Celebrating our German majors and minors

May 1, 2020

Celebrating our German majors and minors

Frau Heck mit Studenten in Hagerty

Join us in recognizing the achievements of our majors and minors in Germanic Languages and Literatures – 2019-2020! We will begin by highlighting the winners of our departmental awards. For a full look at all of the spectacular achievements of our German majors and minors, take a look at the - 


The 2019-20 Dieter Cunz Outstanding Graduating Senior is
Elena Akers (International Affairs scholar, double major in German & International Studies) 
Over the past four years, Elena Akers has demonstrably achieved terrific success in her coursework and, in the eyes of her professors and peers, proven an invaluable member of the Germanic Department both inside and outside the classroom. Among other acts of support, Elena has always proven willing to talk with younger students and share her experiences. Moreover, while pursuing a rigorous course load, Elena successfully wrote and defended an honors thesis for research distinction that makes a meaningful and novel contribution to our understanding of contemporary conservative rhetoric on German-language Twitter. In addition to her superior work ethic, Elena's tremendous talent for original thought has made her an outstanding graduating senior.

Our Wolfgang Fleischhauer Scholar next year will be
Jess Kavinsky
 (German, International Studies)
The Wolfgang Fleischhauer Scholarship, with generous support through the Robert F. Gagel/Margo Cox Endowment Fund, has been awarded to Jessica (Jess) Kavinsky.
Jess is planning to write—and has already begun research for—a thesis next year. Her broad topic is the way that societies process the aftermath of genocide. In particular, she will investigate the way that women are represented in genocide memorial sites: the kinds of roles ascribed to them, and the function that those roles play in cultural memory of events. Jess will be visiting sites in Rwanda and in Germany.  

Sarah Stradling (German, History, International Studies) has been selected as the winner of The Alexander Stefan Undergraduate Essay Prize in German Studies Competition and has been given the Undergraduate Project Award. Her impressive 18-page research paper, Deutschlands „Fridays for Future“ Bewegung: Kollektive Identität und Politische Resonanz, including meticulous footnotes and a copious bibliography, earned her this year's Alexander Stefan Undergraduate Essay Prize in German Studies. And Sarah’s well-researched and topical paper, Kampf im Wyhler Wald: Lokales Naturwissen gegen die Technokratie, was awarded the project prize in the German-language category.

Altan Turkoglu (German, Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics) wrote an excellent paper, A Rhetorical Analysis of Johannes Kepler’s Astronomia Nova, and was given the project prize in the English-language category. The paper was notable for its perceptive rhetorical analysis of a scientific text and the way it linked these rhetorical strategies to the cultural context in which Kepler did his scientific work.

Congratulations to everyone!!!