Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

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...]

Political science professor weighs in on presidential election

Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradford Bishop.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradford Bishop.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradford Bishop’s scholarshipfocuses on American public opinion, campaigns and elections, and environmental politics. His research has been published in Political Behavior and in Public Opinion Quarterly.He holds a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design from James Madison University, a master’s degree in political science from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. Prior to becoming a professor, Bishop was a journalist, covering mainly town and city politics. We sat down to talk with him about the race for president (keeping in mind that a lot could change by the time this is published).

How did Donald Trump get this far? [Read more...]

#writing

English professor explores complexities of communicating in the 21st century

Wheaton College Professor Lisa LebduskaThe fact that words have power has always been the case, but now, with the advances in digital communication, that power is magnified. How does the ease of communication and the speed and distance with which words can travel and mutate influence written communication and writing as a genre? Professor of English Lisa Lebduska, whose area of scholarship focuses on writing studies, explores how digital technologies impact the way writing is taught, learned and used. During the spring semester at Wheaton, she delved into these issues through her “Advanced Writing: Digital Controversies” course, which required students to consider the complexity of communicating in the 21st century and to write about it using various means—print and digital.

First, talk about your overall area of scholarship. [Read more...]