17th Annual German Day celebrated at StFX

German day photo
Pictured during StFX German Day 2024, l-r, Rolf Bouman, Friends United; Derin Derici, StFX alumna 2023; Dr. Mark Leeming, Academic Success Center, StFX; Zechariah Willems, German 298; Marlis Lade, Coordinator for German; Myka Burke, Officer of Culture and Communication, German Embassy Ottawa; Gianluca Abrignani, German 298; Laurianne Riffault, German 298; Maia Schissler, German 201; and Ruth Murray, German 298

German culture was in the spotlight March 22 when the German courses and the German Society at StFX celebrated the 17th Annual German Day with a number of guest speakers and student presentations during a well-attended event. 

Guest speakers for the event included Myka Burke, the Cultural and Communication Officer from the German Embassy in Ottawa; as well as Elizabeth Yeo, StFX Vice-President Students; Dr. Mark Leeming, StFX Academic Success Center; 2007 StFX alumna Taimi Itembu, Deputy Country Manager for Exxon Mobil, Namibia; and 2023 StFX alumna Derin Derici.  

Ms. Burke says the German Embassy is very impressed by the important work being done at StFX, and by Marlis Lade, German coordinator at StFX.

Ms. Burke says Ms. Lade has established a culture of innovation and community cohesion through her hard work and initiatives that is quite special. “The German Day event promoted academic discourse and creative expression, providing a unique platform for students to showcase their imaginative projects from the past year to a wider community. Particularly noteworthy, in my opinion, was the ongoing collaborative project with renowned artist, musician, and writer, Dr. Alan Syliboy. The German Day, and Ms. Lade’s work, would appear to go beyond traditional academic endeavors, giving students a sense of purpose and meaning in their work; it gives them the opportunity to meet with university leaders and successful alumni and that would also seem to further enhance the students' commitment to academic excellence and cultural exchange.”

Ms. Burke says through their collective efforts, the students become catalysts for transformative change, building bridges of understanding and empathy – including between Germany and Canada, “which would have an impact far beyond the borders of the academic world and ultimately enrich the fabric of our global community.” 

German Day
L-r, Laurianne Riffault, German 298; Marlis Lade, Coordinator of German courses; Ben James, German 298; Gianlucca Abrigniani, German 298; and Myka Burke, Officer of Culture & Communication, German Embassy Ottawa

Emcee for the event was Ben James, from the German 298 course, while Cameron MacIsaac, German 298, wrote a land acknowledgement. The day featured a number of student presentations. These included:
•    Experience of a German course student, Chris McMinn German 298
•    Germany and Canada, a Culinary Journey, German 100-course students Vanessa Cordes and Minna Sebastian with teaching assistant Frank Hilligardt, Stuttgart
•    Interactive Quiz, Lairianne Riffault, German 298
•    German Films, Madison Oakey, Paige Laplante, Samuel Robinson, German 298
•    A Childhood in Mi’kmaki-Talk with Alan Syliboy, Maia Schisler and Gianluca Abrignani, German 201/298
•    Unity through Diversity, Zechariah Willems, Ivan Kunz Aguilar, German 298