Alumni Profiles

Matthew Kupfer ’12

Matthew KupferMatthew Kupfer served as a Junior Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington D.C., where he archived research on the Armenian-American press for a book project on Armenian-Turkish relations. He also monitored the Russian press and provided research support for the program. Kupfer has also worked as a freelance writer for Eurasianet, where he has written feature articles focusing on Central Asians in Russia and minority groups. He's been a blogger for Registan, where he has written articles on current events and trends in the post-Soviet region. As an undergrad, Kupfer was a recipient of the Sorensen Fellowship, which allowed him to intern in Osh, Kyrgyzstan with Info-Centre Rainbow, helping to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and find international funding for programs to serve 200 children who contracted HIV in the hospitals of Southern Kyrgyzstan. Matthew double majored in Anthropology and International & Global Studies.

Alexis "Lexi" Matza '98

two women and a childLexi Matza graduated with a BA in anthropology and went on to become a feminist medical anthropologist and deputy director of the LGBT Health Program for the Veterans Health Administration. Matza says, "My experience writing my honors thesis under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Lamb was instrumental in helping me realize the power of using my voice to expose social injustices." Read more at the Brandeis alumni website

Noam Sienna ’11

Noam SiennaNoam Sienna went on from Brandeis to earn his PhD in Jewish history at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he studied Moroccan Jewry with Professor Daniel Schroeter. As a senior at Brandeis, Sienna wrote an honors thesis on Israeli henna ceremonies and the politics of heritage. While completing his PhD, he published a groundbreaking work with the support of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, “A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969.”

Simon Sinek

Photo Credit: Brandeis International Business School

Simon Sinek '95

Simon Sinek '95 graduated with a BA in anthropology and became a best-selling author, TED speaker, and founder of The Optimism Company, which produces classes, workshops, and the podcast, "A Bit of Optimism." Sinek participated in the 2021 DeisHacks hackathon, where he advised students on how best to share their social justice-related entrepreneurial ideas with the world. Read more about Sinek in a Brandeis Magazine article titled, "The Workforce Whisperer." 

Katherine Weisensee ’99

Katherine WeisenseeKatherine Weisensee ’99 is department chair and associate professor of Anthropology at Clemson University. Weisensee completed her PhD at the University of Tennessee specializing in forensic anthropology and skeletal biology. She has conducted research in skeletal collections in Europe and the U.S. She teaches courses related to biological anthropology and has led study abroad programs in Rome and Hungary. Her research focuses primarily on understanding the evolutionary processes associated with environmental changes in human populations and improving methods in forensic anthropology. She often refers to the lessons learned in her first anthropology course with Professor Lamb.