Raina Levin stands in front of a wall on Northeastern University's campus
Raina Levin
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

by Molly Callahan

Like many first-​​year stu­dents, Raina Levin is still fig­uring out what she wants to do after grad­u­ating from col­lege. In the mean­time, she wants to be some­where that encour­ages exploration—both of her own inter­ests and of the world at large—so North­eastern is a nat­ural fit.

Levin, S’21, comes to North­eastern from Miami and though she delib­er­ately applied to schools far from her home state of Florida, she was drawn to the uni­ver­sity for its even broader reach.

“The other schools I was looking at were mostly rural,” she said, “and I really wanted to be in a place that’s inte­grated with the world and offers so many oppor­tu­ni­ties to go out into it and explore.”

Levin is cur­rently studying psy­chology, and is excited to explore just where her edu­ca­tion will lead her. She said that she plans to take advan­tage of the oppor­tu­nity to do sev­eral dif­ferent kinds of co-​​ops to help in that process.

“The idea of being able to try out things is very nice,” she said, “and it’s com­forting to know that even though I don’t know what I want to do yet, I can figure out what I don’t want to do and then narrow it down from there.”

While the specifics may not be clear yet, Levin has been guided throughout her life by a curiosity about how things work. From her interest in the mechanics of the brain to the mechanics of good writing—Levin was editor of her high school’s award-​​winning lit­erary magazine—she said her choices thus far can be traced back to a curiosity about “the why and the how.”

As a bal­le­rina, she per­formed in The Nut­cracker for nine years, finding ful­fill­ment in each new phys­ical accom­plish­ment, each the result of tire­less prac­tice in the mechanics of movement.

As a learner of Amer­ican Sign Lan­guage, Levin is engrossed by the way del­i­cate shifts in facial or body expres­sion can change the whole meaning of a signed sentence.

This curiosity, she said with a laugh, “makes it a little dif­fi­cult because it extends to a lot of dif­ferent sub­jects.” She added: “I want to try all these things; I think I’ve always been really curious about the why and the how, and I don’t think that’s going to go away any­time soon.”

Originally published in news@Northeastern on October 13, 2016.