Olivia Finkelstein

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI
Major(s): Anthropology/Sociology & Critical Ethnic Studies
Study Abroad/Study Away: Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Grand Traverse Cherry Fudge
Best Adjective to Describe You: Intense

In 15 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
CES has the incredible, humanizing power of representation for people pushed to the margins.

What initially drew you to this department? What keeps you coming back?
I thought I might be into Language Revitalization at the time, so I took “Language” in Winter 2015. I felt so engaged and challenged me that I took “Insurgency and Solidarity” in the Spring and declared a double major.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Don’t be afraid to talk to Dr. G! She can be your greatest ally.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Ethnic Studies makes a lovely pairing with ANSO and it drives me to engage justly as a researcher and with a particular awareness of the legacy of coloniality and imperialism. Also, CES complicates the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, so I’ve been introduced to so many new authors and poets.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K? (note: this does not have to be academic)
Institutions are frustrating, so you gotta focus and love on the people inside them for your own sanity.

What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
Intermediate Poetry Workshop. Poetry is so good for me. So I love a chance to read and write a lot of it.

What is your SIP?
I’m observing the conflict around a government-commissioned monument in Budapest, Hungary to the victims of its 1944 Nazi occupation. There’s a lot of disagreement around the role and responsibility the Hungarian government took in said occupation, then and now. I’m asking how this affects people’s interactions with the monument.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I’d like to do some sort of public advocacy work and get my MA in a few years once I know what I’m doing.

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