Student Highlight: Abby Linn ’15


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 Linn is a writer, athlete, activist, economist, and more. She speaks and writes clearly and eloquently, like every sentence is a poem. Her diverse array of interests leads her to a busy and multifaceted life, one that screams “Brown” in every exciting aspect.

Class Year: 2015

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Concentration: Middle East Studies and Economics

What classes are you taking this semester? Islam Today: Religion and Culture in the Middle East, International Finance, Arabic 600 (Third-Year Arabic), Developmental Economics

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?  Ultimate Frisbee A Team, Word! Spoken Word Poetry Group, Vagabound Magazine (Contributing Writer), Students for Education Reform, Private Math Tutoring

Favorite class you’ve taken so far? Islam Today with Professor Khalek, Civil War and Reconstruction with Professor Vorenberg

Why did you choose Brown? The feeling I got from the students. I immediately felt comfortable and welcome around them. Inever felt that I needed to change myself to fit in or subscribe to some kind of established norm or status quo.

Favorite thing about Brown? The genuine quality of the students and their overall happiness, acceptance, and passion for pursuing what they are truly interested in. Ten and twenty years down the road when I look back at my Brown experience, I think the many positive relationships that I have formed will come to my mind first. These have made me grow the most as an individual and have helped me to learn a lot about myself. They will carry me through the rest of my life as a happier and more fulfilled individual.

If you could change one thing about Brown, what would it be? In light of the current Lena Sclove event, I would push Brown to take more seriously issues relating to students mental, physical, and emotional health. College is an extremely stressful time, probably one of the strangest experiences we will have. We are not yet in the real world, but are also dealing with a newfound sense of independence. Being able to balance all of these stresses and new experiences while also growing a lot as a person is very difficult. Therefore, Brown would benefit the experience of students if it were to add greater weight to their psychological services, and student health services in times of need.

Favorite study spot? Front cave of the Ratty. You can find me there every morning.

Give a funny/weird/awkward/whatever story/anecdote from your Brown experience thus far. One day, I walked into the Ratty for lunch during my freshman year with my good friend Shane. We arrived at the front of the food line and he said he was going to go and grab some pancakes. I mindlessly nodded, and subsequently looked at the menu to see what I wanted to eat that day. And that is when I saw it. They were serving macaroni and cheese! Besides being a general food lover, and fully accepting that warm and inviting pancakes on my place over everything else is what gets me up on the morning, I love, love, love, macaroni and cheese. And it was the first time that it was offered at the Ratty and I was beyond excited. A grin formed on my face and I felt that I just needed to tell everyone around me that the Ratty had macaroni and cheese; all I needed was a megaphone and a table to stand on. Good timing, because I saw Shane coming back towards me and as a reflex I grabbed him by his shirt collar and yanked him in towards me. Speaking close to his face I yelled: “They have mac and cheese today!!!!” Not only was the surprised student that I pulled in not Shane, but he looked nothing like Shane and was wearing nothing similar to what Shane was wearing that day. My instant emotional reaction to my love of warm melted cheese layered over thick noodles had overpowered all sense of rational and logical thought. “…Thanks for letting me know!” he replied, with a mocking grin on his face, as I quickly sped away to hide in a corner. Since then I have worked on containing my overwhelming emotion for my favorite foods, in addition to avoiding eye contact with that student as much as possible.

Give one piece of advice for an incoming freshman. Take advantage of all of the lectures and important people that Brown brings in to speak. There are so many fabulous and intelligent speakers that I have missed due to not paying attention or thinking that I was too busy, but they really enrich the education that I get at Brown. It is not only about learning from the classroom and textbooks, but also about going out of your way to hear other points of views from people who have made a significant impact on the world.

If you could be in a Disney movie, which movie would you be in? I would definitely be in “Frozen.” It is the first Disney movie that has a sister relationship, and I am very close with my sister and I would want her to be in the movie too. A sibling bond is something that is stronger than many other things, and besides Frozen being an awesome movie with a fantastic soundtrack, I liked that this movie touched on a relationship that is not just the typical romantic male and female relationship. There are many different forms of love that can contribute to someone’s life, and I think a sister’s love is something very deep and powerful that makes me feel as if I would not be the same person without her. I would only want to be in this movie if we could sing duets together all the time while playing in the snow.

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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