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Impact Award and the Public Prize for English Academy for Newcomers

20 September 2022

Prof. dr. Marije Michel and dr. Seyit Gok won the Impact Award for staff and the Public Prize for their initiative English Academy for Newcomers. The Impact Award for students went to Max Halsema for the guide he made for the North Netherlands Police on crypto currencies.

Marije Michel and Seyit Gok started the English Academy for Newcomers in Groningen in January 2022 with the aim of helping newcomers with a refugee background with their academic integration through language education. Two groups of highly educated newcomers from Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe have now started English lessons, which are provided by volunteer teachers.

Jury chairman Riemke Scharff, head of communications at the Hunebedcentrum, praised this initiative for the direct impact it has on people's lives. The jury was also impressed by the publication Michel and Gok wrote, which contains concrete tools that can be used by others. The project also received the most votes from the public, and therefore also won the Public prize.

Volunteers wanted
In her acceptance speech, Michel addressed the volunteers, the teachers who provide the language lessons: "You are the ones who make the difference". She called on new volunteers to come forward. "It is incredibly fun work. Anyone can join in, even if you have no experience teaching language lessons." Those interested can apply via the EAN website.

Student category
In the student category, six students competed for the Impact Award. Max Halsema, who is pursuing a Master's degree in International Security, was declared the winner by the judges. He created a guide on crypto currency during his internship with the Financial Investigation Team of the North Netherlands Police. The jury was impressed by the societal impact of his work, as it can be used not only by the police, but also on a larger scale.

The jury
The jury judged the entries on impact, collaboration with a non-university partner and scientific quality. Besides jury chair Riemke Scharff, dr. Léonie de Jonge, Associate Professor of European Languages and Culture, Jelle Brouwer, PhD candidate and Ydwer Hoekstra, freelance professional in the heritage sector, were part of the jury.

About the Impact Awards
The Faculty Impact Awards are given to staff and students for research they conduct with partners outside the university that identifies social issues and helps improve situations. The winners of the Faculty Impact Awards receive a sum of 500 euros and a nomination for the University of Groningen Ben Feringa Impact Awards.

Prof. Marije Michel and dr. Seyit Gok, photo by Niels Brouwers
Prof. Marije Michel and dr. Seyit Gok, photo by Niels Brouwers
Last modified:10 January 2024 11.55 a.m.
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