By Ali Eaves, ‘11

“I’ve sort of accepted that I’m not going to become a performer, so I’m trying to bridge my interest in the arts into a career that will still let me be involved in the arts scene,” said Nancy Angelica, a sophomore majoring in art history. “I have an appreciation for art that I can bring to the table.”

It’s with this appreciation and career focus that Angelica got involved in the University’s Sophomore Scholars in Residence program.

Angelica, who is also minoring in business and is considering a second minor is music, lives on campus with 15 other arts-oriented sophomores through the SSIR “Opening Nights” program.

During the fall semester, the group took an arts management class together and visited galleries and shows in the Richmond metropolitan area. “Opening Nights” members also participated in a trip to New York City during fall break.

“The trip to New York was so much fun,” Angelica said. “We went to several shows and museums and talked to people who work in the arts industry, including a couple of Richmond grads. I got to see things and talk to people who I never would have before. It was really interesting to see their perspectives on the industry.”

One of the stops on the trip was the Metropolitan Opera, where the group was able to connect with Barbara Holahan, B’81, who works as the organization’s controller. After learning about a winter break internship opportunity with the organization, Angelica jumped at the opportunity, which was the perfect combination of her personal and career interests.

“I’ve gone to the opera a few times with my family, and it’s an incredible experience,” said Angelica, who began singing at age five. “There are lots of options in New York for opera, but The Met is just ‘The One.’”

After landing the position, Angelica worked mostly under the merchandising accountant, helping with the gift shop’s holiday season rush. She said her arts management class helped put her internship in context, giving her a greater awareness of and appreciation for the many facets of an organization like the Met.

“I’m so glad I applied to the Sophomore Scholars program,” Angelica said. “This class and the program are pretty unique. It’s definitely one of the reasons that I chose Richmond.”

Next year, the SSIR program is expanding to include six themed housing communities, including “Salsa Meets Jazz,” “Leadership and The Common Good,” “Global Health,” “Demanding Equality,” “Children and Mental Health,” and “Argumentation and Debate.” Check out the programs at