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PhD in History, 2008

Assistant professor of History and Jewish Studies at Arizona State University

How her education at U-M prepared her for the work she does today:

"Quite simply, I learned to think as a humanities scholar at the University of Michigan. I learned that at the heart of intellectual production lies rigor, humility, and collaboration. These were the most valuable lessons from Ann Arbor."

U-M professors that helped inspire her work:

"I came to the U-M history graduate program from the Jagellonian University in Poland with an MA in Jewish history. My three advisors, Zvi Gitelman, Todd Endelman, and Brian Porter-Szücs were each, in their own way, incredibly influential in my academic development. They introduced me to the world of American academia and helped me navigate a cultural transition where reading, writing, and thinking in English were the least of my worries. Each of them taught me valuable lessons. Zvi’s vast knowledge of the East European Jewish experience has always inspired me and sets the 'gold standard' to which I aspire. Todd made me feel at home in modern Jewish social history and showed me how to use historical theory as a means and not the end of research. And Brian forced me to think outside the box, outside the intellectual paths familiar to me from the Polish historiography."

New projects:

"My new project deals with a topic close to my heart, immigration, and builds on Todd’s work on Jewish integration and assimilation. It focuses on the immigration and assimilation of Holocaust survivors and their children who were born in prewar, wartime, and immediate postwar Poland. Questions about assimilation, acculturation, and integration of Holocaust survivors and their families to the United States and the 'American way of life' are at the heart of this study. How did they rebuild their lives or build a new home here? How did they 'become American' and what did that mean to them? How did the trauma of the Holocaust and memories of the old homeland, Poland, impact the immigrants’ postwar socialization in the United States?"

Advice for students who are considering Judaic Studies at U-M:

"Take advantage of the incredible, intellectually rich environment at U-M. It’s a wonderful school full of exceptionally passionate scholars who are at the top of their fields. And read, read, read. Chain yourself to one of the greatest libraries in the country. After graduate school, you will have fewer and fewer days available for the simple pleasure of reading. Finally, and probably most importantly, learn to find balance in your life, because the atmosphere at U-M can get quite competitive. But every scholar works best at his or her own pace and graduate school is where you should find out what works best for you."