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Undergraduate Engagement Group

The Institute for the Humanities has a long history at the University of Michigan as a place where students, faculty, and community members can learn about and discuss issues of relevance to all of us. The Undergraduate Advisory Group collectively suggests speakers and courses for the Institute to sponsor, and helps to promote events of interest to communities and friends affiliated with our campus. Students meet regularly throughout the semester at the Institute, while also periodically gathering opinions and thoughts from student peers.

For information about joining the group in 2017-18, contact Kush Patel at

2017-18 Undergraduate Engagement Group

Fatima Al-Rasool is a sophmore student at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, majoring in architecture. She is extremely interested in history, philosophy, anthropology, the visual arts and their intersections with activism. Fatima is excited to share her appreciation for the humanities with the Institute and fellow undergrad peers.

Maitreyi Anantharaman is a junior studying public policy and art history at Michigan. She is especially interested in the ways art, literature, history and media influence political and social movements. Maitreyi enjoys keeping up with her latest stack of newspapers and periodicals, exploring American cities, visiting museums and reading literary fiction.

Evan Binkley is a sophomore studying Art History and Museum Studies. He is currently working on a cultural heritage website and a National Museum exhibition in Ghana with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. He is a Circulation Desk Assistant at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library and was a Public Programs and Curatorial Intern at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries this summer. Evan is excited to share his love of the humanities with others through exciting events.

Ryan Lakin is a senior majoring in English language and literature and double minoring in American culture and global media studies. She works in Special Collections as a reader services assistant during the week and volunteers at the historic Redford Theatre on the weekends. After graduation, she plans to pursue an M.A. in library and information science in hopes of becoming a librarian or an archivist. She loves organizing events related to the arts and humanities almost as much as she loves attending them.

Maria Mikhailova is a junior studying Screen Arts and Cultures and is currently planning on pursuing a minor in Business. She’s an associate producer with M-Agination Films, which is a student film production organization on campus. She is interested in psychology, sociology, as well as culture and politics.

Hui Yuan Neo is a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in History. She believes that the humanities can help create paradigm shifts and provide practical wisdom for navigating today’s world. Raised in Southeast Asia, she is also particularly interested in the colonial legacies, cultural dynamics and politics of the region. She is looking forward to help promote empathy and equality in the university through increasing an appreciation for the humanities.

Hannah Thoms is a junior studying Anthropology with minors in Museum Studies and History. She has worked in the collections departments at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology and Sloan Museum in Flint. These experiences have shown her how museums, as places that tell human stories, connect us to the past and help us find common ground. Hannah is excited to plan events that will help other students find meaning in the humanities on campus this year.

Julia Wang is a junior majoring in art history with a minor in museum studies. Having learned French since her high school years in Toronto, she is interested in both Chinese and French language, culture, and art history, the impact of social media on what constitutes as “art”, and the global components of art and humanities. She looks forward to planning and promoting exciting events at the Institute of Humanities.