“Stem Cells on the Brain” Lecture — Wed., Feb. 10


The lecture by Laura Grabel on stem cell research, sponsored by the Connecticut Academy of Arts & Sciences and the German Studies Department and scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 10), has been postponed until Thursday, February 25 because of the threat of dire weather.

Once again we invite you to the annual lecture at Wesleyan sponsored by the Connecticut Academy of Arts & Sciences: and the Department of German Studies.  This is the 1402nd meeting of the Connecticut Academy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 5:15 p.m.

Wesleyan University, Usdan University Center, Room 108
Stem Cells on the Brain: from Politics to Therapies

A Lecture by Laura Grabel, Lauren Dachs Professor of Science in Society, Department of Biology

stem cellsStem cell research continues to be controversial and influenced by political constraints. Professor Grabel will consider its promise as well as recent scientific and public policy advances, including public funding in the Obama era.  She will also talk about the work in her laboratory focusing on understanding the conditions that promote embryonic stem cell differentiation into neurons, both in a culture dish and in the brains of mouse models of epilepsy.

A reception will follow the lecture.


U.N.’s Human Development Report–Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development — Fri., Feb. 5

Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development
Friday, February 5th, 2010

Wesleyan University’s Memorial Chapel

4:30 p.m.

The United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report 2009 breaks new ground in applying thumbnailCAGYNY4Ba human development approach to the study of movement, covering both internal and international migration. It discusses who moves, where and why. It looks at the multiple impacts of migration for all who are affected by it —not just those who move, but also those who stay, and links these to policies. The report lays out a major policy agenda designed to promote the human development outcomes of migration. 

Dr. Francisco Rodríguez, Head of Research at the Human Development Report, will be presenting a summary of key findings, and Susan Gzech and Michael T. Klare will be adding to the discussion before we open the floor to Q&A from the public. The discussion will be followed by an open reception with all of our speakers at the Daniel Family Commons.

Francisco Rodríguez is the Head of the Research Team for the Human Development Report. He has extensive academic and teaching experience in the field of political economy and economic growth. Prior to joining UNDP and Wesleyan University, Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración, University of Maryland, and Harvard University. He has also served as Chief Economist for the Economic and Financial Advisory Office to the National Assembly of Venezuela and as Economic Affairs Officer for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations. 

Susan Gzesh is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the Center for International Studies and the College. Her research interests include the inter-relationship between human rights and migration policy, the history of U.S. immigration policy, and Mexico-U.S. relations.

Michael T. Klare, Nation defense foreign policy correspondent, is Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College. His latest book is Rising Power, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy.

Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration

In Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Living the Dream: Youth Activism and a New Vision for Urban Public Educationirizarry

Keynote address by:

Dr. Jason G. Irizarry
Tuesday, January 26th
4:30 p.m., Memorial Chapel

Dr. Jason G. Irizarry is an Assistant Professor of Multicultural Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Neag School of Education and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut.  Prior to his arrival at UConn, he was the Director of Project SPIRIT (Springfield Partnership to Improve the Recruitment of Inspiring Minority Teachers), a college-community collaboration aimed at increasing the number of teachers of color in urban schools.  He received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in multicultural education, culturally responsive curriculum development, action research, and urban education.

A former middle school teacher in New York City, his research focuses on urban teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention with an emphasis on increasing the number of teachers of color, culturally responsive pedagogy, and youth participatory action research. A central focus of his work involves promoting the academic achievement of Latino and African American youth in urban schools by addressing issues associated with teacher education.  Manuscripts documenting the findings of his research have been published or accepted for publication in a variety of journals in the field including Education and Urban Society, Multicultural Perspectives, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Centro Journal of Puerto Rican Studies and others appearing as chapters in various books including the Handbook of Latinos and Education: Research, Theory & Practice (Murillo, 2010) and Culture, Curriculum, and Identity in Education: Progressive Perspectives on Research, Theory, and Practice. (Milner, 2009).

Dr. Irizarry will conduct a seminar for students on his work.
10:30am, Open to the first 20 respondents
To register, email stuact@wesleyan.edu

Join us for a discussion with Dr. Irizarry over lunch (reservation required)
Noon, Open to the first 30 respondents (staff, faculty or students).
To RSVP, email stuact@wesleyan.edu

Usdan Common Connections Lecture–12/8

Usdan Common Connections presents a lecture by Dr. Peter Frenzel, Professor Emeritus

Bringing Dead Languages to Life:  Spells, Curses, and Heroic Deaths in Old Teutonic Tongues

thumbnailCANA4MTNAfter speaking briefly about the social context of the “dark ages,” Professor Frenzel will chant some spells and curses–no harm will come of it–and then recite some dramatic moments from Germanic heroic tales originating between the fifth and the tenth centuries CE.  The languages will include Old English, Old Saxon, and Old High German, all forebears of our present-day English. It will be a feast for the ears of a barbarian, although translations will be at hand for the ears of the others.

Tuesday, December 8, 5-6 p.m., Usdan Daniel Family Commons

Reception immediately following. Limited seating!  All are welcome!

Lecture by Dr. Henry Lee, Forensics Expert

Dr Henry Lee: On Forensics and Foreignness

Henry Lee
Asian/Asian American (AAA) House presents an evening with forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee, who has worked on numerous high-profile crime cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey murder, the O.J. Simpson case, and the reinvestigation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Dr. Lee was born in China and grew up in Taiwan, where he served in the police force. In 1965, he migrated to the U.S., furthering his studies and launching his career in forensic science. Today, he has helped to solve more than 6000 cases.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the personal and professional experiences of this renowned forensic science expert! Bring your questions, bring your friends. Reception to follow after event.

Date:   Nov. 16
Time:   7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Place:  Tishler Hall (Exley 150)


For more information about Dr. Henry Lee, please visit his personal website at http://www.drhenrylee.com


The Many Psychologies of Global Warming: Bill Blakemore ’65, ABC News Correspondent

Tuesday, November 3 in the Chapel at 8:00 p.m.


Four weeks before the nations meet in Copenhagen to try to avert global catastrophe, Mr. Blakemore will identify many often surprising psychological factors at play as people in all walks of life deal with the latest “hard news” on climate.

He’ll explore new definitions of sanity that may pertain, and give examples displaying different “psychologies”, as well as manmade global warming’s place in the long history of narcissistic insults to humanity itself.

Two new time-line graphs of rapid and dangerous climate change will give fresh global context to the psychological challenges and experiences he has observed in the five years since he began focusing on global warming for ABC News.

Computer modelers trying to project the speed and severity of global warming’s advance often say that “the biggest unknown” in their equations is not data about ice or atmosphere, carbon or clouds, but “what the humans will do.” This talk probes that field and many states of mind already engaged.

Sponsored by the Wasch Center, Department of Psychology, and the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.  Follow-up discussion on Wed., Nov. 4 at 4:15 p.m. in the Wasch Center.

Wes World Wednesdays — on Thursday

Reforming the United Nations:  Mission Impossible?

Thursday, October 22           7 p.m.

Daniel Family Commons, Usdan

Reception to follow



Professor Paul M. Kennedy, Dilworth Professor of History and Director of International Security Studies at Yale University, will speak on UN reform to mark Connecticut’s celebration of the 64th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Professor Kennedy is an internationally-known scholar, writer and commentator on global political, economic and strategic issues.  He is the author of The Parliament of Man:  The Past, Present and Future of the United Nations and The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, among others.

Sponsored by WWW, The United Nations Association of the USA-CT, Usdan University Center, and Wes Model UN.

Peace Education Talk — Thursday


Mainlehwon Ebenezer Vonhm Benda

Founder and Director, Center for Peace Education, Monrovia, Liberia

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Born and raised in Liberia, Mainlehwon Ebenezer Vonhm Benda fled the country during the height of the civil war and lived as a refugee in several West African nations, before getting the opportunity to pursue his education in the United States. After ten years in the United States, he has returned to Liberia to help in the post-conflict reconstruction efforts through a wide-ranging peace education program, specifically designed for young people affected by the civil war.

PEACE EDUCATION:  A Vital Ingredient Towards Lasting Peace for Liberia

Mr. Vonhm Benda will talk about the development of a peace education curriculum for grade schools in Liberia.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

6:30 p.m.       PAC 002

Sponsored by the African Studies Cluster and the History Department