Alumni Portraits
Gratiana und Christian Kaever
For Gratiana and Christian Kaever, further education at the University of Bonn was the start of a new professional life. After 25 years as self-employed with their own restaurants, they said goodbye to their regulars. Their employer is now the Kolping Integration Center Cologne Mühlheim: Here, the multi-award-winning chef trains younger adults from Europe and refugees in various professions in gastronomy, while his wife accompanies them in the language and life in Germany. (in German)
Paul Assies
Paul Assies has enjoyed blogging since he was a history student - including daily updates from stays abroad. The 26-year-old now works as a print and online communications officer at the Erasmus+ National Agency of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn. (in German)
Fazlullah Akhtar
"It's a challenge to work and live in Afghanistan - given the lack of security throughout the country," says Dr.-Ing. Fazlullah Akhtar. The scientist returned to Afghanistan 2019. From 2013 to 2017, he did his doctorate at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn on water availability and consumption in the Kabul region. (in German)
Vera Deckers
Vera Deckers studied psychology at the University of Bonn. Professionally, she earns enthusiastic applause nationwide: Sometimes she is on stage as a cabaret artist, sometimes as a lecturer and coach for communication. Overlaps in content are, of course, purely coincidental. (in German)
Dr. Josef Mangold
How did people in the Rhineland live and work in the past? Dr. Josef Mangold explains this. The folklorist studied at the University of Bonn and is the director of the second-oldest and largest open-air museum in Germany, covering more than 100 hectares. Picturesquely situated on a ridge near Kommern/Mechernich, it not only brings the long past to life. Currently, an ensemble from the 20th century is under construction - including economic miracle bungalow, jukebox and vintage cars. (in German)
Johann Maria Farina
In 1709, the young Italian Johann Maria Farina composed a very special fragrance. His "Eau de Cologne" quickly became a hit with emperors and kings, artists and scientists. His descendant Johann Maria Farina studied pharmacy at the University of Bonn and is now the eighth generation to run the family business in Cologne - the oldest perfume factory in the world still in existence today. (in German)
Stefan Drößler
Every August, Stefan Drößler returns to his university. Now as director of the Munich Film Museum, he is responsible for the program of the International Silent Film Festival at Bonn's Summer Cinema for the 33rd time. In addition to well-known classics, there are always other archive treasures from around the world on the big screen in the university's arcade courtyard. (in German)
Daniel Etter
Daniel Etter studied political science in Bonn. For years, the freelance photographer and author has been traveling around the world in crisis areas. Many haunting photos have emerged in the process - from child laborers in coal mines to refugees on their way. For one of them, the 36-year-old received 2016 the Pulitzer Prize, a kind of photography Oscar. (in German)
Katharina Ebel
Along the route from Syria through the Balkans to Salzburg, Katharina Ebel accompanied refugees and reported on them daily for two weeks in a blog. In addition to her worldwide work for SOS Children's Villages, she is studying for a master's degree in disaster risk reduction and disaster management at the University of Bonn. (in German)
Hilke und Tim Deinet
Geographer Hilke and laboratory technician Tim Deinet have built a family business that combines organic-quality food with largely packaging-free shopping. Their name says it all: DEINETwegen". (in German)
Dr. Willi Kremer-Schillings („Farmer Willi“)
"You just want cheap!" With this consumer critique at the beginning of last year Dr. Willi Kremer-Schillings opened a hot topic on which contributions and comments on his website are hard to count. Whoever delves into it not only learns a lot about agriculture and consumers today, but also about the human being "Farmer Willi." (in German)
Daniel Lindemann
Bonn graduate Daniel Lindemann is recognized on the street in South Korea, asked for joint photos and autographs. He has become known through a TV series in which twelve young people talk about all kinds of topics, representing their home countries around the globe. At the same time, he is a popular figure who doesn't mince words. (in German)
Michael Schulte
Studying abroad always leads to something - and sometimes you even find a new home. Michael Schulte, for example, now lives, teaches and conducts research at the University of Agder in Kristiansand in southern Norway. (in German)
The Weichert family
2015 Germany celebrated 25 years of reunification. Shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Weichert student family from Leipzig had come to Bonn via Hungary. The editorial staff of Bonn Uni-Nachrichten (BUN), forsch's predecessor, visited the parents and their twin daughters back then. How have they fared since then? (in German)
Moritz Seibert
Actually, Moritz Seibert only liked going to theater performances and wanted to become a journalist with an interest in law. But there are pulls you can't resist: Today, he is the artistic director of the "Junges Theater Bonn" (JTB), the most visited children's and youth theater in Germany. (in German)
Rumor Mill Theater Group
A womanizer who doesn't want to be one - with Max Frisch's "Don Juan," the Bonn theater group Gerüchteküche is already staging its seventeenth play in the 2014 summer semester. Most of the actors have known each other since their studies at the University of Bonn and have remained with the group as alumni. (in German)
Dr. Katja Horneffer
Everyone is talking about it. After all, weather is not only a "private pleasure," but also an economic factor: for vacation regions, major events or the beer garden on the Rhine. Meteorologist Dr. Katja Horneffer studied at the University of Bonn. Today, she is part of the weather team at ZDF in Mainz and, in addition to forecasts, provides scientific background information. (in German)
Simon Horn
Passers-by have known the colorful eye-catcher at the Hofgarten for years: In front of the university's main building, two relaxed stretched-out jeans and sneaker legs lie in the grass. A piece of Bonn summer - even if it is gray and cold. It was designed by student Simon Horn and his friend Stefan Vogt, and the hobby and extra income have long since turned into a profession and joint company. (in German)
Simon Keelan
In summer, Simon Keelan alternates between his desk, field wild herbs and bee-friendly flower diversity - before Christmas, he regularly takes up his hatchet and saw. On four days, he and other alumni and students cut pine and spruce trees for the Geobotany Christmas tree campaign. It serves nature conservation and, at the same time, changing good causes. (in German)
Alfred Philippson
Alfred Philippson was a true Bonner, one of the most important experts on Greece of his time - and at that time the only Jewish professor of geography in Germany. In 1942, at the age of 78, he was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. He survived and returned in 1945. The Memorial to the Victims of National Socialism is commemorating him and his work in an exhibition until February 26. (in German)
Ursula Kosser
Ursula Kosser was a journalist, political editor for Der Spiegel and anchorwoman. Today, she is "CvD" - Chief of Staff - at the Munich regional studio of the private broadcasters RTL and n-tv. When she recently published a book about the experiences of young female media representatives in the German capital in the 1980s, she was also written about, invited to readings and was herself a guest on talk shows. She took her first steps in the direction of the media during her studies at the University of Bonn: Here she worked in the press office 30 years ago. (in German)
Ayla Öztürk-Banha
Ayla Öztürk-Banha has been commuting between Turkey and Germany since she was a little girl. At the University of Bonn, her path led her to the International Office - not so much because of typical "first-year" problems, but because she wanted to be able to speak English better. "I was in the right place at the right time, and that defined my life," she says. Since then, she has been in charge of foreign guests and programs, first for the university and then on official missions for the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Academic Exchange Service. (in German)
Prof. Dr. Wiebke Ahrndt
The Übersee-Museum in the Hanseatic city of Bremen is one of the most visited museums in Germany. For more than eleven years, a Bonn graduate in Ancient American Studies has been in charge of the museum, which was founded in 1896. Prof. Dr. Wiebke Ahrndt and her team let visitors look with historical objects not only into the past of the continents, but into the common present and future. (in German)
Britta Knaup
Britta Knaup passed her bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences with a grade of 1.6. That wasn't quite the gold medal, but it was really successful. The 24-year-old was a substitute member of the German national team at the Student World Equestrian Games - and competed with her colleagues for a place at the top of the podium. (in German)
Martin Weddemann und Lars Lienhard
Martin Weddemann and Lars Lienhard met at university sports - otherwise the student of the Faculty of Philosophy and the sports scientist would probably never have met. And there would be no joint company whose philosophy is "You are only as strong as your weakest point". Bobsled vice world champion Christian Friedrich was the first high-performance athlete the two alumni worked with. He is very convinced of the quality of the training "made in Bonn". (in German)
Dennis Tölle und Florian Wagenknecht
Photographers - whether professionals or amateurs - can take pictures no matter how brilliant. If they violate the law when taking or using them, they can get into serious trouble. And so can anyone who makes unauthorized use of other people's images. During their law studies, Dennis Tölle and Florian Wagenknecht founded the Internet portal "Recht am Bild". The two have since graduated, are legal interns, and the successful portal has become a comprehensive reference work. (in German)
Dr. Katja de Bragança
Even as a doctoral student, Dr. Katja de Bragança successfully set out to refute a common doctrine. She is a scientist and mother of four. She only accepted the Federal Cross of Merit because she was allowed to have a say in the reasoning. Together with her team and the magazine "Ohrenkuss", she has been demonstrating time and again for almost 15 years, as a matter of course, that people with Down syndrome can do many things that they were previously not thought capable of. For example, publishing thoughts and stories that not only bring joy to a large fan community, but also encourage families. (in German)
Marijana Markovic
Marijana Markovic leads a double life: The 29-year-old Olympic fencer is a member of the German national women's epee team. She has won world championships and fought her way to the top of the German epee rankings. At the same time, she studied food technology at the University of Bonn. She has had her diploma in her pocket since January and knows that top-class sport and studying - this two-front battle can only be mastered with the support of fellow students and lecturers. (in German)
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Paul
An outstanding Bonn researcher and institute director would have turned 100 this year: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Paul. For the Paul-trap, named after him, the quadropole ion cage, the Bonn particle physicist received the Nobel Prize in 1989.
Professor Svein Ødegaard
Svein Ødegaard actually wanted to become a sea captain - until the young Norwegian had to go into a hospital at the age of 16 and changed his career aspiration: doctor. He went to Bonn to study medicine. Even now in retirement, the professor at the University of Bergen regularly returns to the Rhineland, where the 67-year-old maintains his alumni network. He tells how a dart throw brought him to Bonn, how he got his place at university in 1964 after a spontaneous journey to the dean in person, about a black bag instead of Facebook - and what a hit song by the Beatles means to his family. (in German)
Liane Hryca
Liane Hryca studied geography in Bonn and then worked for ten years in promoting business and start-ups. She now uses this experience in a completely different cultural environment: as a project consultant in Afghanistan. She lives and works in Mazar-e Sharif in Balkh province. There, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German government, is creating jobs and expanding cooperation with German companies through its Sustainable Economic Development Program. (in German)
Allin Gasparian und Peter Diessenbacher
In Japan, kiri wood is traditionally used to build fireproof kimono wardrobes. The Asian tree is also becoming increasingly fashionable in this country. Two graduates of the University of Bonn now want to market it as a green investment. This is because the tree grows up to two meters per year even under German weather conditions - and binds a corresponding amount of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The first large kiri plantations are to be established at selected locations in Germany as early as early summer. (in German)
Dr. Uwe Rieske
Two years after the crash of the Air France Airbus over the Atlantic, the relatives of the fatal victims will finally learn what actually happened back then: Only now has the wreckage been found with the flight recorder and voice recorder at a depth of almost 4,000 meters. After the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia in 2004, hundreds of people in Germany mourned their relatives - or barely escaped with their lives. The Love Parade disaster in Duisburg also left a lasting mark on the relatives of the victims and the injured. Dr. Uwe Rieske has been volunteering for victims of such accidents for a long time. On July 1, the Protestant pastor, religion teacher and private lecturer will take up his new post as state pastor for emergency pastoral care of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland. (in German)
Willi Graf
The members of the "White Rose" resistance group operated in Munich: Here they met, here they wrote slogans against the National Socialist regime on house walls and distributed leaflets. During an action in the atrium of the university, they were caught and sentenced to death. It is little known that Willi Graf began his medical studies in Bonn in 1937 and also tried to gain support for the resistance here. In 1943, he was executed at the age of 25. (in German)
Petra Kissling-Koch
Petra Kissling-Koch likes James Bond movies. However, she pays attention to completely different things than the average moviegoer: Her main focus is on the "look" of the production, more precisely: the power architecture. This was also the subject of her dissertation at the University of Bonn. In it, the art historian examined the influence of Oscar-winning production designer Ken Adam on the James Bond aesthetic. (in German)
Henning Freiherr von Bernewitz
Henning Freiherr von Bernewitz (77) is a passionate draftsman. He specializes in large-format cultural maps of cities and regions that not only show landmarks and prominent points, but also the history of the place. The lawyer studied in Bonn, among other places. (in German)
Professor Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee
Germany's university leaders are 57.5 years old on average. Professor Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, an alumnus of the University of Bonn, has lowered this average: He became president of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen at the age of 36 - a national record. (in German)
Dr. Christoph Averdung, Dr. Matthias Ellsiepen und Dr. René Thiele
A small company emerged as a start-up from the University of Bonn in 1993. Today, CPA Systems GmbH is part of the "Silicon Valley" of geoinformation in the Bonn area - and is considered the most innovative company in the geoinformation industry nationwide: For the third time, it has now been honored in TOP 100, a cross-industry hit list of medium-sized innovators. Ulrike Eva Klopp spoke with Managing Director Dr. Christoph Averdung, who heads CPA Systems GMBH together with Dr. Matthias Ellsiepen and Dr. René Thiele. All three earned their doctorates at the former Institute for Cartography and Topography. (in German)
Gisela Nouvertné
Following the move of parliament and parts of the government to Berlin, Bonn has seized opportunities and successfully managed structural change. Gisela Nouvertné has been active for the science region for twelve years. As a former student of geodesy, she told Ulrike Eva Klopp for the forsch-magazine what connects her to her university and that these are not just nice memories but very current projects.
Tom Buhrow
Tom Buhrow, who studied history, political science and Rhenish regional studies in Bonn, became known as ARD's White House correspondent. Today, he hosts the most important news magazine on German TV - the "Tagesthemen". Jan Philipp Burgard, a student from Bonn, worked as a producer for the ARD Washington studio during the presidential campaign and met his great role model there. He spoke with Tom Buhrow about his student days, his dream job in journalism and his choice of ties. (in German)
Professor Dr. Tobias Kollmann
Professor Dr. Tobias Kollmann is in a good mood. Bonner SC has won its first second-round games in the regional league - and he, as the club's president, has been able to attract more sponsors for the "Rheinlöwen". Soccer is his passion, and by no means in competition, but in close cooperation with his profession: the former Bonn student is a professor of e-business and e-entrepreneurship. Ulrike Eva Klopp visited him for the forsch in Bonn's Sportpark Nord. (in German)
Indra und Martin Baumgart
In the Bonn district of Meßdorf, a green idyll can be found between residential buildings: Gut Ostler, a former tithe farm, is the historic core of the village. It is home to Dr. Martin Baumgart and his wife Indra with their three children. The two graduates of the Faculty of Agriculture run a model ecological farm with many creative ideas. Ulrike Eva Klopp visited the family. (in German)
Lucie Prinz und Tamás Lányi
"Who needs it?" and "The Internet is a flash in the pan. Twelve years ago, Lucie Prinz and Tamás Lányi were not put off by such prophecies of doom." She studied German language and literature in Bonn, he comparative religious studies. To earn money, they both worked their way into a completely new medium. The job became their profession: in 1996 they founded their company and today they are "Die Internet-Profis", based in the Pützchen district of Bonn. (in German)
Margit Ramus
A small wooden sign hangs in Margit Ramus' garage. On it, in burned-in letters, is written: "Never envy those who are sedentary, for you are and will remain a traveling child." Margit Ramus is settled. Her single-family home in Cologne-Porz, with its bright couch set and well-tended garden, differs in nothing from that of her neighbors - at most, perhaps, by the large truck parked in her driveway. It points to the 55-year-old's second life.(in German)
Professor Dr. Harald Lesch
A blackboard, a few empty school desks: Against this backdrop, Professor Dr. Harald Lesch has been explaining small and large mysteries of physics on Bayerischer Rundfunk since 1998. He has largely dispensed with films or animations, relying instead solely on his words. The Munich professor's career began in the 1980s with his studies at the University of Bonn, where he also completed his habilitation in 1994. Frank Luerweg spoke with him. (in German)
Konrad Beikircher
The fact that Konrad Beikircher from the Pustertal valley in northern Italy chose Bonn as his place of study in 1965 has a lot to do with the yellow main university building from electoral times. In the meantime, the musician and cabaret artist has become one of the best-known people from Bonn by choice. If you ask him today about his experiences, it can hardly be summed up more succinctly than with a component of local conversation that he immortalized in a program: "Wie isset?" "Joot!" Dr. Andreas Archut met Konrad Beikircher for a uni film; here are the excerpts from their conversation. (in German)
Michael Wirbitzky
In his current life, radio host and comedy producer Michael Wirbitzky gets up early: He's at the station before five o'clock, and at six o'clock the "Morningshow" starts on SWR3, where the 43-year-old, together with Sascha Zeus, gives all morning grouches a run for their money. As a history student at the University of Bonn, he was happy to arrive on time for his 10 a.m. lecture. (in German)
Ulrich Wickert
Ulrich Wickert, born in Tokyo in 1942, has hosted "Tagesthemen" since 1991 and is considered the most popular newsman on German television. Dr. Andreas Archut spoke with the Bonn University graduate about gowns, virtues and student drive. (in German)
Sabriye Tenberken
Sabriye Tenberken experienced the initial spark for her further path in life on a journey. As a student of Central Asian Studies at the University of Bonn, she traveled through Tibet on horseback on her own initiative. Adventurous - even more so for a blind person. What she then undertook to help young fate comrades to lead a self-determined life in the world of the sighted made Lhasa her second home. (in German)
Dr. Hermann Peters, Irmela Würzburger, Dr. Gunther Fuhrmann
Dr. Hermann Peters was 63 when he went to work in Yemen. Irmela Würzburger, 62, helped modernize a youth home in Latvia. And Dr. Gunther Fuhrmann was 68 when he lectured in Tallinn, Estonia. What the three have in common: They studied at the University of Bonn more than 40 years ago. Now, in their retirement, they are volunteering abroad for the Senior Expert Service. (in German)
Pete Kastner
"Who was that?" ask colleagues who have seen the visitor to the press office: strikingly tall and strong, lumberjack shirt, boots and cowboy hat. No fashion vestman - even if the lasso on the backpack seems a bit too real. "A gift for a friend!" explains Pete Kastner, who has come from the U.S. to his study home in Bonn. The hobby rancher and farmer is a professor of German language and culture in Colorado. (in German)
Stefan Drößler
In the early eighties, a student from Bonn sat in lectures and dreamed of his own cinema: Stefan Drößler. He was already active in a film club as a student, brought it with him to university and created his own job as managing director of the Bonner Kinemathek e.V. in the Beueler Brotfabrik. Today he is the director of the Filmmuseum in Munich. Every August, he returns to his college town to run his "child" again: the Bonn Summer Cinema International Silent Film Days in the university's arcade courtyard. Next year they will be held for the 25th time. (in German)
Stefan Knor
It's been a good year and a half since Stefan W. Knor transformed Bonn Cathedral: for the Science Night in summer 2006, the light artist had created a watercourse there. The bubbling brook poured over the altar and rippled westward through the nave, which was illuminated with blue, red and yellow spotlights. The 32-year-old theology student from Bonn can already look back on more than 50 installations between Würselen and Vienna, all in sacred buildings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. One of his next projects will perhaps be in Bonn again: Knor is planning an installation in the university's arcade courtyard for the 2008 Science Night. He talked briskly about his work. (in German)

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