Randy Thompson, a senior at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was accepted into the 2020 Berlin Capital Program.
Funded through the Fulbright Commission, the seminar will be conducted May 23-30 in Berlin, Germany.
Thompson is a senior mass communications major in the UAPB Department of Multimedia Communication. He is one of 15 U.S. journalists and journalism students to be accepted for the program, according to a news release.
“I am excited to have been selected for such a prestigious program,” Thompson said. “Viewing last year’s cohort, who were all [Caucasian], I am thrilled that Fulbright has diversified the candidates and institutes in which they recruited for this program. It is an honor to represent my university and historically black universities across the country. I want to be an example for students in the future that no matter where you come from, with a great work ethic and time to perfect your craft, your talents will not go unnoticed.”
The goals of the seminar are to promote a better understanding of transatlantic issues, expand journalists’ professional perspectives and networks, and help them better “translate” the news on this side of the Atlantic, according to the agency’s website. It also will allow participants a closer look at the German media landscape and gain a deeper awareness of the political, economic and cultural environment in Germany and Europe.
“As 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of German reunification, this year’s Berlin Capital Program will explore the role of the media in nurturing democracy. The points for discussion with media professionals include: How media impacts political decision-making processes in Germany, and what role did they play in the reunification process in and after 1990; What transformations has the German media landscape undergone in the last 30 years; How these transformations affect the role of journalists and public discourse; and What skills/competencies citizens need today in dealing with media,” according to the news release.
At UAPB, Thompson is a member of the Collegiate 4-H Club, the Peace Corps Prep Program and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
He also participated in education programs in China and Guatemala through the UAPB Office of International Programs and Studies. In 2017, he spent nearly two months studying Chinese language at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology and in the summer of 2019, he took part in a program in Antigua, Guatemala, where he studied the Spanish language and conducted service work to help impoverished communities, according to the release.
Thompson will graduate from UAPB on May 9, 2020. His future plans include joining the Peace Corps and pursuing a master’s degree. His hopes to become a communications director for a U.S. embassy.