Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

February 2018

  • Communications major Shea C. Brewer, class of 2019, had his final project in a course on Feminist Fairy Tales accepted for publication in the online literary journal Spider Mirror. His teacher and mentor for the project is Visiting Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes. Spider Mirroris a blog-style journal that seeks to promote and support the arts in all its modern forms. Brewer’s tale, The “Seven” Dwarfs, explores the potential untold story of an eighth dwarf by the name of Leery, with a twist on the picture perfect image of classic Snow White.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented a moderated talk on “Global Football: Integrating Academics, Athletics and Intercultural Learning” for the HEDS UP session at the 104th annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) on Jan. 24–27, 2018, in Washington, DC. Out of more than 450 proposals received, fewer than 20 percent were accepted, and Berroth’s presentation was one of five selected for this TED Talk-inspired format. Berroth introduced a large audience to Southwestern’s innovative short-term embedded experience abroad for student athletes in our football program. With the small set of data from the first two programs in Germany and Italy, she is beginning to track how SU’s approach can lower barriers for students typically underserved or underrepresented in traditional study abroad programs, including men, student athletes, students of color, and first generation students.

December 2017

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth has been accepted to co-organize a section for the XIV. Kongress der Internationalen Vereinigung für Germanistik (IVG) in Palermo, Italy, July 26–Aug. 2, 2020, with the theme “Wege der Germanistik in transkulturellen Perspektiven.” The section is titled “Behinderungen und Herausforderungen –– Disability Studies in der Germanistik,” inviting work on the intersections of Disability Studies and German Studies. IVG, fostering international collaborations in German Studies, has been meeting in a different country every 5th year since 1951. Berroth’s organizing team includes Dr. Federica La Manna, University of Calabria, Arcavacata, Italy, Dr. Waltraud Maierhofer, University of Iowa, and Dr. Nina Schmidt, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. The section reflects interdisciplinary collaborations between the fine arts, humanities, and natural sciences. Co-organizers are planning to publish an edited volume coordinated with the conference. Berroth, who teaches and mentors students in the “Global Health” Paideia theme, looks forward to connecting with her colleagues on integrating STEM and German, especially through the Einstein-Projekt Patho/Graphics at the Free University of Berlin.

  • The Southwestern University’s German Program, with leadership from Part-time Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and support from Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth and Administrative Assistant Susie Bullock, hosted the First Annual SU Poetry Slam. A grant from the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) Deutsch macht Spaß, part of the German government’s Netzwerk Deutsch program, augmented by funding from Community Engaged Learning and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, provided for an evening of poetry readings and competition. The goal of the event was to build community by celebrating spoken word art in all its forms with a special focus on German poetry. We had a wonderful turnout with an audience of about seventy from Southwestern’s campus, our local community, and the greater Austin area. The event included a sponsored reading by Poetry Co-Editor for Chicon Street Poetry Journal, Nancy Lili Gonzalez. Another highlight of the evening was the event’s Master of Ceremonies, Joe Brundidge, author of Element 615 and co-host of KOOP 91.7’s Writing On the Air. The presenters included students, faculty, members of local associations and local Austin artists, speaking in German, Chinese, Spanish, and English. Our student presenters, some offering their own original work, included Andrew Jezisek, class of 2021, majoring in German and Education, Melina Boutris, class of 2021, majoring in German and Special Education, Claire Harding, class of 2020, who pursues a Physics major and German minor. Furthermore, we applauded Molly Cardenas, class of 2018, English major and Feminist Studies minor, Chris Cunningham, class of 2019  Communication Studies major, Jordy Goodman, class of 2018  Feminist studies major and German minor, Christine Gutierrez, class of 2020, Studio Arts major, Shea Brewer, class of 2019,  Communication Studies major, and Gamah Toney, class of 2020, Computer Science major and minoring in Studio Arts. Congratulations to all!

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in the 2017 joined conference of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) and the American Council on the Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 17–19. Berroth organized two panels, sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German, on approaches to teaching about Syrian refugees in Germany with a focus on solidarity and social justice. Her contribution focused on normalizing representations of the presence and participation of refugees in German culture through the integration of genres and content in Intermediate level courses. Furthermore, Berroth presented her research and teaching on Climate Fiction on a panel titled “Inventions, Innovations, Connections: STEM and German Literature.” A member of the AATG leadership team on diversity and inclusion “Alle lernen Deutsch” and the special interest group “Small Undergraduate German Programs,” Berroth contributed to national discussions on improving teaching and learning modern languages for people with disabilities. Berroth introduced initial strategies developed by her NEH grant working group for offering open access materials in a Digital Humanities Advancement project.

November 2017

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presided at the pre-conference Steering Committee Meeting and the Business Meeting for the 42nd annual conference of the Coalition of Women in German, held in Banff, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 26–29, 2017. At the conference, Berroth organized the Pedagogy Panel, convening scholars from across the nation to share research and experiences with integrating STEM and German in connected curricula, integrated programs, specialized study abroad offerings, and collaborations with internship providers in Germany. For the coming three years, Women in German will host the conference at Sewanee: The University of the South, our ACS colleagues.

August 2017

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth is a member of the Collaborative Work Group/Board of Authors on an innovative German project. With leadership from Macalester College German Studies professor Britt Abel, a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will help the group create digital open-educational resources for teaching and learning German language and culture. Dr. Faye Stewart, a former Brown Junior Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Southwestern, is also a member of the team.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to present the concluding paper in a three-session section on integrating STEM and German at the XVI. International Conference of Teachers of German, IDT, in Fribourg, Switzerland from July 31–Aug. 4, 2017. IDT meets every fourth year and is the world’s largest international convention for teachers of German. Berroth shared her research in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) resulting from her ACS funded interdisciplinary project on connecting Math and German, on which she collaborated with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum. Berroth’s participation was funded by a scholarship from the Goethe Institute in Washington, DC.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth was invited to observe and participate in sessions of the intensive summer language programs in Arabic at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco in July 2017. The guest visit, pedagogy observation, and intensive study was made possible by a Sam Taylor Fellowship awarded by the United Methodist Church.

May 2017

  • Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth accepted an invitation to screen and discuss the documentary Out of the Shadows: German Stories of Love, War and Faith on Apr. 25, 2017. Their presentation contributed to the Spring 2017 film series “Nachkriegsidentitäten - Post War Identities” hosted by the Department of Germanic Studies at The University of Texas, Austin.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth earned a full scholarship from the Goethe Institute in Washington, D.C., to participate in the 41st International Convention of Teachers of German (IDT), July 8–Aug. 4, 2017 in Freiburg i.Ü. Switzerland,  titled “Building Bridges—Connecting with German: People—Environments—Cultures. Berroth will present on her work of connecting STEM and German.

April 2017

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth is the recipient of an internationally competitive DAAD scholarship to participate in a faculty development seminar in Erfurt, Germany, April 8–14, 2017. The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) seminar “Religions in Germany and the 500 Year Anniversary of the Reformation” brings together German teachers from all over the world to learn, discuss, and share resources. Berroth’s contribution, “Martin Luther in Film,” offers insights into research and teaching on filmic representations of the reformer produced in East and West Germany and in the USA. Berroth started this project in 2011, when she mentored Rory Jones ’12. Rory completed his German Honors Thesis on Luther, earned a Fulbright Fellowship, and for the year following his graduation from Southwestern taught English and continued his research exactly where he had hoped to be placed: Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany.

  • Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth offered a screening and panel discussion of their documentary, “Out of the Shadows: German Stories of Love, War, and Faith,” on March 30, 2017 at Southwestern University. Reyes, Berroth, and film director Whitney Milam discussed the film and its contexts with attentive audience members, many of whom shared their own memory narratives after the viewing. The documentary offers narratives and reflections of Germans who experienced the horrors of WWII as young children and later immigrated to the United States. Challenging easy dichotomies between victims and perpetrators, those stories reflect the resilience of people who found their ways out of the shadows of war and led faith-filled lives in their new homeland. The film project was made possible by a Sam Taylor Fellowship grant from the United Methodist Church. The inaugural screening at the Texas German Heritage Society in Austin generated interest among diverse audiences. Further screenings and panel discussions are planned for University of Texas at Austin and for Sun City in Georgetown. Reyes and Berroth express their gratitude for the excellent administrative and practical support of Administrative Assistant for the Faculty Susie Bullock.

  • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth participated in the 48th Annual Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Conference in Baltimore, Md, March 23–26, 2017. The convention theme, “Translingual and Transcultural Competence: Toward a Multilingual Future in the Global Era,” furthered a much-needed discussion on the nature and value of the multicultural mosaic that the United States has become in the global era. Berroth presented her research paper titled “Pilgrimages of Recovery: Marica Bodrožić’s Work on Resilience, Landscapes and Humans” for the panel named Writing Spaces: Landscapes and/in German Travel Writing. Berroth also chaired and contributed to a panel sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German, Feminist Approaches to/in German Studies: Inclusivity and Sustainability. Her presentation, “Empathy: Experiments in Teaching for Diversity and Inclusiveness,” reflected on teaching methods and content for teaching on the Syrian refugee crisis and on transnational identity formations.

  • Three Southwestern students, mentored by Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth, presented their work at the Seventh Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies on Saturday, April 1, 2017. This year the conference, co-organized by Lafayette College and Moravian College, took place at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. This conference gives students the opportunity to present their research in all German-related fields, including but not limited to the study of German literature, film and culture, art history, music, philosophy, history and politics. Rosa Karen Castañeda Hernandez, Class of 2017, a double major in German and Communication Studies, presented her German Capstone project, “Illuminating Dark Tourism: Perspectives on Representations of Holocaust Tourism in Am Ende kommen Touristen (2007),” for a panel on the Holocaust. Miriam Richard, Class of 2018, an Education major who studied German at SU and abroad, presented her research paper titled “The Painful Consciousness of Being Transnational: Representations of Transnational Identities in German Texts and Films.” Aaron Woodall, Class of 2018, a Political Science major, presented his research on “Displacement and the Reconstruction of Transnational Identity.”

March 2017

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes authored a book chapter titled “On Women and Dwarves: Material Engagements in the Brothers Grimm’s Kinder- und Hausmärchen” in the book Tracing the Footsteps of Dwarfs: Images, Concepts and Representations in Popular Culture.

  • Assistant Professor of German Michelle Reyes and Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth presented their documentary film “Out of the Shadows: German Stories of Love, War and Faith” at the Texas German Heritage Society on Feb. 26. This oral history project explores the stories of Germans who were children during WWII and later emigrated to the United States. The project was funded through a Sam Taylor Fellowship. A screening and discussion at Southwestern is scheduled for March 30 at 6:30 p.m.