Wesleyan is known for many things in higher education circles. Our graduates go on to get advanced degrees in droves, and they often wind up leading research fields and winning teaching awards. Our students are recognized for their extraordinary public service, which often continues long after they leave campus. Their civic engagement and strong political voices are part of our institutional DNA. The Wesleyan campus is also celebrated as a great place to develop one’s creative capacities. Whether they are working in biology or ethnomusicology, our faculty and students are regularly developing new ideas, practices, platforms and products.
One area where we have a great but not very visible track record is engineering. Many of our students build skills within a liberal arts context to do work in fields such as systems engineering, biotechnology, computer and information design, and environmental engineering. Others go on to graduate schools to develop expertise in architecture, materials science and multimedia interface production. Wesleyan does offer the possibility for students to get dual degrees with either Columbia or CalTech by spending three years here and two years doing focused engineering study. After getting TWO degrees, grads will really be making stuff. You can find out more about all these options here.
Another area in which our students are learning how to make stuff is film production. Our film major, of course, emphasizes contextual and formal film analysis, and many of our graduates have gone on to illustrious careers in the media world. In addition to studying the history of films, plenty of our students make new movies, guided by a practitioners, critics and historians. Recently, two of our film production profs received important recognition for their work. Katja Straub received a prestigious NEA fellowship grant called the New Artist Initiative, awarded through the Hambidge residency. And Steve Collins’ new film, You Hurt My Feelings, has been accepted to three high profile festivals: the Austin Film Festival, the Viennale in Austria, and the Cucalorus Festival in North Carolina. You can learn more about his film here: http://youhurtmyfeelingsmovie.com/
Wes students and faculty are making stuff, and not just in the film studios and physics labs. And in making “stuff,” they are making their education – and their capacity to make a difference in the world — stronger.