan ’12 to Present Research Poster at Psychological Convention

Tasmiha Khan ’12 will present the poster “Responses to Group Devaluation among American-Muslims” at the 2012 Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, May 24 – 27 in Chicago, Ill. In this poster, Khan will present results with her ongoing research with Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, assistant professor of psychology, on how American Muslims feel about negative societal images of their group. Khan has been working in Rodriguez Mosquera’s Culture and Emotion Lab since 2009 where she is also involved in another research project on the meaning of honor among South Asian women.

Wilkerson ’12, Williams ’12 Receive Teaching Education Fellowships

Nearly half of the nation’s students – 44 percent – are students of color, but only one of every six teachers is a teacher of color. To help recruit, support and retain individuals of color as K-12 public school teachers, the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color offers scholarships to to ensure that greater numbers of highly qualified teachers of color enter public school classrooms around the country.

Randyl Wilkerson '12

This year, the Fund awarded fellowships to two Wesleyan seniors: Randyl Wilkerson ’12 and Nastassia Williams ’12.

Wilkerson, an English major, and Williams, an African American Studies major, were chosen through a competitive selection process. They will each receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education, preparation to teach in a high-need public school, support throughout a three-year teaching commitment, and guidance toward teaching certification.

Wilkerson, of Chicago, Ill., is a member of Wesleyan’s AIDS Sexual Health Awareness Group and is the university’s campus campaign coordinator for Teach for America. She also volunteers as a sexual education teacher for Connecticut high school students. Wilkerson is a poet with a published collection, Astrobiology. She is a member of the Wesleyan Poetry Slam Team and is a winner of the Best Persona Piece Award, National Poetry Slam. She’s minoring in American Studies.

Wilkerson will use her fellowship to attend graduate school through the Boston Teacher Residency, and receive a M.A. in education.

“After I get my master’s, I want to teach in Boston Public Schools for a few years to understand how best to serve inner city youth today,” she says. “But ultimately, I want to start an enrichment program teaching youth to think and write critically, while empowering them through acts of creativity. I want to help public school students develop their own voices and gain a sense of agency.”

Nastassia Williams '12

Williams, of the Bronx, N.Y., works as a tutor for Middletown’s Traverse Square, an organization for elementary students. She also is a SAT tutor with the Let’s Get Ready program and is currently learning how to deejay. She’s minoring in English.

Williams has already applied to the Bard College Master of Arts Teaching Program, the Boston Teacher Residency and the Newark-Montclair Urban Teaching Residency.

“I’d like to earn a master’s degree in teaching and probably teach English at the middle school or high school level,” she says. “And with the fellowship, I will complete the program and continue to work in a public school in an urban or rural high-needs area.”

Current trends indicate that by the year 2020, the percentage of teachers of color will fall to an all-time low of five percent of the total teacher force, while the percentage of students of color in the K-12 system will likely near 50 percent. This Fellowship offers an opportunity to ensure that greater numbers of highly qualified teachers of color enter public school classrooms around the country.


Khan ’12 Awarded Movement One to One Fellowship

In Bangladesh, more than 100,000 children die every year of intestinal diseases. About 31 million people are without access to safe drinking water and 99.9 million people lack proper sanitation. About 80 percent of the wells in more than 8,000 villages are contaminated.

Tasmiha Khan ’12, founder of the Wesleyan chapter of Brighter Dawns, has spent the past four years determined to help sanitary and living conditions in a slum in Khalishpur, Khulna. Through fund-raising, partnering with NGOs and grant applications, the Wesleyan chapter has teamed up with other Brighter Dawns chapters in the country to distribute more than 1,000 sanitary kits, teach lessons on proper hygiene and install 15 tube wells and 20 latrines in the slum.

Brighter Dawns also trained local women and provided them with stipends to help maintain the infrastructure and conduct seminars in conjunction with health officials and physicians.

As a newly-awarded 2012 Movement One to One Fellow (Movement 121), Khan will have the opportunity to participate in a six-month online, collaborative experience to enhance Brighter Dawns’ success from Feb. 1 to Aug. 1. Movement 121 enables fellows to discover their true strengths,

Video Feature on Theater Major Sarah Wolfe ’12

Sarah Wolfe ’12 is a theater major with a concentration in acting. She aspires to teach middle and high school students about the potential of live theater to make a difference in the lives of others. Learn more about Sarah in the video below:

YouTube Preview Image

13 Seniors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

President Michael Roth welcomed 13 students (12 pictured) to Wesleyan's Phi Beta Kappa Dec. 7.

Thirteen seniors joined the U.S.’s ninth oldest Phi Beta Kappa chapter during an induction ceremony Dec. 7.

President Roth and Professor Gary Yohe congratulate Rachel Merzel '12 for being elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Election to the society is based on fulfillment of eligibility requirements. For students elected in the fall, admittance is based on a student’s performance at Wesleyan only through their junior year. A student first must have been nominated by his or her major department. He or she also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations, and have achieved a grade point average of 93.00 or above.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776, during the American Revolution. The organization’s Greek initials signify the motto, “Love of learning is the guide of life.”

The students and their majors are: Brittany Laine Baldwin-Hunter, biology; Alicia Doo Castagno, American studies; Ali Khalid Chaudhry, economics/mathematics and computer science; Lee Solomon Gottesdiener, chemistry/neuroscience and behavior; Zin Lin, mathematics and computer science/physics; Cassidy Siegel Mellin, neuroscience and behavior/psychology; and Rachel Leah Merzel, chemistry.

Also Emma Kathryn Mohney, English/romance languages and literatures; Emma Elaine Paine; English; Reed Leon Sarney, mathematics and computer science; Allegra Stout, feminist, gender and sexuality studies/psychology; Brianna Megan van Kan, College of Letters/music/Russian languages and literature; and Kathryn Emily Wagner, biology/molecular biology and biochemistry.

Chapter President Gary Yohe,

Odede ’12, Alumni Participate in Echoing Green Conference

nsky '96; Kennedy Odede '12; Jessica Posner '09; Bonnie Oliva '04; and Shivani Siroy '04.

Echoing Green attendees included, from left, Lara Galinsky '96; Kennedy Odede '12; Jessica Posner '09; Bonnie Oliva '04; and Shivani Siroy '04.

One Wesleyan student and four alumni participated in the Echoing Green Conference Nov. 17 in San Francisco, Calif. Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. The organization also remains committed to very early stage support of new and untested ideas in the hands of visionary social entrepreneurs.

Participants included Lara Galinsky ’96, senior vice president of Echoing Green; Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09 from Shining Hope for Communities; and Bonnie Oliva ’04 and Shivani Siroy ’04 from Inveture Fund.

Lara Galinsky, who sits on the advisory board of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan, is featured in an Echoing Green bio online here.

Levenson ’12 Nominated for Making a Difference by Jewish Daily Forward

Rachel Levenson '12 (Photo by Bill Tyner '13)

Rachel Levenson ’12 was featured in the Nov. 7 Jewish Daily Forward as one of “10 Young Jews, Making a Difference.” In September, the Forward asked readers to nominate Jews, age 21 and younger, who are working to make a difference locally or globally. Levenson made the list for her efforts studying money-lending practices in Africa.

“When I was part of the Jewish Community Teen Foundations, I was really drawn to… this question of, with limited resources, how do you maximize your effectiveness,” she says in the article.

Her research became part of a larger project led by schools — including Yale and Harvard universities — gathering data on informal money-lending across developing countries.“By understanding this other piece of the puzzle, organizations can make their financial services more effective,” she said in the article.

Levenson is currently applying to jobs in sub-Saharan Africa that will allow her to continue development work.

The “Making a Difference” article is online here.

11 Students from 11 Countries Join Freeman Scholars Cohort

The Class of 2015 Freeman Scholars.

The Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholars Program welcomed 11 new students to the program during a Freeman Scholars Dinner Oct. 6.

The program enables qualified young men and women from each of 11 countries or regions – The People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam to come to Wesleyan on full tuition scholarships.

“I am fortunate to work with the Freeman Asian Scholars Association; so many are friends. I love their energy, good spirit and their wonderful creativity and culture they inject into the community,” says Gina Driscoll, associate director of development events.

This program is made possible by Wesleyan University and the Freeman Foundation, which aims to improve understanding and to strengthen ties between the United States and the countries of the Pacific Rim. Entry into the Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholars Program is highly competitive: only one student is selected annually from each country.

The Freeman Foundation, led by the late Houghton Freeman ’43, his wife Doreen, and their son Graeme Freeman ’77, launched  the program in 1995.

The 2011-12 cohort includes Tong Satayopas of Thailand; Dat Vu of Vietnam; Kehan Zhou of China; Kaito Abe of Japan; Marianna Ilagan of the Philippines; Rizky Rahadianto of Indonesia; Chun Kit Ng of Malaysia; Inha Cho of the Republic of Korea; Michael Leung of Hong Kong; Jill Jie’en Tan of Singapore and Yun-Hsuan Lai of Taiwan.

The new Freeman Scholars joined the Classes of 2014, 2013 and 2012 scholars during the Freeman Scholars Dinner Oct. 6. The group sung the Wesleyan Fight Song and shouted, "Go Wes!" (Photos by Charlotte Christopher '12)


Malamut ’12 Published in Astronomy Journals

Craig Malamut ’12 helped photograph the Easter Island solar eclipse July 11 as a participant of the Williams College Eclipse Expedition. The composite image brings out the correlation of structures in the sun’s inner and outer corona.

Craig Malamut ’12 is the primary author of “High-Resolution Imaging of the 2010 Total Solar Eclipse at Easter Island,” which will be published in the Coronal Courant, an on-line journal for students maintained by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The article describes some results from experiments done during the 2010 total solar eclipse, for which he traveled to Easter Island.

Malamut is also a co-author of  “Structure and Dynamics of the 2010 Jully 11 Eclipse White-Light Corona,” which was published by The Astrophysical Journal in its June 20 issue.

Malamut was supported by the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium’s REU program which is funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant to Wesleyan.

Craig Malamut '12

Read more about Malamut’s efforts photographing the eclipse in this Wesleyan Connection article.

Physics Faculty, Students Published in Physical Review

A paper written by two faculty members and three undergraduates was published in the American Physical Society’s Physical Review A, Volume 84, on Oct. 13.  Their paper was one of six highlighted in the publication’s Physics Focus and This Week in Physics. The paper is titled “Experimental study of active LRC circuits with PT symmetries.”

The authors include Tsampikos Kottos, associate professor of physics; Fred Ellis, professor of physics, Joseph Schindler ’12, Ang Li ’13 and Mei Zheng ’10.

The abstract of the paper is online here.

Daniels ’13 Introduces Costa Rican Youth to Lacrosse

Emma Daniels ’13, in center, spent six weeks this summer teaching kids about the sport of lacrosse.

Most Wesleyan student-athletes spend their summers training for the upcoming season, but this past July, women’s lacrosse standout Emma Daniels ’13 took it a step further. Daniels, a College of Letters major, was one of 28 students selected for Beyond Study Abroad, a program that “aims to connect the world through sports,” according to its mission statement. She spent six weeks in Costa Rica taking courses, training and introducing local youths to the sport of lacrosse.

Daniel, pictured in back, was one of 28 students selected for Beyond Study Abroad, a program that “aims to connect the world through sports."

“I went down because I had to go abroad for COL, and summer was the only option because I wanted it to be a service trip,” Daniels explains. “I’ve always loved to coach. I think the values that lacrosse instills—its discipline, its teamwork, being able to communicate with your teammates—those values transcend the field. Coaching is not so much about teaching a new sport