Alumni news, Joel Banjo Johnson, BA German Major

Joel Banjo Johnson, 2009 winner of the Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award and BA German major, writes:

Greetings from Ramstein Air Base Germany 🙂
Friday night, we hosted the seasoner opener for the NCAA between UCONN and Michigan State. The game aired live on ESPN and ESPN2. It took us 5 months to plan but the event was a success. I definitely had a lot of fun and all the interviews and coverage turned out well. Everyone learned a little about what we do at Ramstein Air Base. The pic is about an hour before Sports Center was going to air live. I’m grateful for these different experiences. I’m completely exhausted afterwards but excited as its going on. Learned a lot about production behind the scenes and programming.

My Major is now deployed so I’ve taken over. I now am the Chief of Public Affairs for the largest wing in the entire Air Force. It’s certainly a challenge but doing well. Hope all is well in Pirate country! 🙂

German Events 11-7-12

Dear friends of ECU’s program in German,

Here are the events for this week. Please note that there we are showing Das Experiment on Monday (instead of Goethe!) and that LATERNENFEST will be this Saturday at Prof. Jensen’s house (instead of Thursday on campus as originally planned). We hope you can join us.

*MONDAY, 5 November

–FILM: DAS EXPERIMENT (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2001), with subtitles, beginning at 6 p.m. in BATE 1026

A man taking part in a scientific study finds the fine line between play-acting and reality has been blurred beyond recognition in this taut drama. Tarek Fahd (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a journalist who is temporarily making ends meet by driving a taxi when he sees an advertisement offering 4,000 marks to people willing to submit to a psychological experiment. Intrigued, Tarek offers to take part in the study and persuades one of his former editors to help him work up a story about his experiences. Recording the events using a special high-tech video camera hidden in his glasses, Tarek arrives for the two-week experiment to discover half of the volunteers will pose as prison guards and the other half will be their prisoners. Before long the behavior of the subjects suggests more than just make-believe…

*SATURDAY, 10 November

–LATERNENFEST, 5-7 p.m. at Prof. Jensen’s house in Greenville. Please RSVP to Prof. Jensen by Thursday evening so we can plan accordingly and so she can send you directions. For more information about this tradition, please see the following invitation:

Hallo alle miteinander & Hi everybody,

Das Deutsch-Programm an der East-Carolina-Universität lädt euch herzlichst zu einem Sankt-Martins-Treffen ein!
The German Program at ECU cordially invites you to an event celebrating St. Martin’s Day, a German cultural tradition.

Deutsche Kinder basteln ihre eigenen Laternen und gehen später singend durch ihre Nachbarschaft.

German children craft their own paper lanterns and then walk through their neighborhood while singing.

Bitte bringt eure eigenen Materialien mit (siehe unten).

Please bring your own supplies (see below for ideas). You will need: strong paper, scissors, glue, and a dowel or tree branch. You can also come without supplies and help a child construct a lantern.

Hier findet ihr einfache Anweisungen um eure Laterne zu basteln.

Here are websites with instructions for constructing your lantern.




Best languages to study: Skip straight to #1!

The British newspaper The Telegraph reports on the best languages to study in order to secure a job in today’s economy:

1. German

Germany remains the largest single export market for British goods outside of the USA, and Europe’s largest economy – with a GDP of more than €2.4 trillion – continues to defy the eurozone downturn. So it’s no surprise that UK companies want to hire employees who know their umlauts from their eszetts.

Read more about the study and see other languages that top the list »»

German News 10/28/12

We wish you a happy, safe Halloween and hope that the information below is of interest, especially during such rainy weather. With best wishes, Prof. David Smith.

THURSDAY, 1 November
–Lunch Discussion, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Faculty Dining Room (Croatan Building on campus). Please join us to discuss German-American current events over lunch and in English. Questions:

Internship Opportunity
–RISE Internship in Science and Engineering
from “The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pleased to announce that for summer 2013 we will again offer three internship programs: RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering), RISE professional and RISE worldwide. RISE has established itself as an outstanding opportunity to combine serious research with a rewarding study-abroad experience. All three programs are targeted to students from the fields of engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences (geology) and related disciplines. RISE undergrads have the opportunity to work on cutting edge research projects at top research institutions (e.g., Max-Planck-Institutes) and universities in Germany. Students are paired with German PhD students in a unique mentoring partnership to ensure immediate integration into hands-on lab work and a built-in social network with an excellent opportunity to develop new technical skills. RISE participants receive a scholarship to cover living expenses. To learn more about RISE, please visit:”
Students with questions about this program may contact Prof. Smith.

–Interesting News Items Collected by the German Consulate in Atlanta (Erfurt, Reformation Day, …)

DAAD search engine for programs of study in Germany

–Tutoring: Jeden Montag von 18.30-21.00 Uhr haben wir einen kostenlosen Tutor (eigentlich eine Tutorin!) im Pirate Tutoring Center. Das Center ist im Zimmer 2300 Old Cafeteria Building.

–Graduate Studies in GERMAN
This week’s spotlight focuses on institutions where your German faculty earned advanced degrees (in no particular order):

The Ohio State University

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Cincinnati

University of Ljubljana

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (now offering joint PhD with Duke)

German News 10/23/12

MONDAY, 22 Oct, 6 p.m., BATE 1026
–FILM – Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage [Sophie Scholl: The Final Days]–beginning  at 6 p.m. in BATE 1026.
This highly compelling film tells the true story of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroine. Sophie Scholl
is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical
records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl’s life: a journey from arrest to
interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her
comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a
passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless.

WEDNESDAY, 24 Oct, 1-2:30 p.m.
–WIR KOCHEN ZU MITTAG: 1-2:30 p.m., Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.  We will cook lunch with German recipes. Because of space limitations, only regular German Club members and twelve guests can participate. We speak German only. Please send your reservation to, and please honor your time commitment!


–Jeden Montag von 18.30-21.00 Uhr haben wir einen kostenlosen Tutor (eigentlich eine Tutorin!) im Pirate Tutoring Center. Das Center ist im Zimmer 2300 Old Cafeteria Building.


The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a yearlong fellowship to study and intern in Germany, is open to applicants in all career fields, though preference is given to students in vocational, technical, engineering, business, agricultural, and scientific fields.  Students traditionally underrepresented in study abroad opportunities are especially encouraged to apply.

The fellowship is funded by the US and German governments through a grant provided by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.

The CBYX program annually provides 75 participants with two months of intensive German language training, a semester of study at German University or University of Applied Sciences, a five-month internship with a German company in the participant’s career field, housing, transatlantic airfare, health insurance, and a monthly stipend for living expenses.

Prior German language knowledge is not required, though it is preferred.  Applicants should have clear career goals and some relevant work experience in their career field, which may include summer, part-time, or internship work.  Participants must be between the ages of 18-24, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and be US citizens or permanent residents.

Interested applicants can apply online at  The application deadline for the 2013-2014 program is December 1, 2012.


The Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM for Vocationally Qualified People “Work Immersion Study Program” (WISP) is a summer fellowship program offered exclusively to college students in vocational fields and includes funding for one month of intensive German language study, a two-month internship with a German company, housing, transatlantic airfare, health insurance, and a €300 monthly stipend.

Please note that the eligibility criteria for WISP have changed.  WISP is now open to students in vocational fields who have completed at least 4 semesters of study by the start of the program in June 2013.  Applicants must be enrolled at a US college before and after the program and must have completed at least 1 semester of college-level German by the start of the program.  Participants must be between the ages of 18-27 and be US citizens or permanent residents.

WISP is funded by the Baden-Württemberg STIPENDIUM and is administered by Cultural Vistas in cooperation with the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) and their partners.  Interested applicants can find out more and apply online by visiting


The application deadline for both WISP and CBYX is December 1, 2012.  We look forward to receiving applications from your students, and to answering any questions they may have!

German News 4/22/12

Dear friends of ECU’s program in German,

Wow. If you haven’t seen ECU’s production of Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera”, it’s not too late, and trust me: it’s a show you don’t want to miss. Students of German are especially encouraged to attend. Performances run through Tuesday, April 24. — With best wishes, David Smith, Associate Professor (

–DEUTSCHKLUB: There will be no German Club this Tuesday as we all prepare for exams and the end of the semester.

Through Tuesday, 24 April
Info and Tickets:

German Events 4/1/12, Volunteer for PirateFest!

We hope you can join us for these free events and that students will consider signing up to help staff the German booth at Pirate Fest on Saturday, 14 April. (If you have never been to PirateFest, you’re missing out!) We need at least 2 student volunteers for each 2-hour block, beginning at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, 14 April, and ending at 3:45 p.m.  that same day. To sign up, please follow the link below under “Looking Ahead.” For more information, please  email Prof. Goodman ( or Prof. Smith ( Danke! — David Smith, program coordinator.

Events this week

Tuesday, 3 April, 5 p.m., Mendenhall
German Club will meet as usual in the large social/study room in Mendenhall (next to Java City across from the Hendrix Theater. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email German Club President Kendra Beaty (

followed by a showing of
“DIE BLECHTROMMEL” (“The Tin Drum”)–dir. by Völker Schlöndorff
Wednesday, 4 April, 5:30 p.m., Bate 1012
(Please see flyer.)

Looking Ahead

–German Dinner
Wednesday evening, 11 April, Time and Place TBA

–Pirate Fest
Saturday, 14 April, All day
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. If you can help staff the German Booth at the Pirate Festival, please sign up using this link:

PirateFest info is here:

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