Christian CamerotaMarch 20, 20192min
At the University’s 187th Commencement on May 26, Wesleyan will present the Baldwin Medal, the highest award of the Alumni Association, to Barbara-Jan Wilson. For over 36 years, Wilson has been a stalwart in the Wesleyan administration and a driving force behind the University’s fundraising efforts. Beginning at Wesleyan in 1982 as the director of Career Planning, she moved on to serve as dean of Admission and Financial Aid in 1990, and then as vice president of University Relations from 1999 to 2018. Throughout that time, Wilson has been one of the University’s biggest champions and cheerleaders, boldly and convincingly…

Christian CamerotaFebruary 14, 20191min
At the University’s 187th Commencement on May 26, 2019, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the historic Vanguard Class of 1969 and the founding of the African American Studies program at Wesleyan, Wesleyan will present three honorary degrees. Saidiya Hartman ’84, a groundbreaking scholar and cultural historian, will deliver this year’s Commencement address. Hazel Carby and Edwin Sanders II ’69 also will be honored. (more…)

Christian CamerotaJanuary 24, 20193min
Before "Fortnite" and "Candy Crush," before "Super Mario Bros." and "Tetris," in fact, even before things like VCRs, Post-its, email, and hacky sacks, eight young MIT students came up with a truly novel idea that ended up becoming not just one of the first video games of its kind, but one of the first video games ever. Their excitement is still palpable in the game's title, "Spacewar!" The game essentially launched what today Smithsonian Magazine estimates as a $140 billion industry, with games as varied and ubiquitous as the devices they are played on. All modern-day players and developers owe…

Christian CamerotaDecember 6, 20185min
To listen to Cliff Thornton speak with prospective students and parents is to feel included, even if you’re eavesdropping. Thornton is associate dean of admission at Wesleyan, covering a wide geographic and socioeconomic range: the South Central U.S. from Kentucky to Louisiana, Manhattan, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean. Having served these communities—and Wesleyan—now for more than 30 years, it makes sense that he would demonstrate an ease and fluency in his relations with so many different people from such different backgrounds. He’s had a lot of practice. But something unique about Thornton, which by many accounts…

Christian CamerotaNovember 12, 20183min
Tsampikos Kottos, professor of physics, and Wesleyan University will lead a complex, multi-institution initiative to research and develop the next generation of national instrumentation technology thanks to a four-year, $2,794,606 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Awarded this August, the grant is the culmination of at least eight years of photonics research by Kottos and his fellow collaborators, and will have significant implications for the future of a variety of technologies employed by the federal government and the private sector. An agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA funds research and development projects that push the…

Christian CamerotaOctober 11, 20182min
Muzzy Rosenblatt ’87; David Jones ’70; Phoebe Boyer ’89; Sharon Greenberger ’88, P’19; David Rivel ’83; and Alan Mucatel ’84 were recently honored for their contributions to social services and nonprofit organizations in New York with their inclusion in “The 2018 Nonprofit Power 50,” representing a strong showing by Wesleyan alumni in the 50-person list. The list was produced by City & State New York, a self-described nonpartisan media organization that covers New York’s local and state politics and policy. “...The nonprofit and philanthropic sectors tend to go unnoticed and are all too often unheralded,” the publication wrote. “But behind…

Christian CamerotaSeptember 20, 20181min
On Thursday, Sept. 20, Wesleyan University launched a new home page, part of a broader core messaging effort to update and strengthen University-wide communications. The home page design process was driven by rigorous analysis of usage statistics and by examining best practices for websites. The home page’s state-of-the-art functionality is intended to differentiate Wesleyan in an increasingly crowded and competitive higher education landscape, and to highlight the University’s distinctive qualities. (more…)

Christian CamerotaSeptember 17, 20182min
Wesleyan professors Lisa Dierker and Jennifer Rose were recently awarded a $2.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to extend and disseminate their research on passion-driven statistics. The grant begins in the fall of 2018 and extends through 2023. Recognizing the rapidly increasing importance of data-oriented skills in the modern workforce, passion-driven statistics was developed as a novel approach to make statistics and quantitative methods courses more accessible and engaging, particularly for traditionally marginalized students. It moves away from canned exercises, toward more applied, real-world, project-based learning experiences. ”An empowering curriculum needs to rise to many challenges,” Dierker…