Graduate Profile: Elizabeth Priester Steding
Elizabeth Priester Steding came to Alma College thinking she would become an elementary school teacher. Placing into third-year German changed her mind.
Now an assistant professor of German at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, she completed her master's degree in German while teaching high school, through a summer program at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Teaching in Germany for a year on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange Grant made Steding want to continue her education. She earned her doctorate from Michigan State University.
"Dr. John Arnold played a huge role in my decision to pursue a German major," the 1994 graduate says. "His support and high expectations were a great combination for me. Majoring in German redirected my love for teaching into this specific area. I have used skills and knowledge gained in my courses at Alma every single day of my career."
Steding was attracted to the College by the friendly atmosphere and small classes, as well as the availability of scholarships.
"At larger schools, there is a wider variety of courses each semester, but it is easy to be anonymous," she says. "At Alma, I sometimes had only one other student in my German classes, which made it awfully hard to hide! The one-on-one attention really improved my German skills."
While at Alma, Steding sang in the Women's Glee Club, was a Kiltie Dancer, and studied abroad in Germany during the spring semester of her junior year.