Affiliated Staff

Norma DeMattos
Senior MPP and MBA Program Administrator
Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Joanne Arnish
Department Administrator
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Jean Mannion
Department Coordinator
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies


Ami Blaszkowsky

Senior Program and Admissions Administrator

Ami BlaszkowskyAmi Blaszkowsky is a 1991 graduate of the Hornstein Program and has worked continually in the Jewish community since 1983. Prior to coming to Brandeis University, Ami served as Program Assistant for the Enrollment and the Institutional Advancement Offices, and for the Graduate School of Jewish Education of Boston’s Hebrew College, having earlier served as Program Manager for its School of Jewish Education.  She also served as Director of Admissions at Maimonides Jewish Day School in Brookline and as Executive Assistant to the Head of School at the Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon.  From 1996 to 2001, as its North American Director, Ami facilitated the recruitment and admissions efforts of the WUJS International Graduate Institute for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, a work-study program for post-college graduates based in Arad, Israel.  She also received recognition and awards for her writing as a communications specialist and Jewish journalist for the Jewish Federation of Chicago’s JUF News and the St. Louis Jewish Federation’s Jewish Light. 

Ami grew up near Dayton, Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Dayton and sang in the Dayton-Toledo Opera Company.  She met her husband, David, at the University of Chicago, where she pursued a Master’s degree in Near Eastern Art History and Archaeology, an interest that continues to this day.  David and Ami have two grown daughters and currently live in Sharon, Massachusetts, where they are both active members of the Young Israel of Sharon.

Claire Pavlik Purgus

Program Manager

Claire Pavlik PurgusClaire Pavlik Purgus is the Program Manager for the Hornstein Program, taking over the role in January 2015. She manages the Hornstein Program's financials in accordance with Brandeis University financial systems, communications, recruitment and alumni relations, and event planning and organization.

Claire is also the associate director of Olohana Foundation, a nonprofit based in Hawaii that works with communities to build capacity and grow food, a position she took in early 2016.

From 2008 to the end of 2014, Claire worked for the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, also at Brandeis University. There she managed the Institute's financial systems, communications, and a wide range of administrative needs. Prior to her work at Brandeis, she worked for Soco Magazine as their managing editor and contributing writer, and Hewlett-Packard Company as a technical writer.

In addition, Claire has consulted on projects for Hong Kong-based companies Liberty Asia and The Mekong Club, Tokyo-based Cambridge International, Lexia Learning in Concord, Massachusetts, the Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living in Providence, Rhode Island, among others. 

Between 1988 and 2003, Claire lived in Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. There she was a registered architect and worked in the field of industrial plastics packaging.

In 1987, she received a post-graduate diploma in Urban Planning Practice for Developing Countries from University College London, and in 1986, a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

In her spare time, Claire paints. Reproductions of her work are available through frame and art stores and have been widely distributed in Target and TJ Maxx stores around the country. She has exhibited her work through open studios events, art galleries, and juried exhibitions.

Claire is available as a consultant on individual editing, writing, and graphic design projects through her own website.