Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Travel bug

Biology professor wins Whiting Fellowship to study termites 

Betsey DyerProfessor of Biology Betsey Dexter Dyer ’75 knows how to make the most of a vacation. She has taken trips to Puerto Rico, Ecuador, parts of Africa and New Orleans’ French Quarter, where she took in the scenery, enjoyed local cuisine and, oh yes, studied microbial evolution in the guts of termites.

On a trip to Grand Bahama Island in 2004, Dyer and her two children, ages 10 and 13 at the time, spent a few days at a luxurious beachside resort—and several hours riding a jeep around the island in search of rhinotermitids and kalotermitids, which they brought back to their hotel room to view under a field microscope. [Read more...]

A matter of trust

Daniel Arciola ’94 puts Wheaton values to work 

Arciola DanWorking with trusts and estates requires a high level of integrity. As chief trust officer and senior vice president at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York City, Daniel Arciola ’94 understands that, as well as how an education that emphasizes ethics can prepare a person for success.

“When I think about the important things you need to be successful in this industry—communications skills, critical thinking skills, the ability to write, leadership, teamwork—they are all things that through attending Wheaton I had the opportunity to develop,” Arciola said. “At my firm, there is a real emphasis on integrity and teamwork, and those are things our Honor Code at Wheaton focused on. I feel those were values that are very similar to the core values at the institution I now work for.” [Read more...]

A minute with…Bridget Brennan ’15

Minute withBiology major Bridget Brennan spent last summer getting a feel for marine biology as an intern at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod. In the deep end: “I’ve always been interested in marine biology, since I was a kid. My parents could never get me out of the ocean. At Wheaton, I took ‘Intro to Marine Mammals,’ and that really sparked my interest in marine biology and inspired me to seek this internship. In class, we discussed all kinds of physiological aspects of marine mammals, and we got to do an autopsy on a seal. The internship allowed me to take everything I learned in class and put it into real life, which was exactly what I was looking for.” Daily catch: “At the oceanographic institute, I did all sorts of work—from data entry to going out and responding to stranded animals. I also got to participate in marine animal necropsies. So some days I would work in the office, some days out in the field, and other days in the lab, which was my favorite part.” The ripple effect: “My internship definitely helped my educational experience. I gained leadership skills. I got to lead my own necropsy, and I had to come up with my own project for a stomach analysis, which required me to be innovative. I’ve found myself applying the same skills in the classroom with my academic projects at Wheaton.” Wait and sea: “After Wheaton I’m hoping to go to grad school for marine biology. I think this internship will provide me with valuable references, and it has helped prepare me for the work ahead.”

Smart vacation choice: summer courses

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Rachelle DeCoste goes over information during last year’s summer session course “Introductory Statistics.”

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Rachelle DeCoste goes over information during last year’s summer session course “Introductory Statistics.”

Last summer, Sydney Gillis ’16 could have spent her break relaxing in front of the television or going to the beach. Instead, she was sitting in Room 1141 of the Mars science center four days a week learning about hypothesis testing, linear and multiple regression, and variance analysis in Professor Rachelle DeCoste’s “Introductory Statistics” course.

More info:

A full list of summer session courses

And she had plenty of company. Gillis, who took the course to fulfill a requirement, was one of many students who jumped at the opportunity to take courses during Wheaton’s first summer session. The session was started as a pilot program to allow Wheaton students and others to take classes to make up a credit; to fit in coursework that they can’t accommodate in their regular schedule during the academic year; or just to enjoy a subject of interest during a quieter time on campus.

The program was so successful that it will be offered again this summer. Wheaton faculty members will teach a wide range of full-credit courses during an intensive four-week term from May 19 through June 13.

“I really liked that I was able to concentrate on only one class, and it was nice to know that I was getting a class out of the way in the summer so I would not have to worry about it during the year,” Gillis said. “I think that if students take advantage of it, they will feel a lot more at ease during the regular semester knowing that they took an extra class in the summer.”

[Read more...]