Wesleyan in the News

Cynthia RockwellSeptember 17, 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. The Washington Post: “Have Parents Made Their Kids Too Fragile for the Rough-and-Tumble Life?”

President Michael Roth reviews The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. While the authors make some important points, Roth is skeptical of their argument, writing, “Are students today disempowered because they’ve been convinced they are fragile, or do they feel vulnerable because they are facing problems like climate change and massive, nasty inequality?”

2. WNYC’s “The Takeaway”: “Will Trump’s Take on the Economy Resonate with Voters?”

Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, discusses how voters might respond to President Trump’s record on the economy at the polls this November. Fowler comes in around the 17-minute mark.

3. Hartford Business.com: “Wesleyan to Kickstart Startup Incubator Course”

This month, Wesleyan’s Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life will launch its first startup incubator course taught by Hartford-based ReSet. The 12-week course is open to any student from area colleges and universities with an idea to start a business.

4. CNN Money: “Curbing Carbon Emissions Could Boost the Economy Way More Than Doing Nothing”

Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies Gary Yohe says that the longer the world waits to fix its emissions problem, the more expensive and unpleasant the consequences will be to deal with. Yet he expresses skepticism at the claims of a bold new report that predicts a set of policies aimed at combating climate change could yield $26 trillion in economic gains through 2030.


Recent Alumni News

  1. NPR: “Whatever Happened To … The Street Kid Whose Life Was Saved By Kindness”

Marc Silver writes a follow-up article for Goats and Soda, NPR’s global health and development blog. “It’s not often that you ask someone ‘what’s new’ and the answer is $2 million and a baby,” is how Silver begins his update on Kennedy Odede ’12, Jessica Posner Odede ’09, and their nonprofit, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), built in Kibera, the slum where Odede grew up. Silber details the award to SHOFCO from the Conrad Hilton Foundation and the birth of the Odedes’ son in a Q&A with Kennedy.

2. USA Today: Collector Donates Rare Olympic Treasure Trove”

In the video, Olympic collector Gordy Crawford ’69 talks about his hobby and his collection—the world’s most thorough collection of Olympic medals and torches—which he has donated to the US Olympic Committee, where the best of the best will go on display at an Olympic museum being built in Colorado Springs.

3. CNN—Opinion: “The 19th-Century Powerhouse Who Inspired RBG” by Louise W. Knight [’72]

Author, historian, and a biographer of Jane Addams, Louise W. Knight ’72 is now completing a biography of Sarah and Angelina Grimké. Born 141 years before Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sarah Grimké was the originator of the quote Ginsberg made famous: “All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” In this article, Knight explores the inspiration that Ginsberg found in Grimké’s life.

4. Pittsburgh Business Times: 30 Under 30 Winner: Wei Dai [’12], Petuum”

Wei Dai ’12, senior director of engineering at Petuum is at the forefront of the effort to bring artificial intelligence into the mainstream. Working at Petuum, he’s directing a team of engineers with the goal of creating an AI software platform, Petuum Symphony, that will be available for everyone to use. A member of the company’s founding team in 2016, Dai also plays an important role in recruiting new talent to the Strip District-based company, and has been instrumental in increasing the staff to nearly 100 people.”

5. SceneNoise: “Alsarah [Sarah Mohamed Abunama Elgadi ’04] On Being Weird, Sudani, And Finding The ‘Good Spot’’’

For this Q&A, tour manager Tucker McGee “sat down with Alsarah before her sound check at Darb1718, to talk about her relationship with Sudan, the myth of tradition, and of course, her music.”

6. Broadway World San Francisco: “Berkeley Rep Names Johanna Pfaelzer [’90] New Artistic Director”

Berkeley Repertory Theater Board President Stewart Owen welcomes Johanna Pfaelzer, noting that their vote was unanimous: “Johanna brings great taste and a keen aesthetic eye. She has strong leadership skills and works as a generous collaborator. And we were also all drawn to her warmth and character.” Pfaelzer, currently the artistic director of New York Stage and Film, plans to remain there through the 2019 summer season.