Alumni Spotlight

Angela Wheeler '12

As a double major in cultural and historic preservation and global studies, Angela Wheeler '12 studied abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she took intensive courses in Russian language and history and interned at the State Hermitage Museum. She also traveled to the Republic of Georgia in 2010 to independently research Soviet-era funerary traditions and in 2011 to participate in Wellesley College's summer archaeological field school.

After graduation, Wheeler spent a year in the Republic of Georgia on a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship. While there, she interned for the International Council on Monuments and Sites and worked with the Georgian National Museum.

Wheeler then enrolled in Columbia University's master's degree program in historic preservation, where her studies emphasized both urban planning and East European heritage. "I noticed that most of my peers were coming to the heritage field from art-historical or architectural backgrounds and lacked the knowledge of urban planning, law and economics necessary to make preservation plans viable," she said. "This realization prompted me to learn more about the regulations and economic realities that frequently hamstring the heritage advocates."

In 2014 and 2015, Wheeler returned to Georgia for project work, and in 2015 she was selected as a delegate for the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum, an international collaboration between American and Russian students on projects of mutual interest, such as Arctic oil exploration and tribal heritage law.

When asked what advice she would give current undergraduate students at Salve Regina, Wheeler said, "I would advise them to take risks and consider everything an opportunity, even if it seems unconventional. Stop constantly checking your life against socially acceptable narratives, and stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are."

Editor's note: Wheeler wrote about her Fulbright year in Georgia on her blog, The Georgia Philes.