Lauren Brooks is a fourth-year PhD candidate in German Literature and Culture at the Pennsylvania State University. Before coming to Penn State she spent six years in Bremen, Germany, where she taught English to business professionals. After returning to the United States, she completed her MA degree in German Studies at California State University Long Beach in 2012. Her dissertation focuses on Franz Kafka and Humor. Other areas of interest include foreign language pedagogy, Kleist, Schiller, and the German novella as well as Brecht, modern German drama, theater, and film. She is also the creator and organizer of the annual Poetry Without Borders event. She is currently working as a Graduate Instructional Consultant in the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence for the 2015-2016 academic year. Outside of the university you can find her in the aisles of Trader Joes, teaching Les Mills fitness classes at Fitology and taking part in local trail races. She is still figuring out the best ways to survive the long State College winters.