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Steve ScarpaSeptember 27, 20226min
A new Survey Lab led by Steven T. Moore, assistant professor of government, will have the opportunity dig deeply into public opinion to learn how and why Americans think the way they do about political and cultural issues. “This is one of the more exciting parts of my job. We’ve got all kinds of theories on how the world works, but they often don’t work out in reality. I’m trying to figure out which ones are concrete and which ones are telling us about how people are processing complicated events in this pivotal moment in American politics,” Moore said. The…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 26, 20226min
Recent research by Erika A. Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, suggests that the way scientists have long believed some antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections work could be incorrect. Aminoglycoside antibiotics have broad-spectrum, bacterial killing abilities and are often prescribed for childhood infections caused by Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, which can be found in E. coli, Salmonella, and V. cholera, amongst others. The stakes of the research are real, Taylor explained. Improved antibiotics would prevent needless deaths from E. coli, Salmonella and other Gram-negative bacteria. Relatively simple treatments, such as those for urinary tract infections, would be more efficient, improving people’s…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 2, 202211min
Emotions run high on Arrival Day at Wesleyan. Raw nerves live next to joy. Tears and laughs happen simultaneously. For the Class of 2026, the day is filled with hope, aspiration, and the promise a new year brings. “I’m feeling good. A little bit nervous. In the short term, I am excited to meet new people and make amazing new friends, but then I want to find my passion and explore different academic areas,” said William Liang ’26, whose sister Mia is a member of the Class of 2023. The 745 members of the Class of 2026, who arrived on…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 30, 202212min
From exploring the inner workings of the European Union to helping students in Zambia learn English along with a way to advocate for themselves, Wesleyan’s recipients of the Fulbright U.S. Student program will serve the Fulbright mission of citizen to citizen diplomacy and learn about themselves in the process. “I’ve spoken to other Fulbright (recipients) and they said when they left the program, they knew exactly what they wanted to do and they had a completely different perspective on their own situations … This program will be amazing because it will teach me all sides of the education perspective,” said…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 26, 20228min
While students were away for the summer, Wesleyan’s Physical Plant staff were hard at work on new construction and renovations across campus, projects that improve the university’s ability to offer a high-quality education. “I’m incredibly proud of the team that has accomplished so much on our campus this summer.  Their efforts will improve the sustainability of our campus and will benefit many future generations of Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff.  I’m grateful to the entire Wesleyan community for their help in prioritizing these critical projects and for the continued flexibility during ongoing construction projects,” said Andy Tanaka '00, Senior Vice…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 26, 20225min
Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, didn’t have a single female science teacher during her academic career. The lack of female representation in the field had an impact on her journey. “I had to swim upstream the whole time. That is what it felt like,” Taylor said. In an effort to make sure other young women don’t feel the same way, Taylor and Meng-ju Renee Sher ‘07, assistant professor of physics, are working diligently to show girls that a life in the sciences is desirable and attainable. The Girls in Science program, a partnership between Wesleyan and the Middletown Public…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 18, 20226min
Kristen Cardona MPhil ’22 has always had a thirst for teaching and learning. It led her to a career as an elementary and middle school educator. It drove her to take a few classes at Wesleyan, work with the Office of Continuing Education, and attain her own Masters of Philosophy in Liberal Arts degree (with an award-winning thesis project). Now, thanks to her hard work and the encouragement of her Wesleyan colleagues, Cardona will be going on a 10-month fellowship project training teachers and teaching English in Okinawa, Japan as part of the U.S. Department of State’s 2022-23 English Language…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 1, 20226min
Almost every scientist has an origin story, the moment they knew a life of scientific inquiry and research was something they wanted. “All of the faculty have that story,” said Seth Redfield, professor of astronomy, at the annual poster session held at Exley Science Center on July 28. “Almost all of them involve an experience like this one.” About 200 students representing all of the University’s scientific disciplines shared the fruits of a summer spent doing research. The summer research program is hosted by the College of Integrative Sciences. Students and faculty milled around the lobby of Exley, talking to…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 28, 20226min
Tsampikos Kottos, the Lauren B. Dachs Endowed Professor of Science and Society, is passionate about the importance of sensors in our everyday lives and believes his most recent efforts will improve safety in fields as varied as aviation, biology, and food safety. “Nothing in this universe can work without sensing. The human body is an amazing sensor, starting from the brain all the way down to the toes,” Kottos said. “We are trying to learn from what nature has created.” Kottos, along with Rodion Kononchuk, postdoctoral physics research associate in Wesleyan’s Wave Transport in Complex Systems Laboratory, Professor of Physics…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 20, 20224min
A recent paper co-authored by Anna Shusterman, professor of psychology, shows that for deaf and hard of hearing children, immediate access to language is needed to develop abstract concepts, like numeracy. “Language is important in its own right, but it also serves as the foundation for many other domains, including social and cognitive development,” Shusterman wrote. Shusterman’s study was published in the June issue of the journal Child Development. Shusterman and her colleagues, Rebecca Peretz-Lange ’13 of SUNY Purchase (who wrote her senior thesis on the project), Talia Berkowitz of University of Chicago, and Emily Carrigan of University of North…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 18, 20225min
Seth Redfield’s delight couldn’t be more apparent on the day the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope came through. On July 11 NASA released images of the Carina Nebula; Stephan’s Quintet (a galaxy cluster), atmospheric readings of WASP-96b, a planet orbiting a distant star; and the Southern Ring Nebula. While the images were certainly dreamlike and breathtaking, showing the oldest documented light in the universe from 13 billion years ago, it was the events of day two that got Redfield really excited. It was then that he, and scientists across the country, would start receiving raw data from…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 15, 20225min
Enoila Shokunbi, a fifth grader at McDonough School in Middletown, knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. “President,” she said quickly. “But I might want to be a singer first.” Enoila explains that someone like Taylor Swift would likely get more votes for president because of her pop stardom, so that might be the route she wants to emulate. After her visit to Wesleyan University’s IDEAS Lab on July 14, Enoila might be able to add scientist to her list of career aspirations. Enoila is part of the STEM GEMS camp run by STEAM Train, a non-profit…