Wheaton in the news

Chronicle notes scholar ranking

Wheaton continues to rank among the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the nation when it comes to preparing students to win Fulbright Scholarships for advanced study and work abroad.

Wheaton tied for ninth place in the number of students who received Fulbrights in 2011, sharing the spot with Bowdoin, Connecticut and Wellesley colleges, among others, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Institute for International Education, which administers the Fulbright program.

Twelve colleges in Massachusetts made the list; Wheaton ranked fourth among the commonwealth’s colleges in the percentage of Fulbright nominees chosen for the award, trailing Smith, Babson and Boston colleges, respectively.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that Wheaton has ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges in the production of Fulbright Scholars.

N.Y. Times talks to Crutcher about online high schools

The far-reaching impact of the Internet and communication technology has yet to be fully understood. Every week, it seems, a new business venture appears that applies the power of digital technology to a new arena, raising mind-boggling possibilities and new complications.

One of the latest developments: online high schools established by colleges and universities. The New York Times took note of the trend in a recent news story.

While Wheaton has not joined the rush to establish its own high school, President Ronald A. Crutcher’s role as co-chair of a national campaign to promote liberal learning led the New York Times to talk with him about the trend.

“From my perspective, colleges, concentrate on what you’re good at,” he advised, adding that he had recently declined an offer from a for-profit education company to join other small liberal arts institutions in forming an online high school in their image. “Be consultants, but don’t contribute to a trend that I think has some real problems.”

Media seek Professor Collins’s perspective

The possibility that life might exist, in some form, beyond planet Earth intrigues scientists and science fiction buffs alike.

The latest findings by a group of NASA scientists who are studying Jupiter’s moon Europa suggest that it may have large lakes, one of which holds enough water to fill the American Great Lakes.

The research, which was published in the journal Science, inspired widespread international news coverage. Several journalists called on Professor of Geology Geoffrey Collins for perspective on the exciting new findings.

News reports that quoted Professor Collins include articles published by Sky & Telescope and the Christian Science Monitor.

The team’s new explanation “is a really interesting half-way point that is much more realistic,” says Collins, a planetary scientist. “It’s not just ‘only liquid down here and only ice up there.’ There are perched lakes or slushy areas in the ice shell that may be having a huge effect on the surface geology.”