Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Programmed for success

Computer whiz blends technology, liberal arts

RIchard Neal ’15

As a teaching assistant, RIchard Neal ’15 helps other students

Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs once said he believed that technology, on its own, is not enough: “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing,” he explained.

Richard Neal ’15 is a great example of what Jobs meant, and what Wheaton’s curriculum encourages. He is double majoring in computer science and mathematics and  also earning a minor in secondary education. Neal is deeply involved in some of the college’s most innovative initiatives, while also serving as a teaching assistant and a tutor. On top of all that, he plans to graduate in just three years.

Neal, who grew up in a suburb outside Boston, said that technology has always been a major part of his life, but he didn’t arrive at Wheaton planning to major in computer science. However, he was drawn in by a few introductory classes and encouragement from two professors of computer science, Mark LeBlanc and Tom Armstrong. Neal has done independent studies with both professors; during one he helped create cowDuck, a free iPhone app that provides Wheaton students with information about the college. [Read more...]

Biology major sails into academic adventure

Betsy Meyer ’14

Betsy Meyer ’14 in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Only a year ago, Elizabeth “Betsy” Meyer ’14 had never traveled far from the Boston suburb where she grew up, let alone flown on a plane or set out to sea for days on end.

What a difference a semester makes—particularly if the semester is spent enrolled in the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, which has been giving undergraduates a hands-on interdisciplinary experience learning about the sea since 1977.

Meyer, a 21-year-old biology major, spent last fall living in a historic house on the grounds of the seaport in Stonington, Conn., and studying in nontraditional classrooms like a sailing vessel along the coast of California. Quoting Woody Guthrie, Meyer said she “literally got to see America ‘from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters,’ accompanied by fantastically intelligent people who related everything I saw to our academic studies.”

[Read more...]

Anne-Imelda Radice ’69 named head of American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art MuseumNew York City is home to many cultural institutions. But even in the crowded cultural landscape of the Big Apple, the American Folk Art Museum stands out, with its devotion to celebrating the creativity and individuality of self-taught artists.

Folk art, as its name suggests, is the art of the people. “There’s no really pat definition,” explained Anne-Imelda Radice ’69, who recently took over as the museum’s executive director. “It can be anything from a painting or a sculpture to an object of daily life that’s done by someone who’s not a trained artist, who didn’t go to school, who may be influenced by what he or she sees around them.”

[Read more...]

Grant funds global perspective on violence

Professors Kersti Yillo, M. Gabriela Torres

Professors Kersti Yllo (left) and M. Gabriela Torres enjoy collaborating on research projects.

Two Wheaton professors have won a prestigious grant to help them shed new light on a rarely discussed, frequently misunderstood form of intimate violence: marital rape.

Professor of Sociology Kersti Yllo and Assistant Professor of Anthropology M. Gabriela Torres will use the $18,760 grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, which funds anthropological research, to produce a three-day workshop at Wheaton in May 2013 called Global Perspectives on Sexual Violence in Marriage. Twenty scholars from around the world will meet to share their perspectives on the way different cultures view rape by a spouse. [Read more...]