Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

That’s a Wrap

Wilton Grads Put Their Imaginations in Motion



WHS grad Matt Carney now studies neutron stars (the waves that stars make) and is pursuing his PhD at Northwestern University.

Two former Wilton students have no shortage of curiosity and passion for their chosen careers. Here’s how they’re expressing their interests in uniquely creative ways.

Riding a Different Wave
When most of us gaze up at the night sky we see the moon and the stars. But Matt Carney looks up and sees his future. 

“I study neutron stars,” he says casually, as if anyone can do the complex physics that he has done in order to prepare for his PhD at Northwestern University this fall. There, he’ll be sifting through massive amounts of data about gravitational waves—enormous currents that travel outward in space when a black hole collides with another black hole or a neutron star. There has recently been excitement around this work, thanks to a scientific instrument called LIGO (short for Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory), which, after over fifty years, has been able to detect, or “hear” those waves, even if they are millions of light years away. A century ago, Einstein predicted that these waves existed, but didn’t think it was possible to validate this part of his Theory of Relativity. Carney states that today, “Einstein would be proud of the team of scientists who made it happen.”

Likewise for Carney, the teamwork and culture of the scientific community is what got him hooked on physics to begin with. It started with a course at Wilton High School called Physical Science, taught by Mr. Liptack. Carney took more courses at Williston Northampton School and then at Kenyon College, where there existed another “… incredibly supportive culture to help you get where you wanted to go.”

All of this hard work has now led Carney, at 23, to Northwestern, where he’ll be studying the waves that stars make for at least the next five years. After that, he’s not sure, but adds, “When I was exploring jobs and grad school after college I kept asking myself, ‘Am I done with physics?’ And the answer was, ‘No, not yet.’” 

So the next time you look at the stars, send up a good luck wish for Carney, and for all the future scientists whose curiosities are as expansive as our universe.

Passion, Personified
The writing was on the wall for Shannon Lewis, when, at two years old, she refused to speak during a private school admissions interview until it was acknowledged that her real name was Mary Poppins. Years later, Lewis was the kid in the neighborhood known for dragging you into her homemade commercials. 

In college, at the University of Michigan, she made documentaries. And now, at 32, that drive to be part of the entertainment world is firmly rooted in Lewis as she stars in her role as executive producer for Passion Pictures, an award-winning, independent production company. Lewis has worked in the animation studio there for seven years, and has loved every minute of it. As the only American employee, she is the main point of contact for newly submitted scripts. She then coordinates with the London-based team to develop some creative ideas and pitch them to their clients. And, she says, “We cross our fingers and hope they choose us.”

Lewis’ younger days growing up in Manhattan had a lot to do with shaping her interests. She recalls how her mother, Ellen Lewis, immersed her in the world of movies, music, and theater, and from there Lewis fell in love with the entertainment industry. “I think I always knew I wanted to go into a creative field. I just had no idea which area of the arts I would end up in.” She also found a great support system once her family moved to Wilton, including Mrs. Henry, her Wilton High School English teacher whom Lewis swears “staged an intervention” to get her to focus on creative writing. Additionally, her internship with Wilton-based Pyewackitt Productions taught her some invaluable lessons, including her favorite maxim, “It is just as important to figure out what you don’t want to do, as it is to figure out what you do want to do.”

As for Lewis’s next act, that remains to be seen, but she views her future options as limitless and exciting, adding, “I’m really bad at sitting still.” And no doubt her restlessness will make life a little more entertaining for all of us.

Carney and Lewis show us that there is a big payoff when we follow our dreams and never lose the desire to learn the next exciting thing, whatever that might be.


FOLLOW YOUR PASSION?  Intrinsically satisfying work makes people happier than a large pay check does. However, your interests may change over time, so be open to pursuing new careers along the way.

 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Sola Salon Studios

Sponsored - The Bobrows are providing beauty professionals an opportunity to go into business for themselves

A Century of Style

Special Occasion Dressing 1860-1960––Exhibition Celebration with former Vogue Editor on Sept 8

At Your Service

Sponsored - A concierge medical practice

Mixed Metaphors

Cultural Influences Shape A Designer’s Unique Aesthetic

Graceful Moves

Local dancers showcase fall fashion trends

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

September 2018

The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club will host the 6th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm in Ballard Park,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

More information

The colorful festival will celebrate the traditions of our local Latin American communities through food, music, and the arts. A variety of food trucks and vendors serving tastings of authentic...

Cost: $5/adults, $1/child with advanced registration or $5/attendee at the door

Where:
Stepping Stones Museum For Children
303 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Capture the imagination of your preschooler by exploring great artists and their masterpieces. Each week, children ages 3-5 will be introduced to one of the world’s great artists through...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
Website »

More information

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

This presentation, led by Martin House member Bryan Stern, will help small business owners understand key tax law changes that may affect their 2018 business tax returns so that they can plan ahead...

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Wednesday Sept 26th, from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm, Goldenberry Wilton will host the award winning author Kristen Harnisch and offer a tasting of wines to pair with 2 fantastic reads, The...

Cost: $10. suggestion donation to Circle of Care

Where:
Goldenberry Gourmet & Gift
5 River Rd (Kimco Wilton River Park Shopping Ctr)
next to TomEToes Pizza, corner across from Stop & Shop
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Goldenberry Devonshire
Telephone: 203-972-5887
Contact Name: Goldenberry Gourmet & Gift
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us while we hunt for the East Coast's best Dance Crew. Watch as crews for all ethnic backgrounds and styles of dance come together to compete for title of The Best Dance Crew! Hip Hop,...

Cost: Pre Sale $25.00 Day of Show $30.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: 877-987-8764
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
Website »

More information

Inspired by the upcoming New York Fashion Week (September 5 - 12), the Wilton Historical Society is presenting a fashion exhibition "A Century of Style: 1860 - 1960", which will run...

Cost: suggested donation of $5 for non-member adults is welcomed

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags