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German Major Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award to Teach in Germany

Nicholas Sweet, Fulbright RecipientTHURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2017

Nicholas Sweet '17 will be putting his degrees in German and international studies to work when he travels to Germany in mid-August thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship.

He will be working in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz as an English teacher's assistant, helping students learn more about the language and American culture. 

UNCW Professor of German Raymond Burt recommended that Sweet consider applying for a Fulbright during a meeting about his departmental honors thesis. Specifically, he recommended the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award.

Sweet had studied abroad in Germany during his junior year and was anxious to get back.

“I volunteered as an English as a Second Language conversation partner for most of my academic career at UNCW and was dead-set on applying,” he said. “As a German major and with my love of teaching languages, it was the perfect opportunity.”

Though Sweet found the application process a bit “overwhelming,” he credits Burt and UNCW faculty members Olga Trokhimenko, Herbert Berg and Derrick Miller for their guidance.

In addition to being an Honors student, Sweet is a member of Sigma Iota Rho, an international studies honor society, and a German tutor at the University Learning Center. A native of Vermont, Sweet’s parents relocated to Wilmington shortly before he enrolled at UNCW. He plans to visit New England and work towards getting his ESL teaching certification before he leaves for Germany.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States. Excellence in teaching and scholarship, and having a global focus, are priorities as outlined in UNCW’s Strategic Plan. UNCW was recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars in 2016. Having students, faculty and staff consistently honored with Fulbrights is a measure of UNCW’s continued success. 

-- Caroline Cropp

German Major Receives SURCA Award for Research on Harry Potter

Olga Trokhimenko and Madeline MartinMadeline Martin is a German and Geography double major with a minor in Geospatial Technologies. Working with Dr. Olga Trokhimenko, Professor of German at UNCW, they received a SURCA award for spring 2017. Their research explored the world of Harry Potter through the lens of its proverbial language and its gender dynamic. The project is Martin's first large-scale involvement in a research/scholarly activity.


Martin and Trokhimenko addressed questions such as: How does J. K. Rowling use the proverbial language in general? What role does the proverbial material play in the creation of Rowling’s Secondary World? Is there a difference between the Wizard and non-Wizard use of proverbs and idioms? Do the two communities share knowledge or exist independently and why? What repercussions does this have on their portrayal and the audience’s understanding of and relation to the text? What effect do power dynamics, age, and gender have on the use of the folkloric material in the text? Finally, how is proverbial language transferred (or not?) to the novels’ filmic adaptations and what are the possible reasons and implications of this?

Martin recently presented her research at the UNCW Showcase of Student Research, pictured left.