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Fulbright Jenny Kromm ’13 Goes After History in Vienna

Genevieve “Jenny” Kromm ’13, a history major with a minor in music, recently won a Fulbright scholarship that will take her to Vienna in September, where her research will combine two of her passions: history and music. She will be spending a year piecing together evidence, mostly written in German and other languages, to shed light on censorship campaigns in Austria during WWI and their impact on the arts, particularly music. “I will be able to speak with specialists in this era of history and gain access to archives that include rare examples of little-known artists and composers of the era,” says Jenny. She will maximize her experience by working as an English teaching assistant, taking courses at University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and finding ways to play her inseparable trumpet with the University’s orchestra.

“Going back to Vienna will take me back full-circle to a city that feels almost like home.” She refers to her previous trips there in 2011 through a Research Travel Award, and then again in 2013 while visiting during a year-long fellowship in Germany through the prestigious US State Department Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. These experiences, along with her participation in the six-week, Intensive German Language Summer Program at the University of Freiburg in 2012, nourished her passion for history, languages and cultures. She speaks German, French and Chinese.  “I changed majors a bit late in the game, so I give much credit to the flexibility of the SCU core for allowing me to pursue my interests.  I also think that the Modern Languages department here was a huge factor in getting to where I am today.”

Indeed, Jenny’s nod for history developed as an extension of her interest in psychology, her original major. “There are so many ways to approach a historical subject while still trying to understand what was going on inside people’s heads. I also realized that research has a scientific approach that I enjoy, and that history has a story-telling aspect that goes well with my passion for writing.” 

Jenny credits a history class taught by Professor Matthew Newsom Kerr called War and Democracy: WWI in the UK, which she says “changed my life.”  And while she is “grateful for SCU’s rigorous preparation,” she thanks her thesis advisor, Professor Amy Randall, and her German teacher, Professor Josef Hellebrandt, for much of her success at SCU.