Ben Goossen '13, an honors history and German studies major from Topeka, Kan., is the recipient of a 2012 Beinecke Scholarship, which recognizes juniors of strong academic potential planning to pursue graduate study in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. Goossen is one of the only 20 students in the country to win the award. As a Beinecke scholar, he will receive $4,000 upon graduating from Swarthmore and $15,000 for each of his two years in graduate school.
Goossen studied abroad at the University of Freiburg in southern Germany last semester and researched 19th-century German nationalism and minority religious groups.
"I focused particularly on Mennonites living in Germany in the late nineteenth century," says Goossen, who is interested in studying the effects of conflicting national and religous identities on larger group identities. "As I am descended from German Mennonites, this topic has been particularly interesting for me. I visited a lot of places where my ancestors lived and have had the chance to read some fascinating primary documents."
During his first two years at Swarthmore, Goossen researched gender and participatory democracy in 1920s Kansas. He eventually wrote and published an article on his research in the peer-reviewed quarterly Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains in autumn 2011.
Goossen is heavily involved with the German Club and Quakers group on campus. He hopes to study history at graduate school and continue his research in Germany.