We recently caught up with PJA alumna, Emma Rosenthal, Class of 2012 to hear about what she has been up to since graduating in the spring of 2020 from Tulane University with a double major in Cell & Molecular Biology and International Development. While COVID-19 may have put a wrench in Emma’s plans, it certainly hasn’t slowed her down. Following is a brief excerpt of a longer interview that will appear in our upcoming PJA Donor Newsletter.
Tell us what you're doing now and how you've been impacted by COVID-19.
I was supposed to be serving as a Health Extension Volunteer in Benin as a member of the Peace Corps this year, but that has been placed on hold for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic. While I still intend on pursuing this opportunity at a later point, I have changed my path in light of the pandemic. I am currently contact tracing for OHSU, where I am pursuing a Masters in Public Health, and scribing for Northwest Acute Care Specialists in Legacy Health Emergency Departments in Oregon and Washington. In the fall, I also worked for Democracy Works, an organization that attempts to increase voter participation by answering questions from voters and collecting data during election seasons.
Describe the impact that PJA had on you academically, your life experiences and Jewish identity.
PJA helped me develop a worldview beyond the classroom and instilled a sense of personal responsibility to others. This education helped me develop at Jewish identity based on understanding and compassion. When I travelled to the Middle East for the Mandel Palagye Institute for Middle East Peace and studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I used the framework of shared humanity that PJA reinforced in my studies and my interactions. I am grateful for the friendships and teachings that PJA has given me. These lessons have supported me through grieving and gratitude, loss and love, and I will hold onto them forever.
We are PJA Proud of Emma for all of her many accomplishments and appreciate her taking the time to reflect on her PJA experience. To read the full interview with Emma, click here.