Teaching Prize nominations are now in
Every year, an outstanding lecturer receives the Faculty Teaching Prize from the teaching committee. The prize is awarded during the official opening of the academic year on 7 September. This year, students nominated eight candidates.
Kim Beerden, History
‘My goal is to train students to become critical thinkers by challenging them during lectures and imparting my enthusiasm, in the hopes that they will want to dig deeper. I am also interested in new possibilities through which students can be engaged with the lecture outside the set contact hours by using ICT – that’s called blended learning. Our faculty has an online learning expertise centre that supports lecturers in the development of such aspects in their teaching. They also organise lunch meetings (‘lunchbytes’) where lecturers show how they use blended learning and ICT - very useful to hear how colleagues conduct their teaching.
Marion Boers, Art history
‘I feel honoured and deeply moved that the students nominated me for this prize. Good teaching is not only about transmitting knowledge, but also about imparting your enthusiasm. You have to be there for the students not only as you guide them throughout their academic development, but also stand by them in a period of their lives that is formative not only in an academic sense. This is the kind of lecturer I have always strived to be.’
Tony Foster, English
‘I am very happy and honoured to be nominated for the third time, although I don’t know why the students nominated me. It might be because we have a lot of fun together. I see myself primarily as an advanced student in my field, who wishes to infect my younger colleagues with my passion for the wonderful fields I have been entrusted to teach. At the end of their studies, it is truly wonderful to see how students enter the guild of translators, editors and teachers of English with a measure of self-confidence and the skills and knowledge they need in their fields.’
Pepita Hesselberth, Film and Literature Studies
'Two years ago I made the conscious decision to open a dialogue with the students regarding pressure to perform and result-driven thinking in order to create more space for autonomous critical thinking. That this decision is now bearing fruit in this way, is of course fantastic, and says at least as much about the students themselves as about my way of teaching. Giving a good lecture is never something you do alone. You need a whole group of passionate and enthusiastic students for that. It’s founded on a great team and a very strong educational programme, one that the faculty can be justifiably proud of.’
Ab de Jong, Religious Studies
‘I often give lectures on religions long ago or far away - usually both. We enter worlds that seem very different to our own: worlds in which people object to a cheeseburger, have something against the colour blue, or oppose walking on one shoe. Any attempt to understand these worlds inevitably leads to questions about how we perceive and interpret reality ourselves. What I am able to deduce from this nomination for the Faculty Teaching Prize - which surprised and moved me - is that I sometimes succeed in communicating that message.’
Simanique Moody, International Studies
'I think my students nominated me because I always look for ways to improve my teaching and get students more deeply engaged in the learning process. I enjoy interacting with students and finding ways to build on the diversity of learning styles and the unique perspectives they bring to the classroom. I encourage them to take an active role in their education both inside and outside the classroom and find ways to integrate their passions into the courses they take. I also try to get students to maximise their potential by taking advantage of a wide range of academic opportunities to help them develop both personally and professionally.'
Johan Rooryck, French
‘I am very surprised and happy with this nomination. In my teaching I try above all to teach my students step by step how to use the analytical tools provided so that they can get busy tackling linguistic problems themselves.
Rico Sneller, Philosophy
'What an honour to be nominated for the Faculty Teaching Prize! Something like this is more valuable to me than a Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) grant. Giving lectures is something I do with all my heart. I always prepare my teaching material very well beforehand, but I make sure that at least one question remains unresolved: it has to be resolved during the lecture (if at all).’
About the Teaching Prize
A teaching prize in the Humanities was awarded for exemplary teaching for the first time in 2011, on the initiative of the student members of the advisory committee on teaching. The Faculty Board backed this up with a monetary contribution of €1,000 for the winner. Since then, the prize has been awarded annually. The prize aims to both showcase and reward great teaching.