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Undergraduate Student Erika Arias Recognized for Work with Near Eastern Digital Humanities

Submitted by Bret Windhauser on May 17, 2019 - 2:01pm
Erika  with her sister Zoraida and Professor Walter Andrews at the Husky 100 reception

“I feel like it’s cliche to say that, but when I contacted Walter to be a part of this project, I didn’t think I’d stay this long or learn this much about it. I knew I wanted to do research, and this project influenced so much of what I did.”

The Svoboda Diaries Project’s very own Erika Arias was honored as one of the 2019 Husky 100, an award recognizing 100 students across disciplines for innovative and inspiring work “making the most of their time at UW.” This is the third year of the Husky 100, and Erika is honored to be recognized among such a talented cohort.

Erika is a graduating senior majoring in International Studies and Law, Societies, and Justice. Not only is she one of the most senior members of Svoboda, having been with the project since Winter 2016, but she has also been a McNair Scholar, a FIG leader, and Undergraduate Research Leader.

With the Svoboda Diaries Project, Erika has been transcribing and editing the diaries since she joined in her sophomore year, and her research with the project took her far. She even presented at Princeton last year for the Middle Eastern Studies Association undergraduate workshop.

Currently, she is working on the GIS mapping project, helping map cholera data on the Tigris using Joseph Svoboda’s reports in his diaries. “This is not the real Asiatic cholera,” Erika laughs often, quoting the diaries.

This fall, Erika will be heading off for a PhD in political science at Syracuse University with a full scholarship, concentrating on US foreign policy, international studies, and comparative politics. “I don’t know anybody in Syracuse yet,” Erika says. “It’s a whole new chapter.”

When asked for words of wisdom, Erika laughed. “Don’t be afraid to try new things.” She laughed again. “I feel like it’s cliche to say that, but when I contacted Walter to be a part of this project, I didn’t think I’d stay this long or learn this much about it. I knew I wanted to do research, and this project influenced so much of what I did.”

The Svoboda Diaries Project is proud to be a teaching project. Professor Andrews likes to joke that “the trouble with undergrads is that they graduate,” but all of us at Svoboda know that this is exactly what we are preparing ourselves for in our digital humanities work. Join us in congratulating Erika on her accomplishment and her exciting next steps.

You can read Erika’s Husky 100 entry here

Written by Ellen Perleberg

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