I hope this communication finds you well. Some items that may be of interest to you:
Employment. Interested in obtaining a part-time job? Be sure to utilize Handshake or visit the Gordon Career Center to learn about employment opportunities.
SHAPE: The Office of Support, Healing, Activism, and Prevention Education (SHAPE) has created a series of events in October to raise awareness about dating violence in our community and beyond. See their blog to learn more.
Department Open Houses: Though you will not declare your major until second semester of your sophomore year, some of you may already have an idea of what you want to study. Visiting a department open house can provide a lot of insight into various majors. See the schedule for department open houses that run in October and November here.
I’ve enjoyed meeting with many of you over the past couple of weeks. Don’t forget to check out your class photo. As a reminder, those who visit my office and show me where they are in the photo will get a small takeaway for stopping by. Get that Wes swag!
Check our your class photo, Class of 2025! I encourage you to stop by during my office hours in North College 202 during the month of October to show me where you are in this photo and score yourself a small Wesleyan trinket (while supplies last).
Fall is here and though today’s weather is less than ideal, I look forward to cooler autumn days. I’ve seen many of you outside my office window, eating lunch or studying with peers; your conversations are filled with excitement and laughter – it’s such a delight to hear!
Your class schedule is in full swing so I imagine you are navigating ways to balance classes, course work, student clubs and orgs, perhaps even a part-time job or varsity sport. Don’t forget we have many resources on campus to help you with this balance – if you aren’t sure where to turn, reach out to me and I’ll point you in the right direction.
As always there is a lot happening on campus. WesNest has a great calendar of events to peruse if you’re looking for activities to participate in. Though not an exhaustive list, here are a few approaching events that caught my interest so I wanted to share with you.
Wesleyan Film Series featuring Beasts of the Southern Wilde on 9/24, Summer of Soul on 9/25 and Sherlock Junior on 9/26.
I hope your first week of classes has been enjoyable! There is so much excitement in the air as I watch many of you head to classes, stop by various administrative offices and interact with each other on the green outside my office (North College 202).
As I shared with many of you during our Giving Good Advice session hosted by the Academic Peer Advisors during orientation, I want you to consider three challenges this year:
Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Continue to be engaged by participating in class discussions. Introduce yourself to your classmates and to other community members you see in the dining halls. Participate in all that Wesleyan has to offer academically and co-curricularly including the Student Involvement Fair this Friday 9/10 from 2pm – 5pm in the tent behind Usdan.
Be open-minded to new experiences both in and out of the classroom. Wesleyan’s open curriculum is perfect to explore courses in so many disciplines including disciplines that may not be your eventual major. You faculty advisor is an incredible resources for you. For peer support, our Academic Peer Advisors are also a great resource to help you explore various course options; they will host a series of workshops this fall focused on supporting you in your first year – more information to follow soon.
Be comfortable being uncomfortable. You are experiencing so much right now in your transition to Wesleyan; naturally, change can sometimes cause some discomfort. It’s important to recognize you are not alone in feeling this way. There are many resources on campus to support you in this transition including me as your Class Dean. While the transition may not be perfect or may not look like you expected it to, we grow significantly as individuals when we face challenges such as this one – you’re a Wesleyan student now and I am confident you will see much success during your time here and beyond!
I will send you emails and post blogs from time to time to check in. Some upcoming dates to keep in mind:
Writing at Wesleyan Workshop: Friday, 9/10 from 1pm – 2pm (Shapiro Center Patio)
Involvement Fest: Friday, 9/10 from 2pm to 5pm (tent behind Usdan)
You will receive a wealth of information over the course of the summer through weekly newsletters and blog posts, but you’re more than welcome to meet with me to discuss specific questions you have about transitioning to Wesleyan in the fall. Feel free to schedule a 15-minute Zoom meeting or a phone call through my Google calendar. You may use your new Wesleyan login credentials to sign up for one of the available time slots.
Let me start with an introduction: my name is Dr. Tanesha Leathers, and I’m excited to serve as your class dean! During my academic and professional career, I’ve been a Pioneer, Eph, Terp, Blue Jay, and now a Cardinal. There are a few other key things you need to know about me, apart from the fact I come to you with over 20 years of experience in higher education. The following are in no particular order:
There’s nothing like a New York slice, and I’ve met few cupcakes (or other carbs for that matter) I didn’t like.
Sadly, I still root for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks, but don’t judge me if I go to a Nets game sometime in the future.
I love to bake and create all manner of things, and I believe laughter is the best medicine for much of what ails us.
I’m happy to wax (not so poetically) about a host of random things.
And, I would love to get to know more about you!
My life’s journey began in Queens, New York, where I was born and raised. I attended public schools for my primary and secondary education, and found myself in the Purple Valley to earn a degree in anthropology at Williams College. I worked in campus life for The Sage Colleges in upstate New York and at my alma mater before I began graduate work at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I earned my doctorate in American Studies. My doctoral work focused on parenting as activism in Baltimore, Maryland and the revolutionary potential of Black love. I’ve had the pleasure of working in residence life and advising at the University of Maryland and as an assistant program manager within the Summer Programs unit of the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. (Here’s a shout out to any incoming student who went through CTY’s programs at Santa Cruz, CA or Chestertown, MD.)
As a class dean, I spend much of my time advising students – discussing academic, social, and personal challenges and how to achieve personal goals. I work with individual students, professors, parents, and other Wesleyan staff to support students in their pursuit of a positive learning experience.
I provide guidance and support to all students in the Class of 2025. I’m a source of information on academic standing, choosing a major, graduation requirements, university policies and procedures, and opportunities and resources available at the university and in the surrounding Middletown community. I may not be aware of every resource that can help my students, but I’m committed to learning about new things that can genuinely support students in my class.
The class dean model enables me to get to know the whole student during their four years here. You don’t attend a university like Wesleyan just to take classes and earn a degree, though that pursuit is paramount. Part of the draw of a place like Wesleyan is to engage with amazing members of our community inside and outside of the classroom, and to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.
Wesleyan has so much in store for you and your classmates, and let me be the first in a long line of people to encourage you on this amazing journey. I look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall, but don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help to you before your arrival.