Anna BerkovitzSurvivor, Professor Emerita of Biology Anna was born in MukaÄevo (MunkÃ¡cs) then in Czechoslovakia in 1930.
This region, also known as Ruthenia, was later annexed by Hungary, then by the U.S.S.R. and now is part of the Ukraine.
In May 1944, Anna
and her parents, Elizabeth and Eugene Weiszhausz, as well as her grandparents and their extended family were deported to Auschwitz.
and Elizabeth were taken to Camp-C in Birkenau.To this day Anna
ponders how she
survived six months of brutal treatment, harsh conditions, starvation and disease there.
In November 1944, Anna
and Elizabeth were transferred to a slave labor camp near Magdeburg, Germany, where they were put to work in an underground ammunition factory.Ten days prior to the end of World War II, they were liberated by the Swedish Red Cross and taken to Sweden, where they spent three months in a sanatorium recovering from malnutrition and physical and emotional traumas.Anna
is forever thankful for the care and hospitality afforded them by their Swedish hosts.
In April 1946, Anna
and Elizabeth emigrated to the United States.They arrived in Los Angeles pennyless and not speaking English.In order to resume her schooling, Anna worked as an au-pair for several years.During this time she completed four years of high school and four years of college, graduating from U.C.L.A. in January 1952 with a B.S. degree in bacteriology and with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors.
While working as a laboratory technician, Anna
met Leonard Berkovitz, who was then a post-doctoral fellow at Caltech
During this period Anna
worked part time in various cancer research laboratories.
When Kenneth was in kindergarten, Anna
decided to continue her
was accepted as a graduate student in the biology department at Purdue University
.She was working on her Ph.D. thesis when, in 1967, she was asked to take a temporary teaching position to fill an unexpected vacancy in the department.This temporary position turned into a lifetime career of teaching, and while Anna never obtained her Ph.D., she earned a tenured position from which she retired in 2003 as Professor Emerita in Biology.
Anna's efforts as a teacher, her
dedication to her
students and to the discipline were amply recognized by her
students, colleagues and the administration.She
was selected by the students as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Teachers in the School of Science 14 times, she
received the Murphy Award, the top recognition of teaching excellence by the University, and was given the Chiscon Award for outstanding teaching performance by the Biology department.Anna
was elected to the Teaching Academy at Purdue
name is in the Purdue Book of Great Teachers.
has more time to travel, attend theater, to be active in her
Temple, and to winter in California.But, what she
most enjoys is still interacting with young people, be it her
own five grandchildren or students at the University.She
currently participates in the University
Honors Program, where she
developed a new course, "The New Genetics - New Perspectives, New Dilemmas," which she
teaches in the Fall semesters.