3 September 2018

Research into climate change and encouragement of eating vegetarian food win awards

Student Awards for Elizabeth Dirth and working group ‘Gewoon Vega’

During the opening of the Academic Year, Rector Magnificus Henk Kummeling presented the Student Awards. The Award for Exceptional Extracurricular Achievements goes to ‘Gewoon Vega’, a working group that devotes itself to letting the university community eat vegetarian food more often. The Award for Best Master's Thesis is won by Elizabeth Dirth, a student of Sustainable Development, and her research into climate change.

 

Best Master's Thesis Award
Elizabeth Dirth, winner of the Student Award for Best Master's Thesis. Photo by: Erik Kottier

Climate change affects current and future generations. Elizabeth investigated which institutional mechanisms are used all over the world and what their effects are. Her research shows that it is possible to guarantee the equality between generations by counteracting climate change.

The jury is impressed with the fact that Dirth has researched and studied in detail a big amount of data from ALL countries in the world. In their laudation (pdf), the jury indicates that it is exceptional that this enormous problem has not been looked at in this way before. The thesis stands out due to the systematic and clear approach, and the relevant conclusions. In her thesis, Dirth makes it crystal clear what does and does not work.

Exceptional Extracurricular Achievements Award
Working group 'Gewoon Vega', the winners of the Student Award for Exceptional Extracurricular Achievements. Photo by: Erik Kottier

The working group ‘Gewoon Vega’ consists of Natalie van Dis, Tiemen Wagenvoort, Maaike de Leeuw, Mardie Vermunt and Julia Ertl. These students of various degree programmes devote themselves in creative and positive ways to let the university community eat vegetarian food more often, with the goal of reducing the ecological footprint. They developed an attractive presentation of the vegetarian menu, combined with information dissemination. This approach led to the sale of significantly more vegetarian products, their research shows.

In their laudation (pdf), the jury indicates to be touched by the group's enthusiasm, resourcefulness, involvement and perseverance. The group shows other students how inspiring and activating studying can be. Research has shown that their approach has led to the sale of significantly more vegetarian products. The jury hopes for and actually counts on a continuation of this project.