Kevin Holm Photograph
Kevin Holm recently graduated as a German and Hispanic Studies major. He is continuing his education pursuing a Master’s Degree in German Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and aiming to teach German after graduation. Kevin credits his supportive professors in the Modern Languages Department with the inspiration to continue his education and reach his goal of becoming a German instructor.

“I like to refer to myself as a “surprise” German student. When I entered CUA in 2014 as a Hispanic Studies major, it was recommended to me that I should take another language to fill out my courses. Through some very appreciated suggestions, I found myself in German 101. Through the intimate language community of students, dedication of the faculty, and a wealth of cultural opportunity in Washington, I was well on my way to adding German as a double major. I have fond memories of Viennese waltz evenings in the lobby of McMahon and weekly Kaffeeklatschen (coffee chats!) in the Pryz. These events, which were only possible due to student interest and commitment and faculty effort and support, provided the structure and practice that would improve my German language skills and give me the confidence to continue studying in what was a new field of study for me.

In addition to the environment on campus at CUA and the attention and encouragement I received in my studies there, I received equal support in studying abroad in Austria. It was in Vienna that I would immerse myself in the language and cultural history I learned about back in Washington. These experiences would prove formative to my identity as a German student.  

All these variables led to me applying to an MA program in German Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where I am currently completing my MA Exams with the intention of graduating this May of 2019. My German education that I received at CUA is ever present in my mind, especially when I am in the classroom teaching. As a Teaching Associate, I have taught most levels of the introductory German language classes on campus. My work as an instructor is colored and inspired by my work with the German faculty, principally Dr. Sheffer and Dr. Rudolf, who became role models to me over the course of my four years. As I finish up my graduate work this semester, I will be applying to teach German full time at the high school level in Massachusetts.

My advice to current or prospective German studies students would be this: Embrace the small community and take advantage of the opportunity to develop your innate skills and gifts in a language with this very special community of CUA people who care deeply about, not only your academic success, but your overall wellbeing too!”

By Kevin Holm