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Alumni Spotlight: Maryam Patton (’10)

June 11, 2017 / Catherine Nicholas / Blog

Maryam Patton (Class of 2010) moved to the United Kingdom in 2014 to complete a Master’s in European History at Oxford University. Maryam loved the UK, and plans to return for visits as often as possible. “The British are so funny, and were always so friendly. I felt completely at home, and still catch myself now using British words for things like crisps, trousers, or courgette. Oxford specifically is an incredibly vibrant and international city. My peers and the members of my college were all from different parts of the world, and you couldn’t walk around the city without hearing conversations in several different languages.”

At MLWGS, Maryam studied German and French. “As a historian-in-training, foreign languages are our bread and butter, and I still rely on my French and German all the time to read both secondary scholarship and primary sources.” She got to speak both languages in their native countries while visiting Berlin and Paris.

Maryam recently began coursework for a PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She is also pursuing personal research projects like an inquiry into, “an Ottoman history of the New World in Harvard’s rare book collections which was printed in 1730, making it one of the first books ever printed in Istanbul.” She is looking forward to teaching undergrads in her third year. She says, “I remember my teachers from MLWGS very fondly, and I hope to imitate their care and the concern they showed for their students.”

Maryam’s advice to current students is, “Slow down and really appreciate the incredible opportunities and the environment you’re in. Take the weird classes only offered occasionally, or study the obscure language and open up a whole new world. Do what interests you personally on a deep, intellectual level and don’t worry about whether or not it’s useful.”

This profiles originally ran in our 2015-16 Annual Report.

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