Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Researching the record

Professor Gelber wins award for scholarship on higher education and the courts

Wheaton Professor Scott GelberScott Gelber, assistant professor of education, has won a prestigious national fellowship to support research into the judicial oversight of colleges and universities during the last 150 years.

He was chosen as one of 20 scholars nationwide to be a 2013–2014 Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. The fellowship, which includes a $55,000 award, will support Gelber’s work in constructing an understanding of changing legal and public views on student access to higher education from legal rulings that date back to the 1860s.

Gelber said his preliminary findings indicate that “previous scholars have seriously underestimated early judicial oversight of college access” as it relates to admission, tuition and expulsions. Such insights are particularly relevant in light of recent court cases concerning the proper consideration of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background on college admission decisions.

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Wheaton welcomes six new tenure-track professors

Click on a name to go their Q&A

Christina Riggs Romaine

Assistant professor of psychology

Wheaton Professor Christina Romaine

My educational background: “My undergraduate degree is in psychology and art history from Gordon College. After graduation I worked in the field and then in research for three years before attending Drexel University, where I earned my Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus in forensic psychology. I came back to Massachusetts for an internship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and remained there for my post-doctoral fellowship, which consisted of working in the professional appointments in the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health and Youth Services. In addition to being a professor, I am also a licensed clinical psychologist.”

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Art on the go: Roving gallery gets rolling

Wheaton Professor Kelley GoffAssistant Professor of Art and Art History Kelly Goff has let loose an unusual brainchild on campus. He’s calling it the Mobile Small Works Gallery.

“The gallery is like a cross between a dessert cart and a sculpture pedestal with a Plexiglass vitrine [display case] on top,” Goff says. “It has chunky tires to help increase its all-campus roving capabilities. The seed of this idea was an itch to share the exciting things we are doing in studio art with the Wheaton community at large. I imagined a mobile art gallery that is capable of traversing our campus, showing up in academic spaces, dining halls, and sports events.”

The first gallery, one of several he plans to launch, is called NOMAD 1. The roving mini-galleries will be curated by students and faculty members. The current gallery features student works, but he envisions a whole fleet of wheeled exhibits bringing art to unexpected nooks all over the campus. The possibilities are enormous: Goff is hatching plans to use the spaces to display small objects from the Wheaton Permanent Collection, and to serve as satellite exhibition spaces for the Beard and Weil Galleries.

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The thrill of discovery

Humanities students unlock a secret in 10th century poem

Professor Michael Drout poses a question to team members in the Lexomics lab at Wheaton.

Professor Michael Drout poses a question to team members in the Lexomics lab at Wheaton.

With the help of computer analysis, a team of Wheaton scholars has uncovered a 1,200-year-old secret about an Old English poem.

English professor Michael Drout’s summer research students discovered in June that the author of the 10th century poem “Christ III” created the work not out of whole cloth, as previously believed, but by dividing an older poem into two pieces and then inserting new material in the middle. This discovery led the scholars to further insights about the nature of the historic text.

“Using computer programs written by Wheaton students and techniques developed at Wheaton over the past four summers, the team was able to figure out what was sitting on an anonymous author’s desk over a millennium ago,” Drout said. “We determined that the unknown author had a written source, that it was in the form of poetry rather than prose, and that the source was already old when our author adapted it.” [Read more...]