Teacher of the Year: some new faces

As an exception to the rule, there are not five but six nominees for the Teacher of the Year Award this year. The student jury could not agree on the 5th person on the shortlist. There are a lot of new names on the list this year.
Linda van der Nat

Resource announced the names of the teachers nominated for University Fund Wageningen’s teaching prize last week. Interestingly, four teachers have been nominated who have never reached the top five before: Jessica Duncan, Henry van den Brand, Marleen Buizer and John Beijer. Gert Peek and Fritz Claassen have both won the prize before.

Jessica Duncan teaches in the Rural Sociology group. The jury commends her enthusiasm and boldness. Duncan is not afraid to take a new approach in her classes and she is always open to feedback, says the jury.

Henry van den Brand is associate professor at Animal Sciences and ‘extremely approachable’. He gives a lot of priority to education, the jury noted. Van den Brand marked exams over Christmas, for instance, so that students could have their grades within a few days.

Marleen Buizer works at Environmental Sciences. The jury describes her teaching style as ‘personal and highly inventive’. She motivates her students with interactive teaching methods, many of which she develops herself.

John Beijer is an aquatic ecologist, lauded by the jury for his personal and down-to-earth style, and his commitment to his students’ wellbeing. ‘He makes Wageningen Wageningen.’

Gert Peek, who teaches Soil Science, is no stranger to the Teacher of the Year Award. Students love his enthusiastic, energetic and personal approach to teaching. Frits Claassen, who has received the award before too, has gained a place on the shortlist again thanks to his distinctive teaching style. ‘Not modern, exactly, but certainly unique,’ says the jury.

The winner of the Teacher of the Year Award will be announced on 6 April. The prize consists of a replica of the statue of a teacher by Jan Praet (the original is in front of the Leeuwenborch), a certificate and the jury report. All the nominees also receive 2500 euros.

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