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New IB student member Pablo wants to engage students more closely with the institute

Pablo Pandocchi succeeds Thirza van ‘t Rood as the student member of the Institute Board for the next academic year. The Institute Board is responsible for all matters concerning the Institute, from education to research in the field of anthropology and sociology. Pablo and Thirza interviewed each other about past experiences with the IB and expectations for the next period.

Pablo, what are you looking forward to in the coming year?

“Last year I enjoyed working in the Programme Committee, and I found myself being invested when using my energy to stimulate student participation in our programme. I am therefore looking forward to being able to use more of my time to bring student input to the institute and working in an environment I found myself to like a lot.”

Thirza, what was your experience in the IB like?

“It was a new experience for me: I got more used to dealing with policy-related things, decision-making and yes, also bureaucracy. I learned what working at our University is like. Even though I enjoyed many parts of it, I realized that being part of a board is not my kind of thing. For this position to be effective it was necessary to have an amount of assertiveness that I couldn’t always meet - but I enjoyed doing my part in furthering student participation and wellbeing.”

New IB student-member Pablo Pandocchi

Thirza, what were your goals and what do you think still needs to be done?

“At first I wanted to focus on ensuring a safe space for students who might find it difficult to participate in the CADS community, not only academically, but also socially and when it comes to giving input to the institute. I must admit that constantly dealing with and learning about the difficulties faced by individual students and students as a group made me feel a bit downhearted and sad. At the same time, I encountered a lot of positive experiences, which was inspiring. I think it’s important to make both these aspects of student life visible to bring students as well as the institute together and support one another.”

Pablo, What are your intentions for the coming year?

“I value direct participation and discussions among students a lot over other, less involved and more institutionalized forms of gathering input. The plenary discussion student initiative (Town Hall) I helped organize last year has, in my opinion, a lot of potential in making students feel more actively involved and empowered in our academic community. However, I do realize that this approach might favor more proactive students over more reserved ones. This is why I want to also continue with Thirza’s efforts to value every single voice.”

Thirza and Pablo interviewing each other

Pablo, What are you going to do alongside the IB?

“I am going to follow my second year of CADS and I am looking forward to the courses of the People Planet Power track. I am also going to follow a couple of Dutch courses because I might spend a few more years in the Netherlands after my graduation. Last year I organized many small-scale dinner parties in my apartment and I want to continue doing that, alongside movie nights hosting sessions for a reading club some friends and I started a few months ago. I also hope to start bouldering regularly again and draw more often than once every few months.”

Thirza, What are you going to do now that you’ve finished your studies at CADS?

“During these four years at CADS, I learned a lot about what interests me. I feel very much like an anthropologist at heart, but for now, I decided to focus on a different field; I am going to study forest and nature management at Hogeschool Van Hall Larenstein! Growing up next to an old forest I always felt compelled by the environment around me, and I wanted to feel a deeper connection to it through deeper understanding. In CADS I also developed a strong interest in medical anthropology, and I hope that in the future I can combine the two.”

Thirza and Pablo
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