Job Searching During a Pandemic: Alumni Panel Discussion – Tomorrow, 4/6

Learn from Wes 2020 grads about finding a job and transitioning to post-grad life during the pandemic. Join us on Tuesday for a virtual panel conversation between current seniors and recent alumni.
Job Searching During a Pandemic: Alumni Panel Discussion

Tue, Apr 6 7:00 pm EDT – 8:00 pm EDT

https://wesleyan.joinhandshake.com/events/731196

Panelists:

  • Maya Bernstein-Schalet ‘20, Journalist, Heritage Radio Network/Researcher, Belly of the Best
  • Sherly Francois ’20, Management Development Program, McMaster-Carr
  • Lucine Poturyan ’20, Conflicts Analyst, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
  • Zack Hersh ‘20, Legislative Aide, Colorado House of Representatives

Moderated by the GCC’s senior Peer Career Advisors Esme Lytle ’21, Brendan Joyce ’21, and Phillip Wong ’21.

Update on Wesleyan’s 189th Commencement

Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce new details regarding Wesleyan’s 189th Commencement, which will take place in person on a new date: Wednesday, May 26. This year’s Commencement was previously planned for May 30; however, due to a number of factors, including current pandemic conditions and cancellation of an in-person Reunion weekend, we have decided to move up the date.

The University is hoping that conditions will allow for two guests per graduate to attend the ceremony. We are pursuing plans to accommodate the seniors and other graduates who have been studying remotely to return to campus for Commencement exercises.

As with all of Wesleyan’s COVID-related policies and guidelines, these plans are tentative and subject to change if conditions necessitate. The University will continue to communicate with you regarding more specific details of Commencement in the coming weeks.

I am very much looking forward to seeing our graduates on Andrus Field on May 26, and celebrating the accomplishments of the formidable Class of 2021.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Roth
President

Campus COVID Updates and Reminders

To the campus community,

We are writing to share a number of important COVID-19 updates, in light of recent changes to the State of Connecticut’s plans.

Effective tomorrow, Connecticut’s governor has relaxed a number of restrictions across the state, including no longer requiring offices to maintain a 50 percent occupancy limit. The University will generally follow the 50 percent occupancy of offices for the time being while cabinet members will continue to guide and direct staffing for their divisions.

In addition, the governor has accelerated the state’s age-based vaccine distribution plan. As of tomorrow, all individuals aged 45 and older may schedule their appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations. Scheduling will open to all individuals aged 16 and older tentatively beginning on April 5. (Please note that this new phase starting April 5 combines the 35 to 44 age range and the 16 to 34 age range, which had previously each been scheduled during separate weeks later in the spring.) The University encourages everyone to get vaccinated when you have the chance to do so.

Even with these positive developments, we must continue to stay focused and vigilant on keeping ourselves and our campus safe. We will continue to follow our COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols, including twice-weekly testing for students; wearing face coverings at all times when in public; and adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please make sure you are familiar with the COVID Code of Conduct (for students) and the Community Agreement (for employees). You will find more important information on the Keep Wes Safe website, including the COVID-19 Dashboard and public health updates.

Finally, a sincere thanks to our faculty and staff for their tireless efforts toward making Wesleyan a safe place to be this academic year. Your hard work has been critical, and is very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Lisa Brommer
Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Rick Culliton

Dean of Students
Chair, Pandemic Planning Committee

Notes from the Class Dean – 3/17

Dear Members of the Class of 2021,

As always, I hope this email finds you doing well. I also want to congratulate you on getting to this point in your college careers. Progress doesn’t always come easy, but it’s definitely hard-fought when a global pandemic is raging in the background. Be proud of your determination and the ways that you have shown care and concern for your studies, each other, the greater Wesleyan community, and the many other communities you love and support. And as challenging as it may be, don’t forget to take a moment to relish this time during your journey.

Many of you still have questions about commencement, among a host of other things, and I will try my best to pass along information as I receive it. What follows are updates and reminders for the next few weeks.

Commencement

As of now, I don’t have any news confirming whether remote students and/or December/January completers will be allowed to participate in any in-person commencement activities . University leadership plans to communicate updates about commencement later this month. Additionally, the 2021 Reunion & Commencement website will be updated with more information as it is made available.

Ordering Regalia Online – New Deadline is March 31st

Students will have until March 31st to place their orders for regalia. You may contact Wesleyan’s RJ Julia’s Bookstore at (860) 685-3939 with any questions about this process, including receiving/picking up your orders.

Major/Minor Certification Forms

The deadline to submit your major/minor certification forms is this Friday, March 19th. You’re welcome to reach out to me, Susan Krajewski, and your faculty advisor with questions. We still have a little time to address errors in the forms after that deadline. 

Spring Break

Spring Break is Tuesday, March 23rd and Wednesday, March 24th. Try to create margin for yourselves now so you can relax a little next week and work to finish up the semester in the weeks to come. Strive for balance as best you can. Of course, many of us will miss having two weeks to catch our breath, but I encourage you to make the very best of those two days off as permitted by our campus protocols. They’re hard-earned!

4th Quarter Drop/Add

The drop/add period for the 4th quarter begins on Thursday, March 25th. However, you may submit 4th quarter drop/add requests in advance by completing the 2nd/4th Drop/Add Form and emailing it to me, your instructor, and your faculty advisor. I will not send forms to the Registrar for processing without hearing from your faculty advisor and instructor. Additionally, 4th quarter classes may be added or dropped during the five working days following the first class meeting.

Honors Thesis Deadline

The honors thesis deadline is 4pm, EST, Wednesday, April 21st. All honors candidates are required to submit their thesis or essay in PDF format for binding, through WesPortal. Please contact your department for additional instructions.

Change of Grading Mode

The Registrar sent out confirmation that the change of grading mode deadline is now 5pm, EST, Thursday, April 28th. Remember, this change only impacts courses with the student option.

Withdrawing from Courses

Some of you have already opted to withdraw from a course with a “W” on your academic history/transcript. A “W” is not punitive in nature; it just means you withdrew from a course after the drop/add deadline.

You may request to withdraw from a course by completing the withdrawal form and emailing it to me, your instructor, and your faculty advisor. I will not send forms to the Registrar for processing without hearing from your faculty advisor and instructor. Wednesday, May 5th is the last day to withdraw from full semester and/or 4th quarter courses.

Finishing Well

We’re all dealing with a tremendous amount of stress right now, and we’re not done. Pace yourself, and remember that you still have access to tools and resources to help you complete your degree. Endeavor to finish well, but at the end of the day it may not matter whether you sprint, skip, walk or crawl over the finish line. Finishing is a win. 😊

Don’t forget the following resources for the final stretch:

Academic Peer Advisors (APAs)

Accessibility Services

CAPS (remember CAPS offers an after-hours service you may access with the same phone number for business hours: 860-685-2910)

Digital Learning Resources

Gordon Career Center (Check out Cardinals Helping Cardinals)

Math Workshop

Office of Religious & Spiritual Life

Peer Tutoring

Scientific Computing and Informatics Center (SCIC)

Student Academic Resources including Academic Support Services

WesNest (see WesPortal)

WesWell

Writing Workshop

Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. I may be delayed in my response as we head into the 4th quarter drop/add period,  but I will respond.

 

All my best,

Dean Leathers

Class of 2021 Blog | Appointments

Keep Wes Safe: https://www.wesleyan.edu/keep-wes-safe/

 

Ellie Ga and Flames of My Homeland Exhibitions Open to Public (In Person) Now – 3/21

Flames of My Homeland: The Cultural Revolution and Modern Tibet
Works by Tsering Dorje, Tsering Woeser, and Ian Boyden ‘95

Now through Thursday April 1, 2021

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Main Gallery

Ellie Ga: Gyres 1-3

Now through Thursday March 25, 2021

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, South Gallery

https://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa/galleries/zilkha-exhibition/

 

 

2021 Commencement Regalia Online Ordering – Updated Deadline 3/31

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

President Roth has previously announced that we hope to have an in-person ceremony celebrating the Class of 2021.  Details for commencement are still under review given the pandemic and guidelines provided by the state of Connecticut, but we expect to share additional information with seniors by the end of March. The vendors who supply graduating students with regalia cannot wait until April to field requests due to the challenges in acquiring these items and getting them shipped in time. The solution for now is to offer an opportunity for students to order their regalia (see details below) since we currently expect an in-person event.  Staff at RJ Julia are working with the vendor to secure refunds if conditions worsen and Wesleyan is unable to host an in-person ceremony.

Caps and Gowns 2021

Commencement: Sunday, May 30th

This year students will purchase their cap and gown regalia (via credit card) from the following Oak Hall website:  https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome

Students will either choose a Bachelor Package, Masters Package, or Doctor Package. The website will guide you to the correct gown size by asking height and weight questions.

All Bachelor Regalia will be shipped to the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore and will be available for pick up starting Monday, May 17th. Students will now have until Wednesday, March 31st, to purchase their caps and gowns online.

Masters and PHD candidates will either elect to pick up their package at the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore or have it sent to their home address.

  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their regalia shipped to the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore must order online by Friday, April 9th. Masters and PHD regalia will be available for pick up at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore starting Friday May 21st.
  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their caps and gowns shipped to a home address will have until Monday, April 26th to order online.

Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore: 413 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.  (860) 685-3939.

Store Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

2021 Commencement Regalia Online Ordering

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

President Roth has previously announced that we hope to have an in-person ceremony celebrating the Class of 2021.  Details for commencement are still under review given the pandemic and guidelines provided by the state of Connecticut, but we expect to share additional information with seniors by the end of March. The vendors who supply graduating students with regalia cannot wait until April to field requests due to the challenges in acquiring these items and getting them shipped in time. The solution for now is to offer an opportunity for students to order their regalia (see details below) since we currently expect an in-person event.  Staff at RJ Julia are working with the vendor to secure refunds if conditions worsen and Wesleyan is unable to host an in-person ceremony.

Caps and Gowns 2021

Commencement: Sunday, May 30th

This year students will purchase their cap and gown regalia (via credit card) from the following Oak Hall website:  https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome

Students will either choose a Bachelor Package, Masters Package, or Doctor Package. The website will guide you to the correct gown size by asking height and weight questions.

All Bachelor Regalia will be shipped to the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore and will be available for pick up starting Monday, May 10th. Students will have until Monday, March 22nd, to purchase their caps and gowns online.

Masters and PHD candidates will either elect to pick up their package at the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore or have it sent to their home address.

  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their regalia shipped to the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore must order online by Friday, April 9th. Masters and PHD regalia will be available for pick up at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore starting Friday May 21st.
  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their caps and gowns shipped to a home address will have until Monday, April 26th to order online.

Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore: 413 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.  (860) 685-3939.

Store Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

COVID Safety and Spring Sports Update

To the Wesleyan Community:

The Pandemic Planning Committee continues to monitor conditions on campus and in the surrounding community. Campus has seen only a small number of COVID-19 cases, which are attributable, we believe, to students visiting one another without wearing masks. The success of this semester depends on everyone taking the COVID safety precautions – wearing masks, maintaining appropriate distance and limiting indoor interactions.

We are encouraged by the declining positivity rates in the surrounding community, with Middletown lowering its alert level from Red to Orange. Wesleyan’s alert level remains at yellow. Wearing a mask in public – whether on campus or off – is still critical for reducing risk to the campus community. With warmer weather this week, we ask you to look for opportunities to meet with others outside rather than inside to reduce risk of transmission.

Please note the following changes and reminders:

  • Dining: Grab-and-go dining is available at campus venues; there is limited indoor dining in the Usdan marketplace. See the Dining Website for more information.
  • Travel: Students may leave campus only for travel within Middletown – be it trips to grocery stores, pharmacies, or for medical appointments. Students may also go into Middletown for work, internships, retail shopping and take-out dining. But, students are restricted from dine-in restaurants and off-campus fitness centers. Other off-campus travel is not permitted without prior approval from Davison Health Center.
  • Residence Halls: Students may visit with others who live in the same residence hall or program house, while adhering to safety protocols—wearing masks, maintaining six-foot distancing—and abiding by COVID capacities. Students living in wood frames and apartments are permitted to welcome other students to visit their units, if other residents are comfortable. Keep in mind the COVID capacity applies to the entire house or apartment, so communication with roommates is essential to ensure compliance. Community Advisors (CAS) are available to advise housemates on having these conversations and negotiating terms to ensure everyone feels comfortable.
  • Usdan University Center is open and available to students. No visitors are permitted.
  • Testing and Contact Tracing: Please be sure you are complying with the University’s requirement for ongoing COVID-19 testing. Students and employees should schedule their own tests, which must take place at the campus testing site. Students who miss more than three tests will be immediately required to leave campus and study remotely for the rest of the semester. Please use this form if you must miss a test due to extenuating circumstances.

The NESCAC presidents have reached agreement on a limited schedule of conference competition for spring sports from mid-April to mid-May. Each institution will make its own decision whether to participate, based on local considerations and restrictions, and competition will take place in a sport only if at least six NESCAC teams sponsor play. Wesleyan will participate in NESCAC intercollegiate competitions with appropriate safeguards if pandemic conditions remain stable. See the Athletics Website for more information. In addition to athletics, the student activities office will be sharing information to reserve outdoor spaces for student use as well as reinstalling tents for student programming. Opportunities for supervised off-campus activities by academic programs and student groups will be reviewed by student activities staff.

Finally, please ensure that you are familiar with the spring COVID Code of Conduct and continue to follow all the guidelines detailed within. We appreciate your care and attention in keeping our community safe.

Thank you,

Rick Culliton

Dean of Students
Chair, Pandemic Planning Committee

Wesleyan Commencement and Honorary Degree Recipients May 2021

Dear friends,

Wesleyan is pleased to announce the speaker and honorary degree recipients for its 189th Commencement. The date of Commencement was previously announced as May 30th; however, given current pandemic conditions we are reviewing other options for the last week of May. The University is currently planning to hold the ceremony in-person on Wesleyan’s Middletown campus, though off-campus guests will be restricted to virtual attendance given the ongoing threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. More details about the ceremony and a definitive date for Commencement will be announced by the end of March.

Reginald Dwayne Betts, an award-winning poet, memoirist, and teacher, is this year’s speaker. MacArthur-winning researcher, writer, and activist Catherine Coleman Flowers and Scott Gottlieb ’94, a physician and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will also be honored. The recipients were chosen on the basis of their significant contributions to the social, environmental, and public health of the United States.

Be it through teaching, art, advocacy, medicine, or policy-making, these three individuals offer us shining examples of how we can work to forge better futures. Despite difficult circumstances, like the current public health situation, Reginald, Catherine, and Scott represent our ability to make progress on seemingly intractable problems, and, through their efforts, inspire us to direct our talents toward meaningful action.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is the award-winning author of four collections of poetry, a nonfiction memoir, and a powerful body of essays and scholarship that has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. The founder and director of the Million Book Project, his work has earned him a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and a PEN New England Award for poetry, among many other recognitions.

In his National Magazine Award–winning essay “Getting Out,” published in The New York Times Magazine in 2018, Betts explores the central themes of self-reflection and self-actualization, and the effects of incarceration on individuals, families, and communities. A gifted student in elementary and high school, Betts was himself sentenced to nine years in maximum security prison at age 16. During that time, he studied literature and poetry and laid the foundation for a career that has since seen him earn a BA from the University of Maryland, an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and a JD from Yale Law School. Betts has engaged in wide-ranging speaking engagements and has years of experience in public defense, advocacy, and public service. He has received an appointment from Governor Ned Lamont to Connecticut’s Criminal Justice Commission, the state body that hires all state prosecutors.

Betts is currently pursuing a PhD in Law at Yale University and continues to lecture on his formative experiences and the importance that grit, perseverance, and literature have played in his success, as well as the intersection between literature and advocacy. His most recent collection of poems, Felon: Poems (2019) was a winner of the American Book Award and the NAACP Image Award, and a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. He is also the author of the memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, and the poetry collections Shahid Reads His Own Palm (2010) and Bastards of the Reagan Era (2015).

Catherine Coleman Flowers is a renowned environmental health advocate whose work focuses on bringing attention to and developing solutions for failing water and waste sanitation infrastructure in rural areas, and increasing our understanding of how this infrastructure failure perpetuates health and socioeconomic disparities. For her work, Flowers was awarded a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “Genius Grant,” which goes to citizens or residents of the United States who demonstrate “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

Originally from Lowndes County, Alabama, Flowers earned a BA from Cameron University in 1986 and an MA from the University of Nebraska in 2015, and worked as a high school teacher in Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, DC, before returning to Lowndes to begin her advocacy work. She is the founding director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, an Alabama-based policy and advocacy organization devoted to addressing the root causes of poverty in the state and developing multidisciplinary, grassroots solutions and models that can be replicated in rural communities throughout the country. Part of the organization’s work included a house-to-house survey in Lowndes that confirmed more than half of county households were either piping raw sewage into the ground or had failing septic systems, which led to the first open discussion of flaws in onsite water treatment (which previously had been governed under threat of incarceration by the Alabama Public Health Department). She is currently collaborating with The Guardian on a national study to identify and quantify wastewater infrastructure problems throughout the United States.

Flowers is the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret (2020), and has published articles in Anglican Theological Review, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, among other journals. She is also the rural development manager for the Equal Justice Initiative, a senior fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, and a member of the board of directors of the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Flowers was recently appointed to the Biden-Sanders Task Force on Climate Change, co-chaired by United States representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who is now a special envoy for climate.

 Scott Gottlieb ’94 is a physician, public health and policy advisor and advocate, and a special partner with the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. He served as the 23rd commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2017 to 2019 and is currently a resident fellow at public policy think tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Dr. Gottlieb’s work spans a great many aspects of health care. At the FDA, he oversaw a record number of generic drugs, novel medicines, and innovative medical devices in two consecutive years, helping to make the regulatory process in those areas more efficient; advanced policies to address opioid addiction; reduced death and disease from tobacco; and guided important progress on drug pricing, food safety, and vaccination. At AEI, he has pursued public health improvements through entrepreneurship, and continued to focus on medical innovation and expanding regulatory approaches aimed at patient and physician autonomy.

After graduating from Wesleyan with a BA in economics, Dr. Gottlieb went on to earn his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and conducted his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He serves on the boards of Pfizer, Illumina, Aetion, and Tempus; was previously a senior policy adviser to the administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, in addition to a practicing physician and hospitalist. He is a frequent contributor to CNBC and CBS’s Face the Nation, and has also published commentary and articles in Health Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among many others.

A list of past honorary degree recipients and Commencement speakers is available here. The President’s Office welcomes suggestions for future recipients of honorary degrees. Please contact presoffice@wesleyan.edu.

Michael S. Roth

President

Campus Life After Quarantine

To Our Wesleyan Community,

Tomorrow, we will emerge from our initial campus-wide quarantine. I want to thank you all for your patience and cooperation in following quarantine protocols. I know they are challenging, but your participation has been critical in starting off our spring as safely as possible.

As we enter the next phase of the semester, I write with important information about campus life post-quarantine starting February 22.

  • Academics: Classes will be taught in their indicated modality (in-person, hybrid, or online).
  • Dining: Grab-and-go dining will continue to be available with additional venues and hours. More information can be found on the Dining Website.
  • Travel: Students may leave campus only to travel to grocery stores, pharmacies, and for medical appointments in Middletown.
  • Libraries: Olin and Science Libraries are now open. Learn more about library hours and operations.
  • Residence Halls: Students may visit with others who live in the same residence hall or program house, while wearing masks, maintaining six foot distancing and abiding by COVID capacities.
  • Usdan University Center is open and available to students.  No visitors are permitted.
  • Health Services: The Davison Health Center is open by appointment only, and both telemedicine and face-to-face visits are available. More information is available on the website.
  • Test and contact tracing: Please be sure you are complying with the University’s requirement for ongoing COVID-19 testing. Students and employees should schedule their own tests, which are required to remain on campus this semester. Students who miss more than three tests will be immediately required to leave campus and study remotely for the rest of the semester. Please use the form if you must miss a test due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Athletics: Freeman Athletic Center is now open for all students. Please register via the online booking form.

By March 8, we will evaluate Middletown positivity rates and the possibility of opening off-campus travel to restaurants and retail outlets in Middletown as well as allowing students to visit other residences, including woodframes and apartments.

Finally, please ensure that you are familiar with the spring COVID Code of Conduct and continue to follow all the community guidelines detailed within at all times. We appreciate your care and attention in keeping our community safe.

Rick Culliton

Dean of Students
Chair, Pandemic Planning Committee