During middle school, Heather Angel lived with her family in nearby Blowing Rock, NC. “I loved the area,” she said. “So, when it came time to choose where I wanted to go to college, there was no question. I wanted to be in the mountains. I decided I wanted to come to Lees-McRae for a semester before transferring to nearby ASU,” said Heather. “My plans changed when I got here. I fell in love with the small school, the beautiful campus, and how easily I felt like I could be myself. After my first semester, I knew I’d be here for the next four years.”
A senior Communication Arts major pursuing an Art & Design minor from Claremont, NC, Heather is often seen on campus with her camera, or spending time the Mac Lab. She enjoys photography, and believes the Lees-McRae campus to be a perfect place to learn the art and skill of taking photos.
“Being a photography student here at Lees-McRae is pretty amazing. The landscape is unreal. You can go anywhere, even out the back door of your dorm, and see something worth taking a picture of. And you have really great mentors here, like Dr. Michael Joslin. He really knows what he’s doing. And so even with a point and shoot camera, you can take really amazing photos here,” Heather said. “I think studying photography here is something I feel really passionately about because it is such a great place and it is so beautiful. I can take skills that I learn here and take them anywhere else and be able to really use them because I was in such a great place to learn photography.”
Heather also lends her design and technology skills to other students in her program as a Mac Lab supervisor and photography lab assistant. “Being a Mac Lab supervisor is pretty simple. I work there during the day Monday, Wednesday and Friday to help students learn their way around the Mac computers and to help them with any of the programs they have problems with,” she said. “I’m also the photography assistant for Professor Michael Joslin. I’m there during class to help other students when he’s busy helping one student with a program, I can help a student with another. I can help students print pictures, or help them use their camera or with Photoshop – whatever they may need.”
Approaching graduation this spring, when asked to reflect on her college experience and pick out the best part, Heather believe it’s realizing that she has a passion for helping others. Not only does she help classmates in the Mac Lab or photography lab, she also helps counsel students who need someone to listen. “I love helping people. Whether it’s giving advice or helping them learn about themselves, it doesn’t matter. I’m a very nurturing person so it’s really rewarding for me to feel like I’m helping someone else feel better,” Heather said. Heather is a Peer Educator, a group organized in the Student Development Office and trained by Counseling Services to provide non-judgmental, positive, confidential peer support. She also works as a peer advisor, helping new students transition to college during orientation and their first years.
“Being a peer advisor is great. It’s a really nice way to be involved in helping other students by simply listening to them. We also put together small programs like open advice forums in the student center or the dorms to get student communicating with each other and having a good time,” Heather explained.
Heather stays busy on campus with her many activities, so she especially enjoys relaxing with her roommates and enjoying social time. “My favorite place on campus is the living room of my Village Suite. My roommates and I have friends come over pretty often and we pile up on the couch and chairs and have fun and watch movies together. Movie night is great because we can all just relax and not worry about anything else.”