Virtual event celebrates Wheaton women

Katelyn Brewer ’07, Ryann Galloway Tacha ’07, Caitly Reynoso ’19 and Jen Chase-Corwin ’97
Panelists for virtual event (from top left, clockwise): Katelyn Brewer ’07, who moderated, Ryann Galloway Tacha ’07, Caitly Reynoso ’19 and Jen Chase-Corwin ’97

Alum panelists share how Wheaton experience led to career success

In honor of Women’s History Month, Alumni Relations recently held the virtual panel “Celebrating Wheaton Women,” in which three generations of graduates shared their journeys from college to professional life.

The March 28, 2024 panel featured Jen Chase-Corwin ’97, Ryann Galloway Tacha ’07 and Caitly Reynoso ’19. Katelyn Brewer ’07, a member-at-large on the Alumni Board of Directors and owner and principal of KNB Solutions Group, served as moderator.

The alums talked about how Wheaton shaped their lives as well as their personal and professional accomplishments.

Jen Chase-Corwin ’97
Jen Chase-Corwin ’97

Chase-Corwin is a co-owner and creative director of Paolo’s, an Italian restaurant located in Saugus, Mass., north of Boston. A journalist for more than 25 years, she focuses on food and lifestyle content for regional and national brands, and is the principal of her firm, Button Soup Consulting.

Ryann Galloway Tacha ’07
Ryann Galloway Tacha ’07

Galloway Tacha ’07 is the chief development officer at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, Kan. Before relocating to Kansas, she also worked in development at independent schools in New York and New Jersey.

Caitly ReynosoReynoso ’19 spent several years in the journalism field, including as a student reporter at The New York Times, before shifting to work in the nonprofit sector. She is the performance lab coordinator at All Stars Project Inc., a nonprofit that uses a performance-based approach to enhance the lives of inner-city youth. She also is pursuing an MBA at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

All three women talked about how the relationships they built with faculty enriched their time at Wheaton and opened doors they didn’t think were possible.

Reynoso said that her Posse Scholar mentor, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Montserrat Pérez-Toribio, immediately came to mind.

“She was more than an academic mentor—she was involved in every aspect of our lives. As our mentor she embodied more of a coach where she wanted to draw the very best out of us. Anything related to our development she was invested in,” Reynoso said.

Chase-Corwin, who majored in theatre and dramatic literature, shared a story about her advisor, Professor of Theatre David Fox. When she realized she was not ready to go to graduate school after her senior year, something her parents had expected her to do, Professor Fox helped her tell them.

“He allowed me to invite them in and sit in his office, and all four of us had a conversation where David espoused the benefit of taking a year off and doing something different,” Chase-Corwin said. “I would not have had the strength to bring the kind of academic rationale to that decision without his being there.”

Galloway Tacha said that her biggest influence was her independent study advisor, Associate Professor of English Shawn Christian. Under his guidance, she did a yearlong independent study about the “lack” of Black art in America.

The independent study experience, Galloway Tacha said, was a great one.

“It was an opportunity to study what I wanted to study, to investigate the questions that I had, and to do it in a way that was well supported and made me stronger and smarter along the way,” she said.

Galloway Tacha recently got to see Christian when she logged onto a Zoom meeting as an advisory board member and found out that he is also a member.

“I was so surprised when I saw my mentor on the Zoom! It was such a full circle moment,” she said.

Another Wheaton experience the panelists shared was the feeling of being in the right place as soon as they stepped on campus.

As soon as she saw the Dimple, “it just felt good,” Galloway Tacha said. She was drawn to how involved she could be in campus life as a student—working as an admission intern, being a senator and helping found Renaissance House, a theme residence dedicated to uplifting femmes of color.

Reynoso echoed Galloway Tacha’s sentiments: “As soon as I stepped onto campus it was a universe of open doors. The community there—from faculty to dining staff—shared so much with me. It was an incredible four years.”

Chase-Corwin said that her after-Wheaton experience was formed by her Wheaton experience. “I thank Wheaton for giving me the resilience to say ‘yes’ to whatever… to just embracing it and trying to make a go of it.”

—By Elsie Carson-Holt ’24