We CU and the Humanities Research Institute (HRI) are proud to announce the 2024–2025 Humanities in Action scholars. The new cohort—composed of five students from the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Applied Health Sciences, and Media—will begin the program in fall 2024. Now in its third year, the Humanities in Action program (HIA) aims to remove some of the financial barriers that prevent undergraduate humanities students from taking advantage of community engagement opportunities.

Selected by a competitive application process, HIA scholars are then matched—through the Community Learning Lab in the School of Social Work—with a community partner to address a vital area of need in the Champaign-Urbana community. The students will also attend workshops to strengthen their community partnerships and build connections with like-minded peers, and will learn more about HRI’s opportunities and the broader community of humanists at Illinois.

Join us in congratulating our two undergraduate anthropology students for their selection and read about them below:

Jimena López (class of 2026) is majoring in Spanish with a minor in legal studies and anthropology. She has been volunteering at non-profit organization The Immigration Project since her freshman year, working as an interpreter for attorneys and their clients, submitting documents for clients, overseeing applications for economic assistance, and helping with anything else that is needed. She has also volunteered on behalf of the organization at the annual Christie Clinic Race. Jimena is part of Chicago Scholars, an organization that helps students from Chicago succeed post-high school. On campus, she is a part of the university's Undergraduate Moot Court Team will be serving as president for the upcoming year. She passionately supports DACA because its recipients, Dreamers, demonstrate that dreams recognize no borders.

Lillian Webb (class of 2026) is majoring in history and anthropology with a minor in integrative biology. She is a member of a fraternity for the biological sciences, Beta Psi Omega, and serves as the social media chair for the Society for Minority Students in history. Lillian hopes to continue the mission of the Humanities in Action program of helping to end financial barriers faced by students and community members, and especially wants to focus her efforts towards addressing the disproportionate effect poverty has on women.