Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Pop-Up science

Students share research with wider community

Ben Cutler ’17

Ben Cutler ’17, a physics major, is investigating the ice-water boundary of Europa (a moon of Jupiter) to better understand the dynamics of its ocean.

How do you regrow a heart, design limb prosthetics or calculate mercury levels in vernal pools?

Wheaton students explained how to do all these things and more at Pop-Up Labs, an event held in the Mars Center for Science and Technology on Nov. 11, 2016, during Fall Visiting Day when hundreds of prospective students, parents and high school counselors were on campus.

“Communicating [scientific information] to the general public is important, and that is what Pop-Up Labs is all about,” said Professor of Biology Betsey Dyer, who organized the event. “Being able to put complicated subjects into plain language and to demonstrate something interesting and relevant in the lab are good skills to have.”

Here are the students who participated: [Read more...]

Standing tall

Claudine Humure ’17 designs prosthetic socket

Claudine Humure ’17

Claudine Humure ’17, a biology major, is designing an above-the-knee prosthetic socket that is cost effective and adjusts to comfortably distribute load across an amputee’s residual limb regardless of its shape and size.

Senior Claudine Humure has endured much during her short life: She lost both parents during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s and survived cancer at age 13. This same cancer required her to undergo an amputation of her right leg.

A bright, warm student with a resilient spirit, Humure aspires to help others with disabilities. Her goal: opening a clinic specializing in affordable prosthetic limbs in her home country of Rwanda.

Already, she is well on her way.

In partnership with Assistant Professor of Biology Laura Ekstrom—and with some help from the 3-D printers in the WHALE Lab—Humure has designed an above-the-knee prosthetic socket that she hopes will someday improve the lives of people with physical disabilities. [Read more...]

Experiential learning on campus

Classroom startup creates diabetes app

Students monitoring progress

Students monitoring progress

At 4 years old, Kate Boylan ’04—Wheaton’s digital initiatives librarian—received a life-altering diagnosis: Type 1 diabetes.

Since then, she has increasingly relied on technology to help manage her blood sugar level. She currently uses an insulin pump, and for the past three years has worn a continuous glucose monitoring system that provides real-time glucose data, enabling her to manage her condition every hour of every day.

Boylan’s experience inspired the creation of a new course, “Startup v1.0–Medical Devices, Mobile Apps and Machine Learning.” In this course, 20 students—primarily seniors and computer science majors—functioned like a startup company, with the goal of developing an app to help patients with diabetes.

When Boylan offered to provide months of glucose data to Professor of Computer Science Mark LeBlanc, he knew he had the basis for an exciting class that would blend computer science and personalized health.

Unlike a traditional class, LeBlanc’s course simulated the real-world environment of a business.

“We expect students when they graduate to be totally ready for the workplace. This is a time to practice for the real world,” LeBlanc said. [Read more...]

A minute with…  Michael Sadowsky

Sadowsky with Seth MeyersEach summer, Michael Sadowsky ’18 manages to scout out and initiate his own opportunities for internships, which have provided the film and new media studies major with valuable experience in the entertainment industry as well as brought him face to face with celebrities. In 2014, he interned at Atlas Talent Agency in New York City, working in various roles. In 2015, he was at talent and literary agency ICM Partners in New York as the theater and concerts intern, landing the position with the assistance of Ben Chalot, associate director of career services in the Filene Center, who pointed Sadowsky to alumna and executive vice president at ICM Esther Newberg ’63. (She sent his resume along to the HR department, leading to a phone interview and internship.) In summer 2016, Sadowsky got a position as the production intern for “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in New York City. (Sadowsky and Meyers are pictured here.) So, what’s his secret to creating not-so-obvious opportunities? First comes love: “I can’t imagine anything more boring than being stuck in an internship you don’t have any interest in. My process of figuring out what I liked started in high school. I took a step back and tried to see what parts of school I really enjoyed. It happened to be English and the arts. From that point I started to get interested in the entertainment industry. I wanted to see what was behind the curtain.” Then, friends and family: “Look at your inner circle of family and friends and see whether anyone is connected in any way to the industry you are trying to get into. This is always a good starting point. It is a lot easier to be introduced to someone rather than introducing yourself. Use the resources around you.” Put your Wheaton resources to work: “Being at Wheaton has awesome advantages. Wheaton has amazing alums, who feel deeply connected to this community. Make an appointment at the Filene Center to see which alums are currently working in the field you’re interested in and email or call to introduce yourself. That person might be able to get your resume seen by the right people.” Hello, you don’t know me but…: “When all else fails, cold-calling or emailing people you don’t know yet or have a connection to can be your best friend. You can find people on LinkedIn, or go to company websites to find those who might be able to help you.”

Photo by Lloyd Bishop/© NBC