When Amy Moskowitz graduated from high school, she reluctantly enrolled in college. After a halfhearted freshman year, Moskowitz dropped out to cruise around San Francisco on her black Yamaha motorcycle. To earn money, she worked at a gas station, which doubled as a local motorcycle hangout. After a year on the back of her bike, Moskowitz realized she was ready to commit to higher education and landed at Foothill College.
By the end of her first year, Moskowitz had straight A’s and was accepted to the Foothill College Honors Institute. Moskowitz explains that it was her interest in anthropology, which helped fuel her desire to succeed: “I re-established an anthropology club and conducted an extensive independent ethnographic study. I then used my research to plan a symposium on the topic for the academic community, securing well known speakers,” she said.
Her success at Foothill College allowed Moskowitz to gain admittance to Columbia University. As an anthropology major and founder of the Columbia University Film and Anthropology Club, she received a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to study Hindi in Jaipur, India, and conduct ethnographic fieldwork on Israeli backpackers in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
In 2008, Moskowitz will complete her senior thesis on Israeli backpacker tourism in India. She will present her findings at the American Anthropological Association conference in Washington, D.C. as one of only a few undergraduate presenters among a sea of graduate students and college professors. Moskowitz will also graduate in May 2008, but she continues to remain focused on what is possible: "The School of General Studies has been the perfect place for me to finish my undergraduate career. It has provided me with limitless possibilities that I have taken advantage of and enjoyed. I now plan to pursue a PhD in anthropology and continue doing research," she said.