Each semester, Julius G. Blocker ’53 Endowed Fund supports study abroad opportunities in Germany for HWS students so that they can immerse themselves in and explore German culture.
Students returning from these informative and eye-opening experiences present cultural projects each semester during the Julius G. Blocker ’53 Cultural Showcase. This past fall, five students gave presentations on their experiences, including a poster exhibition with multi-media images and recipes of German cuisine. As part of the fellowship, each Blocker Fellow submits a cultural project documenting their encounters with German culture and blogs about their explorations of cultural difference while abroad.
“The Blocker Showcase is always a wonderful celebration of the students’ hard work and gives them a chance to share their insights into German culture with the HWS community,” Associate Dean of First Year Seminars and Associate Professor of German Area Studies Eric Klaus. “The dynamism of the projects and the enthusiasm and expertise with which the students talked about their time in Germany attest to the fact that students took advantage of their opportunities to have life-changing experiences.”
The fall 2014 showcase took place in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center and had more than 40 attendees. The event is held to honor an alumnus of Hobart College, Julius Blocker ’53 who earned a Fulbright to study in Germany after graduation and his year abroad changed his life. Blocker would go on to establish an endowed fund to support study abroad in Germany.
Presenting at the showcase were the spring 2014 Blocker Fellows: Matthew Colfax ’15, Stephen Enos ’15, Kathryn Gallagher ’15, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Kniffin ’15 and Blake Palder ’15.
Colfax, who studied abroad for two semesters at the University of Bremen, presented his project, “Food Culture in Bremen.” Enos, who was abroad for one semester at the University of Leipzig, shared his work, “Vegetarians in Germany: Food and more.” Studying abroad for two semesters at University of Bremen, Gallagher presented “A Brief Guide to Wiesn (Oktoberfest).” Kniffin, who studied abroad for two semesters at the University of Bremen,” presented the project, “Impressions of Germany.” Palder, who studied abroad for one semester in Berlin,” presented “Outdoor Space in Berlin.”
Blocker Fellows choose the content of their projects, but the projects must in some way reflect the cross-cultural encounters students experienced while abroad and chronicle students’ awareness of cultural difference.