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Q: Tell me a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Addy, and I’m a junior from South Georgia. I’m double-majoring in Writing Seminars and Medicine, Science and the Humanities with a focus in Writing Seminars here at Hopkins!

Q: How does it feel to be a humanities student at a school with such a strong reputation in STEM?

Being a humanities major is fun because we have a community. Our classes are so small, and you can really get to know each other. I’ve had the opportunity to be with some of the same people over and over, and it’s amazing to see how much our work has grown and changed over the last three years.

Q: What is one of your favorite memories here related to your experience as a humanities student?

One of my favorite memories as a humanities student has been meeting one of my best friends. She was in my FYM group, and we started talking and realized we both liked writing — we ended up choosing to study Writing Seminars, and we were able to discuss our classes, workshops [in the Writing Seminars department, “workshop” refers to the part of class discussion where students hand in their work and receive feedback from their peers] and more. Having a best friend in the same department was amazing because it felt like I had someone to lean on at all times. We were exploring this new department together, and while it was scary to open up and share my work with other students, having someone I met on the first day of school to experience it with me was special and comforting.

Q: Have you had a favorite writing class?

I have two! I’m in a class called “Special Topics in Professional Writing: Freelance Travel Writing” and it’s one of my favorite classes. Not only am I learning how to write travel articles and memoirs, but I’m also learning how to create and manage a blog. We designed our own websites and are adding our pieces to them, so we’re practically making a portfolio of our work. The class is the perfect combination of writing and practical skills, and it has shown me a tangible career path in the world of writing.

I also loved my “Introduction to Poetry” class with Writing Seminars, Professor Dora Malech. I had always been really nervous about sharing my poetry and was terrified to participate in workshops, but the way Professor Malech approached the workshop, combined with the welcoming energy of our class, made me more comfortable. She made the classroom a zone where there are no mistakes, and it was an environment in which I could explore and experiment with my writing.

Q: Have you done any research? If so, tell us a bit about that!

Last semester I started an independent study on the history of women at Hopkins, specifically about the first class of women at Hopkins. I worked with Dr. Victoria Harms and another peer named Shireen Guru in the History department. Before this project, I thought the Rare Book Room in Special Collections was just a display in the library, but through my hands-on experience, I discovered an incredible, living record of history. We started to dig through the archives to find information on this revolutionary class, but we were faced with gaps and unanswered questions surrounding the history of women at Hopkins. My team and I are investigating this lack of information, and we hope to build our own archive, in which we illuminate the history of women at Hopkins and the obstacles they had to face to pave the way for future generations of women here.

Through our research, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the first women at Hopkins and some who came after them. I can think of no better honor than to be listening to their experiences and sharing their stories. I had no clue this kind of research was possible at Hopkins and being able to pitch this idea to Dr. Harms and gain her full support was amazing. Thank you, Dr. Harms and Shireen, for making this possible, and I want to thank the incredible women I’ve met and the ones I hope to meet in the future. Thank you for allowing us to tell your stories.

“I’m not ever going to lose the ideas I hold now,” says Mindy Farber, an incredibly active leader in the first class of women at Hopkins. This is an ideal that I hope to embody as I grow on this campus, and getting the chance to speak to her is something I will never forget.