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Steve ScarpaFebruary 1, 20237min
In a time when the wounds of racial injustice continue to be raw in America, Wesleyan University’s Black History Month programming hopes to represent the complexity, struggles and joys of the African American experience. “We explicitly want to highlight the importance of the Black joy we are living,” said Demetrius Colvin, director of The Resource Center. “There is so much death, sadness, and trauma. We have to honor that. But an important aspect to the joy and sorrow is how people are surviving, resisting, and thriving.” The University will celebrate the month with gallery exhibits, film screenings, performances, and celebrations.…

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Steve ScarpaFebruary 1, 202312min
Andrew Meier ’85 admits that an important part of his work as a journalist and writer is “chasing ghosts.” The Morgenthau family – counselors to presidents, participants in international diplomacy and important players in the criminal justice system – have given him plenty to chase. "They were a family that was kind of invisible to most Americans … they were really integral for a hundred years at the highest level of American political power. I don’t know any family that can really match that,” Meier said. In his newest book, Morgenthau: Power, Privilege, and the Rise of an American Dynasty,…

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Steve ScarpaFebruary 1, 20236min
During the 2015-16 school year nearly 10 percent of Connecticut public school children met the criteria for being chronically absent. The disruption COVID-19 wrought on education only exacerbated the problem. The Connecticut State Department of Education launched the Learner Engagement and Attendance Program (LEAP) in April 2021 to help address these issues. In 15 school districts throughout the state, school officials and representatives from local non-profit agencies conducted home visits with almost 9,000 students who were considered chronically absent. School officials often assisted families with food, job placement, or just general support to remove any external barriers to school attendance.…

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Jeff HarderJanuary 31, 20237min
Poet, author, activist, and educator Mahogany L. Browne is having a moment. The stage adaptation of her acclaimed young adult novel Chlorine Sky premieres this month at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. She’s finishing up a “poetic orchestral” performance she expects to unveil this spring at Wesleyan, where she’s deep into a stint with the inaugural group of Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence. And next week, Chrome Valley—the latest collection of verse from Browne, the first-ever poet-in-residence at New York’s Lincoln Center—was published by W.W. Norton & Company. Here, Browne offers insights into her work, creative process, and bringing a sense of…

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Editorial StaffJanuary 31, 20231min
For most people, microbes are something to be observed under a microscope, but for Raquel Bryant, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, they provide insight into the way that the world around us works. “Collective action is actually possible,” Bryant said, “This is something I learned from microbes.” Strength in numbers is something that Bryant, who studies deep time interactions between life, the ocean, and the climate, sees as an essential principle of both activism and science. Learn more about Bryant in Madeleine Dickman '23's profile, posted at the Inclusion in STEM blog.

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Editorial StaffJanuary 30, 20233min
The Center for Religion and the Human at IU Bloomington announces Professor of Religion and Science in Society Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse (Colombia University Press, 2014) as winner of the third annual Iris Book Award. Jurors for the Iris Book Award praised Worlds Without End as “a delightful tour of a topic that was once esoteric, but now is hovering on the edges of science fact: that we do not exist in a universe, but rather in a multiverse,” and called the book “a fascinating and entertaining exploration of the history of an idea that just…

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Editorial StaffJanuary 25, 20233min
The University is re-locating a number of its administrative departments to 55 High Street in Middletown. The Office of Advancement, currently on 291 Main Street, will be the first department to move. Advancement will be subsequently joined by the offices of Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology (which is currently located in the Exley Science Center), General Counsel and University Communications. “I am excited for the creative synergy possible when perspectives from across many university departments are brought together under one roof. You can’t underestimate the value of impromptu conversations and brainstorming sessions that come from smart and committed people being…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 23, 20236min
Thanks to her discovery of a global warming event that occurred 56 million years ago, Ellen Thomas, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrated Sciences, Emerita, changed the way we think about climate change. Her research started with a serendipitous discovery of severe extinction of microscopic deep-sea organisms, foraminifera. Because of her prolific and impactful research, Thomas, along with her colleague James Zachos of the University of California, Santa Cruz, was given the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the climate change category. “Both laureates think that the destructive impact of the event should be a warning to us…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 19, 20233min
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Alison O’Neil’s most recent research has drawn a direct parallel between a pesticide commonly used from the late 1940s through the late 1970s and instances of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a paper published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience on December 13. Cis-chlordane was banned in 1988 in the United States, but it can still be found in the environment. “We find that human stem-cell-derived motor neurons are more sensitive to (the pesticide) cis-chlordane than other cell types and their action potential dynamics are altered … Together, our work points to cis-chlordane as a potential sporadic…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 19, 20236min
There is a moment in Zora Neale Hurston’s book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, where the day is done, people have stopped working and finally have time for themselves. “The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 13, 20236min
The 2023 Equity & Inclusion Week, hosted by the Office for Equity & Inclusion, will offer a series of talks, workshops and film screenings intended to foster fellowship, understanding, and collective community learning. “At Wesleyan we hold these values around celebrating and honoring that our community is as diverse as it is. I think we can live out that commitment by continuing to engage identities that are different from ours and also by creating opportunities for folks who have historically been marginalized to be able to come together and share their experience with one another, find support from one another,…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 12, 20236min
Deep philosophical ideas aren’t the only things Hedding Professor of Moral Science Joseph T. Rouse has been dueling with as of late. Rouse has been training for the United States Veteran Fencing team, a team comprised of fencers over the age of 70. His first national qualifier this season will take place in January at the North American Cup in Louisville, Kentucky. His first bout a year ago against the current world champion in his age group ended in a loss, but Rouse thinks he's got more than a fighting chance, having beaten his opponent the last two times they…