LEAPS  are interdisciplinary pathways that combine classes, experiential learning, and mentorship to prepare students for careers. LEAPS help students identify and develop the knowledge and skills needed in specific professional realms or industries. Each LEAPS pathway is overseen by a LEAPS advisor and a professional mentor from the alumni body or greater Wheaton community. LEAPS, by design, provide a structure for building a toolkit for success.

Alumni and professional mentors work with Wheaton faculty in the design of LEAPS programs to ensure that the skills expected for positions in the industry are developed in the courses. In addition, alumni and faculty partner with Career Services and Alumni Relations to identify internship and networking opportunities.

Approved LEAPS

Content Marketing

C.C. Chapman (Business & Management)

Organizations of all types need digital marketing content created for them regularly. Knowing how to plan out an ongoing content calendar strategically is vital. Learning how to create the individual pieces of content that must be shared across the digital media spectrum takes that knowledge to a level not many entering into marketing roles possess. Students will learn how to plan out, schedule, and create content for any organization, company, or individual. They will learn the role marketing plays, the level of detail that must go into planning out content calendars, and finally, how to create various media that can be leveraged across multiple channels in the new media landscape.

  • Kristen Brandt ’94, President at Sundin Associates and President at Sundin Sports Marketing
  • Christine Koh ’95, Founder & Editor at Boston Mamas Blog and Co-Owner of Brave New World Designs

Criminal Justice & Criminal Justice Reform

Christina Riggs Romaine (Psychology) & Karen McCormack (Sociology)

Criminal Justice incorporates a wide range of fields and jobs related to the criminal courts and our legal system, including work within the systems and work from inside and outside the system to improve equity, fairness and justice in criminal justice. Wheaton College students with the breadth of a liberal arts education, and some focus provided by the Criminal Justice LEAPS, are uniquely suited to work within the system and contribute to reform efforts that include specific focus on using broader sources of information, diversifying interventions, reducing racial and ethnic disparities and developing new sources of information and data to inform evidence-based decisions. The LEAPS is designed to allow students to develop an understanding of the structure and purpose of the criminal justice system, human factors that influence the people in the system and the system itself, issues of disproportionate minority contact and their perpetuation in the system, and the role of policy in practice at the level of local facilities and national systems.

  • Kim Gaddy, ’81, retired Sergeant Detective with the Boston Police Department (profiled in Wheaton News in 2018)
  • Dan Taylor, ‘09, investigator with the Attorney General’s Office of NY
  • Hannah Zack, ‘18, Manager of Volunteer Engagement and Programming at Concord Prison Outreach
  • Hank Meyer, ‘94, Senior Special Agent, US Department of Justice, Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms Division
  • David Candelaria, retired, New York State Police

Design & Fabrication

Kelly Goff (Visual Art), Jason Goodman (Physics)

The way things are made is changing.  Whether they’re designing works of art, creating new products, or developing scientific apparatus, Wheaton graduates are entering a world where computer-aided design, rapid prototyping, and advanced manufacturing techniques are the norm.  At the same time, core principles of user-centered design, ergonomics, and design thinking have become more important than ever, and employers are increasingly seeking graduates with experience in iterative design and the ability to manage complex projects. The Design and Fabrication LEAPS will give students the skills they need to turn revolutionary ideas into working prototypes. By completing this LEAPS, students will be able to work toward careers in industrial design, product development, creative arts, and social entrepreneurship, designing solutions for a better future.


Aleza Epstein ‘18

Food Industry: Food Science, Business, Language and Culture

Tommasina Gabriele (Hispanic and Italian Studies), Justin Schupp (Sociology), Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus (Religion)

The annual global food industry market size is trillions of dollars, and is reported to be growing at a 4% annual rate. NYU’s Steinhardt’s School indicates, “Career opportunities in food-related professions are expanding rapidly. Employers increasingly seek university graduates with educational experience in liberal arts, food, nutrition, and management.” This global industry is driven by factors such as trade (imports/exports), trendsetters (Food Network-style celebs), status (the ubiquity of “Italian” food, for example) and ethical concerns, such as nutrition, global food distribution, ecology and sustainability. In addition, this global industry is made up of many sub-markets, such as marketing, advertising, publishing, food service, retail, regulatory agencies, culinary arts, food logistics, and many others. This LEAPS provides a bridge into the global Food Industry. It offers students a liberal arts foundation and the acquisition of professional skills in their chosen market segment.

  • Stephanie Pixley, ‘08, Deputy Food Editor at America’s Test Kitchen
  • Hannah Van Susteren, ‘07, Head of Marketing at Bancroft Wines Ltd
  • Zoe Keller, ‘05, Health and Nutrition Coach

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs)

Megan Brooks (Dean of Library Services) and Leah Niederstadt (History of Art)

GLAMs institutions collect, maintain, display, and interpret material evidence of our world. Each year, Wheaton alumni pursue GLAM-related careers, using knowledge gained from their courses and hands-on engagement with the college’s Beard & Weil Galleries, Wallace Library, Gebbie Archives & Special Collections, and Permanent Collection as well as the Computer Museum and scientific study collections of plants, shells, and avian skins. In the GLAMs LEAPS, students will study how the sector has developed and changed over time and explore how digital and physical objects are used to create, compile, explain, and disseminate information. They will gain the theoretical background and practical skills needed to work in GLAMs and to identify — and react to — the contemporary challenges faced by these institutions.

  • Kate Boylan, ’04, Director of Archives & Digital Initiatives, Wheaton College
  • Mell Scalzi, ’09, Registrar, Florence Griswold Museum

Global Fashion Industry

Francisco F.  de Alba, Montserrat Pérez-Toribio, Alberto Bianchi (Hispanic & Italian Studies, all)

“Global Fashion Industry” provides the theoretical background and practical skills to help students access the professional world of fashion and understand its global dimension. Students will learn how fashion is the last step of a long transnational supply, manufacturing, and distribution chain that includes manufacturing and sourcing fabrics, designing and patroning, and sewing the garments. Most of these steps occur in multiple countries. Fashion markets and sales, of course, are also international. Finally, students will come to understand the historical nature of fashion and the careers that exist in preserving this cultural heritage.

  • Katherine DiLeo ’12 (Senior Creative Project Manager at Kate Spade Group)
  • Katherine Dunn ’12 (Merchant Analyst at Nordstrom)

Social Research

Aubrey Westfall (Political Science), Kate Eskine (Psychology/Neuroscience), Kate Mason (Sociology/Women’s & Gender Studies), Justin Schupp (Sociology), Karen McCormack (Sociology)

Students engaged in this program will learn the essential elements of social research design including survey construction, interviewing, participant observation, qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills, and data visualization. The LEAPS provides strong grounding in the ethical requirements and dilemmas of conducting equitable and inclusive research with, on, and for people. This LEAPS will prepare students for careers in a number of nonprofit, governmental, and for profit arenas where they will be able to conduct research and to analyze and communicate the results to a wider audience.

  • Chris Kelley, ‘96, Vice President of Products, Operations at Forrester Research (marketing)
  • Michelle Meiser, ‘96, Community Partnerships and Development Team at Cambridge Trust (housing access)
  • Iyar Mazar, ‘09, Clinical Outcome Assessment Scientist at Sanofi (health equity)
  • Peter Dassatti, ‘15, Clinical Operations Analyst, Teledoc Health

Teaching Second Languages

Scott Gelber (Education), Mary Beth Tierney-Tello (Hispanic and Italian Studies)

This LEAPS will help students to develop the skills they need to teach a second language.  Students will complement their study of a foreign language with several relevant courses.  In addition, students will complete at least one practical experience with second language acquisition and teaching methods.  The programs in Spanish, French, Italian, German and Russian stand ready to support students who wish to pursue this LEAPS.

  • Greta Phillips ’09, Teacher of English Language Learners, Underwood Elementary School, Newton, MA
  • Michelle Menacho ‘17, Spanish Teacher, The Harvey School, Katonah, NY