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Mike MavredakisApril 12, 20244min
Student-veteran Desaree Edwards ’25 was one of 60 student leaders selected as Truman Scholars in 2024, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation announced on April 12. Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. Edwards aims to go to law school to become a legal advocate for adult survivors of human trafficking. She said she specifically wants to see federal expansion of the Trafficking Victims Protection…

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Mike MavredakisApril 10, 20247min
When Gad Nkurunziza ’27 excelled in sixth grade in the Burera district of Rwanda, his school’s headmaster gave him a chicken for his academic achievements. That single chicken introduced Nkurunziza’s family to poultry farming and transformed their lives, he said. Soon, Nkurunziza will bestow the same gift onto other families in his village, with the hopes it will help bring prosperity to his home community. “We as youths are able to not only impact our own lives, but also impact others,” Nkurunziza said. “I believe that society can change for the better. This [can] be done if we put creativity…

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Mike MavredakisApril 10, 20244min
Foss Hill is the place for gatherings. Commencement, Spring Fling, baseball games, the first snow fall. They are all occasions for people to grace the grass. Some do it in the spirit of achievement and others in the name of pure, good ‘ole fashioned fun. On April 8, hundreds of Wesleyan students, faculty, staff, and local community members came together on the University green for a different reason—wonder—as a partial solar eclipse passed above them. The Astronomy Department hosted an eclipse viewing on Foss Hill and in the Van Vleck Observatory in partnership with the Russell Library. Organizers passed out…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 10, 20247min
The exhibition “Dürer and His Time,” on display at the new Pruzan Art Center, is an example of a Wesleyan art education at work. Students in the course “Curatorial Workshop: The Northern Renaissance Print” examined prints in the Davison Art Collection from a pivotal moment in Western tradition in order to pull together the exhibition. It’s a curation of works by renowned German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and select artists from the collection. Assistant Professor of Art History and Medieval Studies Joseph Salvatore Ackley, who teaches the course, guided the student’s research, while Miya Tokumitsu, the Donald T.…

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Lorna GrisbyApril 3, 20246min
Since the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump, legal scholars, political pundits, professors of history, and others have debated whether the United States has taken a turn from democracy toward fascism. Some say it has. Others argue it has not. The very uncertainty about what has or has not happened gave rise to Assistant Professor of History Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins’ new book, “Did it Happen Here? Perspectives on Fascism and America.” It’s an anthology of texts from thought leaders from certain periods in the 20th and 21st centuries who take positions on the state of fascism in America. Many of the…

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Editorial StaffApril 3, 20246min
By Anya Kisicki ’22 Dante, dinosaurs, and geopolitics mingled at the opening of Assistant Professor of Art Tammy Nguyen’s newest art exhibition, A Comedy for Mortals: Purgatorio, at the Lehmann Maupin’s London gallery on March 12. Nguyen, a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow in fine arts, masterfully weaves disparate concepts together to create a new world of meaning that plays out on massive canvases, works on paper, and the intricate pages of her artbooks. A Comedy for Mortals is the second installment in an ongoing trilogy of exhibitions by Nguyen. Each iteration of A Comedy for Mortals maps geopolitical themes onto Dante’s…

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Lorna GrisbyApril 2, 20244min
Khalilah Brown-Dean, award-winning scholar and author dedicated to community building and access, is Wesleyan University’s new executive director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and university professor. “I am a community-engaged scholar and academic leader who creates spaces for collaboration and understanding. I’m passionate about confronting grand societal challenges like threats to democracy,” Brown-Dean said. “This role affords me the opportunity to tackle some of the global conflicts that we all have to contend with, while leveraging the resources of higher education.” The Allbritton Center is the nucleus of civic life at Wesleyan and is where…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 2, 20246min
Donald Berman ’84 tried not to be musician, but couldn't help himself. “I think that's the only reason to do it,” Berman said of becoming a musician. “It's because you can’t not do it.” Berman studied Music at Wesleyan, and has gone on to work as a pianist, teacher, and scholar, adding over 200 commissioned musical works to the contemporary canon. Nearly 40 years after he finished his undergraduate studies, Berman will return to campus on April 5 at 8 p.m. to perform a solo piano program. In the concert, Berman will pair two works by composer Charles Ives in…

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Mike MavredakisMarch 27, 20248min
From book bans to restrictions on teaching, in recent years, there have been clear infringements on First Amendment rights in the U.S. and the problem may be more widespread than people realize. There was, for example, a 33 percent increase in book bans in the 2022-23 school year from the 2021-22 school year, largely targeting books about race, racism, and gender issues or featuring on LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color. Meanwhile, more than 300 gag order bills have been introduced across 46 state legislatures restricting the discussion of gender and racial identities, censorship of teaching materials, and, in some…

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Andrew ChatfieldMarch 25, 20247min
Loren Yuehan Wang ’25 is one of four student-curators whose projects about the history of student artistic practice at Wesleyan, “SUM OF ITS PARTS,” are on display in the Class of 1928 Vitrines, located on the first floor of the Library through April 21. And Wang’s mixed media artwork is on display in the exhibition "Exploding and Netting: A Somatic Archive of Transpacific Movement" in the College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center through May 25. “These two feel quite connected,” Wang said of their work in the two archives. “It’s a new possibility for the future.”…

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Steve ScarpaMarch 25, 20246min
As jazz albums go, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue represents a high-water mark. The record came at a time of profound musical innovation: bebop had given way to hard bop, a more soulful version of jazz, but Davis wanted to simplify the music and send it in a new direction. The triumvirate of Miles, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans pushed the boundary of what musicians could do, creating a work of hushed magnificence, said James Kaplan ’73. Kaplan is the author of 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool, a book…

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Mike MavredakisMarch 13, 20245min
The climate change Earth is experiencing today is similar to that during a period of rapid and intense global warming it experienced some 56 million years ago. Understanding the similarities can help scientists evaluate what is happening in today’s warming world, according to Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Emerita. Key to that understanding is figuring out how much oxygen was dissolved in large swaths of the oceans during that period of rapid warming, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM, when average temperatures increased by 5-8o Celsius or 9-14o Fahrenheit in a few thousand years, Thomas…