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Mike MavredakisApril 17, 20247min
A Wesleyan University faculty member and alumnus were two of 188 newly announced Guggenheim Fellows, according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation on April 11. Hari Krishnan, professor of Dance, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Global South Asian studies, received a fellowship for his work in choreography. Tavia Nyong’o ’95, William Lampson Professor of Theater and Performance Studies, American Studies, and African American Studies at Yale University, received one for Theatre Arts & Performance Studies. “It means everything to me. It’s a recognition of the work I do, the breadth of my eclectic choreography for over 30 years,” Krishnan said. “This recognition from Guggenheim is also a recognition…

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Mike MavredakisApril 12, 20244min
Student-veteran Desaree Edwards ’25 was one of 60 student leaders selected as Truman Scholars in 2024, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation announced on April 12. Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. Edwards aims to go to law school to become a legal advocate for adult survivors of human trafficking. She said she specifically wants to see federal expansion of the Trafficking Victims Protection…

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Mike MavredakisApril 10, 20247min
When Gad Nkurunziza ’27 excelled in sixth grade in the Burera district of Rwanda, his school’s headmaster gave him a chicken for his academic achievements. That single chicken introduced Nkurunziza’s family to poultry farming and transformed their lives, he said. Soon, Nkurunziza will bestow the same gift onto other families in his village, with the hopes it will help bring prosperity to his home community. “We as youths are able to not only impact our own lives, but also impact others,” Nkurunziza said. “I believe that society can change for the better. This [can] be done if we put creativity…

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Mike MavredakisApril 10, 20244min
Foss Hill is the place for gatherings. Commencement, Spring Fling, baseball games, the first snow fall. They are all occasions for people to grace the grass. Some do it in the spirit of achievement and others in the name of pure, good ‘ole fashioned fun. On April 8, hundreds of Wesleyan students, faculty, staff, and local community members came together on the University green for a different reason—wonder—as a partial solar eclipse passed above them. The Astronomy Department hosted an eclipse viewing on Foss Hill and in the Van Vleck Observatory in partnership with the Russell Library. Organizers passed out…

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Mike MavredakisMarch 27, 20248min
From book bans to restrictions on teaching, in recent years, there have been clear infringements on First Amendment rights in the U.S. and the problem may be more widespread than people realize. There was, for example, a 33 percent increase in book bans in the 2022-23 school year from the 2021-22 school year, largely targeting books about race, racism, and gender issues or featuring on LGBTQ+ characters and characters of color. Meanwhile, more than 300 gag order bills have been introduced across 46 state legislatures restricting the discussion of gender and racial identities, censorship of teaching materials, and, in some…

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Mike MavredakisMarch 13, 20245min
The climate change Earth is experiencing today is similar to that during a period of rapid and intense global warming it experienced some 56 million years ago. Understanding the similarities can help scientists evaluate what is happening in today’s warming world, according to Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Emerita. Key to that understanding is figuring out how much oxygen was dissolved in large swaths of the oceans during that period of rapid warming, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM, when average temperatures increased by 5-8o Celsius or 9-14o Fahrenheit in a few thousand years, Thomas…

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Mike MavredakisMarch 13, 202412min
President Michael S. Roth ’78 wrote an op-ed for Inside Higher Ed on his recent letters to state representatives calling for them to redouble their efforts to bring peace in the Middle East and to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. “Silence at a time of humanitarian catastrophe isn’t neutrality; it’s either cowardice or collaboration. We don’t need institution-speak, but we do need leaders of academic and cultural institutions to call on our government and our fellow citizens to address this crisis.” Roth joined the Yale University Press Podcast to talk about his book the history of the student, current crises…

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Mike MavredakisFebruary 28, 20246min
Wesleyan’s open curriculum lets students forge their own paths to the lives and careers they want, whether through continuing education or direct employment following graduation. A plethora of on-campus resources and a wide-ranging alumni network are available to students seeking their desired careers. “The world and the workplace are changing at a faster pace than any specific form of preparation will get you ready for,” Dean of Arts and humanities Roger Grant said after Humanities in Action Week, Feb. 12 to 16. “Instead, I’d encourage you to dig deep, find out what speaks to you, and devote your time to…

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Mike MavredakisFebruary 14, 20247min
Wesleyan is home to a wide cast of identities, life experiences, and traditions among its over 3,000 students. Each bring their own stories and backgrounds that combine to make campus a place where difference is celebrated. At Wesleyan, each person has a place to find their community. For some of Wesleyan’s students, finding community lays in sharing where they come from outside of the borders of campus. The university’s second annual Power of Language Week is a chance to set aside time to cherish and display those identities and the many languages that can come with them. The Fries Center…

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Mike MavredakisFebruary 14, 202413min
Elizabeth Bobrick, visiting scholar in classical studies, wrote a piece for Salon on the parallels between Athenian playwright Sophocles’ “Antigone” and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initial refusal to let the country’s public mourn the death of political enemy Alexei Navalny or his family hold a public funeral. “Navalny’s mother and widow join Antigone in prodding us to remember that the treatment of the dead has consequences for the living—not for Putin, necessarily, but for everyone who gets in his way,” Bobrick wrote.  Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth ’78 appeared on WNPR’s “Disrupted” on Feb. 7 to talk about his role…

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Mike MavredakisFebruary 7, 20245min
A student can be more than critical. A student can learn to follow, think independently, be creative, or love—or, all three. The act of being a student, as President Michael S. Roth ’78 explores in his, is one of pursuing freedom. “It's so great to be a student, because you're practicing freedom in a way that will increase your capacity to think for yourself and live with other people in a way that's meaningful,” Roth said during a Feb. 1 talk with an attentive audience of students, scholars, alumni, and parents at RJ Julia Bookstore on Main Street in Middletown.…