Awards for students and lecturers at the VU New Year’s Gala 2019

VU lecturers and students were put in the limelight this afternoon with the presentation of the Van der Duijn Schouten Education award, the Teacher Talent Award, the Student Talent Award, the thesis awards and, for the first time, the Student Initiative Award.

01/25/2019 | 9:58 AM

The recipients
The Van der Duijn Schouten Education Award 2018 went to Ellen Bal, associate professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology. ACTA lecturer Beatriz Gimenez Gonzalez received the Teacher Talent Award. Joyce Sombroek, medical student and goalie of the Dutch women’s field hockey team, was presented with the Student Talent Award. Bachelor’s student Birgit Henrich and Master’s student Inken Kröger won the thesis awards.
The Student Initiative award was presented for the first time this year. The University Student Council nominated student initiatives that connect VU Amsterdam students with each other and with the university. The popular vote went to Zakaria Laaraj for his StudeerSamen (‘StudyTogether’) project.

Van der Duijn Schouten Education Award 2018
Ellen Bal received the award for senior lecturers who excel in teaching and who have given an impulse to the quality of education at our institution. In its report, the jury calls Ellen Bal exceptionally active, dedicated and creative when it comes to bolstering the quality of her programmes. Ellen is not only a lecturer, but has also been a Director of Studies for a number of years. She is known among her students as a strict teacher who demands a great deal from them; in return, she gives them her genuine attention, feedback and help as they develop their skills.  

Teacher Talent Award
The Teacher Talent Award goes to a talented lecturer who is relatively new to the practice of teaching. The theme of this year’s award was the teacher’s role in student self-development. Beatriz Gimenez Gonzalez lectures and teaches clinical courses in dentistry. Her teaching style is so personal and engaging that she is able to provide individual guidance to each of her students. The jury also praises her for motivating her students to think outside the box. Beatriz was also responsible for updating the 2nd- and 3rd-year Bachelor’s in Dentistry curriculum.


Award for the best Bachelor’s thesis
Science, Business and Innovation student Birgit Henrich received this year’s Bachelor’s thesis award for her thesis entitled An Entry Strategy into the Aircraft Industry. The jury was impressed by Birgit’s approach to business issues from the perspective of technology and physics, and by the way her thesis connects the various scientific fields in the Science, Business and Innovation programme.

Award for the best Master’s thesis
SBE student Inken Kröger won the Master’s thesis award for The Triangle of Life, Family and Career for Women in the Big Four. According to the jury, Inken took a unique social sciences approach to a relevant auditing problem. The jury report praises her thorough theoretical basis, exceptional data analysis and surprising insights.


Student Talent Award
Joyce Sombroek not only completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in medicine with high marks, but is also the goalkeeper of the Dutch women’s field hockey team. She also does volunteer work for charities and gives workshops and clinics (at VU Amsterdam and elsewhere).

Student Initiative Award
The University Student Council nominated student initiatives for this award. Zakaria Laaraj’s StudeerSamen (‘Study Together’) project won the popular vote. His initiative involves building a community where students help each other by studying together, establishing contact on an online platform. Watch his clip: https://vu.nl/nl/over-de-vu/organisatie-en-bestuur/medezeggenschapsorganen/universitaire-studentenraad/studentinitiatiefprijs/index.aspx

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