Student Highlight: Abby Muller ’16


Hello! My name is Monica Chin, and I’m a first-year student from Lakeville, Connecticut. I have not yet decided on a concentration, but am leaning towards English with a focus in nonfiction writing. Through this column, I will feature a different Brown student each week. I hope to give visitors to this blog a taste of the Brown community, and to give a slice of our talented, passionate, diverse student body! 

Abby Muller likes people, places, and things. More specifically, she is an anthropology major with an interest in the publishing industry. She likes musical instruments, musical theater, books, Avatar: The Last Airbender, firmly believes in the greatness of Hufflepuff, and spends most of March creating spreadsheets to plan for the housing lottery.

Class Year: 2016

Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Concentration: Anthropology

What classes are you taking this semester? African Issues in Anthropological Perspective, Mythology of India, History of the English Language, and Astronomy.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?  I play oboe and English horn in the wind symphony and I run around with a saxophone with the Brown Band. I’ve been in pit orchestra for a couple of things as well. I’m the programs chair for the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology’s student group, and for that this week I’m running a big scavenger hunt for the University’s 250th anniversary. I also copyedit for the BDH.

Favorite class you’ve taken so far? Fairy Tales and Culture with Professor Seifert was completely amazing. We looked at fairy tales from a whole bunch of different perspectives–formalist, psychoanalytic, feminist, historical–and watched fairy tale films and read postmodern fairy tales. It was fantastic. It also reminded me that I love folklore and related genres, so now I’m taking a whole bunch of classes in mythology and I think I might even try to write an anthropology thesis senior year on folklore.

Why did you choose Brown? I liked the idea of the open curriculum, and I thought the Cognitive Science department seemed cool (at the time that was my prospective major), and I also just had a really good experience touring. I loved (and still love) the campus and the vibe of the student body. Everybody is interested and interesting and it’s the best!

Favorite thing about Brown? The people for sure. At the beginning of freshman year I was struck by the fact that literally any person you went up and talked to would have cool and interesting things to say. Also, shoutout to the Brown Band!

If you could change one thing about Brown, what would it be? The big stuff: improved policy and support surrounding both mental health issues and sexual assault response. On an impacts-everyone’s-life-daily level, I wish the Ratty would hire some inspired chefs.

Favorite study spot? Freshman year I would have said the Leung Gallery, but for whatever reason I haven’t spent almost any time there this year even though I live right next door. I really like the armchairs on the first floor of the Brown Bookstore, because there are big windows that let in a lot of light and the chairs are comfortable and there’s Blue State coffee and books and a nice level of ambient noise.

Give a funny/weird/awkward/whatever story/anecdote from your Brown experience thus far. Here’s a “that escalated quickly” moment from a few weeks ago: my friends and I were at Andrews Commons for lunch. We were talking about dinosaurs, and then we were talking about how dinosaurs walk, and then we were all stomping around like raptors and making dinosaur noises and clawing at each other’s backpacks. It was definitely fun. I’m still not totally sure how we ended up at that point, but at least the people sitting near us have a good story.

Give one piece of advice for an incoming freshman. If you’re driving to college and have space in the car, you are going to overpack colossally no matter how hard you try not to, so just be aware of that and maybe it won’t be as bad. I was really nervous about college and had this weird mindset that if I brought everything with me it would be fine. Spoiler alert: Providence has a CVS. And a mall. And bookstores. There are two boxes of stuff under my bed that I haven’t opened in months and can’t get home on a plane. Another spoiler: It will, in fact, be fine (actually, awesome).

If you could be in a Disney movie, which movie would you be in? Oh man this is a hard question. I’m going to go with Mulan because it’s my favorite (non-Pixar) Disney movie–seriously, it’s by far the best–and because I definitely have a bit of a crush on Mulan. On the other hand, I definitely wouldn’t want to actually be a soldier. So then if we’re counting Pixar movies, The Incredibles, because superpowers.

Know someone who belongs in this column? Think YOU deserve a student highlight? Send me an email at and we’ll make it happen!


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