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Gackson Wheeler speaking at podium at UMass Lowell

Gackson Wheeler

Gackson Wheeler, Political Science, Security Studies: Homeland Defense

Gackson Wheeler headshot
“Choosing to attend UML, with the experiences I’ve had and the knowledge I obtained here, was one of the best decisions of my life.”
A native New Yorker who moved to Lowell a decade ago, Gackson Wheeler ’17 found his educational home at UMass Lowell. He earned his degree in political science while active in the Air Force ROTC.

And he’s not ready to leave yet – Wheeler is beginning his quest for a master’s in Security Studies: Homeland Defense.

“I’ve always been interested in studying politics, and it increased my chance of obtaining my preferred career in the Air Force,” he says. The master’s degree “will not only give me an advantage in my newly assigned military career field, but will open up more career opportunities and allow me to work in defense agencies.”

Wheeler took a path common to some UMass Lowell students, earning an associate degree at Middlesex Community College in liberal arts and sciences.

During his time as a River Hawk, Wheeler was active in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, as well as Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.

Wheeler has long aspired to an Air Force commission, and UMass Lowell’s Air Force ROTC program attracted him. So did the school’s affordability, the “caliber of professors” and its proximity to home. 

“Choosing to attend UML, with the experiences I’ve had and the knowledge I obtained here, was one of the best decisions of my life.”