by Amy Bearinger, Published March 26, 2012
Every year the Undergraduate Symposium hosts a unique group of student presenters known as Undergraduate Symposium Research Fellows (SURF). The SURF program provides outstanding students, who are often new to the University, an opportunity to extend their educational experience and academic passion beyond the classroom.
Second-year SURF Maggie Martin, double-major in German language and literature and history, has taken the "beyond the classroom" element of the SURF program quite literally. Currently studying abroad in Germany, Martin is doing research in the very country that is the subject for her project, something only a very few students get to experience.
Martin's project titled, "Nazis in the Making: German Youth in the Third Reich," outlines the importance that Nazis put on training youth during the Third Reich to become good, loyal, Nazi party members. Using the education curriculum and mandatory children's programs that were used during the era, Martin intends to highlight how Nazi ideologies were aimed at affecting every part of a youth's life.
"This project aims to show not only how valuable the minds of youth were in Nazi Germany," Martin explained, "but also how the minds of youth are so valuable in any society."
According to Martin, being able to do research in Germany has been an amazing opportunity that will enhance her project and research outcomes.
"I've been able to visit relevant museums and memorials to gather information for my research," Martin said. "Being able to do some of my research in a foreign language has been a bit of a challenge, but very rewarding."
Martin will return home for her Symposium presentation, which will be presented in Session C in room 350 of the Student Center. For more information about the Symposium and schedule of student presentations, please visit emich.edu/symposium.