Tag Archive for Class of 2012

Odede ’12, Alumni Participate in Echoing Green Conference

nsky '96; Kennedy Odede '12; Jessica Posner '09; Bonnie Oliva '04; and Shivani Siroy '04.

Echoing Green attendees included, from left, Lara Galinsky '96; Kennedy Odede '12; Jessica Posner '09; Bonnie Oliva '04; and Shivani Siroy '04.

One Wesleyan student and four alumni participated in the Echoing Green Conference Nov. 17 in San Francisco, Calif. Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. The organization also remains committed to very early stage support of new and untested ideas in the hands of visionary social entrepreneurs.

Participants included Lara Galinsky ’96, senior vice president of Echoing Green; Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09 from Shining Hope for Communities; and Bonnie Oliva ’04 and Shivani Siroy ’04 from Inveture Fund.

Lara Galinsky, who sits on the advisory board of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan, is featured in an Echoing Green bio online here.

Levenson ’12 Nominated for Making a Difference by Jewish Daily Forward

Rachel Levenson '12 (Photo by Bill Tyner '13)

Rachel Levenson ’12 was featured in the Nov. 7 Jewish Daily Forward as one of “10 Young Jews, Making a Difference.” In September, the Forward asked readers to nominate Jews, age 21 and younger, who are working to make a difference locally or globally. Levenson made the list for her efforts studying money-lending practices in Africa.

“When I was part of the Jewish Community Teen Foundations, I was really drawn to… this question of, with limited resources, how do you maximize your effectiveness,” she says in the article.

Her research became part of a larger project led by schools — including Yale and Harvard universities — gathering data on informal money-lending across developing countries.“By understanding this other piece of the puzzle, organizations can make their financial services more effective,” she said in the article.

Levenson is currently applying to jobs in sub-Saharan Africa that will allow her to continue development work.

The “Making a Difference” article is online here.

Malamut ’12 Published in Astronomy Journals

Craig Malamut ’12 helped photograph the Easter Island solar eclipse July 11 as a participant of the Williams College Eclipse Expedition. The composite image brings out the correlation of structures in the sun’s inner and outer corona.

Craig Malamut ’12 is the primary author of “High-Resolution Imaging of the 2010 Total Solar Eclipse at Easter Island,” which will be published in the Coronal Courant, an on-line journal for students maintained by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The article describes some results from experiments done during the 2010 total solar eclipse, for which he traveled to Easter Island.

Malamut is also a co-author of  “Structure and Dynamics of the 2010 Jully 11 Eclipse White-Light Corona,” which was published by The Astrophysical Journal in its June 20 issue.

Malamut was supported by the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium’s REU program which is funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant to Wesleyan.

Craig Malamut '12

Read more about Malamut’s efforts photographing the eclipse in this Wesleyan Connection article.

Student CHUM Fellows to Explore Fact and Artifact, Civic Life

The Center for the Humanities advisory board awarded eight Wesleyan seniors with a Student Fellowship for 2011-12. These fellows will explore the themes “Fact and Artifact” and “Visceral States: Affect and Civic Life.”

Four Student Fellowships are awarded by the center’s advisory board each semester.

Alexandra Wang ’12

During the fall semester, fellows Conan Cheong, Kevin Donohoe, Bridget Read and Alexandra Wang will will explore the theme “Fact and Artifact.” They will examine the career of the modern fact and its uncomfortable companion, the artifact. The fellows will question, “Under what conditions can facts be created?” “How do efforts to pin down empirical reality gain access to the material world?” “How do they depend upon symbolic or aesthetic logics of representation or produce such representations?” “What light can the study of artifacts shed on the status and function of facts in our world?”

Wang is using the “Fact and Artifact” theme as a springboard for her senior thesis on diabetes.

“I’m researching how the facts we now know of the manifestations, complications, and treatment of the disease can be considered artifacts of societal and cultural influences on scientific research,” she explains. “From the other student fellows, lectures and professors, I hope to develop existing ideas and gain new perspectives on my research.”

Read hopes to complete her honors thesis in English as a CHUM Fellow. During the fall semester, she will write a biography of the late Fred Millett, professor of English, emeritus, who taught at Wesleyan from 1937 to 1958. From childhood to his death in 1979, Millett kept meticulous written records, assembling his correspondence as well as self-publishing small books that chronicled different times in his life, including his years as a teacher and retiree. Read will use materials arrived at Wesleyan’s Special Collections and Archives as primary sources for her project.

“Throughout his life, Millett existed in a delicate balance between propriety and passion, restraint and expression, and his navigation of this tension provides valuable insight into mid 20th century social upheaval in the United States,” Read says.

Bridget Read ’12

“Yet it is what Millett omitted in the recording of his life that intrigues me as much as what he did include, and what inextricably ties my project to the theme of ‘Fact and Artifact. According to those close to him, Fred Millett was gay, but he left no trace of his sexuality in the archive except for a collection of magazines that was destroyed by his family.”

Millett’s archive, including the undocumented story of his sexual orientation, call into question the very nature of “fact” inherent in the dissection and study of an “artifact,” and begs a question of what can we actually learn from artifacts of the past, when the indisputable or objective “facts” they point to may or may not exist at all, Read explains.

“I hope to challenge conventions about the materiality of a human life that posit a single, unidirectional line between ‘artifact’ and ‘fact,’ the written word and the objective reality it explains,” she says.

In New York Times, Abrams ’12 Writes of Finding First Love

In a June 30 “Modern Love” column in The New York Times, Lindsay Abrams ’12 writes that she “designed my ideal boyfriend in a dorm room voodoo ceremony orchestrated by my roommate…”

“…My specifications were that he be tall, scruffy and a bit older than me. I preferred that he major in math or the sciences to offset my artistic nature, and that he like to watch TV with me at night. I know that vague characteristics like height and age do not true love make, but I was warned that being too specific on a campus of only 2,900 undergrads was likely to backfire. My roommate’s last client had requested a boy who always wore scarves. Two years later, he had yet to appear.”

The full article, titled, “Love Delivered, Prematurely,” is online here.


Cottier ’12 Explores Tales from a Middletown Historic House

Charlotte Cottier ’12 spent the week hanging posters for her exhibit at the General Mansfield House on Main Street. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

While the rest of her classmates finished exams and headed for Foss Hill, Charlotte Cottier ’12 spent the sunny days of Finals Week inside the General Mansfield Home, getting ready to reveal excerpts from personal letters documenting a husband’s Western frontier travel to his wife at home, a nearly-failed courtship, and a myriad other stories that a nearly 200-year-old house can hold.

Cottier, an American studies and sociology major, is a guest curator for the Middlesex County Historical Society, hanging her exhibit “Within These Walls: One House, One Family, Two Centuries,” which opened May 20.

“The main theme is the social history of the house—showing the changing landscape of people and ideas that have marked a steadfast building so that it really comes alive,” she says.

The exhibit is culmination of a year-and-a-half of work and was sparked by the anthropology course, Middletown Lives, which she took in the spring of her first year. It was in the context of this service-learning course that Associate Professor Gina Ulysse “framed for me the idea of doing a public service by documenting history that hadn’t been recorded.”

Valenti ’12 Documents Cancer Survivor Stories for Middlesex Hospital

Film studies major Zachary Valenti '12 is creating a documentary featuring eight female breast cancer survivors for the Middlesex Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center and the Center for Survivorship’s "Project Pink" event on April 14.

Film studies major Zachary Valenti ’12 understands how cancer can devastate a family. The disease claimed two grandparents – his father’s mother and mother’s father – as well as a stepfather. As an adolescent, Valenti was already aware of the risks of male breast cancer. He suffered from gynocomastia, the abnormal development of breast tissue in men.

For the past three months, Valenti has combined his life experiences and film studies skills for a project that raises breast cancer awareness in the local community.

Valenti is creating a documentary featuring eight female breast cancer survivors for the Middlesex Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center and the Center for Survivorship’s “Project Pink” event on April 14. Project Pink is a makeover and fashion show event to help breast cancer survivors feel “as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.”

The volunteer project required Valenti to interview, film and edit the women’s stories.

“I’ve never been so conscious of my gender as I have talking to these women

Odede ’12 Joining Panel with Bill Clinton, Sean Penn

Kennedy Odede '12 is president of Shining Hope for Communities.

Kennedy Odede ’12 will be a featured panelist at the fourth annual meeting of former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will be held at the University of California – San Diego on April 1-3. Odede is one of three participants on the panel; the other two are Clinton and actor Sean Penn.

“This is very exciting and a tremendous honor for me, and for my foundation, Shining Hope for Communities,” Odede said.

The CGI U is part of the former president’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) foundation. According to CGI’s website, CGI U “challenges students

Chaudhry ’12, Akbar ’12 Attend Model United Nations Conference

At left, Kumail Akbar ’12 and Ali Chaudhry ‘12 stand outside the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland where they participated in the Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference March 12-18.

Ali Chaudhry ’12 and Kumail Akbar ’12 participated in the Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference March 12-18. Chaudhry and Akbar currently serve as co-presidents for the Wesleyan Model United Nations Society.

The conference took place at the “Palais des Nations,” the United Nations Office at Geneva (previously the Headquarters of the League of Nations). Meetings were held in rooms used by United Nation committees with journalists and interpreters in attendance.  The students dined in the UN cafeteria.

“It felt like we were living the life of a diplomat,” Chaudhry says. “We were walking around conducting negotiations and overseeing resolution writing, while having lunch with real diplomats.”

Chaudhry served as the chairperson of the Historical Security Council and Akbar

Cottier ’12 Experiences Cities Across the Globe

Charlotte Cottier ’12, at right, bikes through rice paddies in Mai Chau, Vietnam during the Cities in the 21st Century Program in December. Cottier spent 17 weeks studying the development of the world’s cities.

During the fall semester, Charlotte Cottier ’12 set a lofty goal: “I wanted to pop the Wesleyan bubble and become a citizen of the world,” she says. “I wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but I knew that growth, challenge, and change would be necessary.”

Cottier applied for the Cities in the 21st Century Program, coordinated through the International Honors Program (IHP). For 17 weeks, she and fellow student scholars had the opportunity to examine how the structure of a city enhances or impedes growth on a world-wide tour. She observed the effects of urban sprawl in Brazil, witnessed revitalization in Detroit and studied how wealth has influenced society in Vietnam.

“Students on the program examine the intentional and natural forces that guide the development of the world’s cities,” explains Erin Deegan, university relations manager at IHP. “It combines an innovative urban studies academic curriculum with fieldwork involving public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs and grassroots groups in important world cities where exciting changes are taking place.”

Cottier’s journey began last August with a two-week stint in Detroit, Mich., a city known for its devastation and rebirth. She observed how “incredible” community organizing and social entrepreneurship can thrive amongst inefficient leadership,