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Left-to-right: Dr. Phoenix Liu, Paul Massaro, Dr. Peter Beicken

SLLC student Paul Massaro is one of seven seniors in the College of Arts and Humanities recognized for academic performance.

On November 14, seven seniors in the College of Arts and Humanities received the Dean’s Senior Scholar Award in recognition of outstanding academic achievements and leadership potential. The School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures was well represented by Paul Massaro, a double-degree student in Germanic Studies and Government and Politics. If two degrees and a position as German cluster apartment leader in the St. Mary’s Language House are not enough, Massaro stays busy with the Master of Public Policy program at UMD, which he just began this fall.

For Massaro, interest in one language led to another. Massaro’s first encountered the German language in his Spanish class at Severna Park High School. His teacher taught both the Spanish and German languages, and Massaro found himself “much more interested in the German things in the room.” At his teacher’s suggestion, Massaro applied for and won the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, a year-long scholarship for motivated high school students to study in Germany. He spent a year in Hamburg when he was 17, where he met people he still refers to as “friends” and “family.” 


“Ultimately, it turned out to not just be fun, but to be very meaningful to me,” Massaro says of that first trip. As a college student at Maryland, Massaro then received the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship and spent the 2012-2013 academic year studying European politics at the Free University of Berlin. Though he enjoyed his time in Germany’s capital city, he says that he’ll always feel a certain loyalty to Hamburg and its inhabitants, its unique maritime culture, and its fish rolls.


Though officially enrolled as an undergraduate student, Massaro is currently taking graduate courses for credit towards the Master in Public Policy at UMD, where he plans to specialize in International Security and Global Economic Policy. Massaro’s numerous international scholarships have allowed him to explore a passion for European affairs. The European Union as an unprecedented political and economic experiment is of particular interest to him. “I’m just fascinated with it,” Massaro says. “It’s a neat concept; it’s a neat execution.” Though Massaro prefers “to keep things open” with regard to the future, he hopes to build a career around transatlantic relations. “There are so many issues where the EU and US not only can work together, but must work together,” Massaro says, citing trade and global terrorism as examples. “I think there are a lot of things you can do to promote human rights and democracy in the world.”


With so much accomplished and so much on the horizon, Massaro is a perfect candidate for the Dean’s Senior Scholar Award. “I’m very, very happy with it; very, very proud of it,” Massaro says. “It’s been a great privilege and a terrific honor, and it’s been wonderful studying under these professors that have helped me to reach my potential, and I think it would have been impossible without them.” As far as his own study habits go, Massaro attributes his success to his firm dedication to reading before class and staying aware of what’s going on beyond McKeldin mall. “Pay attention to the news,” he says by way of advice. “Think about things. Talk a lot. Discuss a lot. And discuss with the right people.”


Samantha Suplee ('14, Spanish Language & Literature and History)
SLLC Public Relations and Media Intern

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