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Alexandra Patch ’14

German Program

Freshman year, my co-UDR, Tara, and I saw that the German UDRs at the time were not organizing any events. Even Nikolausfest, our biggest annual event, was organized by the faculty alone. We wanted to make an impact on the German program, and to increase interest in the program. After becoming a German UDR Sophomore year, I have helped to bring back old events and create new ones.
These include a Meet the Majors every year (some years we held one each semester) with Fall 2013 being our most successful one. There were around 20 people in attendance, and they were very interested in hearing about our time abroad, our experience taking German classes at Brandeis, and courses being offered. Every December, I have helped to put on Nikolausfest, where about 50-70 students come and show what they have been learning in their German courses. This is the event that takes the most organization, which means I have gone out to buy decorations and desserts, ordered catering, reserved a room and put a program together for the event. In the end, it is always a lot of fun, and the students speak highly of it, as well! We held a "What to do with a German major?" event where we invited Hiatt representatives to show students how their resources could help search for jobs and internships.

Additionally, we have worked with GRALL to hold two events in the past two years, to show students what is offered in the department as a whole. In Fall 2013 this was advertised as an "ice cream social" and was attended by about 50 students over the course of a couple of hours. Just recently, we got a button-maker for the department, and in Fall 2013 we held a button-making event, where students could come make German-themed buttons. About 30 students came to make buttons, and they were very excited about how they came out! We plan to hold this event again this semester.

Other than holding events, I maintain the German UDR listserve, and work with faculty to send out information about any German-related events. I go into German classes each year to introduce myself, and make sure that students get on the listserve if they so wish. I also make my email available for any questions or concerns about the German program. I have advised students about courses, study abroad, and most recently, I corresponded with a UDR candidate about my time as a UDR. She ended up applying and being accepted for next year, which I am excited about!

I have attended UDR events, such as the collaborative department event last semester (with Hiatt, Admissions, Experiential learning, etc.) to make myself as big a resource as possible for students. I continue to try to foster a connection between GRALL, the German program, faculty and students. The German faculty are invited to each event, and I have been impressed at how supportive they are of our endeavors, especially the past couple of years. I am excited to represent the German program at Admitted Students Day this weekend! I love speaking with students, and it has been an incredible experience being a UDR these past three years.