2016/17 MAJORS & MINORS
In 2016-17, we had 11 graduating German majors and minors. Sarah Lee (School of Education and Social Policy and WCAS; double majoring in Human Development/Psychology and German) is graduating with Honors from our department. Sarah wrote a fascinating Senior Thesis on “Mediating Collective Holocaust Memory: The Role of Günter Demnig’s Stolpersteine and Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin. A Framework of Global Holocaust Memory.” In her thesis, Sarah discussed how German citizens of Turkish, Syrian and other heritages might engage with Holocaust memory to help them integrate into the larger German society. Congratulations to all of our German majors and minors - we are very proud of their achievements.
Below, our students tell prospective students what mattered to them most in choosing to study German. You can also read about their career plans and personal dreams for the future.
Hannah Gisela Carroll
BIENEN SCHOOL OF MUSIC, WCAS: Voice and Opera / Economics / German
Growing up with a mother from Köln, I have been surrounded by the German language my entire life and wanted to continue develop and hone my language skills during my time at Northwestern. As a dual degree student, I have completed majors in Economics and Classical Voice Performance, in addition to my German major with a concentration in German Business. German was my bridge between my two other majors. I am attending the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music this fall to complete graduate studies in Voice, where singing in German will be something that I will do on a daily basis. The German department has been absolutely wonderful in my five years here at Northwestern. They are kind and helpful and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
WCAS: German / Economics / Legal Studies
When I first came to Northwestern, the closest thing to speaking a foreign language was four years of parochial school Latin. I didn’t understand the value of learning a modern language and I didn’t think it would play a significant role in my future. I could not have been more wrong. From my first German class at Northwestern, I was smitten. The German Department opened so many doors for me: not only did it give me the opportunity to study abroad in Germany or to investigate the refugee wave in Berlin, it also instilled in me a love of language learning. I started learning Turkish and hope to start learning other languages soon. The instructors in the German department have supported every step of my undergraduate career and have championed a successful future for me after graduation; as a 2017-2018 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award recipient, I will be utilizing my passion of German all next year and even after, wherever life takes me.
Sarah Priscilla Lee
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION AND SOCIAL POLICY, WCAS: Human Development and Psychology, German
In the first quarter of my freshman year, I decided to take German because I have family in Germany and thought it would be useful for communicating with them. I also enrolled in Professor Anna Parkinson's "Berlin: Culture of Democracy Course". The classes were so inspiring, and the German Department so supportive, that I continued to enroll in other German courses before finally declaring a major in German. This was the most unexpected and best decision I made during my four years at Northwestern. It led me to create independent research seminars, study abroad for half a year at Humboldt Universität in Berlin, and now set a path for further research and studies in Germany. Co-chairing the German Undergraduate Advisory Board (GUAB) also developed my leadership and communication skills and helped me form close and lasting relationships with other students and faculty in the department. I highly encourage other students to study German because it is relevant, inspiring, and opens many doors to exciting global opportunities!
WCAS: German, Biological Science
I chose to study German to learn the language and to gain a deeper understanding of German culture. I had an appreciation for German culture, government, and business before I came to Northwestern, and I wanted to understand what made Germany different and unique by looking at its history. Many people see Germany as the benchmark of industry, government, and education, and I wanted to understand why, and what made that high standard possible in such a short time. To that end, the Business German courses I took here were very informative. If I choose to move to Germany for future work or studies, I am sure that the insights I have learned during my time here will serve me well.
Ethan Marchs Albrecht
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, WCAS: Mechanical Engineering, Business German Minor
I studied German at originally because I was scrambling to find a class my first quarter of freshman year at North-western! However, I liked it a lot, and realized that I wanted to study abroad. Studying abroad was definitely a life-changing experience. My perspectives on the world have changed and I wouldn’t Department of German German Majors and Minors graduating in June 2017 trade it for anything! The company I am working for after graduation has a Berlin office, and I am hoping to use my language skills working with them.
WCAS: Physics, Minor in German
I studied German in order to continue learning the language and learning about the German culture. My knowledge of German was very helpful when I had a summer internship doing physics research in Germany with the DAAD RISE program. The skills I learned in the Northwestern German program were useful in helping me connect on a deeper level with the people I met there. I hope to continue my connection with Germany by working at a research lab in a German-speaking country in the future. Getting a German minor at Northwestern was a great experience that I know will benefit me for many years to come.
SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION, WCAS: Human Communication, Minor in German
I studied German in college for a variety of reasons. The first of the many reasons is that my grandma spoke some German since her parents immigrated from German in the early 1900's. She had this old German photographic bible that I loved looking at as a child. My grandma was the reason I began taking German in high school. My high school German teacher, Herr Payne, was my favorite teachers growing up and I had the wonderful opportunity of having him for four years. German has helped me broaden my views on politics, foreign relations, and has provided me with a wonderful, and thorough liberal arts education when paired with my Neuroscience major.
WCAS: History, Economics, Minor in German
I started learning German four years ago hoping to pick up a new language on top of my native languages English, Cantonese and Mandarin. My German studies complemented my history major, in which I focused on modern European history. My experience learning German at Northwestern has been fulfilling and rewarding, from studying abroad in Berlin, taking various German classes, to going back to Berlin for a research project during the past spring break. I'm very grateful for all the German professors I've had at Northwestern for supporting me throughout these four years.
Elizabeth Anne McTighe
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, WCAS: Manufacturing and Design, Mechanical Engineering, Business German Minor
I started learning German and participated in exchange programs before coming to Northwestern. I found the language beautiful and challenging, and the culture refreshingly open. I was excited to find that the German department here offered a Business German minor, as it allowed me to expand the scope of my German language skills in a way I knew would be applicable to my career. The German department provided lots of opportunities to engage with the culture, both in the greater Chicago area and abroad. Professor Paluch was incredibly helpful when I was looking for a research stipend to live and work at a German university over the summer. In the future, I plan to work closely with German researchers and hope I can make a few business trips abroad! My manager noted that my German language skills were a contributing factor in receiving my full-time job offer.
Bryan Lee Quandt
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, WCAS: Manufacturing and Design, Business German Minor
Bryan is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Manufacturing and Design Engineering and a Minor in German. In 2015, Bryan spent a year studying in Munich, Germany. He has been an independent design consultant since 2016.
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WCAS: Mathematics, English, Minor in German
I have a close relationship to the German language in my family: my maternal grandparents were immigrants from Germany to the United States. German was my mother's first language, and I still have family in Germany today. Having an opportunity to further my language abilities as well as learn about German culture through Northwestern's German department has allowed me to become closer to a significant part of my family history. While I do not have any direct plans to use my German skills in the workforce yet, I will visit Germany this summer to see much of my family and communicate with them in ways I never have been able to before.