25-year-old Tennessee native, Karissa Wheeler, graduated magna cum laude from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2019 with degrees in English and Theatre and a minor in Dance. After college, Karissa began post-graduate acting training at Michael Howard Studios in New York City before returning home to continue her work as an actor on stage and screen. She is a published children's book author ("Reveal of the Royal Puppy"), middle school Theatre teacher/director, member of the teaching faculty at the Actors School USA in Franklin, TN, and a sales account executive. Since her Junior year at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, she has been working as an advocate for arts education. Karissa now has a non-profit, 5 'Til Places, for arts education advocacy. She has been blessed to share her love of the arts with many students during her time serving as Miss Middle Tennessee and she hopes to continue to do so as Miss Tennessee. Karissa is grateful to be a part of an organization that encourages young women to follow their dreams and make a lasting impact in the world!
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