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Jake Shaw

Jake Shaw brought what he learned in the German studies program at SLU to his Political Science Ph.D. program, where his research looks at American and German political development and comparative criminal justice policy.

Jake Shaw
When did you graduate from SLU and with what degree?

I graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and triple-majored in Political Science, German Studies, and International Studies. I pursued an Accelerated B.A./M.A. program in Political Science and received my Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science and Public Affairs in 2020.

What was the best part of being a part of the German Program at SLU – or a favorite memory?

Some of my best memories of undergrad were made in the German studies program. In projects for class, I was given the freedom to research German political institutions, female representation in the German Bundestag, and compare feminist movements and female leaders in the U.S. and Germany. I was also incredibly fortunate to take part in the American Junior Year (AJY) program in Heidelberg, Germany, where I took courses in German and English and travelled to dozens of European cities. The German studies program fueled my passion for politics and quite literally expanded my worldview.

Why would you recommend taking German at SLU to other Billikens?

The German studies program is led by top-notch academics and experts in their fields, who are laser-focused on cultivating the whole person. With small class sizes, students receive a personal and committed education. Professors Meyer and Wisbey work tirelessly to provide a welcoming and rigorous learning environment. Learning transcends the walls of the classroom and the department and German Club provide extensive extra-curricular activities. German studies was so central to my experience at SLU and has become a key pillar of my personal identity, which is no doubt the result of working with the department’s dedicated mentors.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a Political Science Ph.D. student and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. My research focuses on comparative politics and looks at American and German political development and comparative criminal justice policy.

In what way did your German major prepare you for what you do now?
Studying German has given me the technical experience to read and understand primary source German texts for my graduate research, such as German academic journals, books, penal codes, and laws. The German Fluency course focused on the structure of the German government and social issues, like the Syrian refugee crisis and climate change. This curriculum has been invaluable to my academic research focus.