Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Career bid

Chen RufusSummer internship at Christie's turns into fall opportunity

While working as a summer intern at Christie’s auction house in New York City, Jiaan “Rufus” Chen ’15 was invited to view one of the items up for sale, a 300-year-old Korean celadon vase. An art history major with an interest in East Asian art, Chen was thrilled by the chance to examine the piece and even more excited when he got to hold it. Then he learned the vase was worth half a million dollars.

At that point, fascination turned to fear as one thought came to Chen’s mind: “Don’t drop it.”

Not only did the Wheaton senior not drop the vase, he handled the rest of his summer duties at Christie’s so well that his supervisor invited him back in fall 2014 to help the auction house prep for their big September sale. [Read more...]

A minute with … Zevi Rubin ’16

Drone CampIf you look up in the sky while at Wheaton and see a drone, Zevi Rubin can’t be too far away. The computer science major has become known for building (he has seven) and piloting drones, which he prefers to call multi-rotors, because drones get a bad rap. Last semester he was a panelist at Wheaton’s first Drone Camp alongside professors. Spreading his wings: “I’ve been working with the Film Department since last summer, and I am now training students to fly a Wheaton-owned multi-rotor to use during film projects. I am always excited to spread awareness about UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] and some of their uses, and I am excited to work with the school to start developing new uses for the technology. So many people have preconceived notions about what a drone is and what it does. My main goal when showing my work to people is to show them that drones aren’t all bad. In fact, my multi-rotor drones are actually pretty fun.” [Read more...]

Answering a calling to support survivors

Indira Henard ’03

Indira Henard ’03

It was a 3 a.m. phone call that led Indira Henard ’03 to her life’s work. The year was 2007, and Henard was an aide for then Senator Barack Obama as well as a special assistant on his presidential campaign. She was also volunteering for the DC Rape Crisis Center, one of the nation’s oldest nonprofits dedicated to eradicating sexual violence.

In the middle of the night, the center called Henard to the hospital to support a woman who had been raped. Though she had been trained for the work, this was Henard’s first experience as a victim advocate.

What followed were seven grueling, emotional hours of waiting, interviews and tests. “That was a significant turning point for me,” she says. “I knew I wanted to make a difference.” [Read more...]

Rocking and rolling in success

Beach Avenue faces the American’s Got Talent judges. Left to right: Ryan Zipp, Nick Fradiani ’08, Nick Abraham

Beach Avenue faces the American’s Got Talent judges. Left to right: Ryan Zipp, Nick Fradiani ’08, Nick Abraham

The rock ‘n’ roll life is more than just an ideal for Nick Fradiani ’08. The West Haven, Conn.-based musician performed regularly with his multi-instrumentalist father at the age of 5, in talent shows at 10, and—last July on America’s Got Talent to an audience of 3,500 with Beach Avenue, his five-piece rock group.

“It was surreal. I remember walking on stage at the Dolby Theatre for the first time and thinking the judges almost looked like holograms,” says Fradiani, as he rattles off the roster of celebrity judges: Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Mel B.

“I was more nervous to answer their questions than starting the performance itself.”

The anticipation transformed into single-minded focus: Beach Avenue garnered a standing ovation from the audience and several judges, which launched them into “judgment week,” the semifinal round (and the band’s last), at the end of the month. [Read more...]