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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)— Moravian College student Leigh Ann Caruso ’04. received a scholarship from the Deutsche Akademische Austausch-dienst (German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD) to spend the next academic semester studying in Germany.
Caruso is one of 53 American undergraduates selected from more than 180 applicants to attend a German university. She will spend October through February 2003—a German semester—at the University of Erfurt, near Weimar, studying German and art history.
Caruso began interested in German at Pleasant Valley High School in Saylorsburg. “All my friends took it for the first two years,” she said, “but I went on because the teacher was fun.” And she had begun to be interested in German expressionist art of the early 20th century because “I wanted to learn about what Germany was like before the Nazi regime.”
Caruso started at Cedar Crest College, majoring in communications and computer science, then transferred to Moravian when her sister Alyssa was admitted to the Class of 2005.
She discovered that Moravian’s German classes were small and its curriculum was open to individual projects. And “Dr. [Josef] Glowa is by far the best professor I’ve had,” she says.
All these contributed to her decision to major in German, despite the baggage. “Whenever I tell people I’m a German major, I have to deal with the whole Nazi thing,” she says.
After a course on the history of the emotions from assistant professor Heikki Lempa—like Glowa, new to the Moravian faculty last year—Leigh opted for a SOAR project (a faculty-student research collaboration).
Her project with Lempa examines the Kurze zuverlässige Nachricht (loosely translated, “brief trustworthy message”), which she found in the Moravian Archives. This publication is part of the century-long correspondence between the Moravian community in Bohemia and its colonies in North America.
The Nachricht (1757) is a kind of constitution that guided the religious and communal culture, Leigh wrote to the DAAD. “The handbook provides details of worship services, guidelines for economic procedures, the patterns of studying the Bible, the proper clothing to wear, and living arrangements within the so-called communal choir system.”
In addition to Lempa, she is working with Diane Radycki, assistant professor of art and director of the Payne Gallery, to explore the volume’s “finely detailed drawings displaying the proper technique for carrying out religious practices.”
Meanwhile, there’s the paper to write. “I’ve done all this reading, and I know what the introduction and the closing comments are going to say,” Leigh laments. “It’s those 12 to 15 pages in the middle!"