In true tradition, the result of the Lecturer of the Year 2018 election was announced during the Faculty’s own opening of the academic year on Wednesday 5 September. This year, it was Dr Andrew Irving's turn to claim victory.
Laura Rolsma made the announcement on behalf of the student committee during the opening of the academic year of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies on 5 September 2018. Dr Irving was elected by students in the Faculty because of his ability to motivate students to be not only better students, but also better persons. He grabs students’ attention by the various creative teaching methods. In addition, students are motivated by his endless enthusiasm and personal interest in students to find a way to relate their interest to the discussed subjects.
During the first round of voting, the lecturers Dr Andrew Irving, Dr Joram Tarusarira and Dr Jason Zurawski won the most votes from the students of Theology and Religious Studies. They were then interviewed by a committee of four students and if possible, observed during their lectures. The three candidates were assessed according to various criteria set by the UG. Dr. Irving topped the tables in the second round.
Students are motivated by Irving to actively take part and explore the material in various ways. Irving uses all sorts of assignments, excursions and teaching strategies to engage students with the material and theory during the courses. One of many examples is the calligraphy lesson in a course about how medieval scriptures are made to make students understand how medieval texts were made and what techniques are possible or not. Furthermore, he activates students to explore the topic of their interest by the many extra articles, movies, blogposts and events related to the subjects discussed in class that Irving informs (interested) students about.
He tries to be a coach to students instead of just a lecturer who teaches theories. In his view, the best way to do this is by approaching the student in a holistic way. This means that he also tries to help students with course, study or field related questions. As a result Irving creates an open and safe environment during the lectures and is very approachable after the lectures.
But this award ceremony was not the only special event that took place during the opening of the academic year in the Doopsgezinde Kerk. The joint opening of the academic year for the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and the Protestant Theological University (PThU) also had a special guest: Mrs. Barbara Joziasse, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. She gave a lecture about the role of religion in the workl of a Dutch diplomat. Also present was Sofia Manouki, MA student in Religion, Conflict, and Globalization to recite a poem. She is appointed as the first international poet-in-residence of the University of Groningen.
As winner of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies’ Lecturer of the Year elections 2018, Dr Andrew Irving will represent the Faculty at the twelth election of the UG Lecturer of the Year 2019. Previous Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Lecturer of the Year winners were:
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As part of the 2019 Musica Sacra Festival in Maastricht, the University of Groningen’s Centre for Religion and Heritage is hosting an international symposium on music and religious exile on Thursday, September 19.