Editors 2011

Marijn Brok – Editor-in-chief

Born in the nick of the 80′s, Marijn had a young fascination for fashion. It wasn’t until his teens that he realized he wanted to become a fashion journalist. After one year at University Utrecht, he decided to quit his Communication and Information Sciences study and elope to Journalism at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. Though his main focus is fashion and magazines, Marijn also likes to write about culture, music and entertainment. Other hobbies are literature, video games and cooking (he recently picked up baking cakes).

For the European Culture and European Journalism program, Marijn travelled to London to write about the creative industries in East End. Other reasons to travel to the capital of the United Kingdom where the city’s status as the European fashion capital and because he had never been there before. During his stay he also visited the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the exhibition on Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Marijn hopes to close his education with an internship at a fashion magazine, preferably at the Dutch version of ELLE. He also wants to start with his own fashion blog.

Jenny Ford – Editor-in-chief

Jenny Ford is a Canadian journalism student in her fourth year at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She has written for many Canadian newspapers, magazines, websites and broadcasters including the Winnipeg Free Press, the Ottawa Citizen Online and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She was an editor and intern with Pegasus Publications Inc. based in Winnipeg where she edited Smart Careers Magazine and contributed to other publications.

Jenny traveled to Warsaw for the European Culture Magazine, where she explored the rich culture and dark secrets of the Praga neighborhood. She met with alternative artists, passionate residents and explored abandoned buildings in search of street art.

When she’s not investigating Warsaw’s art scene, Jenny is an avid writer, traveler and history buff. She enjoys learning about the world, making Polish dumplings and will do anything for a good cup of earl grey tea.

Kayla Redstone – Editor-in-chief

Kayla is in the third year of her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Carleton University in Canada. When she isn’t writing for the school paper, searching for internships, or grovelling at the feet of editors for a summer job, she enjoys watching films, baking cupcakes and planning future vacations. Kayla grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, the sixth largest city in Canada (which is still overshadowed by its big-brother: Toronto). With metropolitan city life in her backyard, Kayla is prepared for the grind of the newsroom and hopes to work in as many of the world’s biggest cities as possible.

For her entry to European Culture Magazine, Kayla travelled to Dublin, Ireland. With little knowledge of Ireland before her trip, she soon found herself immersed in a wealth of dark history and was amazed at the positive and vibrant lifestyle of the Irish. After a brief glimpse at rolling green mountains, a hike through seaside cliffs and plenty of cosy nights in Dublin’s finest pubs, Kayla has already begun to plan her next trip back to the great green country.

Madeline Brown – Art Director

Madeline Brown is from Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, and has spent the Spring 2011 semester discovering the delights and secrets of the Netherlands and other parts of Europe as well as making friends from all over the world. Back home in Knoxville, Madeline studies Journalism & Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee and intends to graduate in May 2012. Her plans after graduation are unsure although she hopes to do something in the audiovisual field. Other than travel and culture, she is interested in photography, music, film, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

For this web magazine, Madeline traveled to Barcelona to learn about the unique Catalan culture that separates Barcelona’s identity from the rest of Spain. One thing she was surprised to learn was how proud Catalans are of their history of rising from the ashes of political and cultural oppression under the Franco regime and fascism towards becoming a modern international city with a thriving and unique culture.

Irmengard Gnau – Art Director

Irmengard Gnau was born in Munich, Germany, on June 4th 1986. After her academic studies of communication science at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, she decided to concentrate on the practical side of journalism and try life as a reporter.

Politics, culture, and society are her main fields of journalistic interest. That’s one reason why she chose the international program European Culture and European Journalism in the Netherlands – to meet people from different backgrounds, and learn more about their thoughts and opinions. For one of her main beliefs is that every person has an interesting story to discover.

Yvette Slotema – Art Director

Born in The Netherlands in 1986, Yvette is currently a Journalism student at the Hogeschool Utrecht. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2007, she came to the conclusion that art and culture is what she loves, but writing is what she does. So to be able to make a living out of writing she enrolled at the School of Journalism in Utrecht in 2008.

In September 2011, Yvette will begin her final year studying journalism, specializing in writing about art and culture for magazines. She hopes to get lots of opportunities to travel, to be amazed by different cultures and to be surprised by stunning works of art.

For the European Culture Magazine Yvette visited Hamburg: Germany’s ‘gate to the world’. There she explored how the cultural scene reacts to new city developments and the process of gentrification. She learned that artists in Hamburg aren’t afraid to take action and take matters into their own hands.

Alanna Murray – Copy Editor

Alanna Murray is a 21-year-old communications student from Canada. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba but attends University in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. She has a love of reading, writing and investigative journalism. Alanna came to Utrecht in September 2010 and will leave almost a year later in June of 2011.

She has a passion for travelling and exploring different customs and cultures around the world. Her time in the Netherlands has been remarkable and it has sparked her travel flame even further. Since being in Europe this year, she has travelled to Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, England, Scotland, Czech Republic, France and Spain as well as all over the Netherlands.

Alanna chose the island of Sicily, Italy to travel to on her field trip. She had already been to Italy’s mainland but her experiences in Sicily showed her a whole new side of unique Italian culture.

Once she returns to Canada, she will have one more year of university before graduating with a degree in communication studies. Upon graduation, She hopes to travel to South East Asia and teach English as a second language for a year. Afterwards she hopes to either return to University for her Masters or find a job in advertising, producing, or public relations in Toronto or Vancouver.

Adrian Cheung Copy Editor

Adrian Cheung is a writer, multimedia journalist and sports fanatic. Studying at Ryerson University in Toronto, he’s often found scouring news websites in search of the latest while also indulging his “foodie” side by finding new and interesting things to cook and eat. A semester abroad spent in Utrecht, Netherlands as well as frequent travel throughout Europe has only expanded his interest in meeting new people to share stories and experiences.

His interests include dijon mustard, box socials and 1920s New Orleans jazz brass bands. He has often heard comparisons that he looks like Henrik Zetterberg but with better hair. For the European Culture Magazine, Adrian traveled to Rome to take an in-depth look at the cultural battle underway and how tradition has clashed against its future.

Meredith Gillies Copy Editor

Meredith Gillies is a 21 year old Jeopardy! fanatic who dabbles in journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. Basic necessities in life for Meredith are oversized T-shirts, grilled cheese sandwiches and swimming. In Toronto she enjoys eating homemade meals with her roommates, indulging in dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream and sporadically breaking out in song and dance. Her summers are spent in the west of Canada where she enjoys doing the cabin thing and wearing cowboy boots for ten days straight every summer. She is eternally in love with Harry Potter. By the time she’s 25 she hopes to own an English bulldog named Benedict and to be fluent in Spanish.

Sara Harowitz Copy Editor

Sara Harowitz is just happy to be here. Studying abroad, travelling Europe and meeting so many different people has taught her more than any classroom ever could. Since catching the travel bug, Sara has been to a variety of countries ranging from the UK to the Czech Republic. For this magazine she took her talents to Istanbul, Turkey where she immediately fell in love with the Blue Mosque and the delicious kebabs.

Sara hopes to one day be a good enough writer to make a living off of her work. Until then, she writes for Off the Map webzine, and has also contributed to such publications as Burner Magazine, The Province newspaper, Sticky Magazine, Zouch Magazine and andPOP.com. Some of her other interests include reading a good book, discovering new music, meeting awesome people, getting her groove on and telling bad jokes. Catch her on Twitter and Tumblr as sarowitz.

Taylor Dickie– Copy Editor

Taylor Dickie was born in Toronto and raised by television. When she is not gallivanting throughout Europe she attends Ryerson University where she studies journalism. Like many journalists, Taylor is interested in most things, including but not limited to: peanut butter, tea, professional sporting events, Stephen Colbert, Kinder Surprises, documentaries narrated by Morgan Freeman, and the Antiques Roadshow.



Raquel Boto Lázaro – Reporter

Born in Madrid in 1986, Raquel studied journalism in the Spanish capital and a Master’s degree specialization in radio and television. She has work in the most popular and important Spanish news agency, EFE. Nowadays she is living in the Netherlands and she is still studying in the Hogeschool Utrecht a course focused in European Culture and European Journalism.

Raquel is extroverted, friendly and fun. She has worked in all kind of jobs like administrative assistant, waitress and editor in several newspapers and media but her passion is photojournalism. She loves photography and travels around the world with her camera. Actually she has been in more than 25 countries portraying the most curious and unknown places.

In her free time, often very limited, she usually goes to the swimming pool because she practiced this sport when she was little in a professional way. She also follows tennis because Rafael Nadal is her idol, currently he is the number one. She enjoys reading books on Sundays and go to the cinema with her friends.

Sandra Castresana Bausela – Reporter

When Sandra Castresana started in journalism, she only had one thing clear: being a reporter abroad. Probably that’s why she decided to leave her native Basque Country to study in the Netherlands a course about European Culture and European Journalism.

She loves travelling, meeting new cultures, new countries and new people. Sandra’s motto is “learning from the other will make you grow up”, something that she has confirmed with this Dutch adventure.

Coming from the south of Europe, she always had the idea of travelling to the other end of the Old World. And the Swedish city of Göteborg appeared suddenly in front of her as a perfect destiny to visit and make it known for the readers through her writings how culture is one of the driving forces of the city.

Sandra will finish her degree in Audiovisual Communication in summer of 2011, so she is already thinking about her next stop somewhere around the world.

Tamara Evers – Reporter

Tamara Evers was born in February 1988 and lived most of her life in a little Dutch village called Heiloo. Ever since she was a child she spent a lot of time writing.
She started to study journalism in 2006. It didn’t take her long to decide that she wanted to start a career in the printed press.

At the age of sixteen she started to write her own monthly column for a local newspaper, followed by a job at the national newspaper De Telegraaf two years later.
She took an internship at the entertainment section of the Metro, where she wrote mostly about musicals, theater and movies. Another of her passions is traveling, since January 2011 she writes for the travel section of De Telegraaf. She’s Specifically interested in Spain and South America.

During her stay in Madrid for this webmagazine she did research on the positive effects the crisis has on culture and she asked herself the question how important religious backgrounds of Catholic events are nowadays.

Ane Fernandez Aranburu – Reporter

Ane was born 22 years ago in The Basque Country. Many people think she says “The Best Country,” which also works for her. She lives in San Sebastian, and is completing a degree in audiovisual communication in Bilbao. She is in her last year of university, so she’ll soon be in the hands of destiny.

What is certain for the moment is that she will enjoy the summer as much as she has enjoyed her stay in the Netherlands. She loves visiting new places and meeting people from different nationalities. That’s why this experience has been so good for her and she recommends it to everyone. She also likes going to the cinema and theatre, spending hours on the beach and watching and practicing all kind of sports. And of course, she loves being with her friends, chatting and wasting time; she can’t think of a better time than this.

For her trip to a European city, she chose London, since it is the city holding the Olympic Games in 2012. For Ane an event that mixed art and sport was a good topic to write about, so the Cultural Olympiad was a perfect match. She had busy days in the English capital, but she learned a lot about journalism skills, which for sure will be very useful for her in the future.

Her dream is to work in and area related to culture, arts or the media. So let’s see what happens! For the moment, she is going back home. Needless to say  everybody is more than welcome to visit her in The Basque Country, and she promises to show you the best of it. It will be a pleasure.

Minttu Hahtola – Reporter

Minttu Hahtola is a 26-year-old journalism student from Finland. She is studying at the University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki. Minttu’s major is radio and television. She has gained some experience as a news reporter for a radio station The Voice and writing for a web magazine Tasa.fi. Next winter, she intends to do an internship with the public-broadcasting company and will finish her degree.

For Minttu, the ECEJ programme was not only a chance to explore the world but also to think about what she wants out of her life. Although this was her first time living abroad, she believes it won’t be her last. Working abroad could be her next target. The ECEJ programme has been interesting and challenging at the same time.

Minttu reported from Antwerp, Belgium for the programme. The city is known for its fashion, diamonds and Flemish artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck. Instead of traditional art, she decided to explore Antwerp’s graffiti scene.

The young journalist is also a runner. She has already run the half-marathon a few times and completing the full-marathon is her next goal. Like many other Finns, she loves to spend time at the summer cottage with her family.

Helena Hyvönen – Reporter

An open suitcase lies on the floor, half packed. It has not been completely unpacked since January, and it will not be for a long time. The suitcase belongs to a young journalist, Helena Hyvönen, who left her home country almost six months ago.

Hyvönen stepped into journalism about nine years ago; when she was 16 she started writing for a local paper. After few years she upgraded to provincial paper and eventually ended up writing for the biggest papers in Finland.

The idea about leaving Finland and freelancing all over the world originated few years ago. Finally January 2011 she decided to take action. She moved to the Netherlands to participate in an international journalism program and has been travelling the whole time, writing stories and planning new trips. For her journalism is more than a job; it’s her passion.

Now that the semester in the Netherlands is coming to an end, Hyvönen is headed to Latin America as a travelling journalist.

Soo Jung Kim – Reporter

SooJung Kim is from South Korea that has political problems such as division so she has become interested in international affairs. When she was a freshman she joined the International Politics Institute and learned basic knowledge of politics. Two years ago when conflict between government and people  reached the peak she attended lots of demonstrations as a university student with fellow students to fight against injustices and at that time she realized the importance of media. Almost every media was politically biased so demonstration for justice could not be delivered to people well. So she selected communication and journalism as her major.

But as time goes by SooJung wanted to have world experiences outside of the classroom. Therefore she decided to go to abroad as an exchange student. Now she is a student of European Culture and European Journalism at the Hogeschool in Utrecht, the Netherlands, experiencing various people and cultures.

Every moment as an exchange student is valuable to her and as a young journalist her reporting trip in Rome, Italy, was a  remarkable experience. She met a lot of nice people and got information about not only topics but also their culture, lifestyle and careers. This experience will be the foundation of her career and support her hope of becoming a real journalist.

Samantha Kopp – Reporter

Samantha is a student of communication and mass media science in Munich, doing her minor in politics. After having lived abroad in England, Australia and New Zealand, the ECEJ programme brought her to the Netherlands where she could combine her love for travelling and writing.

She wanted to experience the world of travel journalism after having worked for a German golf magazine, and Dublin seemed to be the right place to start her journey. With its many pubs, interesting art exhibitions and interactive gay theatre she immediately took the city to her heart.

Nevertheless, she definitely prefers Utrecht as her exchange base and fully enjoys her life here. Having met so many interesting people from all over the world, she will always remember her time in this enchanting Dutch city. Back in Germany, Samantha will finish the final year of her studies for her Bachelor’s degree in July 2012. Though she doesn’t really know what she wants to do after graduation, she is sure to find her way somewhere on this little planet.

Kim Oroschin – Reporter

Kim Oroschin is a student of journalism at the University of Applied Science in Utrecht. When she graduates, she wants to be a travel journalist. To her it sounds perfect to travel the world to find new cultures, new traditions to write about. Next to that, she wants to freelance for magazines to write about several things, like fashion, design and culture.

In the programme European Culture and European Journalism she learned to write stories abroad, as a starting point for her future. During the course she also met new people, with different interests and different views; something that she found very interesting. Besides her studies, Kim likes to write, dance, listen to music and go to the beach; the most interesting and inspirational place, because it always changes, but never disappears.

Álvaro Oyanguren Aparicio– Reporter

Álvaro has a long history of doing internships in different media: newspapers, digital media, press offices, radio. After finishing his studies in Universidad Cardenal Herrera of Valencia, his next challenge is to work in television and find international internships in The Netherlands or other European countries. The recent graduate has been bumped into an abyss, having finished college and not knowing what the future holds. His stay in Holland has helped him to discover himself better and know how to live in a different environment with another language, another culture and another reality. During these five months Alvaro has learned to cope with his weaknesses and develop his strengths.

Álvaro’s trip to Poland showed him that despite being in a strange country you can feel at home. He was welcomed by people who shared with him their views to build up his article. Wroclaw opened its heart to him, showing a lively city full of culture, youth, with streets that speak of a past that recalls its communist era, a present that goes ahead without being affected by the severe financial crisis plaguing the West, and a promising future as “European Capital of Culture” in 2016.

Ksenia Rovinskaya – Reporter

Ksenia Rovinskaya is a 25-year-old journalist from Moscow. She studied linguistics in Lomonosov Moscow State University and graduated in 2007. She worked on the Russian website Snob.ru, dedicated to last developments in world culture, politics and science. She made interviews, took comments and developed discussions online with successful Russian professionals all over the world.

Ksenia wanted to experience living abroad, and she decided to join the group of international students here in Utrecht. She speaks Dutch, so the Netherlands was the only opportunity for consideration. She has chosen this program to improve her knowledge of international journalism and share ideas and approaches with young journalists from across the globe.

For her field trip, Ksenia chose Portugal which always interested her a lot. As a main subject for the articles she took fado and went to Lisbon to discover it. She visited small cosy fado houses, listened to different types of fado and tried to understand what’s happening in a fado world. She also made an interview with a Brazilian researcher of fado living in Lisbon and investigated a new musical project of the main cultural centre of Lisbon which is aimed at a young audience.

Diana Schlaak – Reporter

Typing up her first Teddy stories at the age of five, Diana Schlaak detected her interest in writing very early. Therefore she decided in 2009 to study Communications and Marketing at the International School of Management in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. During her studies and two internships she learned how to write press releases and PR texts for different events or companies. To enlarge her reporting skills as well, she came to the Netherlands and joined the European Culture and European Journalism programme.

Speaking German, English, French and now also a little bit of Dutch, she went to the multicultural Marseille to do the research and travel project. From there she brought three articles about the great urban renewal project being realized in the metropolis, the alternative cultural scene of the city and DJ music made in Marseille. In summer 2012 Diana Schlaak will receive her Bachelor degree and is planning to join then an international Master program in the Netherlands, Germany or France.

Laurens van Hove – Reporter

Patience, hard work, perseverance: all great journalistic qualities…that Laurens unfortunately lacks. He doesn’t always think before he speaks, but he always has something to say. Some might think he’s stuck-up, but he’s really a kind-hearted guy. Sometimes he doesn’t say much, but other times he’s like a broken record that just keeps on going. These characteristics can make him hard to deal with, but they also make him an interesting person.

During his trip to Glasgow he met a lot of people that shared similar interests in music, lifestyle and subculture. The city itself is also very interesting because it is one of many dualities. The old and the new, the underground and the mainstream, the regulations and the rebellion. The hardest things to get used to were probably the beer and the food. Nevertheless, both were appreciated.

Glasgow made a big impact on Laurens, partly because of a local alcoholic beverage called “Buckfast,” but also because of the whole regeneration of the city. The old industrial area along the Clyde riverbanks that is being completely renewed made a huge impression on him. He took over 200 pictures that led into a nice photo series. Now back at home, he misses his Glaswegian friends and is most likely going back soon for a second visit. Cheers!

About the Author

Jenny Ford is a Canadian journalism student in her fourth year at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She’s contributed to publications such as the Winnipeg Free Press, the Ottawa Citizen online, Smart Careers magazine and produced radio broadcasts for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Jenny is an avid writer, traveler and history buff. → About us.