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Men’s Lacrosse is NCAA Semi-Finalist

Glenn Adams ’06, at top, is Wesleyan’s leading lacrosse player, scoring 90 goals and 117 assists for 207 points. Charlie Congleton ’07, at bottom, is the team’s goalie. Both were named All-Americans this year.

Posted 05/28/06
A year ago, the Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team posted a 13-6 record and made its first trip to the NCAA Division III tournament, winning its first game before falling in the quarter-finals to eventual tournament runner-up Middlebury College. This year’s team went one step further, reaching the NCAA Division III semi-finals, and came within an overtime goal of a trip to the national championship game.

The semi-final game played in Cortland, N.Y. featured the 10th-ranked Cardinals against 5th-ranked State University of New York (SUNY), Cortland. SUNY-Cortland lead 2-0 in the first quarter, but Wesleyan battled back to earn a 4-3 halftime lead. Scoring the quick goals were Grayson Connors ’08, Alex Kaufman ’08, Jordan Funt ’06 and Chris Jasinski ’08 scored. Vitulano added another goal in the third quarter giving Wesleyan a 5-3 lead but Cortland rallied to tie the score before the quarter’s end. Mike Walsh ’06 put Wesleyan up 6-5 in the fourth, but Cortland tied the match with 6:09 to go. The teams stayed even the rest of regulation, but Wesleyan entered sudden death overtime with down a man due to a penalty. Cortland wasted no time in taking advantage and in their first attack, just 42 seconds into the overtime period they scored, winning the match and qualifying for their first NCAA title game since 1981.

It was a heart-breaking end to a very successful season for the Wesleyan squad. The Cardinals spent the entire year ranked in the top 15. The team posted a 16-4 record, earned a second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and was a finalist in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament, losing 10-9 in the final game to Middlebury.

The 2006 squad returned 22 letter-winners returned from the 2005 team and added 15 freshmen to the roster. In addition to their NCAA and NESCAC success, the team’s highlights include:

  • Ending the Middlebury Panthers’ 11-year home undefeated streak with a 10-7 victory.
  • Number 2 seeding in the NESCAC Tournament,
  • An at-large bid and first round bye in the NCAA Tournament
  • NCAA Tournament wins against 4th-ranked Rochester Institute of Technology, 11-8, and 6th-ranked SUNY- Geneseo, 16-10.

    The team’s spot in the national semi-finals, the first time any Wesleyan squad had advanced that far in an NCAA Division III single-elimination tournament (Wesleyan baseball was runner-up in the 1994 NCAA Division III World Series but the format was double-elimination).

    Glenn Adams ’06 led the team with 69 points on 25 goals and 44 assists, bringing his career totals to 90 goals and 117 assists for 207 points. He ranks fourth all-time at Wesleyan. Adams was first-team all-NESCAC for a third consecutive season, a first-team all-New England Division III pick and was invited to the USILA All-American luncheon on May 28. He also was one of 30 Division III players chosen for the annual USILA North-South Senior All-Star Game.

    Charlie Congleton ’07, the team’s goalie, was named an All-American as well as first-team all-NESCAC and all-New England. He started all 20 games this season while logging a .678 save percentage and 6.73 goals-against average. His save percentage was ranked second nationally and his goals-against average ranked eleventh.

    Pete Harris ’07 earned second-team all-NESCAC while Mike Hines ’07 and Grayson Connors ’08 Connors made second-team all-New England.

    Head Coach John Raba received his second NESCAC Coach of the Year award. He was also the 2001 recipient of the award.

    By Brian Katten, sports information director

    Saving Energy All Summer Long

    Dave Pompei, Central Power Plant foreperson, checks one of three chillers the university owns. Wesleyan is being aggressive in its energy conservation efforts.

    Pictured at right is a view inside one of Wesleyan’s three boilers. Wesleyan will be installing a new cogeneration system that will replace the use of one boiler in the summer.

    Posted 05/28/06
    Wesleyan is pulling the plug on high energy usage.

    Something as simple as unplugging the office coffee machines for the weekend can save Wesleyan thousands of dollars a year, says Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management in Physical Plant. Although the burners are off, most coffee machines continue to heat the water left in the reservoir 24-hours a day.

    Staye ran his own experiment with Physical Plant’s coffee maker and measured the amount of electricity used in a one-day period. What he discovered is that 1 percent of all energy consumption campus-wide is used by coffee machines.

    Of course this is just a tiny component of Wesleyan’s $3.03 million dollar annual electric bill. The bulk of this usage is from heating and cooling the campus. Lighting is the second largest consumer of energy, and sadly, wasted energy is third.

    “If Wesleyan employees and students would remember to turn the lights out and their computer monitors off when they’re not using them, and turn down the AC over the weekend, Wesleyan could save 15 percent of its electricity use,” Staye says.

    Staye and the Physical Plant staff are already hard at work with preventive conservation measures. This summer, Physical Plant will replace the Center for the Arts office’s incandescent spot lights with fluorescent lights, saving $7,085 a year. They will also replace the lighting in the Center for the Arts Theater, saving $44,380 a year, and the lighting in the Music Studios, saving $88,271 a year. The entire replacement will cost $120,000, and will pay for itself in savings the first year.

    Over the last three years, the university has been able to keep its electrical consumption almost flat, even though new air-conditioned buildings have been brought on-line.

    “This is a trend we work hard at continuing, though it is getting harder and harder each year to keep the peak from increasing,” Staye says.

    Not only does all this save the university money, the State of Connecticut is counting on Wesleyan to continue with its efforts.

    The state, which is already importing energy from New York and Maine, cannot support the summertime power demand needed by Connecticut’s 3.5 million residents. The state’s power grid, which moves power around, is also old and undersized.

    “Reducing electrical consumption during the summer is especially critical as should demand exceed supply, there is a real potential for regional brown outs this summer,” Staye says. “A lengthy heat wave could cause real problems, and until the grid can be updated in 2010, conservation is the only alternative to shortages state-wide.”

    In fact, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility is offering Wesleyan a $1.3 million rebate to install a Cogeneration system, known as CoGen. GoGen is the use of a single fuel source, such as natural gas, to simultaneously generate both electricity and heat. Heat produced from generating electricity is captured and used to produce steam and hot water to be used as a heat source in dorms and other campus buildings. Conventional power plants emit the heat created as a by-product in to the environment.

    The cogeneration system or would cost $1.7 million after rebates; however it will save about $500,000 a year in energy costs. The Central Power Plant currently uses large boilers and coolants to service the heating and cooling needs of the 90 largest buildings on campus, and the cogeneration system will work in parallel with that equipment.

    “CoGen at Wesleyan will increase the reliability of our electrical delivery systems, benefit the environment, and save us substantial amounts of money,” says John Meerts, vice president for Finance and Administration, who proposed the CoGen’s installation. “Meanwhile we are helping to reduce the problematic Connecticut power delivery and generating situation, albeit in a small way. CoGen seems like a win win situation.”

    If there is a good side to the deregulation of the electrical industry, Staye says, it is that cogeneration systems have become a lot more cost effective.

    The CoGen equipment, which was approved in May, takes 18 months to install, and it will be active in January 2008.

    By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

    “Wesleyan Through the Years” Gives Clear View of Wesleyan History

    Posted 05/28/06
    It begins with an image from 1831 and ends at 2007 with a look at the future.

    “Wesleyan Through the Years,” an exhibit on display in Zelnick Pavilion, invites the campus community to stroll through Wesleyan’s history. The display consists of 24, 6-foot-by-4-foot transparencies that cling to the pavilion’s windows. Photographs, drawings and text depict key historical moments since Wesleyan’s inception 175 years ago. Sunlight illuminates the transparent graphics through the windows, making them glow.

    The timeline includes images of famous people and events at Wesleyan, highlights research, teaching and scholarship, illustrates outstanding speakers and guests, and memorializes the creation of iconic campus structures.

    “This exhibit captures the vibrant history, the zeal for learning and the passion for excellence that fills the air here on campus,” says Mark Bailey, director of Development Communication. “No one can enter this glass-walled space, walk through 175 years at Wesleyan depicted in life size imagery, and not be moved.”

    “Wesleyan Through the Years” was created by Bailey, Steven Jacaruso, art director; Jennifer Carlstrom, Web manager; Ryan Lee, Web designer; David Low, associate director of Publications; Shelley Burchsted, production manager; Bill Holder, director of Publications; Deana Hutson, director of Events; Heather Zavod, freelance editor; and Suzy Taraba, university archivist.

    Jacaruso says the modern and airy feeling of the Zelnick Pavilion makes it a perfect venue to host the exhibit.

    “The exhibit is dynamic and will attract visitors and in the process, they’ll learn a bit about Wesleyan’s history,” Jacaruso says.

    In addition to the Zelnick exhibit, five commemorative banners have been placed around campus: two on Olin Memorial Library, two on North College and one over High Street.

    The exhibit will be removed after Reunion & Commencement Weekend and reinstalled during Homecoming & Family Weekend.

    Wesleyan’s interactive timeline is online at

    At left, Steven Jacaruso, art director; Jen Carlstrom, Web manager; Mark Bailey, director of Development Communications; Ryan Lee, Web designer; and David Low, associate director of Publications helped develop “Wesleyan Through the Years,” on exhibit in Zelnick Pavilion. Pictured at top are three of the 24 highlights on display.

    By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

    Ph.D Candidate Documents Animal Rescue Work from Hurricane Katrina

    Laure Dykas, chemistry Ph.D candidate, is filming a documentary titled “Animal Rescue Katrina.”  Pictured below are rescued animals living in shoreline shelters, photographed by Dykas during her interviews with animal shelter managers.
    Posted 05/28/06
    It was the smell that let chemistry Ph.D candidate Laure Dykas know the Waveland, Miss. animal shelter was going to be horrific before she even stepped inside.

    The potent odors emanating from the shelter were seeping through the small cement-brick structure. It was 88 degrees inside, only an oscillating fan kept the 40-some animals cool.

    “You could tell these animals were miserable. Their little faces told you that much,” Dykas says. “There was also the cutest puppy, blind from one eye. He got up, clutching the cage, whimpering. These animals all had food and water but they were barely surviving. I took it all in and I felt the strongest overwhelming feeling of despair go through me.”

    Dykas, co-owner of Studio Mythopoetika, filmed the shelter May 7 as part of a documentary titled “Animal Rescue Katrina.” She and her husband, Joe, started the film company in 2004 as an outlet for their artistic interests. The couple spent one week in Hurricane Katrina-affected areas filming several overcrowded animal shelters and interviews with animal rescue personnel.

    At least 100,000 animals died as result of Katrina. Many people who were evacuated after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf states were not allowed to take their animals with them, and thousands of animals were left behind. Several of the animals left behind starved to death waiting for their families to return. Others died of disease and some were shot to death.

    To date about 12,000 have been rescued. The shelter in Waveland was the worst scenario they encountered. The shelter’s owner ran the facility with two volunteers. They survived off a few donations and no city support. The shelter and the animals were all the owner had. She lost her own home to the hurricane. She was doing all she could do.

    Dykas also shot footage of an investigation involving poor New Orleans residents who were told to leave their dogs and cats during the city’s evacuation in three schools in New Orleans. Local officials told the residents the animals would be cared for there until the families returned. The animals, however, were left to die, either of starvation or were shot to death.

    “I saw the photographs of the conditions and it just eats me alive that I didn’t go down there in 2005 when I heard about this,” Dykas says. “It’s just unbelievable in this day in age that things like this can happen.”

    In their documentary journeys, Laure and Joe Dykas visited the St. Francis sanctuary in Tylertown, Miss.; the Concordia Animal Welfare Shelter in Ferriday, La.; the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss.; PAWS, Plaquemine’s Animal Welfare in Belle Chasse, La.;Lamar Dixon, Miss., a temporary shelter used for four weeks after Katrina struck. She accompanied a volunteer from the Animal Rescue of New Orleans, trapping feral cats in New Orleans Historical District and New Orleans East. She also interviewed Chris McLaughlin, founder of Animal Rescue Front of Massachusetts, who has organized transports of animals from Mississippi to the North East.

    The Dykas’s interviewed Louisiana State Senator Heulette “Clo” Fontenot in Baton Rouge. The senator has proposed a bill titled Pet Evacuation Bill in Louisiana that will ensure that pets will be evacuated with their families in the event of another disaster. They also interviewed long-time animal rescuer Jane Garrison, co-founder of Animal Rescue New Orleans.

    Dykas says her documentary will be about 60 minutes long. She and her husband are going through more than 12 hours of tape to create the film, which she describes as “objective reality.” She hopes to have it completed by Katrina’s one year anniversary in late August.

    “We’re dedicating the documentary to all the animal rescuers and the families who lost their animal best friends, and in memory of all the animals that died during and after Katrina,” Dykas says. “The volunteers who are working with these animals are amazing, self-sacrificing people and they inspire me to want to be like that.”

    She has relied on her savings and donations to pay for all expenses incurred. Dykas hopes to show the documentary in film festivals and eventually on television stations. A percentage of the revenue from the film will be donated to all the shelters featured in the film.

    Dykas hopes to graduate with her Ph.D in chemistry in 2007 and teach at the high school or collegiate level. Her husband, who is working two jobs to support the family, will devote more time to art. Both will continue to run Studio Mythopoetika.

    Meanwhile, Dykas is going to finish her FEMA certification in the event of another natural disaster.

    “Every town needs to have an evacuation plan, and animals need to be included in it,” she says. I hope that the government will reconsider the fact that pets are part of the family and you cannot sever that bond between people and their animals.”

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    Gallery Coordinator Interested in the Arts

    Camille Parente is the financial analyst / gallery coordinator for the Center for the Arts.
    Posted 05/28/06
    Q: Camille, what year did you come to Wesleyan?

    A: Originally, I came to Wesleyan in 1999, and I was as an administrative assistant for the Office of University Communications. One of my key responsibilities was to oversee the production of the Wesleyan Weekly, when there still was a printed version of the events on campus. I later transferred to the Center for the Arts office.

    Q: You were recently promoted to be the CFA’s financial analyst and gallery coordinator. What is involved in your new position?

    A: My position had evolved over the last several years in both its responsibilities and complexity. It involves much more budget management, forecasting and financial analysis. I will also act as the financial consultant to the financial coordinator of the Green Street Arts Center.

    Q: What gallery do you coordinate? And how does this overlap with Nina Felshin’s role, if any?

    A: I’ll be working with the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery exhibits. Nina is the curator of exhibitions. She works directly with the artists and plans the exhibitions. I am in charge of managing the operations of the gallery which involves overseeing all activities in the gallery, including staffing, scheduling and general oversight. I work with Nina on the gallery budget management as well.

    Q: What are your personal interests in the arts?

    A: I have always enjoyed both the visual arts and the performing arts. I admire the traditional masters as well as more contemporary artists. There is so much inspiration in their work. I love going to galleries and museums and being overwhelmed by the art.
    I am a big fan of photography. I also enjoy watching dancers, musicians and actors perform. Anyone who has talent that I don’t, I admire.

    Q: I understand you are a GLSP student. What have been some of your favorite classes, and are you taking any this summer?

    A: I have to say that I’ve enjoyed all of the GLSP classes that I’ve taken. I especially enjoyed the portrait photography course with Marion Belanger. I was able to take chances with my work and explore new techniques. This summer, I plan to take The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar and Black and White Photography: Art and Technique. I chose the ARTS as my focus in GLSP since the possibilities are endless.

    Q: Who are the key people you work with at the CFA, and do you feel it is beneficial to be immersed in the arts all day?

    A: I have the opportunity to work with really wonderful hard-working people. Much of our work requires a collaborative effort and we work well as a team. I think that certain environments are more productive than others. Being immersed in the arts is both very rewarding and interesting as well. It is so culturally rich. A creative environment seems to suit my personality.

    Q: What goes on during the day?

    A: There is a lot of paperwork and financial reporting that is involved in the job. I often have to meet with Pam Tatge for our budget reviews as well as our financial planning. I am on the Financial Managers’ Committee as well. The heaviest concentration of my work done is on the computer. I think that Wesleyan is a great place to work.

    Q: How is your job challenging or rewarding?

    A: I really enjoy working in such a creative environment. There is talent all around me, both in visual and performing arts. We at the CFA have a very busy schedule year round. Multi-tasking is key. Making sure everything gets done well and on time is sometimes challenging. If I could have a just a few more hours in the day, I’d be all set.

    Q: Where did you go to college and what did you major in? When will you finish your master’s of arts in liberal studies?

    A: I went to the University of Connecticut and I majored in occupational and environmental health and safety. I will complete my master’s of arts in liberal studies in spring 2007.

    Q: What are your hobbies and interests?

    A: I really love photography and I am still in the process of learning. There are so many options available and I continuing to explore new techniques to really try to expand my own work.

    Q: What is something unique about you?

    A: It’s hard to narrow it down. I prefer to think of my idiosyncrasies as what make me unique. I’ll say that my uncanny ability to memorize song lyrics is unique. I know all lyrics to all types of music, from the time I was growing up to now as an adult I am generally a private person, but I will say that I am engaged and we have three cats, or as I usually refer to them, three furry children. Since I am taking two GLSP courses this summer, I will most likely be enjoying weekend day trips to the beach to allow myself enough time to study.

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

    President Bennet Delivers Commencement Remarks

    Posted 05/27/06

    The following is President Douglas J. Bennet’s 174th Commencement Remarks presented during Commencement Ceremonies May 28.

    A video clip of President Bennet’s speech can be found at:

    Last weekend Midge and I attended a commencement at a different institution. The graduate in question was a niece who had chosen not to attend Wesleyan for obvious reasons. It was a glorious affair, as this commencement will be, but it reminded us of the value of brevity…so I will be brief.

    First, let me echo enthusiastically Jim Dresser and Pacho Carreno’s welcome to you, and thanks to your families and the faculty. I really thought that Pacho captured all my hopes for Wesleyan in his powerful statement. This is Jim’s first commencement as chair of the Wesleyan board of trustees, and we particularly welcome him to this platform.

    Second, let me point out that today’s commencement coincides with the 175th anniversary of Wesleyan’s charter, which was granted on May 26, 1831, so this year we celebrate our septaquintaquinquecentennial.

    In this anniversary year we will study Wesleyan history with renewed attention. It is a history that goes back to the early years of the Republic. It is a history of consistent educational purpose and of successful renewal to meet changing times. It is a history both of privilege and of commitment to social good.

    In recent decades we have broadened our commitment to access and to racial equality, recognizing that these are still uphill battles in America. It is a great honor to be able, in just few minutes, to “yield back the balance of my time” to a person who has kept the reality of racism in America before us throughout his scholarly and personal life.

    Let me just conclude with a word to the class of 2006. You represent over 700 individual scholarly and personal outcomes—accomplishments of imagination, inspiration, perspiration, obsession, focus, sportsmanship, passion and intellect. At the same time, your engagement with each other’s points of view and backgrounds, has allowed you to think and rethink who you are and who you want to be. Our small global university nurtures an environment in which encounters with each other, between disciplines and points of view, let us learn from each other.

    You care a lot about other people, and you have shown that you will be part of the solutions. I know this because of your responses to Katrina, to the Indian Ocean tsunami, to the genocide in Darfur, and to your Middletown neighbors. Where existing institutions seem not to be getting the job done, you have created new not-for-profit organizations to foster everything form micro-credit in Nepal to nonpartisan debate on global issues in America.

    There’s something special and powerful about a Wesleyan education. You have contributed mightily to it. I am confident that you embody Wesleyan’s strengths and its commitments. Keep up the great work. Stay in touch as we turn the corner toward our bicentennial. We will miss you very much.

    Congratulations to you, the class of 2006.

    Thank you.

    Higher Education Innovator, Leader Dies at 72

    Edgar F. Beckham was Wesleyan’s first African-American dean of the college. In 1991 he received Wesleyan’s Raymond E. Baldwin Medal for service.
    Posted 05/25/06
    Edgar F. Beckham, one of the nation’s most influential and beloved leaders in higher education, died Wednesday in Middletown at the age of 72. He was a resident of North Haven.

    As the first African-American dean of the college at Wesleyan University, Beckham led efforts to build understanding that diversity is integral to excellence in American education. While he served as dean, Wesleyan University became a national model for excellence in education for students of diverse backgrounds. Beckham also served as the chair of the Connecticut Board of Education, working to bring the lessons learned at Wesleyan to the public schools of Connecticut. In the 1990s, he headed one of the most far-reaching and effective change efforts ever launched in higher education: the Ford Foundation’s Campus Diversity Initiative. Then in 1998, he joined the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as a senior fellow, where he continued to guide colleges and universities throughout the United States on matters of educational quality.

    Beckham’s civic contributions were many. In addition to his service to Connecticut education, he served as chair of the boards of Middlesex Hospital, the Donna Wood Foundation, and the Connecticut Humanities Council. He also served as a trustee to the Connecticut Housing Authority, Mount Holyoke College, Vermont Academy, Connecticut Public Broadcasting and the Association of International Educators.

    Beckham was honored with numerous awards. In 1997 he received the Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. In 1991 he received Wesleyan’s Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, awarded for extraordinary service to Wesleyan and to the public good. In 1996, he was named Dean of the College Emeritus, and in 1998 the Wesleyan Alumni Association honored him with its Distinguished Service Award. Beckham received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1997 from Olivet College and in 2000 from Clark University.

    “Edgar Beckham’s legacy is his message that diversity is about much more than adding people of color to white campuses,” said AAC&U president Carol Geary Schneider. “He led a movement to enlarge the content of the curriculum, create intercultural community on campus, add new dimensions to liberal education, and build new civic capacity for democracy. He enriched us all with his life, his work, and his love.”

    Edgar Beckham was born August 5, 1933 in Hartford, Conn., the son of Willabelle Hollinshed and Walter Henry Beckham. He grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Hartford and attended Weaver High School.

    In 1951, Beckham enrolled at Wesleyan University, the recipient of the Lewis Fox Scholarship for his outstanding academic record at Weaver High School, and of several other named scholarships. He pursued a pre-med course of study, and was editor-in-chief of the Argus, Wesleyan’s student newspaper, a member of the choir, and a fraternity member of Delta Sigma. Between his junior and senior years at Wesleyan, he served for three years in the U.S. Army in Germany where he trained as a neuropsychiatric technician. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in German. That same year, he married Ria Haertl of Stuttgart, Germany.

    He earned his master’s and completed his doctoral course work in Germanic languages and literatures at Yale University. He began his academic career at Wesleyan in 1961 as an instructor of German. He spent 28 of the next 29 years at Wesleyan, serving in various posts including lecturer in German, director of the language laboratory, associate provost, and, from 1973-1990, dean of the college. “Edgar Beckham guided Wesleyan through the very difficult and utterly transformational period when we learned the hardest lessons about what it meant to be a diverse community,” said Wesleyan President Doug Bennet. “He succeeded by keeping us focused on what we could accomplish for ourselves and the larger society as we succeeded.”

    Beckham also taught Freshman Humanities and courses in African-American studies at Wesleyan. While at Wesleyan, Beckham was the coordinator of Explorations in the Black Experience, an experimental high school course in black history designed and taught by Wesleyan undergraduates. He was also coordinator of studies for Wesleyan Upward Bound, an anti-poverty program for high school students.

    Beckham spent the 1966-1967 academic year abroad in Germany where he taught English language and African-American history and literature at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He also lectured extensively at America Houses throughout the Federal Republic of Germany on the state of civil rights and racial consciousness in the United States.

    In the fall of 1990, Beckham accepted a position as program officer for the Ford Foundation’s Education and Culture Program. In this capacity, he affected the curriculum and co-curricular activities at hundreds of American college campuses. He organized international seminars on campus diversity in India, South Africa, and the United States, and he wrote and edited materials for the three volumes of essays based on the seminars. Beckham’s singular contributions to the Foundation’s work on access, diversity as an educational asset, and multicultural education earned him the unprecedented title of Senior Program Officer. “Edgar was the philosopher-king and the moral conscience of the Education and Culture Program,” said Alison R. Bernstein, a current vice president of the Foundation who worked closely with him.

    Beckham is survived by his wife, Ria; son Frederick and daughter-in-law Julie; a sister, Ruth Beckham Holloman; a brother, William Beckham; a niece, Merle Holloman; and a nephew, Wendell Holloman.

    A service was held May 30 at Wesleyan University’s Memorial Chapel.

    258 Students Honored at Reception

    Wesleyan students received 145 awards during the Academic Awards and Prizes Reception at the Russell House May 9. The event was organized by the Dean’s Office. (Photos by Olivia Drake)
    Posted 05/18/06
    Two-hundred-and-fifty-eight Wesleyan students were the recipients of 145 awards during the Academic Awards and Prizes Reception at the Russell House May 9. Thirty-three of these students received more than one award.

    The graduating class of 2006 had 175 recipients, the class of 2007 had 78 recipients, the class of 2008 had 24 recipients, and the class of 2009 had 12 recipients.

    Ten graduate students, eight alumni, two organizations, one visiting international student and one Graduate Liberal Studies Program student also received honors.

    These students represent the highest ideals of Wesleyan University ― intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, creative expression, leadership and service,” says Maria Cruz-Saco, dean of the college.

    While celebrating these recipients of awards, prizes, and scholarships, Cruz Saco also honored alumni and friends for their contributions and gifts.

    The awards and the recipients are:

    George H. Acheson and Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience

    Established in 1992 by a gift from the Grass Foundation, this prize is awarded to an outstanding undergraduate in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program who demonstrates excellence in the program and who also shows promise for future contributions in the field of neuroscience.

    Krista Perks, 2006

    Alumni Prize in the History of Art

    Established by Wesleyan alumni and awarded to a senior who has demonstrated special aptitude in the history of art and who has made a substantive contribution to the major.

    Caitlin Henningsen, 2006

    American Chemical Society Analytical Award

    Awarded for excellence in analytical chemistry.

    Jovan Gayle, 2007

    American Chemical Society Connecticut Valley Section Award

    Awarded for outstanding achievement to a graduating chemistry major.

    Shinya Amano, 2006

    American Institute of Chemists Award

    Awarded for outstanding achievement to a graduating chemistry major.

    Julie West, 2006

    Ayres Prize

    The gift of Daniel Ayres, Class of 1842, to the first-year student who attains the highest academic standing in the first semester.

    Elise Gelwan, 2009

    Baden-Wüerttemberg-Connecticut Sister State Exchange

    A grant for one academic year’s study at a university in the German state of Baden-Wüerttemberg, administered by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

    Jonathan Chen, GRAD
    Andrew Eppich, 2006

    Baldwin Fellowship

    Established in 1952 by family and friends of Horace Reed Baldwin, Class of 1947, and awarded annually for study at law school to the member of the senior class who, in the opinion of the committee, shows the most promise of becoming an outstanding lawyer and public-spirited citizen.

    Helen Gugel, 2006

    Bertman Prize

    Established in memory of Bernard T. Bertman, associate professor of physics, by gifts from his colleagues, family, and friends, in 1970. Awarded to a senior majoring in physics who displays a particularly resourceful and creative approach to physics research.

    Ian Carbone, 2006

    Blankenagel Prize

    Income from the John C. Blankenagel Fund, established in 1970, awarded at the discretion of the Department of German studies to enrich educational offerings in the area of humanistic studies, or to assist a superior student in completing a project in German studies.

    Emily Garts, 2006
    Christian Goble, 2006
    Kate McCrery, 2006
    Margaret Mitchell, 2008
    Celia Reddick, 2006
    Andrea Silenzi, 2007

    Bradley Prize

    The gift of Stanley David Wilson, Class of 1909, in memory of Professor Walker Parke Bradley, to the senior or junior who excels in chemistry and particularly in special original work.

    Gabriel Isaacman, 2007

    Bridge Builder Award

    Awarded to an individual student or student group for significant contributions to the Wesleyan and Middletown communities in the spirit of service.

    Ann Heindel, 2006

    Briggs Prize

    Established in 1900 by the gift of James E. Briggs, to the student who has done the most effective work in intercollegiate debating.

    Andrew Bleeker, 2007
    Amanda Fuller, 2007

    Christopher Brodigan Fund Award

    Established in memory of Christopher Brodigan, a Wesleyan student who died in an accident in his frosh year. The fund pays tribute to Christopher’s deep interest in Africa and to the public service he provided through teaching in Botswana prior to entering Wesleyan. Awarded to graduating seniors and recent graduates who plan to pursue public service or research in Africa.

    Andrew Aprile, 2006
    Genevieve Edens, 2006
    Una Osato, 2004

    Erness Brody Prize

    Established in 2002 by Ann duCille in honor of Professor Erness Bright Brody, former chair of the African American Studies Program. Awarded annually to a senior African American Studies Program major for excellence in written expression.

    Sarah Gunther, 2006

    Bruner Freshman Improvement Prize

    The gift of William Evans Bruner, Class of 1888, to the student whose second-semester first-year record shows the greatest relative improvement over that of the first semester.

    Pakorn Jarupanich, 2008

    Butler Prize

    Established in 1991 in honor of retiring colleague Jeffrey D. Butler, is awarded for the best Honors thesis in Third World History.

    Genevieve Edens, 2006

    Butterfield Prize

    Established by the Class of 1967 and awarded to the graduating senior who has exemplified those qualities of character, leadership, intellectual commitment and concern for the Wesleyan community shown by Victor Lloyd Butterfield, 11th president of the University.

    Tara Fickle, 2006

    Camp Prize

    Established in 1905 by the Board of Trustees in memory of Samuel T. Camp, trustee 1880-1903. Awarded for excellence in English literature.

    Katherine Thorpe, 2006

    Cardinal Crest Award

    Awarded to the member of the WSA who has given honor to his/her post on the WSA or one of its committees through his/her leadership, and has selflessly served the greater interest of the Wesleyan student body.

    Gabriel Tabak, 2006

    Chadbourne Prize

    The gift of George Storrs Chadbourne, Class of 1858, to that member of the first-year class outstanding in character, conduct, and scholarship.

    Eric Weiskott, 2009

    Clark Fellowship

    Established in memory of John Blanchard Clark by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Clark of Pittsford, New York; his sister, Catherine; relatives; and friends. Awarded annually to a qualified graduating senior of Wesleyan University for graduate study in a school of medicine. Recipients are judged by members of the Health Professions Panel on their potential for outstanding achievement and for their promise of community leadership and public-spirited citizenship and for their scholastic record at Wesleyan.

    Tobias Wasser, 2006

    Clee Scholarship

    Established by friends and associates of Gilbert Harrison Clee, Class of 1935, late president of the Board of Trustees. Awarded annually to a member of the sophomore class, who will remain a Clee Scholar throughout his or her junior and senior years, who will have demonstrated high standards of leadership, a deep commitment to Wesleyan University, an interest in the broad implications of multinational business enterprises, a sensitivity to the need for a creative balance between the public and private sectors, and an intention to pursue a career in business. A specific objective will be to select individuals who exemplify the qualities that characterized Gilbert Harrison Clee as a humane person and as a leader.

    To Be Announced

    Dr. Neil Clendeninn Prize

    Established in 1991 by George Thornton, Class of 1991 and David Derryck, Class of 1993, for the African American student who has achieved academic excellence in biology and/or molecular biology and biochemistry. This student must have completed his or her sophomore year and in that time have exemplified those qualities of character, leadership, and concern for the Wesleyan community as shown by Dr. Neil Clendeninn, Class of 1971.

    Cynthia Armand, 2006

    Cole Prize

    Established through the gift of George Henry Walker, Class of 1981, in the memory of Charles Edward Cole. Awarded to the first-year student who shows the greatest ability in fiction or nonfiction writing.

    Keith Gordon, 2009
    Edward Quish, 2009
    Marguerite Weisman, 2009

    Connecticut Valley Higher Education Community Service Award

    Established in 1993 by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education to promote community service leadership and activities by students at Connecticut’s institutions of higher education. This award recognizes outstanding student contributions to the promotion of community service through projects that increase student participation in their college community and projects that develop a unique approach to effective community service.

    Ann Heindel, 2006

    Herbert Lee Connelly Prize

    Given in 1980 by Mabel Wells Connelly in the name of her husband, member of the Class of 1909, and alumni secretary, 1924-56. Supplemented by friends, relatives, and sons Hugh Wells and Theodore Sample, Class of 1948, the fund provides income to be awarded annually to a deserving undergraduate who demonstrates an interest in English literature and an unusual ability in nonfiction writing.

    Stephen Aubrey, 2006
    Ariel Lewiton, 2006

    Anna Julia Cooper Prize

    Awarded by the Department of Sociology to a student of overall academic excellence who lives and works in the spirit of Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), author of A Voice From the South, who was one of the most important social theorists in the tradition of Black feminist thought. She lived and worked courageously against the odds of exclusion, never failing to hold to the highest standards of moral and intellectual excellence.

    Tu Chi Nguyen, 2006

    CRC Award

    Awarded to an outstanding first-year chemistry student, based on grades in organic chemistry over the interval of the current academic year.

    Portia Chipendo, 2009
    David Snydacker, 2009

    Davenport Prize

    Established in 1948 by the gift of Ernest W. Davenport in honor of his brother, Frederick Morgan Davenport, Class of 1889, for excellence shown by seniors in the field of government and politics.

    Claire Blumenson, 2006
    Amelia Long, 2006
    Steven Wengrovitz, GRAD

    Dorchester Prize

    Established through the gift of Daniel Dorchester, Class of 1874. Awarded for the best thesis submitted to the English Department.

    Paul Brunick, 2006
    Bronwyn Wallace, 2006

    W.E.B. DuBois Prize

    Awarded annually for academic excellence to a student majoring in African American studies.

    Katherine McCown, 2006

    Dutcher Prize

    Established by gift of Arthur A. Vanderbilt, Class of 1910, in honor of Professor George Matthew Dutcher, for highest excellence in the Department of History.

    Tal Beery, 2006
    Katherine D’Ambrosio, 2006
    Genevieve Edens, 2006
    Evan Katin-Borland, 2006
    Andrew Tonelli, 2006

    Kevin Echart Memorial Book Prize

    Awarded to the graduating College of Letters senior who best exemplifies the intellectual curiosity and range, the pleasure in colloquy, the capacity for admiration and skepticism, and the moral seriousness and love of books that we honored in our late colleague Kevin Echart and seek to foster in the students of the College of Letters.

    Rebecca Seely, 2006

    Exceptional Program Award

    Awarded to the coordinator(s) of an exceptional program, cultural event, speaker or production that has had positive campus-wide impact.

    Para La Familia

    William Firshein Prize

    Awarded to the graduating MB&B student who has contributed the most to the interests and character of the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department.

    Shinya Amano, 2006
    Emily Levy, 2006

    First-Year Leadership Award

    Awarded to a first-year student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or involvement in the Wesleyan community.

    Jason Harris, 2009

    Susan Frazer Prize

    Awarded annually to the student (or students) who has done the most distinguished work in the elementary and intermediate French language sequence.

    Hyojin Park, 2008

    Freeman Prize

    Established in 1975 by Mansfield Freeman, Class of 1916. Awarded annually to a senior for excellence in East Asian studies.

    Tara Fickle, 2006
    Marion Holaday, 2006

    French Government Teaching Assistantship

    One-year assistantship for teaching English at a lycée in France, administered by the Institute for International Education (New York).

    Elizabeth Langston, 2005

    Beulah Friedman Prize

    This prize recognizes work of outstanding achievement by a student in the history of art. The prize is awarded to a member of the senior class.

    John Blakinger, 2006
    Sonya Kharas, 2006

    Fulbright Fellowship

    These grants are funded by the United States government under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Fulbright-Hays Act) and by many foreign countries. The grants, administered by the Institute for International Education, provide for one year of study at a university abroad.

    Cara Chebuske, 2006
    Amie Kim, 2004

    Gay, Lesbian, and Sexuality Studies Prize

    Donated by the Wesleyan Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association (GALA), this prize is awarded annually to that undergraduate who has done the best research and writing on a subject in gay, lesbian, and sexuality studies.

    Rebecca Appel, 2006

    German Pedagogical Exchange Service Assistantship/Fulbright Grant

    A one year teaching apprenticeship in Germany.

    Emily Garts, 2006
    Kate McCrery, 2006
    Rose Tisdall, 2006

    Giffin Prize

    Established in 1912 by a gift of Mrs. Charles Mortimer Giffin, in memory of her husband, an honorary graduate of the Class of 1875. Awarded for excellence in the Department of Religion.

    Samuel Allison, 2006
    Seth Davis, 2006
    Rose Tisdall, 2006

    Akiva Goldsman Prize in Screenwriting

    Awarded to the graduating film studies major who has written the best full-length screenplay in the Department of Film Studies.

    Dan Janvey, 2006

    Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

    Awarded by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to a junior or senior who has outstanding potential and intends to pursue a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

    Jack DiSciacca, 2007
    Gregory Peterfreund, 2007

    Graham Prize

    The gift of James Chandler Graham, Class of 1890, awarded to a member of the graduating class for excellence in natural science.

    Avishek Chatterjee, 2006
    Emily Egan, 2006
    Emily Jacobs-Palmer, 2006
    Krista Perks, 2006

    Grant/Wilcox Prize

    Awarded in honor of Connecticut filmmakers Ellsworth Grant and Roy Wilcox to the senior whose work in film and video best addresses significant environmental, social, or artistic issues.

    Alexandra Verville, 2006

    Hallowell Prize

    Established by friends and associates of Burton C. Hallowell, Class of 1936, former professor of economics and executive vice president of the University. Awarded annually to an outstanding senior in the study of social science, as determined by the governing board of the Public Affairs Center.

    Claire Blumenson, 2006

    K. P. Harrington Public Service Award

    Awarded annually by the Mystical Seven Society to a Wesleyan undergraduate who has distinguished herself/himself in public service to the community.

    To Be Announced

    Hawk Prize

    The gift of Philip B. Hawk, Class of 1898, as a memorial to his wife, Gladys, to the students who have done the most effective work in biochemistry.

    Michael Agumeh, 2006
    Emily Egan, 2006
    Emily Jacobs-Palmer, 2006
    Emily Levy, 2006

    Health Education Prize

    Awarded annually to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the goals of Wesleyan’s Health Education Program, which are the promotion of healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. The student who is chosen for this prize has demonstrated commitment not only to his or her personal well-being but has also served as a role model to peers in the Wesleyan community and beyond.

    Shaine Truscott, 2006

    Heideman Award

    Established in 1972, in honor of Enid and Walter Heideman. Awarded annually to an undergraduate who has helped others in the Wesleyan community, in the tradition of the Heidemans.

    Joel Bhuiyan, 2006
    Celia Reddick, 2006
    Ericka Richburg, 2006

    Rachel Henderson Theater Prize

    Awarded annually to that student who, in the estimation of the theater faculty, has contributed most to theater at Wesleyan over the course of his or her undergraduate career.

    Seth Davis, 2006
    Joshua Lubin-Levy, 2006
    Lillian Whitsitt, 2006

    Holzberg Fellowship

    Established in memory of Jules D. Holzberg, professor of psychology, by gifts of his colleagues and friends. Awarded to a senior who intends to pursue graduate study in clinical or community psychology in recognition of the commitment to research and applied work on the resolution of social problems on the individual and collective level that is consistent with Professor Holzberg’s lifelong professional interests and humanitarian concerns.

    Leah Cappellucci, 2006
    Julia Fox, 2006
    Rebecca Gordon, 2006
    Kaneza Schaal, 2006

    Horgan Prize

    Established by the Department of English in honor of Paul Horgan, professor emeritus and writer-in-residence. Awarded to the student who has written the best short story of the year.

    Malwina Andruczyk, 2008
    Annalisa Bolin, 2008
    John Cusick, 2007

    Herbert H. Hyman Prize

    Established by the Department of Sociology to honor Herbert H. Hyman, distinguished scholar, pioneer in survey research methodology, and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology. Awarded annually to students, whether sociology majors or not, who in the opinion of the faculty have written outstanding theses on a sociological topic.

    Sam Han, 2006
    Rebecca Linden, 2006

    Ingraham Prize

    The gift of Robert Seney Ingraham, Class of 1888, and his wife, for excellence in New Testament Greek or, in years when a course in that subject is not given, for excellence in a course in Greek elective for juniors and seniors.

    Lydia Bell, 2007
    Deborah Schwartz, 2007

    Jessup Prize
    Awarded to two undergraduates each year who are deemed to show the greatest talent and promise for even greater excellence in sculpture, printmaking, architecture, photography, painting, or drawing. The prize is given in memory of Pauline Jessup, a noted interior designer, who practiced her craft for over 60 years throughout the United States. Mrs. Jessup was noted for her unerring eye, her extraordinarily refined taste, and her steadfast commitment to her clients-many of whom she served over three generations. The prize is a gift of Mrs. Jessup’s nephew, D. Ronald Daniel ’52, and his friend, John R. Jakobson ’52. The award is determined by the Department of Art and Art History.

    Takahiro Haneda, 2006
    Tal Rozen, 2006

    Johnston Prize

    The gift of David George Downey, Class of 1884, in memory of Professor John Johnston. Awarded to those freshmen or sophomores whose performance in their first two semesters of physics shows exceptional promise.

    Isaac Levy, 2009
    Alison Ringel, 2009
    Kuan-Rong Sia, 2009

    P. L. Kellam Prize

    Established in memory of Priscilla L. Kellam, Class of 1983, by her husband and parents. Awarded annually to a senior woman, under the age of 25, who has majored in East Asian studies and has traveled or plans to travel to China to further her studies.

    Cara Chebuske, 2006

    Barry Kiefer Prize

    In memory of Barry I. Kiefer to celebrate outstanding graduating Ph.D. students in Biology and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

    Christopher Wade, GRAD

    Leavell Memorial Prize–Film

    Awarded annually to a senior film student who has done outstanding work in the major, and who best reflects the departmental goals of citizenship, scholarship, and the wedding of theory and practice.

    Audrey Golden, 2006
    Dan Janvey, 2006

    Leavell Memorial Prize–Music

    Awarded annually to a senior who has done outstanding work in music, and whose work manifests the ideals of the World Music Program in the Department of Music.

    Deborah Witkin, 2006

    Levy-Spira Prize

    Awarded for distinction in Latin American studies. Established in 1992 in memory of Eduardo Levy-Spira, Class of 1982, by his family and friends.

    Corinna Zeltsman, 2006

    Limbach Prize

    Established in 1966 by Russell T. Limbach, professor of art, in memory of his wife, Edna Limbach. Awarded annually to the student who has contributed the most imaginative, generous, thoughtful, and understanding social service to the people of the City of Middletown and/or the Wesleyan community.

    Rachel Ostlund, 2008
    Ethna Riley, 2006

    Lipsky Prize

    The gift of the Reverend and Mrs. Bailey G. Lipsky in memory of their son, Francis Jules Lipsky, Class of 1931, to the member of the choir possessing in the highest degree unfailing kindliness, quiet dignity, and brilliant scholarship.

    Danilo Macalinao, 2008
    Aaron Taylor, 2006

    Littell Prize

    The gift of Franklin Bowers Littell, Class of 1891, for excellence in one or more advanced courses in astronomy.

    Avishek Chatterjee, 2006

    Luce Scholarship

    The Henry Luce Foundation selects 18 graduates to spend a year in an Asian country and provides an experience that will broaden the participant’s perspective on his or her chosen career field.

    Kalyani McCullough, 2000

    Robert S. Lynd Prize

    Awarded to a student for a Department of Sociology thesis.

    David Wiener, 2006

    John W. Macy Summer Internship in Public Administration

    Established by friends and colleagues of John W. Macy, Class of 1938. Awarded to the junior who most clearly exemplifies, in the decision of the selection committee, the characteristics associated with John Macy: high intellectual ability, a capacity for sustained effort in difficult tasks, strong ethical standards, an ingrained sense of duty, and a commitment to public service as a worthy career.

    Ellen Werble, 2007

    Mann Prize

    Established in memory of Albert Mann, Class of 1906, devoted alumnus and faculty member, by his daughters and their families. Awarded annually to the seniors showing the most outstanding achievements in the Romance languages.

    Daniel Dykes, 2006
    Julia Fox, 2006
    Kristin Kamm, 2006

    Martius Yellow Award

    Awarded for excellence in organic synthesis.

    Hannah Ray, 2007

    Roger Maynard Award

    A memorial award to that senior scholar-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit, accomplishments, and humility of Roger Maynard, Class of 1937, former trustee.

    Owen Kiely, 2006
    Hannah Stubbs, 2006

    Richard McLellan Prize

    Awarded annually to a junior who exemplifies those qualities that characterize the late Richard McLellan, Director of the Career Planning Center and Associate Dean of the College: character, leadership, commitment to public service and diversity, wide cultural interests, and a sense of humor.

    Jeffrey Kessner, 2007

    Meyer Prize

    Established in 1991 in honor of retiring colleague Donald A. Meyer, is awarded for the best Honors thesis in American History.

    Benjamin Lake, 2006

    Monroe Prize

    Established in 1985 by the Center for African American Studies in memory of John G. Monroe, director, scholar, and teacher in the Center for African American Studies and in the Department of Theater. This prize is to be awarded annually to the Wesleyan sophomore or junior who, in the opinion of the review committee, submits the best scholarly essay in the field of African American studies.

    Liam McAlpine, 2007

    Janina Montero Prize

    Awarded annually to a Latino student who has promoted the health, visibility, and participation of the Latino community at Wesleyan. The individual should best exemplify personal integrity, leadership, and motivation; a strong interest in and knowledge of his or her background; and have maintained a high level of commitment to Wesleyan’s academic and intellectual enterprise.

    Stephanie Garcia, 2006
    Jose Marantes, 2006

    David Morgan Prize

    To be awarded annually to the senior major or majors in CSS and/or the Department of History who best demonstrated the integrity and commitment to community that characterized David’s 37 years of service to his College, his Department, and to the University.

    Sarah Kaufmann, 2006
    Gabriel Tabak, 2006

    Mosaic Award

    This award recognizes the contribution(s) of a person or organization that has brought about cultural awareness and education on one or more of the following issues: race, ethnicity, culture and/or sexual orientation.

    Lashawn Springer, 2008

    Geraldine J. Murphy Prize

    Established in memory of Geraldine J. Murphy, who was the first woman hired as a full-time instructor at Wesleyan (1957), the first woman promoted to a tenured position, and the first woman promoted to the rank of full professor. The prize is endowed by alumni of the Wesleyan Master of Arts in Teaching program. Awarded to a student who has written an outstanding critical essay that focuses on short fiction or novels.

    Marissa Brostoff, 2007

    National Board of Review Charlie Andrews Award

    Established by the National Board of Review in memory of Charlie Andrews who was a pioneer in television writing and producing. Awarded to the student who has written the best history/theory thesis in the Film Studies Department.

    Matthew Fishbein, 2006
    Logan Starr, 2006

    Needler Prize

    Established by Sophie Needler, in memory of her husband, Bennett Needler. Awarded annually to one or two graduating seniors who have demonstrated excellence in Hebrew or Jewish studies.

    Molly Chafetz, 2006
    Chloe Safier, 2006

    Carol B. Ohmann Memorial Prize

    Awarded for excellence in Women’s Studies.

    Jenevive Nykolak, 2006
    Emma Silverman, 2006
    Zach Strassburger, 2006

    Olin Fellowship

    Founded in 1854 by the wife of Stephen Olin, president, 1839-41 and 1842-51. Later increased by gifts of their son, Stephen Henry Olin, Class of 1866 and acting president, 1922-23, and his wife, Emeline. Awarded in recognition of achievement in English. The fellowship supports supervised work in English outside of the Wesleyan course structure.

    Marissa Brostoff, 2007
    Delia Casa, 2007
    Jessica Chayes, 2007
    Mi Chun, 2007
    John Cusick, 2007
    Benjamin Fels, 2007
    Maggie Filler, 2007
    Leon Hilton, 2007
    Jeremy Marks, 2007
    Joshua Nathan-Kazis, 2007
    Lauren Stossel, 2007

    Outreach and Community Service Award

    Awarded to the senior theater major who, through his or her work in the Department of Theater, has done a significant service in the community.

    Kaneza Schaal, 2006

    Parker Prize

    Established in 1870 by the Reverend John Parker, Trustee 1859-71. Awarded to a sophomore or junior who excels in public speaking.

    Thomas Crosby, 2007
    Amy Rosen, 2007

    Peirce Prize

    Awarded in successive years for excellence in biology, chemistry, and geology.

    Elizabeth Perry, 2006

    Peterson Fellowships

    Established in 1963 by bequest of William Harold Peterson, Class of 1907, for graduate study in biochemistry at Wesleyan.

    Maria-Magdalena Coman, GRAD
    Laure Dykas, GRAD
    Senthil Perumal, GRAD
    Lucia Prundeanu, GRAD
    Christopher Wade, GRAD

    PIMMS Vanguard Fellows’ Book Award, 1993

    Connecticut teachers serving as fellows of the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science have established a fund to honor the creative leadership of Robert A. Rosenbaum and to recognize individuals demonstrating notably imaginative teaching in the schools of Connecticut or possessing the potential for such teaching.

    Terri Clark
    Timothy Craine
    Mari Muri
    David Scrofani

    Plukas Prize

    Established in 1986 by John Plukas, Class of 1966, this prize is awarded to graduating economics seniors to be applied toward summer expenses, during which period each student will work under the supervision of a faculty adviser to convert an honors project into a publishable article.

    Liang Zhao, 2006

    Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award

    Established in 1986 by John Plukas, Class of 1966, this prize is awarded for excellent service to the Economics Department as a teaching apprentice.

    Kerem Alper, 2007
    Joshua Atwood, 2008
    Taylor Bentley, 2006
    Bach Dao, 2008
    James Feigenbaum, 2008
    Christian Goble, 2006
    Jacob Goldin, 2007
    Adam Gomolin, 2006
    Adelina Halim, 2006
    Chen-wei Hung, 2007
    Aneth Kasebele, 2008
    Daniel Lee, 2006
    Lan Liang, 2007
    Jing-Jing Lin, 2007
    Katherine Michelmore, 2007
    Adam Miller-Howard, 2006
    Jeffrey Petrusek, 2007
    Voon Sui, 2007
    Joel Ting, 2006
    Casey Wilson, 2006
    Roberta Wong, 2008
    Zhaoxuan Yang, 2008
    Liang Zhao, 2006
    Yingzhe Zhao, 2007
    Tianxiang Zhuo, 2008

    Gwen Livingston Pokora Prize

    Established in 1993, awarded annually to the outstanding undergraduate student in music composition.

    Carl Testa, 2006

    Reed Prize

    Established in 1968 by Leon Reed and his sons, S. Chadwick, Class of 1941, and Dr. Victor Reed, in memory of Mrs. Sophie Reed, for the best poem or group of poems.

    Katherine Thorpe, 2006

    Rice Prize

    Awarded for excellence in mathematics to a senior.

    Jodi Black, 2006
    Avishek Chatterjee, 2006
    Liang Zhao, 2006

    Rich Prize

    The gift of Isaac Rich, trustee 1849-72, in memory of his wife, and later supplemented by appropriations from the Board of Trustees. Awarded to those seniors whose orations are judged best in composition and delivery.

    Rohini Singh, 2006
    Jesse Young, 2006

    Robertson Prize

    Awarded for excellence in mathematics to a sophomore.

    Daniel Greengard, 2008
    Per Stinchcombe, 2008
    Roberta Wong, 2008
    Zhaoxuan Yang, 2008

    Robins Memorial Prize

    Established in 1969, in memory of George D. Robins 1898, by Frank D. Robins 1934, and Douglas H. Robins 1966, for excellence in history.

    Kyle Gardner, 2006

    Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship

    Awarded to an outstanding junior wishing to pursue a master’s degree in education and teach in public schools.

    Joel Pratt, 2007

    Ross Prize

    Established in 1979 as a gift of Steven J. Ross of Warner Communications. Awarded annually for the best undergraduate film, digital, and/or virtual made in the Department of Film Studies.

    Alexandra Verville, 2006

    Juan Roura-Parella Prize

    Established in 1984 to be awarded annually to an undergraduate whose work represents the kind of catholic curiosity and general learning that Professor Juan Roura-Parella exemplified.

    Christopher McDonald, 2006
    Adam Rizzo, 2006

    Rulewater Prize

    Awarded for outstanding reflection and writing on an interdisciplinary topic in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.

    Christine Baker, GLSP

    Scott Biomedical Prize

    Awarded to a member(s) of the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry senior class who has demonstrated excellence and interest in commencing a career in academic or applied medicine.

    Shinya Amano, 2006
    Joshua Brandstadter, 2006
    Sarah Hopkins, 2006
    Johann Patlak, 2006

    Scott Prize

    Established by Charles Scott Jr., M.A., Class of 1886, and trustee 1905-22, in memory of John Bell Scott 1881, for excellence in modern languages.

    Asian Languages and Literatures

    James Charney, 2006
    Marion Holaday, 2006
    William McCue, 2006

    German Studies

    Elisabeth Lauffer, 2007

    Romance Languages and Literatures

    Kathryn Harmon, 2006
    Constance Higgins-Beer, 2006
    Georgiana Kuhlmann, 2006
    Allison Layman, 2006
    Adam Rizzo, 2006
    Bronwyn Wallace, 2006

    Russian and East European Studies

    Anthony Zannino, 2006

    John and Mary Sease Prize

    Awarded for outstanding work in environmental science.

    Caitlin Herlihy, 2006

    Sehlinger Prize

    Established by the Class of 1965 in memory of Charles Edward Sehlinger III, who died in 1964. The award of a medical dictionary is given to a premedical student for excellence of character, community spirit, and academic achievement.

    Anna Ross, 2006

    Senior Leadership Award

    Awarded to a senior who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout his or her four years in the Wesleyan community.

    Helen Gugel, 2006
    Sara Williams, 2006

    Senior Prize in Computer Science

    Awarded for excellence in computer science to a senior.

    Brendan Dolan-Gavitt, 2006
    Antonietta Kies, 2006

    Service Careers Fellowship

    Established to encourage Wesleyan students to commit their careers to the betterment of society. Awarded to students who have exemplified dedication to public service.

    Leora Abelson, 2007
    Rosa Cohen-Cruz, 2007
    Nora Connor, 2007
    Sean Corlett, 2007
    Jenny Doyle 2007
    Lauren Gardner 2007
    Jenna Gopilan, 2007
    Jeffrey Kessner, 2007
    Paige Kruza, 2007
    Destiny Leake, 2007
    Estrella Lopez, 2007
    Kalia Lydgate, 2007
    Kevi Mace, 2007
    Kathleen Reid, 2007
    Nicole Reid, 2007
    Jessica Rhodes, 2007
    Cynthia Santiago, 2007
    Darrah Sipe, 2007
    Naomi Takahashi, 2007
    Talya Zemach-Bersin, 2007

    Frances M. Sheng Prize

    Awarded for excellence in Chinese language and excellence in Japanese Language.

    Cara Chebuske, 2006
    Hsin-Yu Hwang, 2006

    Sherman Prize

    Established by David Sherman, D.D., Class of 1872. Two prizes awarded annually, one for excellence in first-year mathematics and the other for excellence in classics.

    Classical Studies

    Christie Roberts, 2006


    Yudhishthir Kandel, 2009

    Rae Shortt Prize

    Established in memory of Rae M. Shortt. Awarded to a junior for excellence in mathematics.

    Christina Durfee, 2007

    Samuel C. Silipo Prize

    Awarded annually for the most valuable player(s) of the Wesleyan Orchestra.

    Rebecca Gordon, 2006
    Gergely Kiss, 2006
    Hyun Nam, 2008

    Silverman Prize

    Established by gift of Elisha Adelbert Silverman, Class of 1922, and awarded to a member of the junior or senior class for excellence in chemistry.

    Hannah Ray, 2007

    Skirm Prize

    Established by members of the Class of 1931 in memory of their classmate, Thomas H. Skirm, this prize is awarded to a government major early in his or her senior year, to recognize the best research or writing project done during the junior year.

    Rebecca Linden, 2006

    Social Activist Award

    Awarded to the individual or student group that best exemplifies the spirit of social activism and through his/her/their efforts, constructive social change ensued.


    Annie Sonnenblick Writing Award

    Established by the family of the late Annie Sonnenblick, Class of 1980, in 1992 as a complement to the annual Annie Sonnenblick Lecture. The prize provides financial support for a student who wishes to undertake an independent writing project during the summer between his or her junior and senior years.

    Joshua Nathan-Kazis, 2007

    Spinney Prize

    The gift of Joseph S. Spinney, trustee 1875-82 and 1888-93, for excellence in Greek. Awarded for the best original essay on some aspect of Greek or Roman civilization.

    Daniel Matzkin, 2006

    Spurrier Award

    The William A. Spurrier Ethics Award, established by Dr. James Case, given to the student who demonstrates in the field of ethics: sensitivity, insight, depth, and humor. Given in memory of William Spurrier III, chaplain and Hedding Professor of Moral Science and Religion.

    Laura Goldhamer, 2006

    Thorndike Prize

    Established by gift of Elizabeth Moulton Thorndike in memory of her husband, Edward Lee Thorndike, Class of 1895, for excellence in psychology.

    Rachel Antler, 2006

    Tishler Teaching Award

    Established by the family and friends of Dr. Max Tishler, professor of chemistry, emeritus, and University Professor of the Sciences, emeritus. Awarded annually in his memory to the best graduate teaching assistant in chemistry.

    Ericka Barnes, GRAD

    Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Prize–Art

    Established in 1981 by a gift from Mrs. Tishler. Awarded annually for an outstanding senior exhibition in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, or architecture.

    Christopher Gartrell, 2006
    Alexander Osborn, 2006

    Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Prize–Music

    Established in 1981 by a gift from Mrs. Tishler. Expanded in 1989 for excellence in piano performance. Two prizes are given annually: one for Western classical piano performance and the other for jazz piano performance.

    Smith Louis, 2006

    Shu Tokita Prize

    The Shu Tokita Memorial Prize, established by friends and relatives of Shu Tokita, Class of 1984, is awarded to students of color studying literature, and in area studies with a focus on literature. The recipient will be selected on the basis of his or her application essay and commitment to the study of literature.

    Jane Charles-Voltaire, 2007
    Yuta Otake, 2007

    Trench Prize

    The gift of Miss Grace A. Smith, in memory of William James Trench, trustee 1835-67, for excellence in the Department of Religion.

    Laura Fogliano, 2006
    Vanessa Greenfield, 2006

    Vanguard Prize

    Established by black alumni in tribute to the black members of the Class of 1969, whose perseverance and pioneering leadership earned them designation as the Vanguard Class. The prize is awarded annually to a graduating senior who has achieved academic excellence and contributed significantly to maintaining Wesleyan’s racial diversity.

    Ethna Riley, 2006

    Walkley Prize

    Two prizes, the gift of Webster Rogers Walkley, Class of 1860, in memory of David Hart Walkley, Class of 1878, for excellence in psychology. Awarded to those juniors and seniors who present the best reports or work embodying original research.

    Yu-hsuen Chao, 2006
    Rebecca Gordon, 2006
    Steven Wengrovitz, GRAD

    Watson Fellowship

    Awarded by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, to enable college graduates of unusual promise to engage in an initial postgraduate year of independent study and travel abroad.

    William Gould, 2006

    Weller Prize

    The gift of Mrs. LeRoy Weller, in memory of her husband, LeRoy Weller, Class of 1899, to the student having the highest academic average for the sophomore year.

    Cedric Bien, 2008

    Wesleyan Fiction Award

    A gift from Norman Mailer to the Wesleyan Writing Program, this award recognizes an outstanding piece of fiction written by a Wesleyan student.

    Malwina Andruczyk, 2008
    Annalisa Bolin, 2008
    Tanya Lewallen, 2008

    Wesleyan Memorial Prize

    The gift of undergraduates in the Class of 1943 in memory of fellow students who made the supreme sacrifice in the Second World War, to the members of the junior class outstanding in qualities of character, leadership, and scholarship.

    Jennifer Timm, 2007

    White Prize

    Established in 1942 by Horace Glenn White Jr., Class of 1933, and increased in 1943 by friends in his memory. Awarded for advanced undergraduate study in economics.

    Kerem Alper, 2007
    Hyung Choi, 2007
    Eugene Dayanghirang, 2007
    Jacob Goldin, 2007
    Rafael Haryono Putro, 2006
    Cheuk Ho, 2007
    Heung Ming Ngai, 2006
    Jeffrey Petrusek, 2007
    Voon Sui, 2007
    Danforth Sullivan, 2006
    Casey Wilson, 2006
    Kwok Hong Wong, 2006
    Liang Zhao, 2006

    White Fellowship–Government

    Awarded for excellence in government to a recent graduate who is currently enrolled in, or has been accepted into, a doctoral program in political science.

    Jonathan Renshon, 2004

    White Fellowship–History

    Awarded for excellence in history.

    To Be Announced

    M.G. White Prize

    Awarded annually for the best thesis submitted in American studies.

    Joshua Lubin-Levy, 2006
    David Vitale-Wolff, 2006

    Wilde Prize

    Established in 1963 by Frazer B. Wilde, L.L.D., Class of 1958, awarded to a junior or senior for excellence in economics.

    Liang Zhao, 2006

    Winchester Fellowship

    Established in 1938, in memory of Professor Caleb Thomas Winchester, by his widow. Awarded to Wesleyan graduates for postgraduate work in English.

    Aja Gabel, 2004
    Wei Gui, 2003
    Emily Steinlight, 2001

    Wise Prize

    The gift of Daniel Wise, D.D., Class of 1859, for excellence in the Department of Philosophy for the best essay on moral science or on some subject in the field or values.

    Joshua Turkewitz, 2006

    Digital Image Collections, Using Images to Teach, Topics of Workshop

    Posted 05/16/06
    After attending a digital image workshop, six Wesleyan staff members are seeing picture-perfect.

    During the April 24 North East Regional Computing Program conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., participants had the opportunity to learn about digital image resource development, meeting the image demands of scholars in a changing environment, using digital maps in the classroom, creating and managing institutional digital image collections and visual storytelling among other topics.

    “The hope is that by assessing current practices in the classrooms, methods for more effective use of these images can be identified and implemented,” says conference organizer Dan Schnaidt, academic computing manager for Arts and Humanities. “While it would have
    been nice, we discovered that there are no obvious answers, methods or tools.”

    Schnaidt was joined by Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist; Mary Glynn, applications technology specialist; Susanne Javorski, art and reference librarian; Rob Lancefield, manager of museum information services and registrar of collections; and Susan Passman, slide librarian.

    Topics of the day-long conference were “The Use of Digital Images in Teaching Today,” “Digital Image Resource Development,” “Getting it Right: How Well Can Image Suppliers Determine and Meet the Image Requirements of College and University Users?” “Open Archive Initiative’s Protocol for Metadata Harvesting in collecting and distributing NSDL resources,” “Maps, GIS and spatial data: Maps Entering the Classroom in New Ways,” “Creating and Managing Institutional Digital Image Collections,” “Supporting Faculty in Developing and Deploying a Personal Digital Image Collection,” “Gather Ye Images: Negotiating Multiple Collections for Teaching,” “Critical Literacies,” “Visual Story Telling, Grammar, Cognitive Aesthetics,” “Teaching Visual Rhetoric” and “The Threat of Media Illiteracy.”

    The attendees also received the results of a six-month digital image study, which examined how digitized images of all sorts are used by faculty at 34 teaching and research institutions. Wesleyan and the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) spearheaded the study.

    Wesleyan spearheaded and sponsored the workshop, which was first sparked with a $15,000 Fund for Innovation grant. NITLE provided significant additional funding which allowed the program to expand the number of participating schools from 10 to 33.

    The conference’s principal speaker was David Green, a consultant hired to conduct the research. His final report will be made available on the Academic Commons site on June 2. The link is

    The Wesleyan participants attended the conference for different reasons, but all hope to implement some of their new-gained knowledge at Wesleyan.

    Lancefield attended the conference to hear the study’s results, and learn from the diverse perspectives on various image-related topics.

    “Findings reported at the conference may well affect the approaches and tools we at Wesleyan use to deliver digital images, made here or elsewhere, to students and faculty for use in the classroom and in other learning contexts,” Lancefield says. “This defining focus on pedagogical use, rather than the more common topic of image production, was the really exciting aspect of the event. The conference and the study could have appreciable effects on our thinking at Wesleyan.”

    Gillispie says she gained some new insights into how faculty members are using visual resources in their teaching, and how other schools are managing personal and institutional collections of digital images. These ideas will be put to the test in Wesleyan’s Special Collections and Archives. There, more than 40,000 photographs of Wesleyan University and Middletown, and rare illustrations, are available and could be digitized for academic use.

    “The conference has encouraged me to think about how we in Special Collections and Archives can work with faculty to encourage use of our unique visual materials,” she says. “It was interesting to see how other liberal arts institutions are managing collections of visual images, and how they are using them to teach undergraduates.”

    By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

    Students Embrace Jewish Community at Wesleyan B’nei Mitzvah

    Ruby-Beth Buitekant ’09 and Rebecca Chavez ’08 read from the Torah for the first time as part of their Adult B’nei Mitzvah ceremony April 29.

    Posted 05/16/06
    In Jewish tradition, when a child reaches the age of maturity (12 years for girls, 13 years for boys) that child becomes responsible for following Jewish law. The Jewish families hold celebratory ceremonies – B’nai Mitzvah for boys, B’nei Mitzvah for girls – which acknowledge that the child has become son or daughter “of the commandment.”

    Nowadays, however, not everyone follows these traditions and some Jewish children go on to adolescence without going through the ceremony. But for Wesleyan students Ruby-Beth Buitekant, ’09 and Rebecca Chavez ’08, now is better than never.

    On April 28-29, Buitekant and Chavez shared a B’nei Mitzvah through Wesleyan’s Adult B’nai Mitzvah Project. They attended a Shabbat dinner and celebrated at a campus-wide party in their honor. They were lifted in chairs and honored. Most importantly, the students had the opportunity to lead a morning Torah service in front of their friends, family and Jewish community, which involves reciting their D’var Torah. This service links segments of the Torah to their personal journey of exploring their Jewish identity.

    “We hope the Adult B’nai Mitzvah Project will guide students like Ruby-Beth and Rebecca as they explore their Jewish identities,” says Rachel Bedick ’08, who co-organized this year’s B’nei Mitzvah with Lillian Siegel ’08. “We also hope that the project makes them feel supported and embraced by the Wesleyan Jewish community so that they can go on to feel comfortable in other Jewish communities that they may encounter later in life.”

    The student-run Adult Bnei Mitzvah Project was created three years ago by Daniel Heller ’06 and Ari Fagen ’07. The students who elect to have a B’nai/B’nei Mitzvah ceremony as an adult spend the year studying Judaism and Hebrew. They also design a Tikun Olam or “Healing the World” community service project.

    Each week, a different student, professor, or Rabbi from Wesleyan or the greater Middletown community comes to lead a class about a topic in Judaism. This year the 14 speakers including Henry Goldschmidt, assistant professor of religion, who taught a class on chosenness in Judaism; Rabbi Seth Reimer from Adath, Israel, who led a text study on the laws of purity; and Wesleyan Rabbi David Leipziger Teva, who led a class on lifecycles in Judaism.

    In addition to class work, Buitekant and Chavez were matched up with a Hebrew student tutor, and they learned how to chant from the Torah.

    Chavez, who joined the project to educate herself about Judiasm, says she now has an incredible sense of ownership of her Jewish identity. She was not raised in a Jewish community.

    “I have really valued this process not only as a rite of passage into the Jewish community but as a vehicle for learning about myself through studying this aspect of my heritage,” she says. “I genuinely feel like a part of the Jewish community at Wesleyan, which has been a wonderful discovery. It is not a purely individual process, but one in which I’ve been supported by a group of really motivated, caring people.”

    The Adult B’nei Mitvah Project culminated April 28-29 with activities devoted to the B’nei Mitzvah ceremony/service and celebration. Buitekant’s mother, Beth-Ann Buitekant, traveled from Atlanta, Georgia to attend the ceremony.

    “I especially appreciate that Ruby-Beth was able to receive, at Wesleyan, the benefit of the teachings that I never fully learned myself and could not pass on to her,” Beth-Ann Buitekant says, who raised her daughter Quaker and Jewish. “It was a wonderful experience.”

    For more information on the Adult B’nai/B’nei Mitvah Project, email

    By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

    Students Conduct Local Studies through Service Learning Projects

    Lirra Schiebler ’07, right, speaks on her community research project at “From the Field: First-Hand Reports of Wesleyan Service-Learning Projects” May 12 in the Center for Community Partnerships. Rob Rosenthal, center with blue shirt and tie, is director of the Service-Learning Center.

    Posted 05/16/06
    As part of a Service-Learning project, Lirra Schiebler ’07 learned that some residents in Middletown’s North End spend about 47 percent of their monthly earnings on heating and electric bills during the winter season.

    Schiebler presented her group’s study, “Energy Costs in the North End: The Rise in Utilities and its Effect on a Low-Income Community” during a meeting at the Center for Community Partnerships May 12.

    “This is a statistic I find shocking,” she says. “Our results show that the rise in energy bills has not only affected residents, but affected them to a staggering and dire degree. I hope that local agencies, will be able to use this data in a persuasive way, garnering support from governmental and other assistance programs to filter more directly to those who are in need of immediate aid.”

    Schiebler was one of nine students who made presentations at the public event, titled “From the Field: First-Hand Reports of Wesleyan Service-Learning Projects.” Rob Rosenthal, professor of sociology and director of the Service-Learning Center coordinated the event. He is the instructor for the course, Community Research Seminar, in which small teams of students carry out research projects submitted by local groups and agencies.

    Each student presented 10-minute talks, followed by brief opportunities for questions and answers. Several of the students were part of the course.

    Jeff Stein ’08 presented his study, “Defining and mapping conservation priorities in the Maromas area of Middletown, Connecticut.” He and his classmates evaluated the unprotected, wildlife-rich, 3,000-acre area known as the Maromas, in terms of its ecological value, and then ranked its parcels in terms of their value to the conservation movement.

    Advocacy groups can use Stein’s data to apply for grants, fund further studies, and focus efforts on conserving the area’s top priority parcels. The Middletown Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction approached Stein after the meeting and suggested incorporating the school’s science classes with the Maromas.

    “Considering that most of us had never even heard of Maromas, we were awestruck that such an incredible resource with such extensive biodiversity existed so close to campus,” Stein says. “We’re all very excited about the awareness we’re raising about the area.”

    Julie Bromberg ’06 presented her group’s study, “Disabilities and School-Based Arrests: Local Connections.”

    The study was designed to determine whether the national trend of an overrepresentation of students with disabilities getting arrested holds true in Meriden and Middletown. The study involved collecting collecting statistics from the school districts, police, and juvenile court as well as conducted interviews with special education teachers, school resource officers arrested students, and their parents. Bromberg and her co-investigators found that there were a disproportionately large number of students with disabilities getting suspended in both Middletown and Meriden. Twenty-five percent of suspensions in Middletown and 31 percent in Meriden were special education students, while they only made up about 13 percent of the student population in these districts.

    Other students and their studies include: Kara Schnoes ’07 with “Implementation of Evidenced-Based Practices at The Connection;” Laura Ouimette ‘06 with “Why Student Graduate From–or Drop Out of- Upward Bound;” Julie Kastenbaum ’06 with “Report from the Field,” an Integration of Clinical Experience and Life Science Learning;” Gretchen Kishbauch ‘07 with “Predictors of Repeat Child Maltreatment among Families Involved with Child Protective Services;” Kaneza Schaal ’06 with “Peer Mediation as a Model for Student Empowerment;” and Craig Thomas ’06 with “Analyzing the North End Landfill.”

    Schiebler says the service learning course has brought her closer to the Middletown community, and also has taught her the importance of finding solutions to problems on a micro level.

    “It’s important to look at these problems close to home before we offer grandiose solutions to global issues,” she says. “World poverty is clearly important, but how are we supposed to tackle that beast when its equally scary step-brother resides next door?”

    By Olivia Drake, Wesleyan Connection editor

    New Finance, Administration VP Keeps His Technology Edge

    John Meerts, vice president for Finance and Administration, has been working with budgeting, energy-saving initiatives and people management issues from his office in North College.
    Posted 05/16/06
    John Meerts is a technical guru. He loves computers. He loves numbers and budgeting. But most of all, he loves people.

    These are all reasons Meerts was promoted to Vice President for Finance on May 1.

    “I love managing people,” Meerts says from his office in North College “I love helping them overcome obstacles, make decisions, offer advice about projects and being there to answer questions.”

    In this position, Meerts has responsibilities for the Office of Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and Construction Services, Legal Affairs and Auxiliary Services. The former director of Information Technology Services stepped out of this role in July 2005, but has continued to oversee the department during his role as interim vice president for Finance and Administration.

    Meerts’ schedule is chocked full of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Some days he convenes with more than 20 people, several of whom are department heads.

    “Sometimes they just want to inform me of what’s going on in their department, or other times I’m needed to help make decisions about a policy, discuss negations, or handle funding requests for various departments, among other things,” he says.

    Overseeing the university’s budget is one of Meerts’ primary functions as VP of Finance. In that role he works with senior staff members and their designees to allocate appropriate funds to university needs such as faculty and staff salaries, classroom renovations and operating costs, payment of building and construction debt, and energy costs. Another big portion of the total budget is taken up by student financial aid which now exceeds $40 Million.

    While interim vice president for Finance and Administration, Meerts developed a five-year plan to substantially reduce Wesleyan’s reliance on its endowment. This includes a way to save the university as much as $500,000 a year on energy costs. He also oversaw the reorganization of Human Resources, Benefits and Payroll offices.

    “In his interim role, John quickly demonstrated the ability to manage a complex budget situation,” says Wesleyan President Doug Bennet. “John’s colleagues give him credit for great personal integrity and the transparency with which he conducts business. He will provide the financial and administrative leadership we need to implement the next phases of the university’s strategic plan.”

    Meerts holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Southern Connecticut State College, a master’s in political science form Columbia University and has completed the coursework for a Ph.D in political science at Columbia. But it was a love for computers that drove Meerts into academia.

    After college, Meerts began programming IBM mainframes using the language FORTRAN. He took up computer-related jobs at the Department of Juvenile Justice in New York City, Wang Inc., and the New York Institute of Technology. In 1989 he went to Yale as director of the university’s Science and Engineering Computing Facility and Director of Administrative Systems. In 1996, he came to Wesleyan as the director of Information Technology Services.

    “Back then, programming was all about having patience and perseverance and I guess I had enough of both,” he says. “Now, we use different programming languages, but the logic behind them still remains about the same. Ultimately you’re still working with a machine that at its most basic level understands binary logic. You may not think this, but programming can be very creative. You design a product for your customer and when you’re done, hopefully you have a happy customer using your application.”

    Meerts continues to oversee the ITS Department in his VP role. He’s still interested in technology. He loves gadgets. His Personal Digital Assistant, with phone capabilities included, chimes the Wesleyan Theme song when he gets a call. And if that’s not around, he’ll pull out his iPod to head-bop a few tunes while playing Flight Simulator on his PC. Oh, but he’s a Mac user too.

    Netherlands native Meerts, a father of three, enjoys motorcycle riding and playing blues ‘harp’ and guitar in his band, The Irrationals.

    Being a VP of Wesleyan University is a role he’s still settling into. While passing the Memorial Chapel on a midday stroll last week, he noticed that the tower’s clock had stopped.

    “I knew that clock had to be fixed, and then I realized, ‘hey, that is now my responsibility to have it fixed.’”

    The clock is ticking on time today.

    By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor