Mikaela Savarese On Accessibility Advocacy at Wheaton College

Mikaela Savarese ’22, a psychology major with a public health minor, is working towards being a clinical psychologist, hoping to work with mental health-related public policy as a part of her career. Every person Savarese has worked with, spoke of her empathy and commitment to advocacy, with Grayson Beaulieu ’22 speaking specifically of her generosity, reliability and loyalty as a friend as well as professionally. 

Abby Cook ’22, Vice-President of SGA, described Savarese as, “someone who is not easily deterred when she sets her mind on doing something. I’ve always admired her work ethic, persistence, and honesty. She’s also reliable and supportive, always there to lend an ear when you need her. It’s been a pleasure to work with her and to get to know her throughout my time as a member of the SGA.”

Savarese second from right, Cook fourth from right. Photograph by Keith Nordstrom

Currently, one of her key roles on campus is her position as Wheaton SGA’s elected Accessibility Chair. Savarese described each member with great enthusiasm, delving into personal details that suggested her close relationship and great respect for each member of the board. 

She characterized Maura Reilly ’22, the Vice-Chair, as very focused on generating awareness and creating positive spaces when it comes to eating disorders. Of Emma Hert ’22, the Secretary for the Council, Savarese spoke of a love of research and an incredible ability to remember specific details, going on to describe Liz Framky ’23, the Treasurer, and their interest in making sure that Wheaton courses continue to be offered in a hybrid format for students that this format might benefit. 

Savarese continued, mentioning Aubrie Galanis ’22, the Wheacess Liaison, and her work to define the specific roles that the board and the club play, as well as her work to make sure the two groups create stronger channels of communication. She then spoke of Grace McGrail ’23, who is in charge of social media, Savarese described the effort by McGrail to make the social media a stronger platform for social justice work. Finally, Savarese spoke of the dedication and passion of the First Year Student Representative, Libby Lye ’24, mentioning a standout interview that led to the board’s selection. 

The board is currently in the process of finalizing their choice for Diversity and Inclusion Liaison. Savarese, who is part of the DEAL Senate as one of the DEI liaisons, referenced the board’s firm focus on conscious intersectionality. 

Current projects for the board span a wide variety of areas at Wheaton. These include a sign language project, with the board planning to hold a Zoom workshop in November, using this as an opportunity to gauge interest, and work towards the creation of a class focused on American Sign Language at Wheaton. Through SGA, they plan to work on the creation of more water filling stations in the dorms as well as the theme houses, and are currently in discussions with the physical plant about the costs and logistics associated with this. They’re also working on getting the calorie markers in the Dining Hall made less obvious, with Savarese pointing out that they only note calories for foods that are not considered “healthy.” As always, they have several running problems to support student mental health, having conducted game nights all through move-in-week with more projects in the works. 

“We’re here for the student body! It doesn’t matter how small it may seem – if you need any kind of support, feel free to reach out to anyone on the board,” said Savarese. Her email is, and she offers office hours for any student to discuss accessibility issues with her.