GREAL Alumni Newsletter - December 2008

Volume 9, No. 1
December 2008

Dear Alums:

GREAL is flourishing, though we are wondering how financial hard times will affect Miami and GREAL programs as well as our student and our faculty. All of us send you our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2009!

-- Robert Di Donato, Chair

GREAL Critical Languages Fair

Over four hundred students, faculty members, staff and area community members took advantage of GREAL's November 6 and 7 celebration and information event on the 'critical languages' taught at Miami.

The 'critical languages' included Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, and Russian.

The first day of the event featured guest speakers Dr. Karin Ryding, Professor Emeritus of Arabic at Georgetown University, and Dr. Eric Shepherd, Assistant Professor of Chinese at University of South Florida; the second day featured language booths offering samples of speaking and writing in the seven languages. Attendees learned a phrase and got a personalized writing sample, usually of calligraphic quality.

International snacks provided an additional and popular attraction.


German 471 Capstone students in their one-hour live videoconference in German with students of International Communication at the University of Hildesheim, Germany.

Topic: Varieties of language in Germany and the United States.

Alumni News from All Over

Kate Schweitzer (2008) is currently in a graduate program in philosophy at Emory University in Atlanta, hoping to be in Germany this summer for a study program. She reports that GER 322 helped her contextualize her graduate readings in twentiethcentury German philosophy.

Will Geiger (2005) recently left Chrysler and began work for a Dutch company, Lyondell Basell Industries, which has offices worldwide. Will is working from Houston but has high hopes of an international assignment.

K.E. Smith published an article, "Ravelings," in the winter issue of Interweave Knits magazine. She and husband Dr. Michael Bachem live in Portland, Maine, where they moved after his retirement as Professor of German at Miami.

Erin Munsie (2007) is teaching at Cooper High School, a new school in the Boone County School District in Florence, Kentucky, where she is starting the German program. A veteran of the Miami in Munich/Wayne State University Junior Year in Munich program, she's hoping to go back to Germany soon.

Amy Clark (2003) worked for two years in Zurich, Switzerland, and Frankfurt, Germany, first as an au pair, then teaching English to business people and finally tutoring second and seventh graders at an international school. She is now in Indiana with her parents, planning to complete a teaching degree and to return to Germany.

Andrew Werner (M.A. 1989) is in his eleventh year of teaching German at Providence Day School, a kindergarten through twelfth grade private school in Charlotte, North Carolina. He teaches all levels of upper-school German and occasionally basic levels of Spanish (having lived in Ecuador for three years); he also coaches soccer and plays the cello in a local orchestra. He is married with two children.


Saleh Yousef (Arabic) has developed an Arabic language summer course at the University of Jordan in Amman. It will be offered for the first time in summer 2009.

Dr. Mila Ganeva's (German) book, Women in Weimar Fashion: Discourses and Displays in German Culture, 1918-1933 (Camden House, 2008) has been published.

The German program is sponsoring a symposium, "German-Jewish Relations," with speakers from Germany and the United States, to take place at Miami Feb. 28-Mar. 2.

"Contemporary Spoken Arabic" will be taught for the first time in Spring 2009. The course will focus on the Arabic of a selected region (first-year courses normally focus on Modem Standard Arabic, which is a written variety only; the spoken language varies significantly from region to region).