Late last month, Provost Linda Eisenmann put out a call for poster proposals showcasing student internships, service projects and research that fall under the theme of “changing lives, strengthening communities.” The plan was for the posters to be displayed at the luncheon after Dennis Hanno’s inauguration as Wheaton College’s eighth president.
Come Saturday morning, those posters were out in force. Showcasing student projects from every discipline, they lined the walkway between the Office of Admission and the Everett Courtyard, next to tables of chowder, fried clams and freshly picked apples.
Cecilia Krüger ’15 presented a poster summarizing her experience in Sweden this summer, where she conducted research that she is using as the basis of her honors thesis this year.
“My research explores how it is that Swedes perceive the right to
healthcare in their country, pri- marily by analyzing how Swedish healthcare workers understand public reaction to a law giving non-citizens access to the health- care system,” said Krüger of her project.
“I hope that my research can shed light on the ways that changes to healthcare systems can … affect the structural violence experienced by undocumented migrant populations,
whose experiences are already largely influenced by health policies,” she added.
Stephanie Drake ’16 also presented at the session, representing the office of Service, Spirituality, and Social Responsibility (SSSR) and Best Buds.
“Best Buds is a student club on campus that partners with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Drake explained. “Through our partnership we facilitate one-on-one friendships with the buddies.”
Drake said that the opportunity to share the buddies’ stories with visitors was a gratifying one.
“I was able to share my experiences with alums and visitors by explaining to them the friendships I’ve found through this club,” she added. “Sharing the best buds story with them was inspiring and rewarding.”
The poster session and the entire array of inaugural festivities went hand-in-hand with the launch of the Wheaton Cares initiative.
Central to the initiative’s goal is the contention that an individual’s skillset is at its best effective when applied towards helping not just the individual or the immediate community, but those outside of it, as well. The posters at the session were meant to emphasize the work Wheaton has already done in this regard.
The Wheaton College website has also been updated with a special section on the SSSR page on Wheaton Cares and those that administrators have singled out as “making a difference.”
The initiative was furthered in Hanno’s inaugural address, during which he highlighted a few of these stories and also called on every member of the Wheaton community to dedicate 15 hours over the next year to service projects that “Change Lives and Strengthen Communities” – the theme of the day’s inauguration.
Krüger emphasized the poster session’s significance in this regard.
“I think [the poster session] was a really great display of the many different ways that Wheaton students have gotten involved with research and initiatives that help strengthen our local and global community,” she said.