Just a Theory

Trans rights are human rights

Valerie Wheeler

Valerie Wheeler

CSUS Anthropology department picnic, 1991

Two years ago, my undergraduate Anthropology advisor, Professor Valerie Wheeler, died after a sudden and brief battle with leukemia. She played a vital role in my academic and personal life, and her passing affected me deeply. Here’s the note I left on her Legacy page.

I’m deeply saddened by Valerie’s passing. She was more than just my undergraduate advisor in the late 80s and early 90s, but also “Mom” to me and a slew of my fellow anthropology majors. Such a great, inspiring teacher, who taught me to view the world through the lens of culture, so that I saw it in a completely new way. It was eye-opening, and had such an impact that I could never close them again. And for that, I wanted to do well, to make her proud. She expected a lot, and I wanted to meet those expectations. It made me a better person, a more thoughtful person. And I could not appreciate it more. I’m sorry not to have kept in better touch, and so sad that the world has lost such a compassionate, wonderful person. I will carry some of that with me for the remainder of my life. Valerie’s impact was great, and I’m grateful to have had her in my life. My condolences to her family.