What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
Receiving this scholarship was of a paramount importance to me. Without this support, I would most likely not be able to pursue my degree. At this point, I am at the stage of delevoping my dissertation proposal. Given the demands of research, teaching and raising a family, looking for a job outside of the university would not be possible. The scholarship allows me to concentrate on my studies and gives me the opportunity to complete my degree on time.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
After completing my M.A. at the University of Delaware, I had to search for a new insitution to pursue a Ph.D. since University of Delaware did not offer it. At first, I was a bit sad about leaving my home insitution but now I am grateful that it worked out this way. Being able to learn and teach at the University of Maryland proved to be a dynamic and positive experience.
I chose the UMD for a number of reasons. After looking up some information about the Graduate program in Germanic Studies online, I thought it might be interesting to at least visit the campus. I liked that the department had a relatively high number of graduate students and professors, many of whom were tenured. Another aspect that attracted my attention right away was the department's emphasis on the Cultural Studies. Reading classical (and not only) texts as cultural documents of a particular era sounded intriguing. I also liked the idea of being able to expand my horizon by studying various cultures grouped under the cluster "Germanic" (as opposed to looking at German culture only).
My firm decision to apply to the university was, however, made after visiting the campus. I truly enjoyed openness and hospitality of both faculty members and graduate students. Right away I knew that the atmosphere within the department woud provide me with the right environment to continue my studies. I received some additional information, such as an excellent job placement record and further explanation of teaching load, financial support, etc. which contributed to my choosing this school.
Last but not least, I enjoyed the location and the size of the school. The university's close proximity to Washington DC enables me to easily visit the Library of Congress, Goethe Institute and other locations of interest. Being at a large institution means having more colleagues and, hence, being able to seek guidance of specialists in different areas both within German literature and outside. Cultural studies more often than not require working interdepartmentally. What a great place the UMD is for that!