Sonja El Yandouzi: "Three reasons why I work at the Faculty of Science"

My mission is to inspire my students and make teaching more inclusive. I have found my path and I learned so much about education and about myself these four years. My name is Sonja el Yandouzi, and I have been working for 4 years now as a teacher at the Faculty of Science of Utrecht University.

Portretfoto Sonja El Yandouzi

Before I switched to the Faculty of Science, I was a clinical trial pharmacist and supervisor for 12 years with a wonderful team at UMC Utrecht. During the weekends I was also a teacher at the University of Applied Sciences. Meanwhile, I was invited a couple of times a year by Utrecht University  to give expert lectures for students in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences.

What are you working on at the Faculty of Science?

I have been working for 4 years as a lecturer at the Faculty of Science department of Pharmaceutical Science now. Based on my expertise in clinical trials, I developed several lectures and case-based learning sessions for the bachelor course Research of Medicine. I also taught different other pharmacy and drug innovation courses. What I am most proud of is the course Intercultural Communication in Healthcare, for which Marie Rose Blokzijl and me received the Westerdijk award, the annual Faculty of Science’s EDI price. This course is meant for all UU students in Life Sciences to make them more aware of their intercultural competences. Students learn how to reflect on their own culture, to discuss different cultural topics and to do research in this field.

I am also a tutor and do coach a lot of students during their thesis. The connection with students and their stories is important. I value them all and it makes me want to fight harder to make the academic world better in the near future. My mantra is: ‘Be who you needed, when you were younger’.
In addition to this, my focus is on becoming a trainer in different communication and leadership courses for bachelor’s and master’s Pharmacy students.
Last but not least, I inherited the workshop Inclusive Teaching for teachers and PhD students, which was developed by Prof. Dr. Arthur Bakker.

What makes you feel you belong here?

I am happy I made the switch to this job. I am proud of being a part of the Division Pharmacoepidemiology & Clinical Pharmacology within the department of Pharmaceutical Science. This wonderful division offers me my kind of people as colleagues, a safe and positive atmosphere and also opportunities aligning with my mission and talents. I also earned my University Teaching Qualification  last year. And there is so much more to learn, so I’ll probably aim for the Senior Teaching Qualification as well.

What do you like about working here?

Because of being recognised for my talents and being valued as a teacher and colleague, I can totally be me. I could not wish for more. I find joy in teaching and fundamentally connect with people. I thrive to make a positive impact on my colleagues and students.