mobilizing power event focuses on community building for enviro justice

The Robert F. Schumann Institute of the Bailey College of the Environment was honored to host Mobilizing Power: Community Building for Environmental Justice on November 11, 2023, in Daniel Family Commons in Usdan. The event brought together advocates from a variety of nonprofits, government agencies, grassroots campaigns, and academic institutions to exchange ideas for making meaningful, long-term environmental progress.  The event was sponsored by The Robert F. Schumann Institute of the Bailey College of the Environment at Wesleyan University, Wesleyan Sustainability Office, Save the Sound, Sunrise Wesleyan, Wesleyan Environmental Solidarity Network (ESN), Sustainable CT, The Rockfall Foundation, and the DEEP.

Organized by Malana Rogers-Bursen, project coordinator for food security, environmental justice, and sustainability for the Robert F. Schumann Institute of the Bailey COE, Mobilizing Power brought together approximately 90 participants, including environmental justice leaders, high school youth organizers, and college students from Wesleyan and other universities, to discuss important issues related to environmental justice in Connecticut. The planning team for the event included community leaders from Sustainable CT, CT DEEP, Save the Sound and the Rockfall Foundation, as well as student leaders Dylan Campos ’24, Michael Minars ’25, Debbra Goh ’24, Hannah Phan ’25, Laine Gorman ’25, and Naysa Abraham ’26, who took clear leadership shaping the event and presenting throughout the day.

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meet our 40+ summer 2023 fellows!

Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer (and spring and fall) research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Most recently, the COE awarded more than 40 fellowships to Wes students. Learn a little bit more about each, below! Applications for summer 2024, fall 2024 and spring 2025 Bailey COE fellowships will open in January 2024.

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weiner ’24 explores 1947 texas city disaster

Arlo Weiner ‘24 is a history and Middle East studies major. For his thesis, he is creating a documentary about the 1947 Texas City Disaster in which 576 people were killed and more than 3,000 injured. With the assistance of a 2023 Bailey COE summer fellowship, he spent his summer in Texas City and Galveston, meeting with witnesses of the disaster and conducting historical research. 

What led you to choose the Texas City Disaster as the subject for this documentary project? 
I picked this project because I was able to get in touch with a man named Carl Trepagnier, who wrote a fictionalized account of his experience of the disaster entitled Rise Up: A Novel about the 1947 Texas City Explosion. He offered to bring me to the town and offered to show me around and introduce me to other people who also lived through the disaster.

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senior spotlight: dylan campos ’24

Our 33 class of 2024 ENVS linked majors have primary majors in 15 different departments, from film to government to feminist, gender and sexuality to chemistry. This diversity reflects the deep and widespread interest in environmental issues on the Wesleyan campus and our incredibly fertile coexist community! Dylan Campos ’24 (he/they) is a history and environmental studies major with a minor in global engagement. Learn more about Dylan, below!

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angstadt ’25 digs coe summer fellowship opp

Every year, the Bailey COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Most recently, the COE awarded 35 summer fellowships and 1 fall fellowship to Wes students. Natalie Angstadt ’25 is a junior majoring in Archaeology and Neuroscience & Behavior. Last summer she engaged in an archaeological dig at Trasimeno Archaeology Field School with the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy.

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coe hosts urban farming workshop

Wesleyan’s Bailey College of the Environment was honored to have the opportunity to host KNOX, a Hartford-based Urban Farming program on October 24, 2023. KNOX’s mission is to promote a healthier and more sustainable Hartford through work that engages closely with the local community.

The Urban Farming Workshop was led by KNOX Program Coordinator Ally Gelinas. Gelinas is a certified wildlife biologist, and has a masters degree in Environmental Education. They are a Connecticut native interested in bridging the gaps between existing environmental advocacy and the needs of marginalized individuals, who are the people often facing the most immediate and severe impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Gelinas always strives to keep equity as a central tenet of KNOX’s activities and to make sure that any action the organization takes directly benefits local communities.

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colson-fearon ’22 co-authors paper based on coe fellowship

Brionna Colson-Fearon

Brionna Colson-Fearon ‘22, is currently at Fordham University pursuing her PhD under the mentorship of Dr. H. Shellae Versey. Their co-authored paper, Urban Agriculture as a Means to Food Sovereignty? A Case Study of Baltimore City Residents, explores the role of alternative food networks and urban agriculture in food sovereignty and security, and highlights the community benefits of urban agriculture within marginalized communities. A psychology and biology major while at Wesleyan, Brionna was awarded a COE Summer Research Fellowship in 2021, which allowed her to explore urban farming in Baltimore. An experience that became the basis for the co-authored paper.

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