Student Testimonies

Evan Alberhasky
Evan Alberhasky ('10)
The Masters of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program gave me a solid background that has enabled me to excel in the MA program at Hebrew University. I recommend it for anyone looking to pursue research in an environment that supports academic scholarship.” Evan Alberhasky is an MA degree candidate in Jewish Studies at Hebrew University's Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Building on his Kean University masters degree, his research involves the study of Jewish identification in Czarist and Soviet Russia, including Jewish responses to the 1881-82 Russian pogroms. Specializing in Russian history, he is examining unpublished and largely unknown letters written by residents in the Russian colonial Ekaterinslav district to the Alliance Israélite Universelle in France.             
 
Mark Ampofo
Mark Ampofo ('16)
Coming to the program from Ghana by way of several US stops, Mark plans on a Ph.D. so that he can teach about what it means to be a responsible world citizen. His interest reflects the mahgs commitment to scholarship and activism: “I have come to believe that a large and powerful activist movement will sound an alarm, shine a spotlight on those who cause or enable genocide or mass atrocities, and demand action by our elected leaders and anyone who has the power to protect those who face the threat of genocide or mass atrocity, anywhere in the world.” He has participated in the program’s biennial master seminar – a colloquy that draws scholars from around the world – where he presented his research on the Rwanda genocide. “This program has meant a lot to me. It has given me opportunities to examine the moral dimensions of genocide, and it is to my professors that I owe a debt of gratitude for inspiring my inquiry into human behavior.” 
 
Tonya HallTonya Hall ('15)
After her studies in the Mahgs program, Tonya has pursued her interests with the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust (MIMEH), where she is a newsletter contributor and facilitates workshops, lectures and guided tours. MIMEH’s mission is to explore the ethical implications of the medical transgressions that took place during the Holocaust for modern scientific theory, medical practice, healthcare policy, and human rights endeavors. She also blogs about past and present human rights issues that have influenced the Jewish and African American people and their interrelationships. “The MAHGS Program has provided me with a depth of knowledge and analytical skills that stretch far beyond the classroom and has introduced me to truly inspiring people. By combining my curious nature, my love of research, and my mission to aid in genocide prevention, I am no longer someone who talks about making a difference. I am someone who is making a difference."
 
Janice Kroposky ('10)
“The degree has served to heighten my interest in current human rights violations which I integrate into my high school classroom lesson plans. The benefits of the program are many and I fully encourage those who care deeply about humanity to enroll!!!”
Janice Kroposky has utilized her course work to create and teach sections of Kean University’s course Holocaust, Genocide and Modern Humanity at Monmouth (NJ) Regional High School and at Kean University.  She also convenes workshops on genocide whose recent themes include the Darfur and Rwandan genocides and the modern day slave trade. Her degree has opened many doors to working at non-profit organizations, including the United Nations and NGOs.  She is the recipient Kean University’s Human Rights Educator of the Year award (2012) and New Jersey Holocaust Educator of the Year (2013).  In 2015 she was appointed Acting Director of Kean University’s Holocaust Resource Center.
 
John LestrangeJohn Lestrange ('16)
John is completing his studies with a graduate thesis on the words used when talking about genocide and their impact on world events. He has presented his research on transitional justice at the 34th Annual Conference on Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Millersville University. He plans to continue his graduate studies and teach in higher education on genocide and genocide prevention and to work at museums dedicated to genocide remembrance. “The MAHGS program at Kean University has been an enriching experience for me. The world is, unfortunately, full of examples of one group seeking to destroy another and too many of them are largely unknown to the public. I would like to change that. I have found a new passion in educating people about this field and the devastating impact it has on the world." 
 
Ryan MurrayRyan Murray ('15)
Ryan’s graduate studies have inspired new directions in his acclaimed teaching career. Awarded New Jersey’s Jack Zaifman Humanitarian Award and collaborating with Governor Thomas Kean and Dr. Paul Winkler, Executive Director of the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education on the mandate provision of New Jersey’s Holocaust and genocide studies education act, he has taken a leadership position in introducing and teaching about the subject in his high school. His courses provide students with opportunities to hear from survivors, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and complete college level studies. He has also worked on numerous school-wide initiatives fostering genocide awareness, such as guest speakers, class trips, fundraisers, and programs. “If there is one overall theme that the MA program has instilled in me it is that the Holocaust offers profound insights into the history of humanity. As a public school teacher, I am teaching citizens, voters, and community members. My students utilize the education they receive to make the world around them a better place. I am very proud of the work I completed as a member of the MA program at Kean.” 
 
Aliza SchlusselbergAliza Schlusselberg ('16)
Aliza is interested in exploring opportunities within the worlds of Jewish non-profit and advocacy, i.e. museums, charities, and NGOs. Her research focused on the United Nations Human Rights Council and its tendency toward anti-Semitic expression and action through selective and biased treatment of the state of Israel. Long term, I hope to earn my PH.D in a field related to Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She intends to continue her graduate studies in Holocaust and genocide studies at the Ph.D. level. “I had high expectations from a program that seemed to be curated precisely for my passionate nature and my two years as a MAHGS student have exceeded them all.”                              
 
Ilyse ShainbrownIlyse Shainbrown ('16)
Ilyse is dedicated to the field of non-traditional Holocaust education in nonprofit settings. She has already participated in the United States Holocaust Museum Seminar on International Tracing Service (ITS) and interned at the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest. A recipient of an STG research grants, she has presented her research at the 33rd Millersville University Conference on Holocaust and Genocide and has published articles online. “The Mahgs program has provided me with a solid education not only in the Holocaust and other genocides but also in world history. The time I have spent in the program has been invaluable.”                           
 
Joanna Sliwa ('08)
“The Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at Kean University provided me with the skills and knowledge necessary to gain a better understanding of Holocaust history and Jewish history. It has broadened my intellectual horizons by emphasizing the connections between history and contemporary events. The program and its supportive faculty inspired me to pursue my interests further.”
Joanna Sliwa received her Ph.D. in 2016 from The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Her dissertation, Oppression and Agency:  A Social History of Jewish Children in German-Occupied Kraków, Poland interweaves Polish-Jewish history and Holocaust history by examining the daily lives of Jewish children in the context of the larger society. She has authored several publications and presented her work at numerous academic conferences. In addition, she has served as a teaching assistant at Clark University and as a tour leader at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. She also serves as a translator and language consultant to book and film projects for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. She is the recipient of many prestigious research fellowships, including the Fulbright award, as well as grants to advance her Yiddish language study.
 
Holly StantonHolly Robyn Stanton ('14)
“I look back at my time enrolled in Kean University's Masters of Art in Holocaust and Genocide Studies with nothing but fondness. The program not only provided me with the opportunity to completely immerse myself in my topic of choice and conduct research at levels beyond my expectations, but also offered a fantastic curriculum taught by a supportive and encouraging faculty that helped make my time at Kean memorable. I was able to explore the darker side of medicine and the eugenics movement at a global scale, and how both resulted in the development of medical ethics and improved treatment of those in dire need of continuous medical care.”
Holly’s commitment to extensive graduate study in the history of medicine, with a continuing focus on the experience of those with physical and mental disabilities, materialized in her research in the Mahgs program for a panel presentation that led to her thesis, "Slaying Hippocrates: Germany's Destruction of its Disabled Citizens, 1933-1945.”