Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
Class of 2009
What I love about Armstrong: The professors. Professors like Jack Simmons in the philosophy department and Dr. Hall in history are skilled lecturers, and I’ve profited immensely from their courses. Dr. Reese, Dr. Erney and Dr. Winterhalter also taught engaging classes and were always willing to help in and outside of the classroom.
Interviewing German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Conducting an interview is a tough challenge. You must be prepared with engaging questions and be able to think on your feet when faced with unexpected difficulties. But imagine trying to conduct an interview entirely in German, and your interviewee is none other than Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany.
Francisco Resto, a graduate of Armstrong’s English program, got to do just that. As part of his summer internship at the German Press Office through the Halle Foundation, Resto had the honor to tape an interview with Chancellor Merkel about the hosting of the Women’s World Cup in Berlin.
“My boss at the German Press Office, Herr Spindeldreier, called me into his office a couple of weeks ago. I was convinced that I was in some kind of trouble, but far from it. He asked me if I’d be willing to interview the chancellor the following week,” Resto said. “He told me he would like an American to do the interview, since the U.S. and Germany are the two heavyweights in women’s soccer.”
Resto normally prepares reports and translates press releases for the German Press Office website as part of his internship. He also attends a multitude of conferences on topics ranging from unemployment to the building of a new castle in the middle of Berlin. But the interview with Merkel topped it all. ”Without a doubt, that has been the highlight of my trip so far,” Resto said.
He practiced with a fellow intern a few days before the shoot and arrived at the interview about 20 minutes before Merkel, entertaining himself by chatting with the camera crew. Once face to face with the chancellor, Resto’s nerves were eased by Merkel’s personality. ”She was very accessible and not at all intimidating. She was actually quite personable,” Resto said.
German-born Resto, who not only speaks German, but also Spanish and some Russian, previously spent a semester studying abroad at Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany. He plans to continue his exploration of other countries’ governments by taking an internship in Russia. “Being a foreigner in any country is thrilling and forces you to examine your own identity,” Resto said.
Resto is currently working on his master’s degree in international relations at Troy University and will graduate in December 2011. Eventually he would like to work as a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department. “Everything I’ve been doing academically and professionally in the past few years has been geared to that purpose,” Resto said.