One of the highlights of the annual Opening of the Academic Year of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies is the election of Lecturer of the Year by the students of the Faculty. This year, the title went to Dr Méadhbh McIvor, Assistant Professor in Religion, Law and Human Rights.
Representing the student committee, Marieke Klijnstra announced the winner of this year’s contest during the joint Opening of the Academic Year of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen (UG) and the Protestant Theological University (PThU). The students chose Dr McIvor for her creative and inspiring teaching style.
The first round of voting resulted in three nominees: Dr Brenda Mathijssen, Dr Susanne Luther and Dr Méadhbh McIvor, all of them relatively new to the Faculty. They were then interviewed by a committee of four students and observed during their lectures, where possible. The three candidates were assessed according to various criteria set by the UG. Since all of the students described all three candidates as dedicated teachers who go beyond the call of duty for their students, the committee had a very difficult task in selecting a winner.
In the end, Dr Méadhbh McIvor was proclaimed the victor. She has been teaching at the Faculty since 2017. In this relatively short time, she has made herself very popular, thanks to her ability to “make the strange familiar and the familiar strange”. She lets her students ask and formulate questions and knows how to awaken “cross-cultural curiosity” in her classes. It became very clear to the jury that she is an extremely inspiring teacher. Her course units are well structured and she draws on a creative range of examples to challenge the students and engender discussion. She creates an open atmosphere in the classroom, making it is easier for students to participate and derive maximum benefit from her course units. These are just some of the reasons why she was elected Lecturer of the Year!
The main topic of the joint opening of the academic year of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and the Protestant Theological University (PThU) was the health and wellbeing of people living in the Groningen earthquake zone. Dr Hanneke Muthert is a researcher of the spiritual care needs of people impacted by disasters, including those living in the Groningen earthquake zone. She gave a presentation about how she and her colleagues focus on the resilience of the inhabitants of the earthquake zone and the reflexive legal capacity of institutions and experts.
Special guest lecturer, King’s Commissioner René Paas, was awarded an earthquake pin made by a goldsmith in Zeerijp.
As winner of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies’ Lecturer of the Year elections 2019, Dr Méadhbh McIvor will represent the Faculty at the thirteenth election of the UG Lecturer of the Year in 2020. Previous Lecturer of the Year winners at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies are:
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