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University of Pittsburgh

Elizabeth Wylie-Ernst

elizabet wylie_earnst





The German Department is sad to announce the passing of a beloved teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Dr. Elizabeth Wylie-Ernst passed away on July 15, 2015, after a valiant battle with cancer. Beth was an invaluable colleague. She was tireless in her service to the department, serving at various times as Director of Language Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, TA/TF coordinator, German Club faculty liaison, representative to Pitt's College in High School program, and numerous other duties. She was a popular and effective teacher, consistently garnering excellent teaching evaluation scores and winning teaching awards. She regularly taught our large-enrollment courses and loved interacting with students both inside and outside the classroom. She built bridges across departments and programs at the university and was conscientious in her efforts to do her best in everything she did. Her loss will be felt keenly in the department.


wylie-ernstPhD, German, University of Pittsburgh, 1996
MA, German, University of Pittsburgh
BA, German and French, University of Pittsburgh

Courses Taught

  • The Teaching of German (German 2970: Graduate Seminar): Structures (from 05-2)
  • Major Cultural Periods
  • Phonetics
  • Advanced German Media
  • Professional German I
  • Professional German II
  • Vienna 1900 (W-Course)
  • German 1000
  • Augsburg Exchange Orientation Course
  • German 1500
  • German 1502 (Lecture, Recitations and External Studies)
  • German 1503 (Writing Practicum)
  • All levels German Language and Reading Courses German 0021 and German 0022


Exposed to Germany as a child, I knew very early that I wanted to become a teacher and promoter of her language and culture. After several exchange programs and periods of living abroad, I have achieved what I set out to do then; not only am I able to share my enthusiasm for German with my undergraduates, but as the Director of Language Studies I am able to share my teaching experience, workshop materials, and research with my graduate student instructors and with colleagues from around the world.

Working Papers

  • “Chance and Fate, Motifs NO-N899” in: The Yale Encyclopedia of Motifs (Searle) Fall 2004
  • "Conceptions of Fate in the Icelandic Saga" Duquesne University, 2008. Publication pending.
  • "We Have a Proficiency Test—What Now? Implications of Assessment Data for the Curriculum." Publication pending.

Awards and Honors

  • Students' Choice Nominee 2009
  • Students' Choice Award 2008
  • Provost's Award for Excellence 2007-2008
  • Elected to University Senate/Student Affairs Committee 2006
  • Chosen by Prentice Hall for 2005 Contributorship for New First-Year Text
  • Nominated for Bellet Award 2003
  • Voted among “Best Liked Instructors” in Resident Assistant Poll 2002
  • Faculty Honor Roll—2001 (SGB)
  • “Best Liked Instructors” Resident Assistant Poll 2001
  • Faculty Honor Roll-2000 (SGB)
  • Exchange Program Fellowship, Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany, 1994-1995
  • German Departmental Fellowships, University of Pgh.,1991-1996
  • German Departmental Teaching Assistantships, 1988-1990
  • Phi Sigma Iota, Admitted 1989

Professional Membership/Offices

  • Modern Language Association and PSMLA
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • American Association of Teachers of German
  • German Studies Association
  • Women in German
  • The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
  • Phi Sigma Iota Phi Beta Sigma

Personal Interests

  • Travel, new technologies, writing, gardening.