Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

The Big Uneasy

Henry Meyer ’94 fights crime in New Orleans

One hundred and ninety-three people were murdered in New Orleans in 2012, and none shook the city to its core more than the tragic slaying of Briana Allen.

On a warm and clear May afternoon, the 5-year-old girl was shot twice in the stomach by an AK-47 on the front porch of her grandmother’s home in Central City while attending the birthday party of her 10-year-old cousin, who was also shot in the melee but survived. All told that day, two were killed and three were injured in the hail of crossfire in a fight between rival street gangs.

Henry âHankâ  Meyer â94“The city was all up in arms, and rightfully so,” Henry “Hank” Meyer ’94 recalled. “When a five-year-old girl gets slaughtered by an assault rifle, enough is enough.”

Meyer spends his days—and often nights—trying to keep horrors like this from happening.

He is a senior special agent with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and an investigator with the Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MAG), which combines the resources of the ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service and the New Orleans Police Department. The gang unit was created in response to the murder of Allen and encompasses an unprecedented collaboration between local and federal law enforcement officials and prosecutors targeting violent crime and gang activity in the city. [Read more...]

An effective approach

“While President Hanno taught the curriculum spelled out in his book, packing much content into five short days, I was particularly drawn to his pedagogy. He presented and explained concepts in the simplest, uncomplicated, straightforward way and called on the 120 students to chime in and give examples from their own lives and communities. He always explicitly commented on and then wove students’ personal views into the topic at hand and progressively and speedily moved the lecture forward. It seemed to me that each lecture turned into a dialogue where the students learned about leadership and entrepreneurship and we, President Hanno and the teacher-students, became acquainted with students’ personal values, academic interests, and concerns expressed about their own communities, including about Rwanda and Africa. Because President Hanno spoke to the students at the personal level, they were amazingly responsive, attentive and lively; they soaked up the lecture material. In a week, I witnessed how genuinely transformative learning can happen, in a cross-cultural context.”

—Professor Hyun Sook Kim

Back to “Change makers

An opportunity to grow 

“My experience in Rwanda was very powerful. The January trip rounded out my liberal arts education at Wheaton. Taking a “Beyond the West” course could be treated as just a requirement, but Wheaton allows students many hands-on opportunities to act as engaged global citizens. I feel that Wheaton has continually provided me with the opportunity to step forward and grow  and to see the world from new perspectives.I hope to work in the medical field while focusing mainly on public health and this opportunity opened my eyes to the ways that I can hopefully one day make a positive impact. After visiting Agahozo Shalom Youth Village I have decided that I want to work with children, particularly at risk youth.”

—Hannah  Gasperoni ’17, biochemistry major

Back to “Change makers

Letter: Pie chart not complete picture

I’m writing to comment on Sandy Coleman’s article on outcomes for the Class of 2014 in the summer issue of the Quarterly. While it is encouraging to see nice outcomes for the respondent Wheaton graduates, I feel that the pie chart accompanying the story is somewhat misleading.

Perhaps it should include the 30 percent nonresponse rate, given that the nonresponders are likely not the same as the responders. In other words, the pie chart assumes that the nonresponders would have the same rates of “employed,” “graduate school,” “volunteer,” etc., which I believe is highly unlikely. It is good that the magazine footnoted that the data were based on a 70 percent response rate, but the pie chart with only 2 percent missing is what catches the eye of the reader.

I am very grateful, indeed, for my education at Wheaton (I was a math major). It has served me very well in my field of biostatistics and in my career, but I just felt compelled to share my caution in how easily the choices made in presenting statistics can paint a picture that is different from reality.

Kimberly Boomer Ring ’92