Wesleyan in the News: May 2024

Mike MavredakisMay 15, 20249min
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New York Times reporter Hannah Dreier ’08 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for her work on a series of stories revealing the widespread reach of migrant child labor across the United States. Dreier also previously won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2019 for a ProPublica series that followed Salvadoran immigrants on Long Island whose lives were affected by federal investigations in the MS-13 criminal gang. 

“This reporting was possible only because of the bravery of migrant children who took huge risks to share their experiences,” Dreier said after receiving the prize on May 6. “There are hundreds of thousands of these kids in the country. Some are still working dangerous, grueling jobs, and I dedicate this prize to them. 

The Invisible Institute, founded by Jamie Kalvan ’69, won a Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting for its 11-episode podcast “You Didn’t See Nothin” about a vicious hate crime at a Chicago housing development in the 1997. The firm’s reporting and Kalvan’s role in the story was profiled in The New York Times. This was one of two Pulitizer’s won by the Invisible Institute this year. 

“It’s stunning,” Kalven, 75, told The New York Times. “I just stepped out of our office, which is in a complete uproar of excitement.” 

President Michael S. Roth ’78 urged future college students to pick their schools based on whether they would discover new skills, perspectives, and learn rather than where they would feel most comfortable in a piece for The New York Times. “The most rewarding forms of education make you feel very uncomfortable, not least because they force you to recognize your own ignorance. Students should hope to encounter ideas and experience cultural forms that push them beyond their current opinions and tastes.” 

Roth wrote a piece for The New Republic explaining his reasoning for allowing pro-Palestinian protestors to remain in encampments on campus on May 7. “Right now, I’m most concerned with protecting their right to protest in nonviolent ways that don’t undermine our educational program. For me, the modest violations of the rules are preferable to the narrow-minded vocationalism that others seem suddenly to pine for.” 

Roth appeared on a panel at the Milken Institute’s 2024 Global Conference to offer his thoughts on the interplay between higher education, skills-based hiring, and the value of a college degree in today’s labor climate.

Visiting Scholar in Classical Studies Elizabeth Bobrick wrote a moving essay for The New York Times about her journey through education, a former relationship, and the impact of an outstretched hand when she needed it most.

Variety listed The College of Film and the Moving Image among its “2024 Top Film Schools in North America.” Scott Higgins, director of The College of Film and the Moving Image, said “While we teach skills such as analytical and creative writing, producing, shooting and editing, our goals are broader. We aim to help undergraduates discover their goals and to develop their creative and critical voices in a collaborative community founded on a passionate commitment to the moving image.”

Robyn Autry, associate professor of sociology and director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, wrote about a new HULU series “Black Twitter: A People’s History,” a documentary on the influence that Black users of Twitter had on the platform before it was purchased and re-shaped by Elon Musk, in a piece for MSNBC. “Sometimes the results were chaotic, and sometimes they were toxic, but most of the time the result was an awesome display of Black cultural power and influence,” Autry wrote. “The series tracks this influence as everyday Black people found not just each other but also political figures and celebrities who were in the mix alongside them.” 

Zachariah Ezer ’17 was selected for the Liberation Theatre Company’s Writing Residency Program for 2024-25, alongside three other emerging playwrights, according to Broadway World. The program offers residents dramaturgical and career support over the course of a 10-month period, in which they are required to complete a first draft of a full-length play. The residents are also given the opportunity to receive a reading of the play in the Spring of 2025. 

Monica Jahan Bose ’86 is set to open the public art installation “SWIMMING” at Marie Reed Plaza in Washington D.C. The exhibit, which explores our connection to water amid climate change, will be open 24 hours a day from June 6 to 20 and includes a series of public engagement events.