One of the exciting things about my job here at APU is sharing the stories of what our faculty are doing inside and outside the classroom. Eager students themselves, they are always learning and further exploring their fields to bring new knowledge back to the students they teach.
Jim Willis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Communication Studies, is one of those professors. He is currently on sabbatical (a time when professors take a semester away from teaching for professional and teaching development including researching, writing, etc.), and at this moment reporting from Berlin, Germany on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A former journalist, Willis brings experience in the field back to the classroom to give students a firsthand account of what it is like to report on history in action. While working as a journalist for The Oklahoman newspaper, Willis reported 10th anniversary of the fall of the wall. He’s excited to return, to Berlin and his journalism roots, and once again blog his experience at this historical commemoration.
Here’s an excerpt from his blog at The Oklahoman. Follow along for continued updates from Willis on the anniversary events at http://blog.newsok.com/berlinwall/.
Ever tried to erase ink from the printed page? Pretty hard to do. That image remains, no matter how hard you try to scrub it away.
Some events in world history are like that, and one of the most indelible images is the fall of the Berlin Wall. Like a singer who labors for years in obscurity and then lands the break making her an “overnight success,” the menace of the wall vanished on the night of Nov. 9, 1989, in the blink of an eye that took almost three decades to shut.
This is the 20th anniversary of this world-changing event.
Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be writing about this anniversary, the event that it marks, and the impact the fall of the Wall has had on Germany, Europe, the United States, and the world. I hope you will come along with me as we travel to Berlin and a couple other cities in the former East Germany. (Continued here.)
We also interviewed Willis on the history of the Berlin Wall and the anniversary events. I have a feeling he’s going to have some exciting stories to tell students when he returns, on the anniversary itself, and on journalism’s impact on history.