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Member Spotlight: Katharina Schwerdt

Welcome to our Member Spotlights. This is an attempt to bring more focus to one of our favorite things about WIL, the community! The Member Spotlight series will consist of interviews with WIL Members, so that we can all get to know each other a little better as you often are not able to talk to everyone at a workshop. In this member spotlight we would like to introduce you to Katharina Schwerdt, who is a second-year major of Human Diversity at LUC.

If you are interested in connecting with Katharina feel free to add her on LinkedIn.

About Katharina

I am a 20 year old student from Germany, and a second-year Human Diversity Major at Leiden University College. The study is a mix of humanities and social sciences.


I read a lot on a wild mix of topics. I like to read fiction and especially non-fiction. I have been reading many books about climate anxiety, climate crises, and other social and political issues. I also like to read novels. So I spend a lot of time reading, but I also play the piano and I sing in a choir in the Hague, which is my other interest.

Do you have any book recommendations?

One of the professors at LUC published a book last year called “Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Futures from the Frontiers of Climate Science”. In the book, he compares future scenarios about how climate change could develop. Subsequently, comparing the best-case scenario with the worst-case scenario and how these scenarios would turn out in either direction. It is fascinating because it links to my courses, in which I primarily study humanities and social sciences: climate change often comes up as a topic, but we never talk about it scientifically. Therefore, it is exciting to read a book about highlighting the technical aspect.

Why did you decide to become part of WIL?

I remember that it was advertised and you could sign up and become a member. Moreover, I remember thinking that I would like to get to know more people across majors. Because at LUC, many events are specially targeted at people from certain majors. So, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to make more connections at LUC and beyond. Furthermore, the events that WIL advertised caught my interest. Especially the workshops and the opportunity to learn.

What was one of your favorite experiences with WIL?

One of my favourite experiences was a workshop I attended: the WIL talk last block about women in STEM. It was really interesting. In the workshop there were three really great speakers and it was so cool to hear from professional women in the field talking about their experiences and sharing tips. I thought that it was so bright to be able to hear from these successful women.

Who inspires you ?

My role model is the author Ursula Le Guin. She was a science-fiction author, and I haven’t read many of her books , but I definitely want to. I think it is really cool how she writes about social issues in a fictional world. She writes about the critique of capitalism or feminism, for example, but in a really subtle way.


Written by Hanna Dittmar

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