Maria Kaplun was born and raised in Leningrad, USSR and immigrated into the United States with her family in 1991. She earned her Associate of Science degree from Delaware County Community College, PA in 1994, her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Rosemont College in 1996, and her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 1998. After returning home to Pennsylvania, she began teaching courses in religion and philosophy at DCCC and from 1999 to 2004 coordinated the Conwell Learning Center at Rosemont College and taught ethics and ESL there. In 2005, she became certified as Medical Interpreter and began working with Russian-speaking patients and families at Philadelphia hospitals. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Temple University Department of Religion, working as a book review co-editor at the Journal of Ecumenical Studies and as an associate for the Dialogue Institute, while still teaching world religions at DCCC and doing occasional interpreting.