Q&A with Hannah McCandless

Hannah McCandless 2017-2018 Currently studying at Sarah Lawrence Grad School studying Women’s History


What one piece of advice would you offer to current Fellows?

Get involved in the community. While in this new city, you have an opportunity to really connect with new and different people, whether through the connections and partnerships you make within your fellowship or through the community organizations you become involved with. Whether for professional development or personal growth, investing in your new community will make this year long fellowship one of the best experiences you have had yet.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve recently read or seen?

Being in graduate school had increased the volume of what I read by quite a bit, but what I remember most of what I have read so far is a book called “An Enchanted Modern.” It is an ethnographic study of women in Lebanon and uses oral histories and cultural studies to understand and explain a world completely different than my own. It has by far been my favorite read as of late. As far as what I have seen, I had the opportunity to see “Come From Away” the on Broadway. Its perspective of the events of 9/11 were moving and gave me, someone who was only seven at the time, a better understanding of what people were feeling during that time in American history.

How do you recharge yourself?

While in the fellowship, I recharged myself by reading. More recently, I have been recharging by taking walks. I live in a very interesting neighborhood now and enjoy seeing my neighbors and meeting their dogs.

Are there any unwritten rules where you work?  If so, what are they?

There have been no unwritten rules that I have noticed so far. But I have noticed a trend of people trying to outdo one another on baked goods. I completely support this practice as I am constantly being fed amazing treats!

What do you find to be the most fulfilling aspect of your current job?

Currently I work as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at Sarah Lawrence College and I adore every moment of it. My professional goals have me landing in a similar office in the near future and so everyday I an excitedly learning about the work that is to come. What I enjoy most is my constant interaction with undergraduate students. I work with students to organize events on campus like a Fall Festival or a Haunted House. Working to help students find their own niche and community within the school is so rewarding because I know it helps them connect, do better in their classes, and have a better support system during a huge time of change in their lives.

If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl that you couldn’t sell, what would you fill it with?

I hate to make this a bit dark, but during a one minute ad, I would fill it with information about human trafficking in America, its prevalence, and ways for citizens to help those who might be in need. The Superbowl is one of the largest human trafficking events of the year, so I would want people watching to know what the event can mean for people less fortunate than themselves. I hope some kind of public outcry after the commercial could lead to some kind of change.