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Humanities Student Brings a Unique Perspective to Engineering Event

Though her physical move here is delayed, Khushee Patel – an incoming first-year Humanities student from Winnipeg – is taking every opportunity to learn about Hamilton and McMaster University. So when she heard about MacChangers: Change-a-Thon, a virtual program hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, she immediately signed up. The program brought together students and representatives from community groups and organizations in Hamilton to brainstorm solutions to challenges brought on by COVID-19

“I’m really interested in Hamilton. I’ve never visited the city but will – hopefully soon – move there so I jumped at the chance,” says Khushee. “MacChangers was great: I got to meet other students and get to know the University a bit too.”

Over five days in late June, 135 students from all faculties and levels – including three Humanities students – took part in the program. Students were split into small teams and asked to brainstorm solutions to propose to a Hamilton community partner.

Khushee’s Team was tasked with finding ways the Barton Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) could increase their revenue and customer base during COVID-19. While they did not win, Khushee says learned a lot from the experience and the value of a Humanities-type perspective.

“It was interesting because every Faculty brought a unique perspective. I found the Engineering or Science students, for instance, are quick to recommend a solution, but I felt like I was able to take a step back, look at barriers and add more logic and critical thinking.”

These skills, she notes, will become more honed throughout her four years at McMaster where she hopes to major in Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law.

For now, though she was looking forward to living in residence and getting the full University experience, she says she’s not disappointed.

“You just have to make the best of it. I’m anxious to get my new life started but it will just have to get started online!”