The Faculty Club of ... Nieske Vergunst

In this section, our members tell something about themselves and why they are members of the Faculty Club. Nieske Vergunst is press officer and communications advisor at the Faculty of Science and public engagement researcher at the Freudenthal Institute and the Centre for Science and Culture.

De Faculty Club van Nieske Vergunst

Why am I a member? I ended up in the Faculty Club once via the Young OBP Network: actually a bonus during a Young OBP meeting. My image was of a club of prominent professors, but it turned out to be a very relaxed place to come and meet new people.

The Faculty Club is a relaxed place to meet new people. We all have a link to the same organisation and that makes it easy to get in touch.

One of my first activities was a whiskey tasting and I got to talk to researchers from a completely different part of the UU. We are all different people, but all have a link to the same organisation and that makes it easy to get in touch. It's really different from being in a pub. I have been a member of the Faculty Club since 2017.

What do you do in daily life?

I have been a press officer and communications advisor at the Faculty of Science for over 6.5 years. I mainly deal with science communication. The breadth of my job makes it fun: one day I am dealing with nanoparticles and the next with climate change. I mainly try to make a link between scientists and the outside world. Sometimes this is through a newsletter and sometimes through contact with journalists: this can be different every time. And as of 1 March, I will be moving into a research position for half of my working hours. I will be doing research into the impact of public engagement on different target groups. I am really looking forward to that!  

Nicest memory of the Faculty Club?

Winning the online Escaperoom and having drinks at the fireplace with my team mates! It was so nice to see each other again on location in a safe and trusted environment. It was nice to be away from home for a while, but not completely out of it in a pub with all sorts of strangers.  

What are you looking forward to the most?

Just physical activities again! Being able to have social drinks here again: precisely because it is so easy to talk to new people. You belong together as staff and alumni anyway and it is just so much fun to meet new people: that has not happened enough in the past two years. Hopefully we will be able to walk around freely again and you will no longer have to sit down because of all kinds of measures.

Any suggestions for activities for the Faculty Club?

Definitely something with the arts! The online activities have been fun, but now it is time for physical activities again. I am looking forward to the musical Happy Hours: there are so many UU graduates with a musical background. It would be nice to organise a Christmas carol singing workshop or a band night, for example. Music binds! Or a poetry workshop? It is just so much fun to find out about the creative sides of colleagues and to show what you can do.