Ji Hyun Ahn, Graduate Student
“Jin” is currently in the PhD program in the department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin. Her areas of interest include contrastive linguistics, syntax, semantics, stylistics, linguistic analysis of literature, narrative, and discourse analysis. A native of South Korea, Jin became interested in documenting endangered languages, as she watched the documentary film “The Linguists.” She looks forward to contributing to documenting and preserving Texas German dialect.
Abigail Amick, Research Assistant
Abigail Amick is an undergraduate student of linguistics, formerly with a major in modern languages from UT San Antonio. Abigail studied German with her father from the age of 15, having gained an interest in German while growing up near New Braunfels, Boerne, Seguin, and other surrounding areas with German heritage. She learned about the TGDP while planning to move from San Antonio to Austin, and requested to assist with the research. She is highly interested in researching the intonation of Texas German in her undergraduate career.
Margo Blevins, Former Graduate Research Assistant
Margo is currently in the Ph.D. program in the department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin. Her research interests include syntax, semantics, contact linguistics and corpus linguistics. In 2012, she took a class on Texas German with Hans Boas, which sparked her interest in this dialect. After returning from her 1-year long stay at the University of Potsdam, sponsored by the DAAD, Margo was the TGDP’s Graduate Research Assistant during the Academic Years 2016-2017, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020.
Hans C. Boas, Project Director
Hans is the Raymond Dickson, Alton C. Allen, and Dillon Anderson Centennial Professor for Germanic Linguistics at UT. His areas of interest include documentation and preservation of endangered languages and dialects, computational lexicography, syntax, lexical semantics, and contrastive linguistics. He became interested in Texas German after hearing it spoken for the first time on a trip through Fredericksburg. A native of Göttingen, Germany, Hans enjoys cooking, traveling, playing the piano, hiking, and country western dancing.
Maria Castillo, Research Assistant
Maria Castillo is an undergraduate student of linguistics and German, formerly with a major in modern languages from UT San Antonio. Maria began studying German her freshman year of college, and fell in love with the language and culture after her first introductory course. She has had an interest in the preservation and documentation of endangered languages since an early age and when she learned about the TGDP, she was eager to join. She is interested in pursuing a Masters in Translation and Interpretation after her undergraduate studies.
Damir Cavar, External Research Associate
Damir is Associate Professor for Computational Linguistics at Indiana University. His areas of interest include speech and language technologies for documentation and preservation of low-resourced and endangered languages and dialects, deep natural language processing, computational semantics and pragmatics. His interest in Texas German grew over the years while traveling through Texas, visiting the colleagues at UT, and becoming intrigued by the project goals and activities in the TGDP. Damir grew up in Dortmund, Germany, and enjoys Texas BBQ, as well as traveling, meeting people, nature, and music.
Stellar Dutcher, Research Associate
Stellar holds a double B.A. in Linguistics and Religious Studies from Pomona College, and came to the TGDP with several years of linguistics research under their belt. While an undergraduate, they spent a semester living and traveling in India, Nepal and Tibet, where they researched the relationships and roles of Tibetan, Hindi and English in the Tibetan exile community of Dharamsala. Back in the States, their senior thesis research focused on the phonetics and phonology of falling tones in Luganda, a Bantu language spoken in Uganda. After a few years in Northern California post-graduation, they moved to Austin in 2012 to pursue their dream of music; when they’re not working at the TGDP, they can be found freelancing as a project manager, managing a website or two, and playing acoustic indie folk music all around Austin.
Ryan Dux, External Research Associate
Ryan Dux graduated with his Ph.D. in Germanic Studies at UT Austin in May 2016. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, where he was introduced to the study of German dialects in America. The topic is of special importance to him because his grandparents understood German in their youth but did not grow up to speak the language and pass it on. He is interested in both the socio-cultural aspects of Texas German as well as linguistic matters such as grammatical change and the influence of the English language. Ryan’s other interests include language pedagogy, syntax and semantics and older Germanic languages. During the 2016-17 Academic Year, Ryan was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University, during the 2017-2018 Academic Year Ryan held a prestigious Mellon-Volkswagen Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for the German Language in Mannheim, Germany. In August 2018, Ryan started as Assistant Professor of German at Sam Houston State University.
Web page: http://ryandux.weebly.com/
Glenn Gilbert, Advisor
Glenn Gilbert joined the TGDP in 2017 as an advisor to the project. He wrote a pioneering dissertation on Texas German, graduating from Harvard in 1963. He was at UT Austin as an assistant professor from 1963-1970, and then moved to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he worked until his retirement in 2005. Glenn laid the foundation for the study of Texas German, most notably with his well-known “Linguistic Atlas of Texas German” (UT Press, 1972), as well as numerous other books and papers. After he retired, he moved to Florida. We are incredibly lucky to have Glenn as an advisor to the TGDP.
Lars Hinrichs, Research Associate
Lars Hinrichs is an Associate Professor in English Language and Linguistics at UT Austin. His research focuses on issues of language diversity and migration, especially where different varieties of English are involved. Having become interested in speakers of Texas German on a field trip to Doss in 2006, he is now researching the substrate influences on the English of Texas Germans.
Ellen Jones, Graduate Research Assistant
Ellen Jones is a first year graduate student in the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin. She joined the project in January 2020 as an additional Graduate Research Assistant. Coming to Austin from Vermont, she completed her undergraduate studies in Linguistics and German at the University of Vermont, and was the Outstanding German Senior in 2019. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, dialectology, language teaching pedagogy, and language use in media. She spent a gap year living in Rhauderfehn, Germany through the American Field Service exchange program. While unfamiliar with Texas German, Ellen’s interest in dialects stems from her time in Rhauderfehn living with a family who partially speaks Low German at home. Ellen is looking forward to learning more about the TGDP.
David Huenlich, External Research Associate
In May 2016, David graduated with an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from UT Austin. He has ample experience in language documentation having worked at sites in Nepal, Mongolia, and Germany. David joined the Texas German Dialect Project to expand his understanding of language change in the context of immigration. His dissertation dealt with the opposite development of language death: with help of descriptive and experimental methods he explores social networks as well as morpho-syntactic and semantic change in immigrant neighborhoods in Germany in order to better identify speakers of newly emerging varieties of German. David is currently employed as a junior researcher at the Institute for the German Language in Mannheim, Germany.
James Kearney, Research Associate
James Kearney holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin, taught German for many years at Katy High School and has been a longtime student of the history of the German settlements in Texas. He is the author of two books dealing with the German settlements in Texas: Nassau Plantation; The Evolution of a Texas German Slave Plantation(Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2011), and Friedrichsburg; The Colony of the German Furstenverein (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012). During the fall 2013 semester, Dr. Kearney is teaching a class on European immigration to Texas at UT Austin.
Marc Pierce, Research Associate
Marc is an associate professor of Germanic linguistics at UT. His research focuses on historical linguistics, phonology, and the history of linguistics. He first became interested in Texas German during a stint as a visiting assistant professor at UT in 2005-06, and is looking forward to investigating it more intensively. He plans to focus on the history and phonology of Texas German.
Sophie Prabhakar, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sophie Prabhakar is an undergraduate student of physics and astronomy with a certificate in German at UT Austin. Sophie began studying German in seventh grade after hosting a German foreign-exchange brother the year before, and has continued her studies through to the present day. She is excited to be a part of the TGDP and work with the amazing program and research team. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in astrophysics and eventually become an astronaut.
Karen Roesch, External Research Associate
Karen Roesch is an Assistant Professor of German at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She is also the Hoyt-Reichmann Scholar of German-American Studies and the
Director of the Max Kade German-American Research and Resource Center. Karen received her Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics at UT in 2009 with special areas of interest in Texas German, Low Alemannic, and foreign language pedagogy. Her dissertation on Texas Alsatian served as the basis for her 2012 book with John Benjamins (“Language maintenance and language death: The decline of Texas Alsatian) . She has a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University and has taught German, French, English, and Japanese abroad in Australia, Germany, and Japan, as well as in New York and Texas. She is a native Texan and became interested in Texas German several years ago through her High School German teacher from the German community of Doss. In 2000, she moved to Doss and taught German in the Fredericksburg High and Middle Schools before returning to UT. Before starting her job at IUPUI, Karen taught as a lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos.
Bradley Weiss, Graduate Student
Bradley Weiss is a PhD student in the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin. Originally from Kansas, he has a background in Classical Languages and Linguistics from his undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas, and studied German linguistics at the graduate level in South Korea before coming to UT in the Fall of 2019. His research interests include historical linguistics, multilingualism, speech island communities, and heritage languages. Before joining the TGDP as Graduate Research Assistant to manage the project in September 2020, Bradley conducted field work with speakers of Low German dialects in Iowa and Illinois, as well as with Korean speakers of German who migrated to Germany as guest workers in the 1960s and 1970s. Before joining the TGDP as a Graduate Research Assistant, Bradley helped conduct interviews with Texas German speakers as a TGDP volunteer.
Tanja Baeuerlein is a graduate student at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany and attended UT as an exchange student from 2009-2010. She is pursuing her masterís degree in English Linguistics and American Studies, as well as her teaching degree in English, Spanish and German. In her first semester at UT she took a class about Texas-German with Hans Boas, which immediately sparked her interest in this dialect, its history and features. Working for the TGDP was not only interesting, but also important to her because she intends to write her masterís thesis on certain linguistic peculiarities of Texas-German. During her exchange year in Texas Tanja also taught German at a middle school in Austin and worked as a research assistant for the project ìDynamics of Hunter-Gatherer Language Change in Amazoniaî at UT. Her other interests include traveling, reading, arts, languages, movies, music, as well as cooking and spending time with her family and friends. Ultimately, she hopes to get her PhD in linguistics and continue researching or to teach languages, especially German, abroad.
Ulrike was a graduate student in Germanic Studies. Her academic interests include German-German relations after World War II, art history, film, and youth culture. She is a native of Potsdam, Germany. Her interest in Texas German was sparked after she befriended a Texas German speaker in her neighborhood. Ulrike enjoys traveling, arts & crafts, and exploring museums.
Collin Brown, Graduate Student
Collin Brown is in the PhD program in the Germanic Studies Department at UT Austin. He received his BA from Pacific Lutheran University in 2010. His main areas of research include phonology, morphology, language contact situations and the historical development of Germanic languages. In addition, Collin is interested in the documentation and revitalization of threatened languages. Aside from Texas German, Collin is also excited to be able to document Kinamigin, an endangered language of the Philippines.
Kathryn is pursuing an undergraduate degree in German, and is currently considering a double major including linguistics. Always fascinated and intrigued by the ways in which humans communicate, German became her chosen foreign language in college. Her German family 4 generations back still spoke their native language here in the U.S. Living in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany from 2001-2002, she returned to the states to complete her degree. Interested in translating and teaching German, her other trades and activities include professional massage therapy, yoga, and singing.
Erin graduated from UT in December 2007 with a German major and art history minor. She completed a departmental honors thesis about the expressionist works of Oskar Kokoschka in the Harry Ransom Center, and she is a DJ on “Es klingt wie Deutsch,” the university's weekly German radio program on KVRX. In her spare time, she enjoys basically anything that will make her laugh, such as cooking large hunks of meat for her friends, losing at racquetball, playing hug-o-war and deciphering German dialects.
Indranil Dutta, External Research Associate
Indranil Dutta has a BA in German Language and Literature, and a PhD in phonetics and linguistic theory. His research focuses on acoustic phonetics, phonology, speech technology and historical linguistics. He is interested in investigating the phonetic basis of substrate effects in Texas German. He also plans to support the audio documentation and creation of a Texas German knowledge and speech base.
Rebekah Evans, Undergraduate Reserach Assistant
Rebekah Evans is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas pursuing a BA in German and Linguistics. As a native speaker of both English and Portuguese, her interest in German was spurred by having contact with speakers of German dialects in Brasil as well as in the US. She first became interested in Texas-German after moving to New Braunfels. As a linguistics student her main interests are Computational Linguistics, Syntax, and Historical Linguistics, as well as language documentation and preservation. In her spare time, Rebekah likes to read, go to concerts, and spend time with her friends and family.
Karen is interested in language and identity among the Wends of Texas. The interviews she conducts will become part of the Texas German archives and will also serve as the basis for her dissertation. She thinks this research is very important as it is a way of providing current and future generations with an idea of what life is like for Americans who have experience with a culture other than the dominant one and who grow up speaking languages other than English. If you are a German-speaking Wend in Lee or Fayette County, she would love to interview you!
Mia Orlandella, Research Assistant
Mia Orlandella is an undergraduate student at UT Austin double-majoring in business finance and German. She started taking German classes in high school and decided to continue pursuing her passion for the language at UT after participating in a life-changing exchange trip to Amberg, Germany. Mia became interested in the TGDP after learning about the project through an intro to linguistics course taught by Dr. Marc Pierce. Aside from the TGDP, she is involved in the Germanic Studies Department as the president of Delta Phi Alpha German Honors Society, DJ and co-host of the German radio show Es Klingt Wie Deutsch, and as an officer for the German club. She looks forward to learning more about the Texas German dialect and culture while working with the TGDP.
Matthias Fingerhuth, External Research Associate
Matthias was a PhD student in the Germanic Studies Department of the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Department after receiving his Magister from the University of Cologne, Germany. Apart from his interest in contact linguistics he is enthralled by historical linguistics and the history of linguistics itself as well as standardization and variation in language. After graduating with his PhD from UT Austin in 2017, he started his postdoctoral position in the German Department at the University of Vienna, Austria.
Mohamed Fakhreddine graduated from UT in December 2004 with a degree in computer science senior at UT. He was born in Lebanon and has survived electrocution, aerial bombardment and a falling satellite dish just to be here. His interests include artificial intelligence and robotics. He worked 5 years in the computer science industry between Austin and Connecticut and then came back to UT finish my master's degree and since then he has interned with Facebook and is currently interning with Google for the second time in New York City.
Raphael is an undergraduate student at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany. His major is English/American Studies and his minor is History.Most of his hobbies have something to do with music; He plays guitar and likes to listen to music and go to concerts. Other hobbies include enjoying living in Weimar, movies, reading, learning languages and about history.
Kirkland “Alex” Fulk
Alex graduated from UT in May 2005 with a BA in History and German with an emphasis on post WWII German youth culture. He plans to pursue these studies in graduate school. He has studied German and German culture since high school and has traveled abroad furthering his understanding in this field. Being a native Texan interested in German culture he wishes to preserve this part of the culture so that others will have access to it. His hobbies include playing music and reading.
Alina is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Textiles and Apparels. She grew up near Heidelberg, Germany and moved to Austin 3 1/2 years ago. Being a native German she is very interested in the Texas German culture and fascinated by the people’s stories, experiences and use of language. In her free time Alina enjoys movies, good food, good music, dancing, traveling and calling her family and friends in Germany.
Maggie Gemmell, Ph.D.
In 2015, Maggie Gemmell graduated with her Ph.D. from the Department of Germanic Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include all kinds of linguistic variation, particularly register variation and figurative language. Her dissertation dealt with a frame-semantic analysis of metaphor using data from German newspaper texts. Teaching German is another of her main interests, so she is always looking for new and engaging ways to introduce students to language variation. At home, she spends her time sewing and creating poetry and art.
Jane Grabowski is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Germanic Studies from Arizona State University, where she was first introduced to code-switching as a mechanism of language contact. Jane is interested in exploring how the grammars of bilinguals interact and in what way this interaction may be accommodated within, and simultaneously inform theoretical frameworks. She sees the Texas German Dialect Project as a unique opportunity to study various contact phenomena, including language attrition, bilingualism, and code-switching. Jane hopes that efforts from this project will shed light on language maintenance strategies and dispel negative attitudes towards minority languages.
Nathan Green is a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts. After spending one year in Cologne he has returned to Austin and is majoring in German. He also likes playing the electric guitar.
Guido Halder received his doctorate in Germanic Linguistics at UT in December 2011. His areas of interests are Semantics, Swiss German, Contrastive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. He has a Handelsdiplom from the Handelschule KV Baselland, Switzerland, a Masters of Art in Teaching from Trinity University and a Masters in German from UT. He has taught German, Economics and Government in Texas. His interest in the project lies in language preservation and methodology. On his time off, Guido enjoys playing tennis, SCUBA diving, cooking and traveling. Guido now teaches German classes at the University of Pittsburgh.
Jansen Harris is a senior in Radio-Television-Film. He plans to move to Germany after graduation and work within the German media. Jansen became interested in Texas German after learning German at UT-Austin and then subsequently working at various English camps for German students in Europe, and experiencing the many different dialects there. Other than school Jansen likes to play guitar, read, and travel as much as possible.
Ryan is a senior working on a German/Sociology double major and a minor in Anthropology. His interest in the Texas-Germans is rooted in language politics and their implications which, in this case, resulted in the gradual extinction of a vital part of the culture's identity: its language. In addition to his academic pursuits, he also enjoys cooking, rooting succulents, the Recycling Task Force, and painting.
Zach Holsinger, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Zach Holsinger is a third-year undergraduate student at UT studying Linguistics and Computer Science. He is interested in historical linguistics, German history, phonology and computational linguistics. He is a native of Houston, but moved to Palo Alto for high school. He enjoys board games, Model United Nations and watching terrible movies. He is an identical twin.
Alena is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Linguistics. Her academic interests include the phonology of glossolalia as well as the interaction of musical elements and lyrics in country music. She enjoys crafts and polka music. As a fifth-generation Texas-Czech, Alena has a keen awareness of the need to preserve the dialects spoken by Texans in their mother tongues.
Kersten is a sixth-year graduate student in Germanic Studies. His first encounter with Texas German was at the Vereinskirche museum in Fredricksburg, TX, where his conversation with a local native-speaker of German intrigued him. Kersten's interest in German as a subject of study and intellectual inquiry dates back to his school days in Germany, where he was exposed to a great variety of German literary works. Kersten uses his spare time to socialize with his wife and friends, watch movies, read books and newspapers, and listen to music.
Eric is a recent graduate at UT. Eric earned his BA in German and completed a Business Foundations Program. He is currently employed by the Hyatt Regency in Austin. He loves fishing, disc golf and other outdoor activities. His all encompassing interest in German stems from his first 3 years of learning the language in High School and his many visits to various German-speaking regions. The preservation of this dialect allows future linguists the opportunity to further research this topic and interested parties the chance to listen to some really cool people. Eric is interested in the many cultural differences between America and Germany.
Christina was a Ph.D. student in the Department of Germanic Studies at UT. She received her M.A. (Magister) in Synchronic German Linguistics from Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany. When introduced to the Texas German Dialect Project, Christina immediately became interested in learning about Texas German history and culture as well as in documenting what is left of it for future researchers and other interested individuals.
Luke has BA in Linguistics from Pomona College. He is a native Austinite and grandson of a Texas-German speaker, and he is interested in phonology, heritage languages and dialects, and education. He returned to Austin from a Fulbright teaching scholarship in Nepal in 2011 and is the Language Coordinator at the Multicultural Refugee Coalition, where he helps with education and training programs for refugees who have settled in Austin. He also plays New Orleans-style blues piano.
Jenny Ljungqvist is a third year French and German double major. She is a foreign language nerd who took Swedish in her first year at UT and wants to learn Italian, Spanish, Finnish, etc. She is thinking about going to graduate school for a master in women's studies. She also enjoys music, movies and playing poker.
Alexander was a PhD student in the Germanic Studies Department of the University of Texas at Austin. He received his MA at the University of Mississippi, where he was first introduced to the study of languages in contact while studying the Volga German Dialect of his ancestors. Alexander is interested in the phonological and morphological developments of languages in contact and their documentation. His second area of study is Second Language Acquisition, where he focuses on Input in Grammar Instruction. During the Academic Year 2017-2018 he was the TGDP Graduate Research Assistant. In August 2018, he started as Assistant Professor of German at the University of South Carolina (Upstate).
Kirsty spent most of her childhood growing up in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) where she became deeply attached to the language and the people. She is a sophomore linguistics major with a minor in German. Her interest in this project is for the preservation of a dying language. Her non-academic hobbies include photography, swimming, and reading.
Until the summer of 2003, Erik was a MIS student in the UT McCombs School of Business. Since he graduated, he founded his own business (see: www.silenttimer.com). In February 2002, he designed and implemented the TGDP pilot website as well as well as its pilot database. Then, he managed the TGDP data architecture in addition to its web site design and interface. Erik's areas of interest include data base structures, data normalization, programming, web design, graphics design, networking, and languages (French & Norwegian). His non-academic interests include playing soccer, writing and recording music and traveling.
Cheryl L. Moran
Cheryl was double majoring in German and Linguistics at UT Austin. Her areas of interest included phonetics, phonology and language acquisition. As a native Texan whose family immigrated to Texas from Germany and spoke fluent German until two generations ago, she feels strongly about the importance of studying and preserving Texas German. Her outside interests include piano performance, painting, and drawing. She currently lives in Austin, works in software as a User Interface Designer, and she's mom.
Tan Nguyen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 with a linguistics major. Following graduation, he moved to Japan for a time, working as an English teacher, then a video-game translation manager, and finally a software manual translator and editor before returning to the United States in 2011. He currently works in the IT industry, which is about the only thing related to his involvement with the TGDP: he was for a short time the website administrator, updating content at the behest of the project director, Dr. Boas.
Tina is a Ph.D. Candidate in Germanic Linguistics at UT Austin. She is interested in language acquisition and how multimedia can be used as a tool for scholars and learners. She finds the Texas German project to be important as it will preserve a part of Texas’ history that can be accessed for years to come. Tina spends her spare time observing the bilingual language acquisition of her son and enjoying outdoor activities.
Ben Reymond is in the Liberal Arts Honors program at UT, working on a Linguistics major and a German minor. He took some wonderful classes with Professors Marc Pierce and Hans Boas and was drawn into the TGDP fold from there. He hopes to continue studying languages and social sciences after graduating from UT in the spring of 2010. His hobbies include listening to music and going to concerts, longboarding, reading, talking about politics and playing with his new dog Matilda.
Martin J. Riedl, Graduate Research Assistant
Martin J. Riedl is a doctoral student in UT’s School of Journalism. While at Texas, Martin developed an interest in the Texas German language and culture. A native of Austria, Martin has a deep appreciation for German dialects – he was born and raised speaking Mittelbairisch – and he is an experienced interviewer and fieldworker. His curiosity for Texas German allows him to develop a greater understanding of Texan history and culture while pursuing his Doctorate. Riedl received Master’s degrees in media management from Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media and social sciences from Humboldt University of Berlin, and he has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and media management from FH Wien University of Applied Sciences in Vienna. His research interests at the School of Journalism include online political participation and news engagement, reader comments and moderation, the sociology of news work, new media technologies and social media.
Ashley is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is new to UT. She graduated with her undergraduate from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; majoring in German and Spanish. She is starting her Masters in Germanic Studies and hopes to focus on linguistics. In her free time Ashley loves to read, swim, and listen to music
John Henry Roenigk
John Henry Roenigk is a current undergraduate student at UT in the Department of Germanic Studies and the Department of Anthropology. His interest in acquiring German as a second language was spurred in 2009 during a gap year, at which point he took on various jobs working for a wine estate in the Mosel valley close to the historic city of Trier in the western part of Germany. John Henry
After Jim graduated from UT in 2006 he joined the Peace Corps and served in the lovely Republic of Benin as an English teacher at first, and later as a regional supervisor. He has been working random office jobs since then but ultimately decided that he wanted to do something less pointless, so he has come back to UT to study biochemistry. He also works part-time as a software engineer in downtown Austin, customizing business software.
Chris is currently a German major. A native of South Texas, Chris is descended from German immigrants to Texas and has harbored interest in the Texas German dialect. He is also interested in the field of linguistics and wants to learn more languages than necessary, particularly Yiddish and Esperanto. Chris is not sure what he is going to do after college, but knows he wants to visit central Europe in the near future. Chris is glad to be part of the TGDP and hopes to make great contributions to the project.
Sandy Schwalen, Research Assistant
Sandy Schwalen graduated with her BA from the University of Texas in May of 2018. She was double majoring in German and International Relations (Liberal Arts Honors). Sandy grew up in a bilingual household- her mother is German and her father is American, but also fluent in German. Growing up, she spent most summers in Germany visiting her grandparents, and occasionally attending Gymnasium with friends. She is currently enrolled in graduate school in Berlin, Germany
Austin Daniel Simmons
Austin is just starting out as a freshman in Linguistics at UT. Hence, he seeks to supplement his high-school-learnt German with college lore. As a native Texan, Austin was born into the state’s cultural legacy; to him, the dialects of German do much to make Texas unique, and we should lose so much to see them go. Managing his time as well he may, Austin delights in languages diverse, and finds the greatest pleasure in historical linguistics. Outside of that, he has recently discovered dance to be both a purpose and a joy, and takes him to flamenco lessons regularly. He also likes to camp, hike, bike, swim, and wave-ride.
Jarrod graduated with a double major in German and mathematics from UT in the summer of 2003. He plans to continue studying mathematics in graduate school at some point with the end goal of teaching in some capacity. He is mostly interested in the theoretical side of math, including such topics as algebraic number theory and topology, and tends to shy away from applied math. His hobbies outside of school include playing guitar and biking around Town Lake as much as possible. Jarrod became interested in learning more about Texas German and German communities in Texas after travelling a bit in the spring of 2002 through eastern Europe and visiting the old German colonies of Siebenburgen in what is now Romania.
Kathleen M. Smith
Kathleen received her PhD in Germanic Language & Literatures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her MLS from the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, and her BA in English Literature and Germanic Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently works in the Research & Development Department of the Lower Saxony State and University Library in G
Melanie is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, pursuing her BA in Linguistics and German, and minor in Japanese. During the summer of 2017, she worked for the TGDP under the direction of Damir Cavar at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. She was first interested in learning German because of the strong German influence in Wisconsin, and from attending Milwaukee’s annual German Fest. She plans to pursue graduate studies in Linguistics, where her main areas of interest are sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and language pedagogy. In her free time, Melanie enjoys playing the piano, baking, and visiting museums.
Audrey Snow, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Audrey (they/them) is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at UT Austin, double-majoring in Linguistics and English and minoring in European Studies and German, with a BDP certificate in Museum Studies. Their research interests include second language acquisition in adults, children’s code-switching in multilingual households, and a specialization in comparative German-American literature and cultural perspectives, which they studied in Germany during a summer semester abroad at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in 2017. Between the course of their research abroad and their introduction to Texas German after moving to central Texas, joining the TGDP was a no-brainer. They plan to pursue graduate studies in Informational, Museum, and Archival Sciences, where they hope to explore the processes behind decolonizing and establishing universal accessibility rights in public spaces of learning. In their free time, Audrey can be found knitting, begging the weather to get colder, planning trips to Germany, and searching for the perfect cup of coffee.
John Stewart holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Germanic Studies at U.T. Austin. His research fields include Germanic linguistics and language acquisition. John's prior experiences with conducting linguistic fieldwork and building a corpus of spoken language data explain his attraction to the Texas German Dialect Project. John worked on the project from Fall 2002 through Summer 2003. At that time he completed his dissertation entitled “The Fundamental Difference between Child and Adult Second Language Acquisition: a Longitudinal, Naturalistic Study of Parameter Resetting in Swedish Interlanguage.” He then accepted a position as lecturer at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, University of Heidelberg, Germany. Since then, he has continued to teach translation studies at Heidelberg University and conduct research in Germanic linguistics. Inspired by his experiences with the TGDP among other things, he have branched out from his dissertation research topic of second language acquisition to do work on areal and contact linguistics, interlingual transfer and interference, and immigrant languages, contributing to the Eurolinguistics research program launched by Professor Sture Ureland of Mannheim, Germany.
Louise Swanepoel graduated from UT in May 2008, with a double major in German and English. She comes from South Africa, and has been living in the US for about ten years, the last four of which have been in Texas. All in all, she enjoys living in Austin, but like the Liberal Arts major she is, wants to go travel the world and probably live in Europe one day. She is interested in all things language-related, and wants to learn far too many new languages – spoken ones and dead ones. Working on the TGDP could not have made any other person happier. In her free time (such as it is, when school's in session), she enjoys reading, writing, being outdoors, seeing good movies and listening to music in languages she doesn't understand.
After leaving UT in 2006, Jana has traveled extensively and worked on language documentation projects in Sierra Leone and Oaxaca. She currently lives in San Francisco, and is studying Mandarin, working as a doula and enjoys her time as a new mom.
Annika VanNoy, Ph.D.
In May 2017, Annika received her Ph.D. in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her academic interests include second language acquisition, frame semantics and foreign language pedagogy. Her dissertation deals with culturally specific aspects in semantic frames and is also planning a project investigating the applicability of the German frame-based dictionary in the foreign language classroom. As a devoted teacher she is always developing new and engaging classroom materials and has developed several activities introducing students to Texas German. She has a B.A. in translation and interpreting from the University of Mainz, FASK Germersheim and a M.A. from the University of Kentucky. In her free time, Annika enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her dogs.
Turan Vural, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Turan is a double major in Electrical Engineering and German at UT. Before joining the TGDP he studied abroad at the Technical University in Munich, was an executive officer of the UT German Club, and he was a Student German Teacher as a part of the UT German Outreach Program.
Hunter, a first year graduate student and a New Braunfels High alumnus, first began noticing the difference between Texas German and Deutschland German in German class in high school when great Texas German words such as “geschmauken” were not to be found in the dictionary or written on tests. He went on to learn German as an exchange student in Austria and became even more interested in dialectology based on his experience with Viennese. Hunter hopes to begin researching German Sprachinseln in South America summer 2006 and would like to continue working on language contact situations.
Denise Weisz, Research Assistant
Heiko, a native of Emlichheim, Germany, is finishing up his PhD in Germanic Linguistics at UT Austin. His areas of interest include Low German, dialectology, Dutch, historical linguistics, and teaching both German and Dutch. He is particularly interested in language preservation as he himself is a speaker of a minority language, Plattdeutsch, which is still spoken in the 'Grafschaft Bentheim&apos in Lower Saxony (northern Germany). Heiko enjoys playing the guitar, reading, swimming, and great home-cooked dinners. Beginning in Fall 2005, he will be a lecturer of German at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Nicholas Wilson, Undergraduate Research Assistant
In May of 2020, Nick graduated with his B.A. in History and Germanic Studies student from UT Austin Previously, he was a business student at SMU. He has a keen interest in German history and language and has studied German for the duration of his college career. A native of Houston, he enjoys reading, playing golf, working out and following Houston sports. He enjoys having has an active leadership role in his fraternity and is a dedicated Texas Longhorn.
John Wiggins is a recent graduate of UT with a degree in Computer Science. He is working on various programming tasks for TGDP, mostly on the website backend and database. His programming interests include parallel and grid computing in addition to computer graphics. When not sitting in front of a computer, John enjoys riding his bike all over Austin or cooking up some tasty vegetarian food.