Tag Archive for Class of 2006

“You Just Have to Read This…” Books by Wesleyan Authors de Visé ’89, Petre ’06, Rips ’72

In this continuing series, Annie Roach ’22, an English and Italian studies major from Northampton, Mass., reviews alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community.

Daniel de Visé ’89, King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B.B. King, the First Guitar Hero (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2021)

In what is the first comprehensive biography of the legendary blues musician B.B. King, Daniel de Visé takes readers on a fascinating journey through the life of King and the aspects of American culture that grounded his career and launched him into stardom. De Visé pulls off an impressive feat in which his Pulitzer Prize–winning journalism skills shine through. He describes specific scenes with meticulous detail and authority, in large part due to the numerous interviews he conducted with people who were—in all shapes and forms—part of King’s life at various points. De Visé traces King’s roots in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era, revealing how the trauma of his childhood contributed to his doggedness in his career, and follows him through the rest of his life.

Along with relaying the facts and nuances of King’s life, de Visé goes back in time, outlining the lives of King’s ancestors and giving a holistic picture of the world into which King was born. The result is a biography that has a deep interest in familial ties, the history of music as it relates to the African-American experience, and the implications of King’s life for the future of music. As all good biographies must do, de Visé’s book fundamentally brings King back to life, animating him in our collective memory.

Daniel de Visé is a writer and journalist. He has worked at several notable publications, including The Washington Post and The Miami Herald. In addition to King of the Blues, he is the author of I Forgot to Remember, Andy & Don, and The Comeback. He lives in Maryland.

Janvey ’06 Wins 2021 Oscar for Producing Nomadland

Producers Peter Spears, from left, Frances McDormand, Chloe Zhao, Mollye Asher and Dan Janvey, winners of the award for best picture for "Nomadland," pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Producers Peter Spears, Frances McDormand, Chloé Zhao, Mollye Asher, and Dan Janvey ’06 are winners of the 2021 Academy Award for Best Picture for Nomadland. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

A film produced by Dan Janvey ’06 titled Nomadland was the recipient of a 2021 Oscar presented during the 93rd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards on April 25.

Nomadland not only won Best Motion Picture of the Year, but director/producer Chloé Zhao was the second woman to win the Best Directing Award and the first woman of color to win the award.

Janvey, who majored in film studies at Wesleyan, shares the Best Picture award with co-producers Zhao, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, and Mollye Asher.

Janvey also produced the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013 and was the winner of the Back Reel Awards in 2013.

Nomadland also won a 2021 Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature; a 2021 Chicago Indie Critics Award for Best Independent Film; a 2021 Gold Derby Award for Best Motion Picture; a 2021 Gotham Award for Best Feature; a 2021 Latino Entertainment Journalists Association Film Award for Best Picture; a 2021 North Dakota Film Society Award for Best Picture; a 2021 BAFTA Award for Best Film; a 2021 CinEuphoria Award for International Competition—Best Film; a PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures; and a 2021 British Independent Film Award for Best International Independent Film.

Students Connect with Alumni Leaders through Career Conversation Events

This winter, the Gordon Career Center is hosting four “fireside chat” style Winter Alumni Career Conversation events between prominent alumni and current students. Guests include Kimberley Martin ’03, NFL reporter for ESPN; Jon Turteltaub ’85, film/TV director and producer; Jesse Greenspan ’06, director of supply chain and logistics, Partners in Health; and Dana Peterson ’98, chief economist, The Conference Board.

On Jan. 21, Myla Stovall ’22 moderated a talk with Kimberley Martin '03, NFL reporter for ESPN. Martin has covered the National Football League as a national writer and team beat reporter for more than a decade and joined ESPN as an NFL reporter in March 2020. She covers the league year-round and contributes to ESPN’s NFL shows, SportsCenter, ESPN.com and more.

On Jan. 21, psychology and English double major Myla Stovall ’22, at left, moderated a talk with Kimberley Martin ’03, NFL reporter for ESPN. Martin has covered the National Football League as a national writer and team beat reporter for more than a decade and joined ESPN as an NFL reporter in March 2020. She covers the league year-round and contributes to ESPN’s NFL shows, SportsCenter, ESPN.com, and more. During the discussion, Martin recalled the reasons why she chose to attend Wesleyan. “Wesleyan was literally the last school that I visited. I saw every school on the eastern seaboard and Wesleyan just felt like home. I felt like the birds were singing. This is where I needed to be,” she said.

Wesleyan in the News

NewsWesleyan in the News

1. The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Beware the Doyens of Disruption”

In this op-ed, President Michael Roth ’78 responds to predictions that COVID-19 is going to “change everything” in higher education with a reminder that “the desire of bright young people from all over the world for an on-campus education remains strong.” He writes, “It’s because the connectivity among people and practices that takes place in person intensifies the learning experience.”

2. HxA Podcast: “Michael Roth, Safe Enough Spaces”

President Michael Roth ’78 is interviewed on the Heterodox Academy’s podcast about his book, Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses. Heterodox Academy recently chose Safe Enough Spaces as the subject of its first ever book club. Roth was also recently interviewed on “The Way We Live Now,” a podcast from Dani Shapiro P ’22.

3. The Wall Street Journal: “Noted: Class of 2020”

The Wall Street Journal featured remarks by Caroline Bhupathi ’20 delivered at Wesleyan’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 24.

4. TLS: “Respect New Haven”

Assistant Professor of English Hirsh Sawhney reflects on the past, present, and politics of New Haven as he takes long, rambling walks through his city with his dog Pinky, a tiny chihuahua-dachshund mix.

5. PIX11: “College Students Create Program Connecting Young People with Senior Citizens in COVID-19 Isolation”

Marysol Castro ’96 features “Support a Pal,” a program created by Walker Brandt ’22 and Lars Delin ’22 to form connections between college students and elderly people in order to combat social isolation during the pandemic.

5. NJ.com: “‘A Smile Never Left His Face’: Steve Pikiell’s Forgotten Season Leading a Division-3 Underdog, 20 Years Before Rutgers”

Wesleyan alumni recall Steve Pikiell’s brief but memorable time as head coach of Wesleyan’s basketball team, long before he became head coach of Rutgers’ men’s basketball team. “I needed a guy like that in my life when he came along,” said Josh Schaer ’96, one of the senior captains on the team. “He had this infectious energy about basketball. He made me love the game again. He was just able to give us a boost. He lived up to expectations. He was a breath of fresh air. A smile never left his face. He loved where he was and he loved what he was doing.”