Provost Announces New University Professors, Artist-in-Residence, Research Professors

Rob Rosenthal, provost and vice president for academic affairs, the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, announced a change of title for several faculty members.

These new titles take effect July 1, 2011.

New University Professors

Ronald Kuivila, University Professor of Music, has been teaching at Wesleyan since 1981. He creates sound installations, performs experimental music, and integrates computer programming with music composition. More than 50 of his sound installations have been exhibited internationally, more than 40 works of his concert music have been given major performances, 12 of his works of music for dance have been performed in dance works by major choreographers including Merce Cunningham, his discography includes 11 recordings, he has received more than 35 grants, commissions, awards, and residencies, and is author of more than 10 publications. His creative research has included collaborations and residencies with research centers (the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Germany), Stichting Steim (the Netherlands), Tempo Reale (Italy), and the Getty Research Institute), museums (MASS MoCA, the Museum Schloss Moyland, The Berlin Musical Instrument Museum, The New York Hall of Science) and artist residences (P.S. 1, the Berliner Kuenstlerprogramm, the Institute for Studies in the Arts, Arizona State University, Harvestworks). At Wesleyan, along with presenting his own work, he has organized concerts, festivals, and symposia and served on advisory committees for the Music Department, the Center for the Arts, the Center for Humanities, and across the university.

He earned his B.A. from Wesleyan and his M.F.A. from Mills College.

Sumarsam, University Professor of Music, has been teaching at Wesleyan since 1972, serving as chair of the Music Department and director of Graduate Studies in Music, and making a significant contribution to the discipline of ethnomusicology. He specializes in Indonesian music and theater, focusing on the performance, history, and theory of gamelan and wayang. He has also held visiting appointments at Smith College, Williams College, Cornell University, Brown University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and before coming to Wesleyan, he taught at the Indonesian National Conservatory of Music.

He is author of Gamelan: Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central Java (University of Chicago Press, 1995), and more than 35 essays, articles, and reviews; and has composed nine works of music. He is working on his second book tentatively titled Javanese Performing Arts in Motion: Gamelan and the West (under review, Eastman/Rochester Ethnomusicology Series). An impressive ambassador for the field of ethnomusicology, he has given more than 150 conference papers, invited lectures, talks, and workshops throughout the world, and he regularly performs gamelan throughout the US cities and internationally. He is active in helping academic institutions in the U.S. and other countries establish programs in Indonesian music.

He earned a teaching diploma and his undergraduate degree from the Indonesian National Conservatory and Academy of Music; he earned an M.A. from Wesleyan, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Kari Weil, University Professor of Letters, has been at Wesleyan since 2007. Previously, she has served as the Acting Chair of the Critical Studies Program at California College of the Arts, visiting associate professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley; visiting associate professor in romance languages at UCLA; and associate professor at Wake Forest University where she received tenure in 1992.

She is the author of Androgyny and the Denial of Difference (University of Virginia Press, 1994) and has published widely on feminist theory, on literary representations of gender (especially in France), on the riding, breeding and eating of horses in 19th century France, and more recently, on theories and representations of animal otherness and human-animal relations. Her most recent book, Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now, is forthcoming with Columbia University Press. This summer, she and Professor Lori Gruen will co-host the ASI-WAS (Animals in Society-Wesleyan Animal Studies) Human-Animal Summer Fellowship program.

She earned her B.A. from Cornell University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

New Artist in Residence

Ronald Ebrecht, Artist in Residence and University Organist, has been at Wesleyan since 1988. He is in demand, internationally, as a conductor, organ soloist and accompanist, and harpsichord performer, and has performed more than 15 commissioned works. In 1990, he founded the Young Organ Virtuosi Weekend, a biennial festival that celebrates the talents of emerging concert organists, and each spring he hosts the “organ romp” to perform compositions on organ by—and make organ performance accessible to—Wesleyan undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. He designed the concert organ, a Holtcamp Opus 2085, for the Wesleyan Memorial Chapel during its renovation in 2002–03. He is author of several articles, editor of Maurice Duruflé, 1902-1986: The Last Impressionist (Scarecrow, 2002), and is completing a book, Bigger Than Them All: Cavaillé-Coll’s Monumental Organ Project for Saint Peter’s, Rome, for Scarecrow Press. His many recordings include, with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Boughton, the complete orchestral works of Maurice Duruflé, the Veni Creator for solo organ, and the Ebrecht edition of the Poulenc Organ Concerto, issued by Nimbus Records.

He earned his bachelor of music degree from Southern Methodist University, his master of music from Yale University, and his Diplôme d’études supérieures from the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

New Research Professors

Michael Frisch, Research Professor of Chemistry, is president and CEO of Gaussian Inc., which produces one of the leading quantum chemical software packages used in university, government and corporate research groups around the world. This software allows the calculation of molecular and materials properties completely from first principles and has contributed to a revolutionary approach to solving problems in chemistry, pharmacology, atmospheric science, materials science and numerous other fields. As lead or co-author of more than 135 articles in the field, Frisch continues his own scholarly contribution to the development of computational methods as well as collaborating with leading scientists worldwide to bring additional methodologies and refinements to the Gaussian program. At Wesleyan he works closely with George Petersson and his research group but also generously helps other faculty and students with their own computational projects. He earned his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Herbert Pickett, Research Professor of Chemistry, is one of the most accomplished high resolution spectroscopists in the United States. He is known for his ability to analyze complex spectra and has developed software programs using his methods of analysis. Almost all high resolution spectroscopist in the world now use Pickett’s analysis programs SPCAT and SPFIT to predict, assign, and fit spectra. Early in his career he taught at the University of Texas, Austin, and then worked at the jet propulsion laboratory at Cal Tech from 1978 through 2008, retiring as their senior research scientist and as lead scientist and engineer of 2.5 THz OH band for Earth Observing System Microwave Limb Sounder. He is lead or co-author of more than 100 articles. A recent issue of the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy is dedicated to him and his colleague Ed Cohen. At Wesleyan he works closely with Stewart Novick, Pete Pringle, and their students on the interpretation of microwave spectra. He is a co-principle investigator on a recently funded NSF proposal with Novick. He earned is A.B. from Williams College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.