Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, Daily photographers took to campus to photograph students at U of M. Here are the individuals they met:

Anika Love

LSA Senior

Photo By: Lana Ho

“Definitely visual culture is just what I’m most interested in, media studies, film and television media studies, and sonic culture so words, sounds, vibrations is what I’m passionate about as a writer, as a spoken-word poet more than anything else. I’ve always been writing, I used to write stories when I was little. I love to combine words with pictures so I would write books, and I just continued doing that kind of in private until I got to be junior year of high school and I met Molly Rainer. She basically started a lot of the spoken word poetry in this area, and she came to my high school when she was on tour with Dante Clarke, he’s another poet here, he’s the Poet Laureate of Richmond, California and they were touring for the movie that they made Romeo is Bleeding, which is based off of a play that they did in the Bay area. So they came to my school, Skyline, and I was in African American humanities class and we had to write poems for our first introduction and everyone was like ‘oh share your poem share your poem!’ so I shared my poem and Molly was like ‘come introduce yourself!’ cause she was always there, and I ended up doing the same thing when I started going there was being an intern and then going to high schools and sharing poems and getting teens to come in.”

Heather Livingston

LSA Junior

Photo By: Julianne Yoon

“My dog, Athena, is two years old, and I have been taking care of her for a year now. My ex-boyfriend actually got Athena, and after a little while, he said that he couldn’t take care of her anymore. So, I decided to care for her. It’s been really difficult because obviously–I am a student. I wouldn’t really have chosen to have a dog in college because it comes with a lot of responsibilities and requires a lot of time. But, I figured out a way to take care of her here, and she really enjoys it and enjoys the people here a lot. When we’re on our walks on Friday and Saturday nights, there are a bunch of drunk students who are like ‘Oh my god, can I pet your dog?’ One time, this guy was so drunk, when he reached down and tried to pet her, he fell on his face. We’ve met a lot of people on campus, and she loves it.”

Donovan Orow

Second Year Masters student studying International and Regional Studies

Photo By: Ali Chami

“My name is Donovan. I’ve been studying Mandarin Chinese for seven or eight years, started out in high school, throughout my undergraduate years up to now. During the summer of 2018, I went to China to study abroad. It was the first time I actually got to put my Mandarin, which was completely learned in a classroom in the West, to use in China. It was definitely a unique experience because I wanted to see how the language that is operated within the classroom is shown in a real setting rather than just like a mechanical learning environment. I can definitely say it was a unique experience, not just for leaving the country and seeing a completely different culture wandering from my own, but also just understanding dialect differences and local culture, and how locals perceive foreigners who speak Mandarin to be. So when I was in China, I didn’t really experience culture shock in a sense, because I had been studying Chinese for so long prior to going to China, I was very familiar with Chinese culture and customs. But the most interesting thing was seeing again how Chinese language is utilized and spoken in a real world environment. When I was in China, we were taking classes in the classroom but we also did excursions together with our class. And we were able to communicate with locals on a variety of topics. Naturally, the Chinese that the locals spoke with us was not as familiar because we learned everything rigorously in a mechanical way throughout the textbook. With the grammar patterns, the vocabulary we had, we didn’t have a tendency to learn the slang that they spoke. But again, a lot of times once they saw a foreigner speaking to them, they’d try to speak as clearly as possible to make sure there’s no language communication barrier.”

Cecilia Kühnel

Second Year Masters student studying Arabic Pedagogy

Photo By: Lana Ho

“I was born in Munich, my father’s German, my mother is from Georgia, so from the states. So I grew up in a bilingual household and so from both countries I’m from the south, so it’s, I don’t know, I like embrace it now. I used to be really embarrassed, but yeah I’m a second year masters student studying Arabic pedagogy. I love it, it’s a mix of Arabic grammar, teaching methodology specific to Arabic, and also Arabic applied linguistics. So it’s funny because U of M actually pioneered the field in the West, but like my cohort is 4 people right now so it’s really small, but we have a strong program like in the Middle East, U of M is well known for it, but on this campus nobody knows about it. So I don’t know I really like it, it’s the only reason I came to Michigan. Nobody I knew had ever even been to Michigan, so yeah that’s what I’m doing.”

Petra Mihalko

LSA Freshman

Photo By: José Brenes

“Hi, my name is Petra Mihalko. I am an 18 years old first year student here at the University of Michigan. I mean, I grew up in Michigan. I came from the south of Detroit. I’m currently studying Middle Eastern studies, so growing up where I’m from that really impacted me–being from an area that’s one of the only areas in America that has like a large Arab American and Muslim population. So it’s a culture shock coming to Ann Arbor, even though it’s only like 45 minutes away. 

Yeah, I guess, another thing that is interesting about me is that I am a transgender student here, she/her pronouns and it’s, uh, It’s been very nice and comforting coming here to Michigan. It’s like a very open, accepting place, a very nice environment.”

Nidhi Tolpadi

LSA Freshman

Photo By: Jenna Hickey

“I’m passionate about dance. It’s fun and it’s a break. It’s expressive too. It’s something that I’ve always done so it’s like a routine”

Mariah Missentzis

LSA Senior

Photo By: José Brenes

I definitely found myself kind of at a loss at first here because it’s just a lot more intense than I was ready for; it was not something that my education had prepared me for. I think it’s easy to get lost in how much there is to do and find yourself not really doing anything. I kind of found a community more in Ann Arbor than I did at Michigan, just from working in restaurants and stuff like that. I still feel like I didn’t like fully end-up emerged in the school so much as just the city itself; I think that it’s a really cool place to be and that there’s so much to offer like outside of the school and the clubs and the classrooms. There’s so many people around that, if you kind of like, look outside a little bit, then you might find someone more like you than you expect.”

Erin Abell

LSA Sophomore

Photo By: Maria Deckmann

“What inspires me everyday is the women in leadership around me. A lot of the clubs I’m in, the presidents or directors are women, and they are really powerful, driven, and busy. They are women who are making it happen on their own, and I really look up to them.”

Senior Multimedia Photo Editor Emma Mati can be reached at and Managing Photo Editor Grace Beal can be reached at