Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

History major combs through correspondence for clues to the past

John Winthrop’s name is famously synonymous with the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But a wide-ranging research project by Jacob Pomerantz ’12 shows the Pilgrim father’s influence on the British colonies was felt far from Plymouth Plantation.

Pomerantz spent two semesters last year in Wheaton’s library poring over archival letters sent and received by Winthrop, his sons and their associates, piecing together how they spread their wings from Massachusetts to Connecticut, the Caribbean, and England—and the vital role played by written correspondence in connecting their distant societies.

“Within one generation, the Winthrop family went from being an unremarkable Puritan family living in England to a family that spanned the globe,” says Pomerantz, a history major who grew up in New Jersey. “The Winthrops were not just founders of Massachusetts, but also participants in the development of a much broader English Atlantic world.”

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Around the world and back to Wheaton

Stephen Desroches ’96, Tamara Smith Tureli ’96, Kristina “Tina” Chapman Blin ’95 and Marcella Michaud Franck ’96 in Istanbul.

Stephen Desroches ’96, Tamara Smith Tureli ’96, Kristina “Tina” Chapman Blin ’95 and Marcella Michaud Franck ’96 in Istanbul.

Globalization is fast becoming the norm for life in the 21st century. Never was that more clear to me than when I was more than 4,000 miles from home in Istanbul, Turkey, where many years ago as a Wheaton student I made international and personal connections that I still hold dear to this day.

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Shaking it up: Gianni Cionchi’s original twist on the restaurant biz

Gionni Cionchi '07, general manager at FishTag restaurant, New York City.When Gianni Cionchi describes a dish on the menu at FishTag, one of the Manhattan restaurants he runs, it’s clear that he appreciates the “art” in culinary arts.

“This is our take on the classic tabouli salad,” he says of the trendy tavern’s chopped bulgur salad, “but we’ve chosen to add about twenty-five additional ingredients. You have a base of shaved fennel and grilled kale, which gives a great smoky flavor, and peppers—yellow, red bell—plus pomegranates, dates, tomato, raw radish, scallions, onions—a lot of high and low notes.”

Like the other Greek-inspired items on the menu—from sheep’s milk dumplings to smoked octopus—the bulgur salad at this Upper West Side restaurant is distinctive.

“You don’t get attention in this business by doing things the same way everyone else does,” Cionchi remarks.

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Helping readers uncover good stories

Kirsten Cappy ’92The advent of e-readers has revolutionized how people read. In seconds, readers can have a new book in hand. What has not changed is the fact that they have to know that a book exists before they can want it. “In the end, the challenge still is, how does a reader find that story or author in the first place?” says book marketing consultant Kirsten Cappy ’92.

Cappy has made it her business to focus on this question and come up with innovative answers over and over again as she works to help put interesting literature in the hands of children and educators through her company, Curious City. Located in Portland, Maine, Curious City primarily seeks to get good books read and used. The aim is to create and inspire curious children while supporting the admirable work of authors and illustrators, she says.

“I know from my own reading life that a story can grow our curiosity, sense of the world, and sense of ourselves in ways that no other experience can,” says Cappy, who majored in anthropology at Wheaton. “My work at Curious City is about creating instances where those critical connections between a child and a book have the opportunity to happen.

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