Geosciences Lecturer Award Winners 2021: Ilse van Liempt and Anna Smits

On Thursday, May 12, the winners of the Teacher Awards were announced. Ilse van Liempt, lecturer in Human Geography and Spatial Planning, won the prize Lecturer of the Year. Anna Smits, also lecturer in Human Geography and Spatial Planning, received the prize Lecturer Talent of the Year. The winners receive a cheque of 1,500 euros to spend on work-related expenses such as a study trip or books. The jury chose these lecturers as winners because of their visions on education and degree of educational innovation. What stood out for both of them was their broad teaching experience and commitment to their students. Congratulations!

Winner Lecturer of the Year: Ilse van Liempt (HGSP)

Ilse van Liempt

Ilse is constantly innovating in her courses to keep her students involved in the material. She makes her lectures even more interesting by always drawing links to real-world applications. One of Ilse’s unique characteristics is that she stays involved with many of her students from the start of their studies to the end, because she teaches both Bachelor’s and Master’s courses. That allows Ilse to form a bond with her students and watch them grow over the years.

Laudatio Ilse van Liempt

Jury member and student Loes van der Woerdt: Not only Ilse’s extensive teaching experience impressed the jury, but also her educational innovations. Her students also noted that Ilse keeps her lectures and tutorials interesting by constantly looking for the link with the world outside the university. One of Ilse's special qualities is that she remains involved with many students from the beginning to the end of their studies. She is approachable and succeeds in building a good relationship with the students. Student well-being is very important to Ilse. Ilse's drive and enthusiasm stimulates not only her students, but also her colleagues. Her high degree of collegiality and inexhaustible pursuit of excellent teamwork helps foster pleasant and productive interaction between teachers. This is obviously also very good for the quality of our education, as can be observed in her leadership role in the renewal of the research master.

Winner Lecturer Talent of the Year: Anna Smits (HGSP)

portret van anna smits
Anna Smits

Anna creates a varied curriculum to enable every student to bring out the best in themselves. Her lectures are full of different elements: from a debate to an online quiz or a creative assignment that students are free to design themselves. That variation gives every student energy and the opportunity to learn in the manner best suited to them. Anna is highly involved in the study programme, for example as a member of the study programme committee and several education pilot projects.

Laudatio Anna Smits

Dean Wilco Hazeleger: According to the students, this teacher talent always goes a few steps further than ‘just’ teaching. Anna links activating teaching methods to current developments in society, especially in the field of migration, the living environment and sustainable development. She discusses with students that research is not about collecting knowledge, but about creating knowledge together so that the target group and society can benefit from the research. Anna helps her students to gain more confidence in their own abilities by learning with and from each other. By making mistakes, and experiencing that it is okay to make mistakes. She hopes that this confidence also contributes to their mental well-being. Anna has contributed a lot to educational innovation in the department. She is extremely enthusiastic and actively involved in conversations about, for example, new forms of education or people who inspire your education. And the empathy she has for her students, she also has for her direct colleagues.