Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Mary Howard

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

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.

Sharon Callahan ’84

650_Sharon-Callahan1

  • CEO of LLNS at Omnicom Group
  • EVP of Omnicom Group, New York [Read more...]

Jaclyn “Jackie” Hurley Christensen ’00

Jaclyn “Jackie” Hurley Christensen ’00

  • Product owner
  • WhippleHill Communications, Bedford, N.H.

Jackie Christensen works in software development, creating a product vision for WhippleHill’s learning management system, onCampus, an online tool that helps private K–12 schools manage and share information with students and parents. It’s her job to understand the competitive landscape, conduct user research, and communicate with schools to ensure that her team is on the right track. She prioritizes which product features and enhancements her development team tackles in each software release. She also works closely with the sales and marketing team to ensure the product messaging is accurate, clear and compelling to potential customers.

“Women are major consumers of technology,” says Christensen. “If companies want to be successful now and in the future, they need people on their product development teams who relate to women’s needs and daily challenges.”

Women in technology
In the spirit of the Sit With Me 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.

She credits an independent study on environmental psychology she did with Professor of Psychology David Wulff for honing her writing and communications skills, which she uses every day in her job.

“I now recognize how unique an opportunity I had, working one-on-one with a professor as an undergraduate.”

Her path to a career in technology was not linear, says Christensen, who majored in environmental science and minored in psychology at Wheaton. Working in development for the Anti-Defamation League of Boston, she found she had a knack for figuring out the software programs used to track gifts and generate donor reports.

She dovetailed her interests in technology and nonprofit work as an e-philanthropy specialist for Campagne Associates in Manchester, N.H., before joining WhippleHill. “That’s the exciting thing about technology: it’s so fast-paced that unique opportunities crop up all the time.”