Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Opening doors

Wheaton awards first scholarship for refugees

The college has awarded the Wheaton Refugee Scholarship to a high school senior whose family fled civil war to resettle in the United States.

The award culminated an international effort that began when President Dennis M. Hanno announced on January 31 that the college would extend a full, four-year scholarship to a refugee fleeing conflict.

“Wheaton is a global institution that is dedicated to improving the world by advancing knowledge and sharing it,” said Hanno in an announcement that was covered by scores of major news media, including CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Daily Mail (U.K.), and generated a flood of social media posts. Overall, online analytics estimated that the story was viewed more than 850 million times worldwide.

The new scholarship was inspired by the signing of an executive order that temporarily banned emigration from seven nations—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The executive order was initially issued on January 27 and later revised, although it has yet to take force due to court challenges. [Read more...]

Making it up

Dimple Divers win College Comedy Festival and Beanpot Tournament

Pictured, back row, left to right: Brendan Geiger ’18, Benjamin Sarat ’18, Michael Kristy ’18, Christine Evers ’19, Christopher Truini ’16, Audrey Dubois ’17; front row, left to right: Margaret “Maggie” Darin ’19, Ebony Kennedy ’19 and Samuel “Sam” Hickson ’17 (Photo by Mac Gostow)

Pictured, back row, left to right: Brendan Geiger ’18, Benjamin Sarat ’18, Michael Kristy ’18, Christine Evers ’19, Christopher Truini ’16, Audrey Dubois ’17; front row, left to right: Margaret “Maggie” Darin ’19, Ebony Kennedy ’19 and Samuel “Sam” Hickson ’17 (Photo by Mac Gostow)

The secret to successful, spur-of-the-moment improvisation is practice. That may sound counterintuitive, but the members of the Dimple Divers, Wheaton’s improv comedy team, can vouch for its effectiveness.

The group this winter recorded a first-place finish at the College Comedy Festival and Beanpot Tournament sponsored by ImprovBoston. Tournament judges also awarded MVP honors to Wheaton team member Ebony Kennedy ’19.

“Like any art form, improvisation requires an immense amount of technique. There is a lot of practice and a lot of teamwork involved,” said Christopher Truini ’16, who is sometimes jokingly called the group’s figurehead president. The team practices four hours each week, running through exercises to build up their chops.

“One of my favorite things about the Dimple Divers is that it gives me four hours a week to laugh uproariously with a group of very funny and talented friends,” said Truini, a theater major from Roxbury, Conn., who has been part of the team since his first year at Wheaton. [Read more...]

Wheaton’s economic impact

Statistics course examines students’ off-campus spending habits

Norton locator map copyA group of Wheaton students tackled a question that regularly vexes colleges and universities: How much do students contribute to the local economy?

Students in Associate Professor of Mathematics Rachelle DeCoste’s statistics class dug into that question this spring at the request of President Dennis M. Hanno, who wanted to be able to accurately represent the college’s impact on the community.

“My goal is to understand the impact that the college has on the local economy,” President Hanno said, explaining his interest in the class’ work. “One category of business that I would be interested in knowing more about, for example, is restaurants. How much do students spend in local restaurants? How often do they visit?” [Read more...]

Wheaton partners with startup incubator

Wheaton has formed a new partnership with MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, to create project- and internship-based learning opportunities for the college’s students while providing talent to promising new businesses.

WIN at MassChallenge, which stands for Wheaton Innovates at MassChallenge, is the name of the new program. It builds upon the college’s focus on putting learning into action through internships and its growing emphasis on “maker culture,” the creative industries and entrepreneurial activity, which are encouraged through the WHALE (Wheaton Autonomous Learning Environment) Lab and IMAGINE, short for InterMedia Arts Group Innovation Network. [Read more...]