Coffee, wisdom and a free fleece?

During lunch, Darnell McGee ’11 gives a student advice about job interviews

Saturday morning, 9 a.m., 10 degrees.

On a morning like this, most people would want to be huddled under the covers, dreaming about the nice feta-and-spinach omelet they want for breakfast.

Not at Wheaton. Here, on this particular morning in January, the Haas Concourse & Lobby in Watson Fine Arts was packed, wall to wall, with students inhaling bagels, coffee cake, fruit and java. They were eagerly awaiting the opening address for Sophomore Symposium in Weber Theatre. Dozens of alums—some of them had driven from New York—also were on campus ready to share their wisdom and encouragement during a full day of programs designed to help sophomores map out the rest of their journey through Wheaton and into the future.

As Dean Alex Vasquez pointed out at the start of the symposium, sophomore year is a big one because so many important decisions are made, including about which major to take, where to study abroad, and whether to go to graduate school. So each year, Wheaton offers a day of programs in which alums give career advice, share the experiences that led them to success in their particular field, or even just talk a student through how to do well in a job interview, as Sara Nausch ’11, a recruiter for K2 Partnering Solutions, and Darnell McGee ’11, a financial analyst for Iron Mountain, did with one sophomore, who had their undivided attention during lunch in Emerson.

Moving from workshop to workshop with our photographer, Nicki Pardo, it was so inspiring to watch the engagement between students and alums as they had conversations about topics ranging from how to prepare for a career in science to how to manage stress. (And the enthusiasm had nothing to do with the cozy Wheaton fleece promised to all students who stayed for the whole day. OK, maybe a little.)

We share the day in images with you here and online. Also in this issue is a profile of Joseph Lee ’08, a clinical research coordinator at Reproductive Medicine Associates in New York. He was one of the Sophomore Symposium participants who presented the workshop “Science Matters: Biology, Chemistry, and Pre-health Paths,” with Professor Christopher Kalberg. Our cover story takes a look at Wheaton’s award-winning study abroad program in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan—the only such program in the United States.

Read. Enjoy.

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