Subscribe to our email list
MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #13-Update for Archives
MUDEC Méinden Spring 2020 #13-Update for Archives
Miami UniversityJohn E. Dolibois European Center logo
MUDEC Méinden-Weekly news from the MUDEC community for the MUDEC community-#lifelongMUDEC

Spring 2020 #13-Isolation Edition

 April 20, 2020

Thank You, Luxembourg:

Meet Carli Williams, Co-Editor

Carli Williams

Most MUDEC Méinden readers already know Carli Williams. She was the previous editor of the Newsletter formerly known as the Méindes Blatt, as part of her role at MUDEC as the Coordinator for Communications and Student Engagement. She is a MUDEC alumna from Spring 2013 and a 2014 Miami University graduate. 

Today, Carli will be sharing her experience working on MUDEC’s 50th Anniversary book. While at Miami, Williams majored in Marketing and minored in Spanish. Williams is originally from Jackson Township, Ohio. In January 2019, Williams moved to a city outside of Rome, called Anagni, and now works in Rome (when not locked down) as the Communications Specialist for the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway and also teaches International Marketing and International Management at CIEE’s Rome campus

1. As a MUDEC alumna, can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to study abroad in Luxembourg?
Thinking back, I remember visiting Miami University as a high school student and inquiring about study abroad. I learned about the program in Luxembourg on my tour, before I even became a student. Eventually, that was part of my decision to attend Miami University. One reason I chose Luxembourg was due to the centrality of the country to the rest of Europe. I knew that, over the semester, I would be able to experience a little bit of everything. Of course, at that point in my life, I had no idea where things were going to lead. I never imagined I would have spent more of my professional career so far in Europe than in the United States. Later, when discussing the MUDEC program with students, I explained that attending MUDEC was kind of like the appetizer course. Students have the opportunity to learn about and experience so many different cultures and countries. Then, later in life, possibly through a career move or even through personal travels, they can decide where they want to go back to for the ‘main course’. MUDEC is an excellent way to experience the multiculturality of Luxembourg and the diversity of Europe. 

That was only part of my reason for studying in Luxembourg. Another large factor was my ability to conduct research for the first time during my study abroad experience. I remember meeting Alyssa Klein (former Luxembourg Program Coordinator in Oxford) in her office on campus over a semester before leaving for Luxembourg. At that time, I was just talking to her about a recent experience and my curiosity. I had been talking to a friend and she had just returned from Nepal. Knowing I would be embarking on my study abroad experience soon, I was curious about her experience and asked plenty of questions. She was very honest and shared some of the challenges about coming back home after such an immersive experience. This, I eventually came to understand later, was called reverse culture shock. Alyssa encouraged me to follow my interest and introduced me to Dr. Mary Jane Berman, who eventually became one of my co-advisors for a MUDEC Honors Fellows research project. After completing a bit of introductory research, Alyssa organized a meeting with Dean Leterre on campus during one of his visits. He graciously offered to be my second co-advisor and the project was up and running. In retrospect, the support and enthusiasm from both Dr. Berman and Dean Leterre were instrumental in my gaining confidence as a marketing student conducting research for the first time. Over two years, I was able to create a long longitudinal study, spanning four MUDEC semesters, on culture shock and reverse culture shock. At that conclusion, during my final semester, I presented my results to the study abroad office, now Global Initiatives, and shared my recommendations for increasing support for students experiencing reverse culture shock.  

Overall, this experience was a unique part of my MUDEC experience as it allowed me to study a topic I was highly interested in with the support of incredible faculty and staff. Along the way, so many people cared about my curiosities. Their guiding and mentoring made it a very personal learning experience. Eventually, this research and my MUDEC experience were the first step in what became my career in International Higher Education
2. How many people constructed MUDEC's 50th Anniversary book and why did you want to help write it and be a part of it? 
There were so many people that were involved with creating or submitting content, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. The project began over a year in advance of the 50th Anniversary, and eventually grew and morphed into a professionally published book. As the project expanded, we invited Sarah Sax, a student attending MUDEC during the 50th anniversary semester, to join the project. By the time she joined the team, we had already been working with a publisher and had an outline, some curated content, and a plan for what we wanted to capture during the celebrations. Sarah was instrumental, especially during the celebration. She conducted and edited many interviews, organized content, and helped with photography. She graciously offered to continue her work on the project following her MUDEC semester. Sarah was an incredible part of our team. 

MUDEC is an important part of my life. From before I was even in Luxembourg, sitting in Alyssa Klein’s office, to my semester at MUDEC, to completing my research project and presenting my results, to the friends and contacts I made that continue to be a part of my life, to contributing to the program for almost 4 years in my role at MUDEC. Many incredible people have become part of my MUDEC family, some of whom even attended our recent wedding. MUDEC has been a great part of both my personal and professional life and has brough me joy and adventure along the way. Getting to be part of the team that had the opportunity to tell the story of MUDEC’s 50 years was a true honor. Over the course of a few years, I uncovered so many beautiful aspects of the program’s history and met incredible people with the same passion for the MUDEC experience.

3. What was your favorite part about writing and creating the Thank You, Luxembourg book?
That is a difficult question because there are so many aspects I enjoyed. My favorite, though, would have to be getting to hear so many stories and meet so many wonderful people in the MUDEC family. I built relationships and uncovered so many unique personal experiences through interviews and curating content that I would have never had the chance to otherwise. It was so fun to uncover parts of MUDEC’s history, like learning that the first students came over on a boat. The program has been through so many changes and developments over 50 years. It’s all part of the MUDEC story. Working on the 50th anniversary book was a great learning experience. Of course, there were challenging moments and moments of great satisfaction as we worked to organize and curate content in an effective and meaningful way. We were lucky to be blessed with so much content, pictures, submissions, stories, that we spent quite a bit of time understanding how to make the final published version cohesive and understandable for readers. The organization was a great challenge that Dean Leterre and I worked on together. It’s not an aspect most people think of, but, when we had a final outline, it was a day to celebrate.

4. If you could go back in time to when you first started helping with the book, is there anything that you would do differently and why?
I really am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. But, if we had the possibility to see the future, we would have realized how large the eventual project would be, and we would have started years in advance. At first, the goal was to have it published for the 50th anniversary, but as the book began to take shape, we realized that it truly wouldn’t be complete without pictures and stories from the actual 50th anniversary celebrations. Looking back and knowing the scope, I would have compiled a team even sooner, including more students, faculty, and staff in the project right at the beginning. It’s difficult to look back and say we should have done things differently. If so, we might have ended up with a very different book in the end. Each part of our process brough the book to where it is now, hopefully soon to be in the hands of many members of the MUDEC family. Projects take their own path and things work out the way they are supposed to. And, this is one of those things.

  • MUDEC Faculty Profile: Gerardo Brown-Manrique
  • MUDEC Profs in Action 
    • Beyond the Château Walls Internship Profile- Julie Eagle
    • Thank You, Luxembourg-Chapter 4: Engage
    • Luxembourg Citizen Profile- Odette Jeitz-Burch

    MUDEC Faculty Profile:

    Meet Gerardo Brown-Manrique

    Gerardo Brown-Manrique

    Gerardo Brown-Manrique has been teaching at MUDEC the entire year so we wanted to catch up with him again to get his impressions having been in Luxembourg for a much longer period now.
    1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you go to college and what did you study? Did you study abroad, if so where (or where is your favorite place to go)?
    I am a Chilango (you don’t know what that means? It is a not-nice term used by people from provincia –the provinces meaning the rest of the country– to label people like me: I am a native of México D.F.). We moved to Upstate New York when I was in junior high school, so I finished junior high school in Oneonta and did high school there, with senior year at Cortland. I went to RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in the Capital District of NYS (Troy) for my undergraduate (B.S. in Building Sciences) and professional degree in architecture (B.Arch.), then graduate school in the Finger Lakes (Cornell), doing a post-professional program leading to an M.Arch. So to answer the last part of your question, yes, I studied abroad, in the US, at the schools listed.

    2. How did you end up working for Miami?
    I had been teaching at OU (no not that one, the one in Sooner country – the University of Oklahoma) for nearly four years when I was offered a position at Miami. The funny thing was that I had applied to both schools and others while in graduate school but had no offers. Because I finished one semester late (I came to Europe for a summer instead of finishing my thesis), I was working at an architecture firm in Houston when I was invited to interview at OU and was appointed. Not being happy there, I applied after my third year there to various schools, and Miami invited me. So here I am many decades later.

    3.  What has your experience been like in teaching both semesters at MUDEC? How does the fall 2019 semester compare to the 2020 spring semester (differences, similarities)? What have you most enjoyed from staying the whole year at MUDEC rather than one semester?

    Well, first of all this is not my first time teaching in our Luxembourg program. I first came to the then-MUDEC for two years in 1982-84. Back then, students mostly came for the year and the Center was in town, at 45a, Avenue Monterey. And I was back much more recently, in 2014-16 here at the MUDEC in the château. But I have been here other times, once a semester doing research at the MUDEC (when Andy Adams was here as a student), and also in 1997-98, again doing research, at the MUDEC. That very first year’s experience, back in 1982-83, is what I best remember.

    As I said, most students were here for the whole semester, and I was closer to their age. I became friends with many of them, both my own students and students in the other “core” (that’s what the main two courses were called, what now are Semester Study Tour courses). It also happened the following year, though not to the same extent. Of that first class, they were the largest group of alumni to come for the 50th anniversary, and they insisted I join them. As to differentiate between Fall and Spring this year, it is obvious: I took my class to Barcelona in the Fall, and in the Spring they disappeared half way through, so I did not get to take them to Berlin as planned. Overall, the year-long stay affords me chances to visit friends in Cologne, where I have also spent a lot of time over the years. Being here to teach a sprint would mean only half a semester. Not enough time in my book.

    4. What inspires you?
    I am passionate about architecture, but more so architecture in its social and political context, how it addresses (or not) issues of social justice. I don’t tell students this directly, but hope that they get it when I spend time explaining what was happening and why, so that for example, in my housing class, talking about the rebuilding of Berlin after the Second World War, I emphasize the propaganda role of architecture and planning in the rebuilding on either side of the political divide. 

    5. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
    I can’t think of anything. This whole situation that sent you all home has erased all chances of something humorous happening (unless, in a sick way, that is a funny thing to have happened to me recently).

    6. What do you want to be when you grow up?

    I want to be an architect.

    MUDEC Profs In Action

    Management professors Anthony Smith-Meyer and Michael Schweiger have gotten creative during the lockdown and have turned their podcast into a Videocast!

    Semester 2 Episode: 9 Crisis, Change and Leadership


    Beyond the Château Walls Internship Profile:

    Meet Julie Eagle

    Julie Eagle
    MUDEC junior Julie Eagle majors in Marketing. Eagle was born in Perrysburg, Ohio.

    1. Tell us a little bit about your internship in Luxembourg: where you interned, the location of your internship, what you did when you were there. Has your internship changed in any way since returning to the United States?
    I interned at MANZOKU Japanese Soul Food located in Howald, which was only a short train ride from the Château. I worked within the office of their production facility along with their small rescue dog named Melo. I was the Digital Marketing Intern, so I was able to monitor their social media and provide insights into possible ad campaigns. I also assisted the owners in their new product assembly as well as the marketing that goes into new product placement. Since returning to the United States, I am able to continue my internship remotely, but I do miss looking under my desk to see Melo’s sweet underbite smile staring directly at me.

    2. Why did you want to intern with this company?

    I wanted to intern with this company because I saw the possible experiences I could obtain from working directly with the owners of a small business. The owners of MANZOKU were incredibly kind and understanding people, and I’m not just saying that because of the free noodles. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and the food industry.

    3. Why did you want to intern while abroad?

    I wanted to intern while abroad to gain some working experience unlike anything else. While in Luxembourg, I learned about Japanese culture from British business owners as an American intern. I truly gained a global perspective from this opportunity.

    4. Why did you choose to study abroad with MUDEC and what are you looking forward to now that you are back in the U.S.?
    I chose to study abroad with MUDEC because I knew it would be a semester unlike anything I’ve had before. This was truly an unforgettable semester due to the friends I made and the places I was able to visit, but I wish I was still in rainy Luxembourg with another month to spare for random travels. Now that I am back in the U.S., I am looking forward to the end of quarantine and the opportunity to visit my friends and family.

    5. What is a fun fact that most people don't know about you?

    I slept on newspapers in a parking garage in a random city in France because we didn’t know there was a layover on our bus to Paris. Thanks Flixbus. 

    Thank You, Luxembourg- Chapter 4: 

    Over the coming weeks, we are going to serialize excerpts from each chapter of the Thank You, Luxembourg 50th Anniversary Book. 
    MUDEC student with a local teacher in class at the International School
    "Service Learning is a specific type of volunteering based on the idea tha engagement in the community must be tied to a formal, in-class learning experience. The core objective of Service Learning is to make students more familiar with their host country, moving them past the role of temporary immigrants and into the role of a local citizen abroad. It fosters a sense of civic engagement, sharpening their insights into themselves and their place in the community."
    Philippe Briot-Professor of French and Sociology
    “We originally started Service Learning because we felt that students should be more involved in the community and that it would be a great addition to students’ European experience. They learn more from the experience than just sitting in class. It opens their eyes to the culture of Luxembourg, and I believe that volunteering is the only way for students to experience the culture through the lens of actual citizens.”

    Kaitlyn Cooper-PR intern for US Embassy and Intern at Kliber in 2017
    “I studied abroad in Luxembourg during the spring 2017 semester. During our semester, the school began to discuss the possibility of a summer internship for any students interested. Sure enough, when most students headed back to America in late May, a handful of us were moving to Luxembourg City to begin full time internships with local companies. Looking back, I’m surprised I wasn’t more ner- vous! After commuting from my host family’s home to Rue des Capucins, the first thing I said through the intercom was “Bonjour, I’m the intern!” An amazing summer ensued. It was filled with learning about startup culture at a technology company called Kliber and assisting with public relations events at the US Embassy. I loved getting to know the city through my occasional afternoon walks with the office dog, Mouche, and connecting with the Luxembourgish com- munity through events at the Embassy. Our intern group experienced the Luxembourg national day, which made
    it feel even more like a home away from home. I carry the memories and experience from my summer in Luxembourg through my career today.”

    Kaitlyn Cooper at Kliber
    Travel Section Banner

    Luxembourg Citizen Profile:

    Meet Odette Jeitz-Bruch

    Odette Jeitz-Bruch

    Meet Odette, a Luxembourg native who would like to share a little part of her life with all of you. She likes to make many abstract acrylic pictures and a lot of handmade decorations all year round. Jeitz-Bruch is also married to MUDEC professor Tom Jeitz. 
    1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?-- Where you are from, where you grew up and a few good memories about your childhood.

    I am Odette Jeitz-Bruch, born in 1960 in Luxembourg. A single child from my parents after they had been married eight years! I have had a wonderful childhood in a little village (Schifflange.) It was at that time, the height of industrialization (metal) that people were forgetting more and more about the second World War. 

    In our street, there were many children and after school the highlight was playing outside, for example we went to old mineries to play and "cook" potatoes and we would run with no more than used "mini-caddies.” Today that is impossible because it is too dangerous. Even at that time ….but nobody was thinking about that. Parents never did miss us because around 6 p.m., everybody came home, a little bit dirty (red because of the red rocks) and hungry. My parents had a very large garden near our house, so I grew up with fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. The family life was structured and okay. Since the age of 6, I spent all my summer holidays in a very small village in northern Italy where I met a lot of friends, and I had to learn Italian. Super moments and sometimes quite funny moments. Sincerely, I had a good childhood. I was happy at school and still remember two very good teachers. It was a simple time, but as a child, I had the freedom of what next generations lost.

    2. What is something that you enjoyed during your teenage and early adult life years that was not continued into the next generation?
    Freedom and liberty….my teenage life was marked by the Flowerpower generation. Lots of discussions with many friends about politics, education, social events, books, the future, the war in Vietnam, protests against nuclear plants, etc. It was a very close social life without all the new social media of today and more cozy than today. What I personally liked at that time was that there was less fear in the population, for example my parents had no problem to let me take the train alone to Milan in Italy to visit friends and they even knew that I was visiting the city on my own at the age of 14! At that time, mobile phones did not exist. We even had been less controlled by family. So I am sorry that many people of the following generations will miss this feeling of liberty and freedom and the chance for forming their characters as adults and responsible people.

    3. Have you lived your whole life in Luxembourg or have you also lived elsewhere?

    I have always lived in Luxembourg, but I travelled a lot: France; Germany; Belgium; Italy; Austria (bad for first impressions, not the country but the people); Switzerland (nice, but too expensive..high mountains are also in other countries); The Netherlands; Ireland-- super; Tunisia; Isle of Djerba; Malta and Gozo--funny; Spanish Isles of Canaries; Ibiza; Cyprus-- the place to go because there are five different cultures!-- Indonesia and the main five islands and so on. Even being from Luxembourg, I saw lots of cultures and people.

    4. Did you go to university or college? What did you decide to study and why?
    I went to the same colleges where Tom had been, but we never met! My decision was to choose the modern language classes and apart from my mother tongue there was a quite interesting and tough program in German, French, English and Italian-- afterwards I also learned Spanish. After my college time, I decided to register at the Institute for pedagogical sciences. Social and educational activities always interested me a lot. Some people told me that I have a "social streak," but I have never regretted any of my choices.

    5. Tom told me that you are recently retired, where did you work and for how many years? How is retirement treating you? What are your favorite hobbies since retiring?
    Yes, I retired nearly three years ago and I am very happy about this step in my life. I worked several years as an educator with young girls who had parents losing their parental authority and their children having been separated from them. Afterwards, I was in a daycare center with little children. Then I changed, working in the local hospital for about 30 years. The last six years I was working at the emergency desk and I can tell you that the American TV-soaps (Emergency Room) had been a fairy tale for what I have seen. Retirement is great, if you know what to do, my aim was not to be housewifely, I am never bored. For example, last year I was coaching a nice Russian lady in Luxembourgish. I also have my mum, nearly 90 years old who needs help. My favorite hobbies did not change: walking, nature, cooking, and reading. I still feel very young and dynamic.

    6. How is quarantine for you and your family right now?

    The situation is unreal, but nevertheless bearable until now! The confinement has been going on for more than one month now, only the most vital shops are opened, and you can only enter when another customer is leaving. Many people wear masks and gloves and you can go out accompanied with one person maximum, you have to keep a distance of 2 meters in open areas when crossing somebody and family contacts are reduced to phone calls (I have no more the right to visit my mother living in a retirement home, but have the right to communicate via Skype! She is 90 years old!) Police controls increased. Social life is breaking down and I'm a little bit astonished that people still behave more or less civilized. It is a lousy time and for me it is very difficult to notice that the democratic human rights lose value because politicians are telling us what we MUST do.

    7. What is the best piece of advice you have for students or young people?

    Always be curious and stay open-minded.
    Odds and Ends
    Birthdays This Week 
    Have a Corona-tastic birthday! Wishing you both a wonderful year ahead!
    Drew Cox (Thursday April 23)
    Alexsandra Naumovski (Saturday April 25)
    This Week's Schedule
    Monday-Friday: Online 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

    Administrative Hours

    Monday-Friday: 8:00-12:00

    Follow MUDEC on Social Media

    Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube
    We are happy to share MUDEC events and news with all of you! If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter per GDPR, please unsubscribe below.
    powered by emma