Our Admission Staff

  • Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez '96

    Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: US - California, Hawaii.  International - Australia, Oceania, Latin America, New Zealand.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.615.3924

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Spanish Harlem, New York City; The Loomis Chaffee School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) by Digable Planets because they rocked Spring Fling my senior year on Foss Hill.

    FAVORITE BOOK: I’m an avid reader of non-fiction and autobiographies are my “jam”. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Other Wes Moore, and My Beloved World by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor top my list.

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Puerto Vallarta is a long-time fave, but since Sultan’s Kebab Express opened up last spring it has quickly become a contender. For a city of Middletown’s size the range of terrific and authentic ethnic food is outstanding.

    WHY WESLEYAN? Few colleges afford the opportunity to take advantage of the breadth and depth of our academic programs in such a dynamically diverse community that promotes collaboration over competition. I was drawn to Wes as a student because it is exceptionally balanced in terms of size, location, educational philosophy, co-curricular opportunities, and more. The students are intellectually curious, socially and politically active, and invested in making positive impacts on the world regardless of what occupations they ultimately pursue.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Remember that the college application process does not reward either the modest or the arrogant. Be your own best advocate and trust that it matters far less where you ultimately enroll than what you do while you are there. Your college outcomes are not accurate measures of either your self-worth or potential. Do your part and let the rest take care of itself.

  • Chandra Joos DeKoven

    Director of Admission - Enrollment Strategies and Operations

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: US - New York.  International - Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.879.3286

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Milton, NH; St. Thomas Aquinas 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Uptown Funk, Bruno Mars  - I've been banned from Karaoke after an unfortunate debut at an undisclosed location in Upstate NY - As a act of Civil Disobedience I would quietly sing this as my  "walk out" song : )  

    FAVORITE BOOK: The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Haveli's lunch buffet - everything is tasty and it will satiate you and friends' varying dietary needs.  

    WHY WESLEYAN? The Open Curriculum, advising system, and one-on-one engagement with the faculty will introduce you to new ideas and perspectives, push you outside of your academic comfort zone, and allow you to grow as an engaged scholar and socially conscious community member.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Applying to college is a process; your education leading up to this point should not.  In fact, your years leading up should be punctuated by curiosity, creativity, and challenge; a comfort in taking academic risks and the important lessons learned from mistakes; stretching personally; valuing authenticity; and investing in your personal relationships and community. High school should not be seen as a stepping stone to college; rather, an as a highly formative opportunity to fully develop as a caring and contributing human being.  

  • Taylor Brown

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.0620

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Warren, NJ; Watchung Hills Regional High School 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen 

    FAVORITE MOVIE: Shawshank Redemption, Back to the Future.

    FAVORITE TV SHOWS: TV Shows—Ozark, Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon.

    FAVORITE BOOK: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: La Boca! I recommend the garlic, boneless wings! 

    WHY WESLEYAN? I could say many things: the freedom of the open curriculum, the strength and enthusiasm of our theater and film programs, the robust science research opportunities…but at the end of the day it’s the tight-knit community and the people that make Wesleyan great. The students have unparalleled enthusiasm, boldness, and creativity.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: It is important to know that when it comes college search, the journey is just as important as the destination. You will learn a lot about yourself and your priorities in the process. And remember, while the college application process is important, don’t forget to enjoy being a high school senior too! 

  • Cruz '21

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: they/them

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.467.0785 

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Miami, FL; Hialeah Gardens Senior High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Booker T por Bad Bunny

    FAVORITE TV SHOWS: VENENO dramatizes the life of Spaniard trans trailblazer La Veneno. If I’m in the mood for a heist, La casa de papel; if I’m feeling a dark comedy, Search Party.

    FAVORITE BOOK: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi tells a story of migration and nonbinaried, multiplex identity through the lens of Igbo spirituality.

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Sweet Harmony has the best coffee on Main Street! Try the Milky Way Mocha and, if you’re hungry for more, the Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese.

    WHY WESLEYAN? Learning at Wes goes above and beyond the classroom. It can look like student activists planning a campaign at the University Organizing Center, or artists collaborating on a ‘zine in The Workshop, or student farmers harvesting kale at Long Lane Farm, or a professor asking you what YOU think of their research. Take a walk through campus in the middle of the semester and you’ll hear clusters of students passionately summarizing their readings, teaching their friends concepts they just learned that week. The open curriculum, academic resources, and funding opportunities at Wesleyan empowers students to love learning and to treat their education as a collaborative, community experience. Students here challenge themselves and others - to listen and do better, to think of the bigger picture, and to imagine more than the status quo.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: The college application process can be a whirlwind of tasks, deadlines, and the competing voices of your family, educators, and community. Before you’re in the trenches of what can be an overwhelming journey, separate your perspective from the ones around you. Journaling - even if just creating a list - can bring you clarity about what you prioritize in your education and personal growth. When it gets tough, look back at your own words to be reminded of your values, your potential, and your passion. Regardless of the college you grace, be comforted that you have the GRIT to make the most of it.

  • Julia Fondiller

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.467.1388

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Scarsdale, NY; Edgemont Jr. Sr. High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Be the Hero from Big Fish the Musical

    FAVORITE BOOK: The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: O’Rourke’s Diner - their Banana Bread French Toast is incredible.

    WHY WESLEYAN? Wesleyan immediately struck me as an environment that values students' creativity, knowledge, and uniqueness. Additionally, each student I've talked to has raved about special housing options that are available and the seemingly endless opportunities to get involved with the Middletown community. The Admissions staff has welcomed me with open arms and I am so grateful to be a part of the Wes community!  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Reach out to current students and be open to hearing about their experiences- both the good and the bad. This is an incredibly helpful way to learn about a specific school because those students might end up being your classmates, teammates, and friends!

  • Mariane Ibrahim

    Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: She/Her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: California, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.788.4529

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Jersey City, New Jersey; University Academy Charter High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: I can’t sing but I would act like I can sing by choosing All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

    FAVORITE BOOKS: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Red Fox

    WHY WESLEYAN? Wesleyan really allows students to express themselves, advocate for change and gives them the tools needed to be change agents.  The open curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore new interests from a wide variety of classes. It’s a place where faculty and peers have dynamic perspectives, share ideas, and champion diversity.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Learn to talk about yourself, a lot. Everyone wants to hear about the authentic YOU so really take the time to get to know yourself in all aspects and show off.

  • Jessica Jaskot

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: She/Her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Alaska, California, New York.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.467.0921

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Greenwich, CT; Greenwich High School & Ombrosa International School (Lyon, France).

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: A song for laughs and cheesy dance moves- “Keep your Hands to Yourself” by the Georgia Satellites.  If we’re taking karaoke more seriously, “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher.

    FAVORITE BOOKS: The Circle by Dave Eggers- It’s a dystopian commentary on the values and cultures that have emerged as a result of the prevalence of the internet and technology.

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/MOVIE: The Good Place; The Princess Bride

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Perk on Main- It’s the perfect cozy cafe to settle in with a good coffee and yummy croissant and do some reading/work.

    WHY WESLEYAN?  The size. Wesleyan is a “big, small school.” Since Wes is larger than a typical liberal arts school, there are a greater number of resources to explore new things and a greater number of resources for students to pursue their academic and personal passions. It allows for an environment with greater diversity where students interact with people from many different world views and life experiences. The classroom conversations are enhanced and there’s a strong sense of collaboration. Wes is large enough that there are a myriad of ideas from students wanting to make a difference but also small enough that it is a close-knit community.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS:  Take time to reflect on yourself- what are your passions inside and outside of the classroom? What new areas do you want to explore in college? The college application process is a wonderful opportunity for self-discovery. You will find things out about yourself such as what motives you and what excites you. This is a passage to an exciting new chapter in your life. You should focus more on picturing what you want the next four years of your life to look like rather than applying to every school possible. You are more likely to be successful wherever you end up the more you are in tune with yourself, your passions, and your goals. We want to get to know you and help you in this process. If you see it this way, it can help you relax more and enjoy the process more.

  • Sebastian L. St Ivory

    Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Lousiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.854.1765

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Boone, North Carolina; Watauga High

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel 

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: Breaking Bad/1984 (Orwell)/Boyhood 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Haveli, Chicken Vindaloo (extra spice) with Garlic Naan and a Mango Lassi.  

    WHY WESLEYAN? The open curriculum at Wes is the epitome of the liberal arts experience. Wesleyan students come to campus with a mind open to risk and exploration across the curriculum leading to extraordinary cross-curricular collaboration.  

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Ignore the rankings: look for a university where you’ll be challenged and grow. 

  • B. Noble Jones, Ph.D.

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Connecticut, New York.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.1861

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Brookfield HS; Brookfield, Ohio 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT / WHAT'S YOUR WALK-UP SONG: Cannot imagine a worse singing voice than mine, so I’ll exercise the right to not sing. Walk-up song: Blinding Lights by The Weeknd 

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: At the moment, I’m obsessed by Peaky Blinders and Ozark and have re-streamed them both a number of times. I like to reread books and regularly revisit Catch-22 and A Confederacy of Dunces. Showing my age, but I’ll always stop to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Shawshank Redemption, and Napoleon Dynamite. 

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Celtic Cavern and their crispy Brussels sprouts 

    WHY WESLEYAN? Our students wear their hearts on their sleeves and pursue a healthy definition of success that includes the well-being of others, not just themselves. 

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Abandon the notion of a “perfect fit” or a “dream school.” Keep an open mind and realize there are so many colleges and universities out there, and they can all serve you well. Your college experience, wherever it may be, will largely be determined by how you personally engage your faculty, staff, and classmates, and leverage the resources that exist on that campus to make the most of your time there. 

  • Lexi Kaider

    Admission Counselor

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, South Dakota.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.852.4077

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Cheshire, CT; Cheshire High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey

    FAVORITE BOOKS: Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: ION Restaurant, It's Only Natural. The restaurant is 100% vegan and very delicious.

    WHY WESLEYAN?  I graduated from a liberal arts college where I came to strongly believe in the freedom for students to explore multiple academic avenues of interest. Wesleyan’s particularly collaborative learning environment, spirted student body, and active civic engagement are truly inspirational in helping students develop plentiful toolkits with which to positively contribute to their communities in ways meaningful to them. Individual growth and social bonds flourish throughout campus, and it’s an exciting network to be a part of.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Be kind to yourself during this process. Look for an institution that will challenge you and encourage your success in and out of the classroom. It will all work out, often in ways beyond your imagination.

  • Bryan Kobick

    Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: he/him

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: US - California, Massachusetts.  International - East/Southeast/Central Asia (excluding China).

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.854.1730

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Vienna, Virginia; James Madison High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel

    FAVORITE MOVIE: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    FAVORITE BOOK: What is the What by Dave Eggers

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Esca Restaurant and Wine Bar

    WHY WESLEYAN: Wesleyan has an incredibly unique approach to learning through its open and flexible curriculum. While I did not attend Wesleyan as an undergraduate, I did attend a small national university with a strong focus on the Liberal Arts. A Liberal Arts education at Wesleyan teaches students how to ask questions, question one’s own ideas and perspectives, take risks, and to engage in the world around them.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Ignore the rankings. Search for ideal college fits, schools where you can grow and thrive academically, socially, and professionally over the next four years.
  • Tara Lindros

    Associate Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: US - Massachusetts. International - Africa, Canada, Europe.

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.365.6841

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Middletown, NY; Middletown High School 

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT:  So What by Pink 

    FAVORITE BOOK: My current favorite books (I try to read 50+ per year) are Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips and Circe by Madeline Miller.  

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Nardelli’s, Italian Combo Sub with Everything (yes, including the hot sauce!) 

    WHY WESLEYAN? I am a graduate of a small liberal arts college and when I entered the admission profession after graduate school, I wanted to represent an institution that embodied the values that were so central to my own college experience and life beyond. Wesleyan’s commitment to access, equity, and inclusion work, as well as deep pedagogical commitment to the liberal arts educational experience, made it a great fit for me and my personal values. As to why I stay at Wesleyan? I am consistently impressed by the commitment to making change among our students, and way Wesleyan as an institution uses its resources to support that work.   

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Your time in college should be a transformative experience, not simply a credentialing one. Find a school that makes you at least a little uncomfortable, but where you can see evidence that it facilitates growth and change in its students, and sets them up to find meaningful work in the world after they graduate.  

  • Jordan Nyberg

    Assistant Director of Admission Events

    PRONOUNS: she/her

     

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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Southington, CT; St. Paul Catholic High, Bristol, CT

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT:  Definitely something Broadway!  Probably Me and the Sky from Come From Away or Someone Else's Story from Chess.

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: Schitts Creek/What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver/The Birdcage  

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Mondo!  I love everything there, but the brussel sprout pizza is fantastic!

    WHY WESLEYAN?  The students here at Wesleyan are a wonderful mixture of brilliant, friendly, accepting, quirky and passionate.  You won't find a community quite like this anywhere else!

  • Karen O'Leary

    Department Assistant

    PRONOUNS: she/her
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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Portland, Connecticut/Portland High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT/WHAT'S YOUR WALK-UP SONG: Knee Deep by Zac Brown Band

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE: Everyone Loves Raymond/Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood/27 Dresses

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Typhoon Restaurant/Pad Thai

    WHY WESLEYAN? I am immensely grateful to work in the Wesleyan Community while also living in Middletown. Having work and life intersect in this way has provided a great deal of life balance and benefits.

  • Cristina Usino

    Associate Dean of Admission, Director of Diversity Initiatives and Partnerships

    PRONOUNS: she/her/ella

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: US - Delaware, Washington DC.  International - Caribbean

    CONNECT VIA TEXT:  +1 860.467.0615

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Allentown, Pennsylvania; Allentown Central Catholic 
     
    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: Satisfied off the Hamilton Soundtrack 
     
    FAVORITE BOOKS: Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown, everything bell hooks ever wrote and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer 
     
    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: Mondo
     
    WHY WESLEYAN?  I always share that I am in the business of human flourishing and go where there the flourishing is happening. Wesleyan is a human flourishing garden that produces socially conscious scholars who change themselves, their communities and the world. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Bozoma Saint Johh and Lin Manuel Miranda are just a few of those social impact scholars who remind me that social change is possible. It is an honor to be a part of a community dedicated to social good. 
     
    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Spend intentional and quality time getting to know yourself and who you want to be in the next chapter of your life. Finding the "college fit" means finding parts of yourselves that are awakened when in a community and sensing that other parts could come alive in the conditions provided by the institution. Where do you feel safe and brave? Where do you feel a sense of belonging while challenging yourself to belong with others very different from yourself?  The answer to these questions is tied to your overall well-being in college. So, when choosing where you apply and where you enroll, be guided by what makes you feel whole. 
  • Janay Wynter

    Department Assistant

    PRONOUNS: she/her
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    HOMETOWN AND HIGH SCHOOL: Glastonbury, CT ; Glastonbury High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT & WHAT'S YOUR WALK-UP SONG: Literally any songs from Ne-Yo’s Year of the Gentlemen & Beyoncé’s B’Day or Renaissance

    FAVORITE TV SHOW/BOOK/MOVIE:
    Books: Sula by Toni Morrison, Barracoon the Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston
    Shows: Bob’s Burgers, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder
    Movies: Isle of Dogs, Spirited Away, Dreamgirls

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT AND DISH: Mondo - They have the best lunch specials!

    WHY WESLEYAN? There are many many things that make Wesleyan the great University that it is, but if I had to choose one, I would say the people. The students and staff are all so welcoming and brilliant. Regardless of where you come from, you can absolutely find community and support here at Wes.
  • Miranda Zuo

    Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

    PRONOUNS: she/her

    REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: US - Connecticut.  International - China

    CONNECT VIA TEXT: +1 860.852.4729

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    HOMETOWN and HIGH SCHOOL: Janesville, Wisconsin; Milton High School

    WHAT SONG WOULD YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT: I can’t carry a tune, but if I could, I’d sing Sara Evans’ Born to Fly.

    FAVORITE BOOKS: Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni; Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America by Stephen G. Bloom; Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang, and anything by Peter Hessler

    FAVORITE MIDDLETOWN RESTAURANT: I still need to do more research—too many good choices!

    WHY WESLEYAN? With its open curriculum and high levels of campus and community engagement, Wes offers students the flexibility and resources to pursue their passions and explore new interests. It’s a place where faculty and peers will introduce you to new perspectives, engage with you in dialogue, and collaborate to better the community and the world.

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO ALL APPLICANTS: Highlight what you are passionate about in your application! We want to get the best possible understanding of who you are, and what matters to you and why. Put time and thought into your application, but once your apps are submitted, trust that life will work out as it should, regardless of which campus you end up on.