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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…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 11, 20226min
  A new database created by Alyx Mark, assistant professor of government, documents the often mundane, yet vitally important changes courts made to their policies and procedures over the course of the global pandemic, changes that directly impact ordinary people’s access to justice. “We have 51 judiciaries – 52, if you count the federal system – and they are their own special unicorns. They all have different structures. They all have different personalities … they all approach their administrative roles and big policy questions in such different ways,” Mark said. The pandemic allowed Mark to examine how state courts make…

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Steve ScarpaJune 13, 20227min
It was sitting in the peace of synagogue with his wife where Stephen Angle began to contemplate his personal relationship to Confucianism. Angle, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies and professor of philosophy, had spent his career studying the ancient philosophy, which emphasizes personal ethics and morality. He’d written multiple academic books on the subject. The roots of his interest went all the way back to high school with a fascinating class on non-Western cultures. Still, there had always been one small remove between the ideas and his own life. “I didn’t understand the Hebrew being chanted. Half of…

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Steve ScarpaJune 6, 20229min
The Class of 2020 engaged in a bit of time travel over the course of their long-awaited in-person Commencement Celebration Weekend, which took place June 2-5, 2022. In the warmth of the perfect weather, the former classmates lounged on Foss Hill, gathered in the residence halls, shared meals and events together, and danced under the tent on Andrus Field. For a few days, they were able to interrupt daily life and experience the end of senior year feeling that COVID-19 took away. “I wanted to meet the special group of people who had decided to redo the past, this time…

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Steve ScarpaMay 22, 202218min
On a joyous day marked by ritual and ceremony, Wesleyan University bid a fond farewell to the accomplished Class of 2022 at its 190th Commencement on Sunday, May 22.  “I am extremely excited. I’ve been ready for this day,” said Ama Hagan ’22. “College is full of trials and tribulations, but there is a lot of success headed (our) way.” Wesleyan University conferred 793 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 12 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 38 Master of Arts, two Masters of Philosophy in Liberal Arts, 31 Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, and six Bachelors of Liberal Studies. (View all photos…

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Steve ScarpaMay 20, 202218min
Photos from throughout the Reunion weekend can be found here.  The Wesleyan University community gathered together May 19–22 for Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2022. As is Wesleyan’s tradition, the classes ending in 2 and 7 returned to campus to celebrate their reunions with a weekend of lectures, performances, dinners, and ceremonies. With generations of Wesleyans assembled together, the weekend was a celebration of the University’s past and its future. ** Alumni started returning to campus in earnest Friday morning, gathering under a tent outside Russell House for lunch and to look for familiar faces. David Lakein ’92, Juan Luque ’92,…

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Steve ScarpaMay 10, 202211min
A new residency will bring a trio of noteworthy writers to Wesleyan for the 2022-23 academic year as the University looks to augment its already robust writing programs. Mahogany L. Browne, poet, curator and author of “Black Girl Magic”; Merve Emre, Oxford professor and New Yorker critic; and Yuri Herrera, an acclaimed Mexican novelist and Tulane professor, will be the first to join the newly established Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program. “The Shapiro-Silverberg program will bring to campus writers whose work is already having an impact on a variety of audiences around the world. The initiative builds on a…

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Steve ScarpaMay 9, 20226min
Political upheaval. A national reckoning on matters of race. A global pandemic. Any one of these major world happenings would leave an impact on a student’s college experience. But for the Wesleyan University Class of 2022, the totality of events has been, to dredge up an overused expression, unprecedented. As Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2022 approaches, Wesleyan reflects on and celebrates a class that has shown courage, creativity, and resiliency in the face of a complicated and fraught world. “There were difficulties aplenty, but also tremendous fortitude and endless examples of sacrifice for the greater good,” said Michael Whaley, vice…