Biography of Sister Margit Nagy

Sister Margit Nagy was born in Budapest, Hungary, and came to the United States as a child World War II refugee. She is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Our Lady of the Lake University; a Master of Arts from the University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies-East Asian Studies; and a doctorate from the University of Washington with emphasis in the History of Japan, Modern China, and US Social and Urban History. Sister Nagy has served OLLU since 1979.

Sister Nagy enjoys teaching a variety of classes that include: the U.S. since 1865, the U.S. through Women's Eyes, courses on Asia and also the Arab world/Islamic society; World History to 1600, and special issues courses like U.S. Immigration History. Her expertise includes religious women under Communism and Hungarian culture. Sister Nagy’s Fulbrights have provided her with the opportunity to conduct research in Japan and to teach in her homeland of Hungary.

In addition to Co-founding the Center for Women in Church and Society, she served as Director of the Kliesen International Center and initiated the first Japanese language course together with OLLU's participation in the Kumamoto Sister City Student Exchange. She coordinated a binational Japan-US ceremony at the Alamo with a focus on the Japanese Monument to the Alamo Heroes and served as president of the Japan America Society of San Antonio.

Career Highlights:

1979-1982:  Institute for Intercultural Studies and Research specialist in non-Western history and intercultural curriculum development
1979-2002: Joint appointment to OLLU's History Department 
1982-1987: Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Women in Church and Society 
1985-1986: Research Fulbright at University of Tokyo School of Law 
1987-1995: Director, Intercultural Studies Institute 
Spring 1992: Visiting Fulbright Lecturer, University of Veszprem, Hungary
1995-2002: Director, Kliesen International Center 
2002-present: Fulltime Professor - History Department 
2004-present: Chair, History Department

A Quick Interview with Sister Nagy:

1. What brought you to the Lake?
I wanted to be a CDP. Since I joined the Sisters of Divine Providence (CDPs) right after eighth grade, that meant I was a student first at OLL High School and then at OLLU. While teaching history in junior and senior high, I discovered Asia. My desire to learn about Asians through Asian eyes led to an MA in the Asia field and then a PhD in history with a focus on Japan, China, and US Social and Urban History. The CDPs sponsored OLLU. I wanted to give students on the west side of San Antonio, who ordinarily would not have a chance to learn in depth about Asia, that opportunity. That's why I returned to OLLU to teach.

2. Words of encouragement for students:
Treasure your own cultural heritage and be open to exploring cultures very different from your own. You have unique talents and life experiences that, in combination with your academic training, can truly make a difference locally and globally, even if it is not all that clear to you what your future holds.

3. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I am blessed to have two professions: CDP and historian. As a CDP, it is a joy to belong to a community of very diverse and strong women who, grounded in prayer, take seriously God’s call to work in partnership with others in our challenging time to help create a world of greater justice and peace. As a teacher of history here at OLLU, my greatest joy comes from interactions with the students I teach in-person and on-line. I also enjoy having the chance to keep learning, not just in the history field but also in other disciplines, from my faculty colleagues. It is also great to have the opportunity to learn and apply new ways of using electronic resources to make the subjects I teach more interesting and easier to learn.

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