Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts


Alums' production company takes the lead behind the scenes

How’s this for a new reality show? Ten of the nation’s most elite soldiers, plucked from all branches of the United States military, competing to prove who is the toughest, most strategic fighter, shooting Glock pistols, AK-47s and even M249 light machine guns mounted on the back of Jeeps during a series of military-inspired challenges.

That’s “Maximum Warrior,” a Web-based series commissioned by Jeep and men’s magazine Maxim set to start filming in Arkansas in June. The New York City production company making the series is Grand Street Media, which traces its roots straight back to Wheaton, where a decade ago three friends met and began dreaming big.

On the set of “Maximum Warrior”: Jesse Guma rides in the follow vehicle as a warrior fires a M249 machine gun off the back of a Jeep at targets.

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History major combs through correspondence for clues to the past

John Winthrop’s name is famously synonymous with the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But a wide-ranging research project by Jacob Pomerantz ’12 shows the Pilgrim father’s influence on the British colonies was felt far from Plymouth Plantation.

Pomerantz spent two semesters last year in Wheaton’s library poring over archival letters sent and received by Winthrop, his sons and their associates, piecing together how they spread their wings from Massachusetts to Connecticut, the Caribbean, and England—and the vital role played by written correspondence in connecting their distant societies.

“Within one generation, the Winthrop family went from being an unremarkable Puritan family living in England to a family that spanned the globe,” says Pomerantz, a history major who grew up in New Jersey. “The Winthrops were not just founders of Massachusetts, but also participants in the development of a much broader English Atlantic world.”

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Playing at work

Joseph Lavoine ’06 designs new computer game

When Joseph Lavoine ’06 graduated from Wheaton with a degree in computer science, the iPhone was still a year away from release and the iPad was just a gleam in Steve Jobs’s eye. Six years later, he’s using his education to create original games for Apple’s best-selling devices.

Lavoine has founded his own gaming company, Done Right Studios, which put out his first release in October 2011. The 99-cent puzzle game, “Origami Adventure,” challenges players to quickly choose between different colored animals to rack up points. “It’s a game about timing coordination—a bit like the old classic ‘Tetris,’” Lavoine explains. “Players choose between different origami animals—from cats to whales—that move at different speeds. The object of the game (to rack up points) is to get multiple animals of the same color in a row. But since the animals move at different speeds, players need to be crafty about which one they pick to make sure they keep having the same color hit the other end of the screen in sequence.”

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Fast-forward into finance

Michael Wright 2009As Europe’s leaders scrambled in 2010 to shore up their shared currency and stabilize the finances of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Michael Wright ’09 was following each new development from his office in New York City.

Wright is an analyst at Forex Capital Markets, one of the world’s top currency brokerage firms, where he tracks and forecasts the movements of exchange rates based on fundamentals—such as employment, economic activity and inflation—and technical factors like moving averages and trend lines. His analyses go to clients and get posted on Yahoo! Finance, and the investor site Seeking Alpha, as well as his company’s DailyFX.com.

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