Student Bios

  • Jessica Chen

    Psychology 

    “I transferred to Wesleyan during my sophomore year of college. I just couldn’t stop imagining myself going to the university after I saw how amazing it was.”

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    After visiting campus during a Terpsichore dance performance and seeing how passionate all the students were, I transferred to Wesleyan during my sophomore year of college. I just couldn’t stop imagining myself going to the university after I saw how amazing it was. I’m now a psychology major, but I am also passionate about technology, dance, and so many other things. Wesleyan has made me a capable and well-rounded critical thinker—not just a person who only knows certain skills. Wesleyan is also an incredibly open community; you’ll never be considered weird here! Every day, I’m inspired by my fellow students.

    Making an impact on the community is central to my existence. Wesleyan has enabled me to stay curious and has given me the courage to put myself out there. I think I’m a really lucky person to be at the perfect school and have the opportunity to meet a bunch of awesome people.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    There are so many! One of my favorite experiences was helping my student club win The Most Influential Club award last semester. I have also really enjoyed dancing in two senior dance projects for two fantastic human beings.

  • Steven Kidder

    Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Government Minor

    In my experience, there’s never seemed to be any complacency at Wesleyan. Students, staff, and faculty members never seem to settle.”

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    I initially came to Wesleyan because it offered me the best aid package. I knew I wanted to work with an advocacy organization and use the privilege I was given to make the world better for those who are marginalized and whose voices are so often silenced. In my experience, there’s never seemed to be any complacency at Wesleyan. Students, staff, and faculty members never seem to settle. There’s always the next thing to do.

    My desire to improve the world has always been there. But Wesleyan has opened my eyes and made me critical of systems I hope to work with in the future. Certain approaches to bettering the world can reify discriminatory hierarchies and, in the end, subvert any change you’ve made.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    There are so many. I think my favorite memories involve having deep, intelligent conversations with my best friend David while procrastinating on homework that is due.

  • Isaac Klimasmith

    Biology

    “The people are what make this place so special. I think you can get a sense of that when you’re on campus in a way that a website or brochure simply wouldn’t be able to convey. The level of energy and activism the students have here is incredible.”

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    When I was applying to schools, I was running competitively and had my heart set on being a diplomat in the foreign service. While Wesleyan would have been a great place for both, what made me choose to apply early decision were the diverse interests of my student interviewer. In the end, I never ran in a single cross-country race and changed tracks into biology after realizing how important environmental protection is to me. Luckily, Wesleyan is also a great place to shift gears and find a new passion. I'm now part of the College of the Environment Think Tank and feel very fortunate to get to work closely with faculty through that opportunity. It’s been nothing short of an amazing experience.

    If you’re a student who’s thinking about coming to Wesleyan, you need to visit our campus. The people are what make this place so special. I think you can get a sense of that when you’re on campus in a way that a website or brochure simply wouldn’t be able to convey. The level of energy and activism the students have here is incredible.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    During my first year, my birthday fell during final exams. I holed myself away in my room studying and, all of a sudden, someone knocked on my door. It turns out that my friends baked a cake for me in the dorm kitchen. It was completely misshapen and they served it to me on a Frisbee. We all sat around on the floor eating a weird-looking chocolate cake on a Frisbee. It was an awesome experience.

  • Michelle Lei

    Neuroscience & Behavior

    “I believe the world is what you make of it…Wesleyan has been the perfect place to prepare for the future. I made the right choice.”

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    When I began my college search, I wanted to find a place where I’d fit in while doing the things I loved. Wesleyan has helped me explore who I am both academically and creatively. With the open curriculum, I’m able to take classes outside of my major, forge my own academic path, and explore and challenge my interests while maintaining an open-minded perspective. I have friends working on Broadway with Tony Award-winning directors. I have friends that are conducting groundbreaking research. And Wesleyan is also a place that facilitates a lot of activism. No matter what you’re interested in, there will be plenty of opportunities to get in touch with leading thinkers in those fields.

    I believe the world is what you make of it. It’s a place where hard work is valued and success is possible for anyone as long as you’re willing to keep trying. In my experience, Wesleyan has been the perfect place to prepare for the future. I made the right choice.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    Every year during winter, Wesleyan will have a random, unnaturally warm day. Students typically will sit on Foss Hill for most of the day, taking a break. My favorite memory has to be sitting there with all of my friends and listening to music while looking at our beautiful campus.

  • Adriane Tharp

    English; Film Studies Minor

    At Wesleyan, I haven’t taken any classes that I wasn’t excited about. I’ve been able to explore broadly across disciplines—and deeply in areas where I wanted to learn more.”

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    When I began my college search, it was important for me to choose a school that values the arts, one that had a track record of producing artists of all disciplines. I came here thinking I’d double major in English and music or film. I also wanted to go to a school that offered rigorous academics. I wanted to be pushed. Art needs something to feed it and my academic work here has certainly done that. At Wesleyan, I haven’t taken any classes that I wasn’t excited about. I’ve been able to explore broadly across disciplines—and deeply in areas where I wanted to learn more. I have so many different interests and the open curriculum has given me the freedom to try new things.

    The professors here are amazing, too. One of my favorite writing professors knew I was a giant Flannery O’Connor geek and have an obsession with visiting artists’ houses. Last spring, on my birthday, this professor drove me to a home in Ridgefield where O’Connor stayed with friends and wrote for a year. It was a magical experience—having deep conversations about writing and living while driving through a woodsy part of Connecticut I’d never seen. Then we stopped in the mountains where the air was crisp and the trees seemed to speak. O’Connor winding up in such a place just made so much sense.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    During my first year, my best friend and I came back to campus before winter break ended in order to take an internship course with the Career Center. We were poking around our dorm one night and found a mattress on top of the stairwell. It was snowing heavily and we had the idea that we could sled down Foss Hill on this mattress if we could just get it there. Another friend joined us. After a long, latenight trek across campus, we reached the top of the hill and tossed the mattress down in the snow. Two of us climbed on and the third ran behind and pushed. The mattress didn’t budge. We tried again and again with no luck, but it was still a lot of fun. Over the next few weeks, we tried to sled on anything we could get our hands on: a cardboard guitar box, plastic bags, a hard-shell suitcase. Some things were more successful than others. If you’re coming to Wes, consider bringing a sled.

  • Ekram Towsif

    Undecided

    At Wesleyan, the only limitation is your imagination.”

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    When I was looking at schools, I wanted to find one that would challenge me academically. But I also wanted ample opportunities to grow socially, academically, and professionally. Wesleyan checks all my criteria—and then some. I love how the school’s small student population allows anyone to pursue whatever path they wish, without any constraints. The Wesleyan community is incredibly collaborative. Students help each other and get along. Professors are dedicated to supporting students when they are struggling. The unified works and performances held throughout the year by everyone on campus showcase the creativity and innovation that Wesleyan is known for—which ultimately inspires everyone to give their all. At Wesleyan, the only limitation is your imagination.

    I’ve always believed that we should help people who need help, regardless of who they are. Wesleyan has empowered me to help people around the world on a bigger scale by being a part of organizations such as the MINDS Foundation, which helps mentally ill patients in the Middletown community and in India, where our parent organization is located. It’s great to give back to those who need it most.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    My favorite memory was when I stayed on campus an additional eight weeks last summer to conduct research with my faculty advisor. The campus environment shifts a lot during the summer into a research-driven yet easygoing atmosphere. Staying for the extra time enabled me to learn several programming languages and familiarize myself with all of the research projects students and faculty are doing on campus.

  • Naomi Williams

    English; Caribbean Studies Minor

    “Now that I’m here, I see how every learning experience requires independent thinking. Students aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves or each other.”

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    I ended up coming to Wesleyan because I wanted to go to a school that offered a rigorous curriculum, had a strong English department and resources available to creative writers, and was a warm and welcoming campus. Coming from Atlanta, I initially preferred schools in large cities. But I ended up at Wes and was struck by how warm all the people were. Now that I’m here, I see how every learning experience requires independent thinking. Students aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves or each other. No one is afraid to challenge and question what they learn or what they hear. I love that many professors require us to touch base on a personal level at the beginning of the semester, and I am really excited when I get a professor who was also a first-generation, low-income student of color in college. Hearing about their experiences is always a much-needed reminder that I am not alone and I don’t need to change the way I move across a room or speak just to feel like I’m part of this campus. It’s inspiring.

    If you’re thinking about coming to Wesleyan, it’s vital that you stay true to yourself and who you are throughout the application process. I say this as a senior interviewer in the Office of Admission. When you know what you care about and are able to articulate why these things matter to you in a personal essay or interview, your chances of getting accepted could become better.

    What is your favorite memory from your time at Wesleyan to date?

    Each year, the week before reunion and commencement in May are particularly exciting. I love listening to the graduating seniors reminisce about their first year—the challenges they faced, the days they were triumphant, and the days they felt they were taking endless losses. I’ve worked at Usdan University Center during every senior week since I was a first year. I’m so grateful for the conversations and laughs I’ve had with seniors days before their graduation. This year is my year and I’m ready!