2012-2013 Outstanding Graduating Seniors

2012-13 Outstanding Graduating Seniors Honored 

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures congratulates the 2012-13 Outstanding Graduating Seniors Dylan Hendrix and Ben Wozniak. Dylan and Ben will be honored at the upcoming Honors Reception on Tuesday, April 2.

Below, Dylan and Ben offer us a brief reflection on their time at NMU.

International Studies: Dylan Hendrix

Dylan Hedrix

Ishpeming, Michigan

Majors: International Studies and German Studies 

Languages studied at NMU: German (all levels) and Spanish (one semester)

Languages studied abroad: Turkish and Arabic (two semesters)

Why did you come to NMU?

Local university, non-traditional students.

Why did you choose to study the languages that you did?

Had German in high school - captivated with languages ever since.

Did you study abroad? Where did you go, for how long, and why?

I studied at Carl von Ossietzky Universität in Oldenburg, Germany​ for a full academic year in order to better my German language skills and have the opportunity to travel abroad.

How did your study abroad experience influence your studies or future plans?

Studying abroad allowed me to realize how interconnected the world really is.  This in turn influenced me to travel and work outside the U.S.

What are your plans after graduation?

Live abroad for a year or two before deciding on a graduate school.  You never know what the future will bring!

Modern Languages: Ben Wozniak

Ben Wozniak

: Marquette, Michigan

Majors: Spanish and German Studies

Languages studied at NMU: Spanish, German, Russian (101)


Why did you come to NMU?

I’m originally from Marquette and saw no need to leave for my undergraduate studies, since NMU has a great language program.

Why did you choose to study the languages that you did?

I actually started with both languages in high school, and had already developed a general interest in them. My international experiences reinforced my love for the languages.

A funny memory from one of your NMU language classes:

GR 202: Herr Ahlers passed out a surprise quiz, then told us to simply write “April April,” the German equivalent of “April fools,” (it was April 1st). He then pointed out that the “quiz” was full of spelling and grammatical errors.

Your favorite foreign language word or phrase (and what it means):

I like German compound words that explain a concept perfectly and far better than their English counterparts. A basic example would be Wörterbuch (literally “word-book”), which means dictionary. I also always enjoy words of indigenous origin in Mexican Spanish, mainly because they can be a challenge to pronounce, for example: tlacuache, meaning opossum (the “tl” sound, pronounced as one syllable at the beginning of a word doesn’t exist in English).

Did you study abroad? Where did you go, for how long, and why?

I spent two semesters studying at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico from 2009-2010 and later spent two semesters studying at Carl von Ossietzky Universität in Oldenburg, Germany from 2011-2012. I took advantage of these opportunities to further my language abilities, and immersion in a country where the language is spoken is the best way to learn.

How did your study abroad experience influence your studies or future plans?

They definitely improved my ability to speak both Spanish and German, and also greatly broadened my world view (or Weltanschauung, another example of a German compound word) through exposure to different cultures and mentalities.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to pursue a Master of Arts in Spanish, and plan to continue in a doctoral program. I hope to teach at the college level one day.