Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Baker comments on war widows

The special burden borne by the families of U.S. military personnel killed in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan was the subject of a news article published in a chain of California newspapers.

An article by John Simerman addresses how war widows struggle, often in isolation, with special grief. He quotes Wheaton Professor of History Anni Baker, who writes about the experiences of U.S. service people and their families.

“For wives it’s completely different, because the spouse experiences the loss as a complete loss of your home, and of your community, and of your place in the world. You’re out of the military then,” said Baker.

The article was published by the San Jose Mercury News, as well as a half-dozen other publications in California, including the Contra Costa Times and the Pasadena Star-News.

Baker’s most recent book is Life in the U.S. Armed Forces: (Not) Just Another Job, published by Praeger Security International. Her previous scholarship examined the interaction between the U.S. armed forces and a host city in Germany; the social, cultural and political impact of military bases in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East; and the role of family members in military society.

Metro World News focuses on alum

Kelly Maby '09Metro World News, which is published in 18 countries, profiled Kelly Maby ’09 for her work studying trash picking in Egypt, Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador.

Last spring, Maby won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (a $28,000 award) to support her research of the informal waste collection systems that have developed in several countries. Many people have turned to scavenging to survive or to rebel against consumerism— sometimes even creating elaborate networks that compete with formal waste-management systems.

The Metro story noted that scavenging has been a longtime interest for Maby.

“When I was around eight years old, my family wasn’t doing so well, so my brother and I collected beer cans and bottles,” she told the newspaper. “We actually thought it was fun.”

She added that while most people think of picking through trash as a sign of desperate poverty, scavenging in these countries “often is well organized.”

“It is dirty,” said Maby, a double major in Hispanic studies and sociology. “But without scavengers many cities would have no waste management at all.”