Hane ’22, Kothiya ’23 Named to National Humanities Leadership Council
Jacob Hane ’22 and Nyaari Kothiya ’23 are among 17 undergraduates from across the U.S. selected to serve on the National Humanities Center’s inaugural National Humanities Leadership Council. Nominated by faculty, these students will receive mentoring from leading scholars and other humanities professionals — as well as opportunities for networking and research support — as they explore the importance of humanistic perspectives in addressing contemporary challenges.
“My interest in the humanities comes from my studies … as a classicist; I engage with the humanities in a very interdisciplinary way,” said Hane, a classical languages major. “I find that there is a great deal of value in getting an education in the humanities. It both fulfills my desire to learn about the world through the lenses of so many different disciplines and also shaped me to be a strong thinker, writer, and orator.”
Major: Classical languages
Hometown: Williamstown, Mass.
High school: Mount Greylock Regional School
Kothiya, a biochemistry/molecular biology major who is pre-med, said her interest in the humanities began when a friend, Jason Le ’23, asked her to help with his research project focusing on the experiences of Asian Americans on campus. “I’ve been a very STEM-oriented person; therefore, this council is an opportunity for me to really explore this newfound interest. I also hope to potentially be a part of research geared toward the medical humanities,” she said.
The council is a way for the students to talk about different areas within the humanities, and how the field has been evolving over the last few years. In a recent group meeting, Kothiya said, “We had a very robust conversation about the integration of humanities in almost every field we can imagine in our lives.”
Majors: Biochemistry/Molecular biology; Mathematics
Hometown: Maywood, N.J.
High school: Paramus Catholic High School
Hane agrees. “Many of the students made great remarks concerning how you actually develop [numerous] transferable skills when studying the humanities that allow you to really thrive anywhere, in any discipline, or in any career path,” he said, adding that the council “provides an opportunity to really shape the discourse around the role the humanities play in undergraduate education. It’s a great way to train leaders in having the knowledge and the skills in navigating careers in the humanities.”
Hane hopes to continue his education in the humanities and has applied to Ph.D. programs in the classics with the goal of teaching at a liberal arts college. “As a lifelong student and supporter of the humanities, I hope I can advocate for better policy surrounding education access,” he said.
The National Humanities Center is the world’s only independent institute dedicated exclusively to advanced study in all areas of the humanities. Former Hamilton College President Joan Hinde Stewart is a member of the board of NHC.