Cynthia RockwellJanuary 21, 20202min
Gerald Baliles ’63, Hon. ’88, who had served as the 65th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, died Oct. 29, 2019. He was 79. A government major at Wesleyan, he earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. After a stint in the Virginia attorney general's office, he practiced law in Richmond, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1976, he became the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1981, and was, during his term, selected by his peers as Outstanding Attorney General of…

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Lauren RubensteinJanuary 16, 20202min
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 1. The Washington Post: "How One College Is Helping Students Get Engaged in Elections—and, No, It’s Not Political" President Michael Roth writes about Wesleyan's initiative to engage students meaningfully in work in the public sphere ahead of the 2020 elections, and calls on other colleges and universities to do the same. He writes: "Now is the time for higher education leaders to commit their institutions to find their own paths for promoting student involvement in the…

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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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Lauren RubensteinNovember 14, 20193min
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 1. Marketplace Tech: "Twitter Bans Political Ads, But Is That All Good?" Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, is interviewed about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's announcement that the platform would no longer run political ads. Fowler says implementing this ban is likely to be more complicated than it sounds, and she is skeptical that it will help to reduce the impact of disinformation and improve political discourse. Fowler was…

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Cynthia RockwellNovember 13, 20192min
Christopher F. Roellke ’87, PhD, has been named president of Stetson University, effective July 1, 2020. Currently dean of the college emeritus and professor of education at Vassar College, Roellke will be the 10th person to hold this position, succeeding Wendy B. Libby, PhD, who has served as Stetson's president since July 2009 and had announced her retirement last February. Roellke is also past president for the Association of Education Finance and Policy, a 2014 Fulbright Scholar, and the founder and fundraiser of Vassar College’s Urban Education Initiative. “The Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Dr. Roellke to lead Stetson…

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Lauren RubensteinOctober 21, 20193min
As the 2020 presidential election season heats up, the Wesleyan Media Project (WMP) is providing important analysis on campaign advertising for researchers and the media alike. Over the summer, Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of WMP, worked with undergraduate students and others to accelerate the analysis of digital political advertising, which has seen enormous growth this year over previous cycles. In the early summer, WMP hosted a mini-hackathon to begin the process of analyzing political ads on Facebook. They worked with summer students through the Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC), and with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Saray…

Lauren RubensteinOctober 21, 20194min
Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.” In this article, professor emeritus of government John Finn, a constitutional scholar, examines how anti-abortion and pro-gun "sanctuary" towns popping up across the country are challenging how we understand the power of federal law and its role in the states and the lives of Americans. Finn was also recently interviewed on KJZZ about sanctuary cities (he comes in around 5 minutes). Sanctuaries protecting gun rights and the unborn challenge the legitimacy and role of federal law In June…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 14, 20192min
Russia has returned to the world stage in dramatic fashion in recent years with military interventions and interference in elections. What is driving this aggressive behavior? Will the current political system survive the scheduled departure of its architect, Vladimir Putin, in 2024? How should the United States deal with Russia? On Oct. 11–12, Wesleyan alumni and faculty panelists tackled these questions and more during the 2019 Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns. This year's theme was "Understanding Russia: A Dramatic Return to the World Stage," with Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, serving…

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Lauren RubensteinOctober 14, 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 1. The Nation: "Edward Snowden Deserves to Be Tried by a Jury of His Peers, Just Like Everyone Else" In this op-ed, Associate Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti argues against the Justice Department's decision to deny Edward Snowden's request for a jury trial. She contends that in Snowden's case, in which he is accused of leaking classified information from the National Security Administration in 2013, a jury trial "is not only a viable alternative to a hearing…

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Cynthia RockwellSeptember 29, 201910min
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 The Hill: "Analysis: 2020 Digital Spending Vastly Outpaces TV Ads" The Hill reports on a new analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project, which finds that 2020 presidential hopefuls have spent nearly six times more money on Facebook and Google advertising than on TV ads. President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee lead the way in digital advertising, having spent nearly $16 million so far. All told, Facebook and Google have raked in over $60 million…

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Cynthia RockwellAugust 29, 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 1. Where We Live: "The Life and Legacy of American Composer Charles Ives" Neely Bruce, the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, is a guest on this show about the legacy of composer Charles Ives. Bruce is the only pianist who has ever played all of the Ives music for solo voice, in a project called the Ives Vocal Marathon, which took place at Wesleyan in 2009. He is also the co-editor of a new collection…

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Cynthia RockwellAugust 13, 20193min
This year's Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, “Understanding Russia: A Dramatic Return to the World Stage,” will be held Oct. 11–12. It begins on Friday with a keynote address by Andrew Meier ’85, a former Moscow correspondent with Time. On Saturday, a full day of panel discussions led by Wesleyan professors and alumni who are leaders in their field will be available to registrants. The Shasha Seminar, an educational forum for Wesleyan alumni, parents, and friends, explores issues of global concern in a small seminar environment. Endowed by James Shasha ’50, P’82, the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns supports lifelong learning and encourages…