Alumni Profile: Joseph Holberg
I received a B.S. in Economics in 2010 and a minor in Culture and Literature of Eastern Europe. [Currently,] I am working as a Computer Science Teaching Fellow at Google. I am teaching coding and programming to students, while exposing them to the possibilities that computers afford not only recreationally, but academically and vis-a-vis future careers.
I chose the CLEE minor after taking Professor Makin's "Russia Today" class. I was totally enthralled with the content and the coursework so when I learned a minor existed (and that I could take a class with his wife, Alina Makin), I had to do it. My best memories from pursuing the CLEE minor was in the RUSLAN (Russian Service Learning in Action Network) class with Alina Makin. I was not only able to study the historical context of the 5 immigration waves from Eastern Europe and Russia into the U.S. but I was able to volunteer south of campus twice weekly with elderly Russian immigrants. The experience was humbling and rewarding as they fed me much needed food (tasty fried potatoes, yum) while I was able to teach them basics about the internet and computers. The look of pure joy that many had when they Skyped with relatives that they hadn't heard from in over a decade will stay with me forever.
I am a more informed global citizen and not only have I drawn upon the information I have learned while getting a CLEE minor, I have applied the lessons learned to unique situations in many fields and areas. I love to learn and the material was engaging and absolutely worthwhile. Advice [to current students]: Enjoy learning everything. Cherish the opportunity to learn and dive in headfirst and you'll extract many lifelong pieces of information and concepts.