These are the nominees for the Faculty Teaching Prize 2021
Every year, an outstanding lecturer receives the Faculty Teaching Prize. Lecturers are nominated by students and a jury decides who will receive the prize. The prize is awarded during the official opening of the academic year on 8 September. This year, students nominated four candidates. We spoke to the nominated lecturers about their nomination and their special way of teaching.
Anna Tummers, Art History
Anna Tummers: ‘It is very nice to see that the students appreciate my way of teaching! This nomination is a surprise for me, because I am a new teacher at the university. I think it is very important to build a bridge between theory and practice. I have more than fifteen years of experience in the museum world and now I try to use my knowledge, experience and network as much as possible to prepare students for the professional field. At the moment, the field is renewing itself; diversity and inclusion are very important. It is interesting to discuss this in the lecture hall and to bring students into contact with professionals from the museum field. Professionals like to share their knowledge with the next generation of art historians, but they are also interested in their fresh perspectives. That is why I organised 'Diversity Talks' last semester, with short presentations by well-known professionals followed by an extensive debate with the students. It was nice to see that there was a lot of enthusiasm for it among both lecturers and students, and that this ultimately resulted in this nomination.’
Kirsty Rolfe, English Language and Culture
Kirsty Rolfe: 'I really appreciate the nomination! I have only been working at the university since this year. I'd never taught online before this year and I was also used to a different education system (I used to work in the UK), so I was quite nervous about starting here. I am very passionate about teaching so it is great to hear that my students have enjoyed it too. Students have told me that they find the friendly atmosphere in my seminars special. I am aware of how isolating online study can be, so I have tried to make the seminars feel welcoming. This is often just a matter of giving us all space to talk about how our weeks have been, what our hopes and concerns are, and so on. The more comfortable and confident students feel, the better the class goes.'
Noa Schonmann, Middle Eastern Studies
Noa Schonmann: 'The past year has been difficult for everyone. For me, the switch to online teaching from home, with two young children running around, required a lot of extra time and thinking, and a whole lot of exhausting screen time. When I heard that my students had written a nomination letter together, I was overjoyed. I felt seen, and nothing is more rewarding. I could not have imagined that my students would reach beyond their screens and come together to express their appreciation in such a meaningful way. What makes teaching so special for me is the opportunity to design courses that give me the chance to learn together with my students. We work together on questions that I haven't quite figured out yet myself, so in a way, the classes are my intellectual playground.'
Dorie Nielen, Russian studies
Dorie Nielen: 'I wasn't expecting this nomination. At first I thought it was a spam mail, so it's a good thing I didn't move the message to the trash basket. I see the nomination as a token of appreciation for all the work that language teachers, including me, have done to make lessons accessible and appealing, even in corona times. I don't consider my lessons to be special; I just like my way of working like that. I try to make my lessons as creative and interactive as possible where I try to think from the position of the student who wants to learn something. That includes a safe learning environment and room to make mistakes.’
What is the Faculty Teaching Prize?
Each year, student associations and student representatives of programme committees can nominate lecturers for the Faculty Teaching Prize. After the nomination, a special jury visits lectures of the nominated lecturers and decides who is the best lecturer of the faculty.
More about the Faculty Teaching Prize (in Dutch)