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Steve ScarpaNovember 1, 20236min
Associate Professor of Spanish María Ospina’s most recent novel has been recognized with the 2023 Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most important literary awards in the Spanish speaking world.”  Founded in 1993, the prize is awarded each year to the female author of a novel originally published in Spanish. The award is given by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and Ospina will give a speech at the ceremony in Nov. 29. Her book was published by Random House in Latin America in April.   Ospina’s novel was selected unanimously out of over 100 applicants from…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 31, 20236min
Wesleyan University announced the launch of a $600 million fundraising initiative, the largest in the University’s history, on Saturday, October 28 during Homecoming and Family Weekend. Approximately 350 members of the Wesleyan community gathered to celebrate that more than $360 million had already been raised through the initiative, called “This is Not a Campaign. This is Wesleyan.” “Wesleyan is not your ordinary liberal arts college, and to signal this, we make a point of scrapping the ordinary term ‘campaign’—the ordinary just doesn’t do justice to who we are and who we want to be,” wrote President Michael S. Roth ’78…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 25, 20237min
Tula Telfair’s paintings explore wilderness in the form of recalled and imagined landscapes in order to acknowledge its inherent power and remarkable fragility. “My work investigates consciousness, memory, and the subjectivity of perception to anchor our place in the world,” Telfair said. As someone who creates photo-realistic, but materially varied and analogue process oil paintings of places that only exist in her mind’s eye, issues surrounding artificial intelligence interest her. Last year she put forward the topic: Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Consciousness for Wesleyan’s annual Shasha Seminar on Human Concerns. “As I was imagining the proposal, my first thought was,…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 18, 20234min
President Michael S. Roth ’78 joined Middletown High School students in a discussion of his new book “The Student: A Short History” on Thursday, Oct. 5 at RJ Julia Bookstore. In addition to Roth’s talk, MeshEd  led a writing and tutoring workshop entitled the “Art of the Personal Essay.” MeshEd, an organization that provides project-based learning curriculum and professional development for teachers, also offers afterschool programs at Middletown High School through its Aspiring Young Learners Initiative. Roth discerned a common theme through examining the relationships of Confucius, Socrates, and Jesus with their students, and diving into what it has meant…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 11, 20236min
Producer Michelle Rabinowitz Carney ‘02 has produced a newly released documentary about the civil trial of white supremacists in Charlottesville that sheds new light into the motivations of the far-right organizers—and the courageous stand attorneys and plaintiffs took against them. “No Accident,” released on HBO and available to stream on MAX or HBO and MAX October 10, follows the attorneys who took a novel legal approach against the leaders of a far-right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 that resulted in violence and the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer. “What people don’t realize is there was a larger conspiracy to commit…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 10, 20236min
Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti connected the 1970 Black Panther trials held in New Haven to important jury reforms taking place in Connecticut today. Chakravarti delivered her lecture on the subject, entitled “The Black Panther Trials in New Haven and the Power of the Jury,” at the Faculty and Staff Lunch Talk held on October 5. She outlined a brief history of the Black Panther Party in Connecticut and the facts behind two trials surrounding the 1969 murder of Alex Rackley, a 19-year-old Floridian who had been sent to help the Panther chapter in New Haven. The Black Panther Party…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 4, 20235min
More than half of people who die by suicide visited a primary care physician in the month prior to their death, according to research. That statistic indicates a unique opportunity to help identify people wresting with suicidal ideation and perhaps save lives. Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexis M. May, director of the Risk, Prevention, and Intervention (RPI) Lab, has recently published research that shows a common depression screening questionnaire given at regular primary care visits is more effective in predicting future suicidal behavior over the short term than specific questions about suicidal thoughts themselves. “It suggests to me that while…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 26, 20237min
Each year A. George Bajalia, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, presents a multidisciplinary arts festival in Tangier, Morocco that is more than just a performance—it’s a gathering place for artistic exploration. Bajalia, along with cultural programmer Zakaria Alilech and theatre producer Tom Casserly, founded the Youmein Festival in 2015. Several years before, the trio had worked on a Moroccan Arabic take on West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, and the story of Tislit and Isli. Around the same time an old factory space in Tangier became available. Bajalia knew the local artistic scene was multidisciplinary it its approach and he began…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 20, 20237min
As Wesleyan University comes up on the final moments of its most recent round of campus improvements, eyes are already turning towards the future. Staff and faculty members are working alongside members of the Board of Trustees to chart the future course of the University’s infrastructure. “Every other month we are meeting to talk about the progress of our campus planning … we are in the very early stages of this work,” said Alan Rubacha, Assistant Vice President, Construction and Infrastructure. Rubacha said the committee is working in three different areas—energy and infrastructure, academic and administrative facility needs, and residential…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 20, 20236min
Showing camaraderie and spirit, the first students participating in the African Scholars Program are growing acclimated to the unique experience offered at Wesleyan. The exceptional group of 13 students from across Africa assembled at a welcome dinner on Thursday, Sept. 7 in the Daniel Family Commons. The scholars and their mentors shared a meal, remarks, poetry, songs, and a shared sense of purpose. Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez ‘96, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, encouraged the students to see their time at Wesleyan as an opportunity to empower and uplift themselves. While he asked that they give of…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 14, 20235min
Wesleyan University will be participating in a research project to explore the potential—and pitfalls--of generative artificial intelligence as a teaching and research tool. Wesleyan joins 19 other universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, Stony Brook University, Temple University, Bryant University, Duke University, Concordia University, and Yale University on the two-year research project led by Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit organization that helps the academic community evaluate and use digital technologies. “Together the partners in the Making AI Generative for Higher Education will assess the immediate and emerging AI applications most likely to impact teaching,…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 8, 20235min
Merve Emre, Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing and Criticism, believes the function of criticism is to model a passionate form of thinking. Her new lecture series will put that passion on display through a series of conversations with writers working at the top of their profession. The series, called “The Critic and Her Publics,” features writers from The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, N+1, and other leading publications. The lineup includes Andrea Long Chu, Maggie Doherty, Moira Donegan, Hannah Goldfield, Lauren Michele Jackson, Jo Livingstone, Anahid Nersessian, Sophie Pinkham, Doreen St. Felix, Parul Sehgal, Carina del Valle Schorske, and…