After graduation from Penn State with a BA in German, Janel Galvanek received an MA in Germanistik from Georgetown University and then worked briefly at the Holocaust Museum in DC as a German-English translator and then at the German Historical Institute as an editor. But Europe was calling and she left in 2003 for Tirol, Austria where she had a Fulbright teaching scholarship for two years. She then returned to university and earned a Master’s degree in 2008 from the University of Hamburg in “Peace Research and Security Policy.”
Since 2009, Janel has worked for the Berghof Foundation, a conflict transformation and peacebuilding institute, with a lot of different projects – both research and practical – all over the world in the contexts of conflict or post-conflict countries. Right now all of Janel’s projects are in Africa and she travels there extensively. You can read her Berghof bio and also her most recent research report on Liberia. When not traveling for work, Janel resides in Berlin.
Janel thinks quite frequently of the role that her German major played in her life and work. And now that we have renewed contact with her, we will be thinking of Janel quite frequently as well!
Vance Holthenrichs (2018) double majored in Russian and German. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics at the University of Indiana Bloomington.
Devin McCoy has begun her teaching duties in English at the Hermann-Allmers-Schule in Hagen im Bremischen. She will be looking for volunteer opportunities to support Syrian refugees in Germany, and also studying her options for pursuing a masters degree studying Applied Linguistics in Germany or France in the following year.
Marta Millar (triple major in German, History, and International Politics) is completing an internship at the German Consulate in New York City during the summer of 2018. She reflects on her experience:
“Interning in the liaison office for the University of Freiburg and Eucor has been a truly wonderful experience, and I have learned a lot through the many opportunities I have been exposed to while here at the German consulate general in New York. I have enjoyed using and improving my German skills in the work environment, as well as reconnecting with Uni-Freiburg, where I previously studied abroad. My work here has included promoting areas of research focus at Eucor such as precision medicine through event organization, and alumni development for Uni-Freiburg here in the United States. It was exciting to have the chance to get to know many Freiburg alumni, and even meet with and interview several impressive alumni for spotlights on Uni-Freiburg’s website. Most of all, I have enjoyed the up-close experience of fostering German-American relations and discovering the multitude of organizations here in the United States that focus on furthering this transatlantic partnership, because it has made me realize how many doors studying German has opened up in my future.”
Neil Shook, who will graduate in May 2018 with a double major in Math and German and a minor in Linguistics, has received a USTA Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Weiz, Austria, starting in Fall 2018. Neil will also serve as the Departmental Marshal for the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at May graduation. Congratulations, Neil!