Our graduates pursue a wide variety of careers and opportunities. We recently reached out to our undergraduate alumni for updates on their whereabouts and activities, and loved hearing what they shared!
Rachel Schneider has started a master’s program in anthropology at Brandeis University this fall. When she visited in the spring, she learned that they have a very small German department, with only three professors and no graduate students. She’s hoping to be able to do some TA work or tutoring in their department during her program, as they indicated that many smaller departments look for graduate students from other departments to work for them. (2018)
Zixing (Rex) Li is currently pursuing a master's degree in computer science at UPenn.
Mike Glassmoyer has finished writing his first novel, and started the editing process with a hopeful spring publication date. He still writes a variety of things, including poetry, and is going to start organizing a poetry collection fairly soon too. He didn't immediately remember that from what he read in German classes, but that does strike him as a very Kleist-y thing to do. If he feels it fits in the context of one of his books, he just might do that! And if he ever comes back to visit St. Louis, the first place he’ll visit after Pi is definitely the German Department. (2018)
Trinity Lopez lives in the metro east area, Fairview Heights, IL to be specific, and is working at a civil engineering firm. This past summer, she started taking classes through the UMSL/WUSTL Joint Engineering Program in order to complete credits toward a degree in Civil Engineering and start the process of gaining a Professional Engineer licensure. In her off time, she participates in two tennis leagues, two soccer leagues, and travel whenever she gets the opportunity. (2018)
Hal Matthews is living in Vienna, working as an English teaching assistant at two different high schools. The position is similar to a German ETA, but is different in that the program is organized by Fulbright, but funding exclusively by the Austrian government. The program is awesome and could be a good opportunity for any students who want to teach abroad, but might want to apply to something less competitive than Fulbright Germany. More information can be found here.
Gabe Conradi is currently in New York city, working at Uber ATC doing mapping, autonomy, and safety work as a staff engineer in the site reliability engineering group.
Jacob DeHovitz says "I'm currently working at Princeton University as a chemistry graduate student in Dr. Erik Sorensen's lab. I've actually met many Germans and have been able to practice my speaking skills a lot!"
Lisa Herbert is currently working on her PhD in Marine Biogeochemistry at Stony Brook University, New York. Her research involves collaboration with colleagues in Germany, so she makes good use of the German language skills she learned through her German major. She hopes to finish her PhD in 2019 and continue on to a postdoctoral research position, possibly in Germany.
Elisabeth Housman graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy in May 2017.
Ryan Minett says “I just finished my Masters in Euroculture at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Georg-August Universität Göttingen. My thesis was on the end of the American century and the rise of European style transnational cooperation as the new global norm for international relations I also got my C1 certificate from the Goethe Institüt München back in 2015. Most recently, I’ve been doing the work to start a company to recruit American students to study at European universities. We're recruiting for full-time programs, not study abroad, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It's called Educate Eurself. If any students there are interested in continuing their education in Europe, we'd be happy to help them. We are focusing primarily on programs in English right now, as most Americans do not speak another language well enough to study in it, but we can help if students want to study in German or any other language.”
Diana Jack recently returned to Washington, DC after receiving her master's in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She now works as a program coordinator with the Corporate Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jordan Beck Wagner has now been living in Hamburg, Germany for almost 3 years after completing her MA in Heidelberg, Germany and MSc in Edinburgh, Scotland. She works for a strategic digital communications firm that advises top German companies including Lufthansa, Ritter Sport, and thyssenkrupp Elevator. Her job is entirely in German, which has introduced a whole new level of business German! She continues to write her travel blog “Wayfaring With Wagner” and has partnered with several tourism boards including Hamburg, Mainz, Bayreuth, Rheingau, and York (UK) this past year. (2018)
Erika Deal lives in Seattle with her husband, Patrick McBryde (BS/MS Computer Science, 2010), and their giant German shepherd mutt. After earning her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington, she worked first as an engineer and then as a product manager at several tech companies in Seattle. She is currently a product manager working with real estate agents at Redfin, which requires a lot of research, planning, and writing - all skills developed as a humanities major at WashU. (2018)
Leah Marks says "Since last January, I've been teaching German at Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, TX, a suburb of Austin. (Fun fact: Much of the TV show Friday Night Lights was shot at PHS.) I was sort of lost after my post-grad Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Hamburg, and I ended up moving to Austin and spending a couple of years writing for an Austin-based social media startup and then getting a MA in Advertising at UT Austin with the goal of becoming a copywriter. Advertising really wasn’t a good fit for me, but I’m so glad I did my Master’s because it lead me back to teaching (I TAed for a British literature course and really enjoyed being back in front of a classroom) and to German, my one true academic love.
I absolutely love being Frau Marks. I’m currently teaching German 1-3 (pre-AP) to 9th-12th graders, and I founded and sponsor Deutschklub, a club where kids learn about German culture through German media (aka an opportunity for me to expose the youth of Pflugerville to German cinema). In June 2019, I’m taking a group of students to Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. It’s going to be amazing—some of the kids have never even been outside of Texas. I also just married my WashU sweetheart (Derrick Jensen, BFA Printmaking, 2010) this fall, in Austin!"
John C. Witty is continuing his PhD studies in Art History, completing a dissertation on the fourteenth-century Venetian painter’s workshop of Paolo Veneziano. He is currently the Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow at the Frick Collection in New York, where he is developing an exhibition related to his dissertation research. He says that the knowledge of German refined in the department at WashU has continued to be an invaluable asset to his art historical study. (2018)
Daniel Barks is working at Beacon Press in Boston, going undercover with the English majors. He is in the production department, ushering final manuscripts through copy editing, proofreading, and printing. Not a whole lot of opportunity to flex his Sprachfähigkeiten, but there have been a couple of instances of proofreading backlist philosophical works for e-book conversion with long passages of quoted German material.
Jason Brown says "After graduating in 2009, with majors in German and international business, I went to work as a Marketing Specialist for Sabre Hospitality Solutions, an advertising agency based outside of Washington, DC. There, I provided digital marketing solutions for hotels and resorts and particularly enjoyed consulting with German clients. Determined to return to WashU, I found my way back in 2013 when I started the MBA program. Upon completion of the program, I stayed at WashU, working in the Graduate Programs Office at Olin Business School, and now serve as the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions."
Thom Wall says he is "working as the featured juggling act on Cirque du Soleil's touring show 'Totem'. When I'm not juggling on stage, I enjoy speaking German with a few members of the cast, and am also working on writing a textbook about juggling technique. The Post Dispatch wrote a little story about me, which you can find here. There's a good chance I'll be in St. Louis in June to do a show for the St. Louis Public Library system, as a joint event for his book release and World Juggling Day (yep, that's a thing!). It's still in the planning phases, though." (2018)
Charlie Machan is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife Amanda and daughters Harriet and Georgia. He still enjoys stumbling through his own translations of experimental procedures in German scientific literature. (2018)
Brandon Krepel lives in the St. Louis area with his wife, fellow WashU alumna, Allison, and two young sons. He serves as Audiovisual Engineering Manager at TSI Global, with a focus on internal policies and procedures and strategic accounts. For fun, he can still be found running front-of-house sound, from time to time, for the St. Louis Blues, in section 112 of the Enterprise Center. (2018)
Will Lukas completed his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2018 and currently works as a consulting geotechnical engineer at GEI Consultants outside of Boston. He is married to his wife, Catherine, and has a daughter, Greta. (2018)
Katy (Meyer) Maille is in her 11th year of teaching, and, this school year, she is new to the Parkway School District, teaching German to students in grades 6-11. Additionally, she applied for a scholarship for professional development for German teachers which is offered by the Goethe Institut, and was awarded the scholarship for a 2-week course this upcoming summer in Germany! (2018)
Aine (Steiner) Mines is currently living in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Greg, who is also a WashU graduate. She has two children and is teaching the older one to count to zwanzig auf Deutsch.
Dan Daranciang completed his PhD at Stanford in 2012 and was offered a postdoc performing ultra fast x-ray experiments at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton (DESY) in Hamburg. In the end, though, Dan decided to go to work at a photonics manufacturer, Thorlabs, and is presently in New Jersey. His company has several locations in Germany, and he frequently has the opportunity to collaborate with engineers there, who are generally impressed by his speaking/writing proficiency. He is also often asked to assist when a particularly tricky technical manual has been translated into English by someone less than fluent. Dan counts himself lucky to have been a part of the great department at WashU, and can only imagine that it has strengthened since his graduation in 2006.
Caroline Collins has been living and working in Prague, Czech Republic since 2006. She currently teaches second grade in a small international elementary school. She is married and raising two young children. She is very happy to occasionally teach German students, and she tries to visit Dresden every December to enjoy the Christmas markets. (2018)
Nickolai Detert is currently in year 2 of his doctorate as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He is supported by his wife, Jenny Detert, MD, who is a pediatrician in Duke University Primary Care. Together, they have two sons: Ethan (4) and Alex (2), who keep them busy, when not working. Nickolai’s doctoral quality improvement project deals with PTSD in veterans who use civilian secondary care, and how to better identify and refer these patients for mental health services.
John Matson is currently an associate professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech, where he puts his German skills to use occasionally in translating old patents. He recently begun reactivating some old German neurons, as he plans for a sabbatical in Mainz in 2020, where his training involves watching episodes of the cartoon "Peppa Wutz" auf Deutsch with his 4-year-old daughter. (2018)
Martin Schilling has been living in Berlin for nearly two years, after a few years in Heidelberg. He is working as a project manager for a software company in the public transit and railway industry. This builds on the transportation-related planning work he was doing in Oakland.
Christina Wills says: “How nice to see a quick update from your department, including your request for alum whereabouts. For the past year, I’ve been on assignment with Boeing living and working in Berlin. It’s a far cry from my days studying 18th century German lit, but I feel as though my personal passion and professional interests have finally aligned. Since my time in STL, I completed a Fulbright teaching fellowship, earned two master’s degrees at the University of Washington (MA/MBA), and have worked for two Fortune 100 companies.
Here in Germany, I’m responsible for driving Boeing’s research and development projects utilizing publicly available funds, either at the state or federal level. As such, I work quite closely with the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, academic institutions, as well as the German supply base to achieve our technology goals. It’s a complex assignment requiring the ability to act on the intersection of the political environment, technology advancements, as well as the shifting global aerospace supply chain.
This role would not have been open to me had I not been both fully proficient in German, as well as possessing the business acumen to work in ambiguous circumstances. I certainly credit my time at WashU, particularly in the German department, for letting me hone my German language and critical thinking skills in a safe and stimulating environment.
Side note – my husband, also a WashU alum (EN06), works here in Berlin for Amazon doing machine learning research at their Development Center. I’m proud to say he’s taking German lessons at the Goethe Institute, and he’s realizing what a challenging – but beautiful – language it is. For the sake of our happy home life, we decided it was best to have someone else give him language instruction! We rounded out the full German experience by moving here with our “Dackel,” Albert.”
Kevin Ard is now a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. Although he doesn't use German on a day-to-day basis in his work, he's married to a Norwegian, and the similarities between German and Norwegian come quite in handy at home!
Andrea Detjen lives in Berlin, Germany, with her husband Heiko, 4-year-old son Hendrick, and newest addition Nina, born in September 2018. Andrea works at US Embassy Berlin, but is currently on a long German maternity leave. She has worked for the US Department of Homeland Security for the last twelve years in various capacities, but mostly managing cooperative partnerships with European counterpart agencies. She lived in Washington, DC, before that, where she also earned an MA in International Relations from American University. She uses what she learned in the German Department at WashU and during the year abroad in Tübingen every day! (2018)
Scott Schweikart says, "After graduating from WashU in 2000, I went to law school at Case Western Reserve University and additionally completed a master’s degree in bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. I am currently working at the American Medical Association in Chicago, where I am the Senior Research Associate in the ethics group and the legal editor of the AMA Journal of Ethics. My work is focused on health law and bioethics. Although I no longer use German on a day-to-day basis, I credit my German education at WashU - notable for its intensive focus on both the language and the literature - with helping to sharpen my language and analytical skills." (2018)