Maria Kowalski

Jan 2020

This is for the first semester research methods course for the human rights undergrad thesis. Professor Kowalski was a nightmare. As far as her teaching abilities, they are pretty dismal. I don't think I actually LEARNED a single new thing all semester. She's a very smart person but that does NOT translate to being a good teacher. In terms of helping us craft our thesis proposals and supporting us in the overall thesis process, she was terrible. I cried in class multiple times because every week she tore our work apart, and she was very discouraging when it came to pitching new ideas and trying to reframe our research questions. The whole semester was incredibly frustrating. On top of the struggles with our actual thesis projects, we were expected to read 50+ pages of readings for each class, which we then barely talked about because everyone was so stressed about our theses and just wanted to talk about that. If you're a human rights major considering a thesis, I don't want to discourage you from doing so. But figure out if Kowalski will be leading the research methods course. If so, consider finding another professor whom you actually like who will be able to help you along throughout the semester. I ended up tagging along at the graduate students' human rights research methods course halfway through the semester in addition to attending Kowalski's class because I liked the graduate professor WAY better (and it was the exact same syllabus).