Marian University German Language Students Win Essay Contest

by Wendy Westphal, Ph.D. | Feb 26, 2016

Four German students at Marian University won awards in the Indiana German Heritage Society’s (IGHS) 2015 University Essay Contest this winter. The contest, co-sponsored by the Max Kade German-American Center, was initiated in honor of Indiana’s upcoming 2016 bicentennial with the essay topic was: “German-Americans and Indiana’s Bicentennial.” 

Because German immigrants have had a substantial impact on the development of Indiana, students at Indiana universities were invited to write a 600-700 word essay in German about Germans who made significant contributions to Indiana over the past 200 years, including both a historical perspective as well as a link to the present.  

Wendy Westphal, Ph.D., German professor at Marian University, decided the essay competition fit well with the focus of her fall German course, GER 310:  Written Communication in German and incorporated the essay contest into a class project. 

Four Marian University students were selected and received awards from the Indiana German Heritage Society (IGHS):  Eric Hanley, a business major and German minor, won first place ($350) with an essay about the Turners and their connection to the Athenaeum (formerly, Das Deutsche Haus) in Indianapolis.  Alex Podgorski, a biology major and German minor, was awarded second place ($250) with an essay about the influence of the Amish in Indiana.  Jill Crane, apsychology major and German minor, received third place with an essay about the influence of the Austrian sister, Mother Theresa Hackelmeier, on both Jill’s hometown of Oldenburg and Marian University. And Adrienne Bathory, a biology major and German minor, was a runner-up ($75) for her essay on the role German architects played in shaping major architectural landmarks in Indianapolis. 

The students were publically recognized on February 10 at the monthly IGHS dinner, held at the Athenaeum in downtown Indianapolis and the winning essay by Eric Hanley will be published in the upcoming IGHS newsletter.

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