Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Cancer through a historical lens

Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Lanni Cancer. The word itself, perhaps, is one of the most feared in the English language. And the statistic presented in the description of the First-Year Seminar (FYS) that Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Lanni is teaching this fall is shocking: “Forty percent of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during our lifetime.” One of the biggest questions is: Are we getting anywhere in dealing with the disease? In the FYS “Cancer: Exploring the Enemy Within,” the professor and her students are delving into this question and others during the fall semester. We recently talked with her about the subject that touches too many lives.

First, what is the primary focus of your scholarship?

I am interested in how vertebrates grow. For instance, why do our arms grow to a certain length and then stop? I study this question using zebrafish, a tiny two-inch-long fish that shares over 60 percent of our genes. By comparing long-finned fish to normal fish, I hope to identify the genetic and biochemical signals that control size and proportion. [Read more...]

Political science professor weighs in on presidential election

Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradford Bishop.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradford Bishop.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradford Bishop’s scholarshipfocuses on American public opinion, campaigns and elections, and environmental politics. His research has been published in Political Behavior and in Public Opinion Quarterly.He holds a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design from James Madison University, a master’s degree in political science from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. Prior to becoming a professor, Bishop was a journalist, covering mainly town and city politics. We sat down to talk with him about the race for president (keeping in mind that a lot could change by the time this is published).

How did Donald Trump get this far? [Read more...]


English professor explores complexities of communicating in the 21st century

Wheaton College Professor Lisa LebduskaThe fact that words have power has always been the case, but now, with the advances in digital communication, that power is magnified. How does the ease of communication and the speed and distance with which words can travel and mutate influence written communication and writing as a genre? Professor of English Lisa Lebduska, whose area of scholarship focuses on writing studies, explores how digital technologies impact the way writing is taught, learned and used. During the spring semester at Wheaton, she delved into these issues through her “Advanced Writing: Digital Controversies” course, which required students to consider the complexity of communicating in the 21st century and to write about it using various means—print and digital.

First, talk about your overall area of scholarship. [Read more...]

History professor looks at year that rocked the world

Professor of History Alex BloomThe world changed in 1968. Professor of History Alex Bloom spent this past fall semester detailing what happened, what it meant at the time, and what it means for us today in his First-Year Seminar (FYS) “1968: The Year the World Exploded.” The course offered students the chance to dive into epochal moments in modern history and discover how events in the late 1960s have helped to shape the world today. An undergraduate himself at the time, Bloom, who has been teaching at Wheaton for 35 years, said the prospect of the 50th anniversary of the events of 1968 inspired him to craft the course as well as start a new book on the topic. The Quarterly editor sat down to talk with him about the course.

Tell me about your area of research.

[Read more...]