Iraimi Mercado ’12, a 2012–2013 Thomas J. Watson Fellow, has been spending her time traveling to several countries, studying youth programs run by the YMCA. Most recently she was in Senegal, West Africa. She tells us: “Life in Senegal is fantastic. Although I have only been here for a month and a half, it feels like I have been here forever. Senegalese people live in peace and solidarity. It is beautiful. My Watson journey has completely changed my life. Travel is good for the soul. The new experiences that I have gained and the ones ahead of me are helping me reframe my personal narrative, and I am much more aware of the world in which we live.” If you want to read more about her Watson journey, follow her blog at iraimiwatson.wordpress.com.
Kenya Bryant ’12, who majored in sociology with minors in studio art and journalism studies, has a bit of fun posing with the cover of an Essence magazine. Her internship with the company led to a full-time job after graduation. “I’ve always been interested in pursuing media, whether it would be in television or publishing. In August 2012, I was approached by Essence magazine, where I had interned the summer before my senior year, and I was offered a full-time job. I’m currently a sales coordinator in the New York office. My team is responsible for bringing in the ad dollars that keep the magazine alive. Growing up, I was so used to seeing the magazine on my coffee table; now I see the publication through a completely different lens—as a business and powerful brand.”
The work of Rosemary Liss ’11 was featured in the nationally juried exhibition “Strokes of Genius” in November at the MFA Circle Gallery in Annapolis, Md. “The Senator Theater,” oil on canvas, was part of the studio art major’s senior project at Wheaton, documenting the temporary nature of the urban landscape by painting old movie theaters. Currently, Liss lives and works in Baltimore for the advertising agency Trahan, Burden, and Charles. “I wear many hats, but my job title is studio artist,” she says. “The agency has an in-house production company called Charles St. Films, and during commercial shoots I have worked both on props and as a production coordinator. For example, we just finished filming a commercial for Haribo, the candy company that makes Gummie Bears. For this commercial shoot, I helped build the props, as well as worked behind the scenes hiring the crew, booking the talent, and coordinating other logistics required in order for the shoot to run smoothly. In my free time, I paint and am an active member of the local art scene. Baltimore is perfect for young artists. Every weekend there are gallery openings, events and concerts. It’s great to be surrounded by so many creative people.”
Roberta “Bobbi” Lane Benson ’76
Spanish teacher, General John Nixon Elementary School, Sudbury, Mass.
Recipient of the 2012 Harriet Goldin Foundation Award for Excellence in Education
Wheaton Fund supporter
Knows the power of inspiration:
“As a child, playing school with neighbor friends, I was always the teacher. I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I feel that it was my calling. My Wheaton professors were exemplary role models. Their commitment to the teaching profession, as well as their support and encouragement, inspired me to continue my path toward a career in education. I have been a teacher for more than 30 years, and I enjoy the challenges and high expectations.”
Makes important connections:
“I landed my first teaching job, in large part, because I was a Wheaton graduate. The woman who hired me had a niece who was a freshman at Wheaton, and she was very impressed with the college’s reputation for high educational standards. It is because of connections like this and all the opportunities I have had that I support the Wheaton Fund. To give back to one’s community and college is a distinguished honor. To help provide other students similar life experiences is essential.”