GREAL Alumni Newsletter - May 2006

May 2006
Volume 5, Issue 2

From the Chair:

We are at the end of another academic year, one that has gone by more quickly than one can imagine. GREAL was so very busy this past year as you can read throughout these pages. Next year will see an expansion of Chinese from two beginning classes to five. This will bring with it another full-time person in Chinese as well as an assistant from Taiwan who will teach and live on the Chinese floor. The School of Business is contemplating a language requirement for its students and GREAL is gearing up for it.

Good news! GREAL underwent review last year from external and internal review committees and the results of their findings clearly indicate the success of the department of six seemingly disparate languages. And finally, we will see a number of new faces in GREAL next year: a new tenure-track hire, Vitaly Chernetsky (Russian), comes to us after having taught at Columbia. We will also have new full time faculty in Chinese and German. Next year we are going to host a conference on "Revisiting GermanAmerican Studies" with special emphasis on German film directors in Hollywood. Every year gets better!

-- Robert DiDonato

Intensive German Program to visit Dessau

Thanks to contacts made by Prof. Mila Ganeva (below, with Prof. Benjamin Sutcliffe), the Intensive German Summer Program will initiate what we hope will be a long and fruitful relationship with the Moses-Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft Dessau, which has become a new international institutional partner of Miami University.

Between stays in Jena and Berlin, the seventeen students will accompany Dr. John M. Jeep (Director) and Lenka Machova (Instructor) to Dessau to learn about the Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and his role within the history of Jews in Germany, the Bauhaus art movement, European environmental politics, and the beautiful cities of Dessau and Worlitz.

This addition to the Intensive German Summer Program will broaden the students' understanding of the former East Germany, of the historical contributions of Jewish Germans, and of the cultural significance of this charming area of Sachsen-Anhalt.

Update on Ralph and Joan Hovel Memorial Bequest

In our previous issues, we reported on a gift of $1,355,000 by Ralph Martin Hovel (’35) and his wife Joan Van Vliet to Miami University’s German program. The money generated by the bequest is to support excellent students of German, and is being used in part to attract high school students interested in pursuing German Studies at Miami. As lastyear, awards went to students on the 2006 Intensive German Summer Program. This spring we learned that an additional $46,000 was made available to the German section of GREAL for scholarships.

Writer in Residence Sibylle Lewitscharoff

Noted German author Sibylle Lewitscharoff became GREAL’s third German Artist in Residence for the first six weeks of the Spring semester. Born in Stuttgart and a long-time resident of Berlin, Lewitscharoff, who has been awarded the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize (1998), taught a sprint course, “Telling Stories about God: Literature and Religion,” gave a lecture on some of her favorite authors, including Franz Kafka, Thomas Bernhard, and James Joyce, and visited 202 sections to discuss the opening pages of her newest novel, Cosummatus, which has since appeared. An extensive interview with Frau Lewitscharoff (in German) conducted by Lenka Machova, German Language Instructor and Associate Director of our German Floor in Wells Hall, is available at

More GREAL Students in Munich and Japan

Three Miami German Majors will be studying in Munich with the Wayne State Junior Year in Munich Program 2006-07: Julia Hahn, James Hollis, and Karen Sikora. Four outstanding first-year students have been awarded Summer Fellowships through JYM: Korianna Austera, Ann Cashell, Megan Eisenman, and Alex Hess. The College of Arts and Science is helping with their travel expenses.

From our Japanese Program, Hirobumi Hidaka will be at CIEE, Sophia University, while Qiwen Yin attends Kansai-gaidai University

Austrian Summer Scholars Return to Campus

Twenty-seven students from the Viennese School of Business (WWU) will be attending classes during Miami's Summer Ill session. The students, who will live in Scott Hall, will audit two University courses. Planned business visits within the region include the Cincinnati Inquirer, FOX 19 Television, and Procter & Gamble. As in past years, a weekend trip to Chicago forms part of the program, highlighted by a visit to the Chicago Board of Trade along with various other cultural activities. Miami students are eligible for study in Vienna as part of a 32-year old agreement initiated by Ambassador John Dolibois.

The program, from June 23 to August 5, is coordinated in Oxford by Dan Meyers, Interactive Language Resource Center, and Miami alumnus and Oxford City employee Andrew Wilson.

Alumni News (received January-May 2006)

Klaus Hornell (1987) earned his MA in German at California State University, Fullerton in 2005; teaches German and Mandarin Chinese in West Covina, CA, where he lives with his wife Wang Zhi, a nursing student.

Kurt Hummel (2004) took a job at Aeon Corporation (English language school) in Tokyo, Japan.

Meredith Leland (2000) is in her sixth year at Proctor & Gamble, specializing in Chemical Engineering, and deciphering German patents; she now lives in Pleasant Ridge with her partner Aaron, and enjoys visiting his German father in Crete, Greece.

Matthew Lundholm (2004) took a job at Winbe English School in Japan.

Perry Manross works for SAP in Heidelberg (Germany) as a journalist in Global Communications Department.

Betty Nees (2001) uses her Chinese daily in her global product design work in Chicago, following two years living in Taiwan.

Melissa Schwarz (2005) is Project Coordinator at International Engineering Consortium (Chicago).

Michael Seifried (2005) is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at Columbia U, will spend 2006-07 in Vienna as Miami's Goldman Scholar. Michael spoke at Miami this Spring  on Adorno and Television.

Mark D. Simakovsky of Georgetown University was awarded a Fulbright Post-Graduate Grant in International Relations to the Republic of Georgia for the academic year 2005-06.

Anna Smith Hartle (1982) teaches 6th grade at Cincinnati Country Day School, specifically a class called Global Connections, an information/computer technology class. Earned an M.A. in Education from the University of Cincinnati (1985) and a M.S. in Library Science from the U. of Kentucky (2001 ). Married Michael Hartle, engineer at GE, thrilled her daughter (16) is seriously considering Miami in her college search process. Hopes to subtly influence her other daughter (13), to choose the Miami route, too!

Lori K. Timm (1990) -after living and working in Bern, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Philadelphia -- finally settled in Caracas, Venezuela, as Director of the Language Training business for inlingua Venezuela, with husband, Pedro Villasmil, of 8 years and two boys, Pete (5) and Andy (3).

Emily Walton takes her MA exam in German at OSU this May, then will study German in Freiburg before assuming a position in Vienna as a Fulbright teaching assistant for 2006-07. Future graduate studies are planned.

Emily J. Weglian (1994) has earned her PhD in Anthropology from the U of Minnesota, and begins a tenure-track position at Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland) this fall.

Chrissy Wingerter Galaise (2003) interned at Weinheimer Nachrichten (near Mannheim, Germany), married Josh 2005, teaches German at Northmont H.S., working towards an MA in teaching at Wright State U.

Stephen M. Woodburn, (Ph. D., Russian history, 2001) hired 2003 as assistant professor of history at Southwestern College (Winfield, KS). United Methodist Exemplary Educator (2005), one of two annual professor awards at the college. Led students to Moscow and St. Petersburg (Spring 2005), leads a group to Egypt (Winter 2006). Selected for 2006 NEH Summer Institute on medieval Slavic manuscripts at the New York Public Library. Wife Dixie gave birth to their third daughter, Ruby Claire, on Halloween 2005; she joins Lilya Katherine (7 1/2) and Elena Grace (4).

Faculty News - January - May 2006

Peter Carels directed "Vergiss es!" ("Forget about ti") the thirty-second annual German Cabaret April 14-15 in the venerable Ratskeller of Clawson Hall. Alumni skits by Joachim Carels and Kyle Joachim were featured. Veteran actors Natalie Brooke, Lindsay Gruber Du Priest,, and Josef ("Sepp") Neumayer attended the Good Friday show. Sepp's cameo performances served as entremets. Saturday saw Kelly Armstrong, Laura Owens and Lori Zerbe back on familiar turf. Dr. Carels completes his tenure in the Department this May. In addition to the Cabaret, Dr. Carels served as Chief Departmental Advisor, and he directed the Intensive German Summer Program and the Austrian Summer Scholars Program often over the years. We all wish him and his wife Kathleen many happy, active years.

Mila Ganeva will spend most in the summer writing in Oxford. At the end of July, she will do research at the film archives in Berlin and Amsterdam, and will participate a week-long German Film Institute hosted at the U of Michigan.

John M. Jeep directs the Intensive German Summer Program (Heidelberg, Jena, Dessau, and Berlin), MayJune.

Noriko Reider published a translation, "Shuten dôji: Drunken Demon," Asian Folklore Studies 64/2 (2005): 207-231, the Reiders plan to vacation with her sister's family in Los Angeles this summer.

Benjamin Sutcliffe is a Summer 2006 Fulbright-Hays Silk Road Scholar, and will travel from China to Turkey during the summer.

Nicole Thesz published an article, "Against a new era in Vergangenheitsbewaltigung: Continuities in Gunter Grass' Crabwalk, Colloquia Germanica 38 (2004): 291- 306, and presented her paper on "Jakob Hein's Mein erstes T-Shirt: Youth, GDR and the Eightees," at the NEMLA conference, Philadelphia, March 2006.