Wesleyan in the News

Lauren RubensteinJuly 9, 20188min

In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni.

Recent Wesleyan News

  1. NBC’s American Ninja Warrior: Youngest Woman to Hit Buzzer: Casey Rothschild

Rothschild ’20 competed in the NBC television show’s Philadelphia qualifiers, becoming the youngest woman to ever finish a course when she hit the buzzer at 4:57. Rothschild has been training for years and uses the moniker Circus Ninja because of her background in circus arts. Read Rothschild’s interview with The Hartford Courant.

2. The Washington Post: This Is What It Feels Like to Be Separated at the Border

Victoria Smolkin, associate professor of history, associate professor of Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies, shares her own heartbreaking experience of being separated from family at the border as she left the U.S.S.R. as a child refugee in 1988.

3. Buzzfeed Tasty: Homemade Chicken Shawarma / as Made by Ben Stiller and Ahmed Badr

Together with actor Ben Stiller, Badr ’20 cooks chicken shawarma and talks about his experience coming to the US from Iraq as a refugee. The video was produced in partnership with UNHCR for World Refugee Day.

4. Forbes: Hustle Like ‘Hamilton’: How to Drive Creativity and Collaboration

Thomas Kail ’99, director of Hamilton, and Sydney Kim ’22, the 2018 Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity recipient, are interviewed about the creative process.

5. The New York Times:  Douglas Bennet, Who Led NPR and Wesleyan, Dies at 79

Wesleyan President Emeritus Douglas J. Bennet ’59, P’87, ’94, Hon. ’94, passed away on June 10 at the age of 79. Obituaries also appeared in NPR, The Washington Post, and Hartford Courant.

Recent Alumni News

  1. The New York Times: “He’s Going Back to His Former Wife. Sort Of.”

In this Modern Love column, Judith Newman ’81 explores, with wit and grace, her reaction when her dying husband requests “some surprising burial instructions.”

2. New York Times Book Review: “Writing as Drag: Alexander Chee’s [’89] Essays Consider the Novelist’s Craft”

J.W. McCormack reviews Chee’s collection of essays, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, calling it “a moving and personal tribute to impermanence, a wise and transgressive meditation on a life lived both because of and in spite of America, a place where, he writes, ‘you are allowed to speak the truth as long as nothing changes.’”

3. The New York Times: “With G.O.P. Primary on Staten Island Over, Enter the Democrat

Max Rose ’08 is profiled as “a 31-year-old Army veteran and health care executive” who “happily answers to progressive, moderate, liberal — even ‘blue dog’ — [and] refuses to concede that the borough is inherently conservative, and thus unwinnable.” WNYC and City and State New York also highlight his candidacy.

4. Hartford Courant: “Connecticut’s Justin Clark [’97] and Raj Shah Will Promote Trump Nominee for Supreme Court

Clark is “[t]he GOP consultant and lawyer [who] serves as director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. In Connecticut, Clark is known for managing the 2010 and 2014 campaigns of Tom Foley, the twice-thwarted GOP nominee for governor.“

5. The Guardian—“Rising Star Beanie Feldstein [’15]: ‘Lady Bird Opened My Eyes to What Film Can Do’”

“After Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed coming of age tale, the actor is set to star as Caitlin Moran’s fictional alter-ego in How to Build a Girl. Here [in this interview by Michael Hogan] she talks about her brother Jonah Hill and how she got that unusual name.” iNews also carried a piece about Feldstein’s work and ability to move beyond “supporting roles.”

6. People:Meet the Contestants of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s New Crafting Show Making It” [Also: TV Series Finale, Showbiz Junkies, Broadway World TV/Movies, and others]

Included in the eight contestants on what Poehler calls a “gentle competition series” is Billy Kheel ’96, a visiting art teacher in Los Angeles whose artistic focus is on appliqué and felt.