UCF student Helena Nielsen has received a GUF award of EUR 2500,- for her outstanding performance as a student Global Responsibility & Leadership. Helena's pitch stood out for the clear explanation that she gave of the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach, particularly when tackling complex problems.
Her comprehensive, extremely well-written letter of motivation clearly showed that Helena is not driven by achieving good marks (which she does anyway), but by her ambitions for preserving nature and taking care of our planet. She tailored her Bachelor’s degree programme in Global Responsibility & Leadership (with a double Major in Responsible Governance and Environment Sciences and a Minor in Development Studies) to put some of her ideals into practice. Her plan to take a joint Master’s degree in Geography of Environmental Risk and Human Security is a natural next step along this path, which she hopes will culminate in a PhD research project.
During her Bachelor’s research placement at the Global Center for Adaptation, Helena helped with the preparations for the Global Adaptation Summit 2021 and with the design for the Youth Adaptation Network. A planned exchange placement with the University of Tokyo was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Helena found a good alternative in the above-mentioned Minor at the Faculty of Arts. In her letter, she explains how this introduced her to new ideas about economic development and sustainability.
Being one of the first students to attend Campus Fryslân in September 2018, Helena was in a unique position of not only following a new degree programme, but also helping to flesh out both the programme and the new Faculty. Together with a few other students, she started the student council, which, in the summer of 2020, became the Nobis Cura Futuri study association. Helena has not only been an active member of various UG committees in Leeuwarden and Groningen (at the Green Office during her Minor in the Faculty of Arts), but has also sat on several committees outside the University. She has filled two student assistant posts, in which she not only taught students but also helped to shape Faculty policy. There is no doubt that this helped her to develop into an excellent student with a multidisciplinary focus. Helena Nielsen is part of the class 2021 and graduated cum laude, during the graduation ceremony she impressed the attendants with a great valedictorian speech, which came straight out of her heart.
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