Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Wanting to know self leads to study of others

Mary Howell 2012Mary Howell’s interest in psychology began long before she took a class on the subject.

“At a younger age, it appealed to me because I felt it would help me fully understand myself, friends and family better,” she said. “The field of psychology appeared somewhat magical, because it entails attempting to truly understand human nature—how we as a species think, feel, act; why we think, feel, act certain ways.

“I’ve learned that psychology is much more than just talking about your feelings. There is a heavy research and science aspect, as well.” The fascination with that aspect drew her to major in the subject and led her to an internship at Butler Hospital in Providence, R.I., where she worked last summer and during winter break this January. [Read more...]

The masterful maestro

Professor Delvyn CaseMusic has always worked its magic in Professor Delvyn Case’s life.

He began taking piano lessons when he was 6, after hearing a friend play at a recital. At a concert, when he heard a “big kid” play the ragtime classic “The Entertainer,” he immediately knew he wanted to be a pianist. And then in high school at age 15, after hearing Aaron Copland’s score to the ballet Rodeo, he knew he wanted to become a composer. “That made me realize that classical music didn’t have to be ‘boring,’” he said.

Today it is Case who is working magic through music—in the classroom, in concert halls, and in public libraries full of children gathered for his exploration of classical music styles and trends. And nothing he does is ever boring.

Take, for instance, the evening of March 10, at Weber Theatre. Case was kickin’ it new school with contemporary musician DJ  Spooky (Paul Miller), conducting the Great Woods Chamber Orchestra in a performance that challenged genre boundaries with an innovative fusion of multimedia, hip-hop and classical music. It’s not every day that an iPad and a cello share the same performance stage. [Read more...]

Professor Liang helps launch academic organization

Wheaton Professor Gen LiangGeographically separated only by the narrow Strait of Gibraltar—and closely linked politically, religiously, culturally and economically for centuries—North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula have long been regarded as “worlds apart” by most scholars. Thanks to a promising new scholarly organization launched by Assistant Professor of History Yuen-Gen Liang and a group of colleagues, the many important links between the two regions are being re-established in the classroom, in scholarship and across academia.

Liang, founder and executive director of the new initiative known as the Spain-North Africa Project (SNAP), says the endeavor has bloomed from intellectual seeds planted during discussions among 11 American scholars attending the 2010 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in Barcelona, Spain.

“It was intellectually rewarding to encounter other scholars who are interested in bridging the divide that has separated the region for so long,” Liang explains. “We came to realize that we shared an interest in exploring Iberia and North Africa as a single geographic region.” [Read more...]

Time editor to deliver Commencement speech

Richard Stengel, Time magazine editorRichard Stengel, the managing editor of Time magazine, will address the Class of 2011 at Wheaton’s 176th Commencement, on Saturday, May 21, at 10 a.m.

Stengel graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and won a Rhodes Scholarship to study English and art history at Oxford. He began writing for Time in 1981, served variously as national editor, culture editor, and managing editor of Time.com, and became the magazine’s top editor in 2006. He has also written for The New Yorker, The New Republic, Spy and the New York Times.

Stengel collaborated with Nelson Mandela on Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. He is also author of the 2010 book, Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage.

In 1999, Stengel left Time for a while to serve as an advisor and speechwriter for then presidential candidate Bill Bradley, and from 2004 to 2006 he was president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a museum and education center in Philadelphia. [Read more...]