Wheaton in the news

Daily Beast/Newsweek calls us brainiacs

The Daily Beast/Newsweek 2011 college rankings included Wheaton on a list of America’s 25 Brainiac Schools. In order to find “where brainiacs flock and flourish,” the two publications measured the number of national scholarships awarded at each institution in proportion to its student enrollment. The ranking tallied the most competitive awards in academia, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Truman and Fulbright scholarships. Since 2000, Wheaton students have won 139 of these prestigious scholarships (not that we’re counting).

Student Advisor features Sweet ’12

Raphael “Raffi” Sweet ’12 was profiled by Student Advisor, a Washington Post magazine, in the feature story “Words of Wisdom from the Upperclassmen.” In the article, five students from colleges and universities across the country offered helpful advice to new and prospective students about how to get the most out of freshman year. He offered advice on establishing a good relationship with roommates from the start: “As soon as you settle in, it is vital to establish a strong line of communication, and voice your opinion and expectations regarding rules of the room. Want the heavy-metal music turned off by 10? Lights off by midnight? Significant others prohibited from the premises on Tuesdays and Thursdays, due to study schedules? Talk openly about it.”

Krebs writes essay for Inside Higher Ed

The public mission of private liberal arts colleges is not always well defined. Paula Krebs, professor of English and now a special assistant to the president, would like to change that. In her view, the change should start with encouraging all liberal arts colleges to think seriously about their community responsibilities. “The social contract between the nation and higher education, ideally, means that both parties recognize our mutual obligations,” she wrote in an essay published by the website Inside Higher Education. “Becoming aware of and then cultivating ties with various off-campus entities can strengthen a liberal arts college.”

Drout offers thoughts on Harry Potter

The final installment of the massive Harry Potter movie franchise opened on July 15, 2011. The newspaper chain Metro, which publishes in major cities around the United States and abroad, took a moment to reassess the frenzy with English professor Michael Drout, a scholar of Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature as well as an expert on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and other fantasy writers. “What makes people go gaga over Harry Potter?” the newspaper asked, perhaps expecting him to talk about author J.K. Rowling’s marketing juggernaut. Instead, he praised the books’ author. “Rowling doesn’t get enough credit for being a decent writer,” the professor told the newspaper.