If you were to ever ask Justine Greve what her dream job is, she’ll probably say she wants to work with words. Having been the editor of an academic journal in graduate school and an intern at a public radio station, she considered pursuing a career in journalism before deciding to work as a judicial assistant and editor for a judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals in Topeka, Kansas.

Justine is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer working as a Program Analyst with our department; she joined us in January. She moved to Kansas City from Topeka, where she had lived for most of her life, because she “wanted a change” and her husband had gotten a new job in the city. She enjoys living close to friends and family, but she’d like to try living in other areas of the country too. The one big city that Justine would love to live in is Washington D.C. She says that her dream job when she was younger was to work at a museum or at National Geographic, and for her, D.C., being so imbued with culture, would have been the best place to pursue these goals. Of course, D.C.’s great subway system is another reason for Justine’s interest in the city. A vegetarian who is deeply invested in conservation and reducing the adverse impacts of human actions on the climate, Justine would love living somewhere where she would not need a car to get around.

A Fulbright Scholarship enabled Justine to work as a teaching assistant in a middle school in Greifswald, Germany from 2009 to 2010. This was not her first time in the country, having spent a semester studying at the University of Heidelberg in 2008. Justine graduated in 2009 with degrees in history, German, and English from Baker University, a college about 45 minutes away from Topeka. A true “Kansan,” she also earned her graduate degree at a university 30 minutes from her hometown: the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Justine speaks both English and German, and she loves to travel and learn about different cultures. Of Greifswald, where she spent a year teaching, she had this to say: “It was a beautiful city on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The city was formerly part of East Germany, and you could still see the remnants of the Soviet era in the architecture and culture. The culture felt more communal, and it seemed like the women were more independent than in cities that were previously part of West Germany; there was a strong legacy of women in the workforce.” This interest in and attention to other cultures reflects one of the attributes that make Justine Greve such an asset to our department.