Why Brown? Reflections from the Class of 2023

Graduating anthropology concentrators share memorable moments from their time at Brown ahead of Commencement.

"My time at Brown has truly been everything I had hoped it would be. The vibrant communities of the student body and the types of classes that make you a better, happier, more engaged person align so beautifully here. I've spent my three on-campus years as a scholar in the Anthropology department and a member of the women's varsity crew team, and both niches have brought me to truly incredible people and have challenged and encouraged me to become my most flourishing self. It's bittersweet to be reaching the end of the road here, but I look forward to heading home to California (SF Bay Area) after Commencement."

Sarah Hope Linguistic Anthropology
Sarah Hope

"When I came to Brown, I was concerned about choosing the right path from many possibilities. Finding that path required me to take a step — regardless of the outcome. Although I took pauses and detours and faced dead ends at times, the people in my life have been an extra set of eyes to direct and redirect me on my journey. When I eventually found my way to Anthropology, it seemed like the department was waiting for me. Anthropology allows me to take on different roles — a writer, an artist, and a leader — without confining myself to one specific path. I still have more to explore in Providence, so I'm excited to continue my journey here."

Anasemi Owate-Chujor Biological Anthropology
Anasemi Owate-Chujor

"My experience with the anthropology department these past few years has been absolutely amazing. From meeting some of the most caring professors and graduate students to working with such passionate peers, the anthropology department has given me a community that I hold dearly in my memories at Brown. Choosing to concentrate in both anthropology and biology has been an interesting but rewarding balance — my anthropology classes have challenged the ways in which I view the world and helped me see the humanity within health. Thank you so much for a wonderful four years!"

Czenilriene Santander Medical Anthropology and Cell and Molecular Biology
Czenilriene Santander

"I came to Brown as an intended physics major, but took Professor Mason's "Culture and Health" course freshman year and fell in love with medical anthropology. I continued through my time in undergrad as an anthropology and public health student, and will be staying at Brown next year for the final year of my combined MPH degree. I am so grateful to the anthropology department for the perspective this degree has given me on medicine, healthcare, and my future career trajectories! This year, I completed my honors thesis on transmasculine experiences of pregnancy and natal care, and next year I plan to continue my research for my MPH thesis. I look forward to bringing an anthropological viewpoint to healthcare spaces as I continue in the public health world."

Elliot Harrison-Lee Medical Anthropology
Elliot Harrison-Lee

"I feel so fortunate to have had such a rewarding time at Brown— I have made memories, mistakes, and wonderful friends, and I've learned so much along the way. Studying anthropology has made me even more curious about the world we live in, and I will carry with me the lessons I've learned for the rest of my life! Looking forward to a gap year before going to medical school at Brown!"

Shelby Kostal A.B. candidate in Anthropology and History of Art & Architecture
Shelby Kostal

"Ashlyn 'Tsig' Lovato is a first generation college student from Santa Clara Pueblo, NM. She is graduating with the 4-year concurrent Bachelors and Masters Degree program. Her Bachelors is in Linguistic Anthropology and her Masters is in American Studies.

Ashlyn has always been an active member in Natives at Brown (NAB), she has served as BCSC Native Heritage Series Co-Programmer for three years, and sat as a Powwow Committee Co-Chair for two years. She is also a Bonner Fellow and Royce Fellow with the Swearer Center.

Throughout the years, Ashlyn has always enjoyed the times when NAB would gather to celebrate their presence on campus. From this semester alone, her fondest memories were in the month of April with the Ivy Native Council trip, the 20th Annual Spring Thaw Powwow, and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Social. Outside of NAB, her fondest memories are the Karaoke and movie nights and concert and brunch dates with her closest friends. Within Anthropology, she has enjoyed meeting with professors to discuss future plans.

Ashlyn is still exploring her next steps after graduation. Yet she has always had a passion to connect with and support Native communities with Land, Language, and Cultural Knowledge Preservation Efforts. Ashlyn will surely use her education to give back to those communities she holds closest to her heart."

Ashlyn T. Lovato B.A. Linguistic Anthropology, M.A. American Studies
Ashlyn T. Lovato