Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
From Maryland to Bochum and back again
Natasha J. Cabrera, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Ian Ross, Ph.D. are representative of international researchers who specifically choose RUB for a residence. The fact that Ruhr-Universität is becoming ever more popular among overseas researchers is shown, for instance, by the current ranking by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, in which RUB has risen from 21st to 14th place. Nationwide, RUB is ahead of locations such as Münster, Konstanz, Karlsruhe, and Freiburg.
Although not funded by the Humboldt Foundation but instead by the German Academic Exchange Service, professors and married couple Cabrera and Ross from the USA talk with enthusiasm about RUB, their hosts here, Bochum, and the Ruhr following their residence.
Why did you choose RUB and who was your host?
Natasha J. Cabrera: I heard many good things about RUB from Prof Dr Birgit Leyendecker from Developmental Psychology, which is why I chose Bochum. Above all, I wanted to work more closely with Birgit Leyendecker on research.
Jeffrey Ian Ross: I learned about RUB through Natasha and her contacts. I was immediately thrilled by the opportunity. The Department of Criminology, Criminal Policy, and Police Science has an excellent international reputation, outstanding work is done there. My hosts were well-respected Prof Dr Thomas Feltes and Prof Dr Tobias Singelnstein.
What did you think about Bochum, the region, and above all RUB before you came here? Were there any preconceptions, too?
Cabrera: No, we didn’t have any preconceptions. I already knew Bochum from a brief stay in 2009. I liked the idea of spending more time there.
It was worth it. We had a great time.
Now, look back on your time in Bochum. Your summary?
Cabrera: It was worth it. We had a great time. The people were great, the students, in particular, were committed and inquisitive, we also saw a great deal of the region. We were both sad when we returned to the USA at the end of the summer semester.
Ross: Fortunately, we got to see not only a great deal of Bochum but also of the whole Ruhr region and its rich culture – this included concerts and museum visits. I also made the most of the opportunity to network further with researchers from universities in the Ruhr and in Berlin.
And what did the time in Bochum give to you personally?
Cabrera: After three months at RUB, I now have a deeper understanding of German culture – and also of myself and my work. You always learn more about yourself when you stay somewhere else. I can now better identify and appreciate the similarities as well as the differences between my homeland and Germany. I very much enjoyed meeting people in Bochum. They were so friendly, made us feel welcome, and were really interesting. I even learned a little bit of German. And, last but not least: our accommodation in the Kubus at Weitmarer Schlosspark was unbelievable – it’s a wonderful place.
Would you ever come back to RUB?
Cabrera: One day, yes – and gladly for an even longer period of time.
Natasha J. Cabrera is Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, College of Education, at University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining the University of Maryland in 2002, she had several years of experience as an Executive Branch Fellow and Expert in Child Development with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She studied at the University of Toronto, Canada, and the University of Denver, Colorado.
Jeffrey Ian Ross studied at the University of Toronto, Canada, and at the University of Colorado, as well. Since 1998, after working for three years with the U.S. Department of Justice, he has been a criminologist at the University of Baltimore and currently holds the positions of professor in the College of Public Affairs' School of Criminal Justice and fellow at the Center for International and Comparative Law.
Both live together in Washington, D.C.
11 September 2017