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The Humanities Scholars program is an exclusive first-year experience providing an immersive atmosphere where students, faculty, and staff collaborate over shared interests, academic research, and community involvement. 

Vanessa Patzner

Vanessa Patzner (she/her) 

Double Major: English | Business

Research: Social Media and the Effects on Youth 

Q: How has being part of the Humanities Scholars program impacted your time at the university? 

A: Being a Humanities Scholar has impacted every ounce of my college experience so far. When I was in high school, I found it hard to express myself, but in the Humanities Scholars class, Lepa made it so that every one of us felt seen. She would always make sure we felt understood and fostered an environment where all of us were able to learn and grow as people. I was able to apply my newfound confidence to my other classes. I was able to branch out, participate in discussions, meet new people, and ultimately express myself fully and unapologetically.

Q: What is one of the most impactful lessons or experiences you had during your time as a Humanities Scholar?

A: One of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned as a Humanities Scholar is that we are all human. I often feel like I am behind others and need to catch up, or like I don’t deserve a day to feel sad or procrastinate because everyone else seems to have everything together. I realized that everyone is at different places in their lives, and no one is judging me for where I am. The Humanities Scholars program made me feel protected and supported through every obstacle. It showed me that we all struggle with similar things every day, and the best thing we can do is be there for each other.

Q: What was it like to present your research findings to your peers and faculty mentors, and what feedback did you receive that was particularly meaningful?

A: It was so rewarding to present my research with my teammate Beverly. It was such a new and unique experience; to have all the faculty we worked with throughout the entire year, valuing our hard work, and appreciating our triumphs was life-changing. As well as working with other classmates, seeing all their creative ideas and work laid out made me feel very proud. It was all worth it!


Beverly and Vanessa at the Humanities poster session.


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Last Updated: 6/20/24