GREAL Alumni Newsletter - January 2005

Volume 4, No. 1
January 2005

From the chair:

All the best for a happy and prosperous New Year 2005 to our alumni and alumnae from all of us at GREAL!

-- Robert Di Donato

The German Floor: Living Language

Making cookies, watching TV, making friends, reading magazines, having Sunday brunch- alles auf Deutsch. Such is the life of the twenty-five residents- twelve freshmen, half men, half women, of the German Language Floor in Wells Hall (two floors, really: one for men, one for women).

"The floor's RA (Residence Advisor) is taking a 400-level German course," says Johannes Tokarski, a recent graduate of the University of Munich who is the Floor Director and lives in Wells Hall. Assistant Director Ivett Perlaki, also a recent graduate of Munich, lives on the women's floor. The two are classroom instructors as well as activity directors for the German Floor, overseeing students' hips to the Cincinnati Oktoberfest and other excursions, and the German film series. The two are also co-advisors of Das Fenster) the twice-yearly studentwritten German-language newspaper.


Joe Decker ('97) published "They killed Spider-Man again" in a one sentence short-story contest (

Ben Miller ('88) is Associate Professor ofDermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics at the U. of Rochester (NY) Medical Center.

Nicki Utsinger ('89) is married and has three daughters. With her husband, she performs in Las Vegas in their German band, "Autobahn Las Vegas."

Mike Price ('03) studies law at the University of Miami (the one in Floridal)

Greg Sent ('98) teaches German, Spanish and English at Lakewood (OH) High School and completed a master's in ESL. . ..

Natalie Brooke ( '99) teaches German at William Fremd High School in Palatine, IL, and works on a master's in ESL.

Deacon ('99) and Eden (Radebaugh) Shupp ('98) named baby Ava Corina, for Corina Hesse, Deacon's Heidelberg Summer host.

Susan Ebert ('77) earned an MBA at U. of Arizona, is now a Web consultant in Colorado with two grown children and a two-year old grandson.

Constance Ixtzel ('75) is a Senior Account Manager at McGrawHill Publishing, lives in Philadelphia with her two children and travels frequently, most recently to Paris.

Abe Kabakoff owns Trailhead Brewing in St. Charles, MO.

Kristen Regina ('93) is the librarian at Hillwood Museum in Washington, DC, completed her Mi\. from the U of Maryland, and was married in April.

Heidi Winzeler ('91) is an attorney in New York, is married to David Van Osdol and has a son, Max, and one due in November.

Anita Daniel ('93) is an NC~~ Higher Learning Commission Project Facilitator and works on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.

Elizabeth Sewall ('95) is a Foreign Service Officer, just finished Arabic training and expected to be in Beirut by July.

Mark Simakovsky ( '02) finished his first year as a graduate student at the Foreign Service School of Georgetown U.

Andrea Stefaniuk will do her student teaching at a private school in Cologne, Germany.

Josef Neumayer was married in July, after finishing his M.A.

Lisa Richardson ('84) teaches German at Avon (IN) High School, is also the Foreign Language Dept. Chair; she is mAarried, with two children.

Becky Farr ('80) guided a German ZDF-TV crew around NASA in Huntsville, AL.

Former Heidelberg Summer Program students signed in: Michelle Walters lives in Solingen; Perry Manross in Heidelberg; Heide Ferguson-Mueller also in Heidelberg; Thomas Stefaniuk: in Berlin and Paris; Noah Bieszczad in the Languedoc; Warren Merkel translates German and Japanese; Sarah Chervank O'Connor works with her husband for Wycliffe Bible Translators; Laura Woolsey works for Accenture in DC.


Like you, GREAL faculty have eclectic tastes in their reading. We asked some of them what was on their reading tables, and why. Here's what they told us:

Dr. Gretchen Ziolkowski (Russian): Henning Mankell, The Return of the Dancing Master, because I like mysteries with interesting settings (in this case, Sweden).

Dr. Irina Goncharenko (Russian): Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera (getting ready to see the moviel)

Dr. John Jeep (German): Gunter Grass's Crabwalk: Fascinating narrative strategy, intermingling of personal, social, historical issues.

Dr. Mzla Ganeva (German): Emile Zola's The Ladies) Paradise: A captivating fictional account of the rise of a 19th-century Parisian department store.

Dr. Benjamin Sutcliffe (Russian): Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory, because Greene writes like a Russian, with a depressing, nuanced vision of everyday life.

Dr. Mieko Ono (Japanese): Takeshi Yore's Baka no Kabe (the barrier of our own stupidity): social issues from a communications standpoint.

Dr. Ole Gram (German): Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, about a detective with Tourette 's Syndrome, a premise that makes for some inventive language.

Dr. Alicia Carter (German): Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, primarily because of her writing but also because it is a gripping story.

David Siebenhar (German): PHL and MySQL Web Development, by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson; John Allyn's novel about Japan, The 47 Ronin.

Dr. Peter Carels (German): Gerhard Seyfried's Herera, about German Colonial times in southwest Africa

Dr. Noriko Reider (Japanese): David Starkey's Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII: It's a thick book, but it goes fast because it's so well written.

Dr. Robert Di Donato (German): Friedrich Ani 's Sud.en und der Luftgitarrist, set in Munich. Ani is one of the most literary of the current mystery authors.

Dr. Ruth Sanders (German): Phillip Roth's The Plot Against America: A scary story: what if a Nazi sympathizer ( Charles Lindbergh) had been elected U.S. President in 1940?


Women's memoirs of Soviet labor camps are central to the summer research plans of Dr. Benjamin Sutcliffe, new assistant professor of Russian. Dr. Sutcliffe, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, will teach in the Havighurst Center's study tour of Moscow and St. Petersburgh in May. When in Oxford, he likes walking between home and campus, the friendly people, and that the drivers "don't honk much." He's teaching Russian language, Soviet film, and post-Stalin prose.


Dr. Mila Ganeva published an article on the contemporary author Judith Hermann in the 2004 yearbook "Gegenwartsliteratur", and presented a paper on writers discovering their grandparents' '\V'W'II stories at the International Humanities Conference in Pamplona, Spain.

Dr. Alicia Carter presented a paper on Henriette Davidis, "Misslungene Gedichte, or when good poetry refuses to be good," at the Midwest Modern Language Association in St. Louis, N ovember ..

Dr. Mieko Ono published an article, "Some remarks on an application of the maxims of conversation" in Genge, and spoke on Korean and Japanese demonstratives at Korea University in Seoul, June.

Dr. John Jeep was a respondent to the MLA session on International Bibliography, Philadelphia, December.

Dr. Liang Shi published "Beginning a new discourse, the first Chinese lesbian film 'Fish and Elephant' in Film Criticism.

Dr. Robert DiDonato gave a keynote speech in Alaska, "Linking reading and writing in the world language class," and a workshop at the German Cultural Center in St. Louis, "Texte und Szenische Darstellungen im Deutschunterricht." Also two presentations at ACTFL, "Shaping American attitudes toward foreign languages," and "Teenage trauma: Social issues in German adolescent novels."