Looking for environmental studies (ENVS) courses to take in spring 2024? Check out these NEW offerings by Christine Caruso, our NEW assistant professor of the practice in the Bailey College of the Environment (left), and Janice Nimura, our NEW Menakka and Essel Bailey ‘66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Bailey College of the Environment for 2023-24(right)! All four courses count toward elective requirements for the ENVS major and minor and ENVS234 also counts as a Core 1 elective for the ENVS major. Course info, and profiles of the professors, below!
This spring, President Michael S. Roth announced that Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment (COE) had been renamed in honor of Essel ’66 and Menakka Bailey, long-time Wesleyan supporters whose passion for the environment and the work of the COE had greatly enriched the experience of Wes students and faculty. Wesleyan hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication event to celebrate the Bailey COE, Wesleyan’s first named college, at the start of Reunion and Commencement festivities.
Each academic year, the COE invites a small group of Wesleyan faculty and undergrads plus a noted outside scholar to join together in a yearlong discussion on a critical environmental issue. The Think Tank features a new theme, and new fellows, each year. This year’s COE Think Tank features (from top left): Janice P. Nimura, the Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Bailey College of the Environment; Katja Kolcio, associate professor of dance; Ella Doherty ‘24, a biology and environmental studies major; Debbra Goh ’24, an environmental studies and religion major with a minor in the College of East Asian Studies; Andrew Curran, William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities; and Ying Jia Tan, associate professor of history. The group will spend the academic year exploring the theme of “Reimagining Civilization in the Anthropocene.”
At the age of 56, Laurie Kenney has finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. “There are no two ways about it: I’m not your usual ‘new’ music artist,” says Laurie, who lives in Guilford and works as the administrative assistant in the Bailey College of the Environment. “But as far as I know, there’s no age limit on creativity!”
Laurie wrote her first song at the age of 12 and her second at 56. In the 44 years in between, she built a career in publishing, public relations, and education, and raised a family. Her musical journey began as a self-imposed challenge: learn to play guitar and write and record an album of original songs…or die trying. Every Apple Does Go Bad Eventually (October 6, 2023, Cynical Girl Records) is the literal fruit of that labor.
Music and environmental studies major Lily Zhang ‘23 is the winner of the 2023 Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Keyboard Competition here at Wesleyan. When she’s not playing the piano, Lily enjoys scuba diving and freediving and is an enthusiastic amateur blackwater photographer. The opening reception for her COE photo exhibit, A Blackwater Dive, will take place at the College of the Environment, 284 High Street, on Friday, April 21, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm.
Lucy Ward ’23 used natural dyes to create imprints of floor plans that she drew from memories of spaces, for her Planar Bodies exhibit. The exhibit can be viewed from April 18-25 at the Zilkha Gallery, with an opening reception Wednesday, April 19, from 4 to 6 pm!
Marcela Oteiza, associate professor of environmental studies and dance and chair of theater, has been involved with the Justice Dance Performance Project (JDPP) since 2011. Her latest collaboration with the group, In the Presence of Trees, is a four-part site-specific outdoor dance-theater performance series following the changing of the seasons while celebrating the wisdom and value of trees, especially in the urban forest.
The series, which began in summer 2022 with a performance in Bushnell Park, in Hartford, CT, will come full circle on May 7, when the troupe returns to Bushnell Park to perform In the Presence of Trees: Spring, the fourth and final event of the series. Like previous series performances, the event will be free and open to the public.