As a medical doctor, Janet Haas P’06 understands the importance of science education. A physicist trained in physical medicine and the rehabilitation of neurologically impaired patients, she received her medical degree from Drexel University and chose her specialty when her husband, John, suffered an aneurysm during her third year of residency.
“Too often we avoid the sciences in this country,” says Haas, though she is quick to point out that this is not the case with the Wheaton community.
A former trustee and the mother of Peter Haas ’06, she has a vested interest in the future of the college. She sees a strong science program as essential to the Wheaton curriculum, and to that end she has established the Rick Wallick teaching and research labs in the Mars Center for Science and Technology.
Haas named the labs in memory of Rick Wallick, vice president for finance and operations at Wheaton from 1999 until his death last April. Wallick oversaw all facets of the planning and construction of the Mars center, but his untimely death prevented him from seeing the finished building. Haas and Wallick had served together on Wheaton’s finance and facilities committee.
The labs, which will be used for environmental science research and teaching, are a fitting tribute to Wallick, who had a keen interest in the environment and sustainability issues, says Haas. “He cared greatly about students and making it possible for them to learn and grow in so many ways during their time at Wheaton. It was tragic that he died so young, a terrible loss to family, friends and the entire Wheaton community.”
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