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Honours Academy Star awarded to Jan Sleutels

The third Honours Academy Star was awarded to Jan Sleutels during the opening ceremony of the academic year of the Honours Academy on Tuesday 6 October. Sleutels is a lecturer in the Honours College Humanities Lab of the Faculty of Humanities and coordinator of the Pre-University College.

This Honours Academy Star is awarded annually to a lecturer or student who has made an outstanding contribution to honours education.

This year the selection committee, partially guided by recommendations from colleagues and students, chose a lecturer who hsl been involved with several of our honours programmes for years: in the Pre-University College and LAPP-Top (for high school students), as well as in the Honours College. Colleagues have described Jan as someone with infectious enthusiasm, both for honours education and for life in general. Jan seemed very surprised by these compliments, as well as by the award. In his own words: ‘Right now I can’t think of anything to say, and that’s a terrible thing when you’re a philosopher. Philosophers always have something to say about everything.’

“We are going to DO this!”

His students say that they have never come across anyone so capable of presenting philosophical concepts with such passion and simplicity and– a huge compliment for a lecturer – that no one was ever bored during one of Sleutels’ courses.

Jan Sleutels is often the first to give a 100% for new projects (“We are going to DO this!”), and the same could be seen at the Humanities Lab. He is always working to  breathe new vigour into his courses. His colleagues describe him as involved, interested in his students, and critical. His creativity is expressed in an original approach to layout and design.

The Honours Academy Star

The symbolic HA Star actually comes with two prizes: a star will be named after the winner, and he or she can also make a wish that will be granted. The wish should revolve around the honours programmes and the honours community of Leiden University. It could, for instance, be about developing new courses, setting up an online network platform, or hosting an inspirational event for honours students.

The two previous Honours Academy Stars were won by HC student Yentl Croese, for her initiative to found the Honours Concert, and by Marian Verhallen, HC coordinator at the Faculty of Social Sciences and teaching coach at the LLP.

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