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Astrida Orle Tantillo Bridges Scholarship Funded Projects

2023 Graduate Winners Heading link

  • Cheyenne Otto

    Cheyenne Otto graduated from UIC with a BA in History. Deepening her knowledge of German with the assistance of the award through an intensive summer language program in Bonn, she will be well prepared to enter the MA program in the department of Germanic Studies in Fall.

    Award Amount: $2,700

  • Alex Rank

    Alex Rank is a graduating senior, pursuing a double degree in Germanic Studies and Public Policy with minors in Criminology, Law, and Justice, and Civic Analytics. Alex will attend an intensive language course at the Humboldt University in Berlin from June 25 to September 2, 2023. The program will raise her German language skill to level of B2 and prepare her for an entire year of volunteer work and community service in Leipzig, Germany. Upon return, she plans to continue her studies in a graduate program in German.

    Award Amount: $2,500

  • Titilope Ajeboriogbon

    Titilope Ajeboriogbon is a first-year Master’s student in the Department of Germanic Studies with a keen interest in exploring the role that Germanic languages have played in shaping modern political and social structures. He will be using the Award to attend an intensive summer language course at the Goethe Institute in Bonn. He believes that an in-depth study of the German humanistic tradition will be a valuable asset in achieving his long-term career goal of working with organizations that share his passion for promoting intercultural understanding and cooperation.

    Award Amount: $7,500

  • Karina Duncker-Hoffmann

    Karina Duncker-Hoffmann is a Ph.D. Candidate in her fifth year in Germanic Studies at UIC. After a long, international career as a high school teacher and university lecturer of German and ESL, she decided to pursue a doctoral degree. The award will enable her to spend several weeks in Germany in summer, where she will attend a professional development course organized by the Goethe Institute on Teaching Landeskunde, as well as pursuing dissertation research in archives and libraries in Dresden, Leipzig, and Weimar. After completing her Ph.D., she plans to continue teaching German at the university level.

    Award Amount: $2,000

  • Ruth Ireti Falaiye

    Ruth Ireti Falaiye is a first-year graduate student in Germanic Studies. She is a Nigerian international student with two academic goals: to gain a deeper understanding of German language and culture and to develop her research, writing, and intellectual curiosity. The Award will enable her to attend an intensive summer language course at the Goethe Institute in Bonn. Upon completion of her degree, she is interested in a career in academia or a related field or cultural inquiry.

    Award Amount: $7,500

  • Charlie Johnson

    C. Johnson is finishing their second year of a PhD in Germanic Studies at UIC and received their MA at UIC in 2021. Their dissertation will focus on modernist and realist literature in German-speaking Europe and the themes of Bildung, power, and sexuality that are central to these texts. The award will support in-depth summer research on these themes and the planned dissertation. In the future C. hopes to continue researching and teaching at the university level.

    Award Amount: $3,000

  • Ian Marks

    Ian Marks graduated with my BA in Germanic Studies in May 2022 and he is now a first-year MA student in the department of Germanic Studies. In 2023, he will return to Germany and take a C1 course at the Goethe Institute in Mannheim, for his own benefit as well as for his teaching career in the Basic Language Program. After completing the MA, Ian is interested in continuing with the Ph.D. either in Germany or in the U.S. but also plans to get certified to teach German and English as a Foreign Language.

    Award Amount: $3,000

  • Erin Ritchie

    Erin Ritchie is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Germanic Studies program. She is currently writing and researching the representation of fat bodies and other bodies in excess in German literature and film and will use the award to deepen her knowledge of this emerging field in preparation for her dissertation project. Erin ultimately hopes to secure a professorship or other teaching position teaching German Studies at the collegiate level.

    Award Amount: $4,500

  • Patrick White

    Born and raised in Würzburg, Patrick is currently in his third year of the Ph.D. program at UIC. He contemplates a dissertation to trace Antiziganism (hostility, prejudice, discrimination or racism which is specifically directed at Romani people) and its representation in German literary works in the long nineteenth century. The award to sponsor archival research in Germany, related to the project. His academic and professional goal after receiving the degree is to enter a career in higher education or in cultural institutions.

    Award Amount: $3,500

2023 Undergraduate Winners Heading link

  • Josh Depa

    Josh Depa is a transfer Junior at UIC, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and a minor in Germanic studies. With the help of the award he will be able to go to Berlin and be immersed in German culture while also learning about how urban planning is done abroad through an Internship program. After graduation, he will apply to master’s degree programs in urban planning.

    Award Amount: $2,500

  • Eduardo Gonzalez

    Eduardo Gonzalez is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Germanic Studies. The award will assist him in attending an intensive German language course at the B1 level in Munich. Having a Mexican-American background, Eduardo chose to make German his third language. While abroad he will carry out small translation project to prepare him for a career as a professional translator.

    Award Amount: $3,000

2022 Graduate Winners Heading link

  • Wiktoria Adamczyk

    Wiktoria Adamczyk used the award to conduct preliminary research for her dissertation on German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, often hailed the beating heart of New German Cinema, at the Archive of the Film Museum in Frankfurt am Main. During her two-month stay, Wiktoria unearthed a trove of documents, interacted with curator, and forged academic connections to established scholars with similar interests.

  • Charlie Johnson

    Charlie Johnson continued on the trajectory of researching gender-inclusivity in the German language, particularly pedagogical aspects of the large-scale project. Charlie’s research is primarily motivated by a desire to see more efforts towards social justice in language departments, to be an instructor who really influences students’ lives by being inclusive and mindful of their gender identities, and to fulfill the actual point of education: unlearning restrictive ways of thinking and learning about how to be a better human being amongst human beings.

  • Ian Marks

    Ian Marks fulfilled his long-held dream of returning to Germany after a years-long hiatus by traveling to Freiburg im Breisgau, where he attended an intense German language course organized by the Goethe Institute. In his free-time, he enjoyed a guided city tour, a couple of Stammtisch events, a picnic at the Seepark, day trips to Basel and Strasbourg, a concert at the Freiburger Konzerthaus, visits to various museums, and particularly hiking in the charming Black Forest with German-speaking friends from all over the globe.

  • Patrick White

    The Bridges Fund enabled Patrick White to travel to Germany in Summer to conduct research towards his dissertation project on Antiziganism (hostility, prejudice, discrimination or racism which is specifically directed at Romani people) and its representation in nineteenth century German literary works. He travelled to Heidelberg and visited the “Documentation and Cultural Centre”, adjunct to the “Central Council of German Sinti and Roma”. There, he studied the plight the Roma have historically suffered as well as the practices of exclusion to which they were subjected for centuries. Reconnecting with specialist scholars and a visit to a commemorative site in Würzburg where part of the trip.

2022 Undergraduate Winners (Alumni) Heading link

  • Noemi Andras

    Noemi Andras attended a six-week program summer language program at the FuBiS institute of the Free University Berlin. In addition to an intense language class which brought her German skills to a new level and a course on Europa, Migration, and Politics, she made a point of visiting every borough of vibrant Berlin and exploring the city beyond the usual tourist spots, striking friendships with fellow-minded international students along the way.

  • Nathan La Mantia

    Nathan La Mantia devoted himself full-time to writing his Capstone project on organized crime in the Weimar Republic in social history and in contemporary film. Nathan carefully reconstructed the origins, development, and forms of organized crime in the Interwar period and brought these insights to bear on his readings of prominent feature films, such as M (1931). The experience of in-depth research positions him well for his envisioned career as a history teacher.

2019 Undergraduate Winners Heading link

  • Katharine Andrew: $3,050

    Katharine is a graduating senior with a double major in Germanic Studies and Political Science and a minor in History. The Bridges Fund Award will allow Katharine to conduct genealogy research in German archives and libraries. This work will help her to become a Certified Genealogist (CG) and Certified Genealogical Lecturer (CGL) by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. After graduation Katharine plans to pursue a Master’s of Library and Information Sciences with the goal of working at a library or research institution that concentrates on history, genealogical research, or archives.

  • Nicholas Beard: $2,800

    Nicholas is a dual-degree student in Architecture and Germanic Studies. With the Bridges Fund Award, Nick will travel to Germany to complete an internship with the architect Manuel Schachtner that will help him experience Architecture practice in Germany and to earn the hours required for licensure. After graduating from UIC he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in architecture, possibly in Germany.

  • Kelsi Morefield: $3,000

    Kelsi is a transfer student and Germanic Studies major. With the Bridges Fund Award, Kelsi will spend a month conducting independent research at libraries and archives with the aim of finding the “lost” works of the author Eduard von Keyserling. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Vienna in Communication Science and build a career in international journalism or communication technologies research.

2019 Graduate Winners Heading link

  • Karina Duncker-Hoffmann: $2,900

    Karina is a first-year PhD student in Germanic Studies. With the Bridges Fund Award, she will participate in a 40-hour seminar on history and memory, organized by the Goethe Institut and the City of Berlin. While in Germany she will also conduct research on the German Realist novel as a potential dissertation topic.

  • Maryann Piel: $2,350

    Maryann is a second-year Ph.D. student in Germanic Studies. The Bridges Fund will support Maryann’s travel to the 2019 Notre Dame Berlin Seminar, “Literaturbetrieb: Key Players in Germany’s Literary Institutions” and research in Germany on representations of celebrity in what she calls the “manipulated reality” of fiction and reality television.

  • Jennifer Sengun: $400

    Jennifer is a first-year MA student in Germanic Studies. The Bridges Fund Award will enable her to conduct research at the Weimar Klassik-Stiftung on Weimar Classicism, which is the focal area of her Master’s exam.

  • Maria Speggiorin: $2,200

    Maria is a first-year MA student in Germanic Studies. The Bridges Fund Award will support her participation in a Summer School and Reading Group in Berlin and Leipzig that focuses on literature and politics, an area that she plans to focus on in her future research and teaching.

  • Anne Wooten: $3,300

    Anne is a first-semester MA student in Germanic Studies. The Bridges Fund award will allow Anne to complete an intensive C1 level German course at the Goethe Institut in Berlin that will prepare her for her exchange semester at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin next year.

2018 Undergraduate Winners Heading link

  • Andrew Tuider: $4500

    Andrew is majoring in Germanic Studies and Political Science, with a minor in International Studies. His interest in German began his freshman year of high school, where he took it as an elective because his ancestors come from Burgenland, a state in eastern Austria. The Jacobson Bridges Funds will allow him to study in Vienna for a semester through the Austria-Illinois Exchange Program, after an internship with the US Department of State at the US Embassy in Bucharest, Romania.

  • Elizabeth Sokol: $2500

    Elizabeth is a senior majoring in Germanic Studies with a minor in History. She is also a student scholar in the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar, working on original research on Immanuel Kant. She has been an active volunteer at the DANK-Haus German American Cultural Center, helping to run such events as Maifest, German cooking classes, and German film nights. Upon graduation in December 2018, she will be applying to masters programs, with a focus on Western Europe. She will use the Jacobson Bridges Funds to complete an intensive German language course at Humboldt University to prepare pass the language exam required to enroll in graduate studies at a German university.

  • Zuka’a Joudeh: $4500

    Zuka’a is majoring in Political Science and Germanic Studies and minoring in Public Policy. She has made it a priority to volunteer and be involved on and off campus, serving as a director for the Undergraduate Student Government and as an ambassador for the Students for Advancement of Freedom, Equality and Human Rights. During the summer, thanks to the Jacobson Bridges Fund, she will pursue an internship and structured volunteer opportunities working with refuges in Berlin, while also taking an advanced language class. This opportunity will help her gain the necessary knowledge and experience she needs to apply for a master’s program in international public policy.

2018 Graduate Winners Heading link

  • Hajar Kermani: $1500

    Hajar is a master’s degree student in the Germanic Studies Department. She is an enthusiastic and experienced teacher focused on encouraging students and fostering their excitement in learning. Having taken her first teaching methodology courses here at UIC, she has come to understand how specific methodologies improve the performance of students and she is eager to continue in this line of study. The Bridges Fund will help her afford to take an online course on second language acquisition through Northern State University in South Dakota, extending beyond the SLA courses offered here at UIC.

  • Lucas Riddle: $4500

    Lucas is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Studies—and also a professional translator and a published creative writer in both English and German. He plans to write a dissertation on contemporary German literature, humor and post-colonialism. The Jacobson Bridges Fund will assist him in doing dissertation research at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and allow him to participate in the Notre Dame Berlin Seminar on Contemporary German Literary Institutions in Berlin this summer.

  • Erin Gizewski: $2500

    Erin is a third-semester Master’s student in Germanic Studies. Interested in the connection between mind and body and the different ways in which aesthetic theory may influence the way people perceive this connection, Erin plans to eventually research this topic in German literature, art, and critical theory at the PhD level. The Jacobson Bridges Fund will allow Erin to take an intensive language course at Humboldt University to pass the C1 exam required to advance her studies to that next level.

2017 Undergraduate Winners Heading link

  • Hunter Sikorski: $3000

    Hunter is a double major in German and Architecture, and he will attend a five-week intensive language course at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. This course will prepare Hunter to take the TestDaf Exam, which allows him to study at the University of Wuppertal to pursue a master’s degree.

  • Zoie Meyers: $3000

    Zoie will begin an internship at the Sozialpädagogisches Institut Berlin in the Treffpunkt “Strohhalm” Projekt. Zoie will work in social work and mental health counseling with German citizens and immigrants. Participating in this project will provide invaluable experiences and help Zoie decide whether she wants to live permanently in Germany. Zoie is earning a double major in German and clinical psychology.

  • Matthew von Moss: $2500

    Matthew will attend an intensive language course and earn a DSH certificate, which will help him apply to the Universität Duisburg-Essen’s engineering program. Matthew believes that advances in the humanities and technology together can successfully address environmental crises. Matthew is a double major in German and engineering.

2017 Graduate Winners Heading link

  • Adrian Chubb: $2600

    Adrian is a Ph.D. student and will conduct research for six weeks at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. His dissertation is on the representation of political violence and its legacies in the films of Margarethe von Trotta. Adrian will gain valuable archival research experience, a crucial skill for completing a dissertation. Adrian is transitioning back to the field of Germanic Studies after 30 years in business.

  • Zachary Fitzpatrick: $3400

    Zach is a Ph.D. student and will conduct preliminary research for his dissertation, “Asians Through the German Lens: A Survey of Asian German Film and Television.” As a Filipino-American, Zach aims to learn more about Asian diaspora in other countries. Zach will spend four weeks in Berlin to work in the film archive and meet with representatives of pan-Asian political and cultural organizations. He will also travel to Bremen and Dȕsseldorf to attend the German-Asian network Korientation’s monthly meetings

  • Tahaylia Higgins: $3000

    Tahaylia is an MA student and will take an 8-week language and culture course at the Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg. During a previous study abroad experience, Tahaylia visited several refugee asylums in Berlin and was inspired to help those in need. Having emigrated from Jamaica, Tahaylia aspires to become a community interpreter by earning a Community Interpreting Certificate. This will allow her to work with asylum seekers in Germany.

  • Julia Koxholt: $1000

    Julia is a Ph.D. student and has been invited to attend the highly selective Notre Dame Berlin Seminar “German Literary Institutions: Der Literaturbetrieb: An Introduction to Key Players.” Julia will learn more about the contemporary literary scene in Germany. The seminar will help her decide whether to pursue an academic or non-profit career path.

  • Sarah Miller: $1500

    Sarah is an MA student who will participate in the Europa Universität Viadrina Summer School for Interdisciplinary Polish and German Students in Franfurt an der Oder (Germany) and Slubice (Poland). The theme of the summer school is “Remembering Communism” and will help Sarah refine her ideas for her thesis. Sarah is interested in combining Gemanic Studies and Political Science in her future career.

2016 Undergraduate Winners Heading link

  • Christopher Paxton: $3300

    Christopher will participate in a 4-week intensive language, art and culture program through the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In addition, Christopher will work on an independent research project on queer 20th-century German art from the Weimar Republic in the archives of the Schwules Museum and at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.

  • Minnie Pham: $3300

    Minnie will take a 4-week intensive language and culture course at the Goethe Institute, Berlin in June, 2017. She is a Biology and Germanic Studies major, and she plans to attend Pharmacy School. Her goal is to improve her already very substantial language skills, gain cultural literacy, and look for an internship at a German “Apotheke.”

  • Shemuelle Dado: $3300

    Shem will take a 4-week intensive language and culture course at the Goethe Institute, Berlin in July, 2016. Shem is a Germanic Studies major who is graduating in Spring 2016. Her passion for the study of German language and culture has convinced her to apply to the M.A. program in Germanic Studies at UIC for Fall 2016.

2016 Graduate Winners Heading link

  • Maryann Piel: $3100

    Maryann is a graduating MA student who plans to attend a special Goethe Institute workshop for teachers (“Deutsch für Lehrkräfte”) in Berlin in summer 2016 in order to hone her language skills and learn about cutting-edge pedagogical models for second language teaching. Maryann is currently applying for a visiting position as language instructor at Carthage College.

  • Christina Schultz: $3500

    Christina Schultz is a Ph.D. student in the Germanic Studies program at UIC. She is currently researching and writing her dissertation, entitled, “The Politics of Ethnic Comedy in German Turkish Culture.” She will conduct research at the Deutsche Kinemathek and at the Filmmuseum in Frankfurt. Both institutions house numerous videos and films that are inaccessible in the U.S. In addition, Christina plans to join the research group “Affective Societies – Dynamics of Social Coexistence in Mobile Worlds” that will meet at the Free University in Berlin this summer. This research group offers a section called “Migrantenmelodramen und Einwanderungskomödien: Medienformate deutsch-türkischer Gemeinschaftsgefühle / Migrant Melodramas and Immigration Comedies: Media Formats of German-Turkish Societal Emotions” that coincides very well with Christina’s research interests.

  • Christina Mekonen $ 3500

    Christina is a Ph.D. student in the Germanic Studies department. She is researching and writing her dissertation, “Poetic Encounters: The Black-Jewish Lyrical Dialogue vis-à-vis the Holocaust.” Her dissertation is highly interdisciplinary, as she is working with German, Francophone, and American poetry. She plans to travel to Washington DC and New York this summer to conduct research at the Holocaust Museum, the Library of Congress, and the Leo Baeck Institute.