Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Playing at work

Joseph Lavoine ’06 designs new computer game

When Joseph Lavoine ’06 graduated from Wheaton with a degree in computer science, the iPhone was still a year away from release and the iPad was just a gleam in Steve Jobs’s eye. Six years later, he’s using his education to create original games for Apple’s best-selling devices.

Lavoine has founded his own gaming company, Done Right Studios, which put out his first release in October 2011. The 99-cent puzzle game, “Origami Adventure,” challenges players to quickly choose between different colored animals to rack up points. “It’s a game about timing coordination—a bit like the old classic ‘Tetris,’” Lavoine explains. “Players choose between different origami animals—from cats to whales—that move at different speeds. The object of the game (to rack up points) is to get multiple animals of the same color in a row. But since the animals move at different speeds, players need to be crafty about which one they pick to make sure they keep having the same color hit the other end of the screen in sequence.”

[Read more...]

Fast-forward into finance

Michael Wright 2009As Europe’s leaders scrambled in 2010 to shore up their shared currency and stabilize the finances of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Michael Wright ’09 was following each new development from his office in New York City.

Wright is an analyst at Forex Capital Markets, one of the world’s top currency brokerage firms, where he tracks and forecasts the movements of exchange rates based on fundamentals—such as employment, economic activity and inflation—and technical factors like moving averages and trend lines. His analyses go to clients and get posted on Yahoo! Finance, and the investor site Seeking Alpha, as well as his company’s DailyFX.com.

[Read more...]

Creating a strong connection between technology and education

Cheryl Vedoe 1974From electric cars to iPads, technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, deepening its inroads into every part of modern American life.

Well, not every part. Young people may spend much of their free time with video games and Facebook, but the schools that teach them have remained firmly in the 20th century.

Cheryl Vedoe ’74 is working to change that.

“When you look at education—and K–12 education in particular—largely what goes on in the classroom is no different than when I was in elementary school, middle school or high school,” she said. “So the reality is that technology has not had much impact on the way teaching and learning occur.”

Since 2002, Vedoe has been CEO of Apex Learning, a Seattle company that offers computer-based courses for high school students. More than 1 million students have taken one of Apex’s classes, which were first developed for distance learning, but are now used in traditional classrooms, too. [Read more...]

Rebecca Harvey discovers her career in science

A Wheaton education can take one in unexpected directions. Just ask Rebecca Harvey ’08.

Rebecca Harvey '08

Rebecca Harvey '08

When Harvey arrived at Wheaton as a freshman, she was planning to pursue a career in dentistry. Today she is an ecological manager at the Squam Lakes Association in New Hampshire, where she monitors water quality, researches environmental issues and leads educational outreach for the nonprofit conservation group.

Growing up in southern Maine, Harvey had never considered such a career, although she had volunteered for an animal refuge and enjoyed her AP chemistry class. An internship helped change her mind.

Wheaton had awarded her a Trustee Scholarship, which includes a stipend to pay for a summer experience. During Harvey’s sophomore year, biology professor Barbara Brennessel suggested to her that she use it to intern at the Cape Cod National Seashore, where Brennessel has done research. [Read more...]