Jan Willis, professor of religion, professor of East Asian studies, meets with three Buddhist nuns in Ladakh, India. Willis was honored as a "Outstanding Woman in Buddhism" recently for making an "exceptional contribution to Buddhism."
In the sparsely populated, mountainous region of Ladakh, India, elderly Buddhist nuns are suffering from isolation, illiteracy and lack of respect from their communities. These women, who spent their lives serving their family or working as laborers, have rarely had the opportunity to become ordained or to worship in a monastery like the highly regarded male monks.
“These women have been devalued from the beginning,” says Jan Willis, professor of religion, professor of East Asian studies. “All they’ve ever wanted to do is serve the dharma and study, but instead, they’ve become servants of their community, or helpers for the monks.”
Willis, who has devoted part of the last seven years to helping a group of elderly Ladakhi nuns, is being honored as an “Outstanding Woman in Buddhism” for the year 2009 for making an “exceptional contribution to Buddhism.”
Rob Rosenthal, professor of sociology, spoke at a conference titled “Celebrating Seattle’s Striking History,” sponsored by the University of Washington Department of History. The conference was held Feb. 6 at the Seattle Labor Temple to commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Seattle General Strike of 1919. Rosenthal spoke about the strike, and also about a rock opera he wrote and recorded in 1986 with his band, The Fuse, about the strike. The Seattle Labor Chorus sung two songs from the album. In addition, Rosenthal was interviewed about his song on the NPR station in Portland, KBOO, and the NPR station in Seattle, KUOW.
The Chicago Tribunereviewed Look, What I Don’t Understand, a solo-performance by Anthony Nikolchev ’08, co-directed by the Assistant Professor of Theater Yuriy Kordonskiy, lighting design by Anna Martin ’09.
The production was originally developed as a student show at Wesleyan and moved to its four-week professional run at the Chicago Athenaeum Theatre in January 2009. This one-man drama draws upon historical narratives experienced by Nikolchev’s family during their 1960s escape from the totalitarian hostility of communist Bulgaria to detainment in America, challenging himself and audiences to comprehend the experience of past generations through the perspective of present generations.
John Paoletti, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities, professor of art history, will retire from Wesleyan in May. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)
For 37 years, John Paoletti has explored the ideas and histories that produced both well-known and not so well-known works of Renaissance and modern art with thousands of Wesleyan students.
This May, Paoletti will retire from Wesleyan’s Art and Art History Department, ending a longtime career of teaching artists such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donatello, and Michelangelo as well as the patronage of the Medici family.
“I will really miss working with the Wesleyan students and faculty colleagues across the curriculum,” Paoletti says from his office in the Davison Art Center. “Both have always been keenly critical of the issues at hand and have asked tough questions aimed at arriving at clearer understanding of whatever matter was being discussed.”
Paoletti joined Wesleyan in 1972 as an associate professor of art history. At the time, he was one of two art historians on campus;
Joyce Jacobsen, the Andrews Professor of Economics, tutor in the College of Social Studies, was an invited participant on a roundtable on workplace flexibility held by the Workplace Flexibility 2010 Initiative, Georgetown Law School, Dec. 19, 2008.
Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, is the co-author of “Statistical Significance of Precisely Repeated Intracellular Synaptic Patterns,” published in PLoS ONE 3(12): e3983, Dec. 19, 2008.
The Wesleyan University Board of Trustees affirmed the promotion with tenure, effective July 1, 2009, of the following members of the faculty:
Jane Alden, associate professor of music, was appointed assistant professor of music at Wesleyan in 2001. Prior, she was an acting assistant professor at Stanford University, and an instructor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Alden was awarded a Wesleyan Center for the Humanities Fellowship and was a visiting research associate at Harvard University. She has been the recipient of a Mellon Center Mini-Grant, a Wesleyan University seed grant, and Wesleyan University Snowdon funding for a symposium.
Her research and teaching interest include manuscript production and music books in the 15th century; historiography of chanson in the late 19th and 20th centuries; The “New York School” of American experimental
Scott Plous, professor of psychology, was quoted in a Dec. 14 issue of The Washington Post in a story titled “Choosing Not To Choose: Ever feel lost in a maze of too many options?”
The article, which focused on the overwhelming abundance of life-changing decisions such as finances, health care and career moves, mentions Plous’s book, The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making.
“There’s no question that we have more choices than ever before,” Plous agreed. “And decisions are generally harder and more time-consuming when there are lots of alternatives.”
Wesleyan President Michael Roth plays piano while Gina Driscoll, associate director of development events; Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid; guest Shanda Reynelli; Roth's wife Kari Weil, visiting professor of letters and faculty fellow; and Louise Brown, dean for academic advancement/dean for the Class of 2009, sing along. President Roth held a holiday party at his home for faculty and staff on Dec. 11.
Sean McCaan, director of the Center for Faculty Career Development, professor of English, held a book signing Dec. 4 at Broad Street Books in Middletown. McCann is the author of the book, A Pinnacle of Feeling: American Literature and Presidential Government.
Geoff Hammerson, left, teaches students enrolled in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program about the biology of amphibians and reptiles in Summer 2008. (Photos by Kyle St. George)
Geoff Hammerson hopes that the students who take his Graduate Liberal Studies Program week-long immersion course Life Among Snow and Ice this March get “an appreciation for the diverse and abundant life of parts of Earth that relatively few people experience” and learn how life copes with challenging conditions.
Hammerson has been teaching GLSP classes since 1985. His classes on the environment and nature are usually widely popular. In fact, as this article comes out the March 2009 course is fully enrolled. Most recently he has taught a course on the biology of reptiles and amphibians
Iddrisu Saaka, artist in residence, performs a dance titled "Jovian Suite" Oct. 30 in Patricelli '92 Theater. The dance was part of "Dancing the Imagination" - a conceptually, visually and kinesthetically compelling project directed by Rachel Boggia, visiting assistant professor of dance.