Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA

Ph.D., Department of History, May 2017

Examination fields:  20th c. U.S. Social and Urban History; History of American Medicine, Public Health, & Health Policy; American Jewish History; Transnational Modern Latin America

Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA

M.A. in History, Department of History, 2012

Barnard College, Columbia University: New York, NY

Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, 2009

Major: Spanish and Latin American Cultures

Minor: History

Study Abroad: IFSA-Butler Cooperating Programs in the Americas: Buenos Aires, Argentina (July-December 2007) 


Advisor: Caroline J. Acker

Committee: Joe W. Trotter, Rachel Kranson (University of Pittsburgh)

“Adjusting to Change: The Jewish Community Center Movement in Postwar Urban America, 1945-1980”

In the decades following World War II, urban American JCCs became more committed to promoting and fostering their members' Jewish identity and, at the same time, opened up their spaces and their programs to Americans of all religions and races; they simultaneously became more particularistic and more universalistic. This bifurcation resulted from pragmatic needs as much as from ideological principles. Structural changes like postwar deindustrialization and suburbanization caused urban de-population, shrinking urban JCC's membership rolls and constraining their access to financial resources. Considerations about equal access and equal opportunity spurred by the Black Freedom Movement raised functional questions about the differences between being a member of an organization and being a participant in its programs. The economic and political instability of the 1970s, including the riots and financial collapse of large cities that characterized the urban crisis, had the combined effect of reducing JCC revenue and creating new federal antipoverty programs that JCCs could use to fund new services—thought it meant that the services, if not the agencies, had to implement non-sectarian enrollment procedures. In responding to all of these structural, functional, and financial changes, the JCC movement gradually opened up their agencies to non-Jews and, correspondingly, intensified their commitment to Jewish particularism. 

“Is a Negro district, in the midst of our fairest cities, to become connotative of the ghetto…?”: Using Corpus Analysis to Trace the “Ghetto” in the Black Press, 1900-1930

The Ghetto in Global History, Wendy Z. Goldman and Joe W. Trotter (Eds.), Routledge Press, December 2017

"The Venice Ghetto at 500: Site Based Approaches to Memory Studies"

Graduate Journal of Social Science, Special Issue on Memory Studies, Forthcoming

Co-authored with Katherine G. Trostel, Ph.D., Ursuline College


Jews in the Americas Research Fellowship, Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, University of Florida

Fellowship to conduct one month of archival and oral history research on Florida’s Jewish communities, February 2018

Southern Jewish Historical Society

Travel Grant for Research in New Orleans and St. Louis, 2017-18

William S. Dietrich II Presidential Dissertation Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon University

Dissertation Completion Fellowship, August 2016-May 2017

Charleston Research Fellowship, Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, College of Charleston

Fellowship to conduct research in the Jewish Heritage Collection, October 2016

Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Selected Participant, “Shaking Foundations” Advanced Summer School in Judaic Studies, Summer 2016

The Ghetto of Venice: The Future of Memory in the Digital Age, University of California, Santa Cruz Department of Literature

Selected Participant, Summer Workshop for Early Career Scholars, Summer 2016

Rabbi Joachim Prinz Memorial Fellowship, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center, American Jewish Archives

Travel Grant for four-week residency at Marcus Center, 2015-16 

Kevy Kaiserman Memorial Summer Fellow, Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Temple University

Travel Grant for Graduate Student Research, Summer 2015 

American Academy for Jewish Research

Travel Grant for Graduate Student Research, Summer 2015 

A.W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series, Carnegie Mellon University

Predoctoral Fellow, Spring 2015 

GuSH Graduate Student Small Project Help, Carnegie Mellon University

Research Funding, Fall 2014 

Fellowships and Awards

Conference and Public Presentations

University of Florida Price Library of Judaica

Public Presentation, Jews in the Americas Speaker Series, February 2018

Florida’s Jewish Community Centers at Midcentury: Southern, Northern, or Exceptional?

Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference

Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities Workshop, December 2017

Rust Belt Ghettos

Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities Workshop, December 2016

The Venice Ghetto at 500

Panel Organizer, Jewish Communal Surveys in Postwar America, December 2015

The Janowsky Survey and the Postwar Purpose of the Jewish Community Center

Graduate Student Lightning Panel, December 2014

“Jewish Adjustment” and the Professionalization of Jewish Social Work

Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture, College of Charleston

Public Presentation, October 2016

Adjusting to Change: Jewish Community Center Workers, Civil Rights, and the Open Membership Debate of 1968 

Jacob Rader Marcus Center, American Jewish Archives

Seminar Presentation, May 2016

Adjusting to Change: Jewish Community Center Workers, Civil Rights, and the Urban Crisis, 1960-1970

American Academy of Religion, Eastern International Region Annual Meeting

Panel, From Abraham to Black Jesus: Black Power and Monotheistic Religious Identity in Urban America,  May 2016

Looking Outward, Turning Inward: The Jewish Community Center's Response to Black Power, 1965-1970

Urban History Association

Webmaster and Co-editor of The Metropole blog, January 2017-present

The Urban History Association (UHA) supports a variety of activities to enhance the visibility of the study of the history of the city. 

  • Maintain the Urban History Associations website, including creating and updating pages and managing the website's conference registration process.

  • Solicit, edit, and publish an average of three blog posts per week on topics relevant to urban history. Coordinate the Member of the Week series. Contribute original writing on a bimonthly basis. Initiated The Metropole/UHA Graduate Student Blogging Contest, now in its second year.

Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA

Graduate Representative to the College Council, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, September 2015-May 2016

All academic policy decisions for the Dietrich College are made by the College Council, which is made up of the dean, associate deans, department heads and three student representatives: one graduate student and two undergraduate.

  • Participated in the evaluation and approval of several new majors, minors, and degree programs within the college.

Board Member, Jewish Graduate Student Association, September 2013-May 2016

The Jewish Graduate Students Association (JGSA) works to foster a strong Jewish graduate community at Carnegie Mellon University. It hosts social gatherings, celebrations of Jewish holidays, networking events, and learning seminars on campus.

  • Facilitated logistics, such as room bookings, and work with other officers to assemble the annual budget for the organization.

  • Co-coordinated events--particularly holiday celebrations, shabbat dinners, and study breaks-- as well as learning opportunities such as a four-week seminar series on kabbalah led by Hillel’s Senior Jewish Educator.

Graduate Student Body Representative to the Department of History, September 2012-May 2014

Elected by the graduate students to represent their interests to the faculty, particularly around issues of teaching assignments, stipends, and professional development. The Representative attends faculty meetings and plans professional development activities, predominantly informal brown bag seminars, for the benefit of the graduate student community.

  • Developed innovative professional development programming, especially seminars highlighting opportunities in Alternative Academic (Alt-Ac) and the digital humanities fields. Invited the archival team at the Heinz History Center’s Rauh Jewish Archives to discuss the development of their digital project, “A Tradition of Giving: The History of Jewish Philanthropy in Pittsburgh.” Also personally developed and presented a seminar on how academics can use Twitter and LinkedIn for networking and as a teaching tool in the classroom.

Service to the Community