With the end of exams at the close of the day tomorrow, you will have one semester of college under your proverbial belt.  I hope that it was a good one for you—that you were intellectually stimulated, co-curricularly engaged and personally thumbnailCA3NHQXVchallenged in a positive way.  I also hope that the trials and tribulations of a “first” semester were balanced out by your accomplishments and joy of discovery.  And I hope that all of it made you think more critically, question more wisely, and evaluate more compassionately. 

I hope too that you will take some time over January to reflect on your semester—what you learned, where you were successful, what you could do better.  Decide to try one new activity that will get you involved in campus life in a different way. (There are so many opportunities to do so!)  Your contributions, both inside and outside the classroom, help to make Wesleyan a better place.

Celebrating Students 2013: Lan Chi Le

In summer 2009, a group of friends and I from VietAbroader, a network for Vietnamese students living abroad, IMG_1640organized a conference on U.S. higher education. Our aim is to make Vietnamese students more aware of educational opportunities in the U.S. as great alternatives to Vietnamese colleges, which focus on rote learning and restrict students’ intellectual freedom.  We also aimed to introduce them to free and reliable sources of information on U.S. education, helping them avoid unethical education agencies in Vietnam. We fundraised more than $20,000 to organize the conference in the two biggest cities in Vietnam, and funded poor students and parents in rural areas to attend our conference.

At that time, I was only a high school graduate. Yet, in the role of the conference director, I had to contact executives from top companies in Vietnam, and sometimes meet them face to face to negotiate and sign sponsorship contracts, some of which are worth thousands of dollars. I had to organize a press conference and talk to many journalists. I was terrified. I usually had to arrive 15 minutes ahead of the meeting time to allow myself some time to calm down. The only thing that kept me going was the conviction that what I was doing would be beneficial for future generations of Vietnamese students, and that I should not quit and abandon my teammates. I learned how to pretend that I was brave when I was not, and gradually that pretension became true (or I simply became more thick-skinned, either way it worked out). The conference also gave me opportunities to interact with many students from many parts of Vietnam and opened my eyes to the problems they were facing, which has given me ideas and inspiration for future projects.

Here is the link to an article written on our conference:

Winter Break Shuttle Deadline

Friday, December 18 is the last day to purchase all shuttle tickets to and from destinations over Winter Break. Tickets must be purchased at the box office in Usdan.

Shuttles are available to and from Union Station in New Haven, Bradley Airport, Penn Station in NYC, Grand Central thumbnailCA6XVSK1Station in NYC, and South Street Station in Boston.

Tickets for the return trip to Wes in January must be purchased by this Friday. They will not be available for last-minute purchase in January.

Shuttle Times

New Haven Shuttle, Union Station, $9 each way

To New Haven:   Monday 12/21 – 2pm;  Tuesday 12/22 – 2pm;  Wednesday 12/23 – 10am

From New Haven:  Sunday 1/17 – 4pm; Monday 1/18 – 4pm; Tuesday 1/19 – 11am;

New York City and Boston, NYC – Grand Central Station and Penn Station, Boston – South Street Station, $20 each way

To NYC  (Penn Station or Grand Central Station) or Boston (South Street Station):

Wednesday 12/23 – 10am

From NYC (Penn Station or Grand Central Station) or Boston (South Street Station):

Monday 1/18 – 3pm

Bradley Airport, $25 each way

To Bradley:  Monday 12/21 – 5:45 am, 12pm, 4:30pm; Tuesday 12/22 – 5:45am, 12pm, 4:30pm; Wednesday 12/23 – 5:45am, 12pm

From Bradley:  Sunday 1/17 – 1pm, 6pm, 10pm; Monday 1/18 – 6pm, 10pm; Tuesday 1/19 – 6pm;

Wednesday 1/20 – 1pm 

Becky Weiss, WSA Vice President

Vote in WSA Elections

WSA Elections are underway for at-large and SBC seats. Both elections are highly competitive and every vote will count. Let your voice be heard.
These elections are open to the classes of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

thumbnailSo far 632 students have voted –
frosh: 241
soph: 190
junior: 105
senior: 96
Let’s get those numbers up!

Also in this election – the approval of the Green Fund and the WSA Survey.
Take a minute to vote in the approval of the Green Fund as well as take the Survey; the survey contains some very important questions moving forward with academic issues, as well as residential issues.

Voting closes at midnight on Friday, but don’t wait. To vote, click here

Meherazade Sumariwalla

Categories WSA

Tonight We Go a-Caroling!

Don your hat, scarf and mittens!!

It’s Time to Carol!!


Wednesday, December 16

7-8 p.m.

Meet on Olin steps to carol around campus

lyrics provided

Followed by Hot Chocolate at  

Bon Appetit’s Study Break for Class of 2013

8-9 p.m.    Allbritton Center 311

Usdan Photo Contest II: International Photo Contest

Want your photography to be the next to hang in the Usdan Center? In partnership with the Office of International Studies, the Usdan Art Committee is sponsoring a second photo contest for study abroaders, international students, thumbnailCAO2W9NSand others who have spent substantive time abroad. As with the international photo contest of the past, photos will be displayed in Zelnick Pavilion around the middle of the spring semester. Entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of Wesleyan experts in art, communication, and international affairs. The top ten photos will also be enlarged to 24″ x 36″ (or largest size allowed by the resolution of the original) and hung in Usdan common areas after Spring Break. At the end of the show, winners will receive their enlarged print as a prize.


  • Eligibility: Open to all students of Wesleyan University; all entries must be original work.
  • Submit up to ten photographs to by February 1, 2010 or by dropping them off on CD-Rom at 124 Usdan.
  • Include your name, class year, a title and a description of the photo(s) of no more than 100 words. The description should include information on where and when the photo was taken, as well as the significance of the subject matter in local context and in the context of your experience studying abroad. By submitting photos, you are agreeing to permit them to be shown in Usdan, Zelnick, and/or Fisk Hall, as well as on the OIS web site.
  • Photographs will be selected to display in Zelnick Pavilion by mid-February. Of those selected, a panel of judges will choose ten winners to be enlarged and displayed in the Usdan Center.
  • Copyright: Wesleyan University reserves the right to publish winning images in Usdan University Center/Office of International Studies printed materials or websites. Photo credit will be provided, of course (that doesn’t mean academic credit for a photography class ­ just your name somewhere in the vicinity of the photograph).
  • Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person or submit images that involve the willful harassment of individuals, wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer.


Note from Dean Brown

Hello 2013’ers!

thumbnailCAETRXFRAh, the last day of classes.  Amazing how time flies.  I remember when all the cars were lined up on Andrus Field and families were trekking up loads of stuff to get you moved in on arrival day.  Soon most of you will be packing backpacks and suitcases and scattering all across the country and the globe for winter break.  In a week’s time, you will have completed one semester of college!

 But of course, between now and then, are finals and the preparatory reading days.  I hope you have planned out your work in manageable chunks, and are hitting the books, libraries, labs and studios with focused energy and confidence.  There is still time to avail yourself of the myriad academic support services, should any of those be helpful to you (  Please do not hesitate to contact me, if I can be of assistance.

 2. Class Blog:

Check out your class blog a couple of times a week.  While some of the material posted is advertising for events, other material is official information that you need to know.  So “I didn’t know” won’t fly.  Besides, you gotta check out “Celebrating Students.”  If you or a friend has had the opportunity to do something cool, achieved a goal, or accomplished a project in any field or area, let me know.  We’ll get you posted at

 3. Academic Regulations: 

Speaking of needing to know, it is your responsibility to know the academic regulations, so check them out, especially the information about Academic Standing and Academic Review at:

4. Take a Study Break and Join in for Carols and Snacks…:thumbnailCARMVCCZ

Join members of the first-year class for some caroling on Wednesday, December 16 at 7 p.m. followed by a Study Break at 8 p.m.!  Meet at 7 p.m. on the steps of Olin to go around campus spreading some holiday cheer (lyrics provided).  The study break follows from 8-9 p.m. in Albritton 311, the new café area, with hot chocolate, coffee and cookies and is sponsored by Bon Appetit.  Whether for the singing,  a bite to eat, or both, we look forward to seeing you Wednesday evening. 

Study hard and good luck with finals!  Best, Dean Brown