Tag Archive for students

Lobster, Clam Bake Highlight of Eat Local Challenge

Hundreds of students, faculty and staff attended the Eat Local Challenge, held Sept. 26 on Andrus Field. All food served was sourced or harvested from within 150 miles of Wesleyan’s campus.

During the 13th annual Eat Local Challenge on Sept. 26, Wesleyan students, faculty and staff dined on a midday meal made entirely from local ingredients.

The event challenged Bon Appétit Management Company staff to create a meal from products and ingredients harvested within a 150-mile radius of the campus. The meal included produce, meat, dessert and drinks from local farmers, ranchers, food crafters and fishermen.

Food included house-smoked pork-belly bacon from Lucki 7 Livestock Co. in Rodman, N.Y.; Bloomsday cheese from Cato Corner in Colchester, Conn.; lobster, little-neck clams and mussels from Damariscotta, Maine; apple cider-glazed chicken and baked corn from Horse Listener’s Orchard in Ashford, Conn.; potatoes from Szawlowski Farm in Hatfield, Mass.; butter and cream from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in Ancramdale, N.Y.; turkey burgers and baked berry cobbler from Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling, Conn.; rosemary focaccia bread, prepared with graham flour from Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaugh, R.I.; among much more.

Photos of the Eat Local Challenge are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Faculty, Students, Alumnus Co-Author Paper in Biochemistry Journal

Wesleyan co-authors published a paper titled “The Stories Tryptophans Tell: Exploring Protein Dynamics of Heptosyltransferase I from Escherichia coli” in the January 2017 issue of Biochemistry.

The co-authors include chemistry graduate student Joy Cote; alumni Zarek Siegel ’16 and Daniel Czyzyk, PhD ’15; and faculty Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry; Ishita Mukerji, the Fisk Professor of Natural Science, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Their paper investigates the intrinsic properties of Tryptophan amino acids found within the protein, Heptosyltransferase I, to understand the ways this protein moves during catalysis. Understanding the movement of this protein is an important step in developing its inhibitors.

When this protein is inactive, either because it was genetically altered or inhibited, hydrophobic antibiotics become more effective, so inhibitors could be useful in reactivating antibiotics that are current not effective against these bacteria.

While it is popularly believed that inhibiting a protein requires a compound to compete with the substrate, their paper argues that instead one can design a inhibitor to disrupt protein dynamics, preventing activity. The co-authors compare the function of this “protein dynamics disruptor” to a wedge holding open a door–once inserted, the inhibitor prevents the protein from performing its function.

Their research on Tryptophan residues also found that distant regions of the protein communicate whether or not they are binding their substrate to other regions.

“It would be like if your right hand knew that your left hand was holding a pencil just by the changes in the position of your left hand. We are currently pursuing computational studies to look for these motions via molecular dynamics experiments,” Taylor said.

Students Raise Funds for Childhood Cancer Research at Dance Marathon

westhon7On April 8, more than 250 students helped raise funds for children and families impacted by childhood cancer.

westhon6WesThon, a student-run philanthropy, provides emotional and financial support to affected families, and spreads awareness and ensures funding for critical research — all in pursuit of a cure. WesThon’s yearlong efforts culminate with a six-hour, no-sitting dance marathon at Psi Upsilon.

At this years event, WesThon participants raised more than $20,000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, doubling what they raised last year.

“Since this is only the second year of the event we are beyond thrilled with the result,” said Dana Mitchell ’18, who oversaw recruitment for the event.

(Photos by Christopher Wilkos)

Undergraduates Return from Winter Recess, Begin Spring Semester

After a six-week Winter Recess, university housing re-opened for all undergraduates on Jan. 24 and the spring semester commenced on Jan. 26.

After a six-week Winter Recess, university housing re-opened for all undergraduates on Jan. 24 and the spring semester commenced on Jan. 26. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

On Jan. 26, students flocked to Usdan University Center to dine and mingle with friends.

On Jan. 26, students flocked to Usdan University Center to dine and mingle with friends.

Jamaica native Nicholas Evans ’18 spent his winter recess in Stratford, Conn., where his parents now reside. “I really enjoyed spending time with [my parents], but I missed the constant interaction with people here at Wesleyan. It’s interesting to go from almost complete isolation to having everybody everywhere,” he said. Nicholas, who is majoring in mathematics, and was already solving equations in the Science Library on his first day back, said he hoped to work on homework while he was away on break, but not everything went according to plan. “I’m an avid reader and I love to borrow four or five books and just read,” he said. “But math. Somehow math homework never came up.”

Jamaica native Nicholas Evans ’18 spent his break in Stratford, Conn., where his parents now reside. “I really enjoyed spending time with [my parents], but I missed the constant interaction with people here at Wesleyan. It’s interesting to go from almost complete isolation to having everybody everywhere,” he said. Nicholas, who is majoring in mathematics, and was already solving equations in the Science Library on his first day back, said he hoped to work on homework while he was away on break, but not everything went according to plan. “I’m an avid reader and I love to borrow four or five books and just read,” he said. “But math. Somehow math homework never came up.”

Wesleyan Hosts Undocumented Students Conference

Wesleyan, along with Connecticut Students for a Dream, presented “Moving From Knowledge to Action: An Educators Conference on Undocumented Students” Nov. 4 in Beckham Hall.

Undocumented students in Connecticut and nationwide face a broad range of challenges, many of those specifically related to education. These issues directly stem from a student’s undocumented status as well as being disproportionately affected by other education equity issues.

Wesleyan staff joined high school teachers, counselors, parent liaisons, community organization staff, future educators, and others from around the state to discuss ways educational institutions can better support and advocate for undocumented students.

Attendees learned about the history and current climate surrounding undocumented students in education; discussed ways to make their school or campus a safe and welcoming space; and networked with fellow educators passionate about working with undocumented students to create change.

Photos of the conference are below:

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Students Celebrate the Season at Outhouse’s Fall Fest

The Wesleyan Program House Outhouse hosted its 10th Annual Fall Fest on Oct. 14 to celebrate the season. Outhouse residents provided fall-related foods such as apple crisps, apple cider, pumpkin pie, squash and corn, and activities such as apple bobbing, donuts on string, a homemade ball pit, a pumpkin walk, live music and more.

The event was funded by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development and the Wesleyan Green Fund.

Outhouse serves as a base for the Wesleyan Outing Club. It brings together people who share a strong interest in the outdoors, and allows them to share that enthusiasm with others. Members of the house contribute to the organization of weekly outings, wilderness outdoor orientation trips, extended trips over breaks, and equipment rental, all of which are open to the entire Wesleyan community.

(Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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Students Toss Objects from Exley’s Roof during Big Drop

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In 1589, Galileo dropped balls of various sizes from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that they all hit the ground at the same time. On May 4, Wesleyan students repeated this experiment in modern-day way at Exley Science Center. Several Wesleyan students, staff and faculty observed the “big drop.”

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Hanna Elszasz ’18, Sam Sheppe ’18, and Bill Nelligan, director of environmental services, dropped objects from the roof of Exley Science Center. In this test, the group used a Mac and PC.

Students Honored with Academic Prizes, Fellowships

The Office of Student Affairs hosted a Spring 2016 awards banquet for students who received academic prizes, fellowships and awards on May 4 in Daniel Family Commons.

Students received awards for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership and intellectual commitment; intercollegiate debating; extracurricular participation; promoting the health, visibility, and participation of the Latino community at Wesleyan; writing the best paper that uses econometric techniques to analyze an economic problem; excellence in environmental stewardship; excellence in modern languages; exhibition in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, or architecture; and much more.

To view the entire list of awards and recipients see Student Affairs Prizes website. (Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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“Wes Out-Loud” Theater Performance Takes Audience on Site-Specific Auditory Journey

During the "Wes Out-Loud" performance, audience members wore wireless headsets to listen to recorded stories of place created for various sites on campus.

During the “Wes Out-Loud” performance, audience members wore wireless headsets to listen to recorded stories of place created for various sites on campus.

The Theater Department presented “Wes Out-Loud: Stories of Place” April 28 on campus.

“Wes Out-Loud: Stories of Place” is a site-specific auditory journey conceived and created for the Wesleyan campus through a collaboration between theater students and Assistant Professor of Theater Marcela Oteíza. “Wes Out-Loud” invited the audience to experience Wesleyan as a scenographic space by inserting new narratives into everyday sites.

The juxtaposition of place and stories presented the richness and diversity of the students on campus and promoted inclusiveness.

Audience members wore wireless headsets to listen to the recorded stories of place created for each site. The performance, led by Wesleyan students, covered a one-and-a-half mile loop through campus.

The journey includes stories of current students who wrote a piece specific to Wesleyan and the space that Wesleyan occupies.

“Wesleyan is an intensely personal space to me. It is the place where I have experienced the most growth and had the most memorable experiences of my life thus far. Given its significance, the memories of Wesleyan are positive, negative, and everywhere in between,” said collaborator Jess Cummings ’17. “I wanted to focus on disparities between positive and negative, especially those which I often hide. I also wanted to emphasize the way that these memories take on a spatiality and transform the spaces which the original events occurred in. I hope that listening to my story, as well as everyone else’s, will allow members of our Wesleyan community and beyond to question their relationships to the spaces they inhabit everyday and recognize the lasting effects that memory and space leave on their lives.”

“Wes Out-Loud” was recorded with a binaural, 3D-surround-sound system — a method that emulates the workings of human auditory perception, explained Marcela Oteíza. “Utilizing an actual scale model of left and right ears, the recording system works with the premise that it is the architecture of our anatomy that dictates how we understand the sounds we hear,” she said.

Additional performances will take place on April 29, April 30 and May 1.

Students Volunteer to Improve Community Conditions in New Orleans

During their spring break, March 4-13, 19 Wesleyan students went to New Orleans to help rebuild a home damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

During spring break, March 4-13, 20 Wesleyan students went to New Orleans to help rebuild a home.

Twenty Wesleyan students spent the first week of spring break volunteering in New Orleans to help with rebuilding and repairing homes in the community.

The students, who were accompanied by Justin Marks, visiting assistant professor of mathematics, bused as a group to to New Orleans as part of ServeUp, a project organized by InterVarsity New England. Wesleyan’s group joined volunteers from ​Boston College, Boston University, Clark University, Fairfield University, Northeastern, Rhode Island College, University of Vermont, among others.

Wesleyan’s group stayed at an old elementary school site and partnered with two organizations, Rebuilding Together New Orleans and Greenlight New Orleans. Students worked on priming, painting and screening a local home and replaced old light bulbs with energy efficient ones around the community. Many homes in the area are still damaged from Hurricane Katrina.

“It was a truly eye opening experience and it has taught us a lot about the very real problems that are still prevalent in our communities,” said volunteer Kenny Chiu ’19.

Citrin P’12, P’14 and Bennett ’00 Offer Advice, Experience in Career Workshop

Wesleyan trustee Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, (left) and Julie Bennett ’00 led a workshop, Your Career Playbook, moderated by Zacko Brint ’16 (center).

Wesleyan trustee Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, (left) and Julie Bennett ’00 led a workshop, Your Career Playbook, moderated by Zacko Brint ’16 (center). (Photos by Cynthia Rockwell)

“What Does It Take to Launch a Successful Career?” Two notable members of the Wesleyan community tackled that question in a career workshop titled Your Career Playbook, sponsored by the WESpeaker Series, the Athletics Advantage Program and the Wesleyan Career Center on Feb. 26.

Julie Bennett ’00 had the opportunity to connect with Wesleyan Women's basketbal current team members and Coach Kate Mullen (right).

Julie Bennett ’00 had the opportunity to connect with Wesleyan Women’s basketball current team members and Coach Kate Mullen (right).

Julie Bennett ’00, former captain of the women’s basketball team and member of the Athletic Advisory Council and now in sales and trading in equity derivatives at Citigroup (her “dream job”) joined Wesleyan trustee Jim Citrin P’12, P’14, leader of Spencer Stuart’s North American CEO Practice, and author of The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional in a panel discussion, moderated by Zacko Brint ’16, captain of the men’s tennis team. A self-professed “airline geek,” Brint will be working at United Airlines next year—a fact that he says came about through his use the Wesleyan network.