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Olivia DrakeDecember 13, 20217min
During their three-and-a-half-years at Wesleyan, Charlotte Babbin '22 worked as a research assistant for a plant epigenetic lab, directed the pit orchestra for a Second Stage production, taught sex education workshops for area adolescents, served as a social programming and social justice co-chair for Wesleyan's Jewish community, worked on a research project with a local domestic violence service center, and served as an eco facilitator for the Sustainability Office—all while pursuing a double-major in biology and science in society. And, they managed to do it all while maintaining a 96.8 Wesleyan grade point value. For these reasons, Babbin, who hails…

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Steve ScarpaDecember 9, 20218min
Anna Nguyen ’22 believes that if you want to have a local impact, your thinking and decision making can’t be divorced from considerations of the wider world. Time spent in the United States, England, and China – as well as her home country of Vietnam – taught her to be a true global citizen. “That is why I chose not to stay in my own country, as much as I love it. I need to be able to see it from a zoomed-out perspective before I know what the problems are. By being in so many countries, I see issues…

Rachel Wachman '24November 1, 20214min
Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Raquel Bryant and Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Teresita Padilla-Benavides are two women in STEM whose work has recently been highlighted in national science journals. Bryant, who will join the Wesleyan faculty in July 2022, co-wrote a paper titled “Microfossil and geochemical records reveal high-productivity paleoenvironments in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2” that will be in the December volume of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Her work has also been featured as a Research Highlight in Nature Reviews Earth and Environment. Padilla-Benavides recently co-wrote an article titled “The…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 29, 20216min
A team of researchers at Wesleyan has discovered new strains of bacteria—located on the University's campus—that may have the ability to break down microplastics and aid in the world's ongoing plastic waste crisis. Microplastics, which measure less than .20 of an inch, enter the ecosystem— and our bodies— largely through the abrasion of larger plastic pieces dumped into the environment. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, the average person consumes at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year and inhales a similar quantity. "Plastic is typically classified as a non-biodegradable substance. However, some…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 24, 20213min
At first glance, a viewer sees a single image of pink-tinted cubes, resembling a bacteria culture from high school biology. But upon closer examination, the viewer begins to see a series of other shapes—triangles to hexahedrons to tetahexahedraons (cubes with four-sided pyramids on each face). "If you stare at this image for a while, you can see that it's actually a series of five images in the top row, and five images on the bottom row, and each of these images show us nanoparticles that are made of gold and copper," said Brian Northrop, professor of chemistry. "It's intriguing, captivating,…

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Olivia DrakeJune 28, 20212min
Jasmyn Choi '22 vividly recalls when her Korean-born mother was pulled over by police in Los Angeles 12 years ago. Rather than speaking to the driver, who had broken English, the officer leaned into the vehicle to question 8-year-old Jasmyn instead. Jasmyn, after all, had "perfect" English. "I’ve always dealt with the particular trauma of strangers diminishing my mother’s intelligence because of her accent," Choi recalls. "I tremble in anger thinking of the times she’s had her voice stolen from her. We both sat in the car in oppressive silence, yet it was comforting because silence is all we have…

Rachel Wachman '24June 2, 20211min
Lily Barnes ’22 and Amy Du ’22 are recipients of the 2021 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Undergraduate Research Award. They will each receive $1,000 to support summer project research. Both students are members of Wesleyan’s ASBMB chapter. Barnes works in the lab of Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Teresita Padilla-Benavides, and Du works in the lab of Fisk Professor of Natural Science and Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Ishita Mukerji. Following the research Barnes and Du conduct in their respective labs, each will submit a report to the ASBMB summarizing their findings.

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Olivia DrakeMay 17, 20213min
This month, the Office of Student Affairs presented the 2021 student prizes. The recipients and awards include: George H. Acheson and Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience Established in 1992 by a gift from the Grass Foundation, this prize is awarded to an outstanding undergraduate in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program who demonstrates excellence in the program and who also shows promise for future contributions in the field of neuroscience. Kian Caplan 2021 Ana Finnerty-Haggerty 2021 Andrew Northrop 2021 Fitzroy "Pablo" Wickham 2021 Alumni Prize in the History of Art Established by Wesleyan alumni and awarded to a senior who has…

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Rachel Wachman '24May 10, 20216min
The Peter Morgenstern-Clarren ’03 Social Justice Awards recognize students and staff members who promote social justice and activism on campus and beyond. This year, the staff recipients are Mario Torres, who works for Physical Plant, and Astrid Vidal, a Service Management Group employee who works in residence halls. The student recipient is Kevonte Payton ’22. The award was created in memory of Morgenstern-Clarren, who dedicated his time on campus to social justice. “His activism included securing benefits for Wesleyan custodial staff, participating in the United Student and Labor Action Committee, and contributing his leadership to the campus chapter of Amnesty…

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Rachel Wachman '24May 10, 20212min
Shawn H. Lin ’22 is the recipient of a 2021 poster award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s 25th Annual Undergraduate Poster Competition. Lin’s poster took the prize in Category 3: DNA, Chromosomes and Gene Regulation. This is the second poster award Lin has won this year. In March, he was honored with the Biophysical Society’s Undergraduate Poster Award for his work titled “Elucidation of Interactions Between Integration Host Factor and a DNA Four-Way Junction.” Lin is a Freeman Asian Scholar from Taiwan and is majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MB&B). Lin also works in the…

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Rachel Wachman '24May 10, 20215min
This year, five Wesleyan students were inducted into the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Honor Society. Thirty-one students nationwide were given this honor. Inducted students must be juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale, belong to a student chapter of the ASBMB, and “demonstrate exceptional achievement in academics, undergraduate research and science outreach,” according to the website. The inducted students include the following: Nour-Saïda Harzallah ’21, a College of Integrative Sciences student majoring in molecular biology & biochemistry (MB&B) and physics. Harzallah, from Tunisia, works in Professor Francis Starr’s physics…

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Rachel Wachman '24May 10, 20214min
Zubaida Bello ’22 is one of 16 people nationwide to win the Beinecke Scholarship in 2021. Bello, who aims to pursue a PhD in history and become a college professor, will receive $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school, as well as $30,000 while attending. Last year, the scholarship was awarded to Mellon Mays Fellow Katerina Ramos-Jordán '21, who was the first Wesleyan student to receive the award in 13 years. “The program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study…