Cultural night : Winter Mingling (2022)

After two lonesome years of COVID, we finally had our Winter Mingling again where Master students from Environmental Sciences and Ecotoxicology got the chance to dance, chat and getting to know each other.

It has been more than two years now since we had our last Winter Mingling due to COVID lockdowns. However, on November 8th 2022 we finally met again in person thanks to all the planning of our Welcome Center! During the Winter Mingling current and former students of both the Master of Environmental Science and Environmental Pollution Management (Ecotoxicology) come together to mingle not only with each other but also  with current PhD students and professors. Of course, the program coordinators (Prof. Dr. Frör, Dr. Carsten Brühl) and program advisors (Dr. Melanie Ströbel and myself (Jakob Wolfram)) were present as well. Overall, the Winter Mingling is a diverse cultural exchange and friendly meet-up between members of the Institute for Environmental Sciences in Landau.

The evening started with an introduction by Vera Karpuschkin of our Welcome Center, followed by greetings of both program coordinators, Prof. Dr. Frör and Dr. Brühl.

Welcome Ceremony

Traditional dance

Afterwards, it became lively thanks to Martyna Oceipa, an exchange student from Poland, teaching us a traditional Polish dance. It is a group dance where you regularly switch partners and is great fun. It was beautifully chaotic in the beginning and you can get a small glimpse of it here:

Here is also a Dance video from the gala evening!

Understanding different cultures

Later, María José Lazo Hernández , a student of Environmental Pollution management (Ecotoxicology) gave a great presentation about her home country – Guatemala. In her presentation, she guided us through the beautiful landscape, history and culture of Guatemala, which was truly enriching!

Dancing through the night!

Afterwards, we were presented with two Salsa dance performances by Mike Huszarik (PhD student, MSc. Ecotoxicology alumna), Teagan Wernicke (MSc. Env. Sci. alumna), Daniel Armando Campos (MSc. Ecotoxicology alumnus) and Killian Lopez Melero. Their performance was impressive , with some comedic elements thrown in and overall a great addition to this lovely evening!

A musical touch to the night!

But a Winter Mingling of course needs some live music. Thanks to Khaoula Benbnidak, Martyna Oceipa, Abdullah Rumi Shishir, Tiare Huizar, Torben Martin, and Yassine Soumbati, not only were traditional songs from Morocco, Mexico and Poland sung but also other pop-cultural performances such as “Can’t stop me now” from Queen gave this evening a musical touch. Personally, I was taken aback by the beautiful voices of all performers, each with their individual cultural touch.


And then after dancing, presenting and singing, it was time to mingle over some food and drinks in order to get to know each other better. It proved to be a great opportunity for many students to meet some higher semester students or from other environmental science programs.

And that is how we spent the rest of the evening. Chatting and getting to know each other. Thus, I want to thank  the Welcome Center again for organizing this event and thereby bringing back these personal meetings between students and members of the Institute. It was a great evening and I am already looking forward to the next year’s Mingling!

Jakob Wolfram