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MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #5
MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #5
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Spring 2020 #5

 February 24, 2020

Winter landscape with trees spring flowers


After Carnival it's time to jump into spring and shoo away the cold of winter. This coming weekend students have a chance to experience he local tradition of “Buergbrennen,” which literally translates into “burning of the fort.”
Although many towns and villages celebrate Buergbrennen, no village in Luxembourg burn a castle or a fort, but in those villages local clubs or volunteers build more or less a large cross for the event, often with the leftover Christmas trees! After night falls, the whole community gets together, sometimes preceded by a torch procession leading to the cross, where a dignitary, the mayor of the town for example, will light the wooden construction.

The heat warms everybody, just as the hot wine which is often served to keep people from chilling in the cold night. In many places you find clubs that sell food as well and many families have dinner with friends from the community. All this serves to wave winter and all its evil spirits good bye. After Buergbrennen everybody is ready to welcome spring and of course the warm weather that comes.
  • MUDEC Faculty Profile- Roxanne Ornelas
  • Field Trip Recaps
  • MUDEC Profs in Action
  • Lecture preview-Jacques Klein
  • Student Faculty Council Profile- Connor Manley 
  • Monty Python Movie Night Recap
  • The Travel Times 
  • Travel Misadventures 
Dr.O at the Triberg waterfall in Germany

Meet Roxanne Ornelas

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you go to college and what did you study? Did you study abroad and if so where (or where is your favorite place to go?

I earned a Ph.D. in the discipline of geography at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in Minneapolis. My emphasis was on environmental policy and Indigenous peoples. I did not study abroad as an undergraduate student but I did travel quite a bit in my personal life as a young person. Picking a favorite place is a tough one because I have several. For example, Patzcuaro, Michoacan in Mexico, the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands, and Bilbao in Spain, just to name a few.

2. How did you end up working for Miami?
It is an interesting and coincidental story as to how I came to teach at Miami University. One afternoon I had a meeting over coffee with one of my faculty mentors while I was in a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the UMN. We had discussed my dream of teaching at a smaller college or university after my post-doc. Long story short, when I returned to my office I found an email from a general listserv with the Miami job announcement. The job was for a faculty position in geography, Native American studies in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Honestly, it was as if someone had written the job description for me. It was a perfect match and accepting the position at Miami was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I get to teach subjects that I have passion for and I get to work with incredibly talented students and faculty. 

3. What are you looking forward to the most while teaching at MUDEC?

Teaching about the impact of climate change on forest health and water by introducing my class to the Black Forest in Germany. We just visited the Black Forest this past week for our class field trip to Triberg, Germany. Based on student feedback, I think the trip was a great success.

4. What inspires you?

Without a doubt, being in nature and working to protect it. 

5. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Okay, I am a huge science fiction fan. I brought a couple of my favorite DVDs to share with students and faculty at MUDEC. Just last night I introduced the movie “Galaxy Quest” to a couple of friends. The movie is a comedy spoof roughly based on the Star Trek series. Watching the movie with fellow sci-fi fans who had never watched it before was hilarious. It was like watching it for the very first time all over again. We had some great laughs.

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a teacher who inspires students to think holistically about their place in nature, to protect the health of our planet for those who will follow us seven generations from today.

MUDEC Students in the Black Forest, Germany
GEO/WGS students at the Triberg waterfall in the Black Forest
MUDEC Field Trip Recap
Now that students have settled in to their semester with classes and traveling, we will take a look back on the day-trips that our fellow MUDECers took on Wednesday. The 4 sprint class professors traveled with each of their classes to explore a different part of Europe. Check out the cool places that MUDEC professors and students embarked to below! 
Architecture students at the Ungers house
EDT students at lunch
ART188 Students in front of the Modern Gallery in Saarbrücken

MUDEC Profs in Action

MUDEC professors are also engaged outside of MUDEC, and we highlight their activities here.

Anthony Smith-Meyer
Michael Schweiger

MGT 291 Podcast

Management professors Anthony Smith-Meyer and Michael Schweiger are continuing their podcast series this semester. The next episode is out now:

Semester 2 Episode 4: The Videocast on Prejudice

Lecturer Jacques Klein

Distinguished Lecture Series: Jacques Klein "Comparing Police in Luxembourg and in the USA" Preview:

On Tuesday Feb. 25, MUDEC students will hear distinguished lecturer Jacques Klein give a talk about the interworkings of the Luxembourg police and the United States police. Find out more about Jacques below.

1. Tell us a little bit about your career path and what your job is today.
I am retired since last year, since July. I joined the Luxembourgish Gendarmerie police forces in 1986 and for the first two years I studied at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, Belgium. After that I worked for two years in the Liège which is in Belgium as well, at the university, and I graduated with a Master in Criminology from 1988 to 1990. And then from 1990 to 1991, I had a postgraduate study in France at their National Police Academy. From 1991 to 1995 I was Officer Lieutenant in the Luxembourgish police and I was responsible for two local police districts. And then from 1995 to 1999 I changed-- there I was responsible for the south district and for the Luxembourg district, which included the airport. I worked from 2001 to 2008 as the Director of the police academy and from 2008 to 2010, for the Strategic Development Department of the police and then my last work was from 2010 to last year-- Director of Finance and Logistics.

2. Why did you choose your job position/career path?
The career path itself is more or less-- this is coincidence. After college and before I joined the police, I studied mathematics at university and then I decided that the police is something where you can deal with people and where you can try to improve the situation in Luxembourg and this was something that seemed to me to be interesting. Therefore I said I don’t want to continue in mathematics where it’s more theoretical and I want to have something where I can work with people and try to improve the situation, which is also improving the community in Luxembourg.

3.  How did you choose the topic for your lecture?
It’s more form a philosophical point of view. In 2001, I got this very big opportunity from the United States government to be on the exchange program which is called the International Visitors Program in the United States and so I traveled for three weeks in the United States. I got into contact with a lot of-- responsible for airports and the police academies and it was a couple of weeks after this, it was in 2002, it was a couple of weeks after this horrible attack on the World Trade Center and so I had the opportunity to see what are the American-- the United States’ response and the United States organization’s and law enforcement agencies. I know how the police forces are organized in Europe as I started in France, Belgium, I know how it is in Luxembourg. I had contacts through Germany. I was sharing at different moments things in Europe and the European Union and so now my concern is a little bit, as I’m retired is doing police forces and if we need for these forces, how our different states organized, how are the law enforcement agencies organized in different states. Where are the good points and the bad points in different states. The idea that I have is to present, to my knowledge, how it works in Europe, how it works in the United States and to see what can be lessons to learn from different countries and that’s what I want to share with the students at Miami University.

4. What inspires you?
What inspires me is, in general, what people are thinking and exchanging experiences and talk with people. This is very important for me to exchange ideas and to learn from others. Which brings me forward, I hear the experiences, the lessons that others have had and so that is something that is important to me and that’s also a little bit why I thought mathematics is not inspiring enough. The technique that you learn when you study mathematics is interesting. You have a logic of sorts, but it’s more for me inspiring to hear what other people think, to hear what other people have experienced  and then to share experiences to bring us further. That’s what inspires me most.

5. If you could redesign the food pyramid without any dire health consequences, what would it look like?
So that’s definitely cupcakes. Cupcakes and a beer. When you eat cupcakes, then you drink a beer with it and on the second level is a burger with french fries. Definitely on the basis of this pyramid I would mention vegan food.


Student Faculty Council Profile

Meet Connor Manley

MUDEC student Connor Manley

MUDEC sophomore Connor Manley majors in Business Economics with a minor in Business Analytics. Connor was born in Rochester, New York and is a part of the Miami Striders Running Club.

1. Tell us a little bit about your position on the SFC.

My role on the SFC as Ombudsman and Environment Chair actually gives me the unique ability to have two distinct roles on the Council, and I'm really excited to dip my toes into both arenas. As Ombudsman, my general focus is being the primary liaison between the Student Body and the Faculty and Staff here at MUDEC. I am also very excited to take on the role of Environment Chair this semester. The goal of this position is to help MUDEC in its interactions with our physical environment here in Differdange and Luxembourg, as well as work to leave the smallest footprint possible. One of my primary focuses will be continuing a Food Waste Data Collection project to determine what steps we can take to limit the food waste we produce.

2. Why did you want to be the Ombudsman and Environment Chair?

When I saw this position as an option, I knew it would be a natural fit for me. As someone who loves spending time outdoors and is very concerned with the current climate crisis, being able to organize outdoor activities and keep MUDEC sustainable was an amazing opportunity I couldn't turn down.

3. What are you most looking forward to as Ombudsman and Environment Chair?

I hate to sound repetitive but creating ways for MUDEC to interact positively with our environment here in Luxembourg is really exciting for me! Whether it's using our park for some outdoor games, or hiking Differdange's impressive trail network, or working to mitigate the environmental impact of our food waste; I'm ready to help unlock all that Luxembourg has to offer.

4. Why did you choose to study abroad with MUDEC?

Once I found out about the MUDEC Program on my first visit to Miami in February of 2017, coming to Luxembourg was a no-brainer for me, so this trip has been almost two years in the making. I visited Europe (England and Switzerland) with my family in the Summer of 2016, and have wanted to return ever since. The history and infrastructure of the program made studying abroad so accessible, and you can't argue with the location in the heart of Western Europe. 

5. What is a fun fact that most people do not know about you?
While this is only my second time abroad, I am no stranger to traveling as I have been to 29 States and 15 National Parks back in the US. 

Movie Night Recap: Monty Python and Popcorn

On Tuesday Feb. 18, students had the chance to sit back and relax with their fellow MUDECers. With midterm season here, students watched Monty Python to take a break form studying. Students enjoyed a night of comraderie with sweet and savory treats. Students tried traditionally sweet Luxembourgish popcorn while also having traditionally buttery and salty popcorn from the United States.  
MUDEC students at Monty Python movie night
Students at the Monty Python Movie Night 
Travel Header

Travel Times

Welcome to the Travel Times, a new section in the MUDEC Méinden that features students independent travel throughout the semester. This week, we will be traveling to Switzerland, France and Germany! 
MUDEC girls in Koln, Germany
Students in front of the Rhine river in Köln, Germany
MUDEC girls jumping in the air in Switzerland
MUDEC gals jumping into Spring in Interlaken, Switzerland like... 
Student paragliding in Switzerland
MUDEC student paragliding in Switzerland
MUDEC Student in France
Lux lady in Paris, France

Travel Misadventures

After students first few weekends of independent travel, a few epic blunders are bound to happen. Although never expected and never wanted, we welcome them here. Second up and continuing the tradition is a MUDEC lady who embarked to Geneva, Switzerland for the first time after arriving in Europe and encountered a surprising building or lack thereof. 
Skiing and chocolate and... the U.S. Embassy?
This MUDEC girl headed to Geneva after classes ended on Thursday evening and was excited to see Switzerland for the first time. All was well until a midnight train transfer rolled around. 
Meet Bri and join her for this week's episode of:
Pro tips from someone who has indeed, lost her passport:
  • If you fall asleep on your overnight train, make sure your belongings have not shifted (do passport checks often.)

  • Call Andy immediately and find the closest U.S. Embassy (seriously call Andy) then report the passport stolen. Also email the Luxembourg U.S. Embassy as soon as possible.

  • Have a two-minute freak out session then switch into go mode on how to fix it (you can't fix it if you're crying.)

  • Don't let it ruin your weekend-- and put everything in perspective (it could always be worse and there is always a solution.)
MUDEC Student Briana Cowman
Briana Cowman did not find the Swiss U.S. Embassy because there isn't one in Geneva. It does not exist.
Odds and Ends
Birthdays This Week 
Wishing you a Schengen-tastic birthday!

Lucy Greaney (Wednesday Feb. 26)

Andrew Nguyen (Friday Feb. 28)
Isabel Wrolstad (Saturday Feb. 29)

Andrew Nguyen
Andrew Nguyen
This Week's Schedule

Monday: Classes
Tuesday: Classes
Distinguished Lecture Series 5-6 p.m. located in Grand Hall

SFC Hotdog event
Wednesday: Classes
Thursday: Classes
Friday: No Classes

Château & Administrative Hours
Aerial view of the Château de Differdange, where Miami's Luxembourg campus, the John E. Dolibois European Center, often abbreviated to MUDEC, is located

Château Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8:00-22:00
Friday: 8:00-17:00

Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Administrative Hours

Monday-Friday: 8:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

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