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Your Success Story Is Waiting. We are proud of our record of preparing graduate students with ambitious research agendas for a wide range of careers in the humanities. Graduate students in German Studies are some of the most interdisciplinary humanities scholars at Vanderbilt. Our finely-tuned pedagogy training program allows our graduate students to become expert teachers at all possible levels of instruction, thus qualifying themselves for a job market that highly values substantial and varied teaching experience. We also graduate a number of Ph.D.s who pursue rewarding and important work outside the academy.

Alumni Stories

Ph.D. alumna Sarah KoellnerSarah Koellner, Ph.D.’18

Dissertation: Reenvisioning Privacy in Contemporary German Literature and Culture 

Assistant Professor of German, College of Charleston 

Throughout Sarah’s time in the German Studies Ph.D. program, the College of Arts and Science provided her with versatile opportunities to develop the skills needed to succeed in an academic career. “The intellectual freedom and curiosity that I encountered in the scholarly community of the Department of German, Russian and East European Studies gave me the opportunity to develop my strong research program, which enabled me to further pursue an academic career,” she says.

She is particularly grateful for her time as part of the vibrant, interdisciplinary academic community of researchers at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, and for the numerous travel grants she received. “In my first year as an assistant professor at the College of Charleston, I was able to excel in the classroom, thanks to the invaluable pedagogy training that I received at the Center for Teaching, as well as my hands-on teaching experience in the undergraduate curriculum of the Department of German, Russian and East European Studies,” Sarah says. 

Past Placements

The German Studies Ph.D. program has an excellent placement record for Ph.D. students seeking diverse careers, both in the academy and beyond. Below is a representative list of placements our students have obtained in recent years.

  • Derek Price (Ph.D. 2021): Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Digital Humanities, Vanderbilt University
  • Curtis Maughan (Ph.D. 2021): Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University
  • Michael Uhuegbu (Ph.D. 2021): Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Colorado College
  • Sophia Clark (Ph.D. 2020): Assistant Professor of German, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Laura Strombergsson (Ph.D. 2020): E-Learning Developer, Sephora, Dever, CO
  • Sarah Koellner (Ph.D. 2018): Assistant Professor, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 
  • Kaleigh J. Bangor (Ph.D. 2018): German Language Program Coordinator, University of Oklahoma, OK 
  • Clara J. Fisher (Ph.D. 2018):  German teacher, Ravenwood and Centennial High Schools in Nashville, TN 
  • Edward Dawson (Ph.D. 2018): Assistant Professor of the Practice, University of NebraskaLincoln, NE 
  • Oliver Knabe (Ph.D. 2017): Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Miami University, Oxford, OH 
  • Christine Richter-Nilsson (Ph.D. 2017): Bard College in Berlin, Germany 
  • Lisa Beesley (Ph.D. 2016): Lecturer, California State University, Long Beach and Lecturer, Pomona College, Claremont
  • Jessica Riviere (Ph.D. 2014): Instructional Consultant, Ohio State University’s University Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Columbus, OH
  • Ingo Kieslich (Ph.D. 2014): Assistant Editor for Critical Hannah Arendt Edition, Vanderbilt University and Free University Berlin 
  • Alexandra Campana (Ph.D. 2014): Sebior Lecturer in German, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Brett E. Sterling (Ph.D. 2013): Assistant Professor of German, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Elizabeth Weber Edwards (Ph.D. 2012): Chair of World Languages, Well-Trained Mind Academy, Charles City, VA
  • Maria Ebner (Ph.D. 2013): Lecturer, Fordham University, New York City, NY
  • Wesley Lim (Ph.D. 2012): Associate Professor of German Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Beatrix Brockman (Ph.D. 2012): Associate Professor of German, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN
  • Kathrin Seidl Gomez (Ph.D. 2011): Associate Professor of German, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
  • Robert Kelz (Ph.D. 2010): Associate Professor of German, University of Memphis, TN
  • Carola Daffner (Ph.D. 2007): Associate Professor and Chair of Global Languages and Cultures, University of Dayton, Ohio