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Way Back Wednesday: Meet Emily Wheeler


Emily Wheeler

Utah State University introduces history alumna and history instructor, Emily Wheeler. Graduating with her first master’s degree in history in 2005, she obtained a second master’s in landscape architecture in 2008, saying, “It sounds like a really weird combination, but it actually meshed really well with what I was interested in doing.” Since then, Emily has worked in several sectors of the history field, including history writing and historic preservation. Emily currently writes historic fiction and has recently co-authored, No Peace with the Dawn, with fellow alumnus Jeffery Bateman. On the topic of writing fiction, she said, “I think a lot of people have this prejudice against history, saying, ‘Oh, it’s just dry facts’, but if you read a well-researched historical novel, it comes to life. This is about people; it is not about boring names and dates. Even if it is the names and dates you have heard before, you can connect to it.”

Concerning her time at Utah State, Emily said, “ I loved the people that I worked with, the students and mostly the professors. I actually started my master’s at University of Oregon in Eugene and it was a good program but it wasn’t a very good clique. My interests didn’t fit very well there.”

Aside from her current work, Emily is passionate about local sustainability and community gardens. “Having a garden in your back yard isn’t going to solve all of your problems, but it does make a big difference. I like that there are little things that we can do to help people who are struggling with big problems,” she says. She is also a strong believer in the preservation of historic architecture, stating, “I think that when we lose those little bits of history we lose something. We lose some of our story and some understanding of who we are and where we came from.” Emily is also a full-time mother, and when she has time, plays the folk-harp and dulcimer. For the full interview click here.

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