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Olivia DrakeMay 16, 20171min
This month, Wesleyan's Green Street Teaching and Learning Center received an $8,000 grant from the Petit Family Foundation to support the 2017 Green Street Girls in Science Summer Camp. The Girls in Science Summer Camp is open to all children going into grades 4, 5 and 6. Children perform experiments and explore chemistry, electronics and physics with Wesleyan faculty. Campers will meet college student mentors, learn about science careers, create scientific posters, and share what they learn with family and friends at a Science Showcase. The camp will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Aug. 7-11 at…

Olivia DrakeApril 14, 20172min
Jim Greenwood, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Bill Herbst, the John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy, professor of integrative sciences, have received a research award from NASA in the amount of $550,000 for a program titled “Experimental simulations of chondrule formation by radiative heating of hot planetesimals." The grant will allow Greenwood and Herbst to hire a post-doctoral fellow who will work in Greenwood’s lab in Exley Science Center to reproduce chondrules — small spherules of melted rock that formed early in the history of the solar system and hold clues to the origin of the planets.…

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Bill HolderMarch 30, 20173min
Antonio Gonzalez, professor of Spanish and director of the Center for Global Studies, is comfortably seated in front of a semicircle of 11 students. He holds an iPad Pro that controls two large screens on the wall behind him and enables him to move effortlessly, seamlessly from Google Maps, to video clips, to text he can annotate on the iPad. All the while he converses in Spanish with his students about a movie that tells the story of a Moroccan woman repatriating the body of her brother after he died crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in a small boat. In…

Olivia DrakeJanuary 5, 20176min
The National Endowment for the Arts approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement are Art Works grants of $30,000 for Wesleyan's Center for the Arts' Breaking Ground Dance Series and $25,000 to support Wesleyan University Press in the publication and promotion of books of poetry. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 30, 20163min
With support from the Office of Naval Research, researchers in Wesleyan's Physics Department are working on ways to protect optical sensors (for example, the human eye) against laser-induced damage. In August, Tsampikos Kottos, professor of physics, professor of mathematics, received a three-year grant from the Office of Naval Research to further his designs of “Reflective Microwave Limiters." Typical microwave limiters have the ability to block excessive radiation through absorption. However, absorption can lead to overheating, eventually causing the destruction of the limiter. Kottos studies reflective power limiters with his graduate student Eleana Makri and Postdoctoral Research Associate Roney Thomas. The team hopes to develop realistic designs of microwave…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 30, 20162min
Mike Singer, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies, received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation this month to support a study on habitat fragmentation. Fragmentation occurs when contiguous habitats become separated into smaller, isolated areas often caused by human activities (new roads, housing developments) or natural processes (flooding, drought). Singer and his colleagues will study the effect of anthropogenic forest fragmentation on the food web of plants, herbivores, and carnivores (tri-trophic interactions) in Connecticut. The project will focus on relationships among deer, trees, caterpillars, and songbirds. The grant, which will be awarded over three years, is shared with…

Olivia DrakeSeptember 13, 20162min
Michael Weir, professor of biology, professor of integrative sciences, received a grant worth $491,599 from the National Institutes of Health in September. Weir will use the award to better understand how ribosomes — the machines that make proteins — choose sequences in mRNAs (messenger ribonucleic acids) to start protein translation. "This is an ongoing challenge in biology and is of great importance for investigations of cell function," Weir said. Weir is testing the hypothesis that sequences downstream of the translation start codon of mRNAs can form transient base pairs with a conserved sequence in 18S ribosomal RNA (called the 530…

Olivia DrakeAugust 12, 20162min
Two Wesleyan faculty received National Endowment for the Humanities grants on Aug. 9. Katherine Kuenzli, associate professor of art history, received a $250,000 Scholarly Editions and Translations grant. She and project co-directors Michael André and Kathleen James-Chakraborty will use the funds to prepare a critical edition and translation of a selection of writings by the Belgian artist and essayist Henry van de Velde titled Henry van de Velde: Selected Essays, 1889–1914. Scholarly Editions and Translations grants support the preparation of editions and translations of pre-existing texts of value to the humanities that are currently inaccessible or available in inadequate editions. Typically,…

Olivia DrakeJuly 8, 20161min
Wesleyan recently received a $100,000 grant through the Humanities Open Book Program for digitizing select titles in the areas of dance and theater that were previously published by Wesleyan University Press but are no longer in print. The Open Book Program is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of the agency-wide initiative called The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The purpose of the Open Book grant is to make out-of-print titles previously published by academic presses widely available in an open access (free) e-book format. (more…)

Lauren RubensteinMay 25, 20162min
Hilary Barth, associate professor of psychology, and Andrea Patalano, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, have received a major grant from the National Science Foundation. The $1,101,456 grant will support collaborative research on quantitative reasoning conducted in the Cognitive Development Lab (directed by Barth) and the Reasoning and Decision Making Lab (directed by Patalano). The research project will be conducted in collaboration with Sara Cordes at Boston College, which will receive an additional $177,496. According to the NSF abstract, humans have an innate ability to estimate quantities yet their intuitions often contain biases that interfere with…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 11, 20162min
Four Wesleyan academic departments, from psychology to dance to chemistry to biology, are competing for grant funds through a new crowdfunding site specifically designed for research project fundraising. Experiment.com's Challenge Grant for Liberal Arts Colleges asked scientists to define a scientific research question for the crowd with a prize for the project with the most backers. The pilot launched on Feb. 24 and concludes March 25.During this 31-day period, the goal is to reach $4,000 in funding. If so, the team is granted the money. If not, they receive nothing and no one's pledges are charged. By backing a project, participants will receive updates, results and data from project creators. Wesleyan research include how the…

Bill HolderFebruary 29, 20161min
Wesleyan is one of only 12 institutions awarded a prestigious Beckman Scholars Program this year, according to Francis Starr, director of the College of Integrative Sciences and professor of physics, who directs Wesleyan’s Beckman program. The Beckman Scholars Program provides intensive research experiences and career mentoring to help Wesleyan undergraduates develop as leaders in the sciences. Up to two Wesleyan students will receive this award annually, which carries a total stipend of $18,200 plus funds to support supplies and travel. Awards are normally made to sophomores to support research during the summer through the summer following junior year. (more…)