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Evelina Knodel

May 23, 2016
Photo of Evelina Knodel

Graduation Year: 2016

Hometown: Maple Grove, MN

Why did you choose to minor in German?

In addition to thinking the German language being beautiful, I believe that German language, history, and culture have a lot to teach us about cultural identity, resilience, and sustainability. I didn’t know where my interests in German Studies would take me, but I knew that it was an important part of my life that I wanted to foster and develop. Although I will be graduating with a minor in the program, I have completed most of the major courses, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to do so. I think the breadth of topics covered from grammar to history to literature is wonderful. I also appreciate the number of elective credits we are allowed to take as students to better tailor the program to individual interests.

What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?

Hands down, I have most appreciated the people I have met in the department. Not only have I made many friends here, but I have met countless professors who are wonderful, intelligent, and more than willing to support their students.

Are you pursuing any minors, internships or fields of interest outside of your German minor? How do you feel they enhance your studies in GSD and/or your career plans?

I am pursuing a major in architecture as well as minors in sustainability and design. I believe that sustainability and German naturally overlap. I took a course with Charlotte Melin on German Sustainability (GER 3012) and absolutely loved it. The Germans are very well-versed in topics of energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling, and passive design strategies. I think it’s interesting to compare their culture to ours, particularly the lifestyle and mentality differences that lead to a very eco-conscious society. I have also found that architecture and German align well. I studied abroad in Austria and had the opportunity to visit and analyze passive housing complexes there in addition to other sustainability initiatives. It opened my eyes to very new and exciting methods of reducing a building’s environmental impact while maintaining its comfort level.

What is something about the GSD department that most people wouldn’t know?

It is very diverse. While the majors are specified, one of the best parts of the department is getting to interact with other Scandinavian study programs. The department is a rich European community, not just a department, and it does quite a good job of encouraging collaborative GSD events.  

What GSD courses would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take a GSD course?

“Vikings, Knights, and Reformers” with Ray Wakefield. Any literature course with Arlene Teraoka. Anything that is taught by Ginny Steinhagen or Charlotte Melin.

When you are not in class where can you usually be found on campus?

At the Rec Center or in Rapson Hall (the architecture building).