Celebrating 2021 Graduates in German Studies!

Bus with luggage on top

Congratulations from the Department of German Studies

Koffer
Koffer sind Koffer
sind Abschied
sind Leder
sind Fass-mal-an
sind Pack-mich-voll
und wieder aus
sind Bäuche
sind Häuschen
sind Wir-ziehen-von-
hier-nach-dort
und von dort
ach ja
nach weiter
(Ilma Rakusa)

Congratulations to Dr. Matthias Müller, graduating Ph.D. in German Studies!

Matthias Mueller

The Department of German Studies warmly congratulates Matthias Müller who defended his dissertation The Loser's Edge: Writing from the Vantage Point of the Vanquished, 1918-1945 during the past academic year and completed his PhD degree in German Studies. 

To the department’s great delight, Matthias Müller is bringing his many talents – as teacher, thinker, writer, team player, and leader – to the University Medical Center Mainz (Germany), where he now works full-time as a consultant for faculty appointments. 

Heartfelt congratulations and celebratory wishes from all faculty, staff, and students in the Department of German Studies on your doctoral degree and extraordinary accomplishments! 

Peter Gilgen, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies 

Elke Siegel, Associate Professor and Department Chair 

Congratulations to Graduating Majors and Minors in German Studies!

Dear Graduating Majors and Minors in German Studies, 

Congratulations from the entire Department of German Studies on your Cornell graduation and all your splendid accomplishments!  

We unfortunately cannot celebrate with you and yours in person, but be assured: We are celebrating you and will always celebrate and remember your resilience, your small and big achievements especially in these difficult times, your enthusiasm and curiosity, all your tremendous gifts and talents, your plans and aspirations. What a privilege it is to have met you and worked with you!  

We hope you keep in touch with Cornell’s German Studies community as you move on; we hope you will continue to venture across supposed dividing lines of languages and cultures; and we hope you will remain active as a member of the global community of German-language speakers. We will miss you in Goldwin Smith Hall, and we will remain inspired by our shared work with you. Wherever you will be: Thank you for helping local and global communities to create a better world. 

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Und wir wünschen Ihnen alles, alles Gute für Ihre Zukunft. 

With best wishes and celebratory regards from all faculty, staff, and students in the Department of German Studies,  

Elke Siegel, Associate Professor of German Studies and Department Chair  

Gunhild Lischke, Senior Lecturer in German Studies, Language Program Director, and Director of Undergraduate Studies 

Skyeler McQueen

Skyeler McQueen

Name: Skyeler McQueen

College: Arts and Sciences

Majors: German Studies & Mathematics  

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

Seeing films at Cornell Cinema has shaped my college experience and my perspective on the world. I first went to see a movie for extra credit in one of my German classes and then I kept going (until the pandemic)! Cornell Cinema shows so many movies in different languages and from different countries, which exposed me to new cultures and ideas. Some of my favorite films were Kusama Infinity, Hausu, Werk ohne Autor, Diamantino, and Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf. 
What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

I initially took German language classes to fulfill my language requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences. I continued to take courses in the department and I fell in love with the wide variety of classes. The German Studies major gave me the opportunity to learn about film with Herr Born, literature with Herr McBride, and philosophy with Frau Siegel. The professors in the department also drew me to German Studies, as they all have such interesting academic passions and they genuinely care about their students. 
What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

I have too many favorite German Studies memories at Cornell to list! I loved my GERST 1220 class from sophomore year - it was such a small group and I met some amazing people who ended up being my close friends! The small size of German classes has been one of my favorite parts about being a German Studies Major, as all of the students get to build relationships and learn from one another. 
What is your favorite German word or expression?

"Im Gewitter der Rosen" by Ingeborg Bachmann

Wohin wir uns wenden im Gewitter der Rosen,
ist die Nacht von Dornen erhellt, und der Donner
des Laubs, das so leise war in den Büschen,
folgt uns jetzt auf dem Fuß.

Other Comments or Thoughts:

Thank you to all of the professors, grad students, and undergrads in the German Studies department! You have impacted my life in such a positive way :

Brian Leffew

Name: Brian Leffew

College: Arts & Sciences

Majors: Computer Science & German Studies

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

I think choosing to study German definitely impacted my Cornell career, I came in undecided what to study my first year.  Pursuing my two majors, German Studies and Computer Science showed me two different sides of the university experience. I’ve definitely enjoyed the interdisciplinary track I’ve been able to take here during my time as an undergraduate, getting to take classes in fields such as mathematics, linguistics, biology and history alongside my chosen majors.

What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

I had first started to take German classes in high school, when coming to Cornell I initially planned to study German to satisfy the Arts & Sciences language requirement. However, I really started to enjoy the German classes here, their small size really let me get to know both the professors and other students. Additionally, being able to steadily improve my German language skills each semester was incredibly rewarding, as I was able to understand more and more from German books, films, and other media.

What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

Some highlights have included visiting the Jonson Museum, meeting with students from the University Bielefeld in GERST 3080 (making great use of Zoom pre-pandemic), and following along with some medieval cooking recipes just this past semester in the Premodern Literature and Media seminar. Overall, I’ve had a great experience just getting to know all the other students and faculty in German Studies.

What is your favorite German word or expression?

Kopfkino

Fiona Bishop

Fiona Bishop

Name: Fiona Bishop

College: Industrial and Labor Relations

Minor: German Studies

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

Having the flexibility to pair classes for my major, ILR, with a multitude from other departments (German Studies as well as History, Philosophy, Asian Studies, and even Agricultural Sciences!) led to a diverse and riveting academic experience – no two semesters were the same! Outside of the classroom, I was a member of the Women’s Varsity Polo Team. I had never played polo before college but thanks to the team’s wonderful first-year program, received expert instruction and got to immerse myself in a completely new (challenging but fascinating) sport for four years! Lastly, studying abroad during my junior year was the best decision of my Cornell career. In Munich with the Junior Year in Munich Program, I matured in unforeseeable ways, met the closest friends of my life, kindled a desire to pursue graduate school overseas and most importantly improved my German tremendously.

What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

My high school had a partner school in Pinneberg, Germany and as a freshman, my family hosted an exchange student for a few weeks. The following summer, I flew to live with her family and loved the experience so much that I did it again the following year and even graduated high school early to pursue a whole semester there! Ever since, I have been fascinated by the language and culture, so continuing my German at Cornell was a must.

What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

Taking a German Studies course every semester has been a true highlight of my time at Cornell. On the first day of classes my freshman year, Annekatrin Sommer provided the warmest welcome in GERST 2000 and every course since has captivated me. Professor McBride opened my world to the art of Kätha Kollwitz and Albrecht Dürer, organizing a sensational series of seminars in the Johnson Museum of Art. In Professor Schwarz’s class, I fell madly in love with Kafka’s work and even started translating some of his short stories for fun in my free time. Delving into German media from the post-WWII era in Professor Siegel’s class challenged what “history” is and altered my entire perspective on how humans should interact with it. And most recently, Professor Lischke provided valuable and dynamic insight into German business culture in a class that enhanced not only my language skills but my confidence and public speaking ability. These classes, along with the virtual plays we read aloud in the German Drama Club (Lesekreis) this past year, have given me a community at Cornell and taught me that viewing one’s world critically is the most rewarding way to live.

What is your favorite German word or expression?

My favorite German word is “doch”. I’m so annoying that I’ve even taught it to some of my American friends because it is simply so coy, concise and applicable in many situations. There is sadly no English equivalent!

Other Comments or Thoughts:

Thank you, Cornell German Studies department, for being the light of my semesters and allowing me to study German in a wide range of intriguing contexts. Congratulations to my fellow graduates – it has been a pleasure learning alongside each of you, please stay in touch

Patricia Corujo

Patricia Corujo

Name: Patricia Corujo

College: Agriculture and Life Sciences

Minor: German Studies

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

Finding communities for all of my different interests has been a really great part of my Cornell experience. Whether it be within my biological sciences major, the German department, or the athletic department, it has been awesome to meet people with similar interests and be able to relate to each other.

What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

Coming to Cornell as a bilingual student I thought this would be the perfect place to expand on my cultural knowledge and add another language under my belt. I have also always thought German culture and history to be really interesting, so it was an easy choice for me when deciding what I wanted to minor in.

What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

From playing vocabulary games with Prof. Born in 1220, to visiting the art museum with Prof. McBride in 2020, and discussing German film over zoom with Prof. Siegel in 3410, all of my favorite memories studying German at Cornell have one thing in common and that is the people I got to experience them with. The professors and students I have met throughout my classes have made the learning experience an enriching and fun one, and that is what I will remember the most in the years to come.

What is your favorite German word or expression?

Schokomilch

Other Comments or Thoughts:

To all of my German professors at Cornell, thank you for caring so much about your students and for making us feel welcome at the German Studies department. My Cornell experience would have not been the same had I not been a part of this great German learning community.

Yiduo Ke

Yiduo Ke

Name: Yiduo Ke 

College: Engineering

Minor: German Studies

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

The difficult classes I took and the few friends I made. The sleep deprivation was also key to my Cornell experience.

What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

I just liked the language and Germany is very dominant in the technology sector, so I figured it might be useful to me because I study computer science.

What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

The few intro classes were very nice. The classes were small and we progressed at a rapid pace. What is your favorite German word or expression?

“offene Türen einrennen”

Other Comments or Thoughts:

The German department is great! I wish the pandemic didn’t happen because I would have been in Berlin this past semester. Anyway, thank you guys for the amazing classes!

Emine Özen

Emine Ozen

Name: Emine Özen

College: Arts & Sciences

Majors: Biological Sciences & Physics

Minor: German Studies

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

I am passionate about STEM and foreign language education and interested in learning about pedagogy regarding to these subjects. My experience as a teaching assistant for a variety of courses in the Math and Physics departments over the years was one of the most meaningful experiences I had at Cornell. I am also grateful that Prof. Lischke at German Studies department welcomed me to take the course GERST 5070: Teaching German as a Foreign Language as an undergrad. My education background in three different languages (Turkish, German, and English) made me curious about foreign language acquisition. It was an invaluable experience for me to read and discuss the literature regarding to it during our classes at GERST 5070.

What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

Since learning German in high school, I truly enjoy reading poetry and fiction written in German language. I wanted to experience studying German language, literature, and culture at the college level. When I checked the class roster for the courses offered in the department, there were so many interesting courses that I knew I had to take more than one, which eventually led me to a minor.

What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

When I took GERST 3075: Print Matters with Prof. McBride in Fall 2018, a seminar course taught in German, we paid multiple engaging visits to the Kroch Rare Books and Manuscripts Library as a class. During one of the visits, we looked at a copy of the first print of Goethe’s “Die Leiden des jungen Werthers”. The copy had a six-page long note in Kurrentschrift, a form of cursive handwriting, attached to its first page and no one knew what it said. I deciphered parts of it with Prof. McBride as my final project in the class and found out it was a praise of Goethe’s work written by J. G. Jacobi, who was another contemporary poet. It was one of the most exciting assignments I had at Cornell. I will also always fondly remember the night before our poster presentation for GERST 4100, where Prof. Siegel and my classmates had a fun night preparing while having thought-provoking conversations on Brecht, theater, and poetry.

What is your favorite German word or expression?

Kopfkino, which literally translates to “head cinema”. As a professional daydreamer, I love how this word captures the sentiment of daydreaming

Other Comments or Thoughts:

Thank you to the incredible faculty and grad students in the German Studies department for always being so welcoming to students of all backgrounds. Herzlichen Dank!

Manya Weintraub

Manya Weintraub

Name: Manya Weintraub

College: Agriculture and Life Sciences

Minor: German Studies

What key experiences have shaped your Cornell experience?

Studying abroad and learning a diversity of topics!

What inspired you to pursue German Studies?

I went to a Waldorf School as a child where I learned to speak some German. I stopped for a number of years but decided to pick it back up at Cornell.

What are some of your favorite memories studying German at Cornell?

I enjoyed reading books and poems in my Challenge of Literary Language class.

What is your favorite German word or expression?

Genau – can be used almost any time!

Other Comments or Thoughts:

Thank you to the German department

Additional German Studies Seniors

Name: Andrew Sheldon

College: Arts & Sciences

Majors: German Studies & History  

Name: Jeremy Coyle

College: Agriculture and Life Sciences

Minor: German Studies

Name: Yifan He

College: Arts & Sciences

Majors: Economics & History

Minor: German Studies

Name: David Leynov

College: Industrial and Labor Relations

Minor: German Studies

Name: Marcello Ma

College: Arts & Sciences

Major: Chemistry

Minors: Biological Sciences & German

Name: Jennifer Mavroudakis

College: Arts & Sciences

Major: Chemistry

Minor: German Studies

German text: Herzlichen Gluckwunsch Und Alles, Alles Gute!

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