Skip to:

Featured Alumni

Alizeh Ahmad

B.A. in Comparative Literature, Class of 2019
B.S. in Human Biology, Class of 2019
M.A. in Modern Thought & Literature, Class of 2020
Boston College Law School, Class of 2023

"The decision to study Comparative Literature at the DLCL was a pivotal choice in my education. Among other things, my time at the DLCL equipped me to expand the horizons of my career beyond the confines of any single academic discipline, and to do so with the requisite rigor. It was in classes with unparalleled faculty like Amir Eshel and Roland Greene where my paradigms were challenged and refined, culminating in a clear purpose. What is more, I had the opportunity to learn from awe-inspiring peers and devoted faculty, all the while spending hours with gorgeous texts. After graduating, I completed an M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford where I focused on Law and Literature, and I am now starting law school with an eye towards academia and social justice."


Laura Feigen

B.A. in Italian, Class of 2018
B.A. in Art History, Class of 2018
Strategic Projects Officer at Tate Britain

"My Italian degree was always a complement to my Art History degree. Becoming fluent in the language enabled me to pursue art history research in new ways and afforded me the opportunity to gain work experience in museums like L'Opera di Santa Croce in Florence and galleries like ARTUNER in London. Following Stanford, I completed an MA in Art History at The Courtauld Institute in London where my Italian language skills enabled me to forge close friendships with the Italian students in my cohort. Currently, I work at Tate Britain. While I don't routinely speak Italian there, it was my previous experiences at Santa Croce and ARTUNER which helped me land the role. For students who don't initially see the practicalities of an Italian degree, I would say that I used to be one of them. Initially, Italian was a language I fell in love with while studying abroad in Florence, not the pathway to a career. However, I have quickly learned that my Italian degree is what has opened the door to new professional opportunities and is consistently the aspect of my resume employers find most interesting."

 

Madelaine Grace Graber

Slavic Languages and Literatures, Class of 2018
M.A. in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Class of 2019
Berkeley Law, Class of 2023

"The DLCL was a fundamental part of my experience at Stanford. I have a special love for the faculty and students in Slavic Languages and Literatures (my second major during undergrad, and a big part of my community as I completed an MA through the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies). Not only was I able to foster my passion for the Russian language and to learn more about Russian culture and politics, but I also became a member of an incredibly tight-knit community. That community, be it peers or faculty, supported my development as an academic and was responsible for so much of my personal growth during undergrad and graduate school at Stanford. Furthermore, I feel that both the coursework I completed and the guidance I received have had an immense impact on my current work: inspired by my experiences in classes, I decided to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship upon completion of my MA. I studied schizophrenia in Russia, utilizing the language and cultural skills I learned through the department. Now, as I prepare to begin law school at Berkeley Law, I remain grateful for the exposure to culture, literature, and language I gained as a student in the DLCL."

 

Anouk Ackerman

B.A. in French, Class of 2016
UCLA Medical Student

"Being a French major at Stanford was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I made as an undergraduate. I took fascinating classes (I took a 4-person class on love in French culture!) and I was able to form lasting bonds with many of my professors. I felt incredibly supported by the department and I would encourage anyone who is interested in setting themselves up for travel and adventure in the future to pursue a degree in the DLCL department!"


Dylan Fugel

B.A. in French, Class of 2016
B.A. in English, Class of 2016
Award-winning Podcast Writer
Teacher, Director & Cast at 
Story Pirates 

"One of my gigs over the past few years has been as a cast member/director/teacher for The Story Pirates, a company that teaches creative-writing workshops in low-income schools across NY and LA and then turns the students' work into a sketch show that we perform both for the students and across the country. One of my proudest moments was when I was teaching at a school in the Bronx, and we had a student who had recently immigrated from Senegal. She spoke almost no English and had been struggling with her writing, but I was able to communicate with her in French and explain the work we were doing to her, resulting in her writing a story in mixed French and English that was the most she had written and participated in class since her immigration. I don't think there's a better example I have as to how a DLCL degree can help you communicate and encourage people all over the world."


Marissa Messina

B.A. in French, Class of 2016
B.S. in Symbolic Systems, Class of 2016
M.A in Communications
Product Manager at Amazon / Writing & Communications Tutoring Business Owner

"I have thought and written extensively about the fuzzie techie divide, and I'm a proud straddler of the chasm with degrees in both the humanities and the sciences. My DLCL French B.A. has proven its merit myriad times over. Not only did it enable me to build such strong connections with locals during my study abroad that I have lifelong Parisian friends, but it has also directly served me in the workplace. In one of my roles at Microsoft, I oversaw a global portfolio of Azure cloud users, and I spoke with the majority of the European customers in French; my fluency was crucial to my being hired. In the roles where I have not used French itself, I've observed that my literary and cultural cognizance—honed through the degree—help me relate to colleagues from all walks of life. My current work as a product manager requires me to interface with technical and non-technical people on a daily basis, and I find that, because I have practice translating ideas (from English to French),"translating" from tech-lingo to plain English comes more naturally to me."

 

Peter Wang

B.A. in German Studies, Class of 2015
B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Class of 2015
Senior Product Manager at Alation

"The time that I spend in DLCL programming has impacted quite a bit of my post-graduate life. The classes I took as part of my German Studies curriculum really opened my eyes to the plurality of viewpoints that exists across different places and times. Together with my time spent studying and working abroad in Germany as part of the BOSP, those viewpoints and experiences have really helped me adapt to a globalized workplace, where I have to collaborate with colleagues from across the world. As a product manager, philosophies like Critical Theory also gives me an interesting lens to evaluate and understand the potential impact of technology that I use as well as help to build. The process of digging into the "whys" behind the status quo is essential for a successful product manager. Finally, my work as an Academic Theme Associate at Haus Mitt (the German language theme house), particularly the experience of building out cultural education curriculums, such as the beer tasting class, really helped me refine my teaching and communication skills which I use all the time when working with clients and co-workers."

 

MaryJo Lopez

B.A. in French, Class of 2015
B.A. in Philosophy, Class of 2015
Stanford Law School, Class of 2020

"The classes I took at the DLCL made me a better law student. They taught me to read carefully, to think critically, and to argue my points clearly (both in class and in writing). Most importantly, my DLCL classes will make me a better lawyer. The classes I took at the DLCL taught me a lot about human nature and introduced me to many different ways of viewing our world. Over the years, the insights I gained from these classes have allowed me to understand and connect with people with a broad range of life experiences and perspectives. This skill—the ability to understand people who are different than me—will enable me to better persuade judges and juries and to better understand the motivations of opposing parties."


Allen Xu

B.A. in Comp Literature, Class of 2015
B.A. in Economics, Class of 2015
JD-MBA candidate at Yale

"I’ve been known as the ‘lit major’ in all of my jobs, including BCG and a startup called HarrisX, for good reason: starting as a generalist after Stanford, nothing could have prepared me to digest complex information, form and evaluate arguments, balance competing perspectives, or just flat-out write, like studying Comparative Literature. As I now work on my JD-MBA at Yale, I’ve found that ‘critical communication’ is everything in business and law—and I wouldn’t trade my Comp Lit training for anything. Just be prepared to get asked for a lot of book recommendations!"


Justin Calles

B.A. in German Studies, Class of 2013
B.S. in Science, Technology and Society, Class of 2013
Senior Product Designer at Juniper Square

"I’ve always been fascinated by the books, the visual and graphic arts, the philosophy, and the ideas that have come out of Germany. When I got to Stanford, I realized that to better understand all of these things, and to become involved with them, I needed to learn the language and learn the culture. That’s why I chose to become a German major. I needed both a technical background and a firm grounding in the humanities, and that wouldn’t have been provided in a purely technical or idea-generative discipline. Studying abroad in Berlin was a significant experience for me because it really allowed me to re-examine everything I considered 'familiar,' or took for granted.

 
"Now that I’ve graduated, I’m going to be in the tech industry, and it’s going to be incredibly valuable to have studied German. Studying German culture and the Humanities, overall, really keeps you more in touch with social and cultural currents, both contemporary historical, which I think is essential for thinking about the future. It’s so much more interesting to have something other than just a technology-focused background, but to have something else there — something deeper, something more in touch with history, culture, philosophy and critical ways of thinking. I think those are all encapsulated in a German major and German Studies, or in any of the Humanities, and it’s a really beneficial and interesting differentiating factor for me. I appreciate that I have that under my belt."

Carmen Stellar

B.A. in Spanish, Class of 2011
M.A. in Sociology, Class of 2011
Global Health Fellow at Ventura County Medical Center

"The DLCL is unique in that it affords students the opportunity not only to master a foreign language, but also to immerse themselves in the rich history of that language, the culture and traditions of its speakers, and the native cadence of its master works of literature, which cannot be captured in translation. I loved being a Spanish major in college because I was able to improve my Spanish grammar and broaden my Spanish vocabulary while simultaneously learning history, geography, anthropology, and ecology. While at Stanford, I was consistently impressed by the depth and the breadth of information I was being taught by my amazing professors in the DLCL, and to this day I continue to marvel at my good fortune in having been part of such a remarkable program.
 
"While it may seem incongruous that a Spanish major opted to enter the medical profession, the education I obtained through the DLCL has served me well as a medical student. As a medical professional in a wildly diverse country, the possession of ‘cultural competence’ is highly valued. My educational background trained me well in a similar realm; that of cultural humility. I am primed to understand patients as complex individuals whose attitudes towards health and health care are inextricably linked to their religious beliefs, their experiences with traditional healers and complementary and alternative medicine, and the history of health care delivery in their countries of origin, among an infinite number of other things. I understand that Western medicine is imbued with a culture of its own, and that working with patients towards the common goal of improving their health helps bridge the cultural differences that may exist in understanding the etiology and the treatment of a specific disease process. I believe this sensibility will make me a more empathic physician."