Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Keeping the peace–one country at a time

If she had a uniform—maybe something in a nice Army green or navy—Meg Riggs ’97, a foreign service officer, might have an easier time explaining her job.

She works for the U.S. Department of State helping to build important relationships that promote peace, but she is the first to admit that educating friends and family at home about what she does is sometimes the hardest job.

”I, like my family and friends, share in the pride and appreciation for the members of our community in the military,  who ‘serve’ the country in uniform. Unfortunately, that same pride doesn’t always extend to the civilians serving the country overseas,” she says.

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Advocating for global health

During a semester abroad, Alison Mehlhorn ’11 got a glimpse of maternal health care in rural South Africa. She was troubled and inspired.

Now, the 2011 Wheaton graduate has won a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship that will allow her to follow her dreams of improving health care for women and children, particularly in the developing world.

Mehlhorn, who graduated summa cum laude with a major in biology, will be enrolled next fall at the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, working toward a master’s degree in reproductive and sexual health research. She was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Camden, Maine.

“Due to gender discrimination, women and girls are generally the most marginalized members of any society and therefore are often the poorest both in terms of economics and health,” Mehlhorn says, explaining her interest in the field of study.

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Math + dance + theater = a balanced life

One feature film.

Five main roles.

Three hundred actors auditioning.

It doesn’t take a math major to know that the odds of ending up on the big screen in this scenario aren’t the greatest.

But Trisha Carr ’08—a math major—went for it anyway. And it paid off.

She received one of the five main roles in the full-length independent feature film Brilliant Mistakes, which is scheduled to be released this summer. Although she has performed on stage for many years, this was her first try at a film role. She plays Erin Penney, a college-age girl whose sister, Gabby, gets into a horrible accident. The Salisbury Film production centers on Gabby’s fiancé, Marcus, and how he and Gabby’s family react to and cope with the accident.

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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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