Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Women breaking barriers

Naleli Morojele ’09’s book explores leaders in Africa

Naleli Morojele âÂÂ09Exceptional women—especially those who break barriers in politics—fascinate Naleli Morojele ’09.

Her newly published 161-page book, Women Political Leaders in Rwanda and South Africa: Narratives of Triumph and Loss (Barbara Budrich Publishers, 2016), offers an up-close view of the professional challenges women leaders face in post-conflict environments.

A native and current resident of Bloemfontein, South Africa, Morojele based her book on her master’s degree research on women’s political leadership in Rwanda and South Africa—countries that have some of the highest representation levels of women in legislatures in the world. The Wheaton alumna currently is studying political science at the University of the Free State in South Africa.

In South Africa, Morojele grew up seeing women as political leaders on TV and in the newspaper, she said. “It was only as an adult that I realized that that is not something that many other young girls get to experience in their countries,” she said. [Read more...]

Homegrown champion

Judith Garcia ’13 elected to Chelsea City Council

Judith Garcia ’13Growing up in Chelsea, Mass., Judith Garcia ’13 played in an empty lot littered with used syringes and trash.

“My friends and I called it ‘War Zone,’” she says. It was not an optimal playground, but it was better than the city’s parks, which were ruled by gangs, she says. “At an early age, I wondered why we had no access to small things like parks.”

That wonder grew into a passion for community service, culminating in her recent election to Chelsea’s City Council, representing the Fifth District. With virtually zero political experience, she was the top vote-getter in the city’s primary (unseating the incumbent) and won the general election with 60 percent of the vote.

It was a historic election, with Latinos taking six of the 11 council seats, balancing what had historically been a mostly non-Latino council in a predominantly Latino city. Garcia was pleased with the outcome.

[Read more...]

Working in the White House

Alum lands D.C. internship, Clinton campaign job

Alex Butcher-Nesbitt â15For a political science major, a White House internship is what Alex Butcher-Nesbitt ’15 refers to as “the Holy Grail” of opportunities.

He spent his first summer after Wheaton working in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPE/IGA), with support from a Gertrude Adams Professional Development Fellowship. The office is the first point of contact for anyone looking to engage with the Obama administration. [Read more...]

The cutting edge of cancer

Stephen Benz ’05 talks genomics with students

Steve Benz ’05Ten years after graduating from Wheaton, Stephen Benz ’05 is among a group of trailblazing entrepreneurs who are harnessing DNA sequencing technology to more effectively treat cancer.

In 2001, when Benz was a freshman at Wheaton, the Human Genome Project international consortium—a U.S.-funded collaborative biological project—published the first draft and initial analysis of the entire human genome sequence.

[Read more...]