Tag Archive for student achievements

Students, Faculty, Alumna Honored at Beckham Social Justice Awards

Several students were honored for helping promote diversity and inclusion during the Edgar Beckham Social Justice Awards ceremony April 23 in Beckham Hall. 

Several students were honored for helping promote diversity and inclusion during the Edgar Beckham Social Justice Awards ceremony April 23 in Beckham Hall.

Students, faculty and staff who exercised cultural sensitivity, helped promote diversity and inclusion, and improved the campus climate were recognized at the annual Edgar Beckham Social Justice Awards ceremony held April 23. The event brought together generations of alumni, students, faculty and staff to celebrate the tenets that make Wesleyan diverse.

Originally called the Edgar Beckham Helping Hand Awards when it was founded in 2013, the awards were created in honor of Edgar Beckham, the first African-American Dean of the College at Wesleyan University and a tireless advocate for social justice.

Wright ’16 Recipient of Keasbey Scholarship

Claire Wright '16

Claire Wright ’16

As a 2016 recipient of the Keasbey Scholarship, Claire Wright ’16 will continue her education at Oxford University after graduating from Wesleyan this May. While at Oxford, she will pursue an MPhil in Comparative Social Policy.

“Throughout my time at Wesleyan I have become increasingly passionate both about international development efforts and gender equality initiatives,” she said.

Wright’s senior thesis focused on medical, social and political implications of using PTSD-focused aid for survivors of sexual violence in postcolonial nations.

“I wanted a course of study that would allow me to translate these theoretical, intellectual insights regarding responses to violence against women into socially relevant, implementable policy,” she said.

For more than 50 years, the Keasbey Foundation has supported some of the most gifted and intellectually curious American college graduates as they embark on post-graduate study in the United Kingdom. Recipients of the Keasbey demonstrate academic excellence, active participation in extracurricular activities, leadership abilities, and the promise of personally and intellectually benefiting from two years of study in Britain. The scholarship includes a stipend and covers the cost of tuition, room and board at Oxford.

The American students are selected on a rotating basis from the following institutions: Amherst, Bowdoin, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Haverford, Middlebury, Princeton, Swarthmore, Wesleyan and Yale.

At Wesleyan, Wright also worked as an academic peer advisor, Title IX special projects coordinator, as a student activities and leadership development intern and as a teacher’s assistant for the course Foundations of Contemporary Psychology. She received the Chadbourne Prize and Wesleyan Memorial Prize for demonstrating outstanding character, conduct and scholarship, and was honored with the Morgernstern-Clarren Social Justice Award for her commitment to social justice efforts at Wesleyan.

Wright is majoring in the College of Letters, psychology and French.

Students Present Research at the Eastern Psychological Association’s 2016 Meeting

Sheri Reichelson '16

Sheri Reichelson ’16

Several Wesleyan students presented research at the Eastern Psychological Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting in New York, N.Y. on March 4.

Sheri Reichelson ’16 presented a poster titled “Does the Arbitrary Grouping of Physical Options Influence Children’s and Adults’ Choices?”

Reichelson received an Eastern Regional travel grant from the Psi Chi Grants Committee and Boards of Directors to fund her travel. She also is an accepted BA/MA student continuing her work next year in Wesleyan’s Cognitive Development Labs under the supervision of Hilary Barth, associate professor of psychology.

Reichelson’s research, an ongoing collaborative project between the Cognitive Development Labs and the Reasoning and Decision Making Lab (led by Andrea Patalano, chair and associate professor of psychology), investigates how the grouping of categories affects decision making in children and adults.

Samantha Hellberg '16

Samantha Hellberg ’16

Samantha Hellberg ’16 also presented a poster titled, “Effects of Adolescent Ethanol Exposure and Anxiety on Motivation for Gambling-Like Cues.” She worked with Mike Robinson, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, and also won a Psi Chi Award.

And Rebecca Tom ’16 and Charlotte Freeland, lab manager in Robinson’s lab, presented a poster, “Optogenetic Activation of the Central Amygdala Generates Addiction-like Preference for Reward.”

Watson Fellows to Study Aquaculture, Immigrant Detention Abroad

Noah Hamlish '16 and Chando Mapoma '16 are 2016 Watson Fellowship recipients. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Noah Hamlish ’16 and Chando Mapoma ’16 are 2016 Watson Fellowship recipients. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

As 2016 Watson Fellows, Noah Hamlish ’16 will examine the effects of aquaculture in coastal communities and Chando Mapoma ’16 will investigate alternatives to immigrant detention.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for purposeful, independent study awarded to graduating college seniors. Fellows conceive original projects, execute them outside of the United States, and embrace the ensuing journey. Fellows receive a $30,000 stipend and are required to submit quarterly reports.

Wimer ’19 Raises $2,175 in “Swim for Nepal” Fundraising Event

On May 29, pre-frosh Max Wimer ’19 swam laps for 60 minutes to raise money for children affected by the April 25 Nepal magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and injured an additional 23,000. The event, titled “Swim for Nepal,” was part of the Save the Children Fund non-profit group that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. More than $37,000 was donated, with Wimer as one of the fundraisers, collecting $2,175.

This is not the first charity event for Wimer, who organized and swam in the 2013 “Swim for the Philippines” event. On Oct. 15, 2013, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the Philippines, and relief efforts were disrupted three weeks later by Super Typhoon Haiyan. This event raised more than $43,000 for children afflicted by these two events.

Read more about the charity event here.

Argus Wins Big in Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ Competition

The Wesleyan Argus won five awards in the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists' 2014-15 Excellence in Journalism college competition.

The Wesleyan Argus won five awards in the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ 2014-15 Excellence in Journalism college competition.

The Wesleyan Argus student newspaper had a big showing at the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism awards dinner on May 21. Gabe Rosenberg ’16, co-editor-in-chief of the Argus last semester, won a Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers, and Argus writers won several other awards, sweeping the editorial/op-ed category in the college competition.

The following writers/stories won awards:

According to Rosenberg, this is the first time in recent years that the Argus has entered the competition, and he was encouraged by the successful outcome.

Gabe Rosenberg '16 accepted the Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists on May 21.

Gabe Rosenberg ’16 accepted the Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists on May 21. (Photo c/o SCSU Journalism Department)

“I’m hoping these awards will encourage our writers and editors to enter their work in all the years to come, and that this will become more of a regular thing for us,” he said. “I think the Argus has always been under-appreciated with regards to the quality of journalism at our paper, and how much work we put into making a newspaper every week, twice a week, for pretty much the entire school year.”

Rosenberg said he and co-editor-in-chief Sofi Goode ’17 “worked hard to push our staff this semester to think beyond what the newspaper had done in the past–both in terms of content and in terms of execution, how we get our stories out there–and it’s really worked. More people are reading the Argus online than ever, interacting with us more on Facebook and Twitter, and while sometimes we mess up and get called out on it, it just means that people truly care about what we write about and what we don’t.”

In accordance with the Argus’ practice, Rosenberg and Goode stepped down as co-editors-in-chief at the end of the spring semester, and will serve as executive editors going forward.

As the first-place winner of the Bob Eddy Scholarship to Foster Journalism Careers, Rosenberg was awarded a $2,500 academic scholarship. He has worked in journalism since high school, and plans to pursue a career in the field. At Wesleyan, he has worked at the Argus and Wesleying, with responsibilities ranging from writing concert reviews to running social media accounts to editing breaking news and featuresThis summer, he is interning at his hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteLast summer he interned at a start-up called Contently and worked at The Columbia Journalism ReviewHe has continued to do freelance work for both organizations, as well as for the music blog Consequence of Sound and the publication Intern Magazine

3 Students Receive Goldwater Honorable Mentions

#THISISWHY

Wesleyan students Selin Kutlu ’16, Jacob “Jack” Lashner ’16 and Aaron Young ’16 have been chosen for honorable mention by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program for the 2015-2016 academic year. The award is presented annually to U.S. sophomores and juniors for excellence in mathematics, science and engineering. This year’s recipients were selected from a field of more than 1,200 students nominated by faculty from more than 420 colleges and universities nationwide. Less than half the students nominated each year are selected as a scholar or for honorable mention.

Kutlu

Selin Kutlu ’16

Kutlu, a molecular biology and biochemistry and neuroscience and behavior double major, is interested in understanding not only biological mechanisms at the cellular and molecular level, but also how these mechanisms can alter human health and behavior. Working with Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, Kutlu combines her interest in both biochemistry and neuroscience through research on DNA mismatch repair, a process that corrects errors made during DNA replication. “These errors can cause mutations that can have deleterious effects on an organism’s health, including carcinogenesis and neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease,” said Kutlu. Her career goal is to obtain an MA and PhD in molecular biology in order to teach at the university level and conduct biomedical research.

Watson Fellow Banks ’15 to Study Restorative Justice Practices in 4 Countries

Isabella Banks '15 received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a one-year grant for purposeful, independent study. Her project, "Making Crime Personal: Restorative Alternatives to Criminal Justice" will allow her to study in New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa.

Isabella Banks ’15 received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a one-year grant for purposeful, independent study. Her project, “Making Crime Personal: Restorative Alternatives to Criminal Justice” will allow her to study in New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa.

Restorative justice practices, such as victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, programs for juvenile offenders, and community policing, emerged to give victims and their surrounding communities greater agency than traditional criminal procedure provides to resolve conflict and address its consequences.

As a 2015-16 Watson Fellow, Isabella Banks ’15 will travel to countries where restorative justice has had success, acting as a participant-observer in these practices. Banks will interview individuals involved and evaluate the capacity of restorative alternatives to heal those affected by crime and reduce recidivism within each cultural context.

“In doing so, I hope to come closer to envisioning a perfect system of justice,” she said.

Her project, “Making Crime Personal: Restorative Alternatives to Criminal Justice” will allow her to study in New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa.

Packer ’15 Creates Online Community to Unify Collegiate Sustainability Movement

Brent Packer '15 is the founder of Potlux, which is on track to be the first online community where collegiate sustainability initiatives are effectively aggregated and shared.

Brent Packer ’15 is the founder of Potlux, which is on track to be the first online community where collegiate sustainability initiatives are effectively aggregated and shared. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

#THISISWHY
In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Brent Packer from the Class of 2015. 

Q: Brent, where are you from and what are you majoring in?

A: I was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Growing up nearby Amish farms and having tortoises, dogs and a semi-domesticated duck scampering around my house piqued my environmental interests. At Wesleyan, I’m a member of the College of the Environment with a double major in economics and environmental studies.

Q: You are the founder of Potlux, an online community where collegiate sustainability initiatives are aggregated and shared. What is the community’s mission?

A: Our mission is to accelerate global environmental progress by unifying the collegiate sustainability movement. View our pitchdeck online.

Q: When did you come up with the idea for Potlux? When did you begin the project?

Burgunder ’15 Competes in Ski Mountaineering World Championships

Mateusz “Matt” Burgunder ’15

Mateusz “Matt” Burgunder ’15

Mateusz “Matt” Burgunder ’15 recently competed in the 2015 Ski Mountaineering World Championships in Verbier, Switzerland where the U.S. National Ski Mountaineering Team finished in 10th place overall.

This was Burgunder’s fourth time competing for the U.S., participating in three events. Competitors race by climbing up and skiing down mountains at a rate of approximately 3,000 feet per hour.

The 2015 Ski Mountaineering World Championships, hosted by the International Ski Mountaineering Federation, were held Feb. 6–12.

More information about the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association and the 2015 World Championships can be found online.

See photos of Burgunder’s events below:

Unger ’15 Writes about “Coexistence and its Discontents” in Israel, Palestine

Rachel Unger '15 in Nazareth, Israel.

Rachel Unger ’15 in Nazareth, Israel.

Writing in Tikkun Magazine, government major Rachel Unger ’15 offers a first-hand account of Israeli-Palestinian relations she witnessed during her two trips to the region, and how these experiences shaped her views of a “two-state solution” to the ongoing conflict.

Unger describes watching “religious Jews marching through the Muslim quarter of the Old City celebrating the ‘reunification’ of Jerusalem while the authorities blocked Palestinians from the streets with barricades and prevented an old man from taking the bus to his home. I witnessed police knocking a Palestinian man to the ground while hordes of young Yeshiva boys cheered and sang ‘Am Yisrael Chai!'”

She writes, “This incident felt like a culmination of the nationalism, racism, and contradicting narratives that drive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict forward.” It was, she writes, a side of Israel from which most American Jews are shielded when the tour the country.

Visiting the region and hearing a broad range of Israeli and Palestinian perspectives showed Unger that many on both sides of the conflict gave up long ago on the possibility of a two-state solution. Read more about her thoughts on this here.

PCSE Awards Seed Grants to Student-Led Ventures

The Wesleyan Doula Project is a student-run, volunteer collective that improves access to quality women’s health care by training students and non-students to work in local clinics, and by directing outreach locally, state-wide, and nationally. Pictured from left are the co-founders, Hannah Sokoloff-Rubin '16, Julia Vermeulen '15 and Zandy Stovicek '17.

The Wesleyan Doula Project, a seed grant winner, is a student-run, volunteer collective that improves access to quality women’s health care by training students and non-students to work in local clinics, and by directing outreach locally, state-wide, and nationally. Pictured from left are the co-founders, Hannah Sokoloff-Rubin ’16, Julia Vermeulen ’15 and Zandy Stovicek ’17.

Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship announced the winners of the 2015 PCSE Seed Grant Challenge. These student-led social ventures will each receive $5,000 in unrestricted funds as well as training, advising, mentoring, incubator workspace and other resources from the Patricelli Center.

Recipients were selected from a strong pool of finalists who submitted written business plans and pitched to a panel of expert judges comprised of alumni, students, faculty and staff. Applicants were assessed on their project design, leadership qualities and potential for social impact.

The 2015 Seed Grant recipients are: