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Mike MavredakisFebruary 7, 20244min
Wesleyan’s Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter is inspiring the next generation of scholars to dig into the world of science and lend a hand to energize the young crop of students that will follow them. SACNAS, led by Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Tere Padilla-Benavides and a group of student officers, is dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion in the sciences and helps to foster the success of underrepresented groups in STEM. The group’s mission is to show students from underrepresented backgrounds that a career in science, or an adjacent path,…

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Mike MavredakisJanuary 24, 20244min
The Earth’s present-day atmosphere has a carbon concentration that’s 50 percent higher than it was before industrialization, a rapid escalation that is a contributing factor to widespread climate changes, according to experts across the field of paleoclimatology. To further understand the potential effects of climate change and other important aspect of Earth’s climate history, Dana Royer, George I. Seney Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and over 80 other paleoclimatologists published a comprehensive charting of 66 million years of atmospheric CO2 data. Their seven-year effort, dubbed the Cenozoic Carbon Dioxide Proxy Integration Project (CenCO2PIP), was…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 20, 202318min
Wesleyan’s faculty has been hard-at-work in 2023 sharing their scholarship with the world. Here are some of the books written by Wesleyan’s faculty over the past year.  Homesick Blues: Politics, Protest, and Musical Storytelling in Modern Japan by Scott Aalgaard  Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies Scott Aalgaard explores how people in Japan have used “musical storytelling” as a means of expressing themselves in their everyday life and as a political practice from the late 1940s to 2018. Within the book, he challenges assertions that political upheavals in the 1960s and 70s in Japan were the climax and end of…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 20, 202321min
It has been a consequential year at Wesleyan. The University announced the end of legacy admissions and loans, policy changes aimed at improving the access and affordability of its liberal arts education. It also launched the largest fundraising initiative in school history.   While Wesleyan was focused on its mission to provide a diverse group of students with an expansive and broad education, its students continued to learn and create and faculty continued to make significant contributions in their fields of study. Throughout the year, the Wesleyan Connection has documented this creative and compassionate community hungry to have an impact on…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 13, 20235min
Professor of Astronomy Seth Redfield was one of several collaborators who recently published the discovery of a six-planet system around a nearby bright star within the Milky Way Galaxy, according to a paper in Nature. Not only are the planets within our galaxy, but they are in perfect resonance, a rare and potentially highly important discovery for humanity’s understanding of planet formation, Redfield said. A planetary system in resonance means that the orbital periods—how long it takes a planet to complete a single orbit around its star—are in ratio with one another. Redfield said that in this case all six…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 4, 20236min
Newly published research on cognitive remediation’s impact on those with mood disorders calls for public health officials to consider assessing and treating cognitive deficits. Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Behavior Matthew Kurtz said offering those people with mood disorders and cognitive deficits some type of behavioral treatment may help mitigate their difficulties.  Kurtz, Zoey Goldberg ’21, and Brina Kuslak ’21 published “A meta-analytic investigation of cognitive remediation for mood disorders: Efficacy and the role of study quality, sample and treatment factors” in the June edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders.   By meta-analyzing 22 unique, controlled studies with nearly…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 27, 20237min
Wesleyan University has formed a new college that will challenge students to think and respond critically to the complex social, technological, cultural, and environmental conditions that surround them. The new College of Design & Engineering Studies (CoDES) launched this semester. CoDES is home to the Integrated Design, Engineering, Arts & Society (IDEAS) minor and linked major. There are currently about 60 students minoring in IDEAS, a number expected to increase in the short term. Many of those minors will likely declare themselves majors in the college in the spring semester. “At its core, we are interested in hands-on course work—learning…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 25, 20237min
Tula Telfair’s paintings explore wilderness in the form of recalled and imagined landscapes in order to acknowledge its inherent power and remarkable fragility. “My work investigates consciousness, memory, and the subjectivity of perception to anchor our place in the world,” Telfair said. As someone who creates photo-realistic, but materially varied and analogue process oil paintings of places that only exist in her mind’s eye, issues surrounding artificial intelligence interest her. Last year she put forward the topic: Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Consciousness for Wesleyan’s annual Shasha Seminar on Human Concerns. “As I was imagining the proposal, my first thought was,…

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Editorial StaffOctober 20, 20235min
By Rose Chen '26 Students and members of the community gathered at Van Vleck Observatory (VVO) on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 14 for solar eclipse and astronomy-related fun. Despite the cloudy weather, attendees received eclipse glasses for safe future viewings and a planetarium show, as well as books available to check out from Russell Library and demonstrations in both English and Spanish from graduate students in the astronomy department. “I think, of course, everybody was disappointed that the clouds didn't cooperate today,” Associate Professor of Astronomy and Integrative Sciences Meredith Hughes said. “But it's never cloudy in the planetarium,…

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Jeff HarderOctober 19, 20239min
The Center for the Study of Guns and Society at Wesleyan brought together historians, museum curators, legal scholars, journalists, filmmakers, and other subject-matter experts for the Center’s second-annual flagship conference, Current Perspectives on the History of Guns and Society, which took place October 13-14. Through panel discussions, a film screening, and other sessions, the conference shed fresh light on the ever-expanding role of history in America’s contemporary gun discourse. [See photos from the event.] “How have the uses and meanings of guns changed over time?” asked Jennifer Tucker, professor of history and the Center’s founding director. “How does historical knowledge…

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Mike MavredakisOctober 11, 20236min
A team of scientists from different corners of the field, all with unique backgrounds and countries they call home, tucked onto a vessel in the middle of the Northwest Atlantic for two months. It could be the set up to a research-themed superhero movie, or the dream scenario for an early-career professor. For Raquel Bryant, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, getting this experience had been a bucket list item for the past decade. Bryant once had a research mentor who had a similar experience who told lively stories of the life at sea with some of the world’s…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 4, 20235min
More than half of people who die by suicide visited a primary care physician in the month prior to their death, according to research. That statistic indicates a unique opportunity to help identify people wresting with suicidal ideation and perhaps save lives. Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexis M. May, director of the Risk, Prevention, and Intervention (RPI) Lab, has recently published research that shows a common depression screening questionnaire given at regular primary care visits is more effective in predicting future suicidal behavior over the short term than specific questions about suicidal thoughts themselves. “It suggests to me that while…