Wesleyan in the News

Cynthia RockwellJuly 8, 201910min

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

Wesleyan in the News

  1. The New York Times Magazine: I’m 20. I Have 32 Half Siblings. This Is My Family Portrait.

Eli Baden-Lasar ’22 always knew he was conceived using a sperm donor, but he didn’t discover he had half siblings until he was 19. He went out searching for them and found more than 30 young men and women around the country. In this photo essay, he writes about the experience of meeting his half siblings. Photo portraits he took of each of them are featured along with their quotes about meeting blood relatives they hadn’t previously known existed.

2. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): Geologist Embarks on 60-Day Voyage to Study Past Climates

Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Suzanne O’Connell is featured in this blog post. She has studied paleoceanography for more than 30 years and recently sailed to the Subantarctic Ocean just north of the Antarctic Circle to drill for and study ocean sediment samples on the JOIDES Resolution research vessel. She talks about dodging icebergs, and how she hopes the data she helped collect will be useful for climate modelers working to figure out how fast the ice will melt in the future.

3. The Chronicle of Higher Education: Disinvited Speakers Get a Platform to Talk About Being Denied One

President Michael S. Roth recently spoke on a panel on campus speech and politics at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. According to the article: “Roth said it’s important to be sensitive to changing student demographics but, at the same time, to safeguard robust intellectual debate. Campuses, he argued, should provide safety from harassment, intimidation, and retaliation for unpopular views.”

4. Wyoming Public Media: Renovated Firearm Museum Wants to Add Context to Gun History

Associate Professor of History Jennifer Tucker, a historian of technology and visual culture, comments on the newly remodeled Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which aims to add context to gun displays by telling a story of the role of firearms in American culture. “One could look at the relationship of public health, labor, policing and also legal history [to guns],” said Tucker. “Contrary to its name, the Wild West contributed to some of the first gun control laws.”

Alumni in the News

  1. Nature: International Journal of Science: A List of Postgraduate Resources for Minority Students Hits the Mark

“A planetary-science PhD student created a much-needed collection and began tweeting about it,” writes Virginia Gewin, offering a Q&A with Lavontria Miché Aaron ’14, who majored in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan. Now a PhD student in planetary science at Johns Hopkins University, Aaron originally offered a tweet on her curated list of graduate resources for first-generation and minority ethnic students on March 20. Gewin observed: “Her original tweet…has been retweeted 1,800 times and ‘liked’ 2,400 times.“

2. The Washington Post: Is Centrism Doomed? The Cautionary Tale of Howard Schultz—and the Surprising Promise of a Populist Center

A profile of Max Rose ’08 in the second half of this article portrays him as an up-and-coming popular politician. “I didn’t know what to expect from Rose,” writes Simon van Zuylen-Wood. “His biography is unorthodox. He earned a Purple Heart in Afghanistan. He refused to take corporate PAC money in his election. He’s got a lunch-pail vibe that makes him a natural fit with Staten Island’s well-documented population of police officers, firefighters, and city workers. He also grew up in Park Slope, went to Wesleyan and once interned for Cory Booker. What he lost in corporate cash he made up for in out-of-district donations.”

3. Inside Climate News: “Debate 2020: The Candidates’ Climate Change Positions and What They’ve Actually Done”

“In the following series of profiles, we focus on the most prominent candidates and those with the most detailed climate proposals, with an eye toward showing the spectrum of policy choices,” writes John H. Cushman, Jr. Included in the series are Michael Bennet ’82, Hon. ’12, and John Hickenlooper ’74, MA ’80, Hon. ’10

4.Oprah Magazine—Lin-Manuel Miranda [’02, Hon. ’15] and His Wife Vanessa Nadal First Met in High School

“Talk about fate: Lin-Manuel Miranda was a senior in high school while his then-future wife Vanessa Nadal was a sophomore. Was he into her? You bet.” Writer Celia Fernandez begins the article, noting that the couple now has two children. She takes the reader through the duo’s career highlights and courtship into present day.

5. Ozy.com: “Le1f [Khalif Diof ’11]: Loud + Proud”

Melissa Pandika writes: “Le1f’s talent goes far beyond his reputation. He’s not just an anomaly in an often homophobic genre. The guy has serious flow, spitting complex rhymes laden with witty wordplay and, yes, anime references, over extraterrestrial, booty-popping beats. Last month, the NYC rapper dropped Hey, his first EP for major indie label Terrible Records and is currently working on his first LP.” She quotes from an earlier interview with Fader, in which Le1F said, “My goal is always to make songs that a gay dude or a straight dude can listen to and just think, ‘This dude has swag.’”

6. USA Today: Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb [’94] Join’s Pfizer’s Board of Directors

In a CNBC article, Angelica LaVito reports that Pfizer Executive Chairman and former CEO Ian Read said in a statement: “We are fortunate to have Dr. Gottlieb join Pfizer’s Board of Directors. Scott’s expertise in health care, public policy, and the industry will be an asset to our company and enable our shareholders to continue to benefit from a Board representing a balance of experience, competencies, and perspectives.”