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Meet the Team Behind this Project

Sofia Bach is a co-creator of What They Can Teach Us. She is the Program Assistant for German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg since September 2021. She helps the Chair in GCS, Dr. Alexander Freund with various research projects, administrative tasks and general project management. She is very excited to be able to provide an educative historical resource in three languages. 

Sofia received a MPhil in European Studies from the University of Sydney (Australia) in 2020. Her thesis focused on the role of the Orient in Hermann Hesse’s reception. She also holds a B.A. (joint honours) in German Studies and Asian Religions from McGill University (2016). In her spare time, Sofia enjoys taking dance classes, travelling to new places and dabbling in various creative endeavours.


Claudia Dueck is a co-creator of What They Can Teach Us. She worked as the Project Assistant for German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg from October 2021 until November 2022. Her main task was to transcribe and process Oral History Interviews conducted with German Immigrant Women who came to Canada in the 1950s and 60s. Claudia provided the transcripts and class activities you find on this website. She is excited that this resource might be used to expose students to first hand accounts of women’s experiences and encourage the use of Oral History in high school history settings.

Claudia received a Bachelor of Social Sciences from CMU in 2021. Currently, Claudia does Community Based Research in Social Sciences at CMU. She enjoys cross-country skiing in winter, biking and canoeing in summer and singing in a local choir year round. 

Dr. Alexander Freund consulted on What They Can Teach Us. In 1993, he conducted the original interviews for his Master’s thesis at Simon Fraser University. Freund holds the Chair in German-Canadian Studies and is a professor of history at the University of Winnipeg. In 2021, he initiated the creation of a German-Canadian archive of personal documents and oral histories, which provides the basis for this project. He is excited about this new and innovative use of his interviews and the broader benefits of sharing this research with the general public. 


Amine (Amy) Gundogdu is a professional translator who has had the opportunity to live, study and work in different parts of the world. Currently, she’s a Research Assistant at the University of Winnipeg. As a woman who understands the importance of effective communication across cultures and languages, Amine was deeply moved by the stories featured on this website. She feels incredibly honored to have been a part of this project, and she hopes that her contributions as a translator will help make these important stories accessible to a wider audience. 

Caroline Best is a student in the Spécialisation en traduction program at Concordia University in Montreal. She was drawn to the program because of her love of language and her hunger for knowledge. Working on What They Can Teach Us was a deeply rewarding experience addressing both of these interests. She is grateful for having been granted the opportunity to work on a project that expands awareness of key historical events and sheds light on nuanced and enlightening individual experiences.

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Alexe Normandin graduated from the Fine Arts degree of Concordia University in 2016 and has been working as an illustrator while traveling around the world. Since 2021, she is based in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, where she is currently finishing a vocational training in carpentry. She will continue to work as an artist while perfecting her trade and knowledge in ecobuilding, one of her many passions. Creating visual content for What They Can Teach Us has been a greatly rewarding experience for Alexe, deepening both her skills as an illustrator and her awareness of the story behind the women she portrayed. She is grateful to have participated in this project and hopes that her contribution will help spark interest among the public.

Angela Carlson has been the Project Assistant in German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg since February 2023. She aids in making Oral History research available to academics and interested readers through the UWinnipeg Archives. She hopes this resource will foster interest in and appreciation for the lived experiences of German immigrant women in Canada, and will build solid foundations for future learning.
Angela graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2019 with a BA in German Studies and Linguistics. She also holds an MA in Translation Studies (2022) from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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Dr. Kristin Lovrien-Meuwese consulted with the team for What They Can Teach Us and helped brainstorm the title of the project. She is coordinator of German Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and earned her PhD in German with a focus on Second Language Acquisition from the University of Madison, Wisconsin. At the University of Winnipeg, she teaches courses in language, literature and German linguistics. She is looking forward to integrating the documents and resources from What They Can Teach Us into her classes.

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