Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A show of hands

colorful-reaching-handsRaise your hand if you think that this political season has been one of the most strangely interesting ones that you’ve seen in a very long time. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or an independent—and no matter what your political views are—this likely is the one thing that we can all agree upon.

Of course, the political arena is always a challenging place to be. In this issue of the magazine, we feature a student and two alums who have taken on the challenge and placed themselves right in the center of the action in varied ways.

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Letter to the editor

As a parent of an adult child with autism spectrum disorder, I read with great interest “Understanding autism from the inside out” in the winter issue of the Quarterly. The article on Matthew Goodwin ’98 described how he helped develop a biometric wristband that can track physiological changes associated with challenging behaviors in those who are diagnosed with the disorder.

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Enjoying the view

By the time you read this, fall will be a distant memory. The lovely yellows, oranges and reds of autumn will have been replaced by bare tree limbs and maybe a sprinkling of the white stuff of winter.

This year, I may not mind so much because fall on campus was so absolutely amazing in its display of foliage. For weeks it was as though we were all living in one of those postcard photos where the fall landscape is perfectly mirrored in a lake and everything seems so serene in a blanket of beauty.

The images will keep me happy for some time—at least until our first blizzard. We’re hoping they do the same for you. So, here are some photos of the best of the season for you to hang onto all winter. You’re welcome. [Read more...]

Letter: Pie chart not complete picture

I’m writing to comment on Sandy Coleman’s article on outcomes for the Class of 2014 in the summer issue of the Quarterly. While it is encouraging to see nice outcomes for the respondent Wheaton graduates, I feel that the pie chart accompanying the story is somewhat misleading.

Perhaps it should include the 30 percent nonresponse rate, given that the nonresponders are likely not the same as the responders. In other words, the pie chart assumes that the nonresponders would have the same rates of “employed,” “graduate school,” “volunteer,” etc., which I believe is highly unlikely. It is good that the magazine footnoted that the data were based on a 70 percent response rate, but the pie chart with only 2 percent missing is what catches the eye of the reader.

I am very grateful, indeed, for my education at Wheaton (I was a math major). It has served me very well in my field of biostatistics and in my career, but I just felt compelled to share my caution in how easily the choices made in presenting statistics can paint a picture that is different from reality.

Kimberly Boomer Ring ’92