Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Brick by brick

Lauren Andres ’14 is a model builder at LEGO Systems

Lauren Andres ’14Many children would agree that Lauren Andres ’14 has the best job: LEGO model builder.

At company headquarters in Enfield, Conn., Andres teams up with fellow builders, as well as designers and master builders, to create LEGO models that fuel the imagination of young minds.

“My favorite part about LEGO Systems has been the people and overall culture,” said Andres, who majored in studio art at Wheaton. “Being employed at a toy company, I’ve found there is a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. Everyone here is incredibly hard-working, but there is certainly no shortage of fun.”

In her role, Andres assists LEGO designers, helping to turn their digital design into the actual physical model. Designers begin creating their model in Maya, a 3D computer software, and then export the file into the company’s Brick Builder program. In Brick Builder, designers are able to translate their 3D model into a LEGO model. [Read more...]

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.