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Anthropology, Archaeology Collections Offer Hands-On Learning

At right, Ying Jia Tan, assistant professor of history, taught his class, History of Science and Technology in Modern China, in Wesleyan's Anthropology and Archaeology Collections. 

At right, Ying Jia Tan, assistant professor of history, taught his class, History of Science and Technology in Modern China, in Wesleyan’s Anthropology and Archaeology Collections. The class’s reading correlated with artifacts displayed in the collections. Pictured at left is Jessie Cohen, lab manager.

TJ Blackburn '16 listens to a classroom discussion while examining skulls from three different time periods. 

TJ Blackburn ’16 listens to a classroom discussion while examining skulls from three different time periods.

In the 1920s, a team of scientists working in the Zhoukoudian cave system in Beijing, China unearthed Peking Man, a roughly 700,000 year-old sample of Homo erectus. After the communist revolution of 1949, Peking Man became a prominent figure in bringing science and the story of human evolution to the masses.

As part of the required reading for the HIST 368 class, History of Science and Technology in Modern China, Ying Jia Tan, assistant professor of history, is having his students read The People’s Peking Man, written by Wesleyan alumna Sigrid Schmalzer ’94. The People’s Peking Man offers a skilled social history of 20th century Chinese paleoanthropology and a compelling cultural history of assumptions and debates about what it means to be human.

On Nov. 11, Tan brought his students to the Wesleyan University Anthropology and Archaeology Collections (WUAAC) to offer them a tangible and hands-on lesson to complement their reading.

Jessie Cohen, lab manager, prepared for the class by displaying fossil and extant replicas including Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”), Homo erectus (“Peking Man” and “Java Man”), and Homo sapiens. She also included several stone tools which originate from the Paleolithic era, a prehistoric period in human history that lasted approximately 2.5 million years. These particular stone tools are associated with specific dates and locations that overlap with Homo erectus production and usage.

“The juxtaposition of these widely ranging fossil replicas, modern Homo sapiens, and stone tools is representative of the changing environment, physical demands, and technological advances noted throughout human evolution,” Cohen explained.

She also displayed a Chinese newspaper / Chinese-American school brochure came to the collection by way of missionaries in the early 1900s.

“I thought it would be a great idea for the students to see the replicas of Peking Man and think about how the Peking Man was constructed by anthropologists,” Tan said. 

Homecoming Football Game Webcast Live at 1 p.m. Nov. 7

The Wesleyan Cardinals will take on the Williams Ephs Nov. 7. During the 2013 Homecoming game, Wesleyan defeated Williams 16-14 and earned the Little Three title

The Wesleyan Cardinals will take on the Williams Ephs Nov. 7. During the 2013 Homecoming game, Wesleyan defeated Williams 16-14 and earned the Little Three title.

 

(Updated: Wesleyan won 27-7)

If you’re unable to attend the 2015 Homecoming game Nov. 7, cheer on the Cardinals to victory from the comfort of your own home!

The Wesleyan vs. Williams College Homecoming football game will be webcast live at 1 p.m. EST by Northeast Sports Network accessible through WesCast. To view a live streaming video of the game, see http://www.wesleyan.edu/wescast/. The Cardinals current record is 4-2, 4-2 NESCAC. View the team’s roster online here.

Also, at 11 a.m. Oct. 7, men’s soccer (7-7-1, 3-6-1 NESCAC) will move on to the second-round of the NESCAC Tournament when they take on No. 2 seed Middlebury. This game also will be webcast through NSN.

For those on campus, tailgating for football, baseball, softball, women’s basketball, football, women’s lacrosse, squash, track and field and wrestling will be held near their respective playing areas between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 7.

The athletic contests are part of Wesleyan’s 2015 Homecoming/Family Weekend Nov. 6-8. View the entire schedule of events online here.

Students Celebrate Fall with Pumpkin Fest, Long Lane Farm Harvest

Students celebrated fall at the annual Pumpkin Fest Oct. 17.

Students celebrated fall at the annual Pumpkin Fest Oct. 17.

Several students are celebrating the fall season at Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm. Farm interns are still harvesting pumpkins, peppers, beets, tomatoes, fresh flowers, thyme and other herbs this October. The student-run organic farm is devoted to allowing students a place to experiment and learn about sustainable agriculture. Long Lane students also seek to foster good relationships with local farmers.

On Oct. 17, the College of the Environment hosted its annual Pumpkin Fest at the farm. Participants received farm tours, free veggie burgers, craft opportunities, face paintings and live music performances. Pumpkins, along with other produce, were sold at the festival.

View photos of Pumpkin Fest and the farm below: (Photos by Olivia Drake, Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19 and Will Barr ’18)

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Long Lane Farm at Wesleyan University, Oct. 8, 2015.

Hamilton Benefit Raises $1.6M for Financial Aid at Wesleyan (with photos)

On Oct. 2, Lin-Manuel Miranda '02 and Thomas Kail '99 hosted a special Wesleyan night, with a performance of their acclaimed "Hamilton" on Broadway. After the performance, attendees, leadership donors and volunteers moved to the 1831 Society Reception at the Edison Ballroom. (Photos by Robert Adam Mayer)

On Oct. 2, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 and Thomas Kail ’99 hosted a special Wesleyan night, with a performance of their acclaimed Hamilton on Broadway. After the performance, attendees, leadership donors and volunteers moved to the 1831 Society Reception at the Edison Ballroom. Guests mingled with members of the cast while dancing to the rhythms of Kinky Spigot and the Welders, a Motown-funk-R&B band featuring Wesleyan alumni. (Photos by Robert Adam Mayer)

#THISISWHY

“Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton.”

When Hamilton writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda ‘02 sang his first line to an audience packed to the rafters with Wesleyan alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends, the crowd erupted in thunderous applause.

Even Miranda couldn’t stifle a smile.

More than 1,300 members of the Wesleyan community descended on the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City on October 2 as Wesleyan hosted a sold-out benefit performance of Hamilton, written by and starring Miranda (who just last week received a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as a MacArthur “genius grant”), and directed by Thomas Kail ‘99. Miranda and Kail are giving back to the university that helped launch their theater careers. The two previously collaborated on the hit Tony-winning musical In the Heights. (View all photos of the event here.)

Hamilton was directed by Thomas Kail '99, pictured second from left.

Hamilton was directed by Thomas Kail ’99, pictured second from left.

For this special Wesleyan evening, the house was bought out by Tony award­–winning producer and mother of two Wesleyan alumni Carole Shorenstein Hays. Through additional sponsorships and ticket sales, Wesleyan raised more than $1.6 million for financial aid.

After the show, Miranda, Kail, and Wesleyan University President Michael Roth shared their feelings about the purpose and specialness of the night.

“We’ve raised $1.6 million dollars for financial aid tonight, because of you,” said Roth to an elated audience. “And because of the great things that Wesleyan grads do, bringing together creativity, inspiration, delight and joy for an exuberant, learned and incredibly powerful show.”

Most of the proceeds from the show will go toward establishing four Hamilton scholarships,

Family Fun at Middletown Day Sept. 26

The campus and local community are invited to Middletown Day on Sept. 26 —a day of family fun and athletic events on campus. The theme of this year’s event is “Salute to Service, Honoring Our Veterans.”

The campus and local community are invited to Middletown Day on Sept. 26 —a day of family fun and athletic events on campus. The theme of this year’s event is “Salute to Service, Honoring Our Veterans.”

For the third year in a row, Wesleyan will welcome members of the community and Wesleyan faculty, staff, students, alumni and families to Middletown Day—a day of family fun and athletic events on campus. The theme of this year’s event, taking place Sept. 26, is “Salute to Service, Honoring Our Veterans.”

“We are excited to once again welcome Middletown families to campus, and honored to partner in saluting veterans from campus and the community,” said Cathy Lechowicz, director of the Center for Community Partnerships. “It will be a celebratory day that highlights the assets of our campus and the community.”

More than 800 Students Move in on Arrival Day


Hundreds of families and friends helped students move into their student residences on Arrival Day Sept. 2.

Hundreds of families and friends helped students move into their student residences on Arrival Day Sept. 2.

Wesleyan welcomed more than 800 new, transfer, visiting, international and exchange students to campus during Arrival Day activities Sept. 2. Several Wesleyan student-athletes, staff and faculty helped the new students and their families carry their belongings into the student residences.

Zenola Harper P’19 helped her son, Salim ’19,  move into his Clark Hall residence home. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Zenola Harper P’19 helped her son, Salim ’19, move into his Clark Hall residence home. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Allen and Zenola Harper P’19 of Westchester, N.Y. borrowed a friend’s SUV to haul their son’s belongings to campus. Salim ’19, a basketball player, brought along a rug, microwave, laundry soap, printer, athletic apparel, a box of brownies, but most importantly his shoe collection.

“I can’t believe how many shoes he has,” Zenola said, looking over a heap of unpacked boxes, bins and bags. “Look at all this stuff. Does he need all those shoes?”

Angel Martin ’19 of Brooklyn, Conn. looked at colleges in the Washington D.C. area, but ultimately decided Wesleyan’s close proximity to home and the university’s course offerings appealed most to her.

“I love how progressive Wesleyan is, and I already know that I want to double major in feminist, gender and sexuality studies and government, and focus on international politics,” she said.

Martin, with help from her brother, parents and student-athletes,

Students Study Kangaroo Behavior in Response to Environmental Changes

Angus McLean and Mariel Becker collecting kangaroo droppings in Boundary Road Reserve. (Photo courtesy of the Bathurst Kangaroo Project)

Angus McLean and Mariel Becker collecting kangaroo droppings in Boundary Road Reserve. (Photo courtesy of the Bathurst Kangaroo Project)

Two Wesleyan students and a former visiting professor have just wrapped up a seven-week-long research project on kangaroo behavior in Bathurst, Australia. Working with Liv Baker, an animal studies postdoctoral fellow in the College of the Environment in 2014-15, Angus McLean ’16 and Mariel Becker ’18 have collected “more than 600 pages of data recording kangaroo behavior in response to daily changes and threats in their environment,” according to an article in Western Advocate.

“There were noticeable differences in behaviour between the kangaroos we observed out of town, and between the three different mobs around the Mount,” McLean told the paper.

Angus MacLean observes a kangaroo at one of their sites. At this site, kangaroos were extremely habituated to humans.

Angus McLean observes a kangaroo at one of their sites. At this site, kangaroos were extremely habituated to humans.

“We’ve also collected a freezer full of kangaroo droppings being stored at Charles Sturt University, and which University of Technology Sydney will be testing for cortisol levels, which indicate stress. Our supervisor Dr. Liv Baker from Wesleyan University will be analysing both sets of data and writing up a paper about how Mount Panorama kangaroos are responding to stressors in their environment.”

The project began in June, when Baker held a workshop at the Bathurst Art Gallery collating descriptions of kangaroo behaviors to inform the students’ character-state recognition records.

Mariel Becker collected fecal samples, which were sent to a lab in Sydney. The samples are analyzed for cortisol levels, which is a hormone produced when the animal is stressed.

Mariel Becker collected fecal samples, which were sent to a lab in Sydney. The samples are analyzed for cortisol levels, which is a hormone produced when the animal is stressed.

NEH Supports Research, Writing Projects by Tucker, Curran

#THISISWHY
Two Wesleyan faculty received NEH Public Scholarships to encourage new research and support their upcoming publications. Only 36 writers in the country received the award.

The Public Scholar program, a major new initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is designed to promote the publication of scholarly nonfiction books for a general audience. On July 29, the NEH awarded a total of $1.7 million to 36 writers including Wesleyan’s Jennifer Tucker, associate professor of history, and Andrew Curran, the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities and professor of French.

Tucker received a grant worth $50,400 to support her book titled Caught on Camera: A History of Photographic Detection and Evasion.

Students Explore Sustainable Landscaping at WILD WestCo

Heather Whittemore ’17, who is working on campus this summer, enjoys occasional strolls through the WestCo. courtyard. “I like to check out what’s blooming,” she said.

Heather Whittemore ’17 enjoys strolling through the WestCo. courtyard. “I like to check out what’s blooming,” she said.

In 2011, the student organization WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan), created WILD WestCo, a .75 acre sustainable landscaping initiative in the West College Courtyard. WILD Wes developed a landscape design and implementation plan following a permacultural ethic.

Today, the courtyard features more than 40 shrubs, dozens of fruit trees, two rain gardens, a rainwater catchment system, multiple wood chip pathways lined in rye, clover and buckwheat, a seating area, compost area and hundreds of perennials that draw birds, insects and other wildlife.

The landscape requires minimal resources and maintenance.

As a member of WILD Wes, Heather Whittemore ’17 frequents the courtyard daily throughout the summer.

“I’m really into flowers and gardening. Usually I am into more traditional gardening, but WestCo is really cool because it’s designed using permaculture principles that are much more sustainable and ecological than traditional gardening methods and design, which is important to me as an environmental studies major,” she said.

Photos of the courtyard on July 7 are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

Wesleyan's summer campus, July 2015. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

California poppy is native to the United States and is the official state flower of California.

Students Take Intensive Courses During Summer Session

Summer Session students perform an experiment in Research Associate Rosemarie Doris's Biology I lab.

Summer Session students perform an experiment in Research Associate Rosemarie Doris’s Biology I lab.

A student sketches animal skulls in Kate Ten Eyck's Drawing I class.

A student sketches animal skulls in Kate Ten Eyck’s Drawing I class.

This summer, dozens of Wesleyan students are completing a semester-long course in only five weeks. Classes started on May 27 and conclude June 25.

The intensive Summer Session is open to students who feel they have the academic qualifications and stamina to complete intellectually challenging courses in a compressed schedule.

This summer, students are taking courses in drawing, writing creative nonfiction, financial accounting, legal thinking, principles of biology, introduction to programming and developmental psychology. Wesleyan faculty Anna Schusterman, James Lipton, Rosemarie Doris, Douglas Foyle, Marin Gosman, Anne Greene, Kate Ten Eyck, among others, are teaching the courses.

Wesleyan Awards 799 BA Degrees at 183rd Commencement

New graduates toss hats following the 183rd Commencement Ceremony May 24. 

New graduates toss hats following the 183rd Commencement Ceremony May 24. (Photo by Rick Ciaburri)

Graduates, their families, and other members of the Wesleyan community who gathered for the 183rd Commencement ceremony on May 24 were treated to some life advice in the form of rap, courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, this year’s Commencement speaker and the composer, lyricist and star of the hip-hop musical Hamilton.

Lin-Manuel Miranda '02 delivering the Commencement address on May 24. (Photo by Rick Ciaburri)

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 delivering the Commencement address on May 24. (Photo by Rick Ciaburri)

“I’m going to sing a little bit, so if you made a bet that I’d be rapping during the Commencement address, your friend owes you money,” Miranda joked.

He drew upon the stories of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr to discuss two different approaches to life: charging forward in the spirit of Hamilton—”I’m not throwing away my shot”—versus holding out for just the right moment to take action–“Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it.”

Miranda spoke of falling in love with the “instant gratification” of theater at Wesleyan.