Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Smart vacation choice: summer courses

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Rachelle DeCoste goes over information during last year’s summer session course “Introductory Statistics.”

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Rachelle DeCoste goes over information during last year’s summer session course “Introductory Statistics.”

Last summer, Sydney Gillis ’16 could have spent her break relaxing in front of the television or going to the beach. Instead, she was sitting in Room 1141 of the Mars science center four days a week learning about hypothesis testing, linear and multiple regression, and variance analysis in Professor Rachelle DeCoste’s “Introductory Statistics” course.

More info:

A full list of summer session courses

And she had plenty of company. Gillis, who took the course to fulfill a requirement, was one of many students who jumped at the opportunity to take courses during Wheaton’s first summer session. The session was started as a pilot program to allow Wheaton students and others to take classes to make up a credit; to fit in coursework that they can’t accommodate in their regular schedule during the academic year; or just to enjoy a subject of interest during a quieter time on campus.

The program was so successful that it will be offered again this summer. Wheaton faculty members will teach a wide range of full-credit courses during an intensive four-week term from May 19 through June 13.

“I really liked that I was able to concentrate on only one class, and it was nice to know that I was getting a class out of the way in the summer so I would not have to worry about it during the year,” Gillis said. “I think that if students take advantage of it, they will feel a lot more at ease during the regular semester knowing that they took an extra class in the summer.”

[Read more...]

Commencement speaker national museum director

Photograph by Franko Khoury National Museum of African Art Smithsonian InstitutionJohnnetta B. Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., will deliver the keynote address at Wheaton’s 179th Commencement on May 17.

Cole is a scholar, author and activist for social and economic justice. As director of the National Museum of African Art since 2009, she oversees a collection of more than 10,000 objects of various media and art forms.

Previously, she was president of Bennett College and Spelman College, making history in 1987 as the first African American woman to lead Spelman. She also was the first African American to serve as chair of the board of United Way of America, from 2004 to 2006, and the first woman on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises.

She currently serves on the scholarly advisory board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the construction of which will be completed on the National Mall by 2015. She also is chair of the board of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College.

Cole, who started college at age 15, has a master’s degree and doctorate in anthropology from Northwestern University. She has held teaching positions at several schools, including Emory University.

She has been awarded more than 50 honorary degrees and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph Prize for Human Rights, presented by the Anti-Defamation League, and the Otis Social Justice Award from Wheaton in 2010. That year she also was named one of Ebony magazine’s 100 most influential African Americans. The American Council on Education awarded her the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award in March 2013.

In May, Cole will receive an honorary degree at Commencement, as will Ronald A. Crutcher and four of Wheaton’s distinguished alumnae/i: [Read more...]

Fulbright top 10

Fulbright_Top Scholar Producer-13 Wheaton has earned a top 10 ranking among the nation’s liberal arts colleges for its success in preparing students to win U.S. Fulbright awards for advanced study and work abroad.

[Read more...]

Gilman Scholar explores issues of identity in South Africa

Atiya McGhee 1Atiya McGhee ’14 spent the fall in South Africa, studying issues of identity that arise from racial segregation.

The senior won an award from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to support a semester-long exploration of South African society, from Cape Town and its Langa Township to the predominantly Afrikaans city of Stellenbosch.

“My experience was exhilarating,” said McGhee, who is a Wheaton Posse Scholar. “Between my first home stay in Langa to my final home stay in Bo-Kaap, I was overwhelmed with how much this journey did for me, particularly for my spirituality and growth as a person.”

A major in creative writing and literature, McGhee has been deeply interested in the ways in which segregation shapes identity, and how these perspectives are reflected and influenced by literature. Her interest in the narratives of segregated communities arises from her childhood, growing up in a creative community in the Bronx.

[Read more...]