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Economics Department, Latin American Studies Welcomes New Assistant Professor

Francisco Rodriguez, assistant professor of economics and Latin American Studies is still getting settled into his new office. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)
Posted 10/01/05

Francisco Rodriguez has joined the Economics Department and Latin American Studies Department as an assistant professor.

He accepted the position because of the “intellectual freedom and environment of a liberal arts institution, as well as the high quality and openness of both the Economics and Latin American Studies departments,” he says.

Rodriguez’s research examines economic growth in developing countries and the interaction between inequality, distributive conflict and economic performance.

He’ll be teaching classes on international trade, economics of Latin America and economic and societal collapses.

Rodriguez received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela and his master’s in economics from Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D from Harvard with a thesis titled “Essays on the Political Economy of Redistribution and Growth.”

Rodriguez most recently completed a visiting fellowship at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Between 2000 and 2004, Rodriguez was the chief economist of the Venezuelan National Assembly. Before that, he had worked as an assistant professor in the Economics Department of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Rodriguez is the co-author of “The Political Economy of Investment in Human Capital,” which is forthcoming in the Economics of Governance and “Inequality, Redistribution and Rent-Seeking,” published in Economics and Politics, November 2004.

His wife, María Eugenia, is a Ph.D candidate in marketing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has a step-daughter, Celeste, 12, and a Siamese cat named Shalimar.

Rodriguez’s interests include reading narrative literature. Among his favorite authors are Gunter Grass of Germany, Alejo Carpentier of Cuba, Alberto Fuguet of Chile and Gao Xingjian of China.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

“Hidden Gem” Opens Its Door


The staff at Wesleyan University Press will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at its new location, 215 Long Lane, across from the new Physical Plant. Pictured in back, left to right are Eric Levy ’97, acquisitions editor; Stephanie Elliott, publicity associate; and Leslie Starr, marketing manager. Pictured in front is Suzanna Tamminen ’90, MALS ’04, director and editor-in-chief.

Posted 10/01/05
It’s one of only 110 academic publishers in the nation, and has produced more than 1,000 books by authors around the world. But the Wesleyan University Press staff believes their publishing house remains a hidden gem.

Formerly housed on Mt. Vernon Street, Wes Press moved to its new location, 215 Long Lane, last year. To celebrate its move and introduce itself to the Wesleyan community, the staff at Wes Press will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 11

“We’re something of a secret on campus,” says Leslie Starr, marketing manager for the 46-year-old press. “We’d love to have members of the campus community stop by and see what we’re all about. “

Starr works at the press with Suzanna Tamminen ’90, MALS ’94, director and editor-in-chief; Eric Levy ’97, acquisitions editor; and Stephanie Elliott, publicity associate. They collaborate with the Wesleyan University Press Editorial Board — made up of Wesleyan faculty members from various fields — to decide what manuscripts to publish.

In America, university presses publish, on average, 9,000 books a year. Each press publishes books in specific areas. Wesleyan University Press’s editorial program focuses on poetry, music, dance and performance, science fiction, film and television, and American studies. By next fall, Wes Press hopes to begin publishing books for the general reader on Connecticut’s cultural and natural history.

This fall/winter, the press is publishing books on creative writing, acoustic effects in music recording, disaster movies, Australia’s Aboriginal songs, and poetic meditations on exile. In November, the press will publish the first modern and corrected English translation of Jules Verne’s The Begum’s Millions.

Wes Press receives close to 750 poetry and book submissions a year; however, it accepts few of these. Most authors are sought out, making the acquisitions work quite active.

“It’s far more effective, and we get better projects, when we seek them out,” Tamminen says. “We are looking for books that make an important contribution to their field, in lucid prose, and which fit into our editorial program. In order to best serve the fields we publish in, we need to have enough books in the area to have a critical mass, where the books do a kind of intellectual work together.”

The press publishes 12 new books each publishing season – spring/summer and fall/winter.

There are currently 430 Wesleyan University Press books in print, four of which have earned Pulitzer Prizes and two of which received National Book Awards. Most recently, Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop, by Joseph G. Schloss, won the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s 2005 Book Award.

“A lot of people don’t realize that you can’t just write a book, send it in to a publisher and get it published,” Starr says. “We’re very selective, and we need to be in order to maintain the mark of quality that Wesleyan has earned over the years.”

Book selection and marketing are done in-house while all copy editing, book design and printing are done externally. While books are being produced, the marketing staff is preparing the seasonal catalog, producing fliers and sending proofs to major publications.

“Getting a review published in publications such as Publisher’s Weekly or the New York Times is a very effective way to get the word out about a book,” Elliott says. “A lot of what we do involves cultivating relationships with reviewers.”

The small staff also hires about 10 Wesleyan students each year. The students gain hands-on experience writing press releases, sending out review copies, soliciting book endorsements, and doing other office work. In the last five years, nine of these students have gone on to work in publishing after graduating.

Wesleyan University Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses, the Association of American Publishers and the New England Booksellers Association.

Since many of the books published by Wes Press are on specialized scholarly topics, they often appeal to small audiences. And since the press operates as a business, making a profit can be the small publisher’s biggest challenge, Starr says. A book can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000 to produce.

The press is constantly seeking grants and donations to help defray costs while it meets the needs of the academic community, which is its primary mission.

“We hope people will come to the open house to browse our bookshelves and have some cider and a cookie,” Tamminen says.

Wesleyan University Press can be reached at 860-685-7711. It is online at The press offers members of the Wesleyan community a 20 percent discount on Wes Press titles when they are ordered through the press. For more information e-mail

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Dean of the College Wants Students, Faculty to Bond Outside of Classroom

Maria Cruz-Saco, dean of the college, is impressed by Wesleyan students’ involvement outside of the classroom.
Posted 10/01/05
It didn’t take long to settle in.

In just two months, Maria Cruz-Saco has begun spearheading residential life and student programming initiatives. She’s also creating a new position to oversee diversity and multicultural learning environments on campus and seeking ways to improve current student services.

As the new dean of the college, Cruz-Saco oversees the Class Deans, Student Academic Resources, Student Services and Campus Programs. The latter includes Residential Life, Student Activities and Leadership Development, International Student Services, the Office of Community Service and Volunteerism, university chaplains, the University Health Center, and the Office of Behavioral Health.

“I’m constantly concerned with the well being of the student population,” Cruz-Saco says.

Born in Peru, Cruz-Saco earned her bachelor’s of arts at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru, in 1979 and her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. She has authored three books, co-edited one, and contributed many articles and chapters to professional journals and books. She’s an expert in social protection and the reform of social security systems with a regional emphasis in Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, over the last few years her career has focused more on the administrative side of academics. Before coming to Wesleyan she served as interim dean at Connecticut College. Her other leadership positions there included chair of the economics department, chair of the Priorities, Planning and Budget Committee, member of the Grievances Committee, and member of the faculty steering committee of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. In addition, in 2002-03, she chaired the Presidential Commission on a Pluralistic Community charged with delineating Connecticut College’s vision for a multicultural experience and inclusive excellence.

“After learning about Wesleyan’s structure and core values, I got the sense that Wesleyan could be a good fit for me,” she says. “My own vision and values are very similar, and that is what attracted me.”

Cruz-Saco says she is most impressed by Wesleyan students’ involvement outside of the classroom. She notes the students’ interest in helping victims of Hurricane Katrina and their support and care given to accident victim Rachel Soriano ’06. Soriano was struck by a car on Church Street Sept. 10 and remains in critical but stable condition at Hartford Hospital.

“The students here are so committed to imprinting the world with a sense of social justice and a hope to make the world a better place for every body,” she says.

Cruz-Saco is also interested in direct input from students and staff on a regular basis. She holds office hours for students every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. She also meets with class deans and her direct reports once a week. She’s also a member of the university’s senior staff.

“We are thinking afresh about how we link students’ academic experiences with their lives in the community and about how we can take full advantage of the diversity of student experience as a resource for learning,” says Wesleyan President Douglas Bennet. “Wesleyan is also strengthening our residential life and student programming. Maria will provide strong leadership in all these areas.”

One way Cruz-Saco will be doing is this by developing a new position – a dean to oversee all cultural diversity initiatives and multicultural learning support services. The dean would partner with the Center for Faculty Development and Affirmative Action Office. The dean would ensure that faculty had the resources to teach multicultural classrooms.

“In our diverse community students have different learning styles and interests. The educational experience in- and out-of-the-classroom is enhanced by programs that support the teaching and learning in an environment that integrates in a seamlessly way academic and co-curricular activities,” Cruz-Saco says. “We support the educational enterprise through a number of student academic support services.”

She and her husband, Alejandro Melendez-Cooper, have three boys, Martin, 17; Claudio, 12; and Adrian, 9.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

The Wesleyan Connection: Campus Snapshot

In preparation of the new Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center, portions of the old Fayerweather Gymnasium are being removed. Demolition is more than 80 percent completed as of Sept. 6.


Associated Building Wreckers tear the building apart, beam by beam, brick by brick.
Construction crew members demolish what is left of the Fayerweather pool, built in 1913. Alan Rubacha, Construction Services consultant, is the project manager.
The renovated Fayerweather Gymnasium will become Fayerweather Hall. The facility will host a ballroom, catering kitchen, theater, dance studio and storage. The new university center will be built on the right side of Fayerweather Hall. (Photos by Ryan Lee and Olivia Bartlett)

For more information on this project, visit

A Technological “Academic Commons” for Liberal Arts Colleges

Academic Commons, a Web site developed by two Wesleyan staff members and a staff member from Alma College launched in August.
Posted 09/09/05
Colleagues from liberal arts colleges interested in technology-related issues can read original articles on the topic, share their own ideas and even collaborate with their peers on a Web site launched this month called Academic Commons (

The site offers a forum for investigating and defining the role that technology can play in liberal arts education.

The idea for the project came out of a series of meetings that took place at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College. Michael Roy, director of Academic Computing Services and Digital Projects, and John Ottenhoff of Alma College spearheaded the project. Jennifer Curran, functional project manager for Wesleyan’s EPortfolio, is the publication’s managing editor.

Roy says the intent was to create a space where faculty, technologists, librarians and other stakeholders in the academic enterprise could think critically about the impact of technology on liberal education.

“There are many other venues for talking about technology and education more generally, and there are plenty of opportunities for technologists to talk with other technologists, and librarians with other librarians, and so forth, but we did not find any other space that looks at this particular niche,” Roy says.

Academic Commons publishes essays, reviews, interviews, showcases of innovative uses of technology and vignettes that critically examine technology uses in the classroom. The first edition features essays on copyright issues, using technology in learning to speak the language of film and the dangers of ”just-in-time” education. The site offers links to a variety of interesting teaching, learning and technology projects.

The Web site also has built-in collaboration software to encourage people to use the space to work together on projects.

Roy and Curran foresee building a genuine community of like-minded people all working in this specialized territory.

“We are all wrestling with the complex and evolving relationships among technology, new media, and liberal arts education,” Curran says. “Technology challenges higher education professionals to think beyond conventional notions of the liberal arts and to broaden their understanding of what it means to be ‘liberally educated.’ Our hope is that our counterparts at institutions of higher education across the country will find this space useful in their efforts to explore these ideas and to take an active part in shaping the relationship between technology and liberal arts education.”

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Head of Preservation Services Puts Wesleyan’s Books in a Bind

Michaelle Biddle, head of Preservation Services, uses a special tool to preserve a book in the Preservation Services in Olin Library. Biddle and her student technicians make page mends, reback books and remove mold from pages.
Posted 09/09/05
Q: When were you hired at Wesleyan and what was your job title then?

A: I was hired in 1983 as the assistant to the librarian. Initially, I was the clerk of the works for the $10 million library addition that was added in the mid-1980s. In 1988 I was asked to develop a preservation program for the library’s circulating collections. Now my job title is head of Preservation Services.

Q: What do you do?

A: I am responsible for developing and managing the library’s Preservation Services, with includes the book conservation lab. We are currently exploring ways in which the Material Processing Marking unit might cost effectively extend the life of new materials before being put on the shelves.

Q: What types of publications need preservation treatment?

A: In 1990 I surveyed the circulating collection. This revealed that 50 percent was in need of some type of repair and that 20 percent was on brittle paper. Because so many items need repair we only review items that have circulated or been used in one of the libraries.

Q: Are books that need treatment always old?

A: No. In the last 10 years publishers’ bindings have precipitously declined in quality. We have to repair more and more “new” books though the 19th century collection is in the poorest condition. We did not have air conditioning in Olin until 1985. Before that time the stacks would reach 120 degrees in the summer – essentially cooking the books.

Q: Tell me about the process of preserving a book.

A: We have a small book conservation lab in the connector between the Public Affairs Center and Olin. It is furnished with a hood where we take care of books with mold, various presses, a job backer, a board shear and many, many specialized binding and conservation tools, cloths and papers. We rarely rebind a book but do a wide range of repairs – page mends, rebacking, guarding and cleaning. Book conservation is a specialized field but any 12th century monk or Gutenberg would be quite familiar with what we do.

Q: What are some recent examples of materials that you have preserved?

A: Most of the student book repair technicians are preparing more than 30 folio sized volumes of The Graphic, a popular 19th century English periodical, for rebinding. It was originally half bound in leather which has rotted. The covers have come off the text block. The pages are getting torn and the sewing is coming undone as a result. The students are mending the tears, and the sewing of the text block, removing the old spine lining and relining the spines before the volumes will be sent to the library commercial bindery. When we work on large format books the lab is very crowded.

One student is working on an 1854 edition of Types of Mankind by Nott and Glidden for Special Collections. We had a lovely plate that had been found on the floor of the Olin but no book. It took some sleuthing to find the correct book, and when we did find the book it needed to be partially resewn and rebacked.

I am currently working on sewing and rebinding a 1925 book of German etchings for the Print Reference Collection, as well.

Q: What happens to these materials? Can people check them out, or are they kept in special collections?

A: The majority of the materials we work on are for the circulating collections so they can be checked out but some materials are in Special Collections in Olin and must be used there.

Q: What is your personal interest in these historical materials? Are you a history buff?

A: I read a couple of books a week – primarily on history, book or art history though I do love a good mystery.

Q: I understand you recently returned from a voluntary six-week archeological dig in Petra, Jordan? Why did you decide to do this?

A: Volunteering on an archaeological dig is a way of gaining a thorough understanding of what has gone on in the past at a specific place. Petra is an amazingly complex, very large archaeological site and it takes a long time to explore. I volunteered for the 21st season of the American Expedition to Petra because it is led by Dr. Philip C. Hammond, an authority on the Nabateans, the people who built and lived in Petra.

Q: Did you make any big discoveries?

A: This season we were working to establish the northern perimeter of a plaza that had been found in 2002. It is behind the Temple of the Winged Lions, the most important Nabatean temple in Petra. The Temple was built in 27 A.D. and destroyed in the massive 363 A.D. earthquake. I discovered some beads, coins, a lamp and many, many pieces of pottery. Everywhere you walk there is evidence of human habitation. And the country is spectacularly beautiful.

Q: What are your degrees in?

A: My bachelor’s degree is in Middle Eastern anthropology and history from the University of Texas.  I apprenticed with Roger deCoverly, chief binder of the London School of Printing, and over the years have studied with other book conservators, primarily in Italy. I also have a master’s of library science from the University of Rhode Island and a certificate in archival management from The National Archives.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Refinishing woodwork is my current hobby. My husband, David, and I bought a house built in 1867 for $1. So far we’ve spent five years taking it apart, moving it nine miles from Easthampton to Hatfield, Massachusetts, rebuilding and restoring it. There are acres of woodwork that need to be refinished. I also create books. I am currently working on one about shoes found in the desert.

Q: What is your involvement with Middletown Alpha Delta Phi Society?

A: The Alpha Delta Phi Society is located at 185 High Street. We sponsor free events for the community including literary, film and poetry series, and a coffee-house series. We also have the oldest, continuously-operating eating club on campus, the Star & Crescent. I am the society’s volunteer archivist and last year I published a booklet on the first century and a half of their history titled Halls, Houses and Eating Clubs of the Middletown Chapter Alpha Delta Phi Society. In May 2006 we will be celebrating Alpha Delt’s sesquicentennial.

Q: Tell me about your family.

A: My husband, David, who attended Wesleyan, is Chairman of the Board of a bio-diesel coop in western Massachusetts. They turn used vegetable oil into fuel for diesel trucks and cars. After the dig in Petra, David joined me for a tour of Jordan. His fluency in Arabic facilitates touring in the Middle East. My son, Christopher, is in his final year of a computer engineering degree at Kettering University in Michigan.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wesleyan Reaches Out to Students, Citizens Displaced by Hurricane

Posted 09/09/05
Wesleyan University will offer Connecticut residents enrolled at colleges and universities in areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina the opportunity to take fall semester classes at Wesleyan, and Wesleyan students, faculty and staff have begun to coordinate other efforts for relief opportunities.

The university has reached out to students from Connecticut who attend colleges in areas affected by the storm. These students may apply for status as visiting students and enroll in classes on a space-available basis. Wesleyan will work with families to ensure that their total costs do not exceed their existing commitments to the schools in which they had been enrolled.

To date two students have accepted the offer and several more are working their way through the application process.

The deadline to register was Sept. 12. Admission decisions were made on a rolling basis. Students will need to enroll by Monday, Sept. 19, since Wesleyan classes will be in their third week.

Campus housing is nearly full, so most visiting students will be expected to commute. The University will assign what housing is available to students from outside commuting distance.

Students in the program will have their courses posted to an official Wesleyan transcript, which will be made available to them upon their request.

Some students may want to consider options other than enrolling in classes. Students who wish to speak with an adviser about either community service or internship possibilities may call Wesleyan’s Career Resources Center ( at 860-685-2180.

Katrina occurred before students returned to campus from summer break but already the Wesleyan community has begun to respond. Numerous faculty, staff, and students have reported making contributions of cash and supplies to The Red Cross and other charity organization. A candlelight vigil on Sept. 8 drew more than 150 people. A benefit party for people of color affected by Hurricane Katrina was held at Malcolm X House on Sept. 9 and student groups met Sept. 12 to discuss further efforts.

“This is an initial response to a tragic and uncertain situation,” says Wesleyan President Doug Bennet. “It is also an important moment for the educational community to come together to help these students.”

By David Pesci, director of Media Relations

Application Technology Specialist Creates Databases to Automate Tasks

Mary Schreck Glynn, application technology specialist, created the telephone directory database, media database and the student summer registration system.
Posted 09/09/05
Q: What does it mean to be an applications technology specialist?

A: Basically, an applications technology specialist evaluates new technologies and creates and supports academic and administrative applications using new and proven technologies. All the applications are database related.

Q: What is the purpose of these applications?

A: The general purpose is to service the Wesleyan community by automating tasks and sharing information.

Q: Can you give me a few examples of some of the tasks and information that have undergone this process?

A: Some recent examples include he telephone directory database, media database and the student summer registration system.

Q: How long do such projects generally take, and do you work on one at a time?

A: The length of a project can vary depending on the complexity of the project and its dependencies. Basically, I work on several projects at the same time.

Q: What is the process you follow to get from someone’s idea to actually completing a project?

A: The most important part of completing a project is the needs analysis phase. It is important to have a complete understanding of the users’ goals and to work out the business logic before programming. The needs analysis phase requires lots of meetings, detailed information from the users, prototype screens and workflow.

Q: The telephone directory’s database sounds like a large undertaking. How did this come together?

A: Along with Human Resources and Academic Affairs, we are working continually to try to improve the telephone directory process. There are three parts involved: first is the self-service module which allows faculty and staff access to change their personal data; second, is the module to help Human Resources and Academic Affairs update titles and employee information; third, is the process of printing and coordinating with the Information Technology Services printing service and the communications department.

Q: I also learned that incoming freshman can register for two classes in the summer, before they get to campus. Can you elaborate a bit on this pre-registration system and why it’s important?

A: The summer registration system is available to incoming students and is completed by mid-summer. Students fill in a series of screens with their preferences and the data is made available to the Academic Affairs office. In turn, the Academic Affairs office assigns courses and an advisor based on the student’s input. It is an important process since it helps Academic Affairs and student advisors become familiar with the students’ interests and it helps the students self assess and review the curriculum before they arrive on campus.

Q: What is the media database, and what are some of its features?

A: The media database allows faculty and staff to catalog all types of media including images, audio and video. The cataloged media is then grouped and stored in collections. The majority of media collections are course related and they are made available to students via the web.

Q: What other projects are you currently working on?

A: Currently, I am working with other departments on printing out the directory, library departmental collections, WesPress collections, Westel registration and internal applications.

Q: Are there special programs you use to create these? What programming languages do you use?

Some of the applications require vendor supplied solutions. However, the majority are home grown. Since Oracle is the university’s database standard, I am using the Oracle Application Server along with PL/SQL and javascript. Currently, we are looking into a couple of Oracle products, including HTMLDB and JDeveloper.

Q: How did you become interested in this?

A: I attended Fairfield University and earned a bachelor’s degree in English. When I graduated, I accepted a job at Yale University working with computer documentation. I learned a little about computers and moved into computer training. After a few years of computer training, I wrote a couple of programs and moved into the programming area and have since continued working in that area.

Q: Tell me about your hobbies and interests outside of work?

A: I enjoy lots of things outside of work, mostly, spending time with family and friends. My husband, Mike and I spend lots of time at hockey rinks and soccer fields watching our two children, Corey and Beth. My son Corey is a senior this year and Beth is in eighth grade.

Q: What would you say is the most unique thing about you?

A: I cheer for both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Q: Rumor has it that you’re the nicest person I’d ever meet.

A: Whoever told you, I owe them big money.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at Wesleyan

Posted 09/09/05
The University Recycling Committee has implemented a new campus-wide recycling system.

Mixed paper, glass, metal, plastic, corrugated cardboard, batteries, printer cartridges and even old furniture can now be collected and recycled.

“Recycling is required by law in Connecticut, and is the obligation of every member of the Wesleyan community,” says Bill Nelligan, the Wesleyan recycling coordinator and associate director of Environmental Health and Safety. “We hope that the Wesleyan community will join this effort to make Wesleyan a leader in waste reduction and environmental responsibility.”

Nelligan says recycling saves resources, energy, reduces pollution, cuts generation of greenhouse gases and reduces disposal costs.

Members of the University Recycling Committee worked for a year on the project, ordering new recycle bins, labels, creating brochures and designing a Wesleyan Recycles Web site, The site provides answers to frequently asked questions, a guide to reducing and reusing items, recycling tips and links to the National Recycling Coalition and the City of Middletown’s recycling information. A detailed list of what can and cannot be recycled at Wesleyan is posted on this site.

Committee members are currently distributing recycling containers at departments and residences campus-wide. Custodians will be responsible for removing recycling materials from the hallways and trash rooms and place them in the appropriate outdoor container.

Nelligan test-trialed the new recycle bins in Physical Plant. He placed the bins under staff people’s desks.

“It took 30 days for one office person to fill a trash two-thirds of the way full. Everything else he would haven thrown away was recyclable,” Nelligan says. “Recycling is definitely working at Physical Plant, and we’re hoping it can work campus-wide.”

Ninety-five-gallon recycling bins have been scattered in 30 locations around campus.

Major recycling categories are mixed paper, glass/metal/plastic and corrugated cardboard.

Paper products that can be recycled include white/colored paper, envelopes, manila folders, carbonless office forms, newspapers, magazines, hardback/paperback books, junk mail and corrugated cardboard.

Glass/metal/plastic items that can be recycled include plastic containers, glass jars, bottles, beverage cans, milk and juice boxes, aluminum food containers and clean aluminum foil are recyclable.

Paper, cardboard and glass/metal/plastic bins are available at locations around campus.

Styrofoam, batteries, florescent bulbs, computers and electronic equipment, printer cartridges, motor oil, scrap metal and even old dorm furniture and mattresses also can be recycled. For more information on where to drop these items off at, visit

To order a bin, or for additional information, visit the Wesleyan Recycles Web site at or call 860-685-2771. For pick up call 860-685-3400 or e-mail

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

100 Expected at Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend

Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations, Ciaran Escoffery ’00 and Roxanne Williams ’98 share a laugh during a previous Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend at Wesleyan.
Posted 09/09/05

When Karen and Michael Haley sent their son, John ‘07, to Wesleyan in 2004, they were anxious to learn more about the community in which he would be spending the next four years.

That year, they attended an Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend. They not only became informed, they became involved.

“We were so impressed that weekend with how cordially we were welcomed and made to feel a part of the Wesleyan community, that we decided to become parent volunteers,” Michael Haley says. “Our son is our one and only and it has always been our pleasure to participate in his activities.”

The Haleys will return to campus Sept. 23-24 to attend another Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend. They are among more than 100 registered for the informational event.

“Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend is designed to better inform both new and experienced volunteers about all the exciting things that are happening here, and give us a chance to thank our volunteers for the time and talents they give to Wesleyan,” says Gemma Ebstein, director of Alumni and Parent Relations.

During the course of the weekend, volunteers have the option of attending Wesleyan Annual Fund (WAF) and other Alumni Association meetings, as well as special programs with Wesleyan President Doug Bennet, Vice President for University Relations Barbara Jan Wilson and Board of Trustees chairman Jim Dresser ’63. Jack Mitchell ’61, CEO and chairman of Mitchells of Westport, Conn. and Richards of Greenwich, Conn. and author of Hug Your Customers, The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, is this year’s keynote speaker.

Two special classes, “Parent Volunteering 101” and “Electronic Tools and Resources for Alumni and Parent Volunteers” will be offered. In addition, attendees will receive a tour of the new Fauver Residence Halls.

Since attending the first volunteer weekend, the Haleys have twice assisted at WESeminars; volunteered for Spring and Fall calling; spoke at two WestFest Parent-To-Parent Seminars; volunteered at a swimming championship, and twice volunteered to assist with moving-in day. This year they will become members of the WESeminar Committee and the Executive Committee of the Parents’ Council.

“Since my son so much enjoys being on campus with his friends, he only comes home for school holidays, so being on campus gives us an excuse to occasionally have lunch or dinner with him,” Karen Haley says. “More importantly, we also get to meet other parents whose students are facing the same experiences and challenges as John and have the opportunity to exchange practical information and ideas with them.”

The Wesleyan Annual Fund National Committee, WESeminar Committee, Parents Council Executive Committee, Nominating Subcommittee, Alumni Association Executive Committee, and several 2006 Reunion Committees will hold meeting during the weekend.

Wesleyan has approximately 3,401 active volunteers and always welcomes more.

Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations, urges guests who have never volunteered to attend this event. She guarantees they’ll leave with a volunteer assignment.

“Some volunteers help with a single event or project a year, while others chair a club or committee and give their time to Wesleyan every week,” Kingsley says. “But each and every one of them is important. They are the nuts and bolts behind planning events, raising funds and building Wesleyan’s reputation.”

The weekend is free of charge and financial assistance is available to help with travel and accommodations for those who need it. Volunteers are welcome to bring guests, spouses and children.

Shuttles will be available to transport guests between campus and the Inn at Middletown, where several of the sessions will take place, throughout the weekend.

For more information or to register for Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend, contact Kingsley at or call 860-685-3836, or Camille Dolansky, assistant director of Parent Programs at or call 860-685-3756.

Additional information on volunteering opportunities can be found at or at

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Wes-HAUL Volunteers Help Make the Move


At top, Wes-Haul volunteers Daniel Rubin ’06 and Hanako Moondance ’06 carry a refrigerator into freshman Jennifer Bunin’s room in the Fauver Field Residence during Arrival Day Aug. 29. At right, Ian Renner ’08 helps carry students’ belongings into Clark Hall.

Posted 09/09/05
U-HAUL? Not here. Leave that up to Wes-HAUL, a team of volunteers that welcomed new students to campus. They unloaded cars, carried belongings, directed traffic and answered questions during students’ Arrival Day Aug. 29.

Wes-HAUL started five years ago as a small University Relations initiative and has evolved into a cross-university effort. More than 35 volunteers, including Wesleyan staff members, five spouses and kids of staff members, Diversity Peer Educators, and members of the football team, participated this year. All volunteers received a Wes-HAUL t-shirt, breakfast and lunch.

“This year, everyone worked so hard and was genuinely welcoming despite the hot and humid day,” says Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations and secretary of the Alumni Association. “I love being part of the team and I look forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come.”

Wes-HAUL volunteer Ian Renner ’08 manned Clark Hall, where lived during his freshman year. By 10:30 a.m. he had already moved in two mattress covers and two car loads worth of student belongings.

“I’m enjoying meeting and welcoming the freshmen,” he says, during a break. “It’s good to see the new people moving in the hall.”

Daniel and Louise Walunis of Cleveland, Ohio appreciated the Wes-HAUL help when moving their daughter, Valerie ’09 into her residence.

“Before I could even park the car and return, they had moved everything in,” Daniel Walunis says. “The helpers made the transition very smooth. It was well managed.”

Christine Colfer, administrative assistant for Regional Programs and Networks volunteered for Wes-HAUL, a “once a year opportunity” to meet new students and parents. Her husband, Daniel Colfer, a Public Safety officer, and their daughter Haynie, 12, were also on hand to help.

“Being a staff member, I don’t get to get out much and see the kids and the dorms,” Christine Colfer says from the Fauver Field Residences. “And they give you lunch and a t-shirt. What could be better?”

Kiersten Haynie liked what she saw, too.

“I want to come to Wesleyan someday,” Haynie says. “It seems like a good place to go to school.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer next year can call 860-685-3836 or e-mail

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

Assistant Dean of Student Services Co-Advises Student Judicial Board

Kevin Butler, assistant dean of Student Services, is the contact person for students with physical differences and co-advisor of the Student Judicial Board.
Posted 09/09/05
Q: When were you hired at Wesleyan?

A: I was hired in fall of all 2004 and started in January 2005 as the assistant dean of Student Services.

Q: What led you to working at Wesleyan?

A: I have excelled in conflict resolution and judicial affairs at several institutions. I thought it would be interesting to advise a student judicial board, which is something I hadn’t done before.

Q: And what is your role with the Wesleyan Student Judicial Board?

A: I’m co-advisor with Michael Whaley. It gives me the opportunity to mentor students and help them understand what it means to “uphold community standards,” and how to successfully communicate that through the decisions the Board makes.

Q: Where did you learn about the judicial board process?

A: I have worked on judicial boards at Johnson and Wales and been the primary judicial hearing officer for my area as a hall director and area coordinator at Bryant University, Johnson and Wales and Quinnipiac University. In total I have about eight years experience being involved in judicial processes at various institutions. I wanted to be a part of a process that leaned more towards student involvement rather solely administrators making all the decisions.

Q: What are your other duties as an assistant dean?

A: My position exists to support students in their endeavor to succeed here at Wesleyan. In addition, I have replaced Dean Rick Culliton as the main contact for student with physical differences. Last semester I was able to streamline the process for students who need accommodations under The Americans with Disabilities Act/504 who requested housing and other accommodations. The next step for me will be to start working to offer programming that may help our community become more aware of how people with physical and learning differences are living and functioning every day.

Q: Do you interact with students on a daily basis?

A: I do have some interaction with students on a daily basis, however not as much as I would like. Because I’m new on the staff here, students are just realizing that I can be a resource for them. During orientation for the class of ’09 I was able to meet a number of incoming and returning students and start building a rapport with them.

Q: What are some of their concerns or questions, and how do you go about resolving problems?

A: I have had the opportunity to talk with some students regarding judicial procedures, sanctions and disability and difference accommodations but I think that being here at the beginning of the term will make it easier for me to make connections with students.

I am very honest with students. When they come to me seeking advice I try to be constructive and developmental. If I don’t know the answer to a questions I try to steer them in the right direction towards someone who is better suited to provide them with the information they are seeking. I always try to get the student to look at both sides of any situation and empower the student to speak up for themselves if that is necessary and/or take responsibility for their part in the situation.

Q: What other offices do you meet or collaborate with?

A: I collaborate with Graduate Student Services, Residence Life, the Class Deans, Health Services, Behavioral Health and Student Activities and Academic Affairs.

Q: Do you feel most students are aware of all the services Wesleyan offers?

A: Probably not. I only say that because there so many.

Q: What goes on during your day here?

A: It varies from day to day. It is the way Student Affairs professionals survive. It is extremely difficult to anticipate what any day will bring. I am very happy to be working at an institution where my student affairs colleagues understand how important it is to be flexible and have a wealth of knowledge regarding student life issues that ensures our preparedness in case of emergency and celebration.

Q: Why do you enjoy working with students and their issues?

A: I enjoy working with all students but especially those students that are working through situations for the first time. I enjoy having conversations with students regarding their reasons for being at Wesleyan and how getting an education may be one of the most important things they will ever do.

Q: What qualities does it take to be the assistant dean of Student Services?

A: When I am asked this question I am reminded of a book I once read in Philosophy 400 class “Insight into Insight”. One of the books topics was the “ah-ha” factor; the realization of an idea. When you are able to witness that process it can be absolutely inspirational. It takes patience and understanding to work in Student Services. There always seems to be someone who needs something. And there’s the rub. Helping students is what keeps me enthused about what I do.

Q: Where did you attend college and what are your degrees in?

A: I got my bachelor’s of arts in theater from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and my master’s of fine art in performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Q: Are you still interested in the arts? What else?

A: I am very interested in film and theater. I used to play a lot of racquetball until I came to Wesleyan. Now I play a lot of squash. I sing in my church choir and play volleyball once a week. I do a little writing when I can which has been happily complicated by the birth of my son.

Q: And what is his name? And your wife’s?

A: Marshall. He’s seven months old. My wife Carleen works at Quinnipiac University. She coordinates community service and experiential learning.

Q: What sums up your personality?

A: I am always willing to help.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor