2021 Welcome Message
The year 2020 is now behind us, and so I write with special appreciation for all the donors, alumni, supporters, and friends of the Department of German and Scandinavian at the University of Oregon. Your legacy of generosity carried us through some difficult times.
Thanks to your support, and to support from our administrators and colleagues at UO, we were able last year to:
1. Provide $17,000 in scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, including $500 for every undergraduate major in good standing, to help mitigate the financial uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Offer our Ph.D. students an additional year of funding due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the job market, enabling them to continue teaching for the department while also completing their dissertations.
3. Establish an emergency student assistance fund to further mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Donors can contribute to the fund through this link (be sure to indicate "emergency student assistance" under the "Additional gift instructions" prompt).
Because of the pandemic and associated travel restrictions, the eight study abroad scholarships that we had awarded last year to some of our most deserving students — to spend a term in university centers like Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Uppsala — had to be put on hiatus. But we are keeping these scholarships in reserve for their original recipients, and will soon be awarding another round to students planning study abroad in 2021-22.
Amidst all the stresses and strains inherent in teaching and working remotely, I am happy to report that the morale among the faculty and students and interest in our work remain strong. Our department's in-house peer-reviewed online journal, Konturen, recently published its eleventh annual volume, and we will be working in the coming year to build on a partnership we have recently formed with the German Studies Association to publish GSA conference proceedings.
Finally, with the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, we are collaborating with UO's other language and literature departments, area studies programs, and the Global Studies department, to launch a new interdisciplinary School to provide new academic and extracurricular experiences, plus career preparation, to students in our degree programs — those who wish to master another language, immerse themselves in another culture, and prepare themselves for fulfilling careers and other postgraduate opportunities that make use of their skills.
There has hardly been a better time to study the cultures, languages, and societies of German and Scandinavian Europe.
Ian F. McNeely
- Prof. Ian F. McNeely, Department Head