Notes from the Class Dean – 8/30

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope that all of you are well and settling into your plans for the fall semester. Classes begin tomorrow, Monday, August 31st, and I’m writing to follow up with some additional information/resources to help you start the semester well and successfully complete the drop/add period.

Digital Learning Tips for Classes and Drop/Add

Attached is a set of tips to help you navigate the remainder of the drop/add period, along with digital learning resources. You may also access this information through our class blog.

Refunds (RCF refunds and transitioning to remote study status)

Students have asked about RCF refunds with any transition to remote study moving forward. Remote study status entails pursuing courses entirely online from outside of campus, Middletown, CT (and the U.S. if a student is studying at Wesleyan on an F-1 visa).

Please see the note below from Student Accounts:

“[Student Accounts] will refund the RCF in full for any students who update their enrollment status to Remote (i.e. all online coursework, not living on campus or commuting to campus] during the drop/add period who have not moved into on-campus housing. Those who do move into on-campus housing and then decide to leave and finish the semester as a Remote student will be eligible for a prorated RCF adjustment based on their change of status date/date they leave housing and meal plan usage.”

COVID-19 Campus Protocol for Students on Remote Study Status & Leaves of Absence

Students on remote study status are not permitted to visit campus for any reason during the Fall 2020 semester. This includes attending in-person classes, events, meeting or visiting with students on campus, etc.

Students on medical, academic or non-academic leave must also adhere to the COVID-19 mitigation protocol to not visit campus for any reason during the Fall 2020 semester.

Additionally, the state of CT has a mandatory quarantine order in place for those traveling to any part of CT from other states on their list. You may access that information here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel.

Honors Thesis Tutorial Registration

Some of you have asked how to submit your thesis tutorial form for registration. You may do this online through the end of the drop/add period. Instructions on how to submit the appropriate form online can be accessed on our class blog here.

Class Dean Office/Appointment Hours

I am working remotely until further notice, but I am still accessible through email, appointment hours, etc. I will continue to conduct appointments through Google Meeting and Zoom, and my calendar is available through the following link for the duration of the Fall 2020 semester: https://tinyurl.com/deanleathers. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Academic Programming/Support Suggestions

I plan to offer a brief survey for you to make recommendations for academic programming that will suit your needs this fall. Details are forthcoming!

This year has challenged us all in myriad ways, but I’m heartened by the conversations I’ve had with so many of you and I’m hopeful for the days to come. I wish you a wonderful start to fall classes, and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns moving forward.

 

All my best,

Dean Leathers

Notes from the Class Dean – 7/22

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope you are doing well as you consider your plans for the fall semester. I also want to take this time to draw your attention to information and resources that may be helpful.

WEBINARS

The university will host several webinars and town halls before the start of the fall semester. Several of you have asked me about testing, and a webinar is scheduled to address your questions and concerns on Thursday, July 23rd (see details below). A webinar for the arts at Wesleyan is scheduled for today, July 22nd at 2:00pm, EST.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Testing
2 p.m. ET
Webinar ID: 939 7310 4846
Password: 222623
Find your local number

You may find a complete list of the webinars on the Town Halls/Webinars page of the Reactivating Campus website.

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT

Prof. Kolcio announced a new course that may be of interest as you contemplate modifications to your Fall 2020 schedule.

“CSPL/CGST480 ENGAGED PROJECTS is  a 1-credit course in which students design a semester-long project around a topic of their choice that engages the broader public. EPs respond to this critical moment in history by empowering students to connect their academic pursuits to what is happening in the world around them; they deepen student learning and self-reflection, ease the undeniable challenges of online and hybrid learning, and introduce students to their own agency and positionality in society.”

More background is here and here.

GRADING MODES FOR FALL 2020

Students have asked me about grading modes and whether the full range of grading options will be available for their courses this fall. Currently, grading modes for courses are not based upon the format(s) in which they are offered and they are up to the discretion of each instructor. Some courses are still letter graded only, credit/no credit only (CR/U), or students have the option to choose between the two by the posted deadline (i.e. student option). It’s my understanding that the deadline to choose a mode (with the student option) will not be the end of classes as it was for the spring, but the change of grading mode deadline, which is usually two weeks after the end of the drop/add period.

I do know there are ongoing conversations within our division of Academic Affairs about grading modes for the fall, but I have not been apprised of any modifications to the policy as of now. Additionally, changes will most likely still be up to the discretion of instructors, but there is a push to encourage them to offer letter grading and the CR/U option to students. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that each instructor will adopt the full range of grading options for each course. More definitive details are forthcoming.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE VS. DEFERRALS

This is a quick reminder that returning students (i.e. sophomores, juniors, and seniors) are not eligible for deferrals as the university currently defines them. Incoming first-year students may request deferrals for their enrollment at Wesleyan. Returning students may request leaves of absence. This may seem like the university is splitting hairs, but clarifying the terminology will help minimize confusion, especially as it relates to how we process these requests.

Returning students may request to take a leave of absence (which effectively terminates course registration and housing assignments) by August 30th to avoid prorated charges for the Fall 2020 semester; these charges (i.e. tuition, room, board, fees) commence on August 31st. Requests to take a leave of absence are not official unless you submit them through the appropriate form in WesPortal. F-1 visa holders should also consult with my colleagues in the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) if you plan to take a leave of absence to discuss the potential impact on your visa status, eligibility for CPT/OPT, etc.

Students may access more information about taking a leave of absence here.

BILLING QUESTIONS & FINANCIAL AID

Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts offered a joint webinar earlier this week to discuss questions that students and their families have about financial aid packages, costs for the Fall 2020 semester (and beyond), and financial aid. I’ve also fielded questions about billing, costs, and financial aid packages, and I will do my best to provide support where I can to help you address your concerns. However, I’m limited in how (and if) I can address specific questions about billing and financial aid packaging for any given semester. I don’t have access to information on each student’s account (e.g. balances, credits), and I can’t confirm whether a student will receive a material refund given their financial aid packaging for this academic year. The last thing I want to do is create or add to any confusion, and it’s important that I defer to my colleagues in the appropriate finance units to work with you to resolve issues/concerns in these areas.

Alyssa Corvi is the Financial Aid liaison for the Class of 2021 and can assist you in answering specific questions about your aid. However, I encourage you to allow at least a couple of business days for her to respond as the volume of inquiries has increased dramatically since the end of last semester.

I’ve also received specific questions about billing and the Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF), and the information provided by my colleague in Student Accounts may offer more clarity:

Residential Comprehensive Fee

  • On-Campus (…the full RCF will be charged whether your courses are in-person, online or a hybrid.)
  • Off campus/Commuter (…if approved [by Res Life] to be off-campus, a 60% credit will be applied to your student account for the housing portion of the RCF. A request for a meal plan exemption must be submitted to Michelle Myers-Brown in dining services.
  • Remote (…fully remote, from home, no on-campus services utilized, no RCF charges)

Questions about your bill can be addressed to Student Accounts, but I encourage you to check your student account online for updates before any outreach. As Student Accounts and Financial Aid learn of official changes in the statuses of student plans (e.g. transitions to remote learning or off-campus status; leaves of absence), accounts will be adjusted accordingly. It could take 3-5 business days from the time a student submits a request to change their status for their account/financial aid package to reflect the change. I know this entire process can be stressful and frustrating, but I encourage you to be patient and to keep checking your student account online for updates.

My apologies for the length of this email, but hopefully, the information provided above is helpful. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Wishing you and your families good health,

Dean Leathers

Preparing for Your Thesis Virtual Info Session Recording Now Available! 4/16

Flyer for Preparing for Your Thesis Virtual Info Session

Preparing for Your Thesis Virtual Info Session Recording

Honors-Thesis Info Session Handout

Many thanks to our panelists:

  • Tanesha Leathers, Dean for the Class of 2021, Office of Academic Advancement
  • Susan Krajewski, Senior Associate Registrar, Registrar’s Office
  • Jennifer Rose, Professor of the Practice in the Center for Pedagogical Innovation and the Quantitative Analysis Center, Director of the Center for Pedagogical Innovation , Director of the Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, Professor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Professor in Science in Society, Coordinator for Animal Studies
  • Andrew White, Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian, Olin Library
  • Kendall Hobbs, Research Librarian and Coordinator of Research Services, Olin Library
  • Bonnie Solivan, Academic Technologist, Information Technology Services (ITS)

Notes from Your Class Dean: Working Together for the Remainder of Spring 2020

Greetings!

I hope this message finds you well as I know we are all living in strange and challenging times. Even so, I am hopeful that we will get through this together. In the spirit of hope and action, I have outlined my plans to support you in the days and weeks ahead.

Emails & Other Communication

You’re probably inundated with emails right now, and I promise that I will try my best only to send emails that apply to the majority of students in the Class of 2021. Additionally, I encourage you to check the Class of 2021 blog for other useful updates and information from different campus units. My hope is that the junior class blog will be a hub for information and resources that support you for the immediate future and beyond.

Email is the quickest way for me to get in touch with all of you, and for you to get in touch with me, but I’m open to other platforms that will help me to communicate effectively and efficiently as well (e.g. Moodle, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok). Don’t hesitate to forward along any suggestions you have! Sadly, I can’t promise I will pursue every recommendation, but any suggestion you send me will get a fair and thoughtful review.

Office Hours & One-on-One Meetings

Given that Wesleyan is implementing a distance learning model for the remainder the semester and in an effort to improve and maintain my own health, I am no longer hosting in-person drop-in hours or appointments for this academic year. However, I’m still working and accessible.

Moving forward, I will host 30-minute, virtual meetings by appointment, and I will resume my drop-in hours on a virtual platform starting March 23rd continuing through the end of the semester. Please bear with me as I pursue virtual options to meet the needs of students in the junior class.

You may schedule appointments and drop-ins through my Google calendar: https://tinyurl.com/deanleathers

All of my drop-ins and appointments will provide captions to make them more accessible and they will be hosted through Google Hangouts Meet until further notice. Additionally, all times listed are based on Eastern Standard Time (EST).

There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll hit some bumps in the road (slow internet connectivity; delayed appointments for one reason or another; beloved siblings/children, pets or other sounds of life distracting us in the background, etc.), but I am dedicated to working through the challenges ahead to assist you as best as I can. Given that, I ask for a little grace during this season and I will be sure to extend it to you in kind.

Info Sessions & Workshops

My colleagues and I are putting our heads and resources together to offer virtual content we either initially planned to offer in person sometime this semester or have identified as a useful resource given our new normal.

On tap is a collaborative session on preparing for a thesis and the honors process, and I’ve started talks with a colleague about offering a session to give students a more robust introduction to the Zoom app/platform. Details on both are forthcoming!

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I will continue doing my best to provide you all with guidance and support as long as I serve as your class dean.

Please be safe, and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns moving forward.

Take gentle care,

Dean Leathers

Senior Interviewer Positions with Admissions – Applications Due 4/1

The Senior Interviewer position is a professional internship with the Office of Admission. We seek mature and responsible candidates with the ability to represent Wesleyan honestly, enthusiastically, and articulately.

The position is open to all members of the Class of 2021 in good standing.

You may access more information about the position here.

 

 

$ Waste Not Sale $ – Stock Your Dorm Room While Helping Local Charities: Aug 31 & Sep 1

Get ready for the sale of the year! Come to WASTE NOT to buy affordable items for your dorm!

Waste Not is an eco-friendly tag sale for charity!

You can find electronics, kitchen appliances, dorm decorations, lamps, fans, fridges, microwaves, printers, rugs, furniture, and much more!

Dates & Times:

Saturday 8/31:  12pm – 3pm

@ 44 Brainerd garage – Fridges, mirrors, lamps, electronics, and more!

@ 56 Fountain garage – Couches and furniture

Sunday 9/1:  10am – 1pm 

@ 44 Brainerd ONLY – Everything that’s left!

Email questions about the sale to the Waste Not coordinators at wesustainability@gmail.com.

Hello and Welcome Back!

Dear Class of 2021,

Let me start with an introduction: my name is Tanesha Leathers, and I’m excited to serve as your new class dean! During my academic and professional career, I’ve been a Pioneer, Eph, Terp, Blue Jay, and now I am proud to be a Cardinal. There are a few other key things you need to know about me, apart from the fact I come to you with almost 20 years of experience in higher education. The following are in no particular order:

  • There’s nothing like a New York slice, and I’ve met few cupcakes (or other carbs for that matter) I didn’t like.
  • Sadly, I still root for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks, but don’t judge me if I go to a Nets game sometime before the year is out.
  • I love to bake and create all manner of things, and I believe laughter is the best medicine for much of what ails us.
  • I’m happy to wax (not so poetically) about a host of random things.
  • And, I would love to get to know more about you!

Do not hesitate to stop by to say hello and/or discuss any questions or concerns you may have moving forward. Starting September 2nd, I’m available for 10-minute sessions during fall drop-in advising hours: Mon. 2-3 p.m., Tues. 3-4 p.m., Wed. 4-6 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.-noon, and Fri. 2-4 p.m. You are also welcome to schedule a longer appointment with me by contacting my assistant, Ms. Joan Chiari, at 860.685.2758 or jchiari@wesleyan.edu. I’m available for appointments before the start of classes and through the fall and spring semesters.

As juniors, it is important to ensure you are abreast of your progress towards completing degree requirements. In service of that, I recommend you review your Credit Analysis Report (CAR) each semester; you may use WesPortal to access it. This report will inform you of the remaining credits you need to satisfy degree requirements, as well as provide guidance concerning where to direct your focus to complete those requirements. Additionally, checking your CAR will enable you to identify any room you may have for other curricular and co-curricular experiences before graduation.

This year is a time to not only experience the depth that pursuing work in your major/minor proffers, but it is a time to continue exploring the breadth of opportunities readily available to you (e.g. studying abroad, academic research, applying to an internship). Please consider the following:

  • Now is the time to prepare for honors theses and capstone projects.
    • Contact your faculty advisor to discuss research opportunities within your department, whether you will be eligible to pursue an honors thesis senior year, and how to select a thesis advisor if you do commit to honors work.
  • Do not let the year go by without meeting with a counselor in the Gordon Career Center to discuss your Summer 2020 plans and career opportunities for after graduation.

I look forward to welcoming you back to campus this fall, but don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help to you before your return.

Enjoy the last week of summer break!

Dean Leathers