Tag Archive for student achievements

Brighter Dawns Receives Davis Project for Peace Grant

Wesleyan’s student organization Brighter Dawns received a Davis United World College Project for Peace grant worth $10,000. The funds will support Brighter Dawns’ “Water Sanitation Project” in Khalishpur, Bangladesh for eight weeks this summer.

Tasmiha Khan ’12 and possibly Rajeeta Iyer ’12 will oversee the project, which will include building tube wells, latrines and providing health seminars and jobs for women in one of the poorest slums in Khalishpur.


Watson Fellows Awarded Year Abroad for Independent Study

At left, Zully Adler and Davy Knittle received 2011-12 Thomas J. Watson Fellowships.

Zully Adler ’11 hopes to document cassette culture in five countries while Davy Knittle ’11 aims to explore the relationship between public space and location-based identity in three major cities.

As 2011-12 Thomas J. Watson Fellows, Adler and Knittle will have one year to travel outside the United States for an independent study. Each student receives a $25,000 stipend, which is funded by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.

The Wesleyan students were among 148 finalists nominated this year to compete on the national level. Of those, only 40 were selected for a fellowship.

Adler, a history major focusing on European history, will travel to Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, Belgium and Sweden for his project titled, “Redubbing the World: Cassette Culture and the Power of DIY Production.”

Adler’s interest in cassette culture stems from running the student radio station in high school, where he hosted local musicians from the Los Angeles area. He observed that most musicians used cheap and recyclable cassette tapes to distribute their own releases and trade music with others.

Wesleyan Raises $46,500 for American Cancer Society

More than 400 Wesleyan students, staff and friends participated in Relay for Life April 8 on Andrus Field. The event gives communities a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Pictured is the event’s registration table, set up near Usdan’s Huss Courtyard.

Planned Parenthood Awards Students for “I Have Sex” Video

Planned Parenthood presented Wesleyan Uncut, a student group that promotes sexual dialogue on campus, with this year’s prestigious “Walk the Talk” award at their annual gala in Washington D.C. April 7. The students created a video titled “I Have Sex,” to speak out against an ideological attack against Planned Parenthood.

Uncut members Jacob Eichengreen ’13, Su Park ’12, Melanie Hsu ’13, Katya Botwinick ’13 and Laura Lupton ’12 attended the ceremony. Planned Parenthood funded their travel expenses to D.C.

Wesleyan Uncut conceptualized the film with filmmakers Eric Byler ’94 and Annabel Park.

The video has more than 286,000 views on YouTube and more than 825 followers on Facebook. The video is featured below:

YouTube Preview Image.

Gibson ’10, Nam ’11, Hoyos ’11 Honored by NSF

Two psychology seniors and a recent alumnus were recognized in the National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship competition.

Dominic Gibson ’10 was awarded a fellowship, and Hannah Nam ’08 and Christian Hoyos ’11 received Honorable Mentions. Gibson will be attending the University of Chicago and Hoyos will attend Northwestern next year. Nam is currently in a social psychology Ph.D. program at New York University.

Chaudhry ’12, Akbar ’12 Attend Model United Nations Conference

At left, Kumail Akbar ’12 and Ali Chaudhry ‘12 stand outside the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland where they participated in the Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference March 12-18.

Ali Chaudhry ’12 and Kumail Akbar ’12 participated in the Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference March 12-18. Chaudhry and Akbar currently serve as co-presidents for the Wesleyan Model United Nations Society.

The conference took place at the “Palais des Nations,” the United Nations Office at Geneva (previously the Headquarters of the League of Nations). Meetings were held in rooms used by United Nation committees with journalists and interpreters in attendance.  The students dined in the UN cafeteria.

“It felt like we were living the life of a diplomat,” Chaudhry says. “We were walking around conducting negotiations and overseeing resolution writing, while having lunch with real diplomats.”

Chaudhry served as the chairperson of the Historical Security Council and Akbar

Ruberg ’12, Vitale ’11, Wagner ’12 Create Software for Human Rights Workers

Computer science majors Jeff Ruberg ’12, Michael Vitale ’11 and Katie Wagner ’12 participated in the Humanitarian Fee and Open Source Software Project summer internship program.

For their project, they worked on software that is part of the Tor network. Tor is software that allows users to browse the web anonymously, and is used by human rights workers, individuals in repressive regimes, and people who just don’t want corporations tracking their on-line movements. It is implemented as a world-wide network of “relays” that are run by volunteers on anything ranging from academic servers to home computers.

Ruberg, Vitale and Wagner completely re-designed and re-implemented Tor Weather, an application that allows Tor relay operators to sign up to be notified of important events on their relays. Their software has now gone live, and is an important component of the Tor Project.

“Congratulations to these students on a  job well-done and on writing software that is helping to make a difference in people’s lives,” says Norman Danner, associate professor of computer science.

Johnson ’11 Honored for Exoplanet Research

Marshall Johnson '11 presented his research poster at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting, Jan. 10-13 in Seattle, Wash. The AAS awarded Johnson with the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award.

Marshall Johnson '11 presented his research poster at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting, Jan. 10-13 in Seattle, Wash. The AAS awarded Johnson with the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award.

Marshall Johnson’s research is out of this world.

For the past two years, the senior astronomy major used the Van Vleck Observatory’s 24-inch Perkin Telescope to study the transits of “exoplanets,” or planets outside our solar system, that orbit another star.

His study, titled “First Results from the Wesleyan Transiting Exoplanet Program,” explains a refined orbital period of a newly-discovered planet named WASP-33b (Wide Angle Search for Planets). Ultimately, Johnson may prove that he’s discovered another planet, WASP-33c.

“Here in Connecticut, with clouds and haze, we don’t have the best observing conditions, but I was still able to obtain high-quality data using our modest-sized telescope,” Johnson says. “The most interesting result, which is still tentative, is that I am seeing transit timing variations in one target. This could be due to an additional planet in the system.”

For his efforts, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) awarded Johnson a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award, which “recognizes exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students.” Awardees are honored with a Chambliss medal

Cottier ’12 Experiences Cities Across the Globe

Charlotte Cottier ’12, at right, bikes through rice paddies in Mai Chau, Vietnam during the Cities in the 21st Century Program in December. Cottier spent 17 weeks studying the development of the world’s cities.

During the fall semester, Charlotte Cottier ’12 set a lofty goal: “I wanted to pop the Wesleyan bubble and become a citizen of the world,” she says. “I wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but I knew that growth, challenge, and change would be necessary.”

Cottier applied for the Cities in the 21st Century Program, coordinated through the International Honors Program (IHP). For 17 weeks, she and fellow student scholars had the opportunity to examine how the structure of a city enhances or impedes growth on a world-wide tour. She observed the effects of urban sprawl in Brazil, witnessed revitalization in Detroit and studied how wealth has influenced society in Vietnam.

“Students on the program examine the intentional and natural forces that guide the development of the world’s cities,” explains Erin Deegan, university relations manager at IHP. “It combines an innovative urban studies academic curriculum with fieldwork involving public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs and grassroots groups in important world cities where exciting changes are taking place.”

Cottier’s journey began last August with a two-week stint in Detroit, Mich., a city known for its devastation and rebirth. She observed how “incredible” community organizing and social entrepreneurship can thrive amongst inefficient leadership,

Phi Beta Kappa Welcomes 15 Seniors

The Gamma chapter of Phi Beta Kappa welcomed 15 seniors into the honor society Dec. 8 at the Office of Admission. The honorees are pictured above (two were absent).

Fifteen graduating seniors were elected into the Gamma chapter of Phi Beta Kappa during a ceremony Dec. 8. PBK is the nation’s oldest academic honor society.

Students elected to the society must have completed Stage I and II of the General Education Expectations by the end of the junior year and have a grade point average of 93 or above.

Playwright Will Dubbs ’14 Makes An Off-Broadway Debut

Will Dubbs ’14 arrived at Wesleyan from Manhattan in September as part of the frosh class. Next month he’ll return to New York as an off-Broadway playwright.

Manhattan Repertory Theater has selected Dubbs’ first and only play, “Dead Sharks,” for production as part of its Winterfest 2011 festival of original theatrical works. The first of three scheduled “Dead Sharks” performances at the Rep’s 42nd Street theater is Jan. 29.

Dubbs, who is a minute older than his twin sister, Katie, a student at Princeton, wrote the one-act “Dead Sharks” for an all-freshman

28 Students Honored at Early Graduation Reception

The Office of the President and the Deans' Office hosted a reception Dec. 10 honoring the 28 students who are graduating from Wesleyan early. The students, who come from 11 states and seven countries, have 955 credits with an average GPA of 90. Five of the students are double majors, three are doing a senior thesis and one student is doing two.