After spending the fall semester studying abroad in Germany, four HWS students shared their experiences with the campus community at the spring 2019 Blocker Showcase.
Each semester, the Julius G. Blocker ’53 Endowed Fund supports scholarship in German studies and funds a presentation forum for Blocker Fellows to dialogue with HWS students, faculty and staff about their studies, internships and cultural exchanges abroad.
At the Blocker Showcase, Thayer Kennedy ’20, an international relations major and studio art minor, presented on her semester in Freiburg, where she routinely visited the Court of Justice, Central Bank and other key sites through her academic program. In the blog she kept while abroad, Kennedy explored the role of populism in relation to refugees and migration in Germany, as well as European migration politics and the “power of migration.”
“I have gained a passionate appreciation for the language,” says Kennedy, who practiced her German reading and translating skills with friends she met abroad in anticipation of a political rally protesting Alternative for Germany, a far-right party with an anti-immigrant platform.
Luke Millspaugh ’20, an environmental studies major who also studied in Freiburg, analyzed soccer and its effect on German culture in his presentation, based on his blog “Football. More Than A Game.” During his studies, he joined an intramural team, attended games and met fans who share “the same passion for the sport.”
Christine Fromageot ’20, an economics major and political science minor, focused of her blog and presentation on food culture, not just in Freiburg, where she also studied, but across Germany and other European countries.
Gianna Gonzalez ’20, an English and Media & Society double major, was based in Berlin but also spent a month in Leipzig before the start of classes to attend a language immersion session. Gonzalez developed her German skills on her blog throughout the semester, writing poetry in German and creating a collaborative multimedia accompaniment to her works on Instagram.
As a student at Hobart, Julius Blocker majored in modern languages and developed an interest in Germany that would evolve into a lifelong passion. That passion led Blocker to Columbia University, where he earned a master’s in international affairs and to the Free University in West Berlin, where he served as a Fulbright scholar. The endowed fund bearing his name provides generous support to students pursuing study abroad opportunities through one of the Colleges’ programs in Germany, enabling Blocker Fellows to experience German culture and society in much the same way Blocker himself did.