A Proud New American
Although she has fond memories of her years in Ukraine, Koury has no interest in repatriating.
“I’m happy to be away from the stress,” Koury said. “I love New Jersey and it’s my home now. I became an American citizen in 2019 and voted in the 2020 election. It was unreal that my voice could be heard. I am an immigrant, but I can make a change in the country. It was fabulous, indescribable. Becoming a citizen took a lot of hard work and gave me an immense sense of pride. Everything this country stands for is so precious. When I lived in Ukraine, it was communist and there were no elections. Now I vote religiously.
Koury intends to stay in America and participate in the freedoms she now has. “I even want to be a juror,” she says. “I want to experience the process. I love this country and never thought of returning to Ukraine. I want my mother to move here, but she is independent, active and very connected to Ukraine. We’ll have to see that. »
Koury came to the United States in 1996, with a degree in English and German Education from Tomsk State Pedagogical University in Tomsk, Russia. She earned an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Idaho State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2016, she joined Rutgers-Camden as Associate Director of the Robeson Library.
Professionally, she loves her current library job. “It’s fast work that gives me new challenges every day. I hope to pursue my PhD. in library science.
Now that she’s American, Koury hopes to stay close to her 17-year-old daughter, who will soon be heading off to college. “If she continues to have a family, I know I will want to be near them.”