Majoring in art history with a minor in medical humanities, Naomi Kass '20 graduated from Rice University with top honors, and the department is beyond proud of her relentless pursuit in research and for her unconventional approach to art through the lenses of medicine and science. Naomi describes her journey of studying art history at Rice and how the institution has helped her explore and expand her knowledge of art over the years:
"I entered Rice as a transfer student from Amherst College fall of my junior year, and I quickly knew that continuing my art history studies at Rice was the right choice for me. I feel privileged to have benefited from the excellent teaching, the wide variety of courses, and mentorship the art history department has provided me over these past two years. Being an art history student at Rice has helped me explore the world in ways I never would have been able to at any other institution, especially through my participation in the HART in the World trip to London last May and with the generous support of the Mary Ellen Hale Lovett Travel Fellowship that helped fund my my thesis research in London after our class had ended. This year, under the guidance of Professor Costello, I embarked on a year-long scholarly project that allowed me to apply the critical eye of the art historian to a topic at the intersection of art history and medical humanities, my minor, which culminated in my honors thesis, entitled Doctor-Student-Patient: The Artist’s Eye and the Clinician’s Gaze in the Drawings of Richard Caton Woodville the Elder and the Paintings of Thomas Eakins. With the support of the art history department, I graduated with Honors in Art History, with Distinction in Research and Creative Works, and was honored with the art history department’s Christine Croneis Sayres Memorial Art Award. I was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. After graduation, I will begin an intense year completing the science prerequisites for admission to medical school and will apply to medical school the year after. Studying art history has taught me to think and observe critically, invaluable skills I will apply to a career as an academic physician and scholar of medical humanities."