Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Home > Degree Programs > German > Graduate Studies > Graduate Students

Bousley.jpgChad Bousley


Chad is in his second year of the MA program after completing his undergraduate studies in Classical guitar performance and German at Albion College in May 2014. During his time as an undergraduate, Chad was a teaching assistant for the German department at Albion College and taught tutorials for 101 and 102. During the 2012-2013 academic year Chad studied abroad in Vienna, Austria. His research interests include: guitar in Germania, music, media and language acquisition, and dialects of German. Due to his musical background Chad is interested in finding new ways to integrate music in the German classroom.


4e0c14c8a609b5e5c7aed1fbb94674a7_f576.jpgMelissa Elliot


Melissa is a Ph.D. student in German Studies. She obtained a B.A. with a double major in Vocal Performance and German in 2008 from Calvin College. In 2011, she received her M.A. in German Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit. During her Master’s program, she spent one year studying abroad at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, which she considers one of the best years of her life. Her research interests include the role of music in German literature and film, Holocaust studies, gender studies and religion. In her free time, Melissa enjoys singing in the Calvin Alumni Choir, cooking, hiking, and traveling anywhere and everywhere.

Ryan Galer



b992d69d3f07fcd67f6730e60ac40460_f475.jpgJennifer Gohlke


Jennifer is a PhD student in German Studies. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Philosophy and German Literature at the Universität Paderborn, Germany. In both fields she has already gained teaching experience: she worked as a Philosophy tutor in Paderborn, and as a German instructor at Western Michigan University, while studying in their MA program in Philosophy. During that time she got to know and fell in love with Michigan and American life. Now she is pursuing her PhD with a special interest in classical German literature, philosophy and all possible interfaces between them.


a3b165716b65373aa3b4d690d49d52f1_f373.jpgSusan Hojnacki


Susan lives and works in Grand Rapids, MI, but spends her academic life at MSU. She entered the Ph.D. program in German at MSU in Jan. 2010. In 1992 she earned a B.A. in German and English/Creative Writing at Indiana University, spending one year studying at Hamburg University. Over the next ten years she taught high school German and English including a year at the Gesamtschule Duisburg-Süd on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. In the fall of 2009 she began teaching as an Adjunct Professor of German at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and has continued in this position since entering the Ph.D. program at MSU. Her research interests include the role of technology in second language acquisition, the effect of oral output on learner proficiency in second language learning, the influence of linguistic tendencies on online speech in German, and curriculum development in modern language programs. In 2010 she received the Max-Kade Fellowship at MSU to further her research agenda and completed a pilot study on online oral production in intermediate learners of German. She has presented on her research at the Michigan World Language Association, The Sloan Consortium for Online Learning, CALICO, and ACTFL. She is currently working on a dissertation looking at the effects of the flipped classroom on second language acquisition.


01f81fb6bfda4d81570108e3f0f9820d_f479.jpgCarly Lesoski


Carly Lesoski is in her second year of the PhD program. She completed her undergraduate studies in German at Michigan State in 2014 and spent her senior year in Freiburg as part of the Academic Year in Freiburg study abroad program. She is currently enjoying her positions as a Teaching Assistant for GRM 101 and Lead Instructor for German for Teens as part of CeLTA. Her research interests include second language acquisition, study abroad concerns, second language instruction and the German education system.


Kristin Nahorodny



d69ed72d9f70f6a738cce32bafa3b274_f371.jpgAnne Von Petersdorff-Campen


Anne von Petersdorff is a PhD student in German Studies with a focus on Digital Humanities. She completed her Bachelor in International Tourism and Leisure with a specialization in Strategic Business Management (NHVT Breda, Netherlands and Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium) and a Master in Culture-Language-Media (University of Flensburg, Germany). During her Bachelor and Master she also studied in Mexico and Cuba. Between her bachelor's and master's degrees, she worked as a production assistant and line producer on TV commercials, short films and film production. During her MA Program she worked as a freelance videographer producing videos for institutions, NGOs and companies. Her research interests include human mobility, migration, tourism and travel, German settlements in Central and Latin America, the representation of human mobility and the use of technology.


034b13a42160bd54694f4b3ff1d09273_f477.jpgKrsna Santos


Krsna completed his undergraduate studies in German and English at Wayne State University in 2011. He also spent year abroad at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich while earning his bachelor’s degree. Being of a multinational background himself, both Brazilian and American, he is interested in transnational identity and immigrant communities in the German-speaking world. He is currently a second-year student in the MA program working on a thesis on German hip-hop. In fall 2016 he plans to enter the PhD program here at MSU.


Recent PhD Graduates

Magelone Bollen (2013) is Research Associate at MSU (Diss.: "„Urtheil und ein schönes Lied”: Das Armesünderblatt (1750-1820)").

After completing a two-year pre-/post-doc at Transylvania University, Stephen Naumann (2012) is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Hillsdale College (Diss.: "In Sight but out of Mind: The Construction of Memory at Three Once Stigmatized Sites in Berlin and Poznan").

Theresa Schenker (2012) is Senior Lector and Language Program Director of German at Yale University (Diss.: "The Effects of a Virtual Exchange on Language Skills and Intercultural Competence").

Matt Sikarskie (2014) has taught at Western Michigan University and is currently adjunct faculty at MSU (Diss.: "Bored With Boredom: Engaging Modernity in Wilhelmine Wandervogel and West German Punk Subcultures").

Recent MA Graduates

Several of our recent MA students, including Kathryn Roche (2015), Adam Orange (2014), Scott Casey (2013), and Emily Thomas (2012), are teaching in public schools; others are pursuing doctoral degrees at other institutions: Kate Schaller (2015) is currently pursuing a PhD in German Studies at Vanderbilt University; Matt Sherman (2011) is matriculated in the German PhD program at the University of Texas, Austin; Dan Walter (2011) recently completed a PhD in Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie Mellon University.

Yet others are employed in non-teaching positions in institutions of higher ed: Kelsey Fedewa (2014) is International Student Coordinator in the Office of International Programs at Kettering University; Kathryn Klimczak (2013) is Administrative Coordinator at Fraunhofer USA at Michigan State University. Kylia Kelley (2011) works as a translator for the auto industry in the Greater Detroit area. Following a stint as manager of Moosejaw Mountaineering in Boulder, CO, where she enjoyed serving many German tourist clients, Hanna O'Neill (2013) currently works as a buyer for Moosejaw at the corporate level in Madison Heights, MI.