"She had an exemplary work ethic," said Deborah Dwork, Offenberger's dissertation adviser. "She was committed to finishing it."
According to Dwork, the program is the only one in the country that offers a Ph.D. in Holocaust studies.
"We educate about genocide in order to eradicate," she said. "The understanding is that if we understand that process better we will understand how to intervene or prevent."
The Ph.D. means more to Offenberger than a typical graduate student. It will make her the third "Dr. Offenberger" in her family, her grandfather who escaped from Vienna being the first.
"I feel so honored that I was able to tell the story," she said. "It has been an amazing experience."