My dream is to be featured on the Wheaton College webpage. I have been doing everything in my power to get on that homepage; I have jumped in the background of people taking professional looking photos (that got awkward around prom season), I have… well, okay, that is all I did. But recently I attempted some investigative journalism that led me to the people who know more about getting on that website than any other human beings on the planet; I talked to the people who are currently pictured on the Wheaton webpage.
“I’d tell ya, but then I’d have to kill ya,” said Anthony Castellani ’13 when asked how he got his featured spot on the website. I knew he would be a tough egg to crack so I made contact with two other current webpage-photo holders.
“I got my picture on the Wheaton Website last semester after I was nominated by my advisor,” said Zack D’Orsi ’14. Sounds like I need to make myself an early advising appointment. D’Orsi continued, “I had told him about my incredible experiences during my summer internship with the Fundación Cisneros, and sure enough, I was contacted by The Communications Department a week or so later asking if I’d be interested in appearing on the site. It was such an awesome experience (and it comes with totally cool bragging rights too!)”
It sure does come with bragging rights; imagine the job offers you would get if you could add ‘front page website model’ to your resume! Luckily, Samuel Neill ’14 gave me more advice on how he snatched his spot on the website, “I went up to Alaska and found a sleepy musk ox.” A musk ox. Genius.
“I did have to give Eve (the musk ox) a flower,” Neill added, “I don’t think I did anything special. I think it was Eve that stole the show.” Honestly, whose heart didn’t melt upon seeing the adorable ox with a dandelion placed on her head? Neill spent the summer figuring out how to feed baby musk oxen with a bottle.
Like any good journalist, I started to notice a trend; everybody I talked to did something exciting, meaningful and worthwhile. Be it a summer internship, or working with the Special Olympics like our women’s basketball team, or winning scholarships to spend time abroad, the website featured Wheaton students doing great things.
D’Orsi said it best, “Wheaton likes to promote what their students are up to when they’re not on campus to showcase all of the great things Wheaton students do outside of the Wheaton Bubble,” he added, “Experiential learning is a key component of the Wheaton education, and putting students like myself on the website is a way for the college to showcase how Wheaton makes an impact beyond the classroom.”
Castellani offered similar advice, “do something interesting. Seriously, put down the newspaper and go make something, go do something. Then, you too can brag about it on the front page!”
Don’t put down the paper just yet, but do start taking advantage of the many opportunities Wheaton is offering to all of us right now. And perhaps Neill was right when he said, “Do something different, do something challenging; that will be worth more than any picture….. And if you happen to get on the homepage that is just a bonus.”
Maybe the best part of being on the Wheaton College website isn’t the fact that your picture is actually on the webpage, maybe the best part is the journey that lead to that moment.