Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Wheaton seen

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Nowhere is that more true than at Wheaton as you walk the campus on any given day. Before the end of the spring semester, as I strolled along, the point was repeatedly proven in random visual narratives about how creativity is fostered and encouraged here; about how highly regarded our alums, parents and friends are; and about how well-rounded our students are because of their interdisciplinary liberal arts education at Wheaton.

Just a few examples:

Paper Dorm RoomOne day an intriguing giant box appeared outside of the Mars arts building. “What is it?” I asked. It turned out to be an art installation by Charlotte Hall ’17. “Students in ‘Sculpture II’ created immersive installations for their final project,” Professor Kelly Goff explained. “Some were site-specific (around campus) and others were contained within these temporary booths we made from theater flats. Charlotte Hall created a sort of version of her dorm room, clad inside and out with refuse that she personally accumulated over the last few weeks. Passers-by are invited to enter the booth.”

Another day, I saw a member of the college’s grounds crew on his knees at the base of a tree, a big bucket beside him. What was he doing? Painstakingly picking the teeny tiny weeds from the mulch around a tree so that the campus could look perfect for the alums, parents and friends who would be arriving on campus for Commencement. [Read more...]

No time like now

In this 2010 photo, Grace Baron is working with a young student at the Groden Center, in Providence, R.I., where she served as a behavioral consultant.

In this 2010 photo, Grace Baron is working with a young student at the Groden Center, in Providence, R.I., where she served as a behavioral consultant.

We always think we will have time.

Time to pursue our dreams.

Time to repair old grudges.

Time to connect with friends, family.

But none of us have as much time as we think. Sadly, we are reminded of that on the In Memoriam pages of the Quarterly each issue. This time, along with all of the beloved alums, relatives and friends who have passed away, we note the loss of our beloved Grace Baron, professor emerita of psychology. She died on February 27 of pancreatic cancer. [Read more...]

A minute with … Zevi Rubin ’16

Drone CampIf you look up in the sky while at Wheaton and see a drone, Zevi Rubin can’t be too far away. The computer science major has become known for building (he has seven) and piloting drones, which he prefers to call multi-rotors, because drones get a bad rap. Last semester he was a panelist at Wheaton’s first Drone Camp alongside professors. Spreading his wings: “I’ve been working with the Film Department since last summer, and I am now training students to fly a Wheaton-owned multi-rotor to use during film projects. I am always excited to spread awareness about UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] and some of their uses, and I am excited to work with the school to start developing new uses for the technology. So many people have preconceived notions about what a drone is and what it does. My main goal when showing my work to people is to show them that drones aren’t all bad. In fact, my multi-rotor drones are actually pretty fun.” [Read more...]

Professor and students examine epidemics

Karen McCormackIn 2014, the largest Ebola epidemic in history affected several countries in West Africa. Coincidentally, before the outbreak became a major media story, Associate Professor of Sociology Karen McCormack was already exploring health and crime epidemics in her First-Year Seminar (FYS) “Epidemics, Contagion and Inequality.” We talked to her about the course.

Tell us about the focus of your FYS and how the idea for it came about.

Over the past decade or so, many social scientists have used the techniques of epidemiology—the study of the determinants of health and the process and patterns of disease transmission—to learn about other social phenomena, like crime or even fashion trends. I’ve been fascinated by this attempt that parallels the work of sociologists to understand how contagion works, and how and why some people (as well as some neighborhoods, communities, and even states and countries) exhibit some degree of immunity from certain conditions. “Epidemics, Contagion and Inequality” allowed me to explore these patterns with students. [Read more...]