Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

History major combs through correspondence for clues to the past

John Winthrop’s name is famously synonymous with the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But a wide-ranging research project by Jacob Pomerantz ’12 shows the Pilgrim father’s influence on the British colonies was felt far from Plymouth Plantation.

Pomerantz spent two semesters last year in Wheaton’s library poring over archival letters sent and received by Winthrop, his sons and their associates, piecing together how they spread their wings from Massachusetts to Connecticut, the Caribbean, and England—and the vital role played by written correspondence in connecting their distant societies.

“Within one generation, the Winthrop family went from being an unremarkable Puritan family living in England to a family that spanned the globe,” says Pomerantz, a history major who grew up in New Jersey. “The Winthrops were not just founders of Massachusetts, but also participants in the development of a much broader English Atlantic world.”

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National Science Foundation grant supports physics and chemistry research

Wheaton has won a National Science Foundation grant to acquire a cutting-edge laser system that will advance the research of three Wheaton scientists and their students.

The $255,865 grant from NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation Program will finance the purchase of a tunable laser and auxiliary equipment to support the work of chemistry professor Thandi Buthelezi and physics professors John Collins and Xuesheng Chen. The instrumentation will foster Wheaton’s interdisciplinary curriculum and promote interactions among science departments.

A tunable laser can emit at a wide variety of colors, or wavelengths, and the ability to control and vary the wavelength makes this instrument a powerful research tool.

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Professor Edmund Tong retires

Professor of Biology Edmund Tong

Professor of Biology Edmund Tong

In his 39 years at Wheaton, Professor of Biology Edmund Tong has developed innovative teaching programs, trained numerous students in his lab, and received impressive grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and others.

This spring, he plans to retire. As he leaves, his legacy of inspired research continues through an impressive list of biology alumnae/i who sing his praises. During Commencement/Reunion Weekend, he will receive the newly established Heather J. Corbett ’86 Faculty/Staff Unsung Hero Award, which is based on nominations and is presented to a faculty or staff member who has made a significant contribution to community, career or volunteer service to Wheaton.

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