Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Ten nominees for the first faculty impact award

On Thursday January 23rd during the Faculty New Year’s meeting, dean Mark Rutgers will award the first faculty impact award to an employee whose educational or research efforts have succeeded in delivering a major social impact. The award comes with a gratuity of €1000.

The following persons or initiatives have been nominated for this award by colleagues:


Adrinka the game


Adrinka is a game which has been developed by a team of philosophers and linguists. The game lets players get familiar with African “high context culture” and is an exercise in intercultural communication.


Dr. Ahab Bdaiwi



Ahab Bdaiwi specializes in Islamic Philosophy. He regularly gets asked by the Ministery of Foreign Affairs to talk them through theological, ideological and political aspects of recent developments in the Middle-East. Foreign governments often ask him for advice as well. Furthermore, dr. Bdaiwi is very active on social media.


Dr. Christian Henderson

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor dr christian henderson


Christian Henderson is actively concerned with the climate crisis and energy transition. He organized the successful panel “The Political Ecology and Crisis and Revolt”, in which he brought together scientists, activists and professionals to exchange thoughts about new agri- and aquaculture projects in Egypt.



Dr. Joost Welten



To close the gap between academics and society Welten has written a scientific monograph which at the same time is a book for the public: De vergeten prinsessen van Thorn (1700 - 1794) In this book women play a major role. In order to reach a broad audience, he – in cooperation with Weert’s historical society - made a theatre production of the book presentation which has been performed in a sold out Munttheater in Weert.



Dr. Karen Smith

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor dr. karen smith


In 2018 dr. Karen Smith was appointed Special Advisor on Responsibility to Protect of the UN Secretary-General. In this role, besides her regular work as lecturer at the Institute for History, she flies around the world to advise policy makers at the highest level about “the responsibility to protect”.



Nathanja van den Heuvel



Nathanja van den Heuvel works on the development and implementation of the educational toolkit “Multiform”. This toolkit is deployed during regular PE classes of both primary and secondary education and offers students insight in an embodied way into the operation of social in- and exclusion. In the period between September 2019 and Juli 2020, Van den Heuvel has set up a pilotproject in cooperation with social design agency Studio Fontana, De Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie in Rotterdam, OBS Dakpark Rotterdam (primary school) and Het Lyceum Rotterdam (secondary school).


Dr. Paul van Trigt



Dr. Paul van Trigt is the standard-bearer of research on people with a disability. He advises on this subject on both national and academic levels. He also launched the website www.displace.nl , in which he, together with students and people with disabilities, archives and conceptualizes information on important themes. In this manner Van Trigt ensures that an important part of our history is preserved.



Dr. Sara Polak

As an expert on America, dr. Sara Polak is much wanted in the national media. Furthermore she remains active as fellow-founder and editor of the historical weblog Over de Muur (www.overdemuur.org ), where she has devoted herself to make scientific knowledge from historians more available to the general public. Polak also regularly advises fellow researchers in the humanities on interacting with journalists and how to best prepare for public appearances.


Dr. Suze Zijlstra



In 2019 Suze Zijlstra has done research for, and written, the book for the public “De Voormoeders” on her own European-Asian foremothers. The idea for her book came from a blogpost written for Over de Muur (www.overdemuur.org) the blog she founded begin 2017 with fellow-historians of various universities as a counterbalance to using “the” history for political means. Zijlstra has also been very active on Twitter, for example her long-term thread on Dutch history in international perspective.



Dr. Victoria Nyst



Dr. Victoria Nyst is devoted to sign language, primarily the one found in communities of deaf people in Africa. Dr. Nyst tries to work with deaf people as much as possible and encourages them to conduct their own research on sign language. This is also why in 2019 she organized the first summer school for deaf academics in Ghana.



This website uses cookies.  More information.