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Azlynn Brandenburg and MacAlasdair Uchimura

A pair of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students will receive professional development, mentoring, networking and research support opportunities after being selected to a national leadership program in the field of humanities. Nominated by faculty in the College of Arts, Languages & Letters, Azlynn Brandenburg and MacAlasdair Uchimura are among 17 students from eight states to serve on the inaugural National Humanities Leadership Council.

Hosted by the National Humanities Center, members will participate in various interactive experiences in the 2021–22 academic year that explore the importance of humanistic perspectives to address the concerns of contemporary society. Activities may also include a focus on specific projects and engagement at their home institutions.

According to the center, by bringing together a diverse group of students with shared passions and professional goals, “the council aims to facilitate creative and ambitious inter-institutional collaborations that help students prepare for a wide range of careers.”

Brandenburg, a senior triple majoring in English, philosophy, and women, gender and sexuality studies, hopes to attend graduate school and looks forward to the experience to grow as a researcher and academic.

“In participating in this council, we have all been encouraged to think about any research or community outreach projects that we would like to explore and seek collaboration on,” Brandenburg said. “As of right now, I am leaning towards a digital humanities project that would center around education reform and combating the spread of misinformation.”

Uchimura, a junior Classics major, hopes to engage with experts in the humanities field and mentors who will assist in the transition from undergraduate to graduate level courses.

“I engage with literature (specifically classical literature) in ways that aren’t the average double-spaced paper, and I’m hoping that I can work with the resources from the council as well as my peers in order to figure out how I can make a significant contribution to the field of Classics through my work,” Uchimura said.

This program is an example of UH Mānoa’s goals of Enhancing Student Success (PDF) and Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), two of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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