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Olivia DrakeJune 13, 202218min
While most universities value either pedagogy or scholarship, Associate Professor of Biology Joseph Coolon appreciates how—at Wesleyan—both are celebrated concurrently. "Wes is a truly unique place," he said. "Wesleyan faculty aim to be true scholar-teachers with each benefiting the other synergistically." Coolon, who joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor of both biology and integrative sciences, has since co-authored 13 articles on ecological and evolutionary genomics in peer-reviewed publications such as G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics; Developmental Biology; and Insect Molecular Biology. Ten of these papers were co-authored by both his graduate and undergraduate students. Together, they…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 18, 20212min
Felice Li '25 met, mingled, and offered a campus tour to one of Japan's sōryōji—or consuls general—during a recent visit to Wesleyan. "As a new student here, I felt very excited to show the consul general our campus and what I had explored here so far," Li said. "I lived in Tokyo before coming here, so I was excited to present the tour in Japanese." Li was among several students and faculty who spent the day with Consul General Setsuo Ohmori, who is the highest-ranking Japanese consul in Boston. The CG supports the safety and stability of the Japanese people,…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 4, 20216min
Since 1995, the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Japanese Garden—or Shôyôan Teien—has provided a serene space for meditation, tea ceremonies, and art classes. Designed, built, and continuously cared for by Stephen Morrell, a landscape architect specializing in Japanese-style gardens, Wesleyan's Shôyôan Teien is being celebrated through a new exhibit that contemplates the garden’s rich history. "One's experience of the garden is meant to be personal," Morrell said. "By design, it encourages a peaceful intimate relationship where subjective and objective experience merges into present moment being. When that happens you become part of the garden." The exhibit, titled 25th Anniversary…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 27, 20212min
As a newly-selected non-resident adjunct fellow for the Washington Research Consortium on Korea, Joan Cho hopes to showcase South Korea’s democratization through a new scholarly book tentatively titled, Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1987. Cho, assistant professor of East Asian Studies, will participate in the multi-year laboratory research project until 2024 through the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The project, titled “The South Korean Pathway: Understanding the Theoretical and Policy Significance of Korean Democracy and Foreign Policy,” will conduct an in-depth analysis of South Korea’s democracy and foreign policy to fill an important gap in…

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Olivia DrakeApril 19, 20212min
On April 17, Wesleyan's Japanese community gathered outside the College of East Asian Studies to celebrate Ohanami, or “flower viewing." In early spring, three sakura—or cherry blossom trees—are blooming near the Japanese Garden. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual gathering was restricted to current students studying Japanese and CEAS faculty members. The cherry trees were donated in the mid-70s by Nobel Laureate Satoshi Omura, who received an honorary degree from Wesleyan in 1994. "The cherry blossoms’ timing was perfect," said event coordinator Naho Maruta, associate professor of the practice in East Asian Studies. "We had fallen cherry blossoms all…

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Rachel Wachman '24April 2, 20211min
On March 30, more than 150 students gathered outside Usdan University Center for a community vigil to mourn the victims of the March 16 Atlanta spa shootings and to create a safe space for Asian and Asian-American students to discuss the rise of anti-Asian violence and be heard by the community. The vigil was organized by Emily Chen ’23, Kevin Le ’22, and graduate student Emily Moon, in conjunction with members of the Asian American Student Collective. Students read poems, played music, and shared their reflections during the event. Towards the end, the organizers gave anyone moved to speak the…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 15, 20202min
Takeshi Watanabe, assistant professor of East Asian studies, is the author of Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan, published by Harvard University Press in January 2020. The book is the first extensive literary study of A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari), a historical tale that covers about 150 years of births, deaths, and happenings in late Heian society, a golden age of court literature in women’s hands. According to the publisher: Takeshi Watanabe contends that the blossoming of tales, marked by The Tale of Genji, inspired Eiga’s new affective history: an exorcism of embittered spirits whose stories needed to be…

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Lauren RubensteinDecember 2, 20194min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News CNN: "What the ‘Woke Student’ and the ‘Welfare Queen’ Have in Common" "Every age seems to need a bogeyman, some negative image against which good people measure themselves," writes President Michael Roth '78 in this op-ed. Roth compares today's bogeyman, the "woke" college student, with those of past eras—the "welfare queen" and "dirty hippie"—and seeks to build understanding and dispel negative misperceptions of activist college students. "The images of the welfare queen and of the woke…

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Olivia DrakeApril 12, 20192min
A paper by Zhaoyu Sun '20 was published in the April 2019 issue of The Yale Review of International Studies.  The article, titled “Critical Comments Among Chinese Netizens – Before and After the Cyber Security Law" is based on a research paper he wrote for his CEAS 385/GOVT 391 Legacies of Authoritarian Politics course last fall. The class was taught by Joan Cho, assistant professor of East Asian studies; assistant professor, government. Sun, a College of East Asian Studies and government double major, explained that despite the growing availability of information within China and the country’s increased linkage to the West, the coercive actions…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 27, 20193min
Vietnam native Jess Tran '21 grew up learning her native language alongside English, but it wasn't until her freshman year at Wesleyan that she decided to give a third language a try—Japanese. Tran, an economics major and College of East Asian Studies minor, immersed herself in the new language for two years. This month, she won a prize at the annual Consulate General of Japan in Boston Japanese Language Contest. The essay prompt was "What is Japan to me?" "In essence, I talked about how my initial admiration for certain aspects of Japan inspired me to think about how I can contribute to Vietnam—my home…