Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Deep blue dream come true

If you happen to stumble upon photographer Susannah H. Snowden '95 on assignment, look down.

Susannah H. Snowden '95"In my pursuit of the unique angle, I find myself on the ground constantly," she says. "It's not uncommon for me to be lying in the middle of the street for a photojournalism assignment. When I'm looking through that lens, nothing else intrudes. I block out the world and sensation. I am concentrating so hard that I can hold a position like that without it bothering me."

That's a good thing because one of her recent photo assignments had her 150 feet under the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey, where she had to concentrate on shooting while avoiding poisonous scorpion fish. The shoot was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream that combined all of her passions-archeology, photography, scuba diving and travel-into one adventure. [Read more...]

Pathways to success

In the winter of 2009, political science major Gabriel ("Gabe") Felix Kofi Amo '10 won a prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which supports graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom. In the spring of that same year he also won a Truman Scholarship in public service, becoming one of only 60 college student winners nationwide to earn the honor.

Summer 2010 awardsAmo exemplifies the stellar students who are racking up major academic honors. In the past decade, Wheaton students have won more than 121 highly competitive national scholarships and fellowships, including Marshalls, the Rhodes, Watsons and Fulbrights. In fact, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks us in the top 10 of Fulbright winners among baccalaureate colleges, with six awards, for 2009. (We've won 52 total Fulbrights since 1998.) [Read more...]

A change of course

Deborah DluhyIn Deborah Dluhy's corner office at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), nearly every inch of her desk is covered in work. Papers, reports and binders line the floor-to-ceiling shelves-evidence of work in progress and work past. She will address each and every one of them in the meticulous and caring way that she has done for many years as dean of the school. And then she will leave and tackle even more work as chair of Wheaton's Board of Trustees.

Piles of work come with the territory when you have devoted your career and life to supporting arts education and helping to guide two major institutions of higher learning. But all of that is about to change.

Dluhy, who is 70, plans to step down from her position as chair of the Wheaton Board of Trustees in May and retire as SMFA dean in June. [Read more...]

So what do you think?

I have gained a whole new respect for “American Idol” contestants who are able to subject themselves to instant judgment. I got a taste of that in March when I attended the Editors Forum, a conference for alumni magazine editors presented by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Spring 2010 coverI signed up for “Magazine Idol,” a workshop in which editors brought three copies of their magazine to a panel of judges. Each scanned it and then gave their opinion—in five minutes! One judge actually looked like Simon (short dark hair, thick eyebrows), and she was just as blunt. “I don’t hate this design, but I don’t love it,” she told one editor—not me, thank goodness—as the rest of us sat wondering why the hell we had signed up for this workshop.

No worries. Most of the feedback on the Quarterly was good. “Nice cover,” one judge said. “Strong images,” said another. “I don’t know if you needed two more photos of this person,” said the Simon look-alike. I tell you this to let you know just how eager we are to keep finding ways to improve our award-winning magazine.

Readership survey

In a more serious effort, this fall and winter the Wheaton Quarterly participated in the CASE Member Magazine Readership Survey. The survey was launched in 2009 for magazine editors at colleges, universities and K–12 institutions that are CASE members.

It was designed to help us all evaluate how readers view our campus magazine and compare the results to those of other institutions. More than 35,000 alumni magazine readers nationwide responded to the survey sent by more than 135 member institutions in the United States. We sent the survey to a random sampling of our readers for whom we have e-mail addresses.

Of the 2,055 surveys sent out, we received 366 responses back. (So our results have a +/- 5 percent margin of error.) Thank you so much to those who participated.

The survey says

There are too many findings to share here, but here are some key ones:

Seventy percent of respondents said they love reading the magazine in print form. Fifty-four percent said they read most of the magazine, which is great, given the competition for attention. Thirty-one percent said the quality of the magazine content is excellent.

In the category of academic and intellectual life, the topics that respondents said are most popular, ranked in order, are: individual faculty profiles, student research and academic experiences, faculty research, faculty awards, faculty selection, promotions and retirements, curriculum, and stories about individual courses.

In the category of alumni life and activities, the most popular topics, in order, are: class notes, alumni in their professions, individual alumni profiles, alumni in their personal lives, alumni chapter activities and regional programming, obituaries, and alumni volunteers for the institution.

We most enjoyed reading your answers to the survey’s open-ended questions, both the praise as well as the criticism. Well, OK, we didn’t enjoy the criticism, but we need it.

Many respondents expressed an overwhelming love for the class notes as a way to keep the connection to Wheaton long after graduation.

Several people wrote that they enjoy reading stories about collaborations between students and faculty members. However, readers would like to see more stories about community service involving students. And they not only want to hear about the scholars, but also about the wonderful variety of students who are talented in so many different ways.

We’re listening

We want to hear from you. E-mail (quarterly@wheatoncollege.edu) or write and tell us what you like about the magazine, what you want to see more of, or suggest story ideas. Tell us about an amazing alum doing work that we should know about. Q