Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Women in technology

Alums shine in industry that needs diversity

When is a chair not just a chair? When it’s used for taking a stand. That’s what members of the Wheaton community discovered during the winter semester when the Sit With Me project was brought to campus by Colleen Wheeler, assistant director of Wheaton’s Web Strategy Team and one of the founders, with Professor Tom Armstrong, of the Wheaton Autonomous Learning Laboratory (WHALE Lab).

Sit With Me is a national advocacy campaign designed to encourage women to pursue computing careers. Sitting in a red chair, participants have an opportunity to show their support and share stories about women in technology. The project perfectly corresponds with one of the goals of the WHALE Lab—to broaden the interest in computer science beyond those who major in it.

Information technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy, with 1.4 million job openings expected by 2020. Although women make up more than half of the American workforce, they hold only 25 percent of technology and computing jobs, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the creator of Sit With Me.

In the spirit of the project, the Quarterly is showcasing several alumnae working in the industry. Coming from backgrounds that include a variety of majors and working in a wide range of jobs, from designing Navy destroyers to creating educational software, they illustrate the many opportunities available and the many paths into the field that a liberal arts education offers. Click on their names for short biography.

The giving tree

Pareskys sow opportunities

650_Paresky-9It’s a brilliant June morning on campus. Just outside of Balfour-Hood Center, two beautiful English oak trees sway in the breeze. The “coed oaks”—as they are affectionately known—were a gift of Susan “Sue” Stampler Paresky ’68 and her husband, Joseph.

The year was 1988, and Paresky, who was director of alumnae affairs at the time, planted the trees to commemorate a historic event in the story of the college: Wheaton was going co-ed.

But those weren’t the only seeds the Pareskys planted. That same year, the couple established the Joseph M. and Susan Stampler Paresky ’68 Fellowship to provide financial assistance to recent Wheaton graduates pursuing graduate studies. The Paresky Fellowship is still going strong, and 2013 marks its 25th anniversary.

Like the oak trees she planted 25 years ago, Susan Paresky’s roots run deep into the soil of Wheaton. After graduating, she married her husband on campus at Cole Memorial Chapel in 1972. She became director of alumnae affairs in 1982, set up the Paresky Fellowship in 1988, and from 1993 to 2003, she was a Trustee of the college, working on major issues like enrollment, budgets, strategic planning and, of course, fundraising.   [Read more...]

Swinging for the fences

Kenneth Babby ’02 aims to score big as new owner of Akron baseball team

Kenneth Babby ’02There’s no professional sports team owner in the United States like Kenneth Babby ’02. His birth certificate attests to that. At 33, the new head of the Akron Aeros Double-A baseball club is the youngest team owner in the country.

In a game that loves numbers, Babby doesn’t dwell on this distinction from this northeast Ohio city known as the “rubber capital of the world.” His marathon work days—he’ll arrive at downtown’s Canal Park by 8 a.m. and sometimes not leave until midnight—are consumed by altogether different metrics.

Such as the 68-foot-wide video board he recently installed beyond the left-center-field fence. Or the 20-scoop ice cream colossus known as “The Screamer,” which debuted at the Aeros’ season opener in April. The confection is even served in an authentic batting helmet that fans can take home.

This is baseball, Babby style. [Read more...]

Go Beyond: Campaign for Wheaton

Go Beyond, Campaign for Wheaton

Progress in numbers

The generosity of alumnae/i, parents and friends is delivering benefits to our students across campus through gifts to Go Beyond: Campaign for Wheaton.

Science center:

$36,118,382 committed to expanding and enhancing science facilities through the Mars Center for Science and Technology.

Goal: $35 million

Student scholarships:

$43,180,449 committed to increasing scholarship support for Wheaton students and their families.

Goal: $50.6 million

Annual support:

$30,735,801 contributed to the Wheaton Fund since July 1, 2005. Alumnae/i, parents and friends committed $4,053,453 from July 1, 2012, through April 30, 2013.

Goal: $4.5 million for fiscal year 2013 (ended on June 30, 2013); $34.4 million by June 30, 2014

Student-faculty research: 

$1,408,388 committed to support student-faculty research collaborations through the establishment of endowed funds for that purpose.

Artificial turf field: 

$3,138,735 committed for construction of an artificial turf field and lighting to expand opportunities for intercollegiate, club and intramural sports.

Goal: $3,865,000 by June 30, 2013