U of A’s German program fuels research interests for alumnae

“One of the central lessons I learned from both my degree in German and from my time abroad was the life-changing power of international exchange,” said University of Arkansas alumnae, Stephanie Schulte.

International exchange enabled her to open her mind to new possibilities and new ways of thinking.

After graduating from the U of A with majors in German and Communication and a minor in Gender Studies, she lived in Berlin, Germany for a year as a Fulbright Scholar.

Upon her return, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she completed an M.A. in Media and Public Affairs and Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University.

Schulte is now an associate professor of communication. She said her experiences in the Department of World Languages forever changed her.

“The program was beautifully designed to systemically expand my written, reading and speaking language skills, to learn the specialized vocabularies and cultural competencies necessary to live abroad,” added Schulte.

“Out of the classroom, faculty provided hands-on mentorship and advising. They helped me find study abroad programs for my junior year and helped me apply for scholarships after graduation.”

She credits the German faculty for being awarded the J. William Fulbright Scholarship.

“The faculty in the German department rigorously edited my application essays and prepped me for interviews,” said Schulte.

As a professor and mentor to students, she employs the same amount of persistence when mentoring and advising her students.

In her doctoral research, she observed and analyzed national borders to compare cultural values and communication technology infrastructures in the United States with those in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

In her current research and in her teaching, Schulte continues to look to other places for alternative models, for new ways of thinking about and using technologies.