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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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Editorial StaffAugust 1, 20226min
Citing the urgent need for more effective and equitable health communication, researchers at Wesleyan University are collaborating with two other universities on a unique rapid response research endeavor led by Cornell communication professor Jeff Niederdeppe and funded with a newly announced $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “At this moment it is crucial to understand both the nature of and the potential of messaging around policies promoting racial and health equity,” said Steven Moore, assistant professor of government and an expert on race and politics. “I’m excited to be a part of this fantastic team of…

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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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Editorial StaffJuly 21, 20227min
Wesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. (Updated July 29, 2022) Frank G. Binswanger Jr. '50, P '76, '78, GP '13, '15, former member of Wesleyan's Board of Trustees and corporate real executive, has died. Frank and his brother John ’54, P’83, GP’ 06, ’10, ’16 established the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in honor of their father. Each year at Commencement members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee choose three faculty as recipients of the prize. (July 28) Carolyn Renzin '95…

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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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Editorial StaffJuly 13, 20224min
Herbert Francis Kenny, Jr., Adjunct Professor of Physical Education, Emeritus, and former men’s basketball coach, passed away on July 9 at the age of 89. Herb earned his BS from Saint Bonaventure University and his MS from the University of Connecticut. He arrived at Wesleyan in 1964 and spent the next 30 years here, serving 27 years as head coach of men’s basketball, 23 years as head coach of golf, and 15 years as an assistant football coach. Inducted into the Wesleyan Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame in 2017, Herb was the winningest…

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Andrew ChatfieldJuly 11, 20226min
World-renowned artist Toshi Reagon might learn just as much from Wesleyan students as they learn from her. As part of her artist residency at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, Reagon is currently on campus developing her latest project, following virtual visits to two Dance Department classes in April which helped to inform her work. The Center for the Arts will present a work-in-progress showing of "You’re Having Too Much Fun So We’re Gonna Have to Kill You" as part of the 2022-2023 Performing Arts Series in the CFA Theater in October, offering a special first glimpse into her process.…

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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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Editorial StaffJune 29, 20229min
By Victoria Pitts-Taylor, professor and chair of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies In May this year I attended a reproductive freedom protest organized by Wesleyan University students. We were taking part in a nationwide campus walkout after the draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked. Using the inclusive, intersectional language of reproductive justice, speakers at the rally advised the crowd how to get abortion access through medication by mail, how to help others attain abortions across state lines, and how to fight for legal protections at the state and national level if Roe was overturned. They were…

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Olivia DrakeJune 29, 20227min
Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which led to the forced relocation and internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. Among these were thousands of college students who were also discharged from their respective universities. In response, several university officials, church leaders, and active citizens formed the National Japanese Student Relocation Council in an attempt to return these Japanese American students—most of whom were U.S. citizens—back to college campuses, nationwide. "Japanese American WWII incarceration is a huge part of Asian American history that is not taught enough in schools," said economics major…