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German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch


Fall 2018 Content Creator
Harrison Nelson

Digital Newsletters

CLAgency Content Creators write stories each semester that are published on departments' websites, shared via social media, and emailed out to department alumni and friends as a digital newsletter.

Recent Stories

Portrait of Lily Obeda.

Choose Your Own Adventure

“Once you find your passion and the piece of you that clicks, everything else falls into place.” That’s the advice of 2018 graduate Lily Obeda, whose double major in GSD with a Scandinavian & Finnish emphasis and speech-language-hearing sciences has prepared her for an exciting career in academia.
Professor James Parente in his office

Mining the Gap: James Parente on Studying the Unstudied

Going where few scholars have gone before, Professor James Parente has made a career of studying what others have missed. He recently began examining how premodern texts changed as they migrated through various cultures and time periods, and how that journey has shaped the way we know them today. Multilingualism and comfort with complexity are critical to this approach, making Parente the perfect candidate to develop a transnational perspective on literary history.
Helena Ruf sitting at her desk

Reaching Out

Director of Language Instruction Helena Ruf is described as the “linchpin” that connects everything going on in GSD. “This job gives me the opportunity to affect change and make things happen,” she says. “It’s a very exciting and rewarding experience, and I wish I could do even more.” One of the many ways she does that work is by serving as co-chair of the department’s Outreach Committee. The committee works hard to develop the best strategies for spreading the word about studying the German, Scandinavian, and Dutch languages.
Graffiti in Berlin, Germany

Germany: A Home Away from Home

Sisters Elaine and Amanda Benke share a passion for the German language and culture, leading each of them to minor in German alongside their majors in science and design. They spent last summer in Berlin enrolled in a language immersion program and their time there has changed how they connect to the world around them.
Photo of Sophie Grieger in a winter coat with trees and a hill in the background.

Memories in Munich

Senior Sophie Grieger began her journey with German much later than most who study a foreign language, but she hasn’t let that hold her back. Just one year after she started taking German language classes, Grieger earned a GSD scholarship to study abroad through the Junior Year in Munich program.
Photograph of professor Ginny Steinhagen

Sharing the German Language with High School Students

Ginny Steinhagen is the Faculty Coordinator for the German College in Schools program, which gives high school students the opportunity to experience college-level courses. The German department helped pioneer the program at the University. Over 500 students participate from twenty-four different schools throughout Minnesota. To foster community, Steinhagen organizes two field days every year where CIS students can connect with other high school students who also learn German.
Photograph of professor Leslie Morris

Delving into Jewish Culture

Professor Leslie Morris took a very indirect path to becoming who she is today. She was adamant about pursuing a degree in English, but was “bitten by the bug” of German during her last year of college. As a comparatist, much of her work has revolved around the aftermath of the Holocaust and setting German literature in a broader European and Anglo-American context.
Photograph of an undergraduate student, Annamarie Moline

Q&A with Annamarie Moline

Sophomore Annamarie Moline is an energetic GSD student and serves as co-president of the University of Minnesota Swedish Club. She enjoys being in the department because her classes have given her a broader world perspective. “I’m starting to realize that I hit a goldmine and am lucky to be a part of something so great,” she says.