Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Matisse up close

Professor co-curates MFA exhibition of artist at work 

Assistant Professor of Art History Ellen McBreenMuseum visitors this spring got a chance to see something they don’t often see, thanks to Associate Professor of Art History Ellen McBreen. She co-curated the exhibition “Matisse in the Studio,” which ran at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from April 9 through July 9, and will be at the Royal Academy in London from August 5 through November 12. She also co-edited an accompanying book. This is the first international exhibition to exclusively focus on the influence of Henri Matisse’s (1869–1954) art objects and provide rare archival photographs of him in the studio. The objects are presented with the artwork. McBreen, the author of Matisse’s Sculpture: The Pinup and the Primitive, has been working on the exhibition and its accompanying catalog for the past five years. We asked her about this project, which originated with her own research.

How did objects influence his view of the world? [Read more...]

Food for thought

Professor explores equity of edibles

Justin Schupp, assistant professor of sociology

Justin Schupp, assistant professor of sociology

Assistant Professor of Sociology Justin Schupp’s research interests revolve around the intersections of inequality, social movements and the economy. His recent projects have focused on these topics within the food and agricultural system, including studying the equity of where farmers markets are located. We asked him to tell us about what he currently is exploring and why. [Read more...]

Collaborating to protect endangered animals

Associate Professor of Psychology Kathleen Morgan, Emily Blanchard ’17 and Akrofi Akotiah ’18 observe a betta fish during a lab experiment in “Comparative Animal Behavior” class.

Associate Professor of Psychology Kathleen Morgan, Emily Blanchard ’17 and Akrofi Akotiah ’18 observe a betta fish during a lab experiment in “Comparative Animal Behavior” class.

Associate Professor of Psychology Kathleen Morgan’s professional work has focused on the behavior of animals in captivity, including stress in captivity and ways that it can be eliminated. Currently, she is involved in research that explores attitudes about endangered animals, in hopes of saving them. That work is being done in collaboration with Betsey Brewer Bethel ’92, the executive director of the nonprofit E.A.R.T.H. Ltd, located at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Mass. In October, the two went to the 2016 International Zoo Educators Association Biennial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to present a poster on their recent data on attitudes among zoo visitors titled “Differences in Beliefs About Rhino Horn Between U.S. and Chinese Citizens: The Need for More Targeted Storytelling.” We recently asked the professor about the work. [Read more...]

Cancer through a historical lens

Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Lanni Cancer. The word itself, perhaps, is one of the most feared in the English language. And the statistic presented in the description of the First-Year Seminar (FYS) that Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Lanni is teaching this fall is shocking: “Forty percent of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during our lifetime.” One of the biggest questions is: Are we getting anywhere in dealing with the disease? In the FYS “Cancer: Exploring the Enemy Within,” the professor and her students are delving into this question and others during the fall semester. We recently talked with her about the subject that touches too many lives.

First, what is the primary focus of your scholarship?

I am interested in how vertebrates grow. For instance, why do our arms grow to a certain length and then stop? I study this question using zebrafish, a tiny two-inch-long fish that shares over 60 percent of our genes. By comparing long-finned fish to normal fish, I hope to identify the genetic and biochemical signals that control size and proportion. [Read more...]