As part of a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the college launched the Wheaton Inclusive STEM Excellence (WISE) initiative.

The goal of the effort is to improve student outcomes through innovative campus-wide programs, including professional development for faculty and the introduction of new opportunities for student engagement and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

With this support from HHMI, Wheaton’s comprehensive project will encourage increased engagement in STEM disciplines among all students. The activities include:

  • Creating a campus-wide leadership team of faculty and staff to promote inclusive excellence in STEM education;
  • Providing professional development opportunities for STEM faculty to promote inclusive teaching methods and support for developing evidence-based curricular reform;
  • Involving student leaders in peer-to-peer mentoring and programming, leadership training and campus-based internships;
  • And launching an ongoing assessment plan to better understand students’ experiences in science education and measure progress.

The initial focus of the work funded by the grant will involve intensive study of the opportunities for encouraging broader participation in science education by all students, no matter their major, and developing implementation plans for new offerings. Among the new initiatives proposed through the grant are programs designed to promote student leadership in science and foster the development of professional skills to facilitate post-graduation success. The offerings include the development of a new course on leadership, peer mentoring and an on-campus internship program in which students will develop, implement and measure initiatives designed to enhance engagement in the sciences.

Summer Lecture Series and Seminar

July 23 – August 20, 2020

Join us for a five-week program consisting of a combination of a weekly public lecture series

Weekly public lectures:

July 23
Watch previously recorded lecture: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Health Disparities

  • Gabriela Torres, Professor and Chair of Anthropology; Co-Coordinator, Public Health Program
  • Hilary Gaudet ’09, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

July 30
Watch previously recorded lecture: Health Disparities and the Environment

  • Janina Benoit, Professor of Chemistry
  • Russell Williams, Associate Professor of Economics; Coordinator of the Urban Studies minor

August 6
Watch previously recorded lecture: Modeling Disease Spread in the Context of Human Behavior: The Impacts on Policy and Social (in)Justice

  • Emily Fischer, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Kate Mason, Assistant Professor of Sociology/Women and Gender Studies

August 13
Watch previously recorded lecture: Why Face Masks Work but not Everyone Wears One: A Biopsychosocial Look at COVID-19 Transmission

  • Amy Beumer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Michael Berg, Professor of Psychology; Co-Coordinator, Public Health Program

August 20
Watch previously recorded lecture: Weighing Goods—What’s at Stake: Philosophical Perspective and Scientific Application

  • Teresa Celada, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Meg Kirkpatrick, Associate Professor of Psychology

If you have any questions, please contact us at

WISE Wednesdays

Join us every other Wednesday this fall, 6-7 p.m. via Zoom

WISE Wednesdays on Zoom

September 9, 2020
Success in STEM

September 23, 2020
Intersectional Identities in STEM, with the Marshall Center

October 7, 2020
Goal Setting and SMART Goals

October 21, 2020
Study Break – Learn a new skill!

November 4, 2020
Coping with Stress, with the Counseling Center

November 18, 2020
Celebrate the End of the Semester!