Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Remote control

Samuel Kottler ’15 Sophomore thrives as telecommuting software engineer 

Samuel Kottler ’15 fondly remembers his childhood days of sitting in his living room and carefully dissecting the television remote and piecing it back together—just for fun. Armed with the same passion for figuring out how things work, today he can be found working for one of America’s leading software companies.

Kottler is a software engineer for Red Hat, where he uses his knowledge of systems design to write automation software. The company is known as an international leader in open source software, a format that allows software to be freely and universally distributed over the Internet.

The sophomore’s interest in computer science began when he built a website for his father’s company when he was 12 years old. He learned Drupal, an open source content management system, and, as a ninth-grade student, he started a Drupal consulting company to help businesses manage their web content. Kottler’s paying clientele quickly grew from several small local businesses to about a dozen customers, including Chamber Music of America. [Read more...]

Programmed for success

Computer whiz blends technology, liberal arts

RIchard Neal ’15

As a teaching assistant, RIchard Neal ’15 helps other students

Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs once said he believed that technology, on its own, is not enough: “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing,” he explained.

Richard Neal ’15 is a great example of what Jobs meant, and what Wheaton’s curriculum encourages. He is double majoring in computer science and mathematics and  also earning a minor in secondary education. Neal is deeply involved in some of the college’s most innovative initiatives, while also serving as a teaching assistant and a tutor. On top of all that, he plans to graduate in just three years.

Neal, who grew up in a suburb outside Boston, said that technology has always been a major part of his life, but he didn’t arrive at Wheaton planning to major in computer science. However, he was drawn in by a few introductory classes and encouragement from two professors of computer science, Mark LeBlanc and Tom Armstrong. Neal has done independent studies with both professors; during one he helped create cowDuck, a free iPhone app that provides Wheaton students with information about the college. [Read more...]

Wheaton means business

Wheaton has established a new major in business and management that draws upon the breadth and depth of the college’s liberal arts curriculum and its commitment to experiential learning to prepare students as future organizational leaders.

Business MajorThe new major, which the college’s faculty approved on March 1, will also draw practical strength from affiliations with a number of business and nonprofit organizations that currently offer internships to Wheaton students. Learning through internship experiences, which has been integral to a Wheaton education for nearly three decades, will be a required part of the business and management program.

“This is a comprehensive and novel approach to the study of business and management that takes advantage of the intellectual strength and range of the liberal arts,” said Provost Linda Eisenmann, who served with seven faculty members on the ad hoc committee that designed the new major.

“The study of business may not be considered a traditional discipline within the liberal arts, but the design of this program fits Wheaton perfectly. We have a long history of innovation in academic programs, and our emphasis on cross-disciplinary study provides a foundation that will help us to offer an outstanding course of study in business.” [Read more...]

New institute connects humanities to careers

Since Nicholas Hall ’14 plans to go to law school, he hasn’t given much thought to the skills that medical doctors need to care for patients.

But after attending an hourlong panel at Wheaton on February 28 in which four medical doctors talked about their work, Hall said he was struck by the similarities between talents required of both doctors and lawyers.

“The ability to conduct an interview, ask questions, listen closely and build a relationship of trust with a patient or client applies to being an attorney, too,” he said. “There’s a real cross-application of skills.”

Hall arrived at his observation at the conclusion of Practicing Medicine and Practicing the Humanities, the inaugural event sponsored by the Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities (WIIH), co-founded and co-directed by Assistant Professor of Art History Touba Ghadessi and Associate Professor of History Yuen-Gen Liang.

The institute aims to enable students to take learning achieved in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations. Each year, a team of two professors will co-direct the institute by developing a cutting-edge theme and designing activities that explore it.  [Read more...]