Header image for London Calling: Zeigler and Students Take on London for the 9th Summer

London Calling: Zeigler and Students Take on London for the 9th Summer

School of Communication professor Mark Zeigler has been teaching students the art of communication and speech for 22 years. In his 20 Questions Interview, Zeigler cited London as his favorite place he has traveled. For the past nine summers, he has shared that love with students through the London program.

This summer, a group of nine students arrived in London on May 3rd and soaked in beauty and culture until June 15th. The trip was co-lead by Dr. Sandy Halvorson, who teaches at FSU’s Panana City campus. During their six weeks abroad, students took two of three courses: Rhetoric of Didactic Literature, Contemporary Human Communication and Advanced Public Speaking. During the trip, students had five papers, speeches, an exam and a big presentation.

B&W Students
Summer A London Program Students

Students on the trip included Pete McClellan, Katie Reome, Andrew Ristad, Matt McMahon, Laura Obermeyer, Laura Jones, Janelle Johnston, Caitlin Peshek and Collin Wade.

BBC Studios
Students at the BBC

Students were regulars in the theater, seeing eight plays: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, Gypsy, The Audience, Death of a Salesman, Merchant of Venice, The Book of Mormon, Matilda, and The Elephant Man. Students toured the BBC studio, the National Theatre of London, the Imperial War Museum in addition to traveling through Liverpool and Wales.

“My favorite play was The Book of Mormon. I didn’t know much about that play going in, but Zeigler helped us all to see the underlying messages and themes throughout it, which made it all the more enjoyable to watch,” said Matt McMahon, upcoming senior in Digital Media Production.

After nearly a decade of the London program, Zeigler’s love for the city and students is unwavering.

“The best part of the trip was how well this group got along.  They became fast friends and were always doing things together, travels, plays, parks, markets…everything,” he shared.

“My favorite place wasn’t so much a single place, but we had this day where we toured the National Theatre in the morning, which was incredible, had a good lunch together as a class, and then went to the Imperial War Museum in the afternoon. That was easily one of my favorite days on the whole trip,” shared McMahon

Play tickets

Senior Janelle Johnston and Junior Katie Reome both cited Gypsy as their favorite play and admitted the group couldn’t stop singing the songs afterwards. In a stroke of luck, they were seated in the middle of the front row and were able to meet Imelda Staunton (Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter) after the show at the stage door.
“Professor Zeigler absolutely made the trip. He did a phenomenal job at balancing classwork and seeing London. The whole program would all get dinner before the plays so it was a really cool way to get to know him on a different level. He was able to get us in to some really awesome plays and to experience incredible things,” said Katie.

“Without him I don’t think I would have loved the trip as much as I did.”