The May Fellows Program is a cohort-based program that helps high achieving students thrive academically, connect socially, and engage deeply in the Wheaton community through co-curricular and residentially-based learning opportunities. May Fellows are among Wheaton’s most academically curious students interested in engaging with like-minded students and faculty through enriching activities. May Fellows benefit from unique and engaging learning opportunities, programming, lectures, dinners, and presentations. Named after Elizabeth S. May, former Dean of the College and first woman ever appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the May Fellows Program is now in its fifth year. The program is student-driven.
What We Do
The May Fellows Program produces exclusive May Fellows programs as well as sponsors campus-wide open events. Often events respond to current topics or critical issues and may take place for instance as a documentary screening with a discussion afterward, while many events are semesterly or yearly traditions. Examples include: Story Slam, a night of stories told live on stage; the May Fellows versus Faculty/Staff Trivia night and Study Break; an Autumn Harvest Fest; and Friday Coffee and Conversations with Faculty at the Lyon’s Den. Other events are field trips, such as to the Museum of Science and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston or service outings such as to the Greater Boston Food Bank. May Fellows are encouraged to attend as many events as possible with a minimum of three per semester.
May Fellows Colloquium
May Fellows have developed a new academic opportunity with faculty. Beginning in the Spring of 2017, May Fellows working in teams had the chance to develop and present new research projects that tackle relevant questions. Participating Fellows assemble into two teams according to their interests and with guidance from Faculty Consultants representing each of four areas of inquiry: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities. All May Fellows Colloquium projects in a given semester respond to a common charge proposed by the President of Wheaton College. Colloquium participants receive one academic credit for their work and present their results as part of Wheaton Academic Festival and beyond!
The May Fellows Program invites Wheaton’s highest-achieving incoming first-year students to join the membership in their first semester by attending one of two socials held in mid-September. After learning about the program from current May Fellows and advisors and attending events throughout the semester, incoming scholars are encouraged to commit to remaining in the program in November. Applications for continuance are completed online and are reviewed by members of the May Fellows Advisory Board. Group interviews are conducted shortly thereafter with new provisional members notified before December. Conditional on those provisional members’ academic performance and social engagement, they will be formally accepted as lifelong members at the beginning of their senior years at Wheaton.
While many students are invited into the program at the time of admission, exceptional students in their second or third year at Wheaton may be individually nominated by a faculty member to apply, as well. We’re always eager to find new people and ideas to further our mission. Contact any or all of our advisory board members if you’re interested!
The Advisory Board
Each week, the May Fellows Advisory Board meets to conceive of and plan programming and events. The Board is made up of May Fellows from each class year as well as faculty and staff advisors. Any interested May Fellow is welcome to attend these meetings.
2019-20 Advisory Board:
Maia Hay ‘20
Sarah Kavalkovich ‘20
Kaitlyn Megathlin ‘20
Anna Lally ‘21
Clara McGurren ‘21
Sierra Prasad ‘21
Will Coleman ‘22
Mia Murray ‘22
Harry Topol ‘22
Gia Maria Orsino ’23
Erin Bowes ’23
Niagale Fofano ’23
Aubrey Westfall, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty in Residence-Beard Hall (outgoing)
Stephen Mathis, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Faculty in Residence-Beard Hall (incoming)
Steven Viveiros, Dean of Advising and Academic Success, Filene Center
Wes Boucher, Student Success Advisor, Filene Center