Student Voices

We are proud to share the compelling reflections of selected undergraduate students on the centrality of the humanities in their academic and personal trajectories.

Open Book

Humanities Matter

Daniel Giguere (MA’19, English)

Clare Reid (MA’21, English)

Maya Tenzer (C’21, Economics and Italian)

Mariah Johnson (C’21, American Studies)

The virtual meeting “Humanities Matter” brought together Georgetown students and faculty to discuss what draws undergraduates and graduates to the humanities, what kinds of humanities work students find the most fulfilling, what encourages them to pursue that work, and what they intend to do with that learning experience.

The starting point for this lively conversation were four interdisciplinary and multimedia humanities projects that students presented during the event. [Read more]

Olivia Luongo (C’21)

Government Major; Italian and History Minor

I have had such a great experience with the humanities at Georgetown through my Italian classes, I look forward to taking more humanities courses before I graduate next spring. [Read more]

Martina Benedetti Marshall (C’20)

French major; Psychology minor

My time at Georgetown allowed me to further broaden my horizons and pursue my interest in different cultures through Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian courses. I was also able to combine my interests in French and Psychology in my senior honors thesis, which explores the effects of Brexit on the identity of British citizens who acquired French nationality to maintain their status as Europeans. It is thanks to the study of the humanities that I have found motivation in life’s challenges, comfort in uncertainty, and excitement for what the future holds. [Read more]

Mikaila Minott, M.A.

Italian Studies

Growing up I was quite introverted and often in need of escape, so I ran to two things: reading and writing. There was nothing like being swallowed up for hours by worlds that weren’t my own and creating my own realities. I took this small passion for humanities into undergrad, studying English writing, philosophy, and Italian to learn more about thought and the world and to become a better writer. [Read more]

Julia Rahimzadeh (C’22)

English Major and REWA Minor

My humanities education at Georgetown provided me with this sense of place.  Though I fully believe that things like theater, literature, and music can be evaluated on their own, simply for what they are, I also believe in the ability of history and culture to lend meaning to them. [Read more]

Portrait of Elisa Reverman

Elisa Reverman (PhD Candidate)


The goal of my project is to look at the social effects of medicalizing an entire race. It’s actually the culmination of a couple things I’ve been studying and brewing over during the last couple of years. I took a class in 2018 with Dr. Taiwo on Black Radical Thought and my final paper for that class looked into how immigration fit into colonialism. [Read more]

Kaitlyn Reynolds (C’21) and Eliza Lafferty (C’20)

Reflections on Professor Bourland’s Class

What did you learn from the opportunities to engage with local communities, institutions, and sites organized by Prof. Bourland’s ARTH-353: “Exiles and Diasporas” HALC course?

Kaitlyn Reynolds: For one particular project, my classmates and I drove to “Little Saigon”, where we interviewed some of the local community, who told us more about their businesses and culture. I recall feeling like an intruder there, and the class forced me to reflect on why I felt that way.  I realized my intentions for speaking to and interviewing the visitors were not immediately clear to them.  Now, I try to be more cognizant of the manner in which I interact with the people around me and how they can perceive my intentions.

Eliza Lafferty: In other courses, professors encouraged us to visit museums and attend events.  “Exiles and Diasporas” organized attendance and engagement at local museums, cultural centers, and social spheres; our experiences at these institutions inspired deeper classroom conversation and provided opportunities to apply theories to people and places. [Read more]

Harrison Rose (C ’20)

Double major, Italian and Comparative Literature

When I applied to Georgetown, I wrote my personal statement about my passion for opera. At that point, I had been writing performance criticism for almost half a decade as “Opera Teen.” Despite possessing no musical aptitude, something about opera fascinated (and continues to fascinate) me; the fusion of language, music, literature, and theatre to create a more persuasive whole. There was so much to discover and I wanted to dig in deeper; I knew that was the intellectual impulse that was driving me to Georgetown, but I didn’t know what I’d find once I got there. To my very great fortune, I discovered the humanities. [Read more]

Portrait of Ali Shahbaz

Ali Shahbaz (F’20)

International Politics major, French minor

Having grown up across three continents, Ali came to the School of Foreign Service to become a career-diplomat. Little he knew that here he would find ways for public service beyond just the traditional professional pathway of joining the foreign service. Public writing became his outlet for giving back to his community.

Ali had been writing for a while, but never had the courage to make his texts public – he would only share with close friends and professors. But when the pandemic took its toll this year, Ali decided to foray into public writing. [Read more]

Portrait of Christopher Swisher

Christopher Swisher (M’22)

School of Medicine

Much could be said about the daily schedule of a Georgetown medical student: the facts memorized, the exam maneuvers practiced, the notes written. However, in my mind, the day of a medical student is best described as the collecting and editing of unfinished stories. Within the fragmented tales we are told, we must parse through voluminous exposition for the essential details and carefully trace the rising action of illness marred by complications and setbacks to its climax. [Read more]