Following a special – and why not to say “atypical” – semester, this past Saturday (25.07.20) the GCE Get Together finally happened
The current Summer Semester 2020 has been a peculiar semester for everyone in the academic community. An important time for learning, being comprehensive and active, at the same as being responsible about the global pandemic. Adaptation was required as our lives switched from having the fulltime campus way of life to teaching and learning from our households. Like the education process, the way of interaction between our colleagues had to change – and so did our plans, as the annual GCE Summerfête was cancelled for the first time.
As the scenario regarding the containment of covid-19 spread improves in Germany, social gatherings became possible and the first GCE Get Together event of the year came to fruition: The GCE Hike 2020! The starting point was the Bayreuth Hauptbahnhof, where all of us met and we had the chance to do some catching up before the beginning of our journey. Joined by GCE students from years 2017, 2018 and 2019 along the GCE coordination, we were a group of fifteen people. We followed a path of approximately 7 km, walking through the Bayreuther forest by the Grüner Hügel towards a Biergarten in Bindlach. It was a nice hike on a beautiful day!
Besides being a gathering for the GCE community, it was also a moment when we could cherish and honour the presence of GCE coordinator Anja Jaeschke, who is now leaving the Universität Bayreuth. Anja came to the Uni Bayreuth in 2009 for her PhD, and following that, in 2013, she started teaching modules for the Global Change Ecology Master Program. Some of the courses she was responsible for are “Spatial Ecology”, “Concepts in Biogeographical Modelling”, “Academic Working Methods and Skills” and the “Global Change Ecology Overview” module. She has been doing a great job as part of the coordination alongside Stephanie Thomas since 2015, but now she heads to a new and exciting phase of her life to work at the Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt (Bavarian Environment Agency) in Augsburg.
There is nothing like being around your favourite people, and this GCE gathering was very much in demand! We could enjoy each other’s presence after being apart for around four months of online courses, and appreciate the day and nature. While some of us are already free of lectures, others still have courses, assignments and exams, and this day of togetherness offered a much-needed day of stress-relief and connection. All in all, one thing is for sure: We stay emotional as Anja departs from the Uni Bayreuth and the GCE coordination, but we are all excited and wishing her all the best in this new moment of her life!