Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Meaningful work

Passion for teaching, creating change guides Derron Wallace’s path

When Professor of Sociology Kersti Yllo considered whom to invite to deliver the keynote at this year’s Sociology and Anthropology Senior Symposium—her final symposium before she retired this spring after 35 years at Wheaton—she immediately thought of Derron “J.R.” Wallace ’07.

Wallace, who majored in sociology and in African, African American, diaspora studies, racked up quite a number of achievements and accolades while at Wheaton—including a Projects for Peace grant and a Watson Fellowship—and his record during the nine years since graduation has been equally impressive (a Fulbright, a Marshall, an award-winning dissertation and a recent interview with BBC Radio, to name a few).

“We in the department have been following his work since he left, and it’s just amazing what he has accomplished in less than 10 years,” Yllo said. “I also know him as a very inspirational speaker, and he did not disappoint.”

Now an assistant professor of education and sociology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., Wallace stood out from his earliest days at Wheaton. As a first-year student taking an introductory sociology course taught by Yllo and Professor Hyun Sook Kim, Wallace approached Yllo to ask about becoming a teaching assistant. [Read more...]

A view from the top

Kathleen McNally Sloane ’68 is at home in real estate

Thirty-eight floors up, at the United Nations Plaza in New York City, Kathleen “Kathy” McNally Sloane ’68 is giving a captivating tour of the $7.5 million four-bedroom penthouse apartment she’s working hard to sell on a snowy February morning. As she moves from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen, pointing out the sweeping views of some of New York’s most thrilling landmarks (the East River, the Empire State Building, the UN headquarters), you can see that not only is Sloane at the top of this towering building, she’s at the top of her game in life.

The philosophy major spent a brief time in publishing at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, engaged in historic preservation causes as a politician’s wife and partner, and then discovered that her true passion was saving historic buildings and making sure they were in the hands of those who cherished them. That discovery led her to get her real estate license in 1979.

Fast-forward to 2016. She’s now one of New York’s most powerful real estate brokers, with more than $1 billion in sales and a client list that includes Robert Redford, Martha Stewart, Diane Sawyer and a certain VIP political family, whom she has found houses for in both New York and Washington, D.C.

The foundation for her impressive career was set during her four years on campus taking philosophy, history and French classes from professors so memorable that their words are still at the forefront of her thoughts today as she brokers deals with people from all over the world. [Read more...]

Entrepreneurship Club encourages startup ideas

The Entrepreneurship Club held its first-ever Social Entrepreneurship Competition. From left, Richard Davies ’17, Omar Al-Mogahed ’18, Michael Sadowsky ’18, President Dennis M. Hanno, Mary Margret Yancey ’18, Mike Caslin (a contest judge) and Sarah Alexander ’16

The Entrepreneurship Club held its first-ever Social Entrepreneurship Competition. From left, Richard Davies ’17, Omar Al-Mogahed ’18, Michael Sadowsky ’18, President Dennis M. Hanno, Mary Margret Yancey ’18, Mike Caslin (a contest judge) and Sarah Alexander ’16

Every successful entrepreneur knows that the best business begins with focusing on a problem that needs to be solved. For Wheaton sophomore Michael Sadowsky and his classmates, solving a problem not only has led them to create their own business but also to found a new club that aims to help other students start businesses that make a difference on campus and beyond.

The new Entrepreneurship Club held its first big event, the Social Entrepreneurship Business Pitch Competition, in April. All competitors were encouraged to propose ventures that address a significant social problem.

Mary Margret Yancey ’18, a sociology and business and management major who sings with The Blend, won first place with her pitch for an a cappella festival aimed at raising money for local arts and music programs. Sarah Alexander ’16, a member of the women’s volleyball team, won second for Impressions, an app that will educate people on how to dress for the business world. Richard Davies ’17, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, also won second for his Inspired by You, which aims to encourage social change through art produced by Wheaton students, with proceeds going to charitable causes. [Read more...]

Creating a company that honors local style, gives back

Kyle Rumberger ’16,

Kyle Rumberger ’16, left, is co-owner of Cape Fifteen. Launched in 2015, the apparel company is named for and gets its inspiration from Cape Cod’s 15 towns. Rumberger started the company with his friend Shane MacNeill.

Kyle Rumberger ’16 grew up on Cape Cod caddying for many business people. He was always intrigued by their work and imagined someday walking the same entrepreneurial path.

“They provided me with insight over the 12 years I caddied, and business and economics were the two areas I became interested in through those experiences,” says Rumberger, who majored in business and management and economics.

This summer the Barnstable, Mass., resident returned to the Cape a businessman himself. He is the co-owner of Cape Fifteen (capefifteen.com), which he began working on as a sophomore with best friend Shane MacNeill and then officially launched in 2015. The company, which gets its name from the 15 towns that make up Cape Cod, offers locally inspired lifestyle clothing, and seeks to give back to the community by way of donations and contributions to local conservation efforts and nonprofits. [Read more...]