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The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Humans of McCormick highlights interests beyond engineering

Illustration by Ziye Wang
Illustration of a cartoon instagram page with “Humans of McCormick” written in the middle.

When McCormick senior Anika Gupta was nominated to be featured on the Humans of McCormick Instagram account, she had only heard of it in passing. 

Now, the biomedical engineering major said she thinks it’s a nice way to tell people’s stories. 

The McCormick Student Advisory Board started the page in 2020 to highlight McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science students’ lives beyond engineering, MSAB member and McCormick senior Ting Ting Li said.

“I feel like there’s this stereotype of engineers being very antisocial and we don’t really talk to people,” Li said. “We want to show people that we are actually involved on campus and that we’re doing things. We’re not just hunched in our room just studying 24/7.”

Students can nominate themselves or their peers through a form linked on the page. Then, someone from MSAB will contact the nominee, conduct an interview with them and write the caption. 

The interview is a new addition to the posting process, according to McCormick sophomore and MSAB External Relations Chair Zeeshan Razzaq. Nominees used to fill out a form with information about themselves and MSAB members would write the captions based on those answers. 

“Each of the posts are written less formulaically and more naturally (now),” Razzaq said. 

Gupta said she was “grateful” to have an interview instead of a form to fill out. She said she  prefers talking to people because a form would have felt like another assignment. 

The interview covered her non-engineering major, global health, her passion for sustainability and her work for the Biomedical Engineering Society, Gupta said.

Razzaq said MSAB is working up to featuring students on a biweekly basis. 

Li was featured on the page last year, during her tenure as president of MSAB. She said she was surprised to be nominated. She added that part of how students outside McCormick can interact with Humans of McCormick is by nominating their friends to be highlighted. 

Although Li and Gupta said they don’t know who nominated them to be featured, Gupta said she has a hunch that it was someone from BMES. 

“The fact that they took the time to nominate me was really nice because I feel like all of us deserve so much recognition for the work we put into trying to improve the BME experience,” she said. 

Humans of McCormick is one way MSAB tries to build a community, Li said. She said the board also holds E-Week, a week devoted to engineering events later in spring quarter. Razzaq said in addition to community events, the board tries to cultivate strong relationships between McCormick students and faculty. 

Gupta said these efforts are part of a collective endeavor from engineering organizations to create a sense of community for McCormick students, especially after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said people became “complacent” with a lack of camaraderie.

“I hope future McCormick students see the value in trying to plan events and recognize people so that people feel like they have a community here, because that’s what’s got me through engineering for the past four years,” Gupta said. 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @anavi_52

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