Rwandan President Paul Kagame Pays Surprise Visit to Baruch College as mtvU "Stand In" Professor

-- Rwandan Leader Guest-Teaches "In Search of History" Course for Emmy-Nominated mtvU Series--

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Photo - Rwandan President Paul Kagame talks to Baruch students about the diffucllties of rebuilding the country following the Rwandan genocide.

President Paul Kagame talks to Baruch students about rebuilding Rwandan society in the aftermath of the genocide.

Photo: Reuters photographer Michael Segar

New York, NY – May 3, 2007 – mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, yesterday shocked students at Baruch College in New York City with a completely unexpected professor-for-the-day: Rwandan President Paul Kagame. In the latest installment of mtvU’s Emmy-nominated series “Stand In,” President Kagame – the current head of state of the Republic of Rwanda unexpectedly entered Professor Murray Rubinstein’s In Search of History class to serve as guest professor for the day. Prof. Rubinstein’s course examines how history is written, used, and sometimes misused, as well as the influence of history on contemporary culture. With the help of mtvU, Wednesday’s class offered students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a man who has played a pivotal role in shaping modern history.

As guest-teacher, President Kagame discussed how he and the country’s new leaders went about picking up the pieces after the Rwandan genocide, the country’s economic development, and the media’s portrayal of Rwanda, such as the film Hotel Rwanda, which he said plays an important role in exposing the plight of the Rwandan people but also runs the risk of being “an insult to the victims.” He also discussed how Rwanda is helping fight the “genocide in slow motion” taking place in the Darfur region of the Sudan, which has already claimed the lives of up to 400,000 people. This special episode of mtvU Stand In – premiering on mtvU.com May 16 at 7am ET and mtvU the same day at noon – is an extension of mtvU’s nearly three-year long, student-driven, Emmy-winning Sudan campaign, offering college students information and resources to help end the humanitarian crisis is Darfur.

As part of its ongoing student-led Sudan campaign, mtvU has surprised college classes around the country with Stand In professors, each of which has lent a unique perspective on the crisis – including Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, and just last week, Presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback. Over the last three years, the list of global icons and national public figures who have served as mtvU “Stand In” professors includes Nobel Laureate Shimon Peres, Madonna, Senator John McCain, Marilyn Manson, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Sting, Larry David, Cameron Diaz, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ashley Judd, Snoop Dogg and many more. “Stand In” has been recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was nominated for the first-ever Emmy honoring Outstanding Achievement in Content for Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms.

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Jason Rzepka, mtvU
212-654-7198, jason.rzepka@mtvstaff.com