The Humanities and Professional Practice
A liberal arts college offers students incomparable opportunities to work alongside professors; mentor-apprentice relationships transform the classroom into laboratories. These settings empower students to acquire knowledge alongside analytical, interpretative, and critical tools essential to strengthening their persuasion and presentation skills. Deploying these intellectual instruments is crucial for producing new leaders for the next generation.
The Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities enables students to take learning achieved in the classroom and apply it to real world situations. Each year, a team of two professors co-directs the Institute by developing a cutting-edge theme and designing activities that explore it. Conferences, art exhibitions, performances, film series, panels, and lectures bring distinguished guests from New England and beyond to present innovative scholarship and work. Going further than institutes at other colleges and universities, the WIIH directly injects these activities into the topics, coursework, and pedagogy of courses. The directors teach two courses based on the theme and activities of the Institute each year. Students are fellows of the institute and, as such, are given the opportunity to interact with distinguished guests in a variety of settings. Here, students step out of their comfort zones as they employ their knowledge and test it with guests. To do so, students must practice professional skills and learn to absorb knowledge, disseminate it in an effective manner, and convey their informed point of view. Alums of the WIIH may continue their professionalization by serving on the Advisory Board. The WIIH brings together scholarship, activities, coursework, faculty, students, and alums in exciting and interconnected ways.
Showcasing the humanities, the WIIH brings them together in dialogue with the arts, social sciences, natural and applied sciences, and professional studies (business, engineering, law, medicine, and technology). Thus, these fields will develop new ways to envision and devise the responsibilities and privileges that individuals have in their communities.