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Annie RoachOctober 15, 20213min
In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22, an English and Italian studies major from Northampton, Mass., reviews alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Scott Gottlieb '94, Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic (Harper, 2021) Since March 2020, the news cycle has been riddled with despair, conflicting information, and false theories. Even with vaccines, social distancing, and masking, COVID-19…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 13, 20213min
In a new study linked to her 2021 high honors thesis, Sanya Bery '21 discovered that cities that house universities have a significant likelihood of adopting ambitious climate action plans. "It is clear that as plans become more ambitious, there is a higher concentration of university cities, and as plans become less ambitious there is a lower concentration of university cities," she said. "[These cities] efforts will be critical to the world’s effort to combat climate change." Bery, who majored in government and environmental studies, is currently collaborating with Mary Alice Haddad, John E. Andrus Professor of Government, on a…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 29, 20212min
At the age of 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was arrested for armed carjacking. He was sentenced to prison—where an unknown person slid a copy of Dudley Randall's The Black Poets under his cell door. It was this book that sparked a love for poetry and led to his lifelong interest in literature. "I spent nine years, writing every day, reading every day, imagining that words would give me the freedom to sort of understand what got me in prison," Betts said. "And when you're trapped in the cell—literally— words are your only lifeline. And I committed myself to using them…

Steve ScarpaAugust 16, 20212min
It’s Spring 1966. Steve Englehart, a first-year Wesleyan student, is hanging around his dorm when one of his floormates thrusts a copy of Spider-Man at him saying, “You have to read this. This is great.” Like many students his age at that time, Englehart read comic books as a child but thought that he’d grown out of them. They were considered “downmarket”—a lot of them weren’t particularly good. Englehart read it through in one shot and sensed something very different than the wooden characters and corny storylines he encountered as a kid. Marvel had gone through a renaissance in the…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 16, 20212min
After nearly 50 years, Steve Englehart '69 will see one of his original Marvel characters make its big-screen debut this fall. Englehart’s creation, martial arts master Shang-Chi, is the lead character of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” starring Simu Liu, perhaps best known for his work in the Canadian comedy “Kim’s Convenience.” The film debuted Aug. 15 in Los Angeles and will be released nationwide on Sept. 3. Although Englehart was not involved in the movie production, he sees core elements of the backstory he created in the trailer for the upcoming film. In Englehart’s original story…

Annie RoachAugust 13, 20216min
In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22, an English and Italian studies major from Northampton, Mass., reviews alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Doro Globus ’05, Making a Great Exhibition (David Zwirner Books, 2021) In this charming and colorful picture book, author Doro Globus ’05 and illustrator Rose Blake collaborate to introduce the art world to children, delving into the lives of everyone from painters and…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 29, 20213min
Political scientist Ben Oppenheim ’02 thinks it's only a matter of time. "There's this idea circulating that pandemics are a 'once in a century' problem because the 1918 flu happened about a century before COVID-19. But that's just a random quirk," Oppenheim said. "The next one could be next week. Or next month." A College of Social Studies major at Wesleyan, Oppenheim is currently vice president of product, policy, and partnerships at Metabiota, a business providing data-driven insights to help organizations manage infectious disease risk. Through epidemiological modeling, Oppenheim and his colleagues are able to estimate the frequency and severity of…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 27, 20215min
For a truly sustainable future, Class of 2016 alumni Kotaro Aoki and Kota Uno believe it's crucial to teach people how to view—and properly "use"— nature. "Education is the most important piece in solving the root cause of climate change and environmental problems," Aoki said. "If we don't change our mindset, the same problem continues to rise no matter how drastic changes on the surface are." After reuniting recently in Fukushima, Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic, Aoki, a philosophy major, and Uno, a College of Social Studies major, discovered a shared interest in climate change. They agreed that they needed…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 19, 20212min
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States In 1932, wheelchair-bound Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first (and only) United States president to hold the top office with a severe disability. While the public was well aware of his paralysis, Roosevelt never let his illness hinder…

Annie RoachJuly 8, 20213min
In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22, an English and Italian studies major from Northampton, Mass., reviews alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Susan R. Barry ’76, Coming to Our Senses: A Boy Who Learned to See, a Girl Who Learned to Hear, and How We All Discover the World (Basic Books, 2021) What is it like to gain a sense—say, sight or hearing—after spending your…

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Rachel Wachman '24June 16, 20212min
Melissa Stern ’80, an artist and journalist, is hosting a retrospective art show at the Lockwood Gallery in Woodstock, New York. Stern’s show is called “Stronger Than Dirt” and looks back at her past 20 years of work. A live opening took place from 5 to 7 p.m. June 12, and the exhibition will run until July 11. Over the past year, Stern has served as a visiting lecturer and guest critic through Zoom. She has virtually visited The Everson Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, NYU, The Pelham Art Center, and Indiana University, among others. In describing her art, Stern…

Annie RoachJune 2, 20212min
In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22, an English and Italian studies major from Middletown, Delaware, reviews alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Ram Dass MA ’54 and Rameshwar Das ’69, Being Ram Dass (Sounds True, 2021) When Ram Dass, then known as Richard Alpert, was fired from his position as a professor of psychology at Harvard University for giving psychedelics to undergraduates in pursuit of…