NORTON, Mass. - Eighteen Wheaton College student-athletes have earned fellowships this summer through the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services that will enrich their academic experiences.
The Davis International and Porter Cleveland fellowships are just a few examples of the Wheaton Edge – a promise that every single student will receive financial support for an internship, research position or other experiential learning opportunity by the time they graduate.
Throughout the summer, the athletics department will feature the student-athletes taking part in these fellowships, including a defender from the men's lacrosse team James Marcucella '19.
A biochemistry major from Reading, Mass., Marcucella interned with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, based in Lincoln, Mass.
Wheaton Athletics: Tell me a little bit about your fellowship.
James Marcucella: This summer I worked on a conservation and research project in Wellfleet, MA for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The subjects of the project are diamondback terrapins, a species of threatened, brackish water-dwelling turtles, and horseshoe crabs.
WA: What interested you in the fellowship?
JM: As a biochemistry major I do most of my work in a lab setting, handling mostly chemicals. I had yet to experience any sort of field work, so this was a good opportunity for me to explore a new area of study. I also thought that working hands-on with these species and contributing to a project that aims to protect them would be a very rewarding experience.
WA: What experiences are you hoping to gain from your fellowship?
JM: I hoped to learn more about working with animals and about different aspects that contribute to field work, like handling data collection and being in a more demanding environment.
WA: What are your career aspirations and how will this help you achieve them?
JM: There are many different paths I can take a degree in biochemistry and taking this internship this summer was able to show me one path I could take it. I definitely plan on going to graduate school to further my education in whichever path I choose to take after obtaining my bachelor's degree.
This experience helped me see what sort of research I could be interested in doing more of in the future. Being in the Wellfleet area, I was also able to see the effects of climate change and rising ocean levels on the environment. Protecting the environment has always been something I am passionate about. This summer, seeing the effects of human made impacts on our environment first hand has made me realize that this path could also be a viable plan for my future.
WA: How will this experience make you a better leader at Wheaton and on your team?
JM: Throughout the fellowship, I met many people who were either locals or on vacation and they would ask me questions about the work as I was doing. I would educate them on what I was studying and what they could do to also help protect these animals. Because human actions have caused the populations of these particular species to become threatened, educating the people that saw us doing this work was an important part of what we did this summer, and this experience taught me how I can my guidance can help underclassmen excel with their studies, and on the field or in the weight room.
WA: Finally, why do you think these opportunities are beneficial to Wheaton students?
JM: These opportunities can be very valuable for Wheaton Students. It is tough as a college student to accept many internships because more often than not the company or organization they would be working for is not offering a salary as part of the position. This fellowship helps the student pay for any expenses related to the internship. Now the student can gain valuable experience working in a field that could turn into a future career.