Congratulations to Desmond Allen Ferrell, SFS’18, recipient of a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Desmond Allen Ferrell
Desmond Allen Ferrell, SFS’18

When I arrived at Georgetown in the fall of 2014, I only intended to take enough German courses to satisfy the SFS language proficiency requirement. However, life had other plans for me. After completing the Intensive German sequence with Professor Banchoff, I enrolled in the challenging but rewarding Text in Context course with Professor Pfeiffer. Professors Pfeiffer and Banchoff encouraged me to apply to the 2016 Summer in Trier program. I’m glad I took them seriously. I remember that reading texts like Georg Büchner’s Lenz and Thomas Mann’s Tonio Kröger in Professor Mark Lauer’s Portraits of the Artist course fascinated me to no end. Something about seeing life, albeit fictionalized, in the past was extremely interesting to me, and I had to read and learn more. After returning to GU in the fall of 2016, I decided to keep taking courses in the department whenever my schedule allowed. I returned to Germany in the spring of 2017 to study German and Political Science in Freiburg.

After returning from Freiburg in August 2017, my burgeoning interest in German studies blossomed into a desire to study German literature full time. In my penultimate semester at GU, I applied to a graduate program in German studies at the University of Missouri (Mizzou). Despite not being a German major, Prof. Banchoff, Prof. Pfeiffer, and Prof. Lauer supported my long-shot application to Mizzou. It all worked out for the best in the end. I studied Black German literature and history at Mizzou and served as a CBYX Fellow in Cologne 2019-2020.

I received my M.A. from Mizzou in May 2021 and currently teach English at the University of Marburg’s Language Center. After my stint as a teacher in Marburg, I will return to graduate school in the U.S. in 2022 as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship recipient. Upon completing my second master’s degree, I will become a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in 2024. Without the support of the GU German faculty over the years, I would not have achieved all of the success I have so far. I will always be thankful for my time with the GU German department.