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UA German Studies Department Receives High Distinction
The American Association of Teachers of German has designated the UA Department of German Studies as a national German Center of Excellence.
The University of Arizona Department of German Studies, which has seen important growth in recent years, has just been honored with the highest distinctions by its field's national association.
The department has just been designated a German Center of Excellence by the American Association of Teachers of German. One two departments were chosen for the honor this year.
The department has just been designated as a German Center of Excellence by the American Association of Teachers of German, having been selected as one of only two departments being honored this year.
"This award reflects the commitment of the German studies faculty to excellence in teaching, mentoring, and curricular design," said Barbara Kosta, head of the UA Department of German Studies.
"In addition to all of the extracurricular events we organize, our study abroad program in Leipzig engages students to immerse themselves in language and cultural learning and to experience the excitement of living in another culture," Kosta said. "This award speaks to the extraordinary quality of our faculty and students who all share the love of learning."
The UA department was honored last week during the association's annual meeting held in Orlando, Fla.
After a rigorous application process during which numerous college and university German programs across the nation were considered, the jurors found the UA’s program was deemed excellent in every category.
The UA program’s curriculum was found to be most impressive with a clear, articulated sequence of instructional programming that is standards-based and reflects current methodologies. AATG noted: "Outcomes at each instructional level are clearly articulated and diverse learning styles are respected through varied instructional and assessment techniques. The materials used in the program are culturally authentic and interdisciplinary connections have been established."
Also, jurors noted being impressed with growth in the department. With strong support from the administration, professional colleagues, students and alumni, "it was clear that this program has strong ties to the wider campus and community," jurors noted in their evaluation. "It was also evident that extracurricular activities and special events are integral elements of the program."
Among the department's annual events are:
- The department and its student club, the Deutscher Studenten Club, host the annual Deutscher Studenten Cup, a study abroad soccer tournament. Teams made up of UA faculty, staff and students and alumni and community members play against one another in a World Cup-style event, which raises funds to support scholarships for UA students who choose to study abroad.
- UA students may participate in any of the department’s three summer study abroad programs: the Arizona in Leipzig Program, the Medieval Travel Course or research in Munich at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces, Munich.
- Its weekly professional development workshop series engages German studies faculty and students in conversations about emergent scholarship in the field.
- The department hosts an annual German Studies colloquium, inviting UA faculty members and scholars from across the nation and abroad to speak about important historic and contemporary issues either local or global in scope.
- The department has, for more than 10 years, served as the primary sponsor of The Medieval and Early-Modern Studies Symposium.
A few of the department's recent achievements are:
- In 2012, German studies faculty members Chantelle Warner and David J. Gramling coordinated and co-sponsored "Multilingual, 2.0?," a unique interdisciplinary symposium that engaged some of the world's preeminent scholars in critical multilingualism studies. The UA's Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry provided funding for the symposium and initiative, which engaged participants in efforts to solidify the emergent field of critical multilingualism studies.
- Professor Steven D. Martinson’s most recent book publication is "Projects of Enlightenment: The Work of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Cultural, Intercultural, and Transcultural Perspectives," and was published this year. He also is a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
- Albrecht Classen, a University Distinguished Professor, was in 2012 named Arizona Professor of the Year, an honor given annually by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The announcement arrived on the heels of Classen receiving a number of other national and international awards.
"The many accomplishments of German Studies at the UA and its recognition as a Center of Excellence reveal to the world the quality of a department that we have admired and seen as an energetic and forward-looking program here for decades," said Mary E. Wildner-Bassett, dean of the UA College of Humanities, which houses the department.
"Its model includes a holistic approach to language teaching and program building, an emphasis on adaptability to world situations and student needs and interests, and a major focus on preparing students at all levels of study for work and understanding in multilingual and global communities," Wildner-Bassett said. "I celebrate with the Department of German Studies with true gratitude for all they are and accomplish."