Student Spotlight: Maxxe Albert-Deitch C’21  

Maxxe Albert-Deitch C’21                                  

What attracted you to Drew?

Born and raised in Georgia, I ended up at Drew through a combination of factors–  Of course,  proximity to New York City and the focus on off-campus experience was a huge draw. But mostly, Drew was the only college that would let me have three majors, a minor, a job (sometimes two or three), be on multiple club boards, and be on a sports team while also managing to have a life! The encouragement, involvement, and support I’ve gotten from my mentors and advisors right from the get-go is kind of unreal.

Did you know what you wanted to major in when you started at Drew?

Sort of—I knew I wanted to be an art history major, but when I started at Drew, I also thought that I wanted to be an English major with a Spanish minor. Clearly neither of those things happened, but I did hold onto the art history major! And I’m still very much on the career path I wanted to be on four years ago, I just took a slightly different road to get there.

Why did you choose Art History, Anthropology and History as majors?

I really adore history, writing, and material culture. I’ve always been very interested in identity politics and the debates that emerge around questions of physical possession and contested ground. History, Anthropology, and Art History are the three fields that really embody those questions and conversations for me—I kept taking classes, and eventually ended up declaring both Anthropology and History in addition to Art History.

Have you done any internships?

Since coming to Drew, I’ve interned with the Daufuskie Island Historical Society, where I helped digitize and catalog the collections of two museums and a historical library, as well as completed significant chunks of my own research relating to identity politics and folklore in the American South.

Right now, I’m interning with Musée Magazine, an incredible arts/photography-oriented publication. I write features, gallery reviews, book reviews, and a weekly column.

When did you first get into swimming and diving and what do you like about it?

I got into springboard diving when I was pretty small. Funny story, I actually hit my head trying to do a backflip when I was five, and my mother had the grace to go and get me diving lessons to do flips safely, because if I was going to be a daredevil, I might as well do it the right way. I ended up really loving the sport, and I’m still here, seventeen years later!

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

I’m lucky enough to have had some really incredible advisors—Professors Dr. Kimberly Rhodes, Dr. Rita Keane, Dr. Allan Dawson, Dr. Carolina Arango-Vargas, and Dr. Jonathan Rose have all been particularly supportive over the last few years.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short or NYC trecs?

Yes! I studied abroad in Israel during winter break of my sophomore year, and then I also participated in the London Semester during the fall of my junior year and New York Semester on Contemporary Art during the spring of my senior year. All of these experiences were absolutely incredible—I learned so much about myself, my peers, and the amazing histories of some really old cities. Nothing really compares to walking under an archway, looking up, and realizing that that archway has been standing there for five hundred or a thousand years. It’s just kind of brain-bendy in the absolute best way.

Also—and I’m not entirely sure if this qualifies as a trec, but I’d like to talk about it anyway—I did an alternative spring break trip to West Virginia during my junior year, working on various service projects related to education, the environment, and understanding the nasty legacy that coal mining has left on huge swaths of the U.S.

Epping Forest, in Essex!

 What issue in the world means the most to you?

Human rights, education access, and the environment, and yes, I do think these issues are all intertwined into one much larger issue, which mostly comes down to education access and egalitarianism… but that’s a much larger conversation.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

A few favorite memories include seeing Broadway shows (and later, West End shows) with my friends, or going into the city and wandering around the Met and MoMA for hours on end. But honestly, most of my favorite Drew memories come down to the things you don’t think you’ll remember—messing around with teammates on a pool deck, playing board games with housemates or suitemates, having a picnic under the trees when the flowers are blooming, or going for a jog around the arboretum on a nice autumn day.

How has your identity in the Faith, Religion & Spirituality Identity/Affinity community affected your journey?

Both my upbringing and my later exposure to international Jewish groups absolutely ended up shaping some of my research– all three of my capstones have come back to Jewish identity in some way or another, and I can pinpoint conversations that I had on those trips that helped make that happen. I’ve written about religious motivations for archaeology and the dynamics of border placement and religiously driven political exclusion, and I’m currently working on a project about the ethics of Holocaust museums (collection and display).

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Don’t let yourself get too caught up in what everyone else wants you to do—do what you want to do, do what makes you happy. If it’s your passion, then make a plan and follow through, and things will work out.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

Hopefully either working for a museum or publication, or enrolled in a PhD program so I can just move into a library and research for a living! Wherever I am in 5 years, I’m hoping to be surrounded by my friends, lots of books, and a very large dog.

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

I’m fluent in Spanish, mediocre in French and Hebrew, and also small bits of Elvish, Klingon, and High Valyrian, but those are much less useful on a day-to-day basis!

Museum of London (London, UK)

Essex Forest, Essex, UK

Masada, Israel

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