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Kalamazoo College

Hannah Kim

Northville, MI
Philosophy and Psychology
Study Abroad:
Bonn, Germany
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Cake Batter
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 15 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Studying Philosophy fosters critical thinking and encourages constructive dialogue.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
Initially, I mostly just wanted to read interesting people and ideas.  The faculty in this department, however, have proven to be a very present, very accessible resource waiting to be used.  Lectures are interesting, discussions are encouraged, and Philosophy demands that you think critically about a variety of subjects. 

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Learn from my freshman/sophomore mistakes and really use the resources available to you. This includes office hours and talking to professors for answers to your questions.  Also, don't be afraid to question/disagree with what you're learning.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
One of best aspects of this discipline is how applicable it is to a wide variety of subjects.  Philosophy has made me a much more rigorous thinker and being aware of influential paradigms, theories, and movements lets me engage with my other interests in a more critical way.  This informs not just my academic interests, but also my interpersonal relationships and social engagement.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I've really learned the importance of asking questions and being assertive in my time here.  Talking to professors and participating outside of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but forcing myself to do these things was a real avenue of growth for me.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Social Contract Theory with Max Cherem was probably my favorite class here.  The material was really interesting and it was a fun to think about both historical context but also contemporary implications of social contract theorists.  Outside of Philosophy, definitely Psych & Law with Brittany Liu. 

What is your SIP?
I am doing research at the University of Chicago looking at how children develop and understand social hierarchy or status, particularly in intragroup settings.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
So far, I expect to take a year or two off to continue doing research.  Afterwards, hopefully grad school!

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