Qualified students will be encouraged to write an honors thesis during their senior year. To qualify for the B.A. in German Studies with Honors, the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 overall and 3.5 in German at graduation. The honors thesis offers students the opportunity to design a project that builds on and integrates their previous coursework in the German language and culture and allows them to engage with a topic that interests them intellectually. Thesis writers will work closely with a faculty advisor in Germanic Studies to develop their project and improve their analytical and writing skills. Applications for departmental honors must be submitted by the end of the first week of classes, normally during the fall of senior year. Upon acceptance of an application, the student registers for the GERM 598-GERM 599 sequence. The student presents the completed research project to the faculty advisor and two other members of the Departmental Honors Committee about one month before concluding their final semester at KU. A grade of B or higher in GERM 598 and GERM 599 is required for departmental honors. GERM 598 and GERM 599 may not be used to satisfy other course requirements.
For more information, please get in touch with the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Research and teaching interests: Dr. Vanchena's current research focuses on German immigrant culture in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She is creating a scholarly digital archive of poems written by German Americans during the First World War. She uses this poetry to examine how German immigrants and their descendants defined their national identity from 1914 to 1918. She also engages with the local history museum to study the Turner movement in Lawrence, KS. Dr. Vanchena teaches courses on the German-American experience, German-language literature, and contemporary German-speaking Europe. She regularly teaches lower-level and advanced online courses for the BGS degree completion program.