Numbers and Notes
Hannah Andrews, ’17, On Campus Involvement
Written by Katie Kortepeter
I met Hannah Andrews at a Collegiate Scholars retreat before our freshman year. Many of the other girls I met were, like myself, planning on pursuing degrees in English or history. I remember being impressed that Hannah wanted to study math.
Three years later, Hannah is a junior math major, a member of the Kappa Mu Epsilon math honorary, and co-founder and president of Hillsdale’s Actuarial Club, the discipline combining math and statistical methods to assess risks in investing and finance.
“Math unifies the beautiful and the practical,” Hannah, an aspiring actuary, said. “Calculus and the study of infinity remind us that we are finite beings who cannot understand all the mysteries of God’s creation.”
Math is only a fraction of Hannah’s involvement on campus, however. She loves music and plays first violin in the orchestra, as well as teaching violin to students in the community.
Besides having a head for numbers and an ear for music, she also has a sweet and welcoming spirit that serves her well as a head RA and student ambassador.
“There are so many opportunities to learn and have fun here, and not nearly enough time to try them all,” Hannah said. That’s where time management comes in. “At the beginning of each semester, I jot down a list of the commitments I’ve made, to remind myself of my priorities. But people are always more important than ‘to-dos,’ so I leave my schedule flexible enough to be available for people who need me.”
Music and math may seem like two disparate gifts, but Hannah’s success with both attests to the interdisciplinary nature of the liberal arts. According to Hannah, “Math’s a lot like playing an instrument. Success depends on the quantity and quality of practice. Music forces me to closely analyze in the same way that math does, but it also requires me to ponder how I can convey the music as the voice of the soul. Both of these disciplines reflect truths of nature and humanity in very different ways.”
Hannah believes that numbers and musical notes have more in common than meets the eye. They are both building blocks that help her to form a cohesive framework of understanding the world.
Hannah couldn’t be happier about her decision to attend Hillsdale and pursue math in Hillsdale’s unique department. “Many of Hillsdale’s math majors are interested in combining math with another area, such as physics, economics, finance, or even politics. The department consistently provides classes that overlap with these,” she said. Because of this, math students graduate with strong qualifications for various graduate schools and careers.
I asked Hannah why she chose to be involved in so much on campus. Hillsdale’s academics are rigorous, so it takes motivation and perseverance to stick with multiple extracurriculars. “Being involved in several areas of campus helps me meet people I would have never met through classes or through my dorm,” she replied. “In college, we have youth, energy, and fewer responsibilities to family or a job. This allows us to serve others, develop our God-given talents, and prepare ourselves for the rest of life.”
Hailing from Indianapolis, Katie Kortepeter, ’17, is an English and French major. She frequently swing dances, speed reads Tolstoy, and practices her Chinese as a bubble tea waitress.