Academic Program Specialist, Department of American Culture
Student Services and Curriculum Coordinator, Digital Studies Institute
Bachelor of Arts in History, Minor in Judaic Studies, 2017
Describe your job responsibilities:
My primary role is in the Department of American Culture and I manage 2 majors and 4 minors. I handle all aspects of the undergraduate program: curriculum development, advising coordination, and creating new programs and courses. Since January 2020, I have also worked for the College's new Digital Studies Institute. I was part of the team that saw Digital Studies transition out of the American Culture Department in Fall 2018 and Winter 2019. I returned to the new Institute in 2020 and now manage both of their programs: the Digital Studies minor and the Digital Studies Graduate Certificate. Now I manage 8 programs across American Culture and Digital Studies.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I really enjoy working in education. U-M is an incredible place to work and I enjoy my interactions with faculty, staff, and students. Helping students get into courses they need or giving them advice is always rewarding. As is working with faculty on creating new programs and courses. Recently, in American Culture, I helped create a new sub-major in Ethnic Studies. It was interesting to collaborate with faculty and students on how to make this program a reality. We received approval from the College and this initiative will be available to students in Winter 2021. It's fulfilling to watch projects grow and become something that can really benefit many people.
Tell us about studying at the Frankel Center:
I came to Judaic Studies very late in my college career. I was a History major who happened to enjoy taking courses in Judaic Studies. I wrote my senior thesis on a comparative study of Holocaust denial law in France and the United Kingdom and the courses I took in Judaic Studies helped shape that project.
I enjoyed that the courses offered in the Frankel Center were from so many different fields. I was able to supplement my major with courses such as Jewish American Literature taught by Professor Anita Norich and courses on the cultural history of ancient Israel and Palestine. I enjoyed the freedom that the minor gave me to study many different areas and approaches to Judaic Studies. It was a rewarding experience.
How did your education prepare you for your current job?
I believe that the critical writing skills I developed in my Judaic Studies courses help me every day in my position. I am also grateful for my instructors in Judaic Studies who challenged me, and for the staff in Judaic Studies, who are excellent examples of what higher education administrators should be.
What advice would you give to students who are considering studying Judaic Studies?
My minor was a great way to supplement my History major while at U-M. My advice would be to explore the minor and take a course in Judaic Studies to decide if the minor is right for you. Judaic Studies offers a variety of courses that can help enhance a variety of majors from the natural sciences to the humanities. Don't hesitate to reach out to your professors in the Frankel Center. The community here is amazing and incredibly supportive.