Photo by Mike Lovett

Nora Owens '16


Brandeis Inside Out: Nora Owens

Get the inside skinny on what it means to be Brandeisian from students themselves

Nora Owens '16 is an art history major from Princeton Junction, N.J. She works as an art assistant at the Women’s Studies Research Center, and as a gallery guide at Brandeis’ Rose Art Museum. She is also a member of the Student Committee for the Rose Art Museum (SCRAM).

What’s your favorite college memory so far?

There’ve been so many, it’s hard to pick! But my earliest was first year when winter storm Nemo hit. Compared to this winter, it wasn’t that much snow, but when Nemo hit it was the biggest snowstorm I’d ever seen. All of my friends and teammates bundled up to explore the campus. We ended up at Chapels Field and had a huge snowball fight. Afterwards we all went to Sherman to warm up and enjoy dinner together. It was one of those moments that made Brandeis feel like home to me.

How have you changed since you came here?

Brandeis has made me a more confident person and given me a welcoming environment to just grow into myself. Everyone needs to do a bit of growing up at this age, but Brandeis has given me the support to challenge myself and explore new things. I’ve been able to spend a semester abroad, compete in varsity athletics, apply for internships, work on campus, become more involved with the art museum and find roommates who are wonderful friends.

What’s the biggest impact a teacher has had on you?

It’s hard to pick one teacher. There are a number of professors at Brandeis who have pushed me to think critically and develop complex ideas. The most impactful teachers at Brandeis always expect a lot of their students and ask them to step up to the challenge. The discussion courses I’ve taken that generate a high level of conversation have made me consider graduate study.

What do you nerd out about?

I nerd out about seeing original art, particularly art I’ve studied. Looking at slides never really gives you the full understanding of the work. When you see an object — in person — that you’ve spent countless hours reading about and discussing, it completes the picture (pun intended). Last spring I wrote a research paper about an artist whose work I then saw in a huge retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I was in heaven!

Imagine your life five years after college; what does it look like?

Honestly, that’s what I’ve been struggling with recently. I think there will be some graduate study, some time spent working at a museum or an arts organization. Hopefully living in a city with friends from Brandeis. Beyond that, who knows!

Nora Owens ’16 is the Joel Friedland '76 Study Abroad Scholar