Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Mary Howard

Mary Howard ’85 is a freelance writer and editor who lives in southeastern Connecticut.

Answering a calling to support survivors

Indira Henard ’03

Indira Henard ’03

It was a 3 a.m. phone call that led Indira Henard ’03 to her life’s work. The year was 2007, and Henard was an aide for then Senator Barack Obama as well as a special assistant on his presidential campaign. She was also volunteering for the DC Rape Crisis Center, one of the nation’s oldest nonprofits dedicated to eradicating sexual violence.

In the middle of the night, the center called Henard to the hospital to support a woman who had been raped. Though she had been trained for the work, this was Henard’s first experience as a victim advocate.

What followed were seven grueling, emotional hours of waiting, interviews and tests. “That was a significant turning point for me,” she says. “I knew I wanted to make a difference.” [Read more...]

A work of heart

Professor emeritus, brother create ceremonial pieces

The maces and their makerFor the past two years, Professor of Psychology Emeritus David Wulff has been engaged in a project of the heart. With the help of his brother, Bernard—an architect, artist and woodworker—Wulff designed and created two ceremonial maces, symbols of authority used worldwide in formal processions at colleges and universities and on parliamentary occasions.

“They are my parting gift to Wheaton,” says Wulff, who retired in 2012 after 43 years at the college. The maces were used for the first time at the inauguration.

It was at his last Convocation that Wulff had an epiphany. Filling in as marshal for the ceremony, he carried a small, unassuming white baton. “I started thinking that Wheaton really needed a proper ceremonial mace, the ornamental descendant of the armor-piercing weapons once used to protect reigning monarchs,” he says.

Wulff wanted something worthy of the college he holds so dear. “Too many maces look like bedposts,” he says. After researching maces at other institutions, the brothers came up with the idea of a gyroscope to hold the college seal atop the mace. Guided by a picture of an antique gyroscope, Wulff created a prototype “constructed of embroidery hoops, gold paint, and a paper seal” that he presented to head administrators at Wheaton. [Read more...]

Floriane Borel engages in global problem solving

Floraine Borel '14It is rare for someone still in college to play a role in formulating solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. But that’s exactly what international relations and economics major Floriane Borel ’14 did last June as a delegate to the 2013 Y8 Summit in London.

The Y8 Summit is an annual event organized by the International Diplomatic Engagement Association (IDEA), a global network of youth organizations that supports young leaders, who are interested in diplomatic careers. At the conclusion of the weeklong summit, participants produce a “Final Communiqué” containing all the policy recommendations decided upon during discussions. This document is then submitted to leaders of G8 nations for consideration.

[Read more...]

Red Chair-web

Women in technology

Alums shine in industry that needs diversity

When is a chair not just a chair? When it’s used for taking a stand. That’s what members of the Wheaton community discovered during the winter semester when the Sit With Me project was brought to campus by Colleen Wheeler, assistant director of Wheaton’s Web Strategy Team and one of the founders, with Professor Tom Armstrong, of the Wheaton Autonomous Learning Laboratory (WHALE Lab).

Sit With Me is a national advocacy campaign designed to encourage women to pursue computing careers. Sitting in a red chair, participants have an opportunity to show their support and share stories about women in technology. The project perfectly corresponds with one of the goals of the WHALE Lab—to broaden the interest in computer science beyond those who major in it.

Information technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy, with 1.4 million job openings expected by 2020. Although women make up more than half of the American workforce, they hold only 25 percent of technology and computing jobs, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the creator of Sit With Me.

In the spirit of the project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers. Click on their names for short biography.