First Year Matters (FYM) Seminars


The First Year Matters program will offer four faculty seminars during New Student Orientation that will explore this year’s theme of water from the discipline of the faculty presenter.  One seminar features a discussion between two professors, a humanist and a scientist, who will talk about issues connected to water contamination, ground water depletion and rising sea levels in the context of sustaining human and animal life on earth.  Another seminar will focus on the critical nature of fresh water in the western part of the United States, and explore possible responses to long-term problems there that range from the prolonged drought in the southwest to the mega forest fires in California.  The third seminar will explore the historical role that water has played in human development, focusing on the challenges that large bodies of water presented to early humans and how those barriers were eventually exploited for growth and economic expansion.  The fourth seminar will explore water’s role in modern development from a legal and economic perspective, and discuss the consequences of property and ownership rights for the natural environment. 

You get to choose one of these great seminars to attend on the afternoon of Thursday, September 3.  The seminars, along with the summer readings, will inform the discussions that take place later that evening. 

You can see the full descriptions for all four seminars on the FYM website ( and on the Blackboard course page.  There will be a bibliography of supplemental readings also posted on the Blackboard course page, if you choose to explore further.   The readings can be found through the Blackboard course page which you can access from the FYM website.  Make sure to read the common readings before you arrive on campus!



WesDEF (the Wesleyan Diversity Education Facilitation Program) is a student group founded in 2005 that leads anti-oppression conversation workshops.  WesDEFs train throughout the year for their roles as community facilitators and educators.  Every first year residential hall has WesDEF facilitators who will lead monthly workshops on social justice issues.  

WesDEF workshops could include a discussion of classism and the Anonymous Confession Board or a poetry exercise about the meaning of home or an activity exploring the presence of institutional racism in our community.   All workshops provide an opportunity for critical dialogue about the impact of oppression at Wesleyan and in society. 

The purpose of WesDEF workshops is not to provide answers but to incite questions and to provide participants with the knowledge and tools for further personal exploration and social awareness.  The WesDEF program aims to act as a resource for the Wesleyan community, developing space for social justice work, dialogue and understanding.  Support, guidance and funding come from the Offices of Residential Life, Student Activities and Leadership Development, and Diversity and Strategic Partnerships.

Wescard: Photo Deadline


July 19 is the deadline to upload a 2″ by 2″ passport photograph for your Wesleyan ID Card and, like all deadlines, it is rapidly approaching.  Please go into your e-portfolio now under “Student Life” to upload your picture.  

If you are unable to upload a picture you can send it to:  Wesleyan University, WesCard Office, North College Room 111, 237 High Street, Middletown, CT   06459.  Please include your name and Wesleyan ID number, and mark the outside of the envelope with “Photo Enclosed.”  Do not write on the photograph.

You will need your ID for access to the residential halls and for meals as well as for other activities on campus.   Upload or send your picture today so that your ID will be ready for pick up on Arrival Day at the Exley Science Center.

If a picture is not received, your ID will not be ready for you. You will need to come to North College, Room 111 on Arrival Day and stand in line to have your picture taken.  Try to avoid having to do this as Arrival Day is hectic enough as it is.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Cathy Rizza, WesCard Coordinator

Student Academic Resource Network (SARN)


You should know by now that people who reach out and ask for help are the most successful. But where should you go to ask for help when you are at Wesleyan? Mosey on over to Student Academic Resources Network (SARN). The network is a virtual space for you to ask for help.  At the website, you will find links to programs that can help you find scholarships, organize your time, improve your paper-writing skills, learn how to use the on-line library resources, find internships or grants, and explore study abroad programs. Will you be looking for academic help with math, statistics, biology and chemistry, or might you simply want to improve your studying skills and habits? Explore the links at the SARN Web site. You will find these programs and more!

Welcome to Middletown: A Corner of History


From the tranquil quiet of the Indian Hill cemetery to the spooky headstones of important persons from Wesleyan’s past sitting atop Foss Hill, graveyards are a distinctive part of the Wesleyan landscape. The Old Washington Street Cemetery, commissioned in 1739, lies across the street from Indian Hill. Unlike its oft-visited neighbor, however, many people, even lifelong Middletown residents that I have talked to, don’t even know it’s there.

Beneath the appearances, the Washington Street yard tells many stories about Middletown’s past. The large family markers on the North end of the yard speak to well-to-do families whose heads earned distinction in war, politics, and business. The sparsely-placed headstones in the South end, where until the last decade only African Americans were buried, gives testament to the racism and segregation that these people faced. Their histories, however, reveal their struggles for freedom and equality.

Rev. Jehiel C. Beman, died 1858, was a leader for the Northern Free Black Community. He used his placement at the AME Zion Church in town to help found the Middletown anti-Slavery Society and also secretly conduct the Underground Railroad.  Isaac Truitt (1877), James Caples (1889), Alfred (1907) and James Powers (1868), Rufus Addison (1916) and Christian Gordon (1865) all fought in the civil war in the 29th, 31st, and the 55th colored infantry for the emancipation of their people. Mr. Truitt was a chimney sweep at Wesleyan and a favorite of the students. Leverett Beman (1883), Jehiel’s son, bought the entire triangle of land bordered by Cross St., Vine St., and Knowles Ave., and sold the plots to other African Americans to form the heart of the black community in Middletown.

These people and many, many others lived in Middletown and died without having their stories recorded. As you begin your lives here, I encourage you to seek out these stories, document them, and share them with your community.

 Nate Ratner ’10, Anthropology major

Sonia BasSheva Mañjon: Vice President for Diversity and Strategic Partnerships

Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, Vice President for Diversity and Strategic Partnerships, came to Wesleyan from California College for the Arts <> in July, 2008. At CCA, Mañjon served as a member of the president’s cabinet, director for CCA’s Center for Art in Public Life, chair of its community art major and Diversity Studies Program, co-chair of campus diversity initiatives, and a member of the faculty. Mañjon developed the country’s first bachelor of fine arts program in community arts, which stresses student civic engagement and diversity issues. In addition to her positions at CCA, Mañjon also served as executive director of the City of Oakland’s Craft and Cultural Arts Department <> , director of the Community Arts and Education Program for the San Francisco Art Commission <> , and executive director of the San Francisco National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences <> . Mañjon earned a Ph.D. in humanities, transformative learning and change in human systems and an M.A. in cultural anthropology and social transformation from the California Institute of Integral Studies <> , and received a B.A. in world arts and cultures with a dance emphasis from the University of California, Los Angeles <> .

The Office of Diversity and Strategic Partnerships was created to provide leadership on civic engagement and cooperation with private and public organizations and to collaborate with Wesleyan’s administrative and academic offices and departments to develop programs to attract, retain and inspire students, faculty and staff from groups currently under-represented on campus. As Wesleyan’s vice president for diversity and strategic partnerships, Mañjon is charged with enhancing the university’s outreach and engagement with the greater Middletown community. As Wesleyan’s chief affirmative action officer, Mañjon directs the Office of Affirmative Action and serves as an advocate for the interests of students in such areas as recruitment, curriculum development, campus culture and career planning.

In her free time, Mañjon enjoys spending time with her sons Zyan, 11, and Ezra, 8. A true soccer mom, she can be found cheering them on at basketball, football, soccer and baseball games. At home, she enjoy singing and dancing with her boys around the house and playing basketball in the back yard. During mommy-free times, she enjoys salsa dancing and reading a good book in front of the fireplace — which she will have lots of time to do when the snow comes.



The Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development (S.A.L.D.) is a great asset to all students on campus. It is our belief that learning occurs both inside and outside of the classroom and it is our job to enhance the out of the classroom experience. The office works with the student body on event planning, which includes conferences, workshops, speakers, bands, parties and a number of other student-led initiatives on campus. In addition to helping students with their event planning from start to finish, the office also supervises three interns:  the queer student intern, the student of color coalition intern and the leadership intern. Each of these interns is in place to provide students with opportunities to have their voices heard, be trained on various topics specific to the intern’s title, and create change across our campus community.  The office has many services to provide not only to student groups, but also to individual students and is a great resource for all students to familiarize themselves with.  Check us out at .


Elisa Del Valle

Assistant Director

Student Activities and Leadership

July 7 Summer Registration deadline — 11:59 p.m. EST!

deadlines2Don’t let this deadline whoosh by you! 

Tonight at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time is the deadline for summer registration (course selection, academic interests, etc.) and the Academic Skills Assessment Survey!  Don’t miss this opportunity to get into two courses now for the fall or spring semester and get assigned a faculty advisor in your general area of interest.  Make sure you submit the skills assessment survey too, so that you will not have a hold on your enrollment in the fall.

Tonight also is the deadline for Disabilty Services notification and to sign up for the Chinese and Japanese language placement tests that will be given on campus in the fall.

Congrats, Grads! Moving on….


Congratulations to all those who had late high school graduations in the past couple of weeks!  Congrats too to those whose graduations were much earlier and have been “alums” for the last month or so! It’s a big deal finishing up 13 years (more or less) of schooling and you all accomplished much during that time.  I’m sure you are taking the summer to work or volunteer, to hang out with friends and family, and are making the most of this time as you gear up for your move to Wesleyan.  We are thrilled that you have chosen Wesleyan as the place to spend your next four years, but we also recognize that thinking about leaving the familiar for something new can bring on a mix of feelings.   


As exciting as it is to think about the new people you’ll meet, the new material you’ll be learning, the new activities in which you’ll be engaged, the new opportunities available to you, you also may find this “newness” (or the thought of it) to be a little overwhelming.  At such a time, it can be helpful to think about balance—finding the balance that’s right for you between nurturing your relationships with family and friends from home and cultivating new friendships at Wes; taking a course in a subject you love at the same time that you are exploring a new area of inquiry; continuing your involvement in an activity you really care about while trying out a new one.  Wesleyan too will soon become a familiar place as you begin to make it your own and build a life for yourself on campus.    


Again, congratulations to all you graduates as you turn to become Wesleyan’s Class of 2013.