Undergraduate Alumni Profiles

Vana Babic (2005, B.A. Modern European Studies)

alumni_profiles_babicIn 2004, I was three credits shy of completing a Political Science major and I wanted to quit. I had lost all passion for my major. The only class I was enjoying was my one elective taught by Dr. Winthrop-Young. It is he that suggested I enroll in the newly created MEST program. I did so and my fourth year was the best year of my life!

I loved everything I learned about, from Scandinavian plays, to Italian movies to great German literature.  My courses provided for a great (school) work-life balance as well.

I learned a very important lesson in life when I made the switch to CENES to always follow my passion! Today I am doing just that. I am working in television for a NBC affiliate as an Account Executive. I love my job. I am also writing a novel that will draw on what I learned during my CENES studies.

I highly recommend this program. It is a great way to learn another language, to learn about other cultures and read some fascinating literature.  In life one will have plenty of time to do mundane things so why not enjoy yourself now?  Now is the time to study something amazing and have a great time doing it.  With the variety of fabulous courses this program offers it will not feel like work, but rather a cultural adventure. Best of luck to you and enjoy your program.

Aisha Jamal (2002, Hon. B.A. German)

alumni_profiles_jamal2Aisha Jamal graduated from UBC with a double major in German Studies and International Relations. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Department of German Literature and Languages. Her dissertation focused on films made in Germany by filmmakers with an immigrant background, exploring issues of belonging, ethnic identity and nationhood.

During her studies, she also produced and directed her first documentary entitled Dolls and Bombs, which premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival. For the last four years, she has been holding the position of Assistant Professor of German in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, as well as teaching Media Arts at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. She continues to work both in academia and the arts, producing and directing films. Her current academic research concentrates on the short and feature films of German director Burhan Qurbani.