by Olivia Drake •
A tennis court renovation, a cooling tower replacement, and an informal outdoor classroom construction are among Physical Plant-Facilities projects this summer.
Physical Plant-Facility’s capital projects will include:
- Comprehensive Energy Phase 10 – LED lighting upgrades to Exley Science Center and other efficiency measures.
- Tennis Court Renovation – replacing half the courts and repairing the other half as a partnership with the City of Middletown.
- The RJJulia Wesleyan Bookstore at 413 Main Street.
- 116 Mt. Vernon – Renovate and convert to Shapiro Writing Center.
- Renovations to selected science offices and facilities
- Informal Learning and Outdoor Classrooms – improvements campuswide to refresh underutilized spaces and enable collaboration and study as well as provide additional outdoor classrooms
Highlights of major maintenance projects to be completed this summer are:
- Olin Library’s “envelope” renovation — parts of the building that physically separate the exterior environment from the interior environment.
- HighRise – new fire alarm system.
- Center for the Arts Studio North and CFA Theater – electrical transformer replacements.
- Steamline replacement along South College
- 200 High Street – replace all roofing.
- Hall-Atwater – replace perimeter roof over third floor.
- South / North College Connector – replace second floor windows and first floor fixed glass panels and doors.
- Central Power Plant cooling tower replacement – expanding chilled water capacity for campus by 30 percent.
Accessibility projects addresses this summer include the replacement of the accessible ramp on the north elevation, the south entrance to Exley Science Center and the Office of Admission’s patio.
by Olivia Drake •
The Office of Human Resources reports the following hires, transitions and departures from January through April:
Seirra Fowler, director of health education on Jan. 3.
Shelissa Newball, associate director of student activities and leadership development on Jan. 5.
Rhoanne Esteban, data analyst in university relations on Jan. 9.
Jacob Gonzalez, STEM Career Advisor in the Gordon Career Center on Jan. 9.
Andrew Harazim, athletic facility maintenance person on Jan. 9.
Katie Scheinberg, psychiatric nurse practitioner for CAPS on Feb. 6.
Tania Inturrisi, budget analyst in financial planning on Jan. 9.
Sarah Curran, director of the Center for the Arts on Feb. 20.
Megan Conte was hired as residential operations coordinator on March 27.
Sandy Durosier ’13 was hired as an area coordinator on April 3.
Melanie Messier was hired as manager of financial reporting on April 3.
Andres Sarda was hired as operations project coordinator for Physical Plant-Facilities on April 10.
Victoriano Diaz was hired as operations project coordinator for Physical Plant-Facilities on April 17.
Bonnie Solivan was hired as academic technologist on April 17.
Denise White-Patterson was hired as associate director of benefits on April 17.
Melissa Rocha, manager of video services and lead video producer on Jan. 1.
Valerie Nye, director of financial services on Jan. 20.
Joseph Rich, user services manager on Feb. 16.
Jenna Starr, assistant director of alumni and parent relations on March 20.
Teshia Levy-Grant ‘00, dean for equity and inclusion on April 1.
Karen Hook, donor database implementation project manager on April 24.
Courtney Fullilove, associate professor of history, effective July 1.
Tushar Irani, associate professor of letters, associate professor of philosophy, effective July 1.
Marty Gilmore, director of graduate studies, effective July 1.
William Johnston, academic secretary, effective July 1.
Sean McCann, director of academic writing, effective July 1.
Peter Rutland, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, effective July 1.
Pierina Cheung, research associate in psychology
Robert Jasek, chief information security officer
Ismet Jooma, assistant director of online communications for university relations
Eileen McNamara, residential operations coordinator
Laura Paul, interim director of the Center for the Arts
Allynn Wilkinson, video editor
Krystle Wilson, admissions coordinator for continuing studies
Stephanie Aviles, medical office assistant
Jeffrey McDonald, assistant to the director for operations and facilities
Patrice Melley, director of human resources
Jamil Ragland, assistant registrar
by Olivia Drake •
The Office of Human Resources will host an ice cream social for Wesleyan staff and faculty from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday June 6.
by Lauren Rubenstein •
New climate research by Dana Royer, professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences, finds that current carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented in human history and, if they continue on this trajectory “the atmosphere could reach a state unseen in 50 million years” by mid-century, according to an article in Salon.
The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere today are ones that likely haven’t been reached in 3 million years. But if human activities keep committing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at current rates, scientists will have to look a lot deeper into the past for a similar period. The closest analog to the mid-century atmosphere we’re creating would be a period roughly 50 million years ago known as the Eocene, a period when the world was completely different than the present due to extreme heat and oceans that covered a wide swath of currently dry land.
“The early Eocene was much warmer than today: global mean surface temperature was at least 10°C (18°F) warmer than today,” Dana Royer, a paleoclimate researcher at Wesleyan University who co-authored the new research, said. “There was little-to-no permanent ice. Palms and crocodiles inhabited the Canadian Arctic.”
Royer’s paper was published April 4 in Nature Communications and widely covered in the mainstream press. The implications, writes Salon, “are some of the starkest reminders yet that humanity faces a major choice to curtail carbon pollution or risk pushing the climate outside the bounds that have allowed civilization to thrive.”
According to an article in U.S. News & World Report:
CO2 levels in the atmosphere have varied over millions of years. But fossil fuel use in the last 150 years has boosted levels from 280 parts per million (ppm) before industrialization to nearly 405 ppm in 2016, according to the researchers.
If people don’t halt rising CO2 levels and burn all available fossil fuels, CO2 levels could reach 2,000 ppm by the year 2250, the researchers said. CO2 and other gases act like a blanket, preventing heat from escaping into space. That’s known as the greenhouse effect, the researchers explained.
But the researchers note that CO2 levels are not the only factor in climate change; changes in the amount of incoming light also have an affect, and nuclear reactions in stars like the sun have made them brighter over time. Royer says this interplay is important:
“Up to now it’s been a puzzle as to why, despite the sun’s output having increased slowly over time, scant evidence exists for any similar long-term warming of the climate. Our finding of little change in the net climate forcing offers an explanation for why Earth’s climate has remained relatively stable, and within the bounds suitable for life all this time.”
by Olivia Drake •
Anjali Tamhankar, associate director of human resources, received a Cardinal Achievement Award for her efforts in demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with her work at Wesleyan University.
This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for her efforts.
by Lauren Rubenstein •
Sara MacSorley, director of the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center, is the author of Super Cool Scientists, a new coloring book celebrating women in science. It features stories and illustrations of 22 women in science and technology careers. Highlighting a wide range of diversity in scientific field, background, race, and more, it aims to show all young people that science can be for them.
The idea for Super Cool Scientists came to MacSorley a little over a year ago, and launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign.
“I had been looking for a side project that brought more direct science communication to my life,” she explained. “My background is in science and science outreach and I was missing that a bit. I was also learning to deal with my own anxiety issues so had started coloring to relieve stress. When I was doing some research on the things I’d want to color, I realized there was no book out there quite like this that celebrated women currently doing science in such an approachable way.”
Each scientist featured in the book has a full-page biography about the work they do, as well as a full-page illustration (by local artist Yvonne Page) to color. The coloring activity is designed to “let the stories of the scientists be told in a way that the reader/ artist can place themselves in the story,” explained MacSorley. And while the text was targeted to a middle school audience, since publication she has heard that younger children also get a lot out of the book.
“And, surprisingly to me, science college students have been really into the book too,” she added. “I hope that young people can read (and color!) the book and see that science is a field for everyone and that—regardless of what you look like or where you’re from—you can be a scientist. I also want people to understand that there are many types of science jobs. Not all of them require a white lab coat.”
Among the scientists featured is LaNell Williams ’15. Her bio describes how she grew up wanting to be a journalist, but transitioned to studying physics while at Wesleyan, and highlights her current graduate research projects. Williams is now at the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program. The accompanying illustration shows her in the laser lab on campus.
The response to the book so far has been very positive, said MacSorley, including healthy sales on Amazon and bulk orders with schools. The social media community (Facebook and Twitter) is growing and sharing their colored pages.
by Laurie Kenney •
Wesleyan is known for its top-notch writing programs and for the accomplishments of its community of award-winning alumni, faculty, students and staff book authors, editors and translators.
Members of the Wesleyan community—alumni, faculty, students and staff—are invited to submit their latest books, as well as information about forthcoming and recently signed titles, and other literary news, to Laurie Kenney, books editor for Wesleyan magazine. Books and information received will be considered for possible coverage in Wesleyan magazine, on the News @ Wes blog and through Wesleyan’s social media channels, as well as through possible in-store display and event opportunities at Wesleyan’s new bookstore—Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore—which will open on Main Street in Middletown later this spring.
While the editors can’t guarantee coverage for any book, due to the sheer number published each year, they hope that gathering and sharing information about these projects through various university channels will help to better serve and promote Wesleyan authors and their work.
Advance reading copies and finished review copies can be sent to: Laurie Kenney, Books Editor, Wesleyan University, Office of University Communications, 229 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459.
by Olivia Drake •
The following employees received Cardinal Achievement Awards for their efforts in demonstrating extraordinary initiative in performing a specific task associated with their work at Wesleyan University.
This special honor comes with a $250 award and reflects the university’s gratitude for their extra efforts:
Deana Hutson, director of special events, University Relations
Meghan Sullivan, associate director of alumni and parent relations, University Relations
Marianne Calnen, associate director of gift planning, University Relations
Elizabeth Watrous, administrative assistant, University Relations
by Laurie Kenney •
This fall, Wesleyan students and staff took part in the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project, an annual collaborative effort to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need. Wesleyan was one of 70 community partners for the project, led by Fellowship Church in Middletown. The university’s involvement in the project was coordinated by Cathy Lechowicz and Diana Martinez, director and assistant director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.
For this year’s project, the Wesleyan community donated stuffing, gravy, pies and other foodstuffs; students and staff from the Allbritton Center helped register families at Amazing Grace Food Pantry from Oct. 31 to Nov. 18; students and staff, including the men’s crew and women’s lacrosse teams, helped with packing almost 1,000 boxes of food at Fellowship Church on Nov. 21; and staff from Wesleyan’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development helped distribute the food to Middletown residents in need on Nov. 22. The women’s lacrosse team also collected more than $600 to contribute to the project.
Laura Patey, associate dean for student academic resources, was featured in the newest book of the series, A Peace of My Mind: American Stories, by award-winning photographer and author, John Noltner. In his book, Noltner drove 40,000 miles across the country to ask people the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” This resulted in the stories of “58 people from diverse backgrounds, who share stories of hope, redemption, and forgiveness, paired with compelling color portraits.”
Patey’s personal story highlights the peace she has finally found with embracing her own identity, with a focus on her experience adopting her sons out of foster care and how her experience of not fitting in when she was younger made her into an advocate for the marginalized in society. She also spoke of her challenges of coming out and being accepted. In the end, she has found peace now that she realizes “it’s not about having people tolerate or accept you, it’s about embracing your identity.”
An excerpt of Dean Patey’s story, along with her full audio interview was published on the website for the Peace of My Mind Project. Moreover, her story was highlighted in one of Noltner’s blog posts as a tool he was able to use to connect with a young student who was having her own trouble and felt isolated dealing with the reality of her own similar family situation.
by Olivia Drake •
The Office of Human Resources hosted its annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon Oct. 18 in Beckham Hall. All employees who are celebrating their 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th year working at Wesleyan were honored at the lunch by President Michael Roth. The event concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting and a Wesleyan and world trivia game.
Those recognized included: Catherine Race, Psychology Department, 35 years; Simon Bostick, Public Safety, 35 years; Edward Manter, Physical Plant – Facilities, 35 years; Sandra Frimel, Health Services, 30 years; Chuth Prith, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Dawn Astin Lowe, University Relations, 30 years; and Paul DiSanto, University Relations, 30 years.
Also Meg Zocco, University Relations, 30 years; Mark Melmer, Wesleyan Station, 30 years; Michael Conte, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Jeffrey Sweet, Physical Plant – Facilities, 30 years; Jody Viswanathan, Olin Memorial Library, 25 years; Jennifer Hadley, Olin Memorial Library, 25 years; and Kim Krueger, Physical Plant – Facilities, 25 years.
Also, John Elmore, Center for the Arts, 20 years; Francis Marsilli, Usdan University Center, 20 years; Karen O’Leary, Office of Admission, 20 years; Scott Michael, Cardinal Technology Center, 20 years; Sun Chyung, Finance and Administration, 20 years; and Lisa LaPlant, President’s Office, 20 years.
Photos of the luncheon celebration are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)