Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Bake sales, babysitting, basketball

Students make way to New Orleans one fundraiser at a time

Raising money for New Orleans trip

Twenty thousand dollars. That’s how much money students needed to raise in one semester to go to New Orleans to help with post–Hurricane Katrina restoration during January break, as they have done for the past five years.

Although the task may have seemed daunting, they were relentless. How did they do it?

Faculty-student basketball gameIn addition to receiving money from the Student Government Association and individual donations this academic year, they held a babysitting day, collected items from local businesses to raffle off at a holiday craft fair, sold items at the holiday craft fair, stood outside local businesses asking for donations, sold snacks at campus performances and movie nights, wrapped gifts at a bookstore, and, the biggie, sponsored the annual faculty/staff-versus-students basketball game.

Was all the hard work to get to work hard worth it? [Read more...]

A minute with…Taylor Wright-Sanson ’14

Taylor Wright-Sanson 2014Taylor Wright-Sanson, an independent major in computer science and interface design, works two jobs and is on the swimming and diving team. Obviously, he enjoys a challenge. Why else would he take up riding around on one wheel, otherwise known as unicyling? He’s become so good at it that he won a national unicycling competition and has spent five summers touring with Circus Smirkus, an award-winning international circus. TIRELESS EFFORT: “I first learned to ride a unicycle when I was about 12 years old. I got one for Christmas. Since there was a ton of snow outside, I learned how to ride in my kitchen. I would hold on to the counters until I felt steady enough to let go. It took about two weeks of practice to learn to ride straight without holding on to anything.”
Taylor Wright-Sanson 2014WHEEL-Y INSPIRED: “After I learned how to ride, I put the unicycle away. I would take it out when guests came over and show them, if they asked. But it wasn’t until I saw a video of some guy doing tricks on a unicycle that I got interested. After I watched the video, I immediately went and got my unicycle and began trying several of the tricks I saw. I picked up a few fairly quickly and I haven’t stopped since.” BALANCING ACT (How to ride a unicycle): “Next to a wall, adjust your pedals so they are in a horizontal position and put the seat between your legs. With one hand on the wall and one out for balance, put your foot on the pedal closest to you. Put your weight on that pedal and be ready to catch the other one with your other foot (otherwise it will hit your shin). Adjust your weight so you are comfortable on the seat. (It’s not as bad as it looks, trust me. It should feel like you’re sitting on a bicycle seat if you’re sitting on it correctly.) Once you feel comfortable, sit up straight, lean slightly forward and begin pedaling. Use the wall to steady yourself with only one hand; use the other for balance. When you’re ready, let go of the wall and see how far you can go. You will fall. But don’t worry; if you keep practicing, you will have it down in no time. Oh, and did I say practice?”(Editor’s note: Wear a helmet.)

Photos / Robert Sanson

Graduating senior lands Raytheon job

Nelson Christina 2011When Christina Nelson ’11 walks across the stage to receive her diploma on May 21, she will be headed straight into a full-time job at a leading defense company, bringing with her years of real-world experience in technology and research gained both in and out of the classroom.

Raytheon has offered the computer science and math double major a job as a systems engineer in their systems, validation, testing and analysis directorate division. According to the company’s job description, systems engineers are involved from product concept to completion, helping with integration and testing of hardware and software, developing test plans and procedures, debugging and testing systems functions, and evaluating performance. [Read more...]

Biology major wins National Institutes of Health award

Erin Jaske 2011Erin Jaske ’11 has won a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Program Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award provides her an opportunity to spend one to two years learning sequencing techniques and conducting genomics research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Mont.

She already has begun working side by side with some of the leading scientists in the world. Because of AP credits from high school, she was able to graduate from Wheaton early and began full time at the lab in February. However, she plans to return to Wheaton to be a part of Commencement.

“I am very excited about this opportunity, and look forward to gaining research experience,” she said. [Read more...]