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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…

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Olivia DrakeJune 2, 20212min
Artist Glenn Ligon '82, Hon. 12 was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters on May 19. The Academy is an honor society comprised of 300 architects, artists, composers, and writers. Each year, the Academy elects new members as vacancies occur, administers over 70 awards and prizes, exhibits art and manuscripts, funds performances of new works of musical theater, and purchases artwork for donation to museums across the United States. Ligon's work is an exploration of American history, literature, and society that builds on the legacies of modern painting and more recent conceptual art. He's best known for…

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Editorial StaffMay 26, 20212min
Scott Gottlieb ’94, a physician, public health and policy advisor and advocate, received an honorary doctorate of science during Wesleyan's 189th Commencement on Wednesday, May 26. Gottlieb, who earned a BA in economics from Wesleyan, was the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2017 to 2019. He is currently a special partner with the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, and a resident fellow at public policy think tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In his speech, Gottlieb drew distinctions between his time at Wesleyan 25 years ago and the experiences of the Class of 2021. Yet he…

Editorial StaffMay 26, 20211min
Each year, Wesleyan’s Alumni Association recognizes an extraordinary group of alumni and members of the Wesleyan community with Alumni Association Awards. These awards recognize individuals who have made remarkable contributions or achievements in their professions, their communities, or the creative arts. Traditionally presented at the Wesleyan Assembly and Annual Meeting during Reunion & Commencement Weekend, the awards this year were presented virtually by President Michael Roth ’78 as part of Virtual Reunion 2021. The recipients and descriptions are here.

Rachel Wachman '24May 10, 20211min
Anna Krotinger ’19 wrote an undergraduate thesis examining a dance intervention for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and underlying cognitive mechanisms relating to rhythm that was published on May 6 at the scientific journal PLOS ONE. Krotinger’s thesis, titled “Rhythm and groove as cognitive mechanisms of dance intervention in Parkinson’s disease,” builds off her studies in neuroscience and behavior, in which she majored at Wesleyan. “Music and dance encourage spontaneous rhythmic coupling between sensory and motor systems; this has inspired the development of dance programs for PD,” the abstract reads. “Here we assessed the therapeutic outcome and some underlying cognitive mechanisms of…

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Olivia DrakeMay 4, 20212min
Two-time Grammy Award-winning producer and Atlantic Records President of A&R Pete Ganbarg '88 will host a new Rock N' Roll High School podcast starting May 6. The series, presented by Warner Music Group, will feature legendary figures in contemporary music. The first three episodes star Grammy-winning composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist, Nile Rodgers; two-time Rock & Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Graham Nash; and Go-Go’s bassist and songwriter, Kathy Valentine. Following the premiere, new episodes will launch every other week. “It’s been an honor to sit down with each of these incredibly influential and uniquely talented individuals and…

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Editorial StaffMay 4, 20211min
Voting for the 2021 Alumni Trustee Election is now open. Each year, Wesleyan alumni elect three of their peers to serve on the University’s Board of Trustees for a three-year term. Nearly one-third of the Board is elected by the alumni body. "The alumni-elected trustee process is a remarkable and important way for alumni to demonstrate stewardship of our University," said Gina Driscoll, associate director of alumni and parent relations. "Choose the alumni candidates who can help influence the direction of the University." Watch for the Alumni-Elected Trustee email with your personal link to vote.  View this year’s slate here.…

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Annie RoachApril 29, 20214min
In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22, an English and Italian studies major from Middletown, Del., 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. William Aspray ’73, MA ’73 and Melissa Ocepek (editors), Deciding Where to Live (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020) In the past year, our choice of residence has become more crucial than ever. In fact, the pandemic has caused many people to house-hunt, pack up…