Peer Advisors

pasfa03Dean Sarah blogging here! I supervise the SARN peer advisors. Here is what one student thought about the peer advisors and they helped her succeed during her first year at Wesleyan:

The SARN Peer Advisors are the single most helpful academic resource we have on campus. Peer advisors have advice for their students about anything study-related; a few I can think of right now are reading habits, [and] note taking…. My peer advisor helped me shape my notebook to be neater and easier for organization, [and] taught me how to read an extensive amount while retaining the information…. I have adopted several strategies from my sessions with my peer advisor: I started using the Cornell method for note taking and I have consulted the Writer’s Workshop as per her advice. In short, my peer advisor has been a tremendous help to me and my grades.

Peer advisors can show you how to stay on track and prioritize your activities so that you can enjoy and complete your coursework while making sure you participate in co-curricular activities, too! Check them out at the Peer Advisor, a blog written by peer advisors to help address your questions about coming to Wesleyan.

Welcome to Middletown

Beyond the many extracurricular activities that can be found on the Wesleyan campus, there are also many interesting things to see and do in the greater Middletown community. Middletown boasts the widest Main Street in the country, where you will find an eclectic mix of family-owned shops, restaurants representing different ethnic cultures and tastes, galleries, a laser-tag and video arcade, a movie theater, a roller-skating rink, and many venues for musical entertainment. In Middletown, you will also find recreational activities along the Connecticut River, at Crystal Lake, and at Miller’s Pond State Park. Lyman’s Orchard is a wonderful place to pick your own apples, pumpkins, peaches and the likes. Explore and become a part of this New England community. If you want more ways to deepen your engagement in town, consider volunteer and service opportunities or, just drop by the Center for Community Partnerships at the corner of High and Church Streets and we will connect you to your new home-away-from-home.

View Ten Things to Love About Middletown in a larger map.

Wesleyan’s International Community

The Class of 2013 has 52 international students from 31 different countries. The Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) is very excited and busy preparing for arrival day!

International Student Orientation (ISO) begins on Friday, August 28, 2009, and provides an opportunity for all new international students to meet before classes begin. International students are required to attend ISO. Additional information regarding ISO is located on the OISA website.

If you have questions regarding ISO, arrival day, or transportation to Wesleyan on arrival day, please email Meherazade Sumariwalla, the ISO intern for 2009, or call 860-685-5720.

If you have questions regarding immigration, please contact Janice Watson (860-685-3704) or Alice Hadler (860-685-2832).

Placement Testing

Placement testing in math is required of all new students. In addition, foreign language placement tests are required of new students who have studied a language previously and are considering further study while at Wesleyan. Placement tests are available online through the e-portfolio. For additional information, click here.

Sign up for the Chinese and Japanese language placement exam by July 7.  The deadline to complete all online testing is September 2.

Visit the Peer Advisor

Make a visit to the Peer Advisor – a blog run by students for students and designed to answer your questions about campus life and academics. The SARN peer advisors are itching to answer your questions! To be able to make comments, you need to login using your “” email address. See you there!

Feet to the Fire: H2O–Seeking Solutions

waterdropThis year’s Feet to the Fire program explores the challenges we face as a result of global climate change with a focus on the increasing scarcity of water and its impact on cultures and ecosystems around the world.   The program begins with a set of readings that explore the issue of water scarcity from a variety of disciplinary perspectives that students must complete over the summer.  These readings will serve as a shared frame of reference during the Feet to the Fire seminars and discussions that will take place during your first week on campus.   The readings can be accessed by logging in to the Weleyan Blackboard system and include:

  • R.F. Service, “Delta Blues, California Style,” Science 317, (July 27, 2007), 442-445.
  • A. Bach, “Is Water the Next Carbon?,” Urban Land (October 2007), 78-85.
  • R.L. France, ed., Thoreau on Water, Reflecting Heaven (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001).
  • J. Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (New York: Viking, 1939).
  • “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis,” United Nations Human Development Report (2006), 9-37.

Four seminars will be offered during orientation to discuss different aspects of the readings and these will be followed by smaller group discussions in the the residential halls. The entire class will come together for a “Common Moment” of drumming and performance that will cap off the week. More information about the seminars and Common Moment will follow throughout the summer.

Welcome from the Orientation Interns

As high school comes to an end for you, we know that you are excited about coming to Wes, nervous about meeting new friends, and anxious about all the thrills that college will bring. Rest assured, we know exactly what you are experiencing because we all went through the same phenomenon. For some it will be an easy transition and for others a challenge, but regardless, it will be one of the greatest changes in your life. We, the five Orientation Interns, will be busy this summer preparing your summer mailings, planning your arrival, and coordinating events for Orientation. It will be a stimulating seven day program where you will get the chance to meet your future classmates, to mingle with your advisor, to explore Wesleyan and Middletown – all of which will lead to your first day of class. So the next time you have a question about preparing for your first year of college and give us a call, know that there are faces behind the generic email address or the random numbers you are calling. To learn more about us, click on the link below. Lastly, have a wonderful summer and we are very excited to see you in the fall!

Johanne Lin ’10
Meherazade Sumariwalla ’12
Yinka Taiwo-Peters ’12
Zachary Nguyen ’12
Liz Ling ’11

Tim Shiner: Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development

Timothy Shiner joined the Wesleyan community in 2006 as Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) and in 2007 also took on the coordination of New Student Orientation. Originally from southern Colorado, Tim graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Psychology and a senior thesis entitled, “Teaching Emerging Leaders.” Following graduation, Tim attended the University of Vermont to pursue his Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration and worked at UVM for a total of five years in the Diversity and Equity Unit there. At Wesleyan, Tim and his office are responsible for advising all student groups in the planning and implementation of their programs. In 2008-2009, SALD helped students plan over 3000 events including concerts, speakers, art shows, affinity months, rehearsals, auditions and meetings. SALD also assists in the funding of students events and has numerous leadership opportunities for students. Tim’s favorite thing about Wesleyan is the passionate commitment of its students to making the world a better place. To learn more about the student activities office or the orientation program, go to or

General Education Expectations

Wesleyan does not have distribution requirements, but students are en­couraged to bring breadth to their programs of study through the GenEd Expectations. GenEd is divided into two stages. In the first stage, to be com­pleted by the end of the sophomore year, students are expected to earn at least 2.00 credits in each of three areas: Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), and Humanities and Arts (HA). Each of these credits must be earned in a different department. To complete the second stage, students are expected to earn 1.00 additional credit in any de­partment in each division.

Information about the GenEd area and department for every course in the Wesleyan curriculum can be found in WesMaps and the Course Supplement. Not all courses carry GenEd designations, and the GenEd designation of a crosslisted course is linked only to a single department. AP and IB test credit and transfer credit cannot be used to fulfill GenEd.

Students who do not satisfy GenEd are not eligible for University Honors or for election to Phi Beta Kappa. Also, some departments require fulfillment of GenEd for completion of the major or for eligibility for departmental honors. More information about this can be found on the honors Web site at