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I’ve heard German since I can remember. Summers spent visiting my grandparents, uncle, and extended family in the Swiss Alps and German countryside sparked my interest in German literature, hiking, and chocolate. Still, I didn’t learn the language until the 8th grade, when I was in a German 1 class with 25 other language learners.
I continued learning German, majoring in German Language and Literature and English at the College of William and Mary, where I graduated summa cum laude. A junior year abroad in Germany at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster sparked my interest in Comparative Literature. During that time I participated in seminars on German translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets, literature and painting, and early American writing. The unique perspective available to me as the only native English speaker in the German college classroom, where I got to share with and learn from my colleagues, got me excited about cultural and literary exchange. These interests stayed with me, and while pursuing my doctorate at Vanderbilt University, I had the opportunity to study literature, translation, and theology at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany.
I live in Virginia with my husband and sons. When I’m not outside in the garden or riding my bike, I’m reading the latest German novel or streaming German-language movies and TV shows.
On teaching: In my classroom, language is a tool students use to navigate meaning and encounter new ideas. I provide an input-rich environment, where students are immersed in the language through videos, songs, texts, and stories. Through these different sources, students see language as it’s used in daily context. From there, they grow their vocabulary and grammatical abilities, and gain confidence communicating about an ever-growing range of topics and ideas.