Annie RoachFebruary 28, 20227min
In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22 and Madi Mehta ’24 review alumni books and offer 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. Lawrence Jackson ’90, Shelter: A Black Tale of Homeland, Baltimore (Graywolf Press, 2021) After accepting a teaching job at Johns Hopkins, professor of English and history Lawrence Jackson found himself doing something that many people experience in their adult life—returning home. But Jackson, who grew up in Baltimore,…

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Editorial StaffFebruary 3, 20223min
Michele Roberts '77 retired at the end of 2021 after seven and a half years as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). To honor her leadership and legacy, the NBPA Foundation has endowed a financial aid scholarship at her alma mater, Wesleyan University. Named for Roberts’ mother, the Clara Johnson Roberts Scholarship Fund is a fitting tribute to the woman who sparked her daughter’s law career by bringing her to observe trials at their local courthouse in the South Bronx. Like many of the players she worked with, Roberts came from very modest beginnings and rose to…

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Steve ScarpaFebruary 3, 20228min
One of the first times Naomi Ekperigin ‘05 got laughs in public, it was during a 10-minute stand-up set at WestCo during her sophomore year at Wesleyan. “Obviously I did a lot of stuff about school. I was born and raised in New York City, the home of the Comedy Cellar, but it took me going to Middletown, Connecticut to feel confident and comfortable enough to give it a try,” she said. With a new Netflix special under her belt, appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Two Dope Queens on HBO, and film roles alongside Jennifer Garner, Kevin Hart,…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 21, 202211min
Although Kati Koerner majored in government, she spent the majority of her career working in the theater arts. The Class of 1990 Wes alumna now teaches a graduate seminar on the pedagogy of drama at the Juilliard School and serves as director of education at Lincoln Center Theater. And she's more than happy to talk about her experience with other budding theater-makers. On Jan. 14, as part of the Gordon Career Center's WEShadow Externship Program, Koerner met with a dozen current Wesleyan students on Zoom to discuss her experience in arts education, applied theater, arts integration, and also grant-writing and budgeting. She's…

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Steve ScarpaDecember 3, 20215min
Amby Burfoot ‘68 believes that every race he runs is a gift, perhaps even more so at the age of 75. Burfoot, a former Boston Marathon champion, Wesleyan cross country star, and editor-in-chief of “Runner’s World” magazine, finished his 59th straight Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving, setting a new race record. “The race was great. I ran every step with an old friend and Manchester resident, Steve Gates, who was running his 52nd in a row. We finished hand in hand,” Burfoot said in an e-mail after the race. His time was good enough to win the 75 to 79…

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Editorial StaffNovember 12, 20213min
(By Maia Dawson '24) For Josh Hinman BLS '21, an inmate at Cheshire Correctional Institution, Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education (CPE) program “felt like a gamble.” When he joined the program in there was no degree pathway and he remembers asking the pilot program directors Russel Perkins '09 and Molly Birnbaum '09, if it was a study. Now years later, Hinman is a college graduate and a member of the inaugural class of Wesleyan BLS degree recipients. Hinman and his classmates Michael Braham BLS '21 and Clyde Meikle BLS '21 shared their experiences with the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 1, 20213min
Like many alumni entrepreneurs, Kenny Green's career launched from a "dorm room business" during his junior year at Wesleyan. Green '98, an economics major, teamed up with his classmate Paul Freeman '98 and started selling keychains with 'Wesleyan' stitched in black thread. "[At the time] these big long keychains came in style—the dog tag keychain. So I said, 'Hey, how can we put Wesleyan on this?'" Green asked. Green, who is the founder of Green Passion Projects, an organization that consults with professional athletes and entrepreneurs to create effective business strategies, joined five other Wesleyan alumni panelists to lead the…

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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…