Star Trek comes to campus

Last October, UEFians were treated to a behind-the-scenes experience on Star Trek. Director Nicholas Meyer explained his work and movies to an interested audience via Skype.

The night was made possible by William Doyle (in the photo above), a Fulbright scholarship recipient currently visiting UEF. His professional background is extremely diverse. Many know him as Director of Original Programming and Executive Producer for HBO New York, and he has also authored several non-fiction books, among other things.

Last autumn, he held a course on the future of global media at the Joensuu Campus. A man of many connections in the world of show business, he was browsing through suitable lecturers for his course.

Nicholas Meyer was at the top of my list because he’s a great Hollywood director, he has an incredible body of work, he’s a screen writer and a New York Times best-selling author. Besides that, he has a unique perspective on creativity, art and literature.”

Meyer is best known for his work as the director of two Star Trek movies. He’s also been nominated for an Oscar for the best adapted screenplay for the movie The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.

“For one night, we had a fascinating two-way discussion during which Meyer told us about his movies and showed clips to the audience, and also answered questions. The dialogue was really amazing, because the questions coincided with Meyer's interests, especially writing and literature.”

Initially, the Finnish audience was scattered around the sides of the auditorium, while the camera was focused on the centre. At first, Meyer thought that no one had turned up.

“When he heard that the audience was just outside the camera frame, like any good director, he told everyone to move so that he could see them.”

All in all, the evening was a success and Doyle got plenty of thanks for organising it.

“I was very pleased with how well everything connected and we could have a global dialogue.”

Doyle says that as a Fulbrighter, he has an obligation to spread awareness of American culture – and to learn insights from Finnish culture, especially its education system.

“I'm always looking for ways to bring interesting American prospects to Joensuu, which is my home town now. It’s easy here at UEF because of its global character.”

Doyle says he was surprised at how international the crowd on his courses at UEF has been.

“In my last class I had students from France, Germany, Egypt, Spain, Nigeria, China, Korea, Russia and Finland. I’m from New York City and I’m used to multicultural discussions but this really got to me!”

Doyle is pleased with his Fulbright experience and everything new that has come with it.

“Joensuu was supposed to be a small town in a forest, and then they have this amazing multicultural thing going on!”

Text Nina Venhe Photo Varpu Heiskanen