Students present their research, travel experiences to retirement community residents

Mar 28, 2014

North Central College German majors Hannah Kramer ’14 and Emily Labedz ’15 gave formal presentations to senior residents of Monarch Landing, a Naperville retirement community, on March 12. Their presentations focused on their research and travels in Germany.

Kramer, who’s pursuing state certification to teach German in high schools, studied in Heidelberg, Germany, in fall 2013 and participated in a D-Term study trip to Germany in 2012 led by Gregory Wolf, Dennis and Jean Bauman Professor in the Humanities and professor of German.

Labedz, also a sociology major, participated in the 2013 D-Term seminar titled “Germany from Luther to Present: Castles, Cathedrals, and Culture,” led by Wolf.

In their presentations, Kramer gave an introduction on Heidelberg and spoke about her research on the historical evolution of the German Christmas Markets and how the Holocaust is taught in German schools.

Labedz presented a travel log about her experiences and discussed art, architecture and history in Berlin, Erfurt, Weimar, Wittenberg and Dresden. “I really enjoyed making the presentation,” said Labedz, “because I worked at Monarch Landing in high school and it was special to be able to go back and speak with residents again. They were very interested and even came up to talk to Hannah and me about their own experiences in Germany.”

Over the past two years, North Central College and Monarch Landing have established a partnership that includes a mentoring program, attendance by residents at campus fine arts events, and visits to Monarch by professors and students who talk about their areas of expertise.

“Hannah and I have been best friends since freshman year,” said Labedz, “so it was especially fun to be able to give a presentation with her about something we’re both passionate about.”