"Luther had everything I was looking for in an undergraduate education–a close-knit and supportive community, accessible and highly qualified faculty, and the chance to be involved in a variety of academic and co-curricular activities."
After graduating from Luther in 2007, Karin spent one year in Kamen, Germany as a Fulbright teaching assistant. From there, she earned a master's degree in German and a doctorate in German and applied linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2014, she started her career as a professor at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. As a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, she teaches German and foreign language pedagogy and conducts research. She says, “I enjoy it so much. In many senses, it’s a lot like Luther: small classes, really engaged faculty, and a small liberal arts setting.”
Karin believes that Luther was the perfect place to begin her career path. She says, “Luther had everything I was looking for in an undergraduate education–a close-knit and supportive community, accessible and highly qualified faculty, and the chance to be involved in a variety of academic and co-curricular activities.”
Among the most influential aspects of Karin’s time at Luther were the relationships that she built with her professors in the German department. She says, “When I went to Luther, I knew I wanted to pursue further study in German, and my professors were really supportive of that.” These interactions in and outside of class prepared her for graduate school and continue to shape the way that Karin teaches today.
She advises current students to seek out the same relationships. “Interact with your professors as much as you can,” she says. “They’re there to help you, and they aren’t so intimidating once you get to know them. Plus, they can be really great resources for you while you’re in college and afterward.”
From work-study to co-curriculars, Karin pursued a variety of passions during her time at Luther. As a German major, she participated in many of her department’s activities, but she was also involved in Luther’s music scene. “I was able to be in one or more choirs every year,” she says. “For me, there was no such thing as being in too many!” Beyond choir, she had space in her schedule for voice lessons, as well as junior and senior recitals.
Karin also held a number of jobs at Luther. She began in the cafeteria dish room and later became a tutor, an office assistant for the German department, and a German conversation leader. She especially enjoyed her time in the Language Learning Center. “Those positions confirmed that teaching was something I really loved,” she says. “Shedding light on the German language—how it’s used, for whom, by whom, and to what end—was the most fulfilling part of those jobs.”
“Pursue everything that you think is fun, weird, or interesting. If you want to take that awesome- looking class on linguistic anthropology even though you’re a physics major, take it! Be curious about the world around you. Try new things and meet new people.”
—Karin Maxey ’07
Karin also appreciated her semester in Germany, as a part of the Münster program. “I craved time abroad and the chance to see the world through another linguistic and cultural lens,” she says. “I loved every minute of my time in Münster.” She also took a J-term course on music history in London and Vienna.