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Celebrating 20 years of togetherness, Ohio/Leipzig style

by Robert Stewart, Director

This week we are celebrating a generation’s worth of working with our friends across the ocean in Leipzig, Germany — home of Leipzig University.

Where to begin?

For me, it started in early December, 1992, my first trip to Leipzig. The Berlin Wall had come down just three years before that visit, and the change I’ve seen since that visit was barely underway. Now, 20 years later, we’re hosting two dozen guests from Leipzig, including students from the communication institute and Radio Mephisto as well as professors, doctoral students, the head of international programs — even the president! It’s a very, very good week, and we’re not done yet.

Presidential dinner welcoming Leipzig guests

Joining us for the Monday afternoon reception marking the 20th anniversary of our cooperation were the presidents of both universities, as well as the former ambassador to Germany from the U.S.

Today, students from Leipzig’s mephisto 97.6 radio station discussed the opportunities for OU students to come over and work with them on radio programs. On Thursday, Ohio University students who took part in the 2012 summer program in Leipzig will come to the same class to share their experiences to my freshmen.

Students from Leipzig's mephisto radio talking in JOUR1010

Starting in 2001 we hosted 20+ broadcast journalism students from Leipzig, each spending the better part of a year as a “voluntariat” (aka apprentice) at WOUB and the now defunct Athens MidDay.

Sixteen of these students were provided generous scholarship support by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig.

2001: Steven Geyer and Michael Naumann

2002: Aksinja Berger and Pierre Gehmlich

2004: Jana Randow and Stefanie Woska

2005: Vivien Fick and Geraldine van Gogswaardt

2007: Simona Vogel

2009: Leonie Nolting

Stay tuned for more about this program in the coming days.

September 25, 2012

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