'DePaul Documentary Project' connects students to the international world of journalism
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 17:08
Mikhail Gorbachev, along with many other Nobel laureates, was in Chicago for the Peace Summit that was held April 23-25. The main objective of the summit was to connect the Nobel laureates with Chicago students. As interns with the DePaul Documentary Project, we were allowed to do just that and meet with the former president of the Soviet Union.
The DePaul Documentary Project, formed by the reporting/producing team of Carol Marin and Don Moseley, allows DePaul students the opportunity to assist with projects for NBC5 and the Chicago Sun-Times. As we all waited in the Lake Room on the third floor of the JW Marriott on 151 W. Adams, Gorbachev made his rounds with his guards and right-hand man, the translator. We met his translator, Pavel Palazchenko, first as we discussed the time allotted for the interview, as well as the former president’s charismatic personality and love for conversation. At this point, we started to feel the reality of it all. We were about to meet Mikhail Gorbachev.
Having received his Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for helping to end the Cold War through peaceful discourse and negotiations with the United States, Gorbachev has a wealth of knowledge to share. As he entered the room and made his rounds, we were unsure of whether or not to approach him. But he came to us and exclaimed that college is the greatest time of your life. We were in the presence of a legend and a part of something we both knew we would never forget.
“There are times that bring generations together, that join different generations in an effort to understand the past and to develop a future,” Gorbachev said with the help of a translator. “There is, of course, a dialogue between different generations.”
As he talked with Carol, we looked on in amazement, grateful for our internship and opportunities. As Pavel, Carol and Gorbachev continued the interview, we listened intently to the translation in which they mostly discussed politics from the U.S. to Afghanistan to Russia.
Knowing we were given the chance to meet a man of his importance, who not many people can say they have met, was the best part of the whole thing. Our morning with Mikhail Gorbachev was full of life and full of excitement. We still have much to learn, but now we’ve had our first meeting with an international political figure. This was a morning that we will never forget.