Michael O'Sullivan, PhD
There have been few more life-altering educational choices than the decision to add a German major to my study of History at Canisius College. Although I took some German in High School, it was under the tutelage of Canisius College faculty and as a part of the institution’s exchange programs to Dortmund that I fell in love with German history, language, and culture. I matured tremendously as I participated in language immersion programs, adjusted to a new culture, and discovered the most passionate professional football club in the world (Borussia Dortmund). My fascination with Germany has yet to end. After careful guidance and mentoring from faculty advisors who set me on a path toward academic achievement, I studied for a year at the University of Münster with a Fulbright scholarship after graduation. With this opportunity, I researched twentieth-century German Catholicism in German archives, which continues to be my professional focus today. Afterward I completed a fully funded PhD in modern German history at the University of North Carolina and received a faculty position at Marist College, where I am currently an Associate Professor of History. Along the way I returned professionally to Germany several times, including a year of dissertation research with a German Academic Exchange grant to the University of Cologne. Beyond the professional benefits of German mastery, learning intensely about another culture enriched my life tremendously. I maintain countless personal friendships across the Atlantic in a country that I consider a second home. In my own professional life Canisius faculty, such as Larry Jones and Peter Böhm, serve as role models as I attempt to motivate and inspire my own undergraduate students.