Student Highlight: Nikhil Kumar ’17


Hi! I’m Kanita Wang from Taiwan and Thailand. I’m a sophomore, and a likely concentrator of Anthropology. My weekly posts will highlight individuals who belong to this diverse student body, and truly embody the spirit of Brown. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing people, and I hope to share a bit of their awesomeness with you all.

Nikhil has an incredible knack of seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, appreciating the beauty in simplicity, and being especially attuned to the colors that compose our environment. When this sunny sky-lover speaks, words float out of him like the clouds that he captures in his photos: gentle, but steady and strong.

Class: 2017

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Concentration(s): Economics and French

Current coursesLa faveur et l’infamie: Being Marie Antoinette; Intermediate Macro-economics; Intro to International Politics; Fitzgerald, Hemingway and the Lost Generation

What has been your favorite class so far? French 600: We read French books, watched French movies, talked about worldwide issues in French – the classroom environment was just so engaging, and I had so much fun. It is also the language requirement that you need for Brown’s great study abroad program in Paris; I hope to study there my junior year, and I can’t wait – there is so much history, so many monuments, museums…and great food. I love Bourbuignon.

What are your extracurricular activities? I’ve become very involved in journalism on campus, which was actually quite surprising since I never did it in high school; I am chief copyeditor at Brown Political Review, writer for Brown Spectator and International Finance Journal. Oh, and I’m in French House.

What do you do during your free time? Beside watching netflex? I love taking pictures of the sky. The sky in Providence is gorgeous, because the blue is so intense. The sunsets are also amazing, and I am always surprised by how the clouds are so cool, and move so quickly. It was great when I took Creative Nonfiction last year and could write about my obsession with the sky. As Emerson once quoted, “the sky is the daily pride of the eyes.”


What’s your favorite cloud shape? Cirrus! Even though they gently hang in the blue sky, and are much more delicate than cumulus clouds, they’re tough, and still have the strength not to fall down. Also, the balance between cirrus clouds and the blue background is always very aesthetically pleasing to me.

Favorite place on campus? This may be cliché, but I love the Main Green. The architecturally diverse buildings around the area are amazing, and they are partly what I love about Brown. During the days when the sun is out, and everyone is also out, it’s really lovely. It’s great to read or just people watch on the field. I really appreciate these beautiful days.

Can you tell us about a fond time you had since coming to Brown? Spring weekend: the horrible winter had just ended, and a lot of the students were back outside and coming together on the Main Green for the annual Spring weekend concert. Our community spirit was fantastic.

Do your have a favorite book? This is probably another cliché, but I just finished reading The Great Gatsby for my class. Fitzgerald’s words about dealing with loss and nostalgia really resonate with me, and has made me really appreciate the passing of time in college.

Words of wisdom for prospective Brunonians? Coming to college is definitely calls for adjustment. Don’t freak out if you are confused about what you want to do. Eventually things will fall into place, and you’ll figure out your place at Brown. Don’t try to rush your time. Take risks and try new things. Savor the moment as much as possible.

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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