Notable Faculty & Student Achievements
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented on “ Grenzenlos Deutsch (German without Barriers),” her collaborative Digital Humanities Advancement Grant project supported by competitive funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, at the November 2019 German Academic Exchange Service, or Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), faculty-development seminar in Berlin, Germany. The seminar focused on artificial intelligence and digital media in the teaching and learning of languages and cultures. Participation was competitive and brought together 23 of the cohort of 800 select German educators actively engaged in amplifying the DAAD mission worldwide. The seminar participants came from Argentina, Chile, China, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Canada, Malaysia, Paraguay, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, the U.K., Hungary, Australia, and the U.S. The DAAD promotes international networking, collaboration, and the exchange of expertise between Germany and other countries.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in a faculty seminar at the German Studies Association Conference in Portland, OR, in October 2019. The seminar was held over three days and brought together an interdisciplinary group of academics workshopping their contributions to the seminar theme of (De)Constructing Identities through Mobilities. Participants shared their research papers with the group of 17 scholars during the summer, provided peer review for two articles, responded to this peer review during their presentations at the seminar, and engaged in further discussions. An edited volume of peer-reviewed contributions is emerging. Berroth’s research paper is titled “Marica Bodrožić: Ecopoetics of Resilience in Transnational Identity Narratives.”
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth serves as president of the South Texas chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG). The South Texas chapter hosted the annual meeting of the three Texas AATG chapters in Temple, TX, in September 2019. The chapter received AATG funding for a workshop on developing escape-room scenarios with German-culture themes. Berroth coorganized the conference and presented two papers, one on best practices in connecting German and environmental studies, the other on her collaboration on Grenzenlos Deutsch, an open-access curriculum for beginning German.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned the 2019 Outstanding German Educator Award. With this prestigious national award, the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) recognizes one postsecondary educator annually for excellence in teaching, innovation, extraordinary talent, and exceptional leadership in the German teaching profession. Berroth will be honored during the AATG Awards Presentation at the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages Convention and World Languages Expo in Washington, DC, in November 2019. A nominee’s dossier documents five or more years of demonstrated excellence in German education; active membership in the local AATG chapter; creative leadership in German language education; impact in local, state, or national arenas; and continued growth as a German educator. Current and former students and colleagues nationwide collaborated on submitting letters in support of Berroth’s nomination.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented her research paper “Felicitas Hoppe’s Pigafetta: Pluri-Worlds and Vibrant Matter” on the ecological interconnectedness of the Pacific at the 22nd General Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, ACLA. Title Literature of the World and the Future of Comparative Literature, the conference was held July 29–August 2, 2019, at the University of Macau, Macau SAR, China. Berroth’s presentation contributed to subtheme 4: The Multiple Histories of Comparative Literature; Pacific Insularity: Imaginary Geography of Insular Spaces in the Pacific. Postcolonial critiques of colonial master narratives and approaches to alternative constructions of insularity beyond the dominant Western traditions were essential tasks of speakers contributing to this section.
Supported by a Sam Taylor Fellowship, Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth conducted an interview with Christian Stocker, representative of the SILVIVA foundation, and visited the Sihlwald nature education center in Zürich, Switzerland. The interview and site visit will inform units on nature education and sustainability to be published for the NEH sponsored digital humanities project, our co-authored open access curriculum Grenzenlos Deutsch.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned funding for a competitive FL-A-CH Mini Grant administered by the American Association of Teachers of German. FL-A-CH stands for Liechtenstein, Austria, and Switzerland, the countries providing funding for studying their languages and cultures at U.S. institutions. The grant enhances a student engagement project, planned for fall 2019, focused on nature education in Austria and Switzerland and emphasizing interdisciplinary connections between SU’s German and environmental studies programs.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth received a nomination for the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) Outstanding German Educator Award. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to the German teaching profession. A nominee’s dossier documents five or more years of demonstrated excellence in German education; active membership in the local AATG chapter; creative leadership in German language education; impact in local, state, or national arenas; and continued growth as a German educator. Nella Spurlin, serving on AATG Executive Council and representing the membership of South Texas Chapter of AATG, is coordinating the nomination. Berroth currently serves as chapter president.
German and education major Melina Boutris ’21 presented her research paper on inclusion in special-education classes in Germany at the Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies at Lafayette College, in Easton, PA, on April 13, 2019. Her presentation, titled “Inklusion von Schülern mit Lernbehinderung im Deutschen Schulsystem: Meine Erfahrungen als Special Education Student in den USA und als Praktikantin in Einer Integrativen Klasse 4 Einer Deutschen Grundschule,” earned an honorable mention, and she was invited to submit the paper for publication on the conference website. Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth mentored the project.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to give a presentation titled “Transnationale Erinnerungskulturen und Identitäten” about her research on transnational memory cultures in Germany and France surrounding the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I for a faculty development seminar sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, and “Landeskundliches Seminar für Ortslektorinnen und Ortslektoren Weltweit. Europäer? Deutscher? Saarländer? - Identitätsfragen in Grenzregionen,” April 7–12, 2019, in Saarbrücken, Germany. From a worldwide network of 800 professionals serving as mentors and advocates for the mission of DAAD, Berroth was one of 20 faculty members invited to participate in the seminar and one of 11 participants also invited to present. Berroth was the only representative from the U.S., networking with colleagues from Colombia, Italy, Great Britain, France, Spain, Brazil, Oman, China, Korea, Argentina, Israel, and Finland on researching and teaching European identities and futures.
Martin Guillermo Lopez’18 earned an internationally competitive fellowship from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). CBYX annually supports 75 U.S. and 75 German awardees. CBYX was created by the U.S. Congress and German Bundestag as a public diplomacy program to promote understanding between the people of the U.S. and Germany. The year of academic, cultural, and professional exchange consists of three phases: two months of intensive German language training, one semester of classes in one’s academic or career field at a university, and a three-month internship in one’s career field. Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth served as adviser and mentor throughout the application and interview process.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented a research paper titled “Plants and Heimat: Representations of Eco-Identities in the Work of Marica Bodrožić” at the 50th annual conference of the Northeast Modern Languages Association, March 21–24, in Washington, DC. Her paper contributed to a panel series on concepts of memory, understandings of home, and nostalgia for the former Yugoslavia. Berroth’s argument for including critical plant studies in the discourse on place-based identity formations connected to the conference theme “Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples,” which called attention to the important role of the humanities in the discourse on migrations.
Danyale Kellogg ’19 and Melina Boutris ’21 will present their research at the Ninth Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies (co-organized by Lafayette College and Moravian College), in Easton, PA. Kellogg will speak on German national security policies. Boutris will present on the inclusion of special-needs learners in the German school system, research related to her summer internship at a school in Heidelberg, Germany. Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth mentored both research projects as independent studies.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a grant to participate in a faculty development seminar sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. The seminar is scheduled for April 2019 and convenes teachers of German from all over the world for a week of study, site visits, and discussions in Saarbrücken, a city located in the border region between Germany and France. The seminar topic, “Identities and Border Regions in Germany and Europe,” is part of Berroth’s ongoing research and writing project on transnational identity narratives.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth published an invited review of “Framing Islam: Faith, Fascination, and Fear in Twenty-First-Century German Culture,” a special issue of Colloquia Germanica, an international journal for German studies, in Feminist German Studies, a refereed interdisciplinary publication presenting a wide range of feminist approaches to all aspects of German literature, culture, and language, including pedagogy. The review is guest edited by Heidi Denzel de Tirado and Faye Stewart. It is available in print and online at Project Muse.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a materials grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, and the German government. The $1,300 grant provides the German Program with a curated collection of titles in German literature published in 2018 and a collection of German graphic novels, which will enrich teaching and learning at all levels in the program.
Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth’s article “Brücken zwischen Mathematik und Deutsch: MINT im Sprachsensiblen Fachunterricht“ has been published in the online open-access and print versions of IDT 2019 Brücken Gestalten:Mit Deutsch Verbinden(Menschen–Lebenswelten–Kulturen: Beiträge der XVI. Internationalen Tagung der Deutschlehrerinnen und Deutschlehrer,Fribourg/Freiburg, 31 July–4 Aug. 2017). IDT, the International Convention of Teachers of German, meets every fourth year and is the largest convention of German teachers worldwide. Berroth’s article was selected for publication to represent Section B3 of the convention, in which 12 scholars selected from an international pool of applicants presented on the topic of integrating STEM with the teaching and learning of German as a foreign language. Berroth’s participation was sponsored by a fellowship from the Goethe Institut, in Washington, DC.
Eleven Southwestern University faculty members have won Sam Taylor Fellowship grants to support their research, with award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. Sam Taylor Fellowships are selected through a competitive application process and are provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. This year’s recipients are
- Professor of Physics Steven Alexander, “Generating Energy from Hot Sidewalks” (awarded $1,200)
- Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, “The Politics of Stealth Halal: Re-Presenting the Islamic Origins of U.S. Meat Products” (awarded $1,600)
- Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth , “Nature Education in the German Classroom: Possibilities for Integration and Inclusion?” (awarded $1,400)
- Professor of Biology Romi Burks, “Unravelling the Mystery: Genetic Differentiation of Chinese and Japanese Mysterysnails Using 16S” (awarded $1,400)
- Assistant Professor of History Jethro Hernandez Berrones, “With Indigenist Spirit: Doctors on Spiritual Practices in Post-Revolutionary Mexico” (awarded $1,500)
- Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson, “Human–Jaguar Becomings and Racial Capitalism in Belize” (awarded $1,000)
- Associate Professor of French Francis Mathieu, “Research on Claire de Duras’s Avant-Garde Novella, Ourika” (awarded $1,400)
- Associate Professor of French Aaron Prevots, “Gestures toward the Sacred: Guillevic, Vargaftig, Tellermann, Michel” (awarded $1,400)
- Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar, “Contemporary Modes of Parenting: Disrupting the Representation of Stepmothers in Popular Culture” (awarded $1,500)
- Associate Professor of Spanish Maria De Los Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, “Cultural Memory and Historical Fiction: Women of the Past on Television and Film by Four Contemporary Mexican Women Directors” (awarded $1,400)
- Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, “Researching Attachments to American Political Institutions” (awarded $1,600)