Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Ted Nesi '07

Ted Nesi ’07, an award-winning journalist, is a digital reporter for WPRI-TV and FOX Providence at LIN Media.

Jessica Bruce ’87 is a success story at AP

Jessica Bruce ’87It’s little exaggeration to call The Associated Press (AP) the backbone of American news.

Even if you don’t realize it, you probably consume AP journalism almost every time you engage with the media. All that content in newspapers and on local TV newscasts and digital portals is created by thousands of AP employees spread across 263 locations, including every statehouse in the U.S., plus 105 other countries.

Since 2005, the task of overseeing human resources for that sizable staff has fallen to AP senior vice president Jessica Bruce ’87, one of eight executives on the organization’s senior management team who report directly to CEO Gary Pruitt. Bruce added a second title to her business card in April 2016, when she was promoted to lead corporate communications as well.

“Jessica has been a key leader for The Associated Press for more than a decade,” Pruitt said when Bruce’s new position was announced. “In this broader role, we will benefit to an even greater extent from her keen intellect and sound judgment.” [Read more...]

Feature-Rwanda

Change makers

President Hanno, students, professors fuel entrepreneurial spirit in Africa

PrintBack when Dennis M. Hanno was growing up on an isolated farm in upstate New York, he would not have believed it if you’d told him he would one day transform the lives of teenagers in Africa. “I was a curious kid, but not about global travel,” Hanno said. “We never went anywhere.”

Fast-forward half a century, though, and talk to Jonathan Iyandemye, a 21-year-old Rwandan now attending Harvard: He’ll tell you in no uncertain terms that the efforts of Wheaton’s president have made all the difference in the world to him.

“The impact he’s had is immeasurable,” Iyandemye said recently from his home outside Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. “You can’t talk about it or write about it enough. I feel like I owe who I am to him and a few other people like him who invested in me generously and selflessly, and who believed in me and saw the potential in me.”

“And it’s not just me,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there who have had such a change from Dennis Hanno’s work. I’m just so, so grateful to him.”

[Read more...]

Leading the way, helping researchers

Their fellow attendees may not have realized it, but an event at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center last April included an impromptu meeting of two former presidents: Bill Clinton and Michael Zwolinski ’08, who was president of the Student Government Association during his senior year at Wheaton.

“It was a thrill to meet the former president,” Zwolinski said. “He’s as engaging in person as people say.”

The occasion was a fundraiser to benefit the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, with Clinton as one of the headliners. Zwolinski was there along with his colleagues from ACT for NIH: Advancing Cures Today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group is pushing Congress to restore funding to the National Institutes of Health. The group’s founder and chairman is on the MD Anderson board.

2008-Mike Zwolinski-and-President Clinton“After the main event was over, we expected President Clinton would leave,” Zwolinski said. “Instead, he came and visited with us for a long while. He was very generous with his time.”

Zwolinski, a 29-year-old Massachusetts native, moved to the nation’s capital after Wheaton to pursue his passion for politics. After working on campaigns and on Capitol Hill, he took a job at the trade association for college public-health programs; when his boss there was tapped to launch ACT for NIH, he asked Zwolinski to join him as its managing director.

ACT for NIH says federal funding for medical research has fallen nearly 25 percent since 2003, when adjusted for inflation. Zwolinski spends his days meeting with members of Congress and their staffers, tracking legislation, and working with others in the health advocacy community—all in an effort to reverse the trend. [Read more...]

The student becomes the teacher

Ted Nesi ’07I was blessed during my time at Wheaton to be taught by a long list of wonderful professors. Darlene Boroviak, Anni Baker, Jay Goodman, Jerry Murphy, Gerry Huiskamp—the list goes on. They were smart and commanding teachers, but generous with their time and knowledge. I idolized them.

So it was a bit surreal—not to mention delightfully flattering—when Wheaton asked me to join their ranks and become a part-time journalism instructor this past spring semester. The English Department’s leaders said they hoped my experiences in my day job, as a political reporter for Rhode Island’s CBS-TV affiliate, would yield some useful insights for the 10 students in my class.

[Read more...]