On Tuesday, 4 September the Dean officially opened the new academic year at the Faculty of Science. During the ceremony the diversity committee also revealed this year’s Westerdijk Award winner: Assistant Professor in Information and Computing Science Anja Volk.
“Anja Volk was nominated by four different people”, says the diversity committee. “She is deeply appreciated because she is very passionate about diversity and inclusion. These topics come up in everyday discussions in the workplace. Volk has also formally established the Women in Information and Computing Science network (WICS). This network was founded in 2017 and is very active in organising events that stimulate more diversity and inclusion within the department and in applying for funding to finance these events.”
“The winner was also an initiator of the departmental leadership discussion”, the committee continues. “One of the central outcomes was that many members of the department wanted more diverse leadership. The work on this topic continued in a taskforce that developed concrete recommendations for the department board, where Volk was again a major contributor. Last but not least, the winner was also the initiator of a female international network: the WIMIR (International Women in Music Information Retrieval).”
The Westerdijk Award is awarded to employees in recognition of their efforts to create a more diverse organisation. The faculty staff can submit nominees for the prize. The diversity committee judges the nominations.