Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Ru-Shyan Yen ’08

International work: She traveled across four continents researching the batik art form and cultures, as a 2008–2009 Thomas J. Watson Fellow; worked in an artist village in Chennai, India, for a summer as a Balfour Scholar; and was a Davis International Fellow intern at the Art and Design Research Center for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Current pursuit: She is a full-time student in Yale University’s master of architecture program. “My life is consumed with architecture projects right now. I hope some of them will be inspired by the intricate batik textile patterns I have studied.”

Impact: “I want to learn about the world around me and make it a better place for us all. We are touched and sheltered by textiles and architecture from the moment we are born to the day we die. What is more important than making them beautiful and functional? There cannot be world peace without clean and comfortable shelter for all. That is why I want to be an architect.”

Wheaton’s role: “My studio art degree from Wheaton inspired me to make architecture that is both beautiful and functional.”