Campus Profile: Nina Shallman '18

Nina Shallman '18 is probably most known for her voice.  I remember the first time I heard her sing, I was mesmorized.  Besides being an amazing singer, Nina is also a songwriter, poet, art history buff and bookworm!  Get to know Nina Shallman, this week's Campus Profile!



Tell me about where are you from: 

I’m from Los Angeles— specifically, the San Fernando Valley (“The Valley”, making me a legit “Valley Girl”). I was born in Santa Monica, raised in the sunny suburbs of Sherman Oaks and Encino, and prior to college I’d never spent more than three weeks away from home. Big adjustment.


How does the weather at Amherst compare to the weather back home?:

LA weather is to Amherst weather as day is to night. Which is to say, ridiculously, surreally different. Oh boy. But necessarily not in a bad way (most of the time). LA has very mild weather— it’s pretty much 75 degrees all year round. Amherst gets all the seasons— which means breathtaking colors in autumn and a spring that actually brought tears to my eyes (if only because winter was so brutal that seeing the color green felt like a gift).


Why did you choose to attend Amherst?:

The English department and its reputation were the initial draws, in addition to Amherst’s being one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Amherst also has an open curriculum that allows me to take classes in a myriad of subjects, which was very important to me when I was deciding on colleges.


What are you interested in both academically and leisurely?:


I’m a singer-songwriter and a poet and I love the humanities. I’m a proud art history buff and bookworm and the great loves of my life are music and literature. So I pursue music professionally outside of school (and I released my first album this past summer!) but in school, I’m an English major that takes classes in art history and music.


What are you passionate about the most?:

I’m passionate about music and writing poetry, but I’m also interested in learning everything there is to know about the history of the art— visual art, the language arts, music, everything. I feel like I should know the history of the disciplines I want to pursue— know the rules before deciding to break them.





What are your plans for the rest of your time at Amherst and beyond:

I plan on meeting more amazing people and spending more time with the wonderful people I’ve already met; taking advantage of my proximity to professors renowned in the world of academia; getting my English degree; making dope albums and poetry and (hopefully) being able to live off of the things that I’ve made. And I want a garden.


If you could make one change to the world, playful or serious, what would it be?:

Honestly? I’d want to be the trusted vizier to a benevolent dictator of the world — but they’d be a six-month-dictator, Julius Caesar-style circa late Roman Republic, but without the “dictator for life” proclamation and stabbing. I feel like a could get a lot of shit done. Good shit. Productive shit. (Am I allowed to say shit? You can replace it with “stuff” if it’s too profane.) But I wouldn’t want to be the figurehead since I’d piss off way too many people and probably get assassinated. I’d just be the vizier to the dictator. I think the world is so full of problems that, rather than committing to changing just one problem, I’d want a shot at tackling all of them, at once, without endangering my life. I took this question a little too seriously. I got a little too intense. Rainbows, ponies.


What’s something you’ve always wanted to say but never got the chance to say it?:

Oh dear, I don’t know. I hate it when people lick the icing off cupcakes and then toss the cupcake. You’re messing with the ratio and it’s savage.