Commencement 2023: new grads tell their stories

Bob Handelman

Bob Handelman

View full image

Ben Cohen
Needham, MA
Morse College
BA in Humanities

What was your focus in the humanities major?
I wound up studying some sort of program of social theory, political theory, cultural anthropology work. My thesis was on the politics of contemporary happiness movements—things like mindfulness, positive psychology, self-care, and the like.

Were there any standout classes that you took in the last four years that really stuck with you?
One class that was really important to me was a cultural anthropology class called Inequality in America. It was taught by Professor Kate Dudley. I’ve also been really lucky to take creative classes that are out of my wheelhouse. I took a playwriting class a while ago, and I just took a photography class this past semester. I’m a musician, but I felt very creatively stretched, like I could really expand into a new creative space.

How did you pursue music on campus?
I joined the a cappella group Mixed Company. I also joined Tangled Up in Blue—Yale’s folk group on campus—and I codirected it this year. It’s like a cappella with a lot of singing, but there’s also guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle added to the mix. And I’ve been in jazz combos. I’m in a band—one of the biggest time commitments I have outside of class now—and we’re all moving to Los Angeles together at the end of the summer.