Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Honest teaching

Author offers advice for education majors on working with children

Robie HarrisTalking to a classroom full of future educators in April, children’s book author Robie Heilbrun Harris ’62 kept repeating one simple piece of advice: be honest.

It’s advice Harris has clearly incorporated into her career and in her more than 25 books of fiction and nonfiction for young readers on a range of topics—love, loss, fear and more. And it’s a charge she takes very seriously every time she writes a new edition of her award-winning book for ages 10 and up about bodies, sex and sexual health, It’s Perfectly Normal. The book, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, has sold more than 20 million copies and is available in 40 countries.

“Children need to have the most scientifically accurate, age-appropriate information possible to stay healthy,” Harris said of the book. “I don’t leave out information that I think is in the best interest of the kids to know.” [Read more...]

Chamber honors Shannon Kelly Carter ’71

Shannon K. Carter class of 1971.Shannon Kelly Carter ’71 has been called a force of nature, a woman whose drive comes from wanting to better her community. On February 18, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber honored her with the Great Living Cincinnatian Award.

“It was not at all something I was expecting. So many of my heroes have received the award,” she says.

Awardees include Neil Armstrong, civil rights activist the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and Carter’s husband, Lee Carter, and stepfather, Nelson Schwab Jr.

Carter has a long history of service, beginning when she sorted clothes as a high school student at the Children’s Hospital Thrift Shop. She is best known for Crayons to Computers (C2C), a nonprofit organization she co-founded that distributes school supplies to teachers in Cincinnati’s underserved schools—for free.

“I am proud that we were able to give away $100 million in supplies while I was there,” she says. [Read more...]

The business of parenting

Elisabeth Stitt '88Educator and entrepreneur Elisabeth Stitt ’88 visited campus on April 28 to both share her experience launching a new parenting coaching business and provide child-rearing advice at Elisabeth Amen Nursery School. That day, Stitt discussed how she designed and launched her business after a lengthy career as a school teacher. “Having Elisabeth available on campus to talk about her business, Joyful Parenting Coaching, reinforces for future teachers of young children how important partnering with families is and resources that are available in some communities,” said Vicki Bartolini, chair of the Wheaton Department of Education. That evening, Stitt met with parents at the nursery school to discuss how to achieve positive resolutions to challenging parenting situations. “Elisabeth had a knack for stimulating conversation and utilized role playing for effective practice of parenting strategies,” said Marie O’Malley, nursery school coordinator.

Reaping what you sew

Andrew Hench ’04 launches men’s clothing business

2004-Andrew-HenchFashion and convenience don’t always go hand in hand, but Andrew Hench ’04 hopes to change that.

Four years ago, he and his brother, Will Hench, launched ThreadLab, a men’s online clothing delivery service, out of a bedroom in his Boston condo. Thanks to funding from VegasTechFund, a seed-stage investment firm, the startup moved operations last September to Las Vegas to grow the business.

ThreadLab utilizes smart technology to deliver affordable clothing right into customers’ mailboxes, Hench said. “Our customers’ profiles and preferences drive whatever they receive in each box. For example, one customer may not like V-necks, so he’ll never get a V-neck. Another customer may not like stripes, so he’ll never see a striped shirt, sweater or sweatshirt.”

Hench, who majored in studio art at Wheaton, designed the original logo on the clothing boxes when the company first got off the ground. In addition to managing day-to-day business operations, he participates in some of the buying of the clothing.

“I have a decent sense of what looks good and what will fit our demographic,” he said. [Read more...]