Campus News & Events

President Roth, Kolcio Speak at International U.N. Ukraine Roundtable

donbasAssociate Professor of Dance Katja Kolcio and Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 recently participated in an international virtual roundtable discussion hosted by the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme. The roundtable, titled “Implementing a Somatic Methodology in the Ukrainian Rehabilitation System: Developing Stress Resistance in Ex-combatants, IDPs, and Residents of Eastern Ukraine” was held virtually on April 28.

The purpose of the roundtable was to develop a resolution of joint coordination between the various ministries in Ukraine responsible for the psychological health of veterans.

Kolcio and Roth spoke about the importance of the Vitality Project Donbas, a collaboration between Wesleyan and the NGO Development Foundation which uses innovative, somatic, integrating practices to help people overcome the psychological effects of exhaustion, depression, and social isolation in communities in eastern Ukraine and help military veterans transition to civilian life. Kolcio is the principal U.S. researcher for the project.

Kolcio spoke about civic engagement through somatics, a practice that highlights the connection between the mind and the body.

“Although trauma affects a large number of people around the world, mental health care is inhibited by barriers, including stigma, cost, and education,” Kolcio said. “Somatic methods, which work with the physical manifestations of trauma, address each of these barriers.”

Kolcio explained that somatics combine physiological and physical aspects of health and can be used to treat stress and trauma.

“Supporting and building the psychosocial resilience and integration of those impacted by the current conflict in Ukraine is the most important step towards social and economic stability and security in our future,” Kolcio said. “Investing in people is the number one priority in ensuring our future, which depends on the vitality, engagement, sense of belonging, sense of personal value, and creative energies of each person in public life.”

Roth emphasized the importance of civic engagement in building a better society at the University level and beyond, building context for the work done at Wesleyan and through Vitality Project Donbas.

“Universities can only prosper, inquiry and education can only thrive, when the civic environment around the university is healthy,” Roth said. “And so we, at Wesleyan University … are dedicated to creating strong relationships with civic organizations to foster engagement with public life to improve the community in which we live, and thereby improving our own University’s practices.”

Roth also stressed the importance of somatics in civic engagement and overall well-being.

“Somatics is an approach that fosters resilience, engagement, critical thinking, and creativity by focusing on the integration of mind and body,” Roth said.

Kolcio led the virtual audience in a breathing exercise to release stress and build feelings of security, demonstrating the efficacy of somatic practices, explaining how the analysis of somatic methods will advance the project.

The work carried out in Vitality Project Donbas will contribute to worldwide advances in mental health and to the Donbas community in Ukraine.

To watch the full roundtable, click here.

Share Your Wesleyan COVID-19 Experiences, Creative Works

postcard The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the Wesleyan community in a myriad of ways from student life to research to the way we teach and learn. This spring, Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives, along with Academic Affairs, are hoping to build a historical record—and preserve for posterity—the stories, memories, messages, and creative works of the University’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni.


(Click to enlarge)

Postcards from a Pandemic
Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives has launched a “Postcards from a Pandemic” project, which aims to help future students and researchers understand what it was like to be a member of the Wesleyan community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Postcards are available outside Special Collections & Archives in Olin Library, although personal postcards also are accepted.

“Write a note and tell them about how life has changed, or how it has stayed the same. What you’ve struggled with, or where you’ve found joy. Or maybe something else altogether,” said University Archivist Amanda Nelson. “Your postcard will become a primary source account of this unprecedented moment, giving future generations a glimpse into life during a global pandemic.”

After writing a message, place it into the dropbox outside SC&A, deliver it to SC&A in person, or mail the postcard to Special Collections & Archives, 252 Church St., Middletown, CT 06459.

COVID-19 Community Reactions Digital Collection
Special Collections & Archives, in partnership with Academic Affairs, welcomes submissions to its ongoing COVID-19 Community Reactions Digital Collection. Here, members of the Wesleyan community can share a story, essay, poem, photograph, video, audio recording, scholarship insights, or other creative work.

“Throughout the pandemic, Wesleyan students and faculty have demonstrated a brave and tenacious commitment to their research and creative work,” said Nicole Stanton, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Some have refocused their research on COVID-19 itself, or have made new creative work in response to the pandemic. Others have carefully pivoted their scholarship in order to accomplish research in the face of new and complex challenges. We want to honor and celebrate the research and creative work in which you’ve engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Faculty and staff can upload their creative work via this Google Form. Students and alumni can upload content from this submission request.

“Our research and creative work keep our collective University life vibrant and healthy,” Stanton said. “Your work will be collected, preserved, and made available for future generations.”

Banka ’22 Co-Authors Article on Pandemic Food Insecurity for COVID-19 Action Coalition

Darshana Banka ’22

Darshana Banka ’22

Darshana Banka ’22 volunteers with the COVID-19 Action Coalition (COVAC-MA) a group of over 25 students and alumni (led by Amy Fogelman ’97) who advocate alongside Massachusetts physicians for public health measures that will reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. Currently, Banka leads COVAC-MA’s Medium Research Team.

Banka recently co-wrote an article about food insecurity during the pandemic as part of COVAC-MA’s outreach titled, “Hungry for Change: Food Insecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity for low-income individuals and changed eating behaviors for many Americans of different socioeconomic levels,” Banka wrote. “Because these changes have harmful health implications, action must be taken at both the individual and governmental/policy levels to mitigate food insecurity and the disruptive effect of pandemic-related guidelines on our eating behaviors.”

Banka’s article also discusses the disparity of access to food among different populations in the United States, and how this disparity impacts eating behaviors and overall health. Banka also outlines the potential dangers of letting this problem go unaddressed.

“Given the significant negative impacts of pandemic-driven food insecurity on eating behaviors and poor health outcomes, it is important to address this issue at both the government/policy and individual levels,” Banka wrote. “Programs currently exist to support families struggling with food insecurity; however, they are not sufficient. Recent research has found that while programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) make food more affordable, the cost of food in states like Connecticut was 40–50% higher than these benefits in 2015. This emphasizes how policies fall short in providing access to basic nutrition needs to low-income communities that are disproportionately affected by rising food costs. New policies need to be implemented in tandem with community-based organizations that work to boost economic opportunities and access to food.”

At Wesleyan, Banka is double majoring in neuroscience and behavior, and psychology, with a minor in chemistry. She’s also an Academic Peer Advisor.

Art Studio Seniors Display Thesis Exhibitions from the Art Studio Program in the Zilkha Gallery

Gabriela Banda presented a series of oil paintings on stretch canvas titled "MIRA PA’CÁ."

Gabriela Banda ’21 presented her art studio thesis, “MIRA PA’CÁ,” during the Senior Thesis Exhibition’s virtual opening reception on April 21.

This month, the Center for the Arts is hosting three virtual opening receptions for 19 graduating art studio majors to showcase their work as part of the Senior Thesis Exhibition.

Since Zilkha Gallery is only open to Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff during the pandemic, the virtual format allows alumni, parents, friends, and other members of the Wesleyan community to view the students’ work.

“We’re hoping to create access—especially for those of you who are not on campus—to see these shows in person and see what [the artists’] work looks like in space and scale,” said Benjamin Chaffee, associate director of visual arts and adjunct instructor of art. “We’ll also have a chance for some brief conversations with each of the artists who can enlighten us about their process. Our hope is that these conversations might approximate one aspect of an opening reception—the opportunity to hear directly from the exhibiting artist about their work.”

4 Students Win Case for a Cause Competition

elebrating the win outside of the Butterfields dorm. April 9, 2021. Left to right: Ransho Ueno, Pim Wandee, Sarah Rizky Ardhani, and Asa Sakornpant

Ransho Ueno ’23, Pim Wandee ’23, Sarah Rizky Ardhani ’23, and Asa Sakornpant ’23 celebrate their Case for a Cause competition victory near the Butterfields Residences on April 9.

Four Wesleyan sophomores won consulting company Roland Berger’s annual Case for a Cause competition on Friday, April 9.

The competition, which raises money for the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, gives students a space to apply their practical skills and simulate strategy consulting work.

Asa Sakornpant ’23, Natchanok (Pim) Wandee ’23, Sarah Rizky Ardhani ’23, and Ransho Ueno ’23 belong to the Consulting Pathways Club and are all pursuing the data analysis minor through Wesleyan’s Quantitative Analysis Center.

Sakornpant, Ardhani, and Ueno are Freeman Asian Scholars and were sponsored by the Gordon Career Center to take part in the competition.

Wesleyan in the News

NewsSeveral Wesleyan faculty and alumni have appeared in national media outlets recently. They include:

April 7
The Boston Globe – She Loves Theater, Dessert, and New Zealand — and Can’t Wait to Get to Japan. Features HowlRound director Jamie Gahlon, who is currently completing her master’s degree in performance curation at Wesleyan.

US Lacrosse Magazine – Behind the Whistle: All in the Family. Features Carly Randall, assistant lacrosse coach at Wesleyan.

Street Insider – Avalonbay Communities news. Mentions Richard Lieb ’81, P’22, senior advisor at Greenhill & Co., LLC, a publicly traded investment bank.

Talking Biz News – Barlyn departs Reuters. Features Suzanne Barlyn ’88, who will become assistant director of media and public relations at insurance company The Hartford.

Stamford Advocate – Wesleyan seniors conduct research at Long Lane Forest in Middletown. Features Wesleyan’s earth and environmental science majors.

April 8
VoyageLA – Rising Stars: Meet Naomi Ekperigin. Features Naomi Ekperigin ’05.

The Cornell Daily Sun – University Assembly Votes to Cut Ties with ICE, Broaden Emissions Reporting. Mentions that Wesleyan has established itself as a sanctuary campus.

Wonderlust – Nightstand, Books We Recommend. Features Brenda Coultas, whose next collection of poetry, The Writing of an Hour, will be published in 2022 by Wesleyan University Press.

April 11
Portland Press Herald – Waynflete Flyers Winter Athletes of the Year. Features Chris Saadé ’25, who “plans to row and study government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.”

April 12
Waste Today – Middletown Partners with Composting Firm on Food Waste Recycling Initiative. Mentions Wesleyan.

The Hour – Wesleyan University in Middletown to ‘ensure’ students are immunized for fall semester. Mentions Wesleyan and President Michael Roth.

Fox News – FOX News Media names Gugar new General Counsel, EVP of Corporate Development. Mentions that Bernard Gugar ’86 graduated from Wesleyan with a dual degree in psychology and American studies.

The Republican Journal – Maine Sen. Angus King Adds Staff Additions. Mentions Nancy Billings ’19 and Wesleyan University.

Cornell University – Study: More exposure to political TV ads heightens anxiety. Mentions Wesleyan.

Johns Hopkins University Hub – Historian Todd Shepard ’91 awarded Guggenheim Fellowship.

Literary Hub – How Nellie Y. McKay Forged a Path for the Study of African American Literature. Mentions Wesleyan University Professor Emerita Gayle Pemberton.

All Events – In Art History from Home: Me, Myself, and. Mentions Josh Lubin-Levy ’06 and Wesleyan University.

The Boston Globe – Brigham and Women’s Hospital Doctor Dies in Tragic Fall in the Dominican Republic. Quotes Dr. Robert Soiffer ’79.

April 13
Darien Times – Middletown Residents, Wesleyan Professors Write, Direct ‘American Oz’ Documentary. Features Wesleyan University faculty Randall MacLowry and Tracy Heather Strain.

Health News Digest – Children with Autism May Not Be Receiving the Right Level of Treatment. Mentions Jamie Pagliaro ’98.

WFDD – Sonny Simmons, Fiercely Independent Alto Saxophonist, Dies at 87. Mentions Wesleyan Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan akLaff.

The Middletown Press – Wesleyan Long Lane Farm grant to help Middletown residents access affordable produce. Mentions that Long Lane Farm is the recipient of a 2021 Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant from Wesleyan.

PR Web – Industry Experts Release Whitepaper On The Realities, Opportunities, And Risks Associated With Diminished Decision-Making Capacity. Mentions Chris Heye ’81, P’14, the CEO and founder of Whealthcare Solutions, Inc. and Whealthcare Planning LLC.

My Silly Little Gang – Geneticist and Pediatrician Dr. Hamosh Receives David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics from the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine. Features Dr. Ada Hamosh ’81.

News 12 Connecticut – Students must get COVID-19 Vaccination to Return to Campus in Fall. Features Wesleyan. This story also appears in:
Fox 61
Connecticut Patch
WTNH News 8
CT Mirror
Stamford Daily Voice|
CT Post
NBC Connecticut
Hartford Courant
WFSB Eyewitness News 3

April 14
The New York Times – COVID-19 in New York: Variants and Johnson & Johnson. Mentions that Wesleyan University became the first university in Connecticut to require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Middletown Press – Hartford indie coffee shop to open eatery in Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookshop.

Healthcare Technology Report – The Top 50 Healthcare Technology CEOs Of 2021. Mentions Marc Casper ’90, P’23, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

April 15 – President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate Key Administration Leaders in the State Department. Features Karen Donfried ’84, nominee for assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Record Journal – Colleges working to get students, staff vaccinated. Community Health Center expects to vaccinate about 3,000 students at Wesleyan University in Middletown on April 24 and 25.

Daily Magazine – The top 11 cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL draft. Mentions former Wesleyan football player Mark McAleenan ’97.

April 16
The Washington Post – The Art of the Photograph; the Photograph as Art. Op-ed by Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78.

Variety – Variety Entertainment Impact Report: Top 50 Film Schools and Instructors From Around the World. Mentions Wesleyan’s College of Film and the Moving Image.

Market Screener – Scotts Miracle-Gro news. Scotts Miracle-Gro hires Jim Esquea ’90 as Vice President of Public Affairs.

Market Screener – Springworks Therapeutics news. Mentions Daniel Lynch ’80, P’11, ’14.

WFSB – Colleges and universities are making COVID vaccine more accessible to students. Mentions that “Wesleyan is the only university in the state requiring a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The Wall Street Journal – ‘Hamilton’ Creator Partners With Posse Foundation to Mentor Arts Students. Features Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15 who had “started writing his Broadway musical ‘In the Heights’ during his sophomore year at Wesleyan University.

The Nation – How BLM Is Subtly Shaping the Chauvin Trial. Features an op-ed by Sonali Chakravarti, associate professor of government.

Market Screener – Razer Inc. news. Mentions Kevin Kwok Fun Chau ’83.

Market Screener – Mentions Michael Kishbauch ’71, P’07.

April 17
NBC Connecticut – COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Held For High School Students in Middletown. Features the Community Health Center’s vaccination clinic at Wesleyan.

April 19
NBC – An ‘enormous burden’: Chauvin trial jurors will face scrutiny – no matter their verdict. Quotes Sonali Chakravarti, associate professor of government.

The Missouri Review – “Not an Ode to April 22nd, 2019” Gisselle Yepes. Features poem by Gisselle Yepes ’20 and mentions Wesleyan’s Winchester Fellowship and Wesleyan’s The Ankh.

USA News Hub – Microbes are ‘unknown unknowns’ despite being vital to all life, says study. Quotes Frederick Cohan, Huffington Foundation Professor in the College of the Environment.

Yahoo! News via The Hartford Courant – Connecticut colleges and universities will fully reopen this fall, but state won’t require COVID-19 vaccines, letting individual schools decide. Mentions Wesleyan.

April 20
Time Magazine – History’s Lesson for Activists Who Want to Defund the Police. Features an op-ed by Sarah Ryan, associate professor of the practice in oral communicationn.

Street Insider – Biotech Veterans Troy Cox, Susannah Gray and Karen McGinnis Join Biosplice Therapeutics Board of Directors. Features Susannah Gray ’82.

The New Haven Register – Albertus honors professor, coach who fought ‘brave battle with cancer.’ Features honor longtime Professor Ron Waite CAS ’82, “who holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Art (Film and Video) from Wesleyan University.” – Bradley Whitford Finds Inspiration in the Theater (and Dog Park). Features Bradley Whitford ’81 and Wesleyan’s ’92 Theater– “the place where all the student-initiated productions happened, and it’s where I fell in love with acting. It’s just this magical place.” Also mentions Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15. – Life on Venus? The Picture Gets Cloudier. Quotes Martha Gilmore, George I. Seney Professor of Geology.

Pennsylvania Patch – Karen Fleming Running For West Chester Area School Board Seat. Features Karen Fleming P’20 and her son, Andrew Fleming ’20.

Market Screener – Guotai Junan International Holding news. Mentions Ka Keung Ceajer Chan ’79.

Alumni, Experts Discuss “(Un)Knowing” at 3rd Annual TedXWesleyanU

ted xIn the spirit of sharing ideas worth spreading, Wesleyan students hosted the third annual TEDxWesleyanU conference on April 16–17.

Titled “(Un)Knowing,” the event’s speakers included:

    • Alford Young Jr. ’88, professor of sociology, Afroamerican and African studies, and public policy at the University of Michigan
    • Field Yates ’09, NFL Insider for ESPN and co-host of “Fantasy Football”
    • Emily McEvoy ’22, College of Social Studies major, 2021 Student Speaker Competition Winner, and Middletown Mutual Aid organizer
    • Gato Nsengamungu ’23, physics and government double major from Rwanda
    • Doug Berman ’84, two-time Peabody Award-winning producer of NPR’s “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” and “Car Talk”

Roth to Speak During Middlesex Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 will be the featured speaker during the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business and Education Partnership and Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program Recognition Luncheon.

President Roth will speak from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27 via Zoom. The talk, which will focus on Wesleyan’s pandemic response, is open to the public.

To join the meeting, log into:
(Webinar ID: 990 5269 0757)

Roth Talk

JCCP Awards 13 Student-Led Groups with Innovation Funds

Thirteen student-led groups are the recipients of Jewett Center for Community Partnerships Student Innovation Fund awards.

These awards support community engagement projects with grants up to $750 each.

“The common theme is that they all want to positively impact the greater Middletown community,” said Rhea Drozdenko, JCCP community participation coordinator. “There is no one right way to do community engagement, and the Innovation Fund supports nontraditional ideas. It’s important that our grantees are grounded in the ideas of mutual respect and collective responsibility as they go out into the community.”

All applicants are required to read the Cardinal Community Commitment —the University’s collective approach to civic engagement—before starting their work.

“Students also must become familiar with the community they wish to serve, practice ongoing self-reflection, embrace a spirit of humility with their work, and be an adaptable collaborator and partner,” Drozdenko said.

The spring/summer recipients were announced in a ENGAGE blog post on April 8. The grantees are the following:

Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness Club
Elsa Dupuy d’Angeac ’22, Robie Scola ’23, Carolina Mahedy ’21

This group will use the grant to create a website that can serve as a comprehensive plan for the community to learn more about sexual health. The website will include information from their sexual health awareness curriculum, a live chat for students to ask questions, a blog, a video component, and more.

community fridge

Students offer free food through the Middletown Community Fridge.

Middletown Community Fridge
Bryan Chong ’21 and Emily McEvoy ’22

The Middletown Community Fridge was created in 2020 as a place for people to donate food to Middletown residents in need. The grant will go towards keeping the fridge clean, safe, and well-stocked.

Middletown Mutual Aid Fundraiser with Student Creators
Tara Nair ’21

Nair aims to create a partnership between the Middletown Mutual Aid Collective (MMAC) and student creators so they can sell their art, products, designs, and merchandise and the profits will go to MMAC. The grant will serve as compensation for the student creators so they can still receive payment for their labor and materials.

MIRA (Middlesex Immigrant Rights Alliance)
Margarita Fuentes ’21, Marlen Escobedo ’21, and Ivanna Morales ’21

This group aims to partner with different immigration rights organizations in Connecticut to create a more action-based coalition. They also want to host webinars and meetings to empower non-native English-speaking members of these organizations.

Oddfellows Musical Mentoring Program
Julia Kan ’22

This program matches Wesleyan students with children in Middletown for one-on-one individualized music lessons and mentorship. The lessons help children develop their creativity and form valuable relationships with their mentors. The grant will go towards expanding the program into Middletown’s Elementary Schools and partnering with the Wesleyan Music Department.

Traverse Square
Sophie Williamson ’22, Nyaiah Lamb ’21, Sam Kurlender ’22, Abigail Maymi ’22, and Emma Powell ’21

Traverse Square is an after-school program run by Wesleyan students to support children in the Traverse Square public housing community. Leaders will use the grant to update and expand the program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Book Buds

Wesleyan Book Buds
Ricardo Vega ’21, Leila Etemad ’21, Stephanie Corrales ’22, and Margarita Fuentes ’21

This student group hosts book drives to provide reading material to children in need. This semester, they hope to partner with WesNEAT, The Middletown Mutual Aid Collective, and the Middletown Schools to better support children in the community, especially since many of the typical Book Bud events were unable to safely happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wesleyan Food RescueClaire Isenegger ’21 and Gina Gwiazda ’22

Wesleyan Food Rescue is a student organization that partners with Eddy Shelter to provide essential kitchen and food resources to community members in need. The grant will allow the group to better combat food insecurity and support initiatives such as clothing drives and maintenance projects for the shelter.

Wesleyan Habitat for Humanity
Zelda Galdenzi ’22 and Julia Rumberger ’23

Wesleyan’s Habitat for Humanity club will use the grant money to set up a Candygram fundraiser for the Middlesex Habitat for Humanity and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. This group is dedicated to addressing issues of affordable housing, as well as homelessness in the community and the country at large.

Carleo Co-Authors Paper in Nature on Molecular Discovery in Space

Ilaria Carleo, a postdoc working with Associate Professor of Astronomy Seth Redfield, co-authored a paper called “Five carbon- and nitrogen-bearing species in a hot giant planet’s atmosphere,” which details the discovery of six different molecules in the atmosphere of a hot, gas giant exoplanet called HD209458b.

The paper, published in Nature on April 7, discusses known information about the exoplanet, as well as the process by which these molecules were discovered using observations from the Galileo National Telescope.

“Now that the analysis technique has been optimized, we are investigating the presence of these molecules in the atmosphere of other hot-Jupiters and this will help to understand whether all these planets have common formation and evolution history,” Carleo said.

Wesleyan to Require Students to be Vaccinated for the Fall 2021 Semester

keep wes safeNext fall, Wesleyan will require all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus.

Every student (with the exception of those who have approved medical or religious exemptions) will need to verify with the University that they are fully vaccinated prior to their arrival.

For students who are currently studying on campus, Wesleyan, in partnership with the Community Health Center, is offering a Pfizer vaccine clinic on April 24 and 25 (first dose), and again on May 15 or 16 (second dose). Nearly 2,000 students have already registered for an appointment.

The University highly encourages faculty and staff to be vaccinated as soon as they are able.

For more updates and information, visit the Keep Wes Safe website.

OConnell, Dann ’17 Join 2021 Voices for Science Cohort

Suzanne O'Connell

Suzanne OConnell

Suzanne OConnell, professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Julian Dann ’17, a graduate student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, were both selected to be part of the American Geophysical Union’s 2021 Voices for Science Cohort.

Hosted by the American Geophysical Union, Voices for Science aims to train scientists “to address the critical need for communicating the value and impact of Earth and space science to key decision makers, journalists, and public audiences,” according to the union’s website. Each cohort receives specialized training and mentoring throughout a 12-month period to hone their skills in communication and outreach.

Throughout the coming year, OConnell and Dann will participate in science communication workshops and work to promote the geosciences.