Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Returning home to improve health care

Ruth Gakpo ’16 sets up medical sites in Ghana

Ruth Gakpo ’16Ruth Gakpo ’16 knows firsthand the importance of quality health care in curbing disease.

Growing up in Ghana—a small nation in sub-Saharan West Africa—she witnessed family members, friends and neighbors suffer from illnesses such as malaria and cholera. But it wasn’t until she moved to the United States, and experienced its health care system, that she realized that those diseases were not trivial but, in fact, preventable.

“Armed with new awareness and knowledge, I was determined to learn as much as I could about health care and medicine with the hope I could one day treat and care for others so that they, too, might survive,” she said. [Read more...]

Homegrown champion

Judith Garcia ’13 elected to Chelsea City Council

Judith Garcia ’13Growing up in Chelsea, Mass., Judith Garcia ’13 played in an empty lot littered with used syringes and trash.

“My friends and I called it ‘War Zone,’” she says. It was not an optimal playground, but it was better than the city’s parks, which were ruled by gangs, she says. “At an early age, I wondered why we had no access to small things like parks.”

That wonder grew into a passion for community service, culminating in her recent election to Chelsea’s City Council, representing the Fifth District. With virtually zero political experience, she was the top vote-getter in the city’s primary (unseating the incumbent) and won the general election with 60 percent of the vote.

It was a historic election, with Latinos taking six of the 11 council seats, balancing what had historically been a mostly non-Latino council in a predominantly Latino city. Garcia was pleased with the outcome.

[Read more...]

Working in the White House

Alum lands D.C. internship, Clinton campaign job

Alex Butcher-Nesbitt â15For a political science major, a White House internship is what Alex Butcher-Nesbitt ’15 refers to as “the Holy Grail” of opportunities.

He spent his first summer after Wheaton working in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPE/IGA), with support from a Gertrude Adams Professional Development Fellowship. The office is the first point of contact for anyone looking to engage with the Obama administration. [Read more...]

The cutting edge of cancer

Stephen Benz ’05 talks genomics with students

Steve Benz ’05Ten years after graduating from Wheaton, Stephen Benz ’05 is among a group of trailblazing entrepreneurs who are harnessing DNA sequencing technology to more effectively treat cancer.

In 2001, when Benz was a freshman at Wheaton, the Human Genome Project international consortium—a U.S.-funded collaborative biological project—published the first draft and initial analysis of the entire human genome sequence.

[Read more...]