Margrit Zinggeler, German professor, wins award

An Eastern Michigan University German professor won the 2015 American Association of Teachers of German award.

Margrit Zinggeler received the award for excellence in teaching Austrian language and culture. This includes the German-speaking areas of Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy’s South Tyrol.

The Austrian Cultural Forum of New York and the Consulate General of Switzerland are sponsoring the award.

Zinggeler received a certificate along with a $2,000 check Nov. 21 in San Diego at the annual American Association of Teachers of German meeting.

“This great honor is a very humbling and highly energizing experience,” Zinggeler said in a press release. “I am grateful to all who have written letters of support about the work that I am privileged to do to educate students and the community about Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. I am committed to find new and exciting ways to bring the diverse cultures of these Alpine countries into the classrooms all over the United States.”

Zinggeler is from St. Gallen, Switzerland. In Michigan, she was president of the Michigan World Language Association in 2005-2006. She led the legislative initiative for high school to require two years of a foreign language for graduation.

At Eastern, she directs the Study Abroad Intensive German Summer Program. She plays a vital role in organizing Michigan’s German-American Day for high school students.

Zinggeler has been a professor at Eastern for 16 years. She is a national expert on Swiss literature and promotes the inclusion of German-Swiss literature and culture into German language curriculum. She has several books on this topic. Currently, she is working on “Swiss Maid: The Untold Story of Women’s Contribution to Switzerland’s Success.”

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