Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A minute with . . . Samuel Neill ’13

Samuel Neill ’13Biology major Samuel Neill ’13 is used to challenges: He’s a biology major, on the men’s swimming and diving team, a Wheaton Athletic Mentor, and a member of the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society. But he really had his hands full in unexplored territory last summer working as a Balfour Scholar intern for the Musk Ox Development Corporation on a farm in Palmer, Alaska. Just how do you get a baby musk ox to drink milk from a bottle? Ask him; he knows. [Read more...]

Protecting wildlife in Botswana

Olanna Nissim '13During the academic year, varsity volleyball team member Olanna Nissim ’13 is a defense specialist. But last summer, she spent time defending something else she loves on very different turf. She interned at the Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB), in South Africa.

The main goal of CCB is to preserve the nation’s cheetah population through scientific research, community outreach and education, and by working with rural communities to promote coexistence with Botswana’s diverse predator species. Nissim, an economics major, contributed to that effort through a variety of assignments and also engaged her interest in the cultural dynamics of economics. [Read more...]

Chemistry major explores dentistry

Jessica Restrepo ’13

Jessica Restrepo ’13 is shown varied brushing techniques.

In just a few short years, chemistry major Jessica Restrepo ’13 has gained a great deal of experience working in the field of dentistry in both the United States and abroad.

Locally, she interned at Dental Partners of Boston in 2010, and at Boston Children’s Hospital cleft lip and palate program in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Abroad, she studied “Traditional Chinese Medicine” with now-retired professor Ed Tong in Kunming, China, in 2011.

Last summer she added to her list by working as a Davis International Fellow intern at the Himal Dental Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal. There she had an opportunity to interact with dentists; observe dental procedures, including extractions, root canals and fillings; and to learn about the oral health of the Nepali community, all of which has helped to broaden her perspective on the field. [Read more...]

New York Times interviews professor about technology in the classroom

Professor Mark LeBlancWhen it comes to digital humanities, Wheaton faculty lead the way. A number of professors are incorporating technology into the classroom and scholarship in novel ways, from the use of Twitter to extend and document class discussions on literature to data analysis of texts.

The New York Times picked up on the trend with an article, headlined “Computer Science for the Rest of Us,” that highlighted how information technology and computer programming is being taught to students who are not majoring in computer science.

The article included an interview with Professor of Computer Science Mark LeBlanc, who teaches the course “Computing for Poets,” in which students learn the Python programming language and use it to create software that analyzes large bodies of text.

The course is part of Wheaton’s Connections curriculum. Through the connection “Computing and Texts,” it is linked with courses on Anglo-Saxon literature and the works of the Old English scholar and Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Professor LeBlanc says teaching such courses together demonstrates the contributions that different disciplines make to studying an issue, and it serves a very pragmatic purpose as well: preparing students for professional careers.