Bettina Reitz-Joosse Lecturer of the Year
‘This prize means a lot to me because it shows I am doing something right with my students. It shows that teaching is appreciated at this university. Not my teaching, but everyone’s teaching. This day and this prize should be a symbol that we appreciate all the fantastic work at this university’, she said.
The jury was unanimous: ‘There was one person who was very attractive to the audience. She made everyone listen to her, she made them discuss with one another and think critically.’ In addition, her students have also evaluated her highly and reported they love the way she brings the ancient world to their new world.
‘It felt fantastic!,’ Reitz-Joosse describes the moment she heard her name announced. ‘I was surprised and really touched! I believe there are many other lecturers who are doing better. Teaching partly comes with experience and I am quite young. I have only a few years of experience so I really look up to people like Jeanne Peijnenburg and Geurt Henk van Kooten who have so many years of teaching experience.’
She adds that the Award is important to her because it puts the small programme in which she teaches, Greek and Latin Languages and Culture, in the spotlights. ‘It shows that what we are doing is interesting and relevant for the larger university community.’
In her ten-minute talk Reitz-Joosse engaged the audience in a discussion about Virgil’s quote inscribed at the 9/11 Memorial Museum: ‘No day shall erase you from the memory of time.’ She shed light on the context of the quote and more precisely, that with ‘you’ Virgil actually refers to two characters from Book 9 of the Aeneid who have ambushed their enemies in their sleep and slaughtered them.
This fact changes the interpretation of the quote. Reitz-Joosse encouraged the audience to discuss in pairs if this context had changed their perception of the quote. And for the majority of them, it had.
The Lecturer of the Year puts teachers in the spotlight at least once a year. The nominees for the Award must have demonstrated excellent teaching and shown innovative ways of supporting their students in the learning process.
Reitz-Joosse received a prize of 5,000 euro, donated by the COWOG Fund, with which she can further invest in her education, for example in conferences, studies, student assistants, and the like, a sculpture by Joek van Draanen, and an invitation to develop and give a course for the Honours College.
The two runners-up – Prof. Jeanne Peijnenburg and Dr. Roland Chiu, received a prize of 2,500 euro each.