Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning

Campus Life

Cultivating Leaders in Action

The Marshall Center is committed to student's growth and development. We encourage students to seek out opportunities outside the classroom that will enhance their academic experience. The Center provides financial support for students to attend off-campus conferences and mini grants for unpaid summer internships. Below is a sample of great connections students have made:

Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies Major assists on Capitol Hill

Sara Maaiki ‘15

1-1As a Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies double major, my interests have always been in the legislative process and the work of government representatives. During the summer of 2014, I was placed via the Arab American Institute (AAI) in the Washington D.C. office of Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37). In the office of Ms. Bass, I aided in general office duties, including sorting and responding to constituent mail. I also answered incoming calls and conducted legislative research.

Many unique opportunities were afforded to me while working on Capitol Hill. My academic focus on the Middle East allowed me to attend Foreign Affairs Committee hearings related to the Islamic State Group threat in Iraq and briefings on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. I helped compose briefing materials for the Congresswoman on both these issues. In addition, I tracked constituent comments about American-Israeli Relations.

I was also able to participate in events held be the Arab American Institute. Every Friday, I attended guest speaker lunches and met successful Arab American professionals. I helped coordinate several events for AAI during the summer, including a Ramadan celebration and AAI’s Emergency Leadership Summit on Palestine.  My interests continue to be in advancing American policy towards the Middle East and increasing the participation of Arab Americans in government. After my senior year, I hope to return to politics and learn more about the political process.

Holyoke Medical Center Pathologist Assistant

Natasha Colon-Ortiz ‘13

As a freshman in college I tried to have more than volunteering as my experiences in the medical field and created my own internship with the head of the Holyoke Medical Center. The summer of my freshmen year at Wheaton College I had an unpaid Internship shadowing a pathologist assistant in the histology department, and also shadowed other laboratory assistants in several other laboratories like: the chemistry, phlebotomy, pathology, and microbiology. This was an experience of a lifetime and I enjoyed it so much that before I finished my internship I asked if I could do another internship the following summer where I would get the chance to do more hands-on work. I was granted this opportunity and started to get on track on a career path I wanted to continue in.

This past summer, I returned to Holyoke Medical Center and successfully accomplished my hands-on Internship in the laboratories as a pathologist assistant. The concentration of my internship was with the pathologist assistant in the histology department but I also did hands-on work in the previously listed laboratories. I was more interested in the position of the pathologist assistant than I was in the others because it was one of the few positions that was more hands-on and was not taken over by the technology of machines. I enjoyed performing the process of the initial gross examination of surgical pathology specimens on my own but with close supervision. Tracking the specimen from the surgical bench, which included dissecting; to the production of the histology slides was my favorite experience of all this past summer.

Uncovering My Art Experience in Johannesburg, South Africa

Nina Fenelon '12

pic of Nina FenelonDuring the summer of 2011 I was a personal assistant to photographer Ayana V. Jackson at Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Jackson and I met early this year during my study abroad experience in Dakar, Senegal while she was a panelist at a round table, entitled Parole Aux Femme, where she spoke on her latest works - the Leapfrog series (2007). At this panel my attention was drawn to Jackson’s discussion of Leapfrog and its effort in raising awareness about the hypersexualization of the black female body, the importance of 19th century black women and the representation of matriarchal communities within the black identity. The consecutive themes that were being fashioned at this panel completely blew me away. I noticed these themes were directly connecting to my fields of study, Women’s Studies and African, African American Diaspora Studies, compelling me to rejoice in my ability to understand the different perspectives being presented, make connections, and engage with the audience in French! I was eager to further indulge in these topics with Ms. Jackson and the discussion lead to my phenomenal internship opportunity this summer in Johannesburg, South Africa.

APA Conference

Judith Garcia '13

pic of Judith GarciaThis past April I had the opportunity to attend the American Planning Association National conference. As a potential Urban Studies major, my experience was a meaningful one because I was able to step out from the classroom setting to enter a series of workshops where the stories of various cities were shared. I will never forget the panel discussion about the efforts to revitalize the marginalized community of Wichita, Kansas.  A group of planners and local activists shared their experience in trying to fight opposition but soon realized that their failure of revitalizing Wichita was due to their lack of knowledge about the community. It was evident to me that in order to revive a city, through development, one must build bridges between plans and people.  This conference helped me interpret the complex characters of the city through the lens of professionals in the field. I thank the Marshall Center for its continuous support in my path of reaching academic and professional success.

"Girls' Culture & Girls' Studies: Surviving, Reviving, Celebrating Girlhood"
Southern Connecticut State University Women's Studies Program 18th Annual Women's Studies Conference by Maria M. Cabral '12

Maria CabralIntending to major in Women's Studies, I attended the conference in hopes of gaining knowledge about the job opportunities that a degree in Women's Studies has to offer. I left with more than just my intended facts. I was part of an inspirational movement to help build a bridge amongst female advocates. Overall, the conference was well organized and included a variety of workshops to help further discuss women's issues. It was interesting to see the number of men who attended, though not too many. Alexander Demers '10, who also attended the workshop, helped bring to light this formal issue. The study of women is the study of human development, while analyzing all aspects of society, including men. Women from all over were present, each bringing forward different issues that pertain to their own experiences. We all came in with the intentions of uniting the once dehumanized gender, with the goal of extending a helping hand to third world countries that do not have the same privileges. I hope to gain more awareness about women's issues and attend many more conferences that help join us in protecting the rights and freedoms of women as citizens of the world.

Summer Experience: The Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights

This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity of interning for The Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights. This was my first experience working with gender-related issues. Being a Women’s Studies major, this experience meant a lot to me and gave me the opportunity to apply the things that I’ve learned inside the classroom to real-world situations. Before this internship, I interned with other organizations that did not allow me such opportunity. After my internship with the Consortium, I knew that I was on the right path and that this was something I can do for the rest of my life.

Maria M. Cabral ‘12
Marshall Center Summer Stipend
September 11, 2011

Cliften Bonner Desravines '13

Summer Experience

pic of cliften at internshipThe story that I have been telling people about how I “lucked out” and landed at Teen Empowerment was something I will never forget, but the experiences that I retained from working there this summer are not only memories I will never forget but forever cherish as well. This summer I worked as an intern at Teen Empowerment, which was essentially a Program Coordinator. Teen Empowerment is an organization placed primarily in the inner-city (Roxbury, Dorchester, Boston, Somerville, and Rochester NY.)

I was working at the Somerville Teen Empowerment site, which coincidentally, is my hometown. So it was mind blowing to mentor a bunch of kids that were legitimately the splitting image of me when I was there age. One thing that differed between them and I was that they have Teen Empowerment, which is an outlet I wish I had the chance to exploit. Instead I took this as in opportunity to change my city through kids that can potentially be the next me or, as I hope, be a better me.  Overall I enjoyed every last minute of my experience at teen empowerment. I can only hope that I took away as much as I possibly could from this internship and continue to grow through learning from my experiences.

Erica Castellar '13

Summer Experience

pic of Erika CastellarThis summer I interned at the Comprehensive Adolescent Rehabilitation and Education Service (CARES), which is affiliated with St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. The CARES program provides a therapeutic environment for high school students who struggle with substance abuse issues and emotional/ behavioral difficulties work towards a high school diploma or GED equivalent. The CARES program is unique because it really tends to each students needs, whether it be through milieu, individual, group or family therapy, they are constantly surrounded by individuals who truly care about how they’re doing.

At CARES, I, along with my co-workers, wore many hats. We decorated for the students prom, tutored, proctored mock regents, decorated bulletin boards, designed student awards, decorated for graduation, organized paperwork, co-lead weekly music therapy groups, monitored hallways, chaperoned a trip to Rye Playland and served as a mentor to all students.

Overall, this has been the greatest work experience I have ever had. Thank you Marshall Center for intercultural Learning for believing in not only the CARES program but also in me!

Biomedical Science Careers Conference

Science groupJessie Pan '12. "This conference was an awesome experience and provided a great opportunity to meet and network with professionals in various medical fields. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation given by the keynote speaker from NASA; he was one of the 186 astronauts nationwide that actually went out into space! This conference has given me so much in support and guidance needed for successful pursuit of the biomedical sciences."

Damien Almarzraawi '13. "It was an amazing experience, we got to network with a whole bunch of people and found opportunities that could potentially help us in our journey through the biomedical field. The workshops were very dynamic. I had a great time and recommend those who question pursuing such a vigorous field to go to the event and see how much support there is."

Nicole Francis '11. "The best part of the conference was when the students were matched up with mentors who work in fields similar to the students interest. The mentors are all people who are more than willing to talk with students, encourage and even help students achieve their goals. Some of the presentations that I went to included how to conduct yourself in the work place or when going on job interviews, a panel on applying to medical school and a panel on other health related careers."

pic of students who attended CHAS conferenceCHAS Conference Fall '11

The CHAS Black and Latino males conference was a space to remember, as it provided me and other men of color with the space to learn from each other, grow with each other, and carefully plan with each other. But this rare and precious moment could not have been possible without the help and support of the Marshall Center, the office of the Provost, Wheaton College professors and deans, and the committed male students of color that decided to be agents of campus change. Shawneil Campbell ''13


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