Tag Archive for students

COE, Musician/Fellow Launch Online Environmental Teaching Tool for Kids

College of the Environment fellow Rani Arbo is working with COE Director Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology, on a project called "Earth Out Loud: Stories from Our Habitat." Earth Out Loud is designed for elementary school-aged children and educators, and offers a short story in audio and/or video format, as well as ideas for exploring the topic further in the classroom or at home.

College of the Environment fellow Rani Arbo is working with COE Director Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology, on a project called “Earth Out Loud: Stories from Our Habitat.” “Earth Out Loud” is designed for elementary school-aged children and educators, and offers a short story in audio and/or video format, as well as ideas for exploring the topic further in the classroom or at home.

The College of the Environment has teamed up with local singer/songwriter (and mother) Rani Arbo to debut the pilot version of “Earth Out Loud: Stories from Our Habitat” — an educational-but-entertaining online project where second and third graders can hear, explore and respond to stories from their habitat. It uses a straightforward interface to provide accessible audio and video clips for kids and their teachers that relate to their schools’ curriculum in an exciting way.

In the "Earth Out Loud" episode "Radical Raptors," children lean about the great horned owl and ways it adapts to its environment.

In the “Earth Out Loud” episode “Radical Raptors,” children lean about the great horned owl and ways it adapts to its environment.

Arbo, COE director Barry Chernoff and Wesleyan student interns are still brainstorming and developing the content, but the infrastructure is now live and is being built upon.

“It started with a conversation Barry and I were having about science literacy in media and kids, about this time last year,” Arbo said. “I was a science major, and now I have a kid who is happiest outdoors, finding bugs and tadpoles. I’d been wishing he could do more with science in school, but in the younger grades, the focus is really on reading and math. So, Barry and I started talking about an environmental radio show for kids. Something that would help ensnare kids’ imaginations about environmental topics at a young age.”

While the concept still revolves around featuring radio-show-like audio tracks, it’s becoming clear that video may be equally important. So far there’s an episode on raptors and a segment on recycling, available in both audio and video formats. Upcoming episodes will touch upon the nature of bees, soils, and phases of matter, as applied to sweet treats like maple syrup, chocolate and Italian ice.

“If we’re going to make any progress in the world getting an environmental ethic into people, we have to get them excited at a young age,” said Chernoff. “We’re also interested in reaching communities that don’t have a single economic basis or ethnic or social structure — to be able to reach really broad audiences that include both inner city kids and rural kids.”

Cognitive Development Lab Designs Games for Family Math Night

Wesleyan’s Cognitive Development Labs hosted Family Math Night at Edna Stevens Elementary School in Cromwell, Conn. on April 9. The event was full of games and activities for preschool children to play and get them excited about math while showing families activities that they can do at home to prepare their children for kindergarten. Assistant Professor of Psychology Anna Shusterman’s students designed the math games as part of a research methods class.

Students of Anna Shusterman designed math games for Edna Stevens Elementary School’s Family Math Night. Pictured here are (top from left) Elissa Palmer ’16, Tawni Stoop ’15, Jess Taggart, Anna Shusterman, Max, Alison Denzer-King ’16, Davey Bales ’15, Olivia Mason 15, Julia Vermeulen ’15, Maddy Oswald ’14, Maddy Kidd ’14, and Reuben. Taggart is the lab coordinator for the Cognitive Development Lab’s and Max and Reuben are Professor Shusterman’s sons.

Students of Anna Shusterman designed math games for Edna Stevens Elementary School’s Family Math Night. Pictured here are (top from left) Elissa Palmer ’16, Tawni Stoop ’15, Jess Taggart, Anna Shusterman, Max, Alison Denzer-King ’16, Davey Bales ’15, Olivia Mason 15, Julia Vermeulen ’15, Maddy Oswald ’14, Maddy Kidd ’14, and Reuben. Taggart is the lab coordinator for the Cognitive Development Lab’s and Max and Reuben are Professor Shusterman’s sons.

Government Class Visits Local Court, Speaks with Clerk, Judges

An upper-level political theory seminar, "Citizens, Judges, Juries: Who Decides in Democracy," taught by Sonali Chakravarti, assistant professor of government, visited the Middlesex County Courthouse on April 22 to see proceedings and speak with the clerk and two judges. Students had the opportunity to talk about the relationship between the law and racial injustice, discretion in sentencing, jury nullification, and the current populist movement to change the way family law courts adjudicate custody cases. This is the first semester that this course is offered and the first time Professor Chakravarti took students to the courthouse. Pictured in the photo are (from left to right) Sam Furnival ’15, Ben Romero ’16, Ruby Lang ’17, Yiyang Wang ’15, Hannah Goodman ’16, Aiden King ’14, Deputy Chief Clerk Jonathan Field, Ari Ebstein ’16, and Hadas Werman ’14 with Professor Chakravarti to the far right.

An upper-level political theory seminar, “Citizens, Judges, Juries: Who Decides in Democracy,” taught by Sonali Chakravarti, assistant professor of government, visited the Middlesex County Courthouse on April 22 to see proceedings and speak with the clerk and two judges. Students had the opportunity to talk about the relationship between the law and racial injustice, discretion in sentencing, jury nullification, and the current populist movement to change the way family law courts adjudicate custody cases. This is the first semester that this course is offered and the first time Professor Chakravarti took students to the courthouse. Pictured in the photo are, from left, Sam Furnival ’15, Ben Romero ’16, Ruby Lang ’17, Yiyang Wang ’15, Hannah Goodman ’16, Aiden King ’14, Deputy Chief Clerk Jonathan Field, Ari Ebstein ’16, and Hadas Werman ’14 with Professor Chakravarti to the far right.

Psychology Majors Present Research at Poster Session April 24

More than 45 students presented their research or thesis research at the Psychology Research Poster Presentation April 24 in Beckham Hall. Oluwaremilekun Ojurongbe ’14 presented her study, “Illegality, Criminality and the Taxpayer’s Burden: The Incomplete U.S. Immigration Narrative.” Her advisor was Sarah Carney, visiting faculty with the Psychology Department.

More than 45 students presented their research or thesis research at the Psychology Research Poster Presentation April 24 in Beckham Hall. Oluwaremilekun Ojurongbe ’14 presented her study, “Illegality, Criminality and the Taxpayer’s Burden: The Incomplete U.S. Immigration Narrative.” Her advisor was Sarah Carney, visiting faculty with the Psychology Department.

Victoria Mathieson ’14 presented her research on “Identity, Appraisal, and Emotion: The Role of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy among Latino/a Middle School Students.” Her advisor was Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, associate professor of psychology.

Victoria Mathieson ’14 presented her research on “Identity, Appraisal, and Emotion: The Role of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy among Latino/a Middle School Students.” Mathieson’s advisor was Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, associate professor of psychology.

Smith ’17 to Study Arabic as a Critical Language Scholar in Oman

After participating in an intensive 10-week language institute this summer, Casey Smith '17 plans to continue studying Arabic at Wesleyan. She also hopes to earn certificates in international relations and Middle Eastern studies.

After participating in an intensive two-month language institute in Oman this summer, Casey Smith ’17 plans to continue studying Arabic at Wesleyan. She hopes to use her language skills to work with refugee populations in the future. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Casey Smith ’17 has received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Arabic—considered a “critical needs language” by the U.S. government—in Oman this summer.

Smith, who plans to major in the College of Social Studies, was one of approximately 550 American undergraduate and graduate students to receive the Critical Language Scholarship. CLS participants will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes in one of 13 countries. They will study critical needs languages such as Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu, among others.

Smith currently studies Arabic at Wesleyan. She began learning the language as a senior in high school, when she enrolled in a course at nearby University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Her interest in the language was sparked by her work in high school with local refugee populations, including an internship at a refugee resettlement organization.

“Through the internship, I met a lot of people from the Middle East and North Africa. I was struck by the fact that millions of people had to flee their homes in the region, and wanted to learn more,” said Smith.

She previously had studied French in high school, but found the experience of learning Arabic to be different.

Smith's interest in Arabic was sparked by her work in high school with local refugee populations.

Smith’s interest in Arabic was sparked by her work in high school with local refugee populations.

“When you learn a Romance language, a lot of the words are similar to English, so it’s easier to pick up vocabulary. Arabic is difficult, because you don’t find many words that are familiar. The alphabet is also different, and you write from right to left,” she explained. “Once you get used to it, though, it becomes more like learning any other language.”

Smith was eager to study abroad at some point during her college career. This semester, when her Arabic professor emailed the class about the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship, Smith saw an opportunity to study in the Middle East—a part of the world she has always wanted to visit.

According to Smith, the CLS program sends students to Morocco, Jordan and Oman to study Arabic. She was surprised to learn she would be studying in Oman.

“I didn’t know anything about Oman, really, until I started researching the places I’d be going. It got a lot more exciting because it’s so unfamiliar and different,” she said.

Honors, Graduate Students Present Posters at Celebration of Science Theses

Honors and MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research at the Celebration of Science Thesis, April 18 in Exley Science Center. Xi Liu '14 presented her study on "Consequences of Priming Status Legitimizing Beliefs in Whites: An Investigation of Perceived Anti-White Bias, Zero-Sum Beliefs and Support for Affirmative Action." Liu's advisors are Clara Wilkins, assistant professor of psychology, and Joseph Wellman, postdoctoral fellow in psychology.

More than 20 honors and MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research at the Celebration of Science Theses, April 18 in Exley Science Center. Xi Liu ’14 presented her study on “Consequences of Priming Status Legitimizing Beliefs in Whites: An Investigation of Perceived Anti-White Bias, Zero-Sum Beliefs and Support for Affirmative Action.” Liu’s advisors are Clara Wilkins, assistant professor of psychology, and Joseph Wellman, postdoctoral fellow in psychology.

Graduate student Caleb Corliss ’13 presented his study, “High-Performance Genotypes of Polygonum cespitosum Show Greater Competitive Ability.” His advisor was Sonia Sultan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies.

Graduate student Caleb Corliss ’13 presented his study, “High-Performance Genotypes of Polygonum cespitosum Show Greater Competitive Ability.” His advisor was Sonia Sultan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies.

Honors, MA Students Present Research at Celebration of Science Theses

Honors and MA students in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division presented their research at the Celebration of Science Theses, April 18 in Exley Science Center.

Xi Liu ’14 presented her study on “Consequences of Priming Status Legitimizing Beliefs in Whites: An Investigation of Perceived Anti-White Bias, Zero-Sum Beliefs and Support for Affirmative Action.”eve_postersession_2014-0418130015

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Admitted Students Celebrate All Things Wesleyan at WesFest

Jennifer Swindlehurst Chan attended WesFest with her father Kyle Chan.

Jennifer Swindlehurst Chan attended WesFest with her father Kyle Chan. Jennifer is an admitted student.

WesFest, the annual three-day celebration of all things Wesleyan, was held April 16-18 for admitted students and their families. WesFest allows the students to experience university life first-hand and explore the diverse opportunities that a Wesleyan education has to offer.

Admitted students and their parents tour campus on April 16 during WesFest.

Admitted students and their parents tour campus on April 16 during WesFest.

During Wes Fest, Class of 2018 admitted students had the opportunity to tour campus, visit Exley Science Center and the Center for the Arts, have lunch at the all-campus barbecue, meet Wesleyan students at student-to-student panels, attend a Student Activities Fair, participate in “Homerathon,” an all-day reading of Homer’s “Odyssey,” learn about classes and programs during academic departmental open houses, and meet Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Watch a video of President Roth’s welcome to students and families online here.)

Jennifer Swindlehurst Chan of San Diego, Calif. attended WesFest with her father Kyle Chan. She learned about Wesleyan through its website and reading about it online.

“Wesleyan sounded like a nice place and it’s one of the top schools on my list,” she said. “Now that I’m here, I think it is a beautiful campus and I enjoyed the students who led the campus tour. I also met [President Roth] this morning. That was so cool to meet the president!”

Hannah Levin of Philadelphia, Pa. attended WesFest with her mother Joan Joanson. The mother-daughter duo, who enjoyed lunch at Usdan’s Marketplace, previously visited campus in 2012.

“I applied to Wesleyan because I was looking for a liberal arts education that offered professor access and a science program. I also like Wesleyan’s vibrant and creative community,” Levin said.

At the all-campus barbecue April 18, families braved unseasonably chilly temperatures to sit out on Foss Hill and enjoy lunch while a student band played.

Caroline Diemer attended WesFest with her father. The two hail from San Jose, Calif.

Caroline Diemer attended WesFest with her father. The two hail from San Jose, Calif.

Caroline Diemer of San Jose, Calif. relaxed over lunch with her father. She had applied to Wesleyan early decision, and returned to learn more about the school she will be attending next fall. Diemer plans to play on Wesleyan’s volleyball team, so she hung out with her future teammates. She also attended a class called “Living in a Polluted World,” watched an a capella concert, and spent the morning wandering the stacks of Olin. Despite the cold, she said she was really enjoying her visit.

David Hoffman of Wilmington, Del. shared lunch with his parents. Visiting Wesleyan since the previous day, he had taken a tour, attended an info session, sat in on chemistry and architecture classes, and gone to a film screening.

“I love it—the culture, the kids,” he said. “Everyone is very relaxed, and very smart. They know when to have fun and when to work.”

Anthony Springate of Louisville, K.Y. stayed overnight at Wesleyan with a current student.

“I made lots of new friends and met a lot of new people,” he said. “It seems like such a community, and such a diverse group of people, but it’s all so harmonious and cool. I love it!”

Photos of WesFest are below.