Members of Hamilton’s Class of 2024 have walked off the Commencement stage, canes in hand, and out into the world ready to make a difference.
What were their favorite moments? What classes changed their perspective? Where are they off to next? Hear from a few about how their courses, professors, and opportunities shaped their college journeys.
Ravi Travers ’24
Concentration: History
Hometown: Ithaca, N.Y.

My favorite class project: My history thesis. Obviously learning is not quantified in the tangible things you make, but I loved the opportunity to combine my learning and interests into a big project which could represent my time at Hamilton. I wrote my thesis on Air India’s advertising after Indian independence so I could investigate how India was constructing Indian identity as a member of the modern world in the middle of the 20th century. I worked closely with Professor [of History] Kevin Grant, who originally introduced me to the potential of different visual sources and ephemeral historical memorabilia in historical work. He encouraged me to get into the funkier source material, and I had a lot of fun working on my project.

This project was also a nice full circle moment for me. The first history project that I remember was a middle school project on an immigrant in my life. I interviewed my grandmother, who came to the U.S. in the 1970s from India. For my thesis, I spoke with my grandparents about their recollections of Air India. When I told my grandmother what I was working on, her eyes lit up and she immediately went to search for the little figurine of the mascot, The Maharajah, that she had been given on an Air India flight. My thesis gave me an opportunity to incorporate different aspects of myself into a final product from my time at Hamilton. I appreciated how the thesis gave me time and encouragement to build a project that I could be proud of and that represented me.

An influential Hamiltonian: Professor Grant. I did not have an idea of my major until my sophomore year when I took his History of Modern Europe through Photography class. It was a tough class, but Professor Grant found a way to motivate me to improve and to eventually pick history as my concentration. I remember speaking with him about majors, and him replying with something along the lines of, “Well, I think you’re pretty good at this if you ever want to major in it.” I can’t understate the impact of Professor Grant’s belief in me, even when I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the next big project. With his supervision, I produced a lot of work that I am really proud of.

A class that changed me: The course that really impacted my decision to choose teaching full-time was my experience in Education Practicum with [Education Studies Lecturers] Tracy Facchini and Dick Hunt. One of our class requirements was 50 hours of classroom observation, for which we were paired with teachers in local school districts. It was an opportunity to observe education in action, and to build partnerships in the community. I was grateful for my time in the classroom where I was able to learn from Professor Hunt and Professor Facchini — two incredible local educators who showed me what it means to be committed to your students. The connections they formed with us and the ways they made their expertise accessible inspires me in my work as an educator. My professors, who made themselves accessible and were invaluable resources, are my role models as an educator.

My favorite Hamilton moment: The first day back with the soccer team for my senior year. It’s hard to explain the joy of walking into the locker room — giving everyone a little handshake and a hug — then pulling the boots on for the first training session. Although I’m sad to leave such a great group, I feel really proud of our team culture, and the ways we stayed positive and supported one another. I’m really excited for these guys next year, and I can’t wait to come back to see a game or two!

What’s next for me: I am moving to New York to teach at Forte Preparatory Academy in Queens, through Teach for America. I worked in community building and education over the course of two summer internships with South Bronx United and a summer with the Roxbury Youth Initiative, and I can’t wait to continue at Forte. I feel grateful to have been taught by so many excellent educators at Hamilton and in my internships. They taught me invaluable lessons that I will take into my classroom next year.

Campus involvement: Men’s varsity soccer; Outreach Adventure Orientation Leader; COOP Senior Fellow; Head stylist of Signature Style; Hamilton Historical

Eliana Good ’24
Concentrations: Mathematics, Studio Art
Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio

What I learned about myself: My Hamilton education has given me the confidence to go out in the world knowing that I can handle whatever challenges come my way. Delivering math presentations, leading tours of the Wellin [Museum of Art] exhibits and [first-year] orientation trips in the Adirondacks, sharing my life through paintings on public display in the Wellin, and playing squash in front of huge crowds of people are all experiences that have instilled me with perseverance. Most importantly, I gained friends and mentors who have uplifted me in every facet of my life, helped me strive to become the best version of myself, and reminded me of everything that I’m capable of.

An unexpected experience: I never would have guessed that I’d trek to Annapurna base camp in Nepal with my history class. This trip exposed me to Nepali culture, the world of Himalayan mountaineering and introduced me to a new best friend my senior spring, all things I never foresaw for myself!

An influential Hamiltonian: Jamie King (Kinger), my now retired squash coach, was one of the reasons I initially came to Hamilton. He emphasized the importance of being well rounded and consistently reminded me of what’s important on and off court: sportsmanship, being a supportive teammate, effort and attitude! Kinger was a stable constant during my time at Hamilton, and will continue to be a person I turn to for advice post-graduation.

My favorite Hamilton moment: Last fall when I went on a spur-of-the-moment whitewater rafting day trip with other Adirondack Adventure leaders! It was a beautiful spontaneous day filled with leaders from all different walks of life excited to spend a fun time together.

A class that changed me: [Assistant Professor of Art History] Nadya Bair’s class, The Visual Culture of WWII, changed how I view media and propaganda. Following the class, I began considering who captured a photo or designed a graphic? For what purpose? What’s the grander context? It was eye-opening investigating the special collection on the Third Reich in the Hamilton Archives. As a Hamiltonian, I walked away from this class with a stronger understanding of how our school reacted to the war and, as a Jew, I gained a much stronger sense of how blessed I am to be alive.

What’s next for me? I will be teaching English in the Czech Republic as a Fulbright scholar. Following my year abroad, I will be working for Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, as an analyst for their strategy and business ventures team.

Campus Involvement: Captain of the Squash team, Wellin Docent, Hamilton Outing Club / Adirondack Adventure Orientation Leader, and member of the Cha-board (Chabad of Clinton Board)

Yunlu (Luna) Zou ’24
Concentrations: Government, Economics
Hometown: Beijing, China

An influential Hamiltonian: [Assistant Professor of Anthropology] Professor Chenyu Wang. Professor Wang provided me with advice about navigating college life as an international student and how to make the most out of my college. By having a lot of inspirational conversations with Professor Wang, I became more courageous in trying out different experiences during college and had deeper thoughts about my plans for the future.

What I learned about myself: When I chose Hamilton, I thought I was going to law school right after graduation. I used to believe there is one way of defining “success,” which is by doing a job like being a lawyer to make my parents proud of me. In the past four years I took classes in different fields, such as anthropology, Ancient Greek, economics, and dance, which provided me with insights into fields that I never thought that I would be taking classes in.

Through the open curriculum, I learned more about myself, the mode of work I enjoy doing, and the kind of working environment or culture I can thrive in. For instance, I discovered that I enjoy working with people on long-term projects, and I realized the significance of a collaborative working environment to me. The open curriculum at Hamilton helped me understand the world better and taught me the significance of learning about different paths of life. I found that “success” is not defined by one specific path of life, and there is a different way for each person to achieve what they consider as valuable in life. In this process, I broke all the preconceived understandings I used to have and started to understand the world around me differently. I realized the significance of finding what I am passionate about and pursuing my goals, which matches Hamilton’s motto of “Know Thyself.”

What’s next for me: I plan on working as a staff accountant in an accounting firm in Salt Lake City.

  • Campus involvement: Judicial Board, Women in Finance, Community Advisors, Days-Massolo Center Ambassador
Matthew Maillet ’24
Concentration: Computer Science
Minor: Mathematics
Hometown: Portland, Ore.

My favorite class project: My senior seminar with [Associate Professor of Computer Science] Thomas Helmuth [’09]. We read research papers to formulate ideas and design our own genetic programming research experiment. My idea was to independently grow island models with different selection methods and merge the results together after some time. It helped me understand how much I like research in CS.

When I came to Hamilton… I planned to go to law school. However, after going abroad to DIS Copenhagen, my computer science professor Nicolai Frost Jacobsen strongly encouraged and pushed me towards graduate school in computer science (CS).

Influential Hamiltonians: [Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sarah] Morrison-Smith had a profound effect on my experience at Hamilton. As my research and academic advisor, she provided me with many opportunities to grow and pushed me towards graduate school. We had many conversations about career, academic, and self-improvement related topics that expanded my understanding of things. To her, I am very grateful.

Professors Morrison-Smith and Helmuth helped me with career advice, find graduate schools and advised me on research. Aaron Ray and Brenda Davis from the Opportunity Programs offered overall academic and career advice. They kept me on my toes and provided me with great resources.

I enjoyed my time on the Hill, and I couldn't have made it without the support of my friends, professors, advisors, and most of all, my mom.

What’s next for me: I plan to pursue a master’s in computer science at University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Campus involvement: Opportunity Programs, QSR Head Math Tutor, Morrison-Smith Computer Human Interaction (MoCHI) Research Group, Rowing team (2020-2022)

William Haynes ’24
Concentration: Art History
Minors: History, Japanese
Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas

Campus involvement: I spent a lot of my time at the Wellin Museum of Art, where I was both a student Docent and Student Collections Assistant. If I wasn't at the Wellin, you would probably find me at the Climbing Wall.

An influential Hamiltonian: [Assistant] Professor [Laura] Tillery of the Art History Department changed my whole life trajectory. Her energy and passion drove me to explore the world through the perspective of art: a perspective which I fell in love with myself. As my advisor, she always pushed me to pursue new interests which helped me become the Hamiltonian I am today. For that and more, I am ever-grateful to Professor Tillery.

When I came to Hamilton… I planned to be a public policy concentrator, then changed quickly to history before landing on art history. Hamilton's open curriculum gave me the flexibility to reimagine my future completely, shifting my dream from government to galleries.

A class that changed me: I took a religious studies course, Art of Devotion: Islam with [Assistant Professor of Asian Studies Usman] Hamid, during my senior fall. Having never taken any religious studies courses before, I wasn't sure what to expect. From the course I learned the deep importance of religion in the modern day as well as how lived and taught practice was fundamentally and deeply different. It really got me interested in exploring my own religious/cultural background more!

What’s next for me: I will be returning to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland – where I spent my year studying abroad – to complete my master's in Modern and Contemporary Arts: History, Curating and Criticism.

Sarah Ahrens ’24
Concentrations: Environmental Studies, Government
Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.

An influential Hamiltonian: [Assistant Professor] Aaron Strong from environmental studies. I took Intro to Environmental Studies with him during my sophomore fall, and he told everyone in the class that if anyone was interested in doing research, they were free to reach out to him. Because of this, I ended up doing research with him on ocean acidification for a paper the following semester, and I later had other non-class experiences with him in Alaska and Maine related to environmental issues. He had a profound effect on my abilities to research, write, and think about different environmental issues, and I appreciate all the advice and guidance he has given me over the years.

When I came to Hamilton… I did not have any concrete ideas [about what I wanted to study] going into college. I was really interested in history and government, and I had really enjoyed AP Environmental Science my senior year of high school. I was also vaguely interested in law, but at that time I did not really understand what law entailed. Once I took Intro to Environmental Studies in my sophomore year, I started taking a lot of classes about the environment. Thankfully, there are courses that cover a broad range of disciplines and subjects given that the environmental studies major is very interdisciplinary.

Classes that changed me: Environmental Justice and my senior capstone project in environmental studies, which was focused on justice in cobalt mining for the energy transition. Environmental justice was taught by [former] Professor Feng and the capstone was co-taught by [Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies] Kwabena Edusei and Professor Strong. These two classes taught me to question my assumptions and views about the world, and helped me reflect on my values. I think I am better able to analyze critically and understand environmental and social issues because of these classes.

What I learned about myself: I had always struggled with imposter syndrome in high school, and thus always attributed my success to external factors instead of my own abilities. My time at Hamilton has allowed me to recognize and push back against these thoughts and be more confident in my academic abilities. Senior year was when I finally realized that I do not have many issues anymore with imposter syndrome, since I was able to handle two theses, other classes, and jobs while succeeding at the level that I wanted, and I attributed my successes to my own effort.

I’m most proud of: The wonderful friends that I have made over the past four years! I was very shy and quiet in high school, and therefore I was scared coming into Hamilton that I would not make any friends. However, I have met great people over my past four years and grown very close to them. I am so grateful for all of them.

What’s next for me: I will be working as a paralegal for the environmental law firm Knauf Shaw in Rochester, N.Y.

Campus involvement: Career Center Operations Intern, Environmental Data Teaching Assistant, Levitt Center Researcher

Here’s a sampling of where our recent graduates are heading after graduation.
  • • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • • University College London
  • • U.S. Air Force
  • • University of Pennsylvania
  • • Deutsche Bank
  • • Nike
  • • Yale University
  • • Museum of Fine Arts Boston
  • • Lockheed Martin
  • • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • • Whatcom Humane Society
  • • Royal Bank of Canada

More of Hamilton’s Class of 2024

Pyu Pyu Win '24

Win ’24: Close to Home But Far From the Familiar

As a child, Pyu Pyu Win ’24 and her family immigrated to the United States from Myanmar. They stopped in Illinois and Indiana before settling in Utica, N.Y., where The Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program (YSLPP), a collaborative project established between Utica University and the Utica City School District, helped Win navigate her education and ultimately become a Hamilton student.

Christian Hernández Barragán ’24

How Two Distinct Disciplines Meshed in a Senior Thesis

Discovering the intersections between two disciplines miles apart is no easy path to take — but it is a rewarding one. Christian Hernández Barragán ’24, a government and theatre major, shares how he meshed his two favorite departments in his senior theses and in off-campus adventures in London and Washington, D.C.

Cass Adler ’24 in the Letterpress Studio.

Cassandra Adler ’24: On the Path to ‘Know Thyself’

Cass Adler ’24, a double major in Hispanic studies and creative writing, shares her Hamilton journey.

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