Our Alumni Ambassadors
Our alumni ambassadors know the Saarland University campus like the back of their hand, and Saarbrücken will always have a special place in their heart.
The work they do is extremely varied, ranging from advising students thinking about studying abroad at Saarland University, assisting the International Alumni Office in selecting and planning alumni events and representing Saarland University in their home countries.
Get acquainted with our alumni ambassadors and feel free to contact them if you have questions about university life in Saarbrücken.
Our alumni ambassadors
Dr. Mikaela Petkova-Kessanlis, St. Kliment Ohridski at the University of Sofia
From 1993 to 2006, Dr. Mikaela Petkova-Kessanlis gained her M.A. (Magister Artium) and later her doctorate at Saarland University. Her fondest memory from that time was being given her first teaching assignment after completing her M.A. Dr. Petkova-Kessanlis is a linguist specializing in stylistics, text linguistics and German as a foreign language. And although she now teaches and does research at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsk in Bulgaria, she is still in close contact with her alma mater in Saarbrücken, which makes her perfectly suited for the role of alumni ambassador.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdallah Ababneh, Yarmouk University
Prof. Dr. Abdallah Ababneh describes Saarland and Saarland University as his second home. He studied electrical engineering here from 1993 until 2002. From 2003 to 2009, he was an academic research associate under Professor Helmut Seidel in the Department of Systems Engineering, gaining his doctoral degree in the field of microtechnology in November 2009. In October 2010, he took up an appointment as associate professor at Yarmouk University in Jordan. Professor Ababneh’s close ties to Saarland University are reflected in the visiting professorship that he held at Saarland University in the 2018/2019 academic year. In his role as an alumni ambassador, Professor Abdallah Ababneh can be contacted by anyone with questions about Saarland University.
Prof. Paul Morris, Université de Saint Boniface
There is a strong bond between Professor Paul Morris and Saarland University. After spending a total of fifteen years at Saarland University, during which time he was awarded his Habilitation (an advanced, post-doctoral research degree), it could perhaps be said that Prof. Morris knows the Saarbrücken campus better than many students. Although now a professor at the Université de Saint Boniface in Canada – one of Saarland University’s partner universities – Prof. Morris has strong ties to our university and regularly holds visiting lectureship positions here. He attended both the first and second international Alumni Academies in 2017 and 2019, respectively. When advising his students, Prof. Morris regularly draws attention to the strengths of Saarland University in terms of its research and teaching staff, the academic disciplines offered and the general attractiveness of its location here in the heart of Europe. As an alumni ambassador, he is particularly focused on encouraging and strengthening exchange programmes between the Université de Saint Boniface and Saarland University not only for students, but for university teachers and researchers, too.
Dr. Rūta Eidukevičienė, Vytautas Magnus University
For Dr. Rūta Eidukevičienė her fondest recollection of her time in Saarland was living with other students from around the world in a house share in Sulzbach – a memory that underscores the importance that Dr. Eidukevičienė attaches to international collaboration and exchange. As a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, her academic focus is also on literary and cultural studies, multilingualism and transculturality. Given her interests, it is only logical that Rūta Eidukevičienė has agreed to act as an alumni ambassador for Saarland University – a role in which she is happy to answer questions about international exchange opportunities and intercultural issues.
Prof. Dr. Ibrahima Diagne, Cheikh Anta Diop University
Having acquired both his doctoral degree and Habilitation (an advanced, post-doctoral research degree) at Saarland University, Professor Ibrahim Diagne has close ties to our university. Between 1999 and 2013, he made several extended academic visits to the Saarbrücken campus where he worked with Prof. Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink from the Department of Romance Languages and Literary Studies. The focus of their work was on transcultural relations between Africa and Germany. As someone with extensive experience of working in different cultural environments, Professor Diagne is especially well suited to the role of alumni ambassador and to representing Saarland University abroad.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Minh Tuan Nguyen, Vietnam National University (Hanoi)
‘Saarland University has always been a tolerant and outward-looking institution. I am proud to be an alumni ambassador for Saarland University and want to use my international contacts to create positive awareness of Saarland University outside Germany.’ This quote from Professor Minh Tuan Nguyen perfectly encapsulates the aim of our alumni work, which is built on an openness to different cultures and a desire to encourage the broadest possible global networks for our alumni. The close relationship that our alumni ambassador Professor Minh Tuan Nguyen has with Saarland University was originally established when he was studying for his doctoral degree in Saarbrücken. Since then, that bond has been regularly refreshed during Professor Nguyen’s numerous visits to carry out research at the department run by Prof. Christoph Gröpl (Chair of Constitutional Law). As someone actively involved in fostering and promoting international relations, Professor Nguyen is an ideal contact for international issues large and small.