Kate Mende-Fridkis, Class of 2008
Thesis Title: "The Limiting Effects of the Construct of Masculinity and Modern Christian Manhood."
Advisor: James W. Jones
It was exciting to work with Dr. Jones, whose own research is a constant source of inspiration for me, and whose expansive knowledge as well as impressive open-mindedness make him a role model of personal as well as scholarly excellence. He has been my mentor for the majority of my time at Rutgers, and has facilitated my intellectual growth, assisted and advised me through my graduate school application process, and listened with the patience of an experienced therapist to me whine on multiple occasions. I have Dr. Jones to thank for making my time at Rutgers as fruitful as it was, and for enabling me to begin to picture myself as a scholar.
I also appreciate the religion faculty’s support and encouragement, and would like to thank Professor Kolbaba in particular for participating in my project as a second reader, and for her interest in my work as well as her warmth. And while I’m thanking people who made my time at Rutgers more fulfilling and productive, I want to thank Professor Johnson (a formidable opponent in any sort of scholarly debate!), Professor Bowden, and Susan Rosario, all of whom helped me many times and were available to offer constructive criticism, advice about graduate school, and just conversation about life in general.
I am extremely honored that my thesis was awarded highest honors by the panel at my defense. I will be continuing my study of religion at Columbia University this fall. Although hopefully I’ll also read something of educational value over the summer, and maybe even learn something.