Blevins, Margo — 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, 2019-2020, and 2021-2022.
Boas, Hans C. — 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.
Cavar, Damir — 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.
Daniels, Alessandra (Sascha) — Graduate Student
Alessandra (Sascha) Daniels joined the Germanic Studies department at UT Austin in 2020. Daniels is a graduate of West Virginia University, where they earned their bachelor’s degree in World Languages, Literature, and Linguistics with a concentration in German and a minor in Japanese Studies. She is a three-time U.S. State Department alum, having received the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Japan in 2016, as well as the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) scholarship to study in Germany in 2011 and the Fulbright US Student English Teaching Assistant award to teach at the Grashof Gymnasium in Essen, Germany in 2018. Daniels’ research at UT Austin focuses on the influence of African diasporic communities on German culture along with Afro-German poetry, Afro-German film, and the contemporary culture of Afro-German youth. They serve as the secretary of the Black Graduate Student Association at UT Austin, as well as an active member of the Fulbright alumni community as the co-chair and communications and outreach officer of Fulbright Noir.
Dutcher, K. Stellar — Research Associate
Stellar holds a double B.A. in Linguistics and Religious Studies from Pomona College, and came to the TGDP in 2013 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, and have released albums both as a solo artist and with their band The Seventh String. When they’re not working at the TGDP, they can be found organizing with Austin activists, writing contemplative poetry, taking a long view of history, and writing and singing songs of liberation, healing and joy.
Dux, Ryan — 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.
Galloway, Rebecca — Undergraduate Research Assistant
Rebecca Galloway is a rising senior studying linguistics at Barnard College of Columbia University. After graduation, she hopes to enter graduate school and one day become a linguist and syntactician. A life-long Texan, Rebecca is excited to contribute to the research and preservation of the dialect her late great-grandmother grew up speaking and hearing.
You can contact Rebecca at either her UT or Barnard email addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Gerst, Simon — Undergraduate Research Assistant
Simon is a junior from Houston, Texas completing a double major in Jewish Studies and German and a minor in History. His primary interests include World War II, the Holocaust, post-20th century Germany, and the weaponization of disinformation. He is currently an intern with the United States Department of State in the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. He is also a conversation partner with the UT German Department. Upon graduation, Simon hopes to study in Germany before beginning a career in public service.
Gilbert, Glenn — 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.
Hinrichs, Lars — 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.
Huenlich, David — 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.
Jones, Ellen — Graduate Student
Ellen Jones is a 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.
Kearney, James — Research Associate
James Kearney holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin, is a Assistant Professor of Instruction 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.
Dr. Kearney has written several award-winning books and articles about Texas German history and European immigration to Texas in the 19th century. He has also taught several classes at UT Austin, including a class on European immigration (Fall 2013) and the UGS 303 Signature Class “The Texas German Experience” (Fall 2022).
Owens, Grant — Undergraduate Research Assistant
Grant Owens is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UT double majoring in International Relations and Global Studies and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. He began learning German while studying at UT, and has since fallen in love with the language. In 2021 he studied German at the Middlebury Language Schools, which boosted his interest in the language. Originally from San Antonio, Grant has known about Texas German from a young age, but first became interested in it after studying German in the classroom. Outside of TGDP, Grant is a section leader in the Longhorn Band and is very involved with other ensembles on campus throughout the year. Grant is very excited to be working with the TGDP team and he looks forward to enriching his knowledge of Texas German through this project!
Pierce, Marc — Research Associate
Marc is an associate professor of Germanic linguistics at UT Austin. 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.
Prabhakar, Sophie — Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sophie Prabhakar is an undergraduate student of 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.
Roesch, Karen — 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.
Tankersley, Trevor — Undergraduate Research Assistant
Trevor Tankersley, originally from Dallas Texas, is a student at UT Austin studying Linguistics and German. He began studying German after singing in Choirs, and being exposed to the language, and he began learning it in college. After graduation, he hopes to get a graduate degree in Linguistics and study lesser-known and endangered languages and dialects.
Warmuth, Matthias — Graduate Student
Matthias Warmuth is a PhD Candidate in Germanic Studies with an interest in linguistics, SLA, and L2 pedagogy. His dissertation focuses on how language death and language attrition, i.e., the process of forgetting a native or first language, affect the pronunciation of Texas German.
More specifically, his research addresses a variety of changes in the sound system, contrasting data collected by Glenn Gilbert in the 1960s with more recent data collected by the TGDP. His focus lies on developments that are most likely due to transfer from American English (AE), the dominant language for all current speakers of TxG. Matthias has been working with the TGDP since 2017.
Weiss, Bradley — 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.
Woolard, Samantha — Undergraduate Research Assistant
Samantha Woolard is from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is double majoring in International Relations and Global Studies and German and minoring in International Business and German, Scandinavian, and Dutch Studies. Before coming to UT, she took a gap year in Berlin, Germany to study German. Here at UT, she is involved in the Texas Economics Association and the Germanic Department’s German Outreach Program where she teach German to sixth graders. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental law after graduation, and would like to live in Germany again. She is very excited to work at TGDP and to learn about the Texas German dialect!