Queen of the Night
About 100 people in the right place at the right time saw a brief flash of beauty at the Ferguson Greenhouses last fall. The Queen of the Night cactus, which often grows in tropical rainforests, blooms just one night a year, from dusk to dawn, emitting a rich fragrance. Wellesley Botanic Gardens horticulturalist David Sommers noticed the cactus’ buds getting frizzy like a paintbrush—a sure sign that blooms are imminent—and the greenhouses stayed open in anticipation. The guests who dropped by witnessed the arrival of the queen, in the form of 20 rare blossoms.
Social Justice Toolbox
Liz Miranda ’02—an entrepreneur and community builder in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood—looked out into a crowd of students and put it bluntly: “The work of social justice is your responsibility.” Throughout her talk, part of a mini-conference in January on activism called “Together Toward the Dream,” students snapped in agreement.
“We created this conference because we know our students aren’t waiting until after they graduate to make a difference in the world,” says Carol Bate, interim dean of students. “But we also know many students want advice, inspiration, and basic tips on how to take part in activism.”
The conference offered students a toolbox of skills they could put into practice immediately. Workshops ranged from “Community Organizing 101: Building Relationships for the Movement,” taught by Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Tiffany Steinwert to “Seats at the Table: Building Spaces for New Voices,” taught by Miranda. A panel of faculty members led a discussion about teaching, activism, and training students to think critically about the world.
Credit for Internships
In December, Academic Council, the faculty legislative body, voted to approve giving students academic credit for summer internships and research opportunities—a common practice among peer institutions. Approved internships will be noted on student transcripts, with each internship or research experience receiving 0.5 units of credit. A student may receive up to a total of 1.5 units. Many employers require students to receive credit as a condition of offering internship opportunities.