The years spent at university are like any other chapter in one’s life: unique, but integrated into a larger biography. Alumni associations like the ASLAA help students and graduates maintain the unique experiences of university and their personal meaning. In doing so, alumni associations allow their members not only to help maintain important personal networks but also to build important professional networks that can provide tips, contacts, advice, and a highly valuable forum for exchanging ideas and career experiences.
Keep in Touch with American Studies by Joining the American Studies Leipzig Alumni Association e.V. (ASLAA)
The American Studies Leipzig Alumni Association e.V. (ASLAA) was founded in 2017 and is the official alumni association for BA and MA graduates of American Studies Leipzig. We establish a lasting connection between enrolled students, alumni/alumnae, and the institute and thus offer a way to always stay in contact with American Studies Leipzig. Each year, we organize a graduation ceremony to honor the students’ successful completion of the American Studies BA or MA program. We also welcome new students at the student orientation BBQ in October and offer a variety of events throughout the semester. For example, we organize workshops where we assist students in refining and strengthening their skills and talents, or professional roundtables where we invite former ASL graduates to talk about their various career paths. With our work we mainly aim at creating a network of current as well as former American Studies students and at supporting graduates in building their future by promoting the exchange of ideas and goals related to a degree in American Studies.
The association is always in search of new members. We look forward to both members joining us to enrich and broaden our network and to those ready to take action to help us organize our events. We look forward to meeting you!
The ASLAA is always searching for new members! We look forward to both new members joining us to enrich and broaden our network and to those ready to take action to help us organize our events. Please do not hesitate to contact us!
Do not forget to check out our website!
We look forward to meeting you!
If you are interested in joining our association, you can find a membership application below. After you have filled it out, you can send it to us via e-mail, Facebook or to our mailbox at the Institute for American Studies.
Since its founding, the ASLAA has initiated and hosted a variety of workshops. Our workshops engage in different topics each semester. Participants benefit greatly as they get the chance to expand and improve their skill sets.
The workshop on What to do with American Studies?, for example, is usually held in October and has turned out to be a success twice already. We also offer study-related workshops that focus on BA/MA theses writing and business-related ones on how to apply for internships, traineeships and permanent positions. All of our workshop concepts are also designed to develop the participants’ soft skills, such as time management and team work.
Workshops held by the ASLAA are free of charge, open to the public and held in English. Signing up beforehand is not necessary. Feel free to stop by and participate!
With our Professional Roundtables we offer the perfect opportunity for students currently enrolled in the American Studies Leipzig programs to connect and network with alumni. More specifically, these events offer a chance to explore the variety of career paths open to graduates of American studies. Students can get in touch with these alumni and benefit from their professional experience and their career choices.
In the past, the ASLAA has held roundtables that revolved around topics such as pursuing a PhD, working in the field of research management as well as project management. The Roundtables always start with our guests talking about their current or past jobs and how they chose and pursued them. Towards the end we initiate discussion, let the audience ask specific questions and of course, there is always time for socializing and networking with everyone attending!
For more information on our roundtable guests, please refer to the Professional Paths page, where you can read more about the career choices of several alumni and how American Studies Leipzig prepared and equipped them. The professional roundtable events are free of charge, open to the public and held in English.
In July of each year, the ASLAA organizes a graduation ceremony for BA and MA students who have finished or are about to finish their studies.
Below you can find information on some of the past graduation ceremonies the ASLAA has hosted.
Graduation Ceremony 2017
On Friday, July 7 2017, the ASLAA hosted their second graduation ceremony for BA and MA American Studies students at the Alter Senatssaal in the university president’s building. We welcomed ten graduates of the BA program and three of the MA program as well as about 65 guests to celebrate the graduates’ successful completion of the programs. Among the guests were members of the ASL Institute, of the Leipzig-Houston Sister City Association, employees of Leipzig University’s alumni office as well as friends and family members of the graduates.
Prof. Crister S. Garrett, head of the ASL institute, delivered the opening remarks. The association’s president Katharina-Luise Kittler and vice president Miriam Wilke, followed with a speech that highlighted the importance of alumni organizations for universities and emphasized the familiar atmosphere at American Studies Leipzig as an aspect that plays a major role in creating positive memories and therefore will be missed by graduates. Another member of the institute, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Pisarz-Ramírez, also congratulated the graduates on finishing the program. She shared her own memories of graduating and focused on how well the graduates are prepared for their future with a degree in American studies. As the students’ representative, MA graduate David R. Ewens delivered a speech recalling some fond memories of his time at Leipzig University. Lastly, Anika Kreller – herself an ASL alumna now working as Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig – talked about the general importance of graduation ceremonies for students to honor their hard work and all their accomplishments.
After these speeches, the graduates received their diplomas and got to toss their graduation caps – following the American tradition of marking the end of their studies. The whole ceremony as well as the following reception was accompanied by the Leipzig jazz duo Fernando B. Gutierrez and Johannes Wasikowski, who made this event feel even more special with their music.
We would like to thank our sponsors, the U.S. Embassy Berlin and the Leipzig-Houston Sister City Association, for their contributions which made this event possible.
Our thanks also goes out to our speakers who created a unique and memorable atmosphere with their uplifting speeches.
Graduation Ceremony 2016
The American Studies Leipzig Alumni Association organized the first graduation ceremony for students of the BA and MA program of American Studies at Leipzig University on July 15, 2016. The graduates and guests met at the Alter Senatssaal, which is part of the university president’s building. In total, nine graduates received their diplomas that day and thus finished their studies. As we believe in the importance of honoring the accomplishments of all ASL graduates and of delivering a feeling of closure and celebration after having succeeded in the program, we started this graduation ceremony with the aim of turning it into a reliable yearly event in the ASLAA event calendar.
In his speech, Prof. Crister S. Garrett, director at the institute for American Studies Leipzig, encouraged the graduates to embrace their future and all its possibilities. To everyone’s entertainment and amusement he did so by reading from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go, a very popular US children’s book. Dr. Andreas Fürst from the U.S. Consulate General Leipzig, who also holds a degree in American Studies, focused on the various career choices a graduate of American studies has. Alumna Lisa Wiedemann also addressed the advantages of the interdisciplinary program and MA graduate Elena van den Berg reflected on the up- and downsides of student life, on her past years in the program and the future prospects.