Austin College has been selected as one of 25 colleges in the United States as grant recipients and project partners with the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., in an interdisciplinary campaign, “Think Transatlantic: United States and Germany in the 21st Century.” Ruth Cape and Wolfgang Lueckel of the German faculty are coordinating the Austin College partnership activities.
Initiated by the German Information Center USA, the center for public diplomacy at the German Embassy, the Think Transatlantic campaign aims to stimulate discussion about the historic importance and stability of the German-American partnership and its relevance for the future, as well as the the importance of transatlantic partnership, strategic alliance, and mutual values between Germany, Europe, and the United States The campaign is designed to promote dialogue and to exchange ideas of how to build upon past transatlantic successes with new initiatives. The campaign also highlights cultural aspects of German life.
“We are always interested in working on interdisciplinary projects here at Austin College and are immensely grateful to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., for giving us the opportunity and the funding to be partners in this campaign,” Cape said. “We hope that the Think Transatlantic Campus Weeks will be educating and fun learning experiences for Austin College students, faculty, and friends alike, and add to the international flavor of our institution.”
The German Embassy’s Think Transatlantic webpage describes the transatlantic partnership as a basic axiom in German foreign policy, but a partnership that is no longer merely a matter of security issues. German-U.S. cooperation now extends to a spectrum of global challenges—from climate protection to the international financial architecture to the identification of the human genome, according to the website.
Think Transatlantic Campus Weeks will focus on these relationships in a number of ways, involving students in political science, economics, international relations, communications, music, and art, as well as students of German.
The faculty and students of the Austin College German program and German Club will organize a variety of events in conjunction with these Campus Weeks. A workshop on German folk dance is scheduled for Sunday, September 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. on campus in Sid Richardson Center within the Mason Athletic Complex. The free workshop is open to the entire campus community as well as area residents.
A campus essay contest also has been announced, with $150, $100, and $50 cash prizes for first, second, and third place contest winners, selected by a jury of faculty from various campus disciplines. Entry deadline for the electronic submission of a maximum-2,500-word essay is October 11. Essay topics and other specific details can be found on the Austin College Think Transatlantic website.
All the essays will be presented to the Austin College community during a Think Transatlantic campus conference in November. The first prize winner of the campus contest also will attend a Washington, D.C., Think Transatlantic Conference in early 2013, with travel and accommodation expenses covered by the German Embassy and be entered into the national essay competition. The winner of the national contest will be awarded a trip to Berlin.
“I imagine the Think Transatlantic Campus Weeks as an outlet for the creative energy of our students,” said Lueckel. “This campaign is from students for students, showcasing and celebrating their creativity, thoughts, and ideas. When we talk about being global citizens, we often do so by thinking about it in an abstract and theoretical fashion. Through events like the Think Transatlantic campaign we can actually bring some of that international flavor directly to campus and make it palpable and enjoyable.”
More activities, including those in art, music, and theatre, will be announced for the Austin College Think Transatlantic Campus Weeks as details are available.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, as well as the 2012 revision of that book.