Mary-Lyon was filled to capacity Monday night at 7:30pm as students, faculty, and parents excitedly awaited the commencement of the second annual WheaTalks performance, put on by the Roosevelt Institute. WheaTalks spawned from the idea of Tedtalks, which are brief talks that get right to the point.. Adin Lenchner, now graduated wanted to create a night at Wheaton in which a bunch of student and faculty members could give a quick presentation. Ten students out of over 20 who submitted ideas, got ten minutes each talk about something they feel passionately about. This event is sponsored by WIIH and TriBeta. This years talks included sports, biology, and even electronics. Lara Geis ’13, president of the Roosevelt Institute, introduced the night saying that nothing is better than listening to your peers talk about their “nerdiest” passions.
Nick Hall ’14, spoke about “why sports matter, even if you hate like them.” He presented how sports have an overpowering impact on the economy and the businesses that surround them. When mentioning how LA used to be unsafe at night before the Staples center was build, “nothing bums you out like coming home to your 400,000 condo and finding a heroin dealer on your front porch.”
While this is the only Wheaton’s second WheaTalks, Vice President Sarah Estrela ’15 said “it was the best I could have hoped for, it surpassed my expectations, we bonded with the performers from the interviews to rehearsals, it was magical to watch it unfold.”
Sam Hammond “15 gave a talk on “Fabulous: shaping sexual identity.” Hammond shared his personal story of coming out, while adding laughter to the typical stereotypes that come along with being gay. When he first told his best friend her reaction was “OMG, how much do you love Lady Gaga!” “I’m not use to public speaking so I was really nervous about it, that day I pretty much was just running the presentation through my head over and over again,” said Hammond ’15.
Faculty contributor included Professor Shawn Christian of English, African American, and American studies who talked about his love of House Music. He provided some examples of his favorites and left the audience with, “go move your bodies and keep dancing.”
Estrela ’15 along with the rest of the Roosevelt Institute are excited for WheaTalks to continue and prosper each year. She said that because this is only the second year the Institute is still figuring out what works best as far as advertising and getting the student body excited for the event. “WheaTalks displayed how capable and talented our student body really is. The quality of both the information and presentation from all the speakers was extraordinary. From the first talk to the last talk, a group of ten students, captivated a full lecture hall with ease and poise” said Matt Gurgue ’14.