Münster (upm).
Prof Dr Daniela Bonanno feels at home in Münster and Palermo.<address>© Uni MS - Linus Peikenkamp</address>
Prof Dr Daniela Bonanno feels at home in Münster and Palermo.
© Uni MS - Linus Peikenkamp

An Ambassador for Münster

Daniela Bonanno on her role as “Research Alumni Ambassador”

For Prof Dr Daniela Bonanno, who teaches Greek history at the University of Palermo in Italy, it is an additional task – but one that she is happy to take on. In this case, her official title is “Research Alumni Ambassador”. This means she represents the University of Münster as a research location abroad and is devoted to initiating and maintaining long-term research collaborations. Daniela Bonanno is not the only “ambassador”; there are currently five top international researchers from various scientific fields who are promoting the University of Münster abroad in this way.

Münster has become something of a second home to Daniela Bonanno. “I came to Münster for the first time in 2009 as a DAAD scholarship holder,” she recalls. This was followed three years later by a research stay as a Humboldt Fellow. At Alumni Day 2018, she was officially named an ambassador as part of the University’s research alumni strategy. “I have a close connection to the city and am delighted to have the opportunity to exchange ideas with the University,” she explains.

As a Research Alumni Ambassador, she promotes study and research stays in Münster in her home country. Every year a meeting is held at the University of Palermo to discuss possible destinations for the Erasmus programme and the double degree European Master in Classical Cultures (EMCC). Using data provided by her contacts, she prepares the relevant information for the University of Münster.

Her ambassadorial duties play an important role in promoting research exchange for both universities and beyond. In the “Senior Brings Junior” programme, Daniela Bonanno places students at the University of Münster and regularly receives Erasmus students from Münster in Palermo. She also places researchers from other Italian universities in the Münsterland region. “A colleague of mine,” she recalls, “was looking for a place to complete her postdoctoral fellowship. I worked with her to find contacts in Münster and found a suitable destination for her research stay.”

The collaboration between Daniela Bonanno and the University of Münster is not limited to the exchange of students and postdocs. Every summer, she visits her partner university to conduct research in the library of the Department of Ancient History. “International dialogue is indispensable for advancing research,” she points out. “I even like the summer in Münster.” Together with German academics, she has organised conferences on German-Italian dialogue, given lectures at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and published books with the German Steiner publishing house.

In February of this year, she exchanged views with colleagues at an interdisciplinary panel discussion on the topic of “Dealing with religious diversity” at Erbdrostenhof in Münster. The purpose of the event was to strengthen the dialogue between academia and the general public.

Daniela Bonanno takes her role as an ambassador for the University of Münster very seriously. “It is our responsibility to ensure that doctoral candidates, postdocs and students can share and develop their research. For me, it is a great honour and distinction to work so closely in partnership with the University of Münster.”

Author: Tim Zemlicka

This article appeared in the University newspaper wissen|leben No. 2, 4 April 2024.

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