Wesleyan in the News

Olivia DrakeNovember 1, 202112min

NewsWesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. A sampling of recent media hits is below:

Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 reviews Richard Rorty’s Pragmatism as Anti-Authoritarianism in The Los Angles Review of Books. “Rorty was at once an iconoclast and an adherent of progress — the odd radical who believed deeply in this country’s potential. His Pragmatism as AntiAuthoritarianism, a set of 10 lectures he delivered in Spain in 1996, has just been published. While many of the arguments are by now familiar, the verve with which they are made and their relevance to our current context make for a bracing read.” (Oct. 27)

According to the New York Times and The White House, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel ’93 as the Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel “is a leader in spectrum policy, developing new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the Internet of Things. She has fought to combat illegal robocalls and enhance consumer protections in our telecommunications policies.” (Oct. 26)

AARP announces that Alan Miller ’76 is a 2022 AARP Purpose Prize award recipient. The award celebrates people 50-plus who use their knowledge and life experience to solve challenging social problems. Miller was honored for his role leading the News Literacy Project, which teaches people of all ages and backgrounds know how to identify credible news and other information, empowering them to have an equal opportunity to participate in the civic life of their communities and the country. Miller received a $50,000 award for his organization. (Oct. 5)

On CNN, Jennifer Tucker, associate professor of history, shares an opinion piece titled “Now that guns can kill hundreds in minutes, Supreme Court should rethink the rights question.” “What is needed is a common vocabulary and a shared metric for quantifying the lethality of firearms in historical terms when approaching Second Amendment policy and doctrine,” she says. “Without it, the Supreme Court will not have a clear-eyed assessment of this upcoming case and the repercussions it will have on people’s lives.” (Oct. 20)

In The Connecticut Post, planetary geologist Martha Gilmore, George I. Seney Professor of Geology, is named among 17 people chosen for a Women of Innovation award, presented by the Connecticut Technology Council and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Oct. 14. Gilmore was noted for her research innovation and leadership. (Oct. 20)

In Finger Lakes Daily News, Joyce Jacobsen, Andrews Professor of Economics, Emerita, and President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is cited for being the recipient of the 2021 Carolyn Shaw Bell Award. Named after the first chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award is awarded to an individual who has “furthered the status of women in the economics profession through example, achievements, increasing our understanding of how women can advance in the economics profession or mentoring others. Jacobsen has excelled on all of these criteria.” (Oct. 25)

Eyewitness News 3 WFSB interviews Diana Martinez, assistant director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships, Elam Grekin ’22 and Grey Simon ’24 as part of a “20 Towns in 20 Days” feature, which was spotlighting the City of Middletown. Martinez spoke about community service and Grekin and Simon spoke about their efforts with Long Lane Farm. (Oct. 25)

Wesleyan Trustee Emeritus David Jones ’70, MA ’83, Hon. ’81 is mentioned in Harlem World Magazine for being a New York Landmarks Conservancy honoree.” We inaugurated the Living Landmarks Celebration to recognize extraordinary New Yorkers who give back so much to the city we love,” said Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. Jones is president and chief executive officer of the Community Service Society of New York, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic advancement and full civic participation for low-income New Yorkers. (Oct. 20)

A book review by Marguerite Nguyen, associate professor of English, is published in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History. “In Eric Nguyen’s 2021 debut novel, Things We Lost to the Water, a bayou in New Orleans East acts as a record of the local Vietnamese refugee community. It holds the objects and organisms of everyday life, including soda cans, plastic bags, even a pet frog named Toto, and harbors the stress, despair, and desires of life in the city that the community shares only with this space. In this novel, the first published by a Vietnamese American from New Orleans, the bayou serves as an archive of one of the densest Vietnamese American communities in the country.” (Oct. 21)

In ASBMBTODAY, the member magazine of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Alyssa Cortes ’22 is mentioned for receiving the Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates, which supports students who excel academically and are dedicated to enhancing diversity in science. “Cortes plans to attend medical school after graduating with a BA in molecular biology and biochemistry from Wesleyan University. Following residency, and possibly a fellowship, Cortes plans to work in a hospital setting. She also plans to take multiple trips throughout her training and career to underserved countries to share her medical knowledge in village clinics. She particularly wants to go to South America and Caribbean islands to connect to her Hispanic roots.” (Oct. 27)

In The Baltimore Sun, astronomy graduate student Katie Bennett shares why she’s running The New York Marathon to honor her late brother-in-law Dwane Osgood, who recently died of brain cancer. “For me, his death has taught me that nobody in this life is guaranteed any length of time, and I’ve really tried to live that every day.” Bennett also is raising funds for the National Brain Tumor Society as part of the run. (Oct. 21)

Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music, Emeritus, is cited in the Arizona Jewish Post where he discusses klezmer music. “Klezmer bands originally were made up of a violin or two, a flute, a hammered dulcimer, and a bass instrument, often a cello. The age of sound recording enabled a bolder sound, and clarinet, percussion, brass and other instrumentation were added.” (Oct. 20)

Wicked Local mentions that Kevin Brisco, Jr. ’13, is a Fine Arts Work Center 2021-2022 Visual Arts Fellow. Raised in Memphis, Tenn. his work “is concerned with issues of place and representation, more specifically how the two inform one another—the slippage between background and figure in painting, pop culture, and daily life; as well as the dubious nature of ‘home’ for African Americans living in the southern U.S. His work takes the form of painting, sculpture, and performance.” (Oct. 19)

According to The List, Peter Cambor ’01 got a career boost from his appearance as “Barry” in Grace and Frankie. He had a few roles on acclaimed TV shows such as Suits, NCIS: Los Angeles, and the original NCIS. Cambor explained that he believes acting requires two things: creativity and business know-how. As he put it, “Just like in any other business you have to know how to work on a team, how to work with other people, what’s realistic under great constraints and how you can find freedom within those constraints.” (Oct. 25)

In The Middletown Press, City of Middletown Acting Health Director Kevin Elak said the COVID-19 positivity rate is relatively low in the city because a lot of testing is done in Middletown, “between pharmacies and the new testing site at Cross Street (AME Zion Church), as well as Wesleyan University regularly testing its staff and students.” (Oct. 22)