Cox Center Director Travels to Munich, Amsterdam To Discuss Graduate Student Exchanges

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker met with mass communication professors at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands in the first week of April to discuss graduate student exchanges between those two universities and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The faculty at both universities responded favorably to the possibility of having students from the University of Georgia visit and their own students travel to Georgia. They agreed to explore ways to implement the initiative.

Dr. Becker discussed the possibility of developing exchanges at the two universities with Dr. Leonard Reid, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Grady College, before traveling to Europe. Dr. Reid, who also is serving as Interim Dean, encouraged Dr. Becker to open the discussions. Dr. Becker was in Europe to conduct a workshop in Ukraine on Environmental Health Reporting.

In Munich Dr. Becker met with Dr. Wolfgang Eichhorn, Dr. Romy Froehlich and Dr. Hans-Bernd Brosius, all in the Institute for Communication Science at the University of Munich. The four agreed to initiate an informal exchange in which graduate students from the two universities could use the other as a base for research activities. A more formal exchange might develop later.

In addition, Dr. Eichhorn and Dr. Becker agreed to collaborate on courses on research methods. Students in Munich and Athens would take research methods classes at their home universities but be linked to the course work at the other via a shared web site.

At the University of Amsterdam, Dr. Becker met with Dr. Peter C. Niejens, scientific director of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), which offers course work in English leading to a doctorate. The two agreed to explore ways to create a formal exchange so students from Amsterdam could attend classes at the University of Georgia and vice versa. The two also agreed to explore other ways in which doctoral students could visit and participate in research projects at the other university.

Ms. Florann Arts, a doctoral student in ASCoR , spent the summer of 2000 in Athens working on a research project involving a comparison between media coverage of business news in the Netherlands, Japan and the United States. "I was extremely pleased with the outcome of these two visits," Dr. Becker said. "Now we'll discuss the possibilities fully here at Georgia and see what makes most sense in terms of ways to respond. I think the possibilities are really exciting."