Dr. Kordula Segler-Stahl is an adjunct professor of German in WCU’s Department of Languages and Cultures. She attained her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. She also received a graduate certification in computer information systems from Boston University in Brussels, Belgium.
Dr. Segler-Stahl has been teaching about databases for many years, but she has been teaching language at schools in the United States since 2003. She has been at WCU since 2005. Locally, she currently teaches at WCU and Drexel University, but she has also taught at Temple University and tutored at Bryn Mawr College. At WCU, she currently teaches German 101 and 202 courses and also individualized instruction in business German.
When asked about her favorite aspect of teaching, Dr. Segler-Stahl said, “My favorite part of teaching, I guess, is realizing or seeing when students make progress, when I feel I’m getting somewhere and when I see they’re happy with where they are. When they’re happy about their progress, that is just wonderful.”
She also said that the reason she moved to West Chester is because it reminds her of Europe. “It has a real downtown, and if I go into town, if I walk through West Chester on Gay Street or Market Street, I see people I know. I like that small-town feel about West Chester.”
When asked about her biggest academic achievement, she said, “Most people would probably say getting a Ph.D., but I don’t think, I actually don’t rate academic achievements as very important. I think human achievements are much more important than academic achievements. I’ve known too many people who I don’t really think very highly of who have all kinds of degrees, and I’ve met wonderful people who just graduated from high school.” She also said that raising her children and liking the people whom they have become has been her biggest personal accomplishment.
A goal that Dr. Segler-Stahl currently has is to go to Germany in the summer, bring back a Dachshund puppy, and have fun training him or her. She says that dogs are her hobby, and she currently has two dogs—a collie and a Doberman shepherd mix.
Another goal she has in general is to remain involved in the community and social justice activities. She hopes to organize a fundraiser for a friend who is a genocide survivor from Rwanda and who is involved with a genocide survivors’ network.
Something that many people do not know about her is that she loves comic books. “I’m a huge Tin Tin fan—I have the complete collection of Tin Tin books—and I have a huge collection of comic books at home in different languages.”
WCU student Elizabeth Saldierna has had several of Dr. Segler-Stahl’s classes. “What I love best about her classes is that she is very down-to-earth, and she is also very open to helping all of her students succeed. She never gives up on her students no matter how bad you are. She also makes you go above and beyond and really excel in the language,” Saldierna said.
Second-year student Hannah Peters also attested to Dr. Segler-Stahl’s devotion to her students. “I love that she truly cares about her students’ futures and is actively engaged in making sure that they really understand German. Her dedication to her students’ well-being as both students of German and individuals has always been truly inspiring to me,” Peters said.
Dr. Segler-Stahl’s advice for students is to “always make sure you communicate with your professors. I think what we all hate is when a student just drops out, disappears from class, and we have no idea what’s going on. So always communicate. Always be honest. I think we all understand that everybody can sleep through one alarm or even two alarms, but don’t try to make up excuses. Just be straightforward. That’s what I hate most—dishonesty. And try to enjoy class, but take it seriously. This is like your job. Your job is going to school, and if you really hate it, then it’s probably not the right job for you.”
Carol Fritz is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at CF716022@wcupa.edu.