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Andrew ChatfieldOctober 11, 20229min
The New England Foundation for the Arts awarded over $2 million to this year’s National Dance Project Production Grant recipients and finalists on September 28. Five of the 36 dance companies have close ties to Wesleyan University, from faculty and alumni to collaborative partners and guest artists. Twenty grantees will each receive $56,500 to create and tour a new dance work, and in support of production residencies and community engagement. The companies will also receive $10,000 in general operating support. And $700,000 is allocated to support U.S. organizations to present the projects in-person, digitally, or via new hybrid models. Hari…

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Jeff HarderOctober 11, 20227min
Yuri Herrera, part of Wesleyan’s inaugural Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program, is regarded as one of the most remarkable writers in contemporary Mexican literature. In spare, weighty prose flecked with language-bending neologisms, Herrera explores borders—the physical, the social, and beyond—in books like The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World, the latter of which The Guardian named one of the 100 best books of the 21st century. A professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Herrera holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a PhD from the…

Amy AlbertOctober 3, 20224min
Barry Chernoff, the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, has the look of someone who has just received everything they’d wanted - happiness combined with the realization of how much work there is ahead. “Be careful what you wish for,” he said with a laugh while describing the ambitious goals that will be realized by the recent $2 million grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation to support sustainability initiatives at the Robert F. Schumann Institute of the College of the Environment, at Wesleyan, and in the surrounding region. The goals include building a network of local community non-governmental…

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Editorial StaffSeptember 28, 20224min
By Maia Bronfman '23 “How much do Americans know about the kitchens and the bathrooms and the marriages of places anywhere else in the world?” Bernardo Antonio Gonzales, professor of Spanish and founder of the Center for Global Studies, asked the question to pose a self-admittedly trivial but thematic backdrop for the annual Contemporary Cinema from the Hispanic World Film Series. Along with María Ospina, associate professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, Gonzales has curated a series of films by young directors from Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  “These films have little chance of making the…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 27, 20226min
A new Survey Lab led by Steven T. Moore, assistant professor of government, will have the opportunity dig deeply into public opinion to learn how and why Americans think the way they do about political and cultural issues. “This is one of the more exciting parts of my job. We’ve got all kinds of theories on how the world works, but they often don’t work out in reality. I’m trying to figure out which ones are concrete and which ones are telling us about how people are processing complicated events in this pivotal moment in American politics,” Moore said. The…

Steve ScarpaSeptember 26, 20226min
Recent research by Erika A. Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, suggests that the way scientists have long believed some antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections work could be incorrect. Aminoglycoside antibiotics have broad-spectrum, bacterial killing abilities and are often prescribed for childhood infections caused by Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, which can be found in E. coli, Salmonella, and V. cholera, amongst others. The stakes of the research are real, Taylor explained. Improved antibiotics would prevent needless deaths from E. coli, Salmonella and other Gram-negative bacteria. Relatively simple treatments, such as those for urinary tract infections, would be more efficient, improving people’s…

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Amy AlbertSeptember 16, 20224min
Martha “Marty” Gilmore, the George I. Seney Professor of Geology and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been awarded the 2022 Claudia J. Alexander Prize from the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) for her study of Venus’ geology. Gilmore is a Science Team Member on the DAVINCI and VERITAS missions to Venus, and the principal investigator of a Venus Flagship Mission Concept Study for the Planetary Decadal Survey. Gilmore’s work has “helped usher in a new decade of exploration of Venus with the selection of two new NASA Venus missions,” according to the AAS.…

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Editorial StaffSeptember 13, 202276min
This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 60 new faculty members to campus. The group contains 24 new visiting faculty members, 20 assistant professors, four Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral fellows, three Distinguished Writers in Residence, six teaching fellows, one university and one associate professor, and a Van Vleck post-doctoral fellow. The new faculty bring a diverse skill set to campus. Among them are experts in art, multi-lingual ASL, astronomy, biology, chemistry, dance, digital storytelling, economics, education, environmental studies, fiction, French, German, government, Italian, mathematics, media literacy, music, philosophy, physics, poetry, psychology, public history, public policy, religion, Spanish, and theater. Bios of the new…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 26, 20225min
Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, didn’t have a single female science teacher during her academic career. The lack of female representation in the field had an impact on her journey. “I had to swim upstream the whole time. That is what it felt like,” Taylor said. In an effort to make sure other young women don’t feel the same way, Taylor and Meng-ju Renee Sher ‘07, assistant professor of physics, are working diligently to show girls that a life in the sciences is desirable and attainable. The Girls in Science program, a partnership between Wesleyan and the Middletown Public…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 1, 20226min
Almost every scientist has an origin story, the moment they knew a life of scientific inquiry and research was something they wanted. “All of the faculty have that story,” said Seth Redfield, professor of astronomy, at the annual poster session held at Exley Science Center on July 28. “Almost all of them involve an experience like this one.” About 200 students representing all of the University’s scientific disciplines shared the fruits of a summer spent doing research. The summer research program is hosted by the College of Integrative Sciences. Students and faculty milled around the lobby of Exley, talking to…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 28, 20226min
Tsampikos Kottos, the Lauren B. Dachs Endowed Professor of Science and Society, is passionate about the importance of sensors in our everyday lives and believes his most recent efforts will improve safety in fields as varied as aviation, biology, and food safety. “Nothing in this universe can work without sensing. The human body is an amazing sensor, starting from the brain all the way down to the toes,” Kottos said. “We are trying to learn from what nature has created.” Kottos, along with Rodion Kononchuk, postdoctoral physics research associate in Wesleyan’s Wave Transport in Complex Systems Laboratory, Professor of Physics…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 20, 20224min
A recent paper co-authored by Anna Shusterman, professor of psychology, shows that for deaf and hard of hearing children, immediate access to language is needed to develop abstract concepts, like numeracy. “Language is important in its own right, but it also serves as the foundation for many other domains, including social and cognitive development,” Shusterman wrote. Shusterman’s study was published in the June issue of the journal Child Development. Shusterman and her colleagues, Rebecca Peretz-Lange ’13 of SUNY Purchase (who wrote her senior thesis on the project), Talia Berkowitz of University of Chicago, and Emily Carrigan of University of North…