Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Mesmerizing tales

Smith-Johnson pens book on Cape Cod history

Robin Smith-Johnson ’76Cape Cod enjoys a rich tradition of local lore and legends, including many that predate the arrival of the Pilgrims.

In her recently published book, Legends & Lore of Cape Cod (History Press, 2016), Robin Smith-Johnson ’76 spins tales about love, shipwrecks, murders, hauntings, witches, ancient Wampanoag legends, and much more, from this 339-square-mile peninsula in eastern Massachusetts.

1976 Johnson Smith photo 2Smith-Johnson, who majored in English at Wheaton, is passionate about all things literature and history.

For the past 17 years, she has served as the Cape Cod Times’ librarian, conducting research for reporters and editors, in addition to other duties. She also has served on the faculty of Cape Cod Community College since 2003, teaching various English classes, including English Composition I, Foundations in Writing and Creative Writing. (She received her master’s degree in English at Bowling Green.) [Read more...]

Empowered woman

Ashley Sweeney ’79 publishes Eliza Waite

Ashley Sweeney ’79Not all stories are planned. Often inspiration comes about suddenly or unexpectedly, and the writer never looks back.

For Ashley Sweeney ’79, the idea for Eliza Waite (She Writes Press, 2016) first emerged while was hiking with her husband, Michael, through the dense woods of Cypress Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington State.

1979 Sweeney photo bookcoverThe couple took a wrong turn, and ended up at a sheltered cove on the island’s north side, just below a massive cliff face. There, they spied a long-abandoned, dilapidated cabin. A nearby plaque told of owner Zoe Hardy, a self-sufficient hermit from the 1930s.

It was the first inkling of an idea for Eliza Waite, the main character of Sweeney’s future book.

“I imagined a reclusive woman living in a cabin, and the story that would have led her there, and also the story that would have led her away from there,” Sweeney said. “As a historical fiction aficionado and an American literature and American history major at Wheaton, the find fascinated me and was full of possibility.” [Read more...]

Returning to campus to offer opportunities

Wheaton Career Fair 2016Our graduates are always willing to help out the next generation. In April, several attended Wheaton’s Spring 2016 Career Fair, which featured nearly 30 employers showcasing job and internship opportunities. Among the alums were Kathleen “Kathy” O’Neil ’92, director of marketing at Global Rescue, LLC,and Allyson “Ally” Bizer Knox ’92, president of the Hoxie Center at Sagamore Beach for Art, Science, Education and Culture. One company, Y.O.U. Inc., was represented by five alumnae who work there (pictured, left to right) Emily Swalec ’14, electronic health record trainer; Jillian Garofano ’08, clinician; Judi Stank Rock ’99, assistant component director community-based services; Jillian Anger ’05, director of quality management program support; and Anna Berin ’04, assistant component director of residential services/director of congregate Care.


Brick by brick

Lauren Andres ’14 is a model builder at LEGO Systems

Lauren Andres ’14Many children would agree that Lauren Andres ’14 has the best job: LEGO model builder.

At company headquarters in Enfield, Conn., Andres teams up with fellow builders, as well as designers and master builders, to create LEGO models that fuel the imagination of young minds.

“My favorite part about LEGO Systems has been the people and overall culture,” said Andres, who majored in studio art at Wheaton. “Being employed at a toy company, I’ve found there is a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. Everyone here is incredibly hard-working, but there is certainly no shortage of fun.”

In her role, Andres assists LEGO designers, helping to turn their digital design into the actual physical model. Designers begin creating their model in Maya, a 3D computer software, and then export the file into the company’s Brick Builder program. In Brick Builder, designers are able to translate their 3D model into a LEGO model. [Read more...]