German Graduate Students

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Raleigh Joyner

Raleigh is a second-year M.A. student and GERM203 instructor at UMD. He was born and raised in Maryland, graduated from UMD with a B.A. in Germanic Studies and a B.A. in English Language & Literature, and at this rate will probably be in the state of Maryland forever. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad for six months at Freie Universität Berlin. Although he has still never been to the West Coast of his own native country, he has traveled throughout Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, the U.K., and numerous other European countries (Russia and Iceland don’t count because those were layovers and he just sat in airport terminals eating soggy sandwiches). Currently, his academic interests include the literary works of the Mann family, concepts of liminality, travel writing, and expatriate subcultures in the city of Berlin.


Matthew Kelly

Matthew is a first-year M.A. student and TA from Conway, New Hampshire. Although he is a New Hampshire native, he started and completed his undergraduate studies at UMBC. There, he studied Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication focusing on German. During his time at UMBC he also studied international affairs and secondary education. After graduation he worked as an English Teaching Assistant in Munich as a Fulbright scholar. His academic interests include practically everything involving German language and culture. 

Jocelyn McDaniel

Jocelyn is a 2nd year  Ph.D. candidate and German teacher. Before coming to UMD, Jocelyn received a BA (2004) and MA (2007) in German Studies from the University of Delaware, as well as a MA (2011) in Translation Studies from the Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany. Her MA thesis encompassed an English translation and dialectal analysis of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Viennese comedy Der Unbestechliche. Her current research interests include Austrian Literature from the 19th century to present, Exile Literature, and Translation Studies.





J. Alex Porter

Alex is a first-year M.A. student who just returned from a year teaching in the mountains of Austria. He grew up in South Carolina, where he attended the College of Charleston between beach outings and oyster roasts. There, he studied German and geology and graduated in 2016. He left shortly after to teach English to Austrian students near Salzburg in collaboration with Fulbright. Returning home, he was taken so aback by the southern heat that he fled 500 miles north to escape. Alex’s academic interests include minority literature and transnational cinema. His free time is filled with hibachi, video games, coffee, crafting projects, and snuggles with his kitty, Hugo.

Maria Sitzler-Sawicki

Maria is a second year M.A. student and instructor for the undergraduate courses GERM 301 and 302. She graduated with a B.A. in German Studies from the University of Mary Washington, where she completed her Honors Thesis ‘Die Italiensehnsucht der Deutschen’ (German’s longing for Italy). Born in Germany with Italian heritage, Maria was raised trilingual. She speaks German, Italian and Arbëreshë  (derived from the Albanian language) fluently. English is her forth language. She moved to the United States seven years ago and has been living in Virginia since. She loves to travel and embrace new cultures. In addition to growing up in Europe and traveling, she also traveled to countries in North and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Recently she took a trip to Germany and Italy over the summer to conduct research for her upcoming Master Thesis, which will be on German Literature on Italy (Rome). Her academic interests are in New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), Exile Literature (Exilliteratur), Postwar Literature (Nachkriegsliteratur/Trümmerliteratur), and Popliterature (Popliteratur).

Wendy Timmons

Wendy is a secon-year Master's student and Graduate Assistant at UMD. She graduated summa cum laude from Montclair State University with a Bachelor's Degree in German, and with a minor in Art and Design Studio. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad for a year in Graz, Austria, as a winner of the Montclair-Graz Sister City Scholarship. Wendy also worked as an intern for art historian Rosa J. H. Berland on a retrospective for the late American artist, Edward E. Boccia. She aspires to receive her Doctorate after completing her M.A. at UMD and has an interest in early 20th Century German film.