Year: Third-year senior
Hometown: Menomonee Falls, WI
Why did you choose to major in German?
I chose to major in German because my grandparents came over from Mannheim, DE when they were in their twenties. I keep the trunk Oma had on her first trip to America in my room. She and Opa are two of my closest friends. I find the German language beautiful and had always wanted a way to better connect with them and our heritage.
What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?
It has always been clear that GSD aims to help their students excel. During my fourth and favorite semester, I was enrolled in five GER and GSD courses in preparation for my summer internships on the Baltic coast in Warnemünde and Rostock. My time overseas was a direct result of being a cast member in Professor Matthias Rothe’s GSD theater project: "Play Money Play Brecht: Joe Fleischacker Variations." To help accommodate my internship, I received a Max Kade Travel Grant from GSD. Recognized by GSD for "Superior Achievements in the Study of German Language, Literature and Culture," the College of Liberal Arts granted me the Selmer Birkelo Scholarship for Academic Excellence. As a GSD student, I have been presented with many different opportunities. I was able to publish an essay from a GSD course through California Polytechnic State University's German Scholarship Journal, serve on the GSD Steering Committee, present two papers at the University's Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference, and speak at both the College of Liberal Arts Language Alumni Reunion and College in the Schools Field Day.
Are you pursuing any minors, internships, or fields of interest outside your GSD major? How do you feel they enhance your studies in GSD and/or your career plans?
This semester, I began and completed a translation minor through the Program in Translation and Interpreting. I wanted to continue working with German, but needed another semester to graduate. My internship involved a lot of translation work, so I was so grateful for a chance to continue working with the language and learn more about the field.
What is something about the GSD department that most people wouldn’t know?
Given how large the University is, most people would have a hard time understanding how tightly woven GSD is. Since GSD faculty and staff consistently go above and beyond to help those in the program, students who are passionate about traveling, writing, research, community, or volunteering do extremely well. I am convinced GSD houses some of the most creative minds on campus.
What GSD courses would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take a GSD course?
For majors, I would recommend doing a major project seminar. This class helped to formulate a thesis we could be proud of within a timely manner. My favorite German courses were based in literature; these included both 19th- and 20th-century literature, reading and analysis of German literature, and medieval literature. For non-majors, I would recommend doing a topics studies course similar to the one I took with a DAAD visiting professor: Modern Image of a Gypsy in Europe. Any of GSD’s freshman seminars are a great way for new students to take a course outside of the major as well.
When you are not in class, where can you usually be found on campus?
When not in class, I am most often found at a coffee shop—most likely Bordertown Coffee, located across the street from GSD’s main office in Folwell Hall. I used to meet with GSD professors at Bordertown quite regularly and have now worked there for a year and a half.