Final Newsletter

The last “Get Ready for Wes” newsletter will be published on August 19. Future communications will take place through the Class of 2024 blog and the Class of 2020 email list.

Before the semester gets underway, please be sure to login to WesPortal to complete the Academic Integrity and Code of Conduct Moodle course (due August 21), and submit the Religious & Spiritual Life Survey (due August 28).

As you begin your first year at Wesleyan, you should review the academic regulations and the Student Handbook, because they will help you successfully navigate Wesleyan and inform your decision-making. Look over the degree requirements and review the information about academic standing as well as academic review and promotion. It is also important that you explore the general regulations because they discuss course enrollment, attendance, and grading. The student handbook features information and policies concerning student conduct. As these are the university’s regulations and expectations, you are responsible for knowing them as you enter into this community.

Tips for Transfers from Jane Herz ’20, Peer Advisor

I transferred to Wesleyan as a sophomore in 2017, from Wake Forest University. I knew that transferring out of Wake would be the right decision for me, but I had no idea if Wesleyan would be the right fit. I knew that I wanted to come back to the Northeast (I’m originally from NYC!) and go to a smaller school, and while I was interested in Wesleyan, I didn’t know what kind of experience I would have there. Ultimately, I decided to accept my offer because of Wesleyan’s super-strong English and creative writing program. Transferring can be unsettling and a little bit intimidating, because, like most schools, you can’t really tell what it’ll be like until you get there!

Luckily, transferring to Wesleyan was definitely the right choice for me. I love my major, my friends, the campus, and all of the amazing opportunities that Wes provides, such as the study abroad programs! I’ve grown so much as a person throughout my time here, and learned so much about myself.

However, even though I love Wesleyan, the first few months as a transfer student were a bit of an adjustment, and there were so many things that I wish I had known during my first semester. Looking back on my time here, I’ve gathered my top 6 tips to help navigate being a transfer student:

Tip #1: Things take time. Like anything in life, things take time and it may be a little while before you feel completely settled in at Wes. That’s what happened to me, and it’s so normal! You may feel frustrated that you aren’t making friends quickly enough, or that you still don’t know where the best study spot is, or what to do on a Friday night. Try not to stress about this stuff, because it just simply takes time, as annoying as that may be. The longer you’re at Wes, the more comfortable you’ll feel, the more people you’ll get to know, and the more accustomed to campus you’ll be.

Tip #2: Put yourself out there. This is probably something that people will tell you over and over again, but it’s true! As a new student, it’s important to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to ask to grab lunch with people, or invite classmates to study together in Exley. Students at Wesleyan are very open to meeting new people, so don’t be hesitant to initiate that. I met so many of my friends by simply just asking them to grab lunch after we had only met once or twice–it’s totally normal, and will help you meet a ton of new friends and connections on campus!

Tip #3: Go to the pre-planned campus events and activities. As a transfer student, you may feel apprehensive about going to some of the activities or events that are typically advertised to freshmen, such as the clubs fair. However, it turns out that people of all ages and grades go to these events! Don’t be concerned that you’ll be the only sophomore or junior there, because that’s not the case. Joining a club or another on-campus organization is an awesome way to make friends and get involved at Wesleyan. Also, try to go to the events that are planned for transfer students throughout the semester, because it’s a great way to connect with different students in the transfer community.

Tip #4: Figure out how your credits will transfer to Wes. This was one of my biggest mistakes as a transfer student! I had no idea how my credits from Wake were going to transfer to Wesleyan, and I ended up being slightly behind in credit hours when I came in. I had to take a course over winter session, which wasn’t a big deal (it was actually super fun!) but just make sure you know this early so you can plan accordingly. My class dean helped me navigate this, but your advisor will also be able to help.

Tip #5: Try not to compare Wesleyan to your old school. In the beginning, there were times when I found myself comparing certain aspects of Wake to Wesleyan. Instead of doing this, try to embrace Wesleyan as much as you can!

Tip #6: People want to help you. There are so many resources on campus for transfer students, including CAPS, academic peer advisors, your RA, and professors, just to name a few! Don’t be afraid to use these resources, because they are here to make your transition as smooth as possible. People want to help and support you as much as they can!

Preparing to Meet your Faculty Advisor

The objective of the pre-major advising program is to help first-year students and sophomores think seriously about their educational objectives in the context of the liberal arts education offered at Wesleyan. Together with your faculty advisor, you should develop a challenging and coherent educational plan for the first two years, one that achieves curricular breadth while preparing for the depth that the major will bring in the last two years.

Here are some things to think about as you plan for your first meeting with your faculty advisor:

  • Breaking the ice. A good way to introduce yourself to your advisor is to tell them about your high school experience. A good way to get to know your advisor is to ask them how they became a college professor.
  • Know the curriculum. Familiarize yourself with WesMaps and with the websites of departments in which you plan to pursue coursework. What was the logic behind your course pre-registration strategy?  Be receptive to questions and suggestions.
  • Have goals in mind. What are your academic strengths?  What are your academic weaknesses and how do you plan to address them?  How do you plan to pursue breadth? How do you plan to pursue depth? Share concerns that may affect your success in the upcoming semester.  Be sure to make arrangements to schedule your next meeting.

For more information, please see the Faculty and Student Advising Handbook.

Attention All Pre-health Students and Prospective STEM Majors

Wesleyan’s chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) would like to welcome you to Wesleyan. In the upcoming month you all will begin making your schedules for an unprecedented semester, and along with your class dean, Dean Phillips, and your academic advisor, we would like to introduce our student organization to you as a resource as well. We can help answer or find answers to questions specifically about pre-med, pre-dental, or pre-veterinary tracks at Wesleyan, as well as questions about majoring in the sciences in general.

Students who know they would like to follow these paths, along with those who are considering them, are encouraged to contact us before as well as during the semester. You can send a general email to, or contact any of the board members that are listed below. Our Facebook and Instagram pages are also linked below, and they contain information on our goals for the semester and as an organization. We look forward to hearing from you, and hope to see you at our upcoming events!

Best Wishes,

AMSA Board
Wesleyan Chapter

President: Tashfia Jilu ‘22 (
Vice President: Edrea Jiang ‘23(
Treasurer: Neeky Yassari ‘22 (
Secretary: Alyssa Cortes ‘23 (

Instagram: @WesUAMSA
Facebook: Weslayan AMSA (

A Message from the University Librarian on Library Services for Students, Fall 2020

With the start of this most unusual semester nearly upon us, I write to let you know you can see full details and connect with library services and people here:

Changes for the fall semester include:

  • Contactless request and pickup for circulating collections and ILL
  • We can make arrangements to get books to you if you are studying remotely
  • Course reserves fully online
  • Special Collections & Archives open by appointment only
  • Limited individual study seats, group study, and meeting rooms

As of this writing, we are planning on reopening both Olin and Science Libraries on August 24th for limited hours, with regular semester hours scheduled to begin August 31st. You are required to wear your mask and observe all campus social distancing guidelines when visiting or studying in the libraries.

I also invite you to join the library in our on-going work towards building and sustaining an antiracist environment. You can see our action steps here:

We look forward to seeing you again very soon, both on campus and online.

Andrew White, University Librarian

Top Ten Recommendations for the First Year and Beyond

  1. Make Wesleyan yours: Find or create your spaces at Wesleyan, whether by joining an a cappella group or by loving your Physics lab. We have over two hundred student groups that you can sign up for. There are also jobs on campus.
  2. Build relationships: Seek out your instructors during office hours. This can be intimidating, but it is how you build a relationship and come to understand the course material better. Get to know your faculty advisor, work supervisor, your class dean, etc., as it’s important for you to know people; it’s also very important for them to know you!
  3. Learn from your classmates and try new things: Your peers have had a vast array of experiences, so make sure you’re supporting one another and growing together. Upperclassmen will be an invaluable resource as you transition to Wes. Also, make sure you try new things! Explore a new language, study abroad in a different part of the world, select a course with a topic that is completely new to you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Wesleyan has an abundance of resources, whether the Writing Workshop, Academic Peer Advisors or Peer Tutors, as well as your Faculty Advisor, instructors and teaching assistants. Asking for help is hard, because it means being vulnerable, but it is essential to your success. First-year students sometimes see asking for help as a sign of weakness, but it is not. Asking for help is really a sign that you can make savvy use of your resources that will enable you to thrive.
  5. Wesleyan has its own culture with its own language: I have built a list of acronyms that might be helpful to you.
  6. Use your time wisely: You will suddenly have lots of unstructured time. Given the COVID situation and the need to practice social distancing, it will be challenging to to find ways to manage your time. High school is extremely structured, down to the minute, which is not the case in college. Now it’s up to you to be mindful of how you’re using your time, whether studying for a test, writing a paper, doing homework, getting to class, etc. Most students use a planner, whether electronic or paper. For example, once you have all of your courses set, you should look over all of your syllabi and then plan out all of the assignments across the semester, as you’ll know when your intense weeks will be. If those weeks include papers as well as tests, try to get those papers done earlier so that you can focus on just the tests during that week.
  7. Make sure that you’re having fun! Find ways to connect with friends.  It’s hard to be social when practicing social distancing, but with a little bit of imagination and determination it can be done. Practice mindfulness.
  8. Take care of yourself. Sleeping and eating well, avoiding as much stress as possible, all of these are important aspects of self-care. WesWell offers self-care education, programs and workshops, as does CAPS. We have at Wesleyan the Rule of 7, a guideline that recommends that you can pursue four courses and three activities, but really no more than that.
  9. Don’t let a disappointing grade derail you. If you don’t do as well on something as you had hoped, go see your instructor and discuss where you went wrong in order to improve your performance on the next assignment. A disappointing grade does not mean that you aren’t capable or that the Admissions Office made a mistake (they do not make mistakes!). Make sure that you’re reaching out for help in this moment rather than pulling back, as this has happened to countless students before. Check out the Wesleyan Resilience Project for stories of students who have gained from their moments of challenge.
  10. Your dean is here to help: Dean Phillips is available to you via email or zoom this summer and once the semester is underway.  You can schedule a drop-in appointment with him through his Google Calendar, or you can an email him at to schedule a meeting if drop-in hours don’t fit your schedule.

Navigating Being Minorities in STEM/Pre-Med at Wes

via Zoom 3pm EDT Wednesday, August 5
Zoom Meeting ID: 965 9981 5672
Zoom Passcode 401493
Zoom link:

Please RSVP through this link:

MAPS contact:

MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students) Wesleyan Chapter, formerly known as BLAC, is a group organization that is under the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Wesleyan’s MAPS Chapter is paired with its big sibling SNMA chapter of Quinnipiac Medical School. MAPS’ aim is to provide a support system enriched with advice, informative events, resources, etc. for minority students that are on the pre-med track. To kick start the 2020-2021 academic year, MAPS will be hosting an informative panel titled: ​Navigating Being Minorities in STEM/Pre-Med at Wes. ​This panel will feature Wesleyan’s AMSA (American Medical Students Association) Chapter and will be moderated by MAPS Co-President, Shantel Sosa ‘21 and FTF Orientation Leader, CeCe Payne ‘21. This panel is aimed for incoming and current minority students who are interested in learning about how to make the best out of their Wesleyan career as a STEM/Pre-Med student.

Panelists include

  • Matiza Sacotingo ‘21​, MAPS Co-President, French Studies major and Chemistry minor
  • Ivie Uzamere ‘21​, MAPS Secretary, Biology & Science in Society double major and Chemistry minor
  • Tashfia Jilu ‘22,​ Co-MAPS Representative and AMSA President, Biology and Science in Society double major
  • Khari Derrick ‘22,​ MAPS Co-Underclassmen Liaison, Government major w/ an American government concentration and Chemistry minor
  • Edrea Jiang ‘23, ​AMSA Vice President, prospective Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Economics double major

Please click here for a link to the Zoom recording of the panel.

Health Professions Town Hall

PRESENTED BY: Mildred Rodríguez, PhD, Health Professions Advisor

Thursday, 13 August 2020
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Are you planning on pursuing a health profession program in the future and have questions about courses, whether you should be volunteering or doing community service in the summer, will you be able to study abroad, why a GAP year might be beneficial, when you should start studying for the MCAT or DAT, or any number of other inquiries, come and join the Health Professions Advisor, Mildred Rodríguez, PhD,  for an open forum to ask and discuss anything related to your goals in attending a health professional program in the future. Currently at Wesleyan, there are students considering dentistry, optometry, nursing, allopathic and osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, physical therapy and physician assistant programs; you are all welcome to come and ask your questions.

Presented by the Gordon Career Center

Co-Sponsored by the American Medical Student Association, Wesleyan Chapter
Co-Sponsored by Minority Association of Premedical Students, Wesleyan Chapter
Co-Sponsored by the National Organization on Rare Diseases Student Association of Connecticut
Co-Sponsored by the Wesleyan Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Reflections on “First Year Matters” from the Peer Advisors

The “First Year Matters” (FYM) program has always been one of my favorite parts of New Student Orientation. FYM gives incoming students the opportunity to have a shared experience and introduction to the intellectual life at Wesleyan. This year’s FYM viewing is “This Changes Everything,” a powerful documentary that explores the intersection of capitalism and the global climate crisis, as well as the role individuals play in fighting for change. One aspect of Wesleyan that I love is the spirit of activism among students, and this documentary speaks to the importance of advocacy and everyone’s responsibility in demanding the changes that they want to see from people in power.

As you prepare to start your Wesleyan journey under extraordinary circumstances, FYM becomes increasingly important. Many of you in the class of 2024 will already share more common experiences than most students entering Wesleyan under typical circumstances, by virtue of the fact that the entire world shut down and with that came the loss of proms, high school graduations and so much more. You can use your experience viewing the documentary to further find common ground with your peers, to make connections and establish relationships during a time in which doing so has become so hard. While there are typically structured small group discussions during orientation devoted to the FYM reading or viewing, don’t let the conversations stop there. The more you discuss what you’ve seen, the more you’ll learn about your classmates, and their past experiences and viewpoints. We all bring vastly different perspectives with us to college, and FYM is the first time, and one of the only, your entire class will get to fully engage in the same conversation and you will get to see all the different ways people may interpret and understand the same thing.

In your WesPortal, there is a link to submit a brief response to the documentary. This is due on August 21st – your first assignment of college! You can use this response as an opportunity to engage critically with the documentary and be prepared to discuss it with your peers. I am excited to hopefully discuss the documentary with some of you and hear your thoughts!

If you have any questions about FYM, please don’t hesitate to reach out – my email is! Additionally, please feel free to reach out to me or any other peer advisor with any questions or concerns you may have about the semester ahead or beyond. You can email us at, or find an individual peer advisor’s email here. If you are interested, you can learn more about groups on campus that address climate change and sustainability and ways to get involved here. I hope you enjoy “This Changes Everything,” and that it helps instill a sense of activism that is very much alive on the Wesleyan campus!