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Monthly Archive for April, 2009

Tomorrow, May 1 @ 4:15 p.m. in PAC 002, students in the Community Research Seminar (SOC 316) will present the results of their research projects. These presentations are part of the Center for Community Partnership’s First Friday Series. Please join us.

  • Middletown Children’s Mental Health Planning Grant: “Exploring
    Differential Use of Mental Health Services”

    Lauren Barth, Phil Benjamin, Jena Gordon, Lexi Sturdy
    CP: Pam Higgins
  • Even Start Adult Literacy: “Measuring Parental Involvement in Education”
    Katie Hanna, Shayna Bauchner
    CP: Cindy Cappetta
  • Jonah Center for Earth and Art: “Middletown Green Business Initiative”
    Paolo Speirn, Tania Moss, Miller Nuttle
    CP: John Hall
  • Middlesex Coalition for Children: “The Impact of Transitions in the
    HUSKY Program”

    Ari Tolman, Roy Chung, Liana Woskie
    CP: Betsy Morgan

This message is a supplement to Swine Flu Update #1 posted April 27, 2009.

The swine flu situation continues to evolve rapidly.  We are closely monitoring the situation and are participating in state and local health department daily briefings.  President Roth and his cabinet are fully aware of the situation.  As of the most recent report there are 91 confirmed cases in the United States.  Fortunately, most remain mild.  There has been one death of a toddler in Texas.  The more recent illnesses and the reported death suggest that a pattern of more severe illness associated with this virus may be emerging in the U.S.

For the most up to date and authoritative treatment of this issue, see:  http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health website is:  http://www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch/cwp/view.asp?a=2533&q=439092

Local Activity

Two probable swine flu cases have been reported in Connecticut.  Results of confirmatory testing are due in 1-2 days.

Current Case Definition
Fever >100°F (37.8°C) plus cough or sore throat AND a history of travel in the 7 days prior to symptom onset to areas with confirmed cases of swine flu.

If you are a Wesleyan University student and think you meet these criteria, please call the Davison Health Center (DHC) at 860.685.2470 to discuss your symptoms with a health care provider.  It is preferable that you call rather than walk in so as not to risk exposing others in the waiting room.

Faculty and staff should contact their primary care providers.

What can I do to prevent getting Swine flu?
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.  Try to avoid close contact with sick people.  Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.  If you get sick, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

Are there any travel recommendations?
CDC is advising against non-essential travel to Mexico at this time.  No other travel restrictions have been promulgated.  However, because of the travel component of the case definition, it may be advisable not to travel off campus, especially not to known areas of activity, until more is known about the outbreak.

Respiratory precautions at DHC
In keeping with our established protocols and consistent with interim guidelines from the Middletown Department of Health, Wesleyan’s Davison Health Center has activated our Respiratory Hygiene Plan.

Any student entering the health center will stop at a station with hand sanitizer and tissues.  Students with cough are asked to take a supply of tissues and cough into tissues and dispose of them.  Clinical care providers will wear masks when evaluating students with cough.

What if I have questions?

Questions may be directed to Davis Smith, Medical Director of Wesleyan University’s Davison Health Center (pdsmith@wesleyan.edu).  He will respond as quickly as circumstances allow.

Students who are not involved in Reunion/Commencement activities are expected to vacate their residence 24 hours after their last exam; students who have exams/papers due on Thursday, May 14 must leave by 12:00 noon on Friday, May 15. There is a $250 charge per day for students who don’t vacate their residences on time. If you have not already done so, please start planning your departure. This includes scheduling your ride home, arranging for storage, collecting boxes and other packing material, and arranging for your refrigerator and cable box to be returned. Make the most of your study breaks by packing; start putting away items that you won’t need for the next couple of weeks. Upon your departure, remember to drop your keys off at ResLife–after hours, keys can placed in the drop box between North and South College. You will be billed for keys that are not returned and if your room is not properly cleaned. Look for a key envelope in your WesBox.

Online access to course and teaching evaluations is now available in the e-portfolio.  Evaluations must be completed by 10:00 a.m. on May 8, 2009.  Students who fail to complete all evaluations by the May 8 deadline will not be able to view their final grades through the e-portfolio until after June 19.

The evaluation is intended to assist your instructor in evaluating his or her teaching effectiveness, and to assist those responsible for promotions and course assignments. Your instructor would appreciate a thoughtful response.  Your evaluation will:

  • give the instructor direct feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the course and its organization;
  • offer your perspective on the quality and effectiveness of the teaching in this course; and
  • provide valuable information that will be used in the evaluation of the faculty member’s teaching.

Please keep these objectives in mind as you write your responses.  Students should note that:

  • evaluation results are not available to instructors until grades have been submitted;
  • courses taught by multiple instructors have a separate evaluation for each instructor;
  • all responses are anonymous.

If you have questions about the evaluation or experience any technical difficulties, please contact Eloise Glick.

As you are likely aware, there have been a number of reported cases of Swine Flu in the US and abroad, especially Mexico. This is a rapidly evolving situation. There is no cause for panic. Of the 40 cases thus far identified in 5 states in the US, there have been no deaths. The infections have manifested as uncomplicated flu-like illnesses. There have, however, been cases in Mexico which comprise more severe illness. For the most up to date and authoritative treatment of this issue, see: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/.

Wesleyan University is monitoring the situation and is in communication with state and national public health authorities as well as networks of college health professionals.

  • What is Swine Flu? Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.  Full and detailed information is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm
  • Do I have Swine Flu? The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. At the present time, the most relevant symptoms are fever and cough. CDC is preparing a more specific case definition at the time of this writing. We will circulate a specific case definition as soon as it is possible.  If you are a Wesleyan University student and think you meet these criteria, please call the Davison Health Center 860.685.2470 to discuss your symptoms with a health care provider. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care providers.
  • What can I do to prevent getting Swine flu? Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Should I be prescribed an antiviral medication (Oseltamivir and zanamivir)? The current recommendation is to reserve antivirals for patients who have confirmed or suspected swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and their close contacts. In the event a student on campus is found to have confirmed or suspected swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, we will notify their close contacts and prescribe treatment.
  • Should the school be closed? There are currently no recommendations for school closings in our area. The Connecticut Department of Public Health is working on a set of guidelines for colleges and universities. We will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Is Wesleyan University prepared for this? Yes. Wesleyan has a pandemic plan in place. In the event the situation becomes more serious we will communicate through the emergency notification system to advise the campus community of necessary steps.
  • What is Wesleyan University doing to protect the community? As with other colleges and universities in Connecticut and elsewhere, we are carefully monitoring the situation locally and nationally. We will evaluate individual students and test those students whose symptoms are worrisome. We will follow and comply with all applicable public health advisories.
  • What if I have questions? Questions may be directed to Davis Smith, Medical Director of Wesleyan University’s Davison Health Center (pdsmith@wesleyan.edu). He will respond as quickly as circumstances allow.

As the weather turns warmer and you feel inclined to let some fresh air into your rooms, please remember to take safety precautions. Most of the burglaries that occur on campus are the result of unlocked windows and doors; they are crimes of opportunity and could very well have been prevented.
Remember the following:

  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Keep security screens closed and locked
  • Don’t leave your keys in your door
  • Don’t let strangers into your building or residence
  • Don’t leave your valuables unattended
  • Lock your vehicle
  • Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle

Please report suspicious persons and activity to Public Safety immediately at 869.685.2345. Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility and we need your help to keep our residences safe!

So you want to write a Senior Thesis/Essay/Project?  Talk with the people who’ve been there. This Tuesday, April 28, at 7:00 pm in Usdan 136 come hear from a panel of seniors from a variety of majors and undertakings about the pros and cons of the honors process. Learn the reality of writing 100 pages before you get a carrel key. Bring your questions. All are welcome. Sponsored by the Writing Workshop and the SARN Peer Advisors.

With the end of the semester rapidly approaching, it is important to take a few moments before diving headlong into final projects and exam preparations to look back on all of hard work you have done this year and reflect upon how far your have come since first arriving on campus in August. Please know that if you have any questions or concerns–academic or otherwise–I am available (dphillips@wesleyan.edu 860.685.2757) to help and to direct you to any services or resources you may need.

And, no matter how busy you may be, make sure that you set aside time for yourself each day to enjoy the company of your friends and teachers while taking in this especially beautiful Connecticut spring.

If you are interested in applying to be Wesleyan’s first Sexual Assault Response Team Intern, please complete the application found here by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24. That’s today!

Students are needed to perform in “Unspeakable Acts” or “In the Company of Others” during New Student Orientation 2009.

“In the Company of Others” is a time when four to five students share their experiences and thus spark the conversation of what it means to live in a diverse community. “Unspeakable Acts” is a series of vignettes which brings into conversation the importance of addressing sexual violence and working toward healthy relationships. Students must be able to return to campus by Friday, August 28.

Interested students should complete the online interest form: http://www.wesleyan.edu/orientation/itcoua.html.  They are also encouraged to attend one of two information sessions next Monday:

Date: Monday, April 27
Time: 12:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.
Location: Usdan 136

For questions about In the Company of Others, contact Tim Shiner at tshiner@wes or 860.685.2467.  For questions about Unspeakable Acts, contact Lisa Currie at lcurrie@wes or 860.685.2466 or review the Unspeakable Acts FAQ: http://www.wesleyan.edu/weswell/events/unspeakableacts.html.

Learn about the history of students of color at Wesleyan, affirmative action, and the politics of the student of color coalition.  This event will consist of a short documentary about the student of color experience at Wesleyan followed by a discussion panel led by faculty of color. The panel includes Professor Jay Hoggard from the Music department, Dean of Class 2010 Marina Melendez and Professor Indira Karamcheti from the American Studies department.

When : Thursday, April 23, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where : Daniel Family Commons Usdan University Center

Dinner will be provided by Haveli’s.  Come share your everyday thoughts on Wesleyan’s approach to “Diversity.” Eat good coveted free delicious food! (Come early!)

Due to the fire that occurred last night, the Hall-Atwater building has been temporarily shut down while the causes are investigated and the damage assessed. Information on where classes are being relocated during the shutdown is available at http://www.wesleyan.edu/registrar/HallAtwater.html.

In honor of Earth Day, the Wesleyan community and friends are invited to an open house in Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library (1st floor East, behind the glass door next to the stairs). On view will be the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (London, 1859), modern artists’ books that address issues of global warming, books made of recycled materials, archival materials that document the changing Wesleyan landscape, and more. You’ll even get a chance to see some creative ways to repurpose, recycle, and reuse vestiges of the old card catalog.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to see Earth, the largest, heaviest book in the collection, and perhaps the last comprehensive atlas that will ever be printed. For more about Earth, see http://www.millenniumhouse.com.au/title-earth.html Also on view will be a hand-colored copy of the 1575 edition of the first comprehensive atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, by Abraham Ortelius.

Wednesday April 22, 2009 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Feet to the Fire has commissioned four faculty members to create new works about climate change, and two of them premiere tomorrow, Friday, April 17.

The first is a noontime concert, Glacier by Alvin Lucier, professor of music, in Crowell Concert Hall.  The second is a solo entitled, Liquid Shakti, by Hari Krishnan, artist-in-residence in the department of dance, and is included in the Spring Faculty Dance Concert at the CFA Theater, tomorrow and Saturday at 8pm.  More information is below and at the Feet to the Fire website.

We do hope you will be able to attend.

  • Alvin Lucier: Glacier
    Friday, April 17, 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. (no latecomers)
    Crowell Concert Hall
    Free Admission

    During the course of a half hour performance of Glacier, a cellist slowly sweeps downward, tracking a graph of the mean mass balance of 30 glaciers over a 24-year period, from 1980 to 2004. Glacier was written by Alvin Lucier, music professor, for Lucy Strother ’11.

  • Spring Faculty Dance Concert:
    Goddess, Siren, Monster, and Liquid Shakti

    Friday & Saturday, April 17 & 18, 8:00 p.m., CFA Theater
    Tickets: $8 faculty/staff, $6 students

    Patricia Beaman and Hari Krishnan, two Artists-in-Residence at Wesleyan University, have long shared a mutual fascination with the similarities between their respective forms, Baroque dance and Bharata Natyam. In both, the compositional principles are found in antique texts, the narratives of the dances are rooted in mythology, and the formulaic structures are inextricably linked to music. In Goddess, Siren, Monster, and Liquid Shakti, they have collaborated on a suite of solo dances featuring iconic female figures from Greco-Roman and Hindu mythology. Juxtaposing the traditional forms and mythological subject matter of Baroque dance (Beaman) and Bharata Natyam (Krishnan) with modern movement and contemporary issues, they propel the classic stories of Venus, Armide, Scylla, and Ganga into the present.

    Costumes by Leslie Weinberg and lighting by John Carr, both of Wesleyan University, in addition to an international collaborative team from the US and Canada. Liquid Shakti has been commissioned by Wesleyan University’s Feet to the Fire.

For tickets or more information, call the box office at 860-685-3355 or purchase online anytime at http://www.wesleyan.edu/CFA

Environmental Studies is a multi-disciplinary, integrative study of environmental issues. Environmental Science (such as climatology, Environmental Geochemistry or conservation biology) is one aspect of ENVS. But ENVS also brings together disciplines that are necessary to solve, evaluate, comprehend and communicate environmental issues. Thus, ENVS includes sciences, economics, government, policy, history, humanities, art, film, ethics, philosophy, and writing.

ENVS is a linked-major program that is subordinate to a major program and forms a special type of double major experience. A linked-major program can only serve as the second major program in a double major. Unlike a primary major program, a student is not able to obtain a BA degree in a linked-major program without also completing all the requirements for a primary major program. The concept of the linked major is designed to ensure that students develop a scholarly depth in an area (primary major), that they will develop a breadth of experience in courses and tools for studying environmental issues, and that they apply what they have learned in both in a senior capstone project.

The requirements for the ENVS linked major program include a gateway introductory course, seven elective courses and a capstone experience. Of the seven electives, three will be core courses (one from each of three core areas). The students will then be free to construct a four-course thematic concentration from among the approved ENVS courses; the core courses may be used in the concentrations. One student forum or tutorial may also be used as electives. Lastly, the students must undertake a senior capstone experience in their primary department on an environmental topic. The capstone experience can take any form that is accepted in a Major Program (e.g., thesis, essay, etc.), for General University Scholarship or, in special cases an essay mentored by one of the ENVS faculty.

A complete description of the regulations is given on Wesmaps. For further information, please contact Barry Chernoff, Director of Environmental Studies at bchernoff@wesleyan.edu or x2452

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