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Mechthild Medzihradsky Scholarship
Our beloved Program Assistant and internship coordinator, Mechthild Medzihradsky, passed away after a long illness on December 18, 2001. Mechthild had been a member of the Department continuously since 1982.
The Department has established a fund in her honor: the Mechthild Medzihradsky Scholarship Fund, which will be used to help support undergraduates doing summer internships in German-speaking countries.
Her obituary from the Ann Arbor News is below. We also invite anyone who knew Mechthild to contribute their recollections, which will be added to those below.
Mechthild Medzihradsky's Obituary from the Ann Arbor News
"Passed away at home on December 18, 2001, in the company of her son, Oliver, and friends. Studied at the University of Munich, where she received the Master of Arts degree in Sociology and met her future husband. Academic Secretary in the German Department at U-M since 1982, Mechthild was dearly loved by faculty, coworkers, and students, for whom she always had an open ear. Mechthild is survived by her two children, Sofia (Pacifica, California) and Oliver. Her husband Fedor, formerly Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Biological Chemistry, passed away earlier this year. Contributions in memory of both Mechthild and Fedor may be sent, in their name(s), to the University at either: the Department of Pharmacology, U of M Medical School, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0632, or the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, 3110 Modern Languages Bldg., 812 E. Washington, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1275."
Recollections of Mechthild Medzihradsky by Friends and Colleagues
"Mechthild was an expert in the German language. In response to any question on the meaning of a word or its correct use, Mechthild would enthusiastically and expertly expound not only on its meaning, but also on the meaning of related words and phrases. She could explain how the word or phrase was used in different regions of the country, and what the social context might imply. This discourse was accompanied by a thoughtful exposition of cultural norms or regional dialects, punctuated with inflections of voice, raising of eyebrows, lowering the pitch or sotto voce, all combined with a sense of the importance of the question and a bit of hilarity at German linguistic customs. She was an asset to the Department in the best sense of the word, helpful, interested in every aspect of teaching, willing to take time to answer questions, coupled with a great sense of humor and self-deprecation. I treasure her memory and her tremendous spirit." Astrid Beck, February 2002
"Mechthild had been a member of the Department continuously since 1982. She was a grand lady, and she will be sorely missed. Everyone will have their own memories of her, but I will never forget her dignity, her immense willpower, her strong opinions, or her habit of shifting unpredictably from English to German and back to English – all in the same sentence. Above all, I will remember the professionalism and dedication she brought to our internship program, which she created single-handedly. She loved talking with the interns, and took a deep, personal interest in their success. We shall not see her like anytime soon." Frederick Amrine, Chair, Februrary 2002
Sturm Fellowship Award
Sturm Fellowships are available to University of Michigan undergraduate and graduate students who are traveling to a German-speaking country for an overseas experience. Experiences could include working at an internship in a Germany-speaking country or studying language at a Goethe-Institut.
University of Michigan students who do an internship in a German-speaking country will receive between a $100-$1,000 fellowship for their internship experience. More money will be awarded to students who have unpaid internships and to those students who are majors and minors in the German Department. Funds will be awarded to students who can demonstrate academic excellence and genuine financial need.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Applications will be reviewed by Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, as well as our undergraduate advisor, Kalli Federhofer.
For one month of courting and 40-plus years of matrimony, DeVere and Zita Sturm have loved one another and Germany, the country that brought them together. Now, their German roots, DeVere’s time at the University, and the fact that three of their four children studied German at the U-M have inspired the Sturms to help students visit the country that united them. The Sturm Family Endowment supports undergraduates in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures traveling to Germany for opportunities to work and study abroad. After seeing the effect that traveling abroad had on their own children, it was clear to them that their endowment should provide the opportunity to students to travel or study in Germany, thus uniting the Sturms’ German heritage with their interest in the University of Michigan.