Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

An effective approach

“While President Hanno taught the curriculum spelled out in his book, packing much content into five short days, I was particularly drawn to his pedagogy. He presented and explained concepts in the simplest, uncomplicated, straightforward way and called on the 120 students to chime in and give examples from their own lives and communities. He always explicitly commented on and then wove students’ personal views into the topic at hand and progressively and speedily moved the lecture forward. It seemed to me that each lecture turned into a dialogue where the students learned about leadership and entrepreneurship and we, President Hanno and the teacher-students, became acquainted with students’ personal values, academic interests, and concerns expressed about their own communities, including about Rwanda and Africa. Because President Hanno spoke to the students at the personal level, they were amazingly responsive, attentive and lively; they soaked up the lecture material. In a week, I witnessed how genuinely transformative learning can happen, in a cross-cultural context.”

—Professor Hyun Sook Kim

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An opportunity to grow 

“My experience in Rwanda was very powerful. The January trip rounded out my liberal arts education at Wheaton. Taking a “Beyond the West” course could be treated as just a requirement, but Wheaton allows students many hands-on opportunities to act as engaged global citizens. I feel that Wheaton has continually provided me with the opportunity to step forward and grow  and to see the world from new perspectives.I hope to work in the medical field while focusing mainly on public health and this opportunity opened my eyes to the ways that I can hopefully one day make a positive impact. After visiting Agahozo Shalom Youth Village I have decided that I want to work with children, particularly at risk youth.”

—Hannah  Gasperoni ’17, biochemistry major

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Summer at Wheaton

New programs extend, broaden learning opportunities

High school junior Noah Schultz presents a business idea during a July session of the new Discover@Wheaton.

High school junior Noah Schultz presents a business idea during a July session of the new Discover@Wheaton.

It’s a warm, sunny morning in mid-July—peak summer vacation time—and Ethan Farrell, a high school senior from Cleveland, Ohio, is standing at the front of a classroom in the Mars Center for Science and Technology, pitching a business idea.

Farrell is the last of six teens in Discover@Wheaton’s “Innovation and Social Change” class to deliver a rocket pitch—a three-minute presentation aimed at potential investors (played by President Dennis M. Hanno, Associate Professor Kim Miller, and student mentors Leslie Gould ’15, Andrew Mani ’16 and Jackson Towle ’16).

“Rivers, streams, fish, birds … they’re everywhere, but what if they weren’t?” Farrell begins. His idea is to design a system to catch salt and sediment from roads and prevent harmful buildup in watersheds. He plans to market the system to parks and cities.

After his presentation, Farrell receives feedback from the class. Then the “investors”  head out into the hallway to decide which two projects will move on. From here, the high schoolers will split into two groups and spend the last two weeks of the inaugural Discover@Wheaton Summer College for High School Students developing their ideas into real businesses—all while attending class for four hours a day and daily workshops on subjects such as PowerPoint and LinkedIn, working their way through three textbooks and several articles and films, and participating in academic and social activities outside of class.

Summer vacation? Not exactly. This is the new summer at Wheaton—a wider-reaching, more broadly defined type of liberal arts education—and things are heating up. [Read more...]

An unexpected journey

Wheaton’s alumnae/i are prepared to take on whatever opportunity comes their way. Thanks to Wheaton’s distinctive liberal arts experience, they’re well-rounded, critical thinkers and seasoned communicators who do well with any major they choose. In February, a group of them returned to campus for the annual Sophomore Symposium to share with current students how Wheaton poised them for great careers—even those that were unexpected. [Read more...]