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Humanities in the Real World

Matt Brolund

Matt Brolund is a senior double majoring in Economics and Law, History, and Society from Nashville, TN. He is interested in learning and applying political history to Western politics and a court of law. Matt loves the humanities as a vehicle for facilitating conversation between other areas of study such as science and research.


Armani Dill

Armani Dill is a sophomore at Vanderbilt, studying the French language. She primarily lives in the suburbs outside of Atlanta, and her experience mentoring others inspired her passion for the humanities. This took her to the College of Arts & Science, where she complements her French studies with perspectives from law, history, society, and politics. An eclectic thinker who is deeply intrigued by how language and culture affect our engagement with reality, she hopes to gain the skill to navigate these complexities and educate others.  

Brayden Thomas Edman

B.T. Edman is a junior at Vanderbilt University where he pursues majors in electrical and computer engineering and philosophy and minors in nanoscience and nanotechnology and physics. He specializes in radiation-hardened microelectronics and designs computer chips for mission-critical applications, and he is also the Director of Control Electronics for the Vanderbilt Fusion Project. Because of this, he is often asked what he feels philosophy brings. Brayden Thomas considers philosophy to be a method, and by studying how thought and reality interact, one can improve their own ability to think. He believes people are complex, intelligent and thoughtful, and he hopes to inspire this perspective.

Aashi Gurijala

Aashi Gurijala is a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Creative Writing from Phoenix, AZ. In her free time, she writes novels in the genres of sci-fi or fantasy. Aashi’s research interests are in the intersection between science and the humanities, specifically with how the humanities build bridges between the objectivity of the sciences and the nuances of human experience.  

Andrew Kyung

Andrew Kyung is a junior from Demarest, New Jersey studying Political Science and American Studies. As an active researcher on campus, Andrew explores the relationship between social and political systems in the United States. The Humanities in the Real World fellowship presents Andrew the opportunity to further understand how the humanities can solve pressing political issues in America. 

Nicc Forster-Benson

Nicc Forster-Benson is a junior from Nashville, Tennessee studying Economics and Quantitative Social Science (QSS). As a Humanities in the Real World Fellow, Nicc is interested in exploring the full range of the humanities to understand how individuals and societies make political choices. He hopes that this fellowship will enhance his ability to mesh humanities scholarship with tangible policymaking to answer pressing societal questions. Beyond the Robert Penn Warren Center, Nicc studies Nashville’s housing inequality as an Urban Studies research assistant.