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Claire De Witt

Jewish Studies

Hometown: East Lansing, MI
Majors: Religion, History
Concentration: Jewish Studies
Study Abroad: Strasbourg, France
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip
Best Adjective to Describe You: Organized

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Jewish Studies offers a variety of classes relevant to today’s world.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I initially wanted to learn about my own heritage as presented in the scholarly discipline, and the surprising number of perspectives offered has kept me coming back!

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
My best advice would be to take all of the different types of classes offered—Hebrew language, political courses, modern historical courses, ancient historical courses—because each provides a different way of looking at Judaism.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
The department helps me to better understand my own background and how that has shaped my current position as a Jewish American.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
The most valuable thing I’ve learned at K is that it is okay to change; you do not have to have everything figured out from day one. Change your major, change your friends, and change your hair. This is a time to try everything out and learn new things about yourself.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class at K has been the Junior Seminar in Religion.  We read so many different contributors to the field of religion and the class discussions were informative and lively!

What is your SIP?
My SIP looks at the connections between Kalamazoo College and the field of Baptist Missionary work in the 1850s and 1860s.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I hope to pursue a master’s degree next fall in library sciences focusing on archival work.

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