Texas Tech University

Student Spotlight


Geer McGee, BA Languages & Cultures-Russian Language Area Studies, 2017


I came down to Texas Tech from the state of Washington to get out of my comfort zone, get a degree, and commission as an officer in the Air Force. I had only heard of the university a few months prior and enrolled without ever visiting the campus. Initially, I wasn't sure if I made the right choice when I came down here. The environment, the weather, the people were all different then what I was used to. I didn't even enjoy the classes I was taking when I first got here. After one semester, I was really debating if I should switch to a university in Washington.

But I came back to Texas Tech for which I am glad. The university and campus community were overwhelmingly welcoming. The next semester and last three years are some of the best times I've ever had. One of the major reasons I had such a great time was due to switching my major to Russian Language and Area Studies. After talking to the officers in my ROTC program about the experiences I had hosting Russian foreign exchange students in high school and the importance of knowing the Russian geopolitical situation for national security, I decided to study the Russian area and language.

By sticking with the Air Force ROTC program and switching to Russian Language and Area studies, I have had unforgettable experiences in college. Thanks to professors like Dr. Qualin and Dr. Barenberg, I've received a great education in the language, culture, and literature of the Russian people. Thanks to the Air Force, I have received a great education in officership and traveled to more than 11 countries. I was even given the chance to live and study in Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, and the Republic of Georgia. Each of these countries provided me with great experiences and adventures. In Estonia I almost died and I even met my wife! I have nothing but good words for my time in college, Texas Tech, and the Air Force. I am proud to say I graduate on May 19th and commission as 2d lieutenant in the Air Force the same day. My first base is Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany where I will be working as a Contracting Officer. Guns up and Wreck 'em!

Kristen Haertling, Dual major: BA Languages & Cultures–German; BBA Management


Kristen Haertling, a dual major: BA Languages & Cultures-German and My internship title is a "Summer Leadership Development Intern: Underwriting Track" with Munich Reinsurance. I will be working in Princeton, NJ, with 30-35 other interns my age. My language skills in German, (by having German as one of my majors and by studying abroad for an entire summer in Munich, Germany, and then in Innsbruck, Austria, in the summer of 2016), have helped me to get this internship; after all, Munich Reinsurance is headquartered in Munich, Germany. I talked with some Munich Reinsurance representatives from Munich while abroad last summer over the phone, and they advised me to keep in contact with them and to apply the upcoming February. I did so and then after a phone interview, I was flown out to Princeton, NJ in March 2016 and was interviewed by five different people. I got a call a week later, and largely thanks to my German language skills, I was offered an internship with Munich Reinsurance for this upcoming summer of 2017.