Pattie Unakul, a graduating senior with a major in German, writes:
"The last five years have flown by so quickly! I still remember being a shy freshman, walking into my first German class at Denny Hall. Can’t believe I am graduating in a few weeks!
My most unforgettable memory with the UW Germanics Department is inarguably the Spring in Vienna study abroad program. Not only did I have the opportunity to visit several of the most maginificent cities in the world but I also had a chance to build lifelong friendships, cultivate my personal development, and discover new curiosities. The Spring in Vienna program taught me how to willingly adapt to diversified environments, embrace diversity, be ready to face new challenges, and put myself into difficult situations that I need to overcome. These are some life skills beyond academic competence that I have acquired through this program. It expands my perspective towards the world and I learn how to use the knowledge acquired from academic settings in real-life situations.
As I intend to work in the international relations field, hopefully at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand, I believe that my expertise in German language and culture that I have acquired from my time at UW would contribute significantly to my future career path. Since I spent most of my college time studying history, languages, and cultures, I realize that it is preeminent to comprehend that different people have different backgrounds and thus different perspectives and motives. I believe that understanding human nature is one of the most important qualities that people who work in the diplomatic field, and also other career fields in this globalized era, should have – the quality that would be useful not only in negotiations and diplomatic discussions but also in daily-life decision making and attitude towards the world.
Words cannot fully express my heartfelt gratitude for those who played a part in shaping me into who I am today. Thank you Professor Kye Terrasi, Professor Jason Groves, Professor Ellwood Wiggins, Professor Brandon Chase Emrys, and Professor Brigitte Prutti for your guidance and kindness. Most importantly, I would like to thank Professor Klaus Brandl and Dr. Friederike Forst-Battaglia for not only teaching but also taking care of me during the Spring in Vienna program. Thank you for all the joy-filled days and the invaluable lessons that you have shared with me.
Thank you to the UW Germanics faculty and friends for being such inspiring and valuable parts of my college journey and thank you for selecting me as one of the two winners of the McLean Prize."