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Anna Bahnfleth Selected as Departmental Marshal for 2016 Spring Commencement

Congratulations go to Anna Bahnfleth, who will graduate in May with a German major and International Studies minor, for being chosen as our departmental marshal due to her superior academic performance and citizenship. Ms. Bahnfleth perfected her German especially during a study-abroad semester at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg. Her future plans include graduate study in German/English translation.

Beate Brunow (Ph.D. German 2011) accepts new position at University of Georgia

Ph.D. alumna Beate Brunow has been named director of Student Affairs, academic partnerships and initiatives at the University of Georgia. Currently, Brunow is a tenured assistant professor of German at Wofford College and serves as coordinator for the German Program and Gender Studies Program, as well as interim dean of the Center for Innovation and Learning.

Brunow’s appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2018. In this role, she will provide consultation and support Student Affairs in the creation and enhancement of academic partnerships. She will work to create educational experiences connecting academic courses, clubs and organizations, instructional initiatives, civic engagement and other experiences, as well as advance Student Affairs as a principal laboratory for research and experiential learning opportunities.

Congratulations, Beate!

Burrowes Building (Department Home) Rededicated

Burrowes Building has been home to Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures since it first opened in 1939 -- except for the last two years, when a major renovation was undertaken. Spring 2016 was our first semester semester of operating in the renovated Burrowes, and the return of classes to our seminar rooms (see photo). April 16 brought a rededication of the building with remarks by Dean Susan Welch (photo), President Eric Barron, Provost Nick Jones, and other dignitaries, followed by tours of the new facilities, including of the German/Slavic Seminar Room with displays of graduate and faculty research.

More on the Burrowes Bldg. renovation and rededication...

Catherine Babecki, Emily Kohlman and Stuart McLaughlin win Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships

Catherine Babecki, who graduated in May 2017 with a major in Math and a minor in German, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Germany for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Emily Kohlman, who will graduate in May 2018 with majors in journalism and Russian and minors in media studies and political science, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in the Czech Republic for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Stuart McLaughlin, who will graduate in May 2018 with majors in Russian and Spanish and a minor in Arabic, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Azerbaijan for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Congratulations, Catherine, Emily and Stuart!


2018 a Banner year for job placements of current and recent Ph.D. students Nick Henry (Ph.D. 2015), Hyoun-A Joo (Ph.D. expected 2018), Ines Martin (Ph.D. 2018), Janice McGregor (Ph.D. 2012), Liese Sippel (Ph.D. 2017), and Don Vosburg (Ph.D. 2015).

GSLL congratulations the following current and recent Ph.D. students who have accepted tenure-track and multi-year contract positions at a number of top institutions across the United States during the 2017-2018 job cycle:

Nick Henry (Ph.D. 2015, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, to begin in Fall 2018.

Hyoun-A Joo (Ph.D. expected 2018, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a multi-year postdoctoral position in the Department of Modern Languages (German Division) at Georgia Tech University, to begin in Fall 2018.

Ines Martin (Ph.D. 2018, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a tenure-track position in the Languages and Cultures Department (German Division) at the United States Naval Academy, to begin in Fall 2018.

Janice McGregor (Ph.D. 2013, in German Applied Linguistics) has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of German Studies, with a part-time appointment in the Global Initiatives Program, at the University of Arizona, to begin in Fall 2018. 

Liese Sippel (Ph.D. 2017, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a lector and language coordinator position in the German Department at Yale University, to begin Fall 2018. 

Don Vosburg (Ph.D. 2015, in German Applied Linguistics with a dual title in Language Science) has accepted a position as the Director of the Language Center at Carleton College, to begin Fall 2018.


Department Announces 2015-2016 Awards for German and Russian Majors

The following students have been selected for special honors this year:


Department Marshal

Anna Bahnfleth

Lucretia Simmons Award for Outstanding German Major 

Joseph Vais

Stanley R. Townsend Award for Outstanding German Major 

Rowan Crisp


Julianne and David Vaughan Scholarship for Russian Study

Brian Zdancewicz, Robert Voorhees, Stuart McLaughlin

Joseph Paternost Award in Russian in the College of the Liberal Arts

Vance Holthenrichs 

Sigmund S. Birkenmayer Memorial Award 

Katrina Hartman

William and Anna Naydan Award for Excellence in Ukrainian Studies

Daniel Kiefer

Congratulations to all these students, and to this year's inductees into Delta Phi Alpa German Honor Society and the Dobro Slovo Honor Society!

Devin McCoy and Alexa Beil Win Fulbrights to Teach in Germany

German major Devin McCoy and German minor Alexa Beil will both be spending the next academic year ('16-'17) in Germany, having been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowships. The Fulbright ETA programs "place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers, helping teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S." Congratulations and best wishes, Devin and Alexa!

Edith Birnbaum Milman Memorial Fellow Dr. Bettina Brandt

Dr. Bettina Brandt currently works as Teaching Professor in the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures at the Pennsylvania State University (USA). She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (French, German, and American) from Harvard University (USA). As the Edith Birnbaum Milman Memorial Fellow, at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Brandt is conducting research for her project, "With Love from Vienna: The Daily Life and Fate of Elderly Jews in Austria after the ‘Anschluss.’" This monograph-in-progress is a collective biography about four generations of an extended Austrian-Jewish family with a focus on the Holocaust Years and the care for the elderly left behind in Vienna after the Anschluss.

Dr. Brandt is the author of numerous book chapters and articles on transnational multilingual German-language authors such as Yoko Tawada, Emine Özdamar and Herta Müller, and editor of several books and journal issues on a variety of similar topics. Most recently, she edited a special issue about the “Politics of Archives” for Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies (2017) and, together with Daniel Purdy, China in the German Enlightenment (University of Toronto Press, 2016). Brandt, who is also translator, has been  the recipient of several other research awards and fellowships. In 2017 she received a Botstiber Fellowship for Austrian-American Studies to conduct research in Vienna (Austria), and a Martin Miller and Hannah Norbert-Miller Visiting Fellowship at the University of London to conduct research in British archives (Great Britain). In the Fall of 2016 she was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Netherlands.

Dr. Brandt is fluent in English, German, French, and Dutch, and can understand and read Italian and Spanish.

While in residence at the Mandel Center Brandt is conducting research to shed light on the many challenges faced by the elder community in Vienna after the Nazi takeover in their daily lives and while trying to emigrate to the United States where they were hoping to join their children. Through her monograph, Brandt will draw attention to the community of elderly left behind, while also analyzing how the younger generation managed to flee, which different networks helped them to do so, and how, once in the United States, they started new lives all the while trying to rescue their parents.

Erika Pugh (Russian B. A. 2019) Wins Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award

Erika Pugh (center in photo), a dual major in Russian and Finance, received first place for her thesis, “The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of Shostakovich’s Third Ballet: Reconciling ‘The Bright Stream’ with Post-Soviet Culture.” The award is sponsored by the University Libraries. A complete account can be found here. The thesis adviser was Dr. Adrian Wanner, Liberal Arts Professor of Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature.



Gerhard F. Strasser receives the Emeritus Distinction Award from the College of the Liberal Arts

Read more here:

German and Slavic Co-Hosts Poetry Without Borders 2016

Presented by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, "Poetry Without Borders" was held at 6 p.m. on November 8 in Foster Auditorium.

"Poetry Without Borders" is an annual, student-run literature reading forum where students and faculty present poetry from different languages and cultures to the audience.

Moderated this year by Ines Martin, a Ph.D. candidate in German Applied Linguistics and Language Science, a total of 30 participants took turns reciting their chosen poems — in the poem’s original language — in front of a crowd. A variety of Slavic and Germanic languages were among the selections.

In the background of each reading, a PowerPoint was presented showing the poem in the original language alongside an English translation for the audience to interpret the poem.

Some participants recited poems written by published poets, while John Henry Riccardi recited a poem he wrote himself in German titled "Arbeit."

German Certificate Available at Behrend Campus

The 15-credit German Studies Certificate offered at Penn State Behrend is designed for students who wish to specialize in interdisciplinary German Studies by acquiring advanced German language skills and taking courses in culture, film, history, literature, music, or politics of the German-speaking countries. In-depth knowledge of the German-speaking countries prepares students for a global workforce and careers in international business, engineering, finance, politics, or the sciences. Those interested in the certificate may contact Dr. Eva Kuttenberg, Associate Professor of German (

German Day 2017 set for 5 April at the HUB

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State University will be hosting middle school and high school German students at University Park for German Day 2017. It will be a fun-filled day of German language activities, including a poster and movie competition, a spelling bee, poetry recitation, German trivia game, and presentation of a one-act play by fifth-semester PSU students. Students will also have the opportunity to practice their German (and earn prizes!), learn more about studying German at Penn State, visit a German language or culture class, and get a tour of campus.


The event is co-sponsored by the School for Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Center for Global Studies, the Center for Language Studies, the Program in Linguistics, and AFS-USA.

For further information, visit the event website.

Penn State Now an Official Testing Center for the Zertifikat Deutsch Examination

Penn State German has contracted with the Goethe Institute to become the only official testing center for the Zertifikat Deutsch German examination in the state of Pennsylvania. It will be offering the exams in Burrowes Building on the University Park campus once in Fall and once in Spring. The next exam date will be 14 April 2018.

The ZD exam is open to anyone upon payment of the examination fee. The fee is heavily discounted for graduate students and undergraduate majors and minors in the Penn State German program.

The six levels of the ZD exam, A1 through C2, are recognized worldwide as accurate assessments of German language competence. The higher levels are important certifications for gaining access to employment and higher education in German-speaking countries.

Those interest in taking the exam should contact the department head, Thomas Beebee (; 814-863-4935)

German Ph.D. Alumna Ines Martin wins Award for Her Dissertation Research

The Emma Marie Birkmaier Award was established in 1980 to recognize an author of doctoral dissertation research in foreign language education that contributes significantly to the advancement of the profession.

Dr. Martin’s 2018 dissertation was titled: “Bridging The Gap Between L2 Pronunciation Research and Teaching : Using iCPRs to Improve Novice German Learners' Pronunciation in Distance and Face-to-Face Classrooms”

She is currently an Assistant Professor of German at the US Naval Academy.

German Professor Emeritus Gerhard Strasser featured on an episode of Codebreaker

Dr. Gerhard F. Strasser's internationally recognized expertise in cryptography brought him a transatlantic telephone call from NPR Marketplace. NPR conducted a 31-minute interview at the end of November 2016, which was edited and inserted as a feature in the  Marketplace Codebreaker series:  On Dec. 21, 2016, it was turned into a kind of dialogue on Vergennes' method.  Broadcast Episode No. 6, "Cryptography," can be accessed at . 

GSLL Prepares Four Beginning Language Offerings for Fall 2017

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Announces its

Fall 2017 beginning language classes: 

German (GER1) - multiple sections

Polish (POL197) - M  W 2:30-3:45; F 2:30-3:20;  Course #18981 & 18982

Russian (RUS1) - multiple sections

Ukrainian (UKR1) - M F 10:10-11:00; T R 10:35-11:25; Course # 24677 & 24678

Russian for heritage speakers (Rus410) - - T R 3:05-4:20; Course #14520* 

*RUS410 provides 12th-credit proficiency in one semester. Available to students on all campuses via distance technology.




GSLL announces Spring 2019 Student Enrichment award winners

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures is proud to announce the Spring 2019 Student Enrichment award winners: William Baumgardner, Erin Baumgartner, Celeste Belknap, Rachel Finley, Olivia McCormick, Allison Ruman, and Abigail Slate.

GSLL Hosts Noted Russian Translator Alexander Cigale

Alexander Cigale of Queens College, the CUNY system, New York City, visited the University Park campus from 28 to 31 January. On Monday he gave a talk in the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series, "On the Evolution of an Absurdist Proto-Existentialist: the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual in the Art of Daniil Kharms (1905-1942)," gave that afternoon, together with Andrew Singer, a reading from his translations for the forthcoming Russian Ballet edition of Trafika Europe, and on Tuesday was a guest in the translation seminar of Dr. Adrian Wanner.

Alex Cigale’s first full book is Russian Absurd: Daniil Kharms, Selected Writings, which appeared in 2017 in the Northwestern World Classics series, is . In 2015, he was awarded an NEA Fellowship in Literary Translation, for his work on the poet of the St. Petersburg philological school, Mikhail Eremin, and guest edited the Spring 2015 Russia Issue of the Atlanta Review, blogging about it for one week on Best American Poetry. His own poems in English have appeared in the Colorado Review, The Common Online, and The Literary Review, and his translations of classic, Silver Age, and contemporary Russian poetry in Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, New England Review, PEN America, TriQuarterly, The Hopkins Review, Two Lines, Words Without Borders, and World Literature in Today. He is the guest editor of the Penn State affiliated Trafika Europe Russian Ballet issue. 

Cigale's visit was sponsored by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Department of Comparative Literature

GSLL Salutes its May Graduates!

17 of our undergraduate majors received their Bachelor's degrees at the Penn State May commencement.

Russian major Brian Zdancewicz (to right of banner in photo) was honored as Student Marshal for the Department, accompanied by Dr. Irina Mikalien, Senior Lecturer in Russian, as Faculty Marshal (to left of banner). In addition, Dr. Sabine Doran (in center of right-hand panel), Associate Professor of German, was chosen as Faculty Marshal for Global and International Studies, accompanying Student Marshal Ava Doery.

We congratulate all our:

Anna Blyth Katrina Hartman
Ian Cameron Daniel Kiefer
Jacob Cordell Maria Kravets
Jack DiMidio Robert Vorhees
Kendra Hepler Brian Zdancewicz
Justin Kilner
John Kozorra
Megan Krause
Hannah Lasure
Mark Milutonovic
Kelly Morrow
Olivia Raub


Congratulations also go to three graduate students who received their Ph.D.s in May: Katherine Anderson; Liese Sippel; and Adam Toth.

GSLL to Celebrate 25th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence and 25 years of Ukrainian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University


The Woskob Family Foundation, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence and 25 years of Ukrainian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA on Tuesday April 4, 2017. The event will also mark 25 years of cooperation in Forestry and Agricultural Sciences with the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences (NULES) in Kyiv, Ukraine.  The Rector and representatives of NULES will be in attendance at the daylong series of events.


The schedule for the day includes the following:

v  At 3:00PM there will be a book launching of Helen Woskob’s memoirs Freedom and Beyond: My Journey from Ukraine to a New Life in America as well as Professor Michael Naydan’s novel about the city of Lviv Seven Signs of the Lion at the Hintz Alumni Center on the Penn State University Park campus. Actor Michael Bernosky will provide dramatic readings from both books.

v  At 4:00PM Dr. Markian Dobczansky (PhD in history from Stanford University and Jacyk Fellow at the University of Toronto) will present a lecture “The Legacy of Soviet State-Building: A Historical Primer on the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict” at the Hintz Alumni Center.

v  At 5:00PM Dean Susan Welch of the College of Liberal Arts and Dean Richard Roush of the College of Agricultural Sciences will open the reception at the Hintz Alumni Center.

v  At 5:15PM to 7:00PM a reception sponsored by the Woskob Family of State College at the Hintz Alumni Center in honor of the 25th anniversary of Ukrainian independence as well as a commemoration of 25 years of Ukrainian studies in Liberal Arts and Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. There will also be an exhibit of woodcarvings by Ukrainian artist Serhiy Karpenko during the reception. 

v  At 7:30PM the Ukrainian world music group DakhaBrakha (pictured at right) will perform in Schwab Auditorium. The performance is sponsored by The Woskob Family Foundation at Penn State.


Dr. Markian Dobczansky studied Soviet, East European, and Imperial Russian history at Stanford University. The topic of his dissertation was “From Soviet Heartland to Ukrainian Borderland: Searching for Identity in Kharkiv, 1943-2004.” His academic interests include Soviet history, nationalism, Russian-Ukrainian relations, and urban history.


DakhaBraka is a world-renowned group from Ukraine whose music is described as “ethnochaos.” They create a world of unexpected music at the intersection of folklore and theater. Using traditional music from various regions of Ukraine as a starting point, the quartet incorporates rhythms from around the planet to create a bright, fierce, and unforgettable sound. For information on tickets call 814-863-0255 or go to or for additional information.


Serhiy Karpenko is a Ukrainian artist who was born in the town of Koziatyn in the Vinnytsia region of Ukraine. Originally educated as a physical education teacher, he has been a woodcarver since 1993. He has exhibited throughout Ukraine and the US. His woodcarvings are known for extraordinary detailed and refined technique as well as for the presentation of traditional Ukrainian historical themes in the unique bas-relief wood medium. 

GSLL to Host Symposium on the Euromaidan on April 11

 A symposium, “Assessing the Euromaidan of 2014 Five Years Later: The State of the Ukrainian State,” will be held in 102 Weaver Building at the Penn State University Park campus on April 11 from 9 to 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public, no registration necessary. 

Sponsored by the Woskob Endowment in Ukrainian Studies, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of History.


COFFEE AND TEA (9-10 a.m.)


SESSION I (10 a.m.-noon)

Dominique Arel (Chair of Ukrainian Studies U. of Ottawa),

            “Maidan 5 Years Later: Revisiting the Use and Impact of Violence”


Marta Dyczok (Associate Professor - U. of Western Ontario),

“Media in a Post-Euromaidan Ukraine”


Mykola Riabchuk (Research Scholar - The Kuras Institute for Political and Ethno-national Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)

        “‘Dills’ versus "Potato Beetles": Ethnic Othering and Stereotyping During the Russo-      Ukrainian War”


LUNCH BREAK (noon – 1 p.m.)


SESSION II (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)

Tamara Martsenyuk (Associate Professor University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy - Ukraine),

“Gender (In)Equality Issues in Ukraine: Five Years after the Euromaidan Protests”

Nicholas Denysenko (Associate Professor Valparaiso University)

“The Euromaidan and the Aftermath of the Granting of Tomos to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine”

Open discussion by symposium visitors along with Catherine Wanner (Penn State) and Michael Naydan (Penn State)

COFFEE AND TEA BREAK (3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

SESSION III (3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

A Book Presentation of Maria Matios’ novel (translated by Michael Naydan and Olha Tytarenko) Sweet Darusya: A Tale of Two Villages (Spuyten Duyvil Publishers) featuring English readings of the translation by Dr. Charity Ketz of the Department of English

Honors Course on Narratives of Injustice in Modern German Literature

Dr. Sarah Henneboehl will offer German 190: Narratives of Injustice in Modern German Literature, MWF from10:10-11:00 this Fall '19 semester. Schedule #28150. No knowledge of German is required for this course.

Historically, Germany experienced great turbulence in the twentieth century. It was a century of extreme violence, as witnessed during the years 1914 and 1939 with the outbreak of World War I and the unleashing of World War II and the Holocaust. It was also a century of revolutions: the revolutionary autumn in 1918 and the establishment of Germany’s first democracy, the Weimar Republic; and the peaceful revolution of the late 1980s that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of a country that had been divided into East and West as a result of its defeat during World War II. The course will examine the uniquely German experience of the twentieth century by situating a variety of novels and films into their socio-political context, and tie them to them to political debates of the 21st century, inside and outside Germany.

Hyoun-A Joo defends Ph.D. dissertation on the German spoken by Korean immigrants

On June 5th Hyoun-A Joo successfully defended her dissertation, titled "Clausal architecture in naturally acquired German: Korean immigrants in Germany." The dissertation investigates the acquisition of the clausal structure of L2 German by Korean native speakers who emigrated to Germany for work purposes in the 1970s and have resided there since then. The results show that the development of L2 grammars by adults happens in stages, leading to possible missing abstract representations for lower proficient L2 speakers. Non-target-like utterances by more proficient speakers, on the other hand, are more likely due to computational difficulties in mapping abstract syntactic features to lexical items rather than to representational deficits.

Dr. Joo, pictured here with committee members (l. to r.) Carrie Jackson, Michael Putnam, and Richard Page, will begin a post-doc at Georgia Institute of Tehcnology in the Fall.

Congratulations, Hyoun-A!

Hyoun-A Joo (Ph.D. German & Language Science 2018) Gains Tenure-Track Position at Furman University

Dr. Hyoun-A Joo, who received her Ph.D. in 2018 under the direction of Michael Putnam, will move from her current position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, into a tenure-track position in German at Furman University to begin Fall 2019. Congratulations, Hyoun-A!

Ines Martin defends Ph.D. dissertation

On Monday, 4 December, Ines Martin successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Bridging the Gap between L2 Pronunciation Research and Teaching: Using iCPRs to Improve Novice German Learners’ Pronunciation in Distance and Face-to-Face Classrooms.” This dissertation investigated the effectiveness of a homework-based, computer-delivered method of pronunciation instruction, called iCPR. Results revealed that foreign language pronunciation can be taught via homework-assignments and can be included in distance learning environments. 

Congratulations, Dr. Martin!

Ines Martin wins SLRF graduate student travel award

Ines Martin has won a SLRF Graduate Student Travel Award for her presentation "Auditory input enhancement facilitates the long‐term retention of L2 grammatical structures", which she presented at the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) in Atlanta, GA, on November 1, 2015.

Jake Van der Kolk defends Ph.D. dissertation on Austrian writer Hermann Broch

On August 16, 2017, Ph.D. candidate Jake Van der Kolk successfully defended his thesis, entitled "The Self-Destructing Text: Hermann Broch's Der Tod des Vergil and the Limits of Avant-Garde Narrative." The thesis examines how the notoriously difficult novel The Death of Virgil (1945) by Hermann Broch -- written largely in the US where Broch was in exile during WWII -- engages the reader in literary and existential self-inquiry, and in so doing demonstrates the impossibility of avant-garde narrative. Congratulations, Jake!

Katherine Anderson defends dissertation on contemporary authors who adopt German as their literary language

On 15 March, Katherine Anderson successfully defended her dissertation for the German Ph.D., "Foreign Writing Agency: Maria Cecilia Barbetta & Abbas Khider Rewriting Identity after Trauma in German as a Foreign Language." Ms. Anderson compares the two authors on the basis of the traumatic events that underlie their writing, and of their working through trauma through the adoption of German as a language and through the use of a variety of distancing techniques. Congratulations, Kate!

Katja Stuckatz and Ashley Roccamo Win Awards at the Graduate Exhibition.

Congratulations to Katja Stuckatz and Ashley Roccamo for earning awards in the Arts and Humanities division of the 2014 Graduate Exhibition. Katja won first place for "A Contribution to Modern World Poetry: Ernst Jandl and the International Avant-Garde." Ashley took second place for "Comparing the Effectiveness of Pronunciation Training in Elementary and Intermediate German Classrooms."
Katja Stuckatz and Ashley Roccamo Win Awards at the Graduate Exhibition.

Katja Stuckatz and her award-winning poster

Congratulations to Katja Stuckatz and Ashley Roccamo for earning awards in the Arts and Humanities division of the 2014 Graduate Exhibition. Katja won first place for "A Contribution to Modern World Poetry: Ernst Jandl and the International Avant-Garde." Ashley took second place for "Comparing the Effectiveness of Pronunciation Training in Elementary and Intermediate German Classrooms." Katja and Ashley will graduate from Penn State with Ph.D. degrees in German in May.

Lara Schwarz receives a 3-year postdoc at TU Dortmund

Congratulations to Lara Schwarz for receiving a 3-year postdoc ("Wissenschaftliche Angestelltin") at the Technische Universität (TU) Dortmund. She will be working with Prof. Dr. Ulrike Freywald, Professor of Linguistik des Deutschen: Grammatik und Fachdidaktik in the German department. Her duties will include teaching 2 courses of semester, research, and administrative duties. This position will begin on July 1, 2019. Congrats, Lara!

Laura Brown Named College Student Marshal for Liberal Arts

Laura Brown has been named the Student Marshal for the College of the Liberal Arts.
Laura Brown Named College Student Marshal for Liberal Arts

Laura Brown, College Marshal for Liberal Arts

Congratulations to Laura Brown, who is the 2014 College of the Liberal Arts College Marshal. Laura is a Schreyer Honors student with a double major in Russian and Music.  She is also graduating with a master's degree in Musicology. Laura began studying Russian in her freshman year at Penn State and is now fluent in the language.  Her academic interests combine her love for Russian language and culture with her specialization in musicology.  In her honors thesis she assesses the early musical formation of the composer Sergei Prokofiev within the context of Russian musical pedagogy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  

At Penn State, Laura received the Evan Pugh Senior Scholar Award, the Brewster and Presser Awards from the School of Music, and an Alumni Association scholarship from the College of Arts and Architecture. She won the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2012.

In addition to her academic achievements, Laura served as president of the Penn State Association of Students of Russian.   She was also vice-president of the Penn State Percussion Club and has performed actively in various musical ensembles both on campus and in wider Central Pennsylvania.

Laura has presented papers at various conferences, including an international symposium in St. Petersburg, Russia, devoted to the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In the fall she will enter the Ph.D. program in Musicology at Yale University.

Lauren Brooks defends Ph.D. dissertation comparing Kafka with Seinfeld

On Friday, 16 March, Lauren Brooks (front row, center in photo at right) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled: "Kafka Goes to New York: Reading Kafka in Seinfeld's America." The dissertation examines authority, respect and their absurd and meaningless nature as demonstrated through the works of Austrian writer Franz Kafka and the U.S. situation-comedy Seinfeld. Congratulations, Lauren!

Liese Sippel Defends Dissertation on Peer Interaction and Correction in the Language Classroom

On 5 December 2016, Liese Sippel successfully defended her dissertation for the Ph.D. in German under the direction of Dr. Richard Page. Liese's dissertation, titled "The effects of peer interaction, form-focused instruction, and peer corrective feedback on the acquisition of grammar and vocabulary in L2 German." investigated the effectiveness of peer interaction and peer corrective feedback in third-semester German language classrooms.

Mallory Bubar and Jordan Kuhns featured in new Goethe Institut video!

GSLL graduate student Mallory Bubar and undergraduate student Jordan Kuhns are featured in a new promotional video from the Goethe Institut in Dresden, where they spent two weeks taking German language courses in June 2015. Check out the video by going to the Goethe Institut website ( and click on the link "Video: Learning German in Dresden" or you can also see the video on youtube: Mallory is interviewed around 2:00 into the video; look for Jordan around 1:10 into the video!

Mallory Bubar (German Ph.D.) Awarded the Milton B. Dolinger Fellowship in World War II Era Studies

Mallory Bubar has been awarded the Milton B. Dolinger Fellowship in World War II Era Studies for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Fellowship will allow Mallory to work full-time on her dissertation, which is focused on representations of children in Holocaust literature and archives. Congratulations, Mallory!

New Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees with School of International Affairs

Penn State undergraduate students majoring in German or Russian can now earn a master's degree in International Affairs with only one additional year of study beyond their bachelor's through the integrated undergraduate-graduate (IUG) degree program offered by the School of International Affairs (SIA) and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State. Those interested should write to for further information.

New Internships for German Majors Summer '17

1. Summer 2017 Libra Internship Program, which has international placements, as well as domestic locations.

The Libra Internship Program offers a paid opportunity for undergraduate students to intern with the Libra Group and its' 30 subsidiaries in locations, including with Lomar Shipping in Bremen. Internship roles are available in finance, marketing, social responsibility, accounting, human resources, policy & government affairs, communications, hotel operations, culinary and more.

Some of the program features include:

*Paid Placement – All interns are placed on the local payroll. Libra will directly book and pay for flight/train(s) to and from orientation, the hotel for orientation week and the flight/train(s) to and from each internship location.

*Mentor and Buddy Program – A senior executive (mentor) and a junior colleague (buddy) are assigned to interns to provide guidance on navigating through the internship, local area and personal career track.

*Training – To enhance employability and professional development, Libra offers ongoing group and one-on-one training through workshops, coaching and mentorship.

• Be at least 18 years of age
• Currently enrolled undergraduate student
• Fluency in English
• Minimum Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 (USA) or equivalent
• Must be available for mandatory program dates: June 5 – August 11, 2017

For further details, please review the website at You will be able to search for all available vacancies based on focus area of internship and location.


2. HR Marketing/Recruiting Global Internship (Summer 2017)

SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. To support our HR department at our headquarters in Mainz, Germany (approx. 20 minutes from Frankfurt) we are looking for an intern beginning in June 2017 for at least 3 to 4 months. The intern will support the application process for the Heinrich J. Klein Foundation 2017 Scholarship, handled by SCHOTT AG. The objective of the Foundation is to sponsor international exchange by granting scholarships to students for a stay abroad.

Apply online at 


Nick Henry Wins Award at the Graduate Exhibition

Nick Henry won second prize at the 30th Annual Graduate Research Exhibition in the Arts and Humanities Division for his poster "The Offline and Online Effects of Processing Instruction: An Investigation of case-markings in L2 German."

Penn State Students Experience Moscow During Spring Break 2019

Thirteen Penn State students enrolled in the one-credit embedded course, Moscow Cultural Immersion, traveled to the Russian capital over Spring Break. All of them had previous coursework in Russian language or culture, but only half of them are majoring or minoring in Russian.

The program included lectures on Russian Contemporary Arts, Opera, Geography and Peoples, and the Novgorodian Birch-Bark Letters at the Moscow Higher School on Economics (National Research University This academic program was supplemented with guided tours of the city including Moscow Kremlin, Bolshoi Theatre, the Tretyakov National Art Gallery, and more provided by SRAS Other activities included attending a rap Concert, a hockey and soccer games, the museum of Gulag, Maslenitsa (the Russian carnival), and a ballet. The students enjoyed Russian and Georgian cuisine and had many opportunities to explore the city on their own or guided by HSE student-volunteers.

The program was organized by Teaching Professor of Russian Irina Mikaelian and led by herself and Associate Teaching Professor Yelena Zotova. 

Ph.D. alumna Juliane Schicker appointed Assistant Professor of German at Carleton College

Dr. Juliane Schicker, who earned her Ph.D. in German at Penn State with a thesis (advised by Bettina Brandt [German] and Charles Youmans [Music]) on the Conductor Kurt Masur and the reception of Gustav Mahler in the former East Germany, was appointed as an Assistant Professor of German (tenure-track) at Carleton College, Minnesota at the end of February, 2016. Congratulations, Juliane!

Poetry Without Borders Event March 21 6-7 p.m. in Foster Auditorium

Once again this year students, faculty, and community members will come together to read world poetry in its original languages in Foster Auditorium. English translations are projected in the background during the readings. In commemoration of the 1968 student protests, the poems will be on themes of protest and resistance.

More information about the event can be found at the Poetry Without Borders website:


Professor of German Daniel Purdy Wins the Class of 1933 Distinction in the Humanities Award

Daniel Purdy's contributions to German Studies and to the German Program at Penn State as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and leader have been recognized with his receiving the Class of 1933 Distinction in the Humanities Award from the College of Liberal Arts. After graduating from Cornell, his first book, The Tyranny of Elegance, published with the Johns Hopkins University Press in 1998, established his reputation as a specialist in the Enlightenment and Romantic periods and in the work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Daniel Purdy became the editor of the North American Goethe Yearbook from 2009 to 2013, and served as President of the North American Goethe Society from 2016 to 2018, during which tenure he organized a successful triennial Goethe conference held here at Penn State in the Fall of 2017. Meanwhile, he was expanding into two new areas of cultural analysis that continue to occupy him: architecture and urban design; and the reception of Asia and especially China in the early modern period in Germany and Europe. On the Ruins of Babel : Architectural Metaphor in German Thought appeared in 2011, and the edited volume (with Bettina Brandt) China in the German Enlightenment in 2016. Dr. Purdy continues to work simultaneously on two monographs, one on Chinese-German cultural relations, and the other on contemporary architectural practices and urban design.

Congratulations, Daniel!

Proficiency Exam in Russian to be given September 28 and November 2

The Proficiency Examination in Russian, which can give successful candidates from 4 to 12 credits on their transcripts and fulfill part or all of their language requirement (if any), will be administered on 28 September and 02 November from 10:00-12:00 in 235 Burrowes Bldg. on the University Park campus. For more details, please contact <>.

Robert Klosinski wins the Harold F. Martin Award for Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching

German Ph.D. candidate Robert Klosinski has received the most prestigious teaching award for graduate students at Penn State: The Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes graduate assistants for outstanding teaching performance.
Robert Klosinski, who is shown here receiving his award from President Eric Barron, has taught German language classes on all levels and has consistently received exceptionally high marks and laudatory comments as a language instructor. In his teaching philosophy, Robert wrote: "At the core of my teaching philosophy lies the belief that students should communicate freely without anxiety to be misunderstood or to make mistakes. Being able to teach my native language German allows me to take on several important perspectives, as I not only can share my culture and experiences in Germany first hand with my students, but also have personally experienced the long and tough process of learning a foreign language, and thus have empathy when students encounter difficulties while learning the language.” Congratulations, Robert!

Russian Writer Linor Goralik to Present Her New Book, Found Life, on 16 February

One of the first Russian writers to make a name for herself on the Internet, Linor Goralik writes conversational short works that conjure the absurd in all its forms, reflecting post- Soviet life and daily universals. Her mastery of the minimal, including a wide range of experiments in different forms of micro-prose, is on full display in this collection of poems, stories, comics, a play, and an interview, here translated for the first time.

Ms. Goralik will present and read from Found Life on 16 February, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., in Foster Auditorium on the University Park campus. Her visit is sponsored by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Penn State Students in Russian, and the Woskob Family Endowment in Ukrainian Studies.

Samuel Frederick Awarded Fellowship with the Center for Humanities and Information

Samuel Frederick has been awarded a Center for Humanities and Information Faculty Fellowship for Spring 2016. His project is titled "A Poetics of Collecting: The Redemption of Things in German Realism and Modernism." Professor Frederick's first book was Narratives Unsettled: Digression in Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and Adalbert Stifter (Northwestern University Press, 2012), and he has written articles on Oswald Egger, Friedrich von Blanckenburg, Kleist and Walser, Oskar Fischinger, Gerhard Meier, Jeremias Gotthelf, and the Quay Brothers. Professor Frederick will be one of six faculty fellows with the Center for Humanities and Information in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. The CHI Faculty Fellows program is sponsored by the Center, the College of the Liberal Arts, and the University Libraries. This program supports faculty research in the humanities leading toward major projects such as a significant publication or a grant proposal.

Samuel Frederick Promoted to Associate Professor

Samuel Frederick Promoted to Associate Professor

Samuel Frederick

Dr. Samuel Frederick has received tenure and been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of German. Congratulations, Sam!

Dr. Frederick has written on various topics in German literature from the Early Modern period to the present with a primary focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the Swiss and Austrian traditions. His areas of expertise include narratology and the history of the novel; philosophical approaches to literature and film; thing theory; lyric poetry; experimental fiction; international modernism; and the narrative prose of Biedermeier and Poetic Realism. In his teaching and research he aims to bring together close reading with rigorous theoretical and philosophical inquiry.

Students from 10 High Schools Participate in Penn State German Day

Students from 10 High Schools Participate in Penn State German Day

German Day at Penn State

Approximately 300 students from 10 high schools participated in Penn State German Day at the University Park campus on April 2. The students visited classes, had campus tours, recited poetry, played a trivia game, and took part in spelling bees, poster and movie competitions. The winners of the competitions are listed below.


  1. Emmaus High School
  2. Tri Valley High School
  3. State College Area High School


Poster Level 1


Justin Ziegmont

Tri Valley


Megan Maschetti

MMI Prep


Megan Hoover

Manheim Central


Ashleigh Bowman & Bricelyn Webber   


Poster Level 2


Jared Wangel, Maddie Stann



Brianne Blankenbiller, Ashlie Miller, Courtney Weise  

Oley Valley


Kathryn Sherry, Gabrielle Quandel

Tri Valley

Poster Level 3


Robert Bishop, Maddie Ordiway, Aife Ni Chochlain  



Caitlin Chiaretti, Benjamin Hinkel, Jacob Hylton

Tri Valley


Anna Thoet


Film Level 1


Wendy Hader, Maddisyn Horn, Elise Laudenslager   

Tri Valley


Michael Monte, Blake Speicher



Lauren Makara, Athena Nakrosis


Film Level 3


Austin Sansig, Zoie Reitz, Mason Lindenmuth, Ricky Boleen, Sabrina Bundy, Dakota Gauglianone, Olivia Stine, Alyssa Buesink



Hunter Snyder, Zacheriah Wise, Bryce McNally, Dan Opozda, Jaden Buchanen

Tri Valley


Grant Spohn, Joe Cook, Jason Herrington


Film Level 3


John Woltornist, Jarred Ring, Matthew Jonston, Ryan Bilder



Alison Kelly, Elizabeth Holland, Madeline Ahnert, Claudia Knutelsky, Brooke Feco, Semhar Mengisteab, Ruthie Strauss, Kelly Beck

State College


Jessi Dean, Cory Leitzel, Jared Kehler

Tri Valley

Spelling Level 1, Group 1


Brooke Brumbach   



Brianna Mora



Phillip Christensen

State College

Spelling Level 1, Group 2


Hannah Koehler  



Emily Vital

Manheim Central


Ian Bowler


Spelling Level 2, Group 1


Sarah Moyer

MMI Prep


Nick Burke



Matt Gottshall   


Spelling Level 2, Group 2


Vincent Liu  

State College


Colton Fox

Tri Valley


Devon Faul

MMI Prep

Spelling Level 3, Group 1


Ryan Bilger



Trevor Heisler   

Tri Valley


Erika Polka

State College

Spelling Level 3, Group 2


Kevin Wilcox



Aife Ni Chochlain



Brandon Williams   

Manheim Central

Poetry Level 1, Group 1


Cathryn Seibert   



Sam Sessock

MMI Prep


Alena Smith


Poetry Level 1, Group 2


Lillian Raus



Garrett Kost

MMI Prep


Elijah Zacherl    


Poetry Level 2, Group 1


Alexia Drynda



Jeannie Drago

State College


Skyla Gunning    

Tri Valley

Poetry Level 2, Group 2


Zach Kalp

State College


Gabrielle Quandel    

Tri Valley


Ben Gittleman

MMI Prep

Poetry Level 3, Group 1


Eric Kabitzke

MMI Prep


Ruthie Strauss   

State College


Kevin Wilcox


Poetry Level 3, Group 2


Jared Kehler

Tri Valley


Benjamin Hinkel    

Tri Valley


Connor Winslow

Central Mountain

Trivia Game


Oley Valley




Manheim Central

Successful Placement of 7 Penn State Doctoral Students in German Tenure-Track Jobs since 2011

Congratulations to the following former Penn State German Ph.D. students who have obtained tenure-track jobs since 2011:

  • Yasemin Mohammed (University of Iowa)
  • Janice McGregor (Kansas State University)
  • Imke Brust (Haverford College)
  • Joshua Brown (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
  • Beate Brunow (Wofford College)
  • Jameson Bell (Dogus University, Istanbul, Turkey)
  • Juliana Schicker (Carleton College)

Summer Internships Available in Pforzheim, Germany

The German program announces a new summer 2017 internship possibility for this summer in Pforzheim, Germany, for students who have completed four semesters or more of German and who also have a background in either business or engineering. This program may be of special interest to Engineering and Business students who are also minoring or majoring in German. Students will receive 3 credits of German language (GER X99) and 6 credits of GER 495. Some or all of these credits may be applied toward a German major or minor depending upon what courses students have or have not already taken.

Further information can be found at the Global Programs website. Interested students should also contact .

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages welcomes three new faculty members in 2014-2015. Sabine Doran is Associate Professor of German and joins us from the University of California, Riverside. Her research and teaching interests are 20th and 21st century literature, film studies and visual culture. 

Jens Guettel is Associate Professor of History and German. His research and teaching focuses on modern European history, German expansionism and labor history.

Yelena Zotova is Instructor of Russian. Her primary interests are in linguistics and second language acquisition.

Trafika Europe Offers Internships at Penn State University

Trafika Europe is an exciting and innovative project at Penn State, showcasing new European literature in English translation, offering internships for full course credit in Spring 2018 semester.

The project includes an online literary journal as a publication of Penn State University Libraries, a literary events calendar, online bookshop, audio interviews and literary animated videos, and preparing to launch Trafika Europe Radio – Europe’s literary radio station, online.

Based in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, TE internships give selected students (at any level) experience with publishing and the literary/creative sector, new media and communications. Interns can establish career contacts, explore cultures, and depending on qualifications, may learn skills related to non-profit management, literary translation and editing, outreach and promotion, events organizing, cultural journalism, database
management, audio recording, website development and so on. Possibility exists to grow with the project. The internship combines tasks to be carried out independently with regular on-campus meetings and supervision.

For more information about TE internshipts, please contact Andrew Singer at .

Vadim Astrakhan Concert at the Russian Tea Hour

Vadim Astrakhan Concert at the Russian Tea Hour

Vadim Astrakhan performs under the image of Ostrosky

Since he arrived in the US as a Russian immigrant in 1991, Vadim Astrakhan has been honing his skills in translating the works of singer-songwriter Vladimir Ostrosky into English and performing them. On April 1st, he entertained the Russian Tea Hour with a multimedia performance of Ostrosky that was equal parts entertainment and education, mostly in English, but ending with some of Ostrosky's original Russian lyrics.

Zertifikat Deutsch examination administered to German majors at Penn State

On March 18, two examiners from the Goethe Institute in New York, Steffi Krause and Andrea Pfeil, visited the University Park campus to administer the Zertifikat Deutsch exam to seven German majors and one German graduate student. (Four of the test-takers are shown at right completing the listening portion of the exam.) The ZD exam, which tests all four skills in German, is recognized everywhere in the world as a certification of German skills, and is a foundational document for employment with a German company or university study.