Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

The F-word

The f-wordConfession time:

I have lost and regained 75 pounds—twice.

I can tell you how many Weight Watchers points in anything, anything—even the points in air.

I know by heart the list of acceptable foods for Phase One of the South Beach Diet. Sadly, potato chips are not on it.

At my own commencement, my grandmother offered me a peppermint from her pocketbook and my mother balked in a loud whisper, “Don’t give her any candy! Look at her!” (Sorry, Mom; hope you’re not reading this. Thanks for not calling me fat.)

[Read more...]

The network effect

In April, I spoke at a conference at Lafayette College titled “The Future of the Liberal Arts College in America and Its Leadership Role in Education Around the World.” More than 200 administrators, including 50 college presidents, turned up for the gathering.

The inspiration for the conference can be summed up in one word: anxiety. These are difficult days for liberal arts colleges. As a group we face significant challenges in demonstrating the value of the education we offer to an increasingly skeptical public, addressing the rising cost of attendance at our institutions and incorporating technology in ways that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our programs.

The conversation was interesting on many levels. However, I was puzzled by one notable omission: any sustained discussion of the role of alumnae and alumni in helping liberal arts colleges to innovate while remaining true to our core principles. That idea did not receive much attention during the conference. And yet it seems so obvious: no one understands the value of the liberal arts better than those individuals whose lives have been changed by the rigorous and broad-based study that is the hallmark of this approach. The graduates of liberal arts institutions are persuasive ambassadors and wise advisors.

[Read more...]

Dear Class of 2012: Before you go, some advice from alums

It’s OK and probably a good thing to land a job that is not your “dream” job right out of school.

Be prepared to be more independent.

Don’t hesitate when an opportunity is given to you; it may change your ideas and lead you to a more fulfilling life journey.

[Read more...]

Examining ways to improve health care

Sedra Davis ’14 and Claudia D’Adamo ’13 are working with doctors, scientists and other students to research computational approaches to using vital-signs data to improve patient care.

In the United States, traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of injury-related deaths. Sedra Davis ’14 and Claudia D’Adamo ’13, along with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tom Armstrong, are hoping to change that. Through the use of technology, they are working to improve the chances for recovery in critically injured patients.

The three are examining vital-signs data to find common patterns across patients. These patterns will be used to alert health care providers about the need for medical intervention and to predict patient outcomes.

“Computing is changing the way that other disciplines approach asking and answering questions,” says Armstrong. “Opportunities like this provide experiences that will be useful regardless of the path Sedra and Claudia choose: graduate education, professional education, or industry.”

[Read more...]