Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Sandy Coleman

Sandy Coleman is the editor of the Wheaton Quarterly and Senior Associate Director in the Communications Office.

Encouraging, strengthening common bonds

Alums gathered for the Student Government Association Alumnae/i affinity group reception at Homecoming.

Alums gathered for the Student Government Association Alumnae/i affinity group reception at Homecoming.

When Emily Firment ’11 arrived at Wheaton she was a January admit student, so she had missed a semester of bonding with her freshman classmates. To make up for time lost and to jump into her new campus community, she joined the Student Government Association. There she found a family of friends.

“I loved being swept up into such a close-knit group so quickly my freshman year,” said Firment, current Class of 2011 vice president. “I also loved feeling as though my voice and ideas mattered among my peers and the administration. The people I met through student government became my closest friends at Wheaton and we remain close friends today, even after we have graduated, moved across the country and gotten married.”

The powerful connection that Firment felt to her SGA mates and the college, based on common interests and goals, is exactly what the Alumnae/i Association and the Alumnae/i Relations Office are seeking to tap into and encourage through a new affinity groups initiative. [Read more...]

Inauguaration FEAT

An invitation to change lives

President Hanno calls for action at inauguration

“Let there be no doubt in anybody’s mind: The world needs Wheaton College,” President Dennis M. Hanno told a packed audience of students, faculty, graduates, staff, family members and guests during his inauguration as Wheaton’s eighth president on Friday, October 17.

The college’s liberal arts mission of preparing leaders to solve problems using multiple perspectives provides the perfect foundation for taking on the challenges facing the world, he said during his inaugural address, titled “Accelerating Wheaton’s Impact on the World.”

“A liberal arts education teaches us always to be looking for new solutions and opportunities, to explore these from multiple perspectives, to learn by taking action, and to consider the human element in the choices being made,” he said, pointing out that the goal is to realize our full potential.

The president’s family (left), including his wife, Susan, son Ted and daughter Emily, and his siblings, watched from the front of the chapel.

The president’s family, including his wife, Susan, son Ted and daughter Emily, and his siblings, watched from the front of the chapel.

“Each and every day, I challenge myself to think about how I can change lives. That’s why I chose to pursue a career in higher education,” said Hanno. “Now, I challenge everyone here to think about the role that you can play in building a Wheaton that changes even more lives and strengthens even more communities.”

Standing at the podium in Cole Memorial Chapel, the president issued an invitation to the 20,000-plus strong Wheaton community to commit to spending at least 15 hours involved in service during the next year, as part of the theme for his inauguration, “Changing Lives, Strengthening Community.” [Read more...]

First internship, lasting lessons

Brandon Williams ’16

Brandon Williams ’16 harvests sea lettuce on a beach at the southern tip of Biddeford Pool in Maine.

This summer, Brandon Williams ’16 had his first internship. Not only did he gain valuable experience, he also learned lessons about what it means to be a researcher.

Brandon Williams ’16

Brandon Williams ’16 works on the extraction process in the lab at the University of New England.

Williams, a biochemistry major and Community Merit Scholar, spent three months working as a research assistant at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, under the direction of Amy Deveau, an associate professor of chemistry at the university, and Kristin Burkholder, an assistant professor of biology.

The team’s research is centered on two types of sea lettuce that are common along the Maine coast. The primary focus of the research involves looking into the antimicrobial effects of sea lettuce extracts upon several clinically relevant pathogens; many types of seaweeds have been shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity.

“The significance of this is that with further research, the extracts from various types of seaweeds may potentially serve an important role in disease prevention and treatment in the future,” said Williams, who plans to go to medical school after graduating from Wheaton.

Looking back over the summer, he notes that the most enjoyable part of the internship was also the most challenging. [Read more...]

Preparation, connection lead to Good Housekeeping internship

Rachel Bowie ’04 with Abigail Matses ’15 at Good Housekeeping in New York City. (Photo by Lawrence J. Whritenour)

Rachel Bowie ’04 with Abigail Matses ’15 at Good Housekeeping in New York City. (Photo by Lawrence J. Whritenour)

There is plenty to be said for being in the right place at the right time—and then being prepared when those two things occur. Abigail Matses ’15 didn’t leave any of this to chance last spring when she attended the Liberal Education And Professional Success (LEAPS) event sponsored by the Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities (WIIH). Consequently, she landed an editorial internship at Good Housekeeping in New York City.

She listened when her advisor and WIIH co-founder Professor Touba Ghadessi recommended that she pay close attention to the alum speakers discussing their careers at the LEAPS event. Matses saw that one of the presenters would be Rachel Bowie ’04, associate editor of digital editions at Good Housekeeping. So she did her homework.

“I spent the night researching her and the magazine so that I could speak with her after the event. It seemed too good to be true,” said Matses, who is double majoring in art history and studio art with a concentration in graphic design. “When the presentation finished, I found Professor Ghadessi and told her that I was pretty sure Rachel Bowie had my dream job. She whisked across the room and brought Rachel back with her to talk to me. Rachel ended up passing my résumé along and writing me a great recommendation. I will be forever grateful for that.” [Read more...]