Sponsored by Global Languages and MISTI-Germany, the German Studies Excellence Award  honors students who exhibit excellent language skills and creativity in the study of German language and culture in classes at MIT.

Students’ accomplishment in German Studies during this academic year was celebrated at an award ceremony on May 4, 2021 via Zoom. Attendees included lecturers and students of German; Emma Teng, Director of Global Languages; Eric Goldberg, major and minor advisor of German and Professor of History; and Justin Leahey, Managing Director of MISTI-Germany.

This year’s guest speaker was Nicole Menzenbach, Consul General of Germany to New England.

The 36 entries exhibited a wide spectrum of engagement: From poetry writing and poetry reciting to songs, from reflections on German-speaking cities and city living to essays responding to literary texts, from contemplations about the journey of learning German to film analysis. Most importantly, the submissions depicted how students developed a voice in German that uses the language as a vehicle to express creativity and emotions, as well as reflections from a different perspective and angle.

The first prize winner, Stefan Damchevski ‘23, writes in his essay submission about the filmic use of color as a way to show different perceptions of reality. Second prize winner Valeria Robayo ‘23 compares different ways of responses to being “foreign” in a German speaking context. Second Prize winner Sherry Nyeo ‘23 tells her story about how she became intrigued learning German. And the poem by second prize winner Charles Roques-Carmes, G, reflects on hope through imagination in hard times during the pandemic.

Third prizes went to: Elie Cuevas, ’24, Jiahui Du, ‘23, Max Fan, ‘23, Haeri Kim, ’24, Sol Rodriguez Garnica, ‘22, Sophia Wang, ‘24, Christian de Weck, ‘23, Kristopher Vu, ’23.

As to the significance of the event, Dagmar Jaeger, lecturer in German, commented, “It’s important to take a moment and celebrate the incredible work of our students. This was a challenging year, but these students demonstrated persistence and passion in their studies of German.”

Herzlichen Glückwunsch an alle Gewinnerinnen und Gewinner!  Congratulations to all!