DAAD Day 5 – Braunschweig

DAAD Day 5 – June 21, 2013

Our last day was in Braunschweig where we visited the Technical Universitat of Braunschweig. Our day started with a greeting by Professor Dieter Jahn, the Vice President for Research. He explained the history of the university and provided an overview of the various research foci. The town has its roots as long ago as 800 AD. Most of the city was destroyed during WW@ because it was the home a of a good deal of industry. The region is now Europe’s #1 research area and home to 3 universities and at least 12 major research centers. The university dates to 1754 and includes 6 faculties, 65 study programs and 120 institutes. It is home to 16,300 students. It’s main strengths are in the STEM fields particularly Mobility (auto, air, and rail), metrology, and the life sciences. It is home to a very unique facility which we were able to visit in the afternoon, the Campus Research Airport where a great variety of research is conducted dealing with aerospace. We were treated to an overview of the research conducted at the airport and then were taken on a tour of flight simulators, wind tunnels, and flumes. A special room enables the scientists to study the impact of icing and flight dynamics.

We also learned about various international programs including the SENSE program, a summer experience for american students to learn about German language and culture, and pursue other courses for credit. The goal is to interest the students in returning to Germany for further study. Dr. Christina Neidert, described the language and culture programs offered by the Language Center. Also described was a very unique (4 +1) program offered in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, in which students pursue dual majors in engineering and german language. The program includes a year in Germany and an internship.

Next, Dr. Stephan Scholl, a professor of Chemical Engineering described the dual master’s degree program which is offered jointly with the University of Rhode Island. Students spend 1 year at the home institution and 1 year at the host. Dr. Uta Kopka also discussed various models for sandwich, dual, joint, and double doctoral degrees.

After a wonderful lunch where I continued to network with our hosts from Braunschweig and the other DAAD participants we headed off for the Research Airport described above.

Another long day ended with a trip to the train station to secure our departure tickets, a stroll through the town, and a wonderful dinner with new colleagues from the US and Canada. Our DAAD hosts, Ute and Miriam are to be thanked for a fantastic experience.

This was an excellent trip and I highly recommend the Germany Today tour to all of my colleagues. It was a rich and rewarding experience to learn about the German education system, and the many research programs.

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DAAD Day 5 – Braunschweig

DAAD Day 5 – June 21, 2013

Our last day was in Braunschweig where we visited the Technical Universitat of Braunschweig. Our day started with a greeting by Professor Dieter Jahn, the Vice President for Research. He explained the history of the university and provided an overview of the various research foci. The town has its roots as long ago as 800 AD. Most of the city was destroyed during WW@ because it was the home a of a good deal of industry. The region is now Europe’s #1 research area and home to 3 universities and at least 12 major research centers. The university dates to 1754 and includes 6 faculties, 65 study programs and 120 institutes. It is home to 16,300 students. It’s main strengths are in the STEM fields particularly Mobility (auto, air, and rail), metrology, and the life sciences. It is home to a very unique facility which we were able to visit in the afternoon, the Campus Research Airport where a great variety of research is conducted dealing with aerospace. We were treated to an overview of the research conducted at the airport and then were taken on a tour of flight simulators, wind tunnels, and flumes. A special room enables the scientists to study the impact of icing and flight dynamics.

We also learned about various international programs including the SENSE program, a summer experience for american students to learn about German language and culture, and pursue other courses for credit. The goal is to interest the students in returning to Germany for further study. Dr. Christina Neidert, described the language and culture programs offered by the Language Center. Also described was a very unique (4 +1) program offered in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, in which students pursue dual majors in engineering and german language. The program includes a year in Germany and an internship.

Next, Dr. Stephan Scholl, a professor of Chemical Engineering described the dual master’s degree program which is offered jointly with the University of Rhode Island. Students spend 1 year at the home institution and 1 year at the host. Dr. Uta Kopka also discussed various models for sandwich, dual, joint, and double doctoral degrees.

After a wonderful lunch where I continued to network with our hosts from Braunschweig and the other DAAD participants we headed off for the Research Airport described above.

Another long day ended with a trip to the train station to secure our departure tickets, a stroll through the town, and a wonderful dinner with new colleagues from the US and Canada. Our DAAD hosts, Ute and Miriam are to be thanked for a fantastic experience.

This was an excellent trip and I highly recommend the Germany Today tour to all of my colleagues. It was a rich and rewarding experience to learn about the German education system, and the many research programs.

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20130622-155541.jpg

20130622-155551.jpg

20130622-155608.jpg

20130622-155621.jpg

20130622-155644.jpg

20130622-155659.jpg


Days 3 & 4 – Bremen

DAAD Days 3 & 4

June 19, 2013 – After a night of rest we began our visit to the University of Bremen. The university was located a short bus ride from our hotel.

We were welcomed by Dr. Annette Lang, Director of the International Office. She explained that Bremen is a comparatively young university having been established in 1971. Nevertheless it has recently been recognized under the German Excellence Initiative and there are two designated clusters of excellence, MARUM and BIGSSS. The former is focused on marine studies and the latter in the social sciences. The university also has strong ties with the Max Planck Institute in Microbiology. Many of the master’s programs are now offered entirely in English. This has been done to attract foreign students. Graduate studies under the umbrella of MARUM and BIGSS are also taught in english.

Next we were welcomed by Professor Michael Schulz who directs MARUM. MARUM focuses on training the next generation of young researchers and does quite a bit of public outreach. There is a structured graduate program though MARUM is not designated as a Graduate School. MARUM houses deep sea cores in a fabulous storage facility similar to FSU’s Antarctic Core Facility. The group toured the refrigerated core storage facility and learned about the chemical and biological information that is extracted from cores.

Professor Yasemin Karakasoglu, the Vice Rector for Intercultural and International Affairs provided an overview of the various programs under her umbrella. I was interested to learned about a certificate in global competence that they offer for students to foster mutual understanding and tolerance. Later in the day I shared information about FSU’s Global Pathways Certificate and the certificate we offer for faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistantships It was clear that we had very common goals.

After a long day of great discussion we adjourned and were transported to the town of Bremen for a tour of the historical parts of the city. This was followed by a wonderful dinner in a windmill…very picturesque.

June 20, 2013 – Day 2 in Bremen focused on the second center of excellence BIGSSS. This is designated as a graduate school with a focus in several areas of the social sciences. We were provided an overview by Professor Steffen Mau of the University of Bremen and Dr. Franziska Deutsch from Jacob University, a private institution. The graduate school program is a joint effort of the two universities. As we learned doctoral students are admitted in cohorts and receive a more structured experience than the traditional German doctoral experience. We heard testimonials from 3 students about their experience with the program. All were wonderful representatives, articulate, and enthusiastic. Two were american and one was from Eastern Europe. There were many questions from our group and active discussion which transitioned into the lunch period. We thanked our hosts profusely for an excellent visit that fostered lively discussion and interaction, and generating many ideas for future possibilities.

We are now on the bus for a 2 hour ride to Braunschweig.

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Days 3 & 4 – Bremen

DAAD Days 3 & 4

June 19, 2013 – After a night of rest we began our visit to the University of Bremen. The university was located a short bus ride from our hotel.

We were welcomed by Dr. Annette Lang, Director of the International Office. She explained that Bremen is a comparatively young university having been established in 1971. Nevertheless it has recently been recognized under the German Excellence Initiative and there are two designated clusters of excellence, MARUM and BIGSSS. The former is focused on marine studies and the latter in the social sciences. The university also has strong ties with the Max Planck Institute in Microbiology. Many of the master’s programs are now offered entirely in English. This has been done to attract foreign students. Graduate studies under the umbrella of MARUM and BIGSS are also taught in english.

Next we were welcomed by Professor Michael Schulz who directs MARUM. MARUM focuses on training the next generation of young researchers and does quite a bit of public outreach. There is a structured graduate program though MARUM is not designated as a Graduate School. MARUM houses deep sea cores in a fabulous storage facility similar to FSU’s Antarctic Core Facility. The group toured the refrigerated core storage facility and learned about the chemical and biological information that is extracted from cores.

Professor Yasemin Karakasoglu, the Vice Rector for Intercultural and International Affairs provided an overview of the various programs under her umbrella. I was interested to learned about a certificate in global competence that they offer for students to foster mutual understanding and tolerance. Later in the day I shared information about FSU’s Global Pathways Certificate and the certificate we offer for faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistantships It was clear that we had very common goals.

After a long day of great discussion we adjourned and were transported to the town of Bremen for a tour of the historical parts of the city. This was followed by a wonderful dinner in a windmill…very picturesque.

June 20, 2013 – Day 2 in Bremen focused on the second center of excellence BIGSSS. This is designated as a graduate school with a focus in several areas of the social sciences. We were provided an overview by Professor Steffen Mau of the University of Bremen and Dr. Franziska Deutsch from Jacob University, a private institution. The graduate school program is a joint effort of the two universities. As we learned doctoral students are admitted in cohorts and receive a more structured experience than the traditional German doctoral experience. We heard testimonials from 3 students about their experience with the program. All were wonderful representatives, articulate, and enthusiastic. Two were american and one was from Eastern Europe. There were many questions from our group and active discussion which transitioned into the lunch period. We thanked our hosts profusely for an excellent visit that fostered lively discussion and interaction, and generating many ideas for future possibilities.

We are now on the bus for a 2 hour ride to Braunschweig.

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DAAD Sponsored Trip – Germany Today

This is my account of the DAAD sponsored trip “Germany Today”

June 14 & 15, 2013 – Arrived in Berlin and took taxi to the hotel. Rested up and had dinner in the hotel after a brief walk in the neighborhood. Sunday spent the day walking around. Strolled down the Unter den Linden boulevard to the Brandenburg Gate (see photo below).

Then headed toward the Reichstag and further into Tiergarten Park (similar to Central Park in New York City). Walked down to the Victory Column (photo below) and then headed back to the hotel. After a short break I visited the Jewish Museum.

Those who had arrived by Sunday evening met for dinner. We were greeted by our wonderful hosts from DAAD, Miriam Hippchen and Ute Gaedke. Withe approximately 20 members of the group it was hard to remember everyone’s names, but I am learning.

In the next few days I will try to briefly summarize what we are learning. I hope what I write is correct, but as I write this entry which by the way is being written on a bus traveling to Bremen I realize that we have covered a lot already and my words are only representing a snapshot. I can say that the experience is already tremendously informative and I am learning much that I intend to bring back to FSU to share with faculty, staff, and students.

So here is a whirlwind synopsis.

June 16, 2013 – After a hearty European breakfast we walked a few blocks to the DAAD facilities in Berlin. We were welcomed by Dr. Anette Pieper, Director of the Northern Hemisphere Department of DAAD. She explained about the various DAAD programs and about the higher education system in Germany which consists of mostly public universities that include the Universitats and the Universities of Applied Sciences. 97% of the students attend these public institutions. We spent the morning and early afternoon learning more about DAAD programs and research and educational opportunities at several of the institutions in Berlin including Potsdam University and Humboldt University. We also learned about the role of the independent research institutions e.g. Max Planck. There are many opportunities for students and faculty from the US and Canada to attend programs at these German institutions and to collaborate in research. We learned about changes in the handling of graduate education, specifically the formation of graduate schools to better prepare students for careers upon completion of their doctorates. The German Research Foundation provides support for researchers and programs. We learned about joint research programs that promote the exchange of graduate students between Germany and North America. It was interesting to learn that no tuition is charged at universities in Germany. Even foreign students do not pay tuition. The budget of the institution comes from 2 major sources, the state and 3rd party funding e.g. the German Research Foundation or industry. Private fundraising which is so important in the US does not occur.

The day concluded early so we could rendezvous at the Reichstag (photo below) for a tour of the facility.

We learned about the German Parliament and system of government. At the end we went up to the top of the building and were treated to a wonderful view of the city. The day was not yet over. We headed to Il Punto for an excellent dinner of salad, pasta, ice cream, and conversation.

Back to the hotel for a good night of sleep.

June 18, 2013 – Another turn at breakfast, checkout, and a short bus ride to the Frie Universitat. We spent the morning learning about the international programs of the university, especially the establishment of strategic partnerships with various institutions across the globe. Like the previous day we learned about the opportunities for american students to take advantage of programs at the university. Frie Universitat is relatively young. It was established after the end of WW2 in 1948 largely with funds from the the US. The name signifies that the spirit of the institution is about freedom of enquiry and academic freedom.

Now we are on a 4.5 hour bus ride to Bremen. Looking forward to getting some rest.

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20130618-224130.jpg


DAAD Sponsored Trip – Germany Today

This is my account of the DAAD sponsored trip “Germany Today”

June 14 & 15, 2013 – Arrived in Berlin and took taxi to the hotel. Rested up and had dinner in the hotel after a brief walk in the neighborhood. Sunday spent the day walking around. Strolled down the Unter den Linden boulevard to the Brandenburg Gate (see photo below).

Then headed toward the Reichstag and further into Tiergarten Park (similar to Central Park in New York City). Walked down to the Victory Column (photo below) and then headed back to the hotel. After a short break I visited the Jewish Museum.

Those who had arrived by Sunday evening met for dinner. We were greeted by our wonderful hosts from DAAD, Miriam Hippchen and Ute Gaedke. Withe approximately 20 members of the group it was hard to remember everyone’s names, but I am learning.

In the next few days I will try to briefly summarize what we are learning. I hope what I write is correct, but as I write this entry which by the way is being written on a bus traveling to Bremen I realize that we have covered a lot already and my words are only representing a snapshot. I can say that the experience is already tremendously informative and I am learning much that I intend to bring back to FSU to share with faculty, staff, and students.

So here is a whirlwind synopsis.

June 16, 2013 – After a hearty European breakfast we walked a few blocks to the DAAD facilities in Berlin. We were welcomed by Dr. Anette Pieper, Director of the Northern Hemisphere Department of DAAD. She explained about the various DAAD programs and about the higher education system in Germany which consists of mostly public universities that include the Universitats and the Universities of Applied Sciences. 97% of the students attend these public institutions. We spent the morning and early afternoon learning more about DAAD programs and research and educational opportunities at several of the institutions in Berlin including Potsdam University and Humboldt University. We also learned about the role of the independent research institutions e.g. Max Planck. There are many opportunities for students and faculty from the US and Canada to attend programs at these German institutions and to collaborate in research. We learned about changes in the handling of graduate education, specifically the formation of graduate schools to better prepare students for careers upon completion of their doctorates. The German Research Foundation provides support for researchers and programs. We learned about joint research programs that promote the exchange of graduate students between Germany and North America. It was interesting to learn that no tuition is charged at universities in Germany. Even foreign students do not pay tuition. The budget of the institution comes from 2 major sources, the state and 3rd party funding e.g. the German Research Foundation or industry. Private fundraising which is so important in the US does not occur.

The day concluded early so we could rendezvous at the Reichstag (photo below) for a tour of the facility.

We learned about the German Parliament and system of government. At the end we went up to the top of the building and were treated to a wonderful view of the city. The day was not yet over. We headed to Il Punto for an excellent dinner of salad, pasta, ice cream, and conversation.

Back to the hotel for a good night of sleep.

June 18, 2013 – Another turn at breakfast, checkout, and a short bus ride to the Frie Universitat. We spent the morning learning about the international programs of the university, especially the establishment of strategic partnerships with various institutions across the globe. Like the previous day we learned about the opportunities for american students to take advantage of programs at the university. Frie Universitat is relatively young. It was established after the end of WW2 in 1948 largely with funds from the the US. The name signifies that the spirit of the institution is about freedom of enquiry and academic freedom.

Now we are on a 4.5 hour bus ride to Bremen. Looking forward to getting some rest.

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20130618-223947.jpg

20130618-224022.jpg

20130618-224056.jpg

20130618-224130.jpg


R & R – Sort of!

With the end of the Global Perspectives visit we had some time to see Lugano on Thursday afternoon. A short boat ride on Lake Lugano revealed the beauty of the area and was quite relaxing. We returned to the hotel and met some folks for dinner in the town center. We found a casual place on a quiet square where we shared in pizza, insalada misto and pasta stuffed with spinach and cheese. We strolled back along the lake and had some delicious gelato. The Olympic Opening Ceremony was starting and we headed to our rooms to watch.

Saturday was a time to explore the nearby town of Bellinzona, a 30 minute train ride away. We strolled through the open air market area, a mixture of food stalls of cheese, bread, fruit, and meats as well as clothing and jewelry. Bellinzona is also known for 3 castles and after taking a few wrong turns we found the path to the first. After a a 30 minute climb upwards we reached the first castle and were treated to a great view of the area and the other castles. We also ran into the students from Virginia Tech. It is small world. After a rest we headed back down to search for the path to the second castle and trekked upwards once again. Another nice view and back down to street level where we found a restaurant for a lunch of insalada caprese and 4 cheese gnocchi.

Now back at the hotel and preparing to leave for Zurich tomorrow and our return to the US. It has been an invigorating educational experience with fellow graduate deans. I look forward to sharing my experience with my colleagues and students from FSU. I thank Karen DePauw again for sharing this with us. The passion she has for students and graduate education is special. Safe travels to all.

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R & R – Sort of!

With the end of the Global Perspectives visit we had some time to see Lugano on Thursday afternoon. A short boat ride on Lake Lugano revealed the beauty of the area and was quite relaxing. We returned to the hotel and met some folks for dinner in the town center. We found a casual place on a quiet square where we shared in pizza, insalada misto and pasta stuffed with spinach and cheese. We strolled back along the lake and had some delicious gelato. The Olympic Opening Ceremony was starting and we headed to our rooms to watch.

Saturday was a time to explore the nearby town of Bellinzona, a 30 minute train ride away. We strolled through the open air market area, a mixture of food stalls of cheese, bread, fruit, and meats as well as clothing and jewelry. Bellinzona is also known for 3 castles and after taking a few wrong turns we found the path to the first. After a a 30 minute climb upwards we reached the first castle and were treated to a great view of the area and the other castles. We also ran into the students from Virginia Tech. It is small world. After a rest we headed back down to search for the path to the second castle and trekked upwards once again. Another nice view and back down to street level where we found a restaurant for a lunch of insalada caprese and 4 cheese gnocchi.

Now back at the hotel and preparing to leave for Zurich tomorrow and our return to the US. It has been an invigorating educational experience with fellow graduate deans. I look forward to sharing my experience with my colleagues and students from FSU. I thank Karen DePauw again for sharing this with us. The passion she has for students and graduate education is special. Safe travels to all.

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20120728-183456.jpg

20120728-183514.jpg

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20120728-183537.jpg

20120728-183549.jpg

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Lugano or bust – Thursday and Friday

At the end of a scenic train ride with views of the Alps we arrived in Lugano in the late afternoon on Thursday. We quickly caught another train for a short ride to Lugano Paradiso where we were staying. After managing to get all of our luggage off the train one last time we pulled it down the hill to our hotel on Lake Lugano. Air conditioning was a welcome relief and after a short rest we assembled to trek back up the hill to the train station and a brief ride to Capolago-Riva San Vitale, the location of the Virginia Tech villa. The walk to the villa from the train took about 15 minutes and we stopped briefly to view the oldest church in Switzerland dating to the 7th century. At the villa we were greeted by Daniella who takes care of the facility and assists with the planning for the various programs. She gave us a history of the villa. Several students who had participated in the program were present for a reception. We chatted and then were treated to a wonderful meal in the garden. It is clear that much dialogue and discussion takes place over a meal in Europe.

Friday morning we set out for the villa at 8:30. The rest of the morning we met again with the students to hear more about their experiences. We were also joined by students from the University of Basel and Eric Thaler who we had met with in Basel. These students had also participated in the global perspectives program and Global Summit. The students were impressive and represented diverse backgrounds and fields including biology, computer science, and law.The value of the experience to the students was clearly evident. At the end of our conversation we joined in one last delicious communal meal at the villa, said our goodbyes and headed back to the train.

I am still digesting all that I have learned and ate on this trip and thinking of ways to develop a program for FSU graduate students. I truly thank Karen DePauw for organizing this unique experience with help of her assistant Justin and I enjoyed the fellowship of the other graduate deans.

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Lugano or bust – Thursday and Friday

At the end of a scenic train ride with views of the Alps we arrived in Lugano in the late afternoon on Thursday. We quickly caught another train for a short ride to Lugano Paradiso where we were staying. After managing to get all of our luggage off the train one last time we pulled it down the hill to our hotel on Lake Lugano. Air conditioning was a welcome relief and after a short rest we assembled to trek back up the hill to the train station and a brief ride to Capolago-Riva San Vitale, the location of the Virginia Tech villa. The walk to the villa from the train took about 15 minutes and we stopped briefly to view the oldest church in Switzerland dating to the 7th century. At the villa we were greeted by Daniella who takes care of the facility and assists with the planning for the various programs. She gave us a history of the villa. Several students who had participated in the program were present for a reception. We chatted and then were treated to a wonderful meal in the garden. It is clear that much dialogue and discussion takes place over a meal in Europe.

Friday morning we set out for the villa at 8:30. The rest of the morning we met again with the students to hear more about their experiences. We were also joined by students from the University of Basel and Eric Thaler who we had met with in Basel. These students had also participated in the global perspectives program and Global Summit. The students were impressive and represented diverse backgrounds and fields including biology, computer science, and law.The value of the experience to the students was clearly evident. At the end of our conversation we joined in one last delicious communal meal at the villa, said our goodbyes and headed back to the train.

I am still digesting all that I have learned and ate on this trip and thinking of ways to develop a program for FSU graduate students. I truly thank Karen DePauw for organizing this unique experience with help of her assistant Justin and I enjoyed the fellowship of the other graduate deans.

20120728-101634.jpg

20120727-181406.jpg

20120727-181336.jpg

20120727-181349.jpg

20120727-181301.jpg

20120727-181328.jpg

20120727-181317.jpg

20120727-181246.jpg

20120728-101702.jpg

20120728-101711.jpg

20120728-101727.jpg

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