Prize winners during 41st Dies Natalis celebration at Maastricht University

As per tradition, the Wynand Wijnen Education Prize, the Dissertation Prize, and the Student Awards for the best master's and bachelor's theses were awarded during this year's Dies Natalis celebration. After the ceremony at Theater aan het Vrijthof, the winners were personally congratulated by German President Joachim Gauck, who received an honorary doctorate. Her Majesty Princess Beatrix was also in attendance as a special guest.

Wynand Wijnen Education Prize 2016

The Wynand Wijnen Education Prize is awarded annually in commemoration of the late professor of Educational Theory, Wynand Wijnen. In addition to being the founder of Problem-Based Learning at Maastricht University, Wijnen was celebrated for his numerous achievements in educational reform.

This year's prize was awarded to Dr Jeanette Hommes, who has worked for the Department of Education, Research and Development at the School of Business and Economics since 1991. Over the past twenty-five years, Dr Hommes has made a significant contribution to the further professionalisation of UM lecturers. The jury was impressed with the personal approach she takes in her guidance of new lecturers and her commitment to training, coaching, and development. 'Her dedication and involvement are exceptional,' according to the jury report.

 Watch the granting of the Wynand Wijnen Education Prize

Dies Natalis 2017

Dissertation Prize 2016

Each year, UM awards a prize for the best dissertation defended in that calendar year. Five dissertations were nominated by the faculty deans this year and the winner was Jess Bier with her dissertation titled, 'Mapping Israel, mapping Palestine'. Dr Bier examined how the segregated landscapes of Jerusalem and the West Bank influenced the way this region has been mapped since 1967. She studied how knowledge can change space and time, for example through urban planning and landscape management, and the development of international standards like time zones. According to the jury, this topic was researched in an entirely new and unique way. Much of her data was collected through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Israel and Palestine. Dr Bier currently works as an assistant professor of Urban Sociology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

 Watch the granting of the Dissertation Prize

Dies Natalis 2017

Best master's theses

The master's students who received top marks for their final thesis in 2016 were awarded with the Student Award 2016 during the academic ceremony. The winning master's students are:

Esther Schwich – Faculty of Health, Medicine and Health Sciences
'Characterization of the biological role of survivin in cellular senescence and ageing'

Sophie Joosten – Faculty of Health, Medicine and Health Sciences
'Identification of biomarkers that predict prognosis and response to sunitinib in renal cell carcinoma'

Leonor Vulpe Albari – Faculty of Law
'The Estrada Doctrine and Domestic Courts: How domestic courts determine the legitimate governmental authority in the absence of explicit recognition of governments, with a focus on English courts'

Marlene Meissner – School of Business and Economics
‘Following the herd: The influence of past eWOM on future rating and reviews'

Matthijs Korevaar – School of Business and Economics
'500 years of housing rents in European cities'

Marie-Theres Hess – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
'Smart grid: A smart solution: The adoption of the smart grid technology by the residential consumers in Germany'

Denise Petzold – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
'(Im)materiality in the museum: Shaping the lives of performance artworks through documentation'

Dennis Soemers – Faculty of Humanities and Sciences
'Enhancements for real-time Monte-Carlo tree search in general video game playing'

Pia Schröder – Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience
'Dynamic integration of early sensory areas supports perceptual awareness: An fMRI study on somatosensory target detection'

 Watch the granting of the Student Prizes

Dies Natalis 2017

Best bachelor’s theses

In the morning, the prizes for the best bachelor’s theses (or results of honours project for the bachelor in medicine) of 2016 were awarded. The winning students are:

Karin Koymans - bachelor Biomedical Sciences (FHML)
‘Serotonin 1A receptor desensitization: determining the effects of selective activation of presynaptic and postsynaptic serotonin 1A receptor types on serotonin 1A receptor density in rats’

Vasileios Nittas – bachelor European Public Health (FHML)
‘Organization, Functioning and Integration of District Level Dengue Surveillance in India. A qualitative assessment of dengue surveillance activities in the district of Hyderabad’

Floor Pinckaers - bachelor Medicine (FHML)
‘Honoursproject: Mental ill Health’

Janine Ziemons – bachelor Health Sciences (FHML)
‘The role of BCR-ABL and JAK1 activity in malignant JAK/STAT Signaling in Chronic myeloid Leukemia’

Linda Gruijthuijsen en Laurie Schreurs - Bachelor Dutch Law (FL)
‘De praktijkarbitrage van de arbitragepraktijk. Een empirisch onderzoek naar de wederzijdse beïnvloeding van arbitrage en de civiele procedure’

Alessandra Silva - bachelor European Law School (FL)
‘The destruction of cultural property by the Islamic State in Mosul and Palmyra: is International Law the answer?’

Iris van Asselt - bachelor Tax Law (FL)
‘De opkomst van het Unierechtelijke verdedigingsbeginsel in de Nederlandse omzetbelasting”(Eerst horen, dan naheffen?)’

Florian Knäple - bachelor International Business (SBE)
‘Return of human capital development and training investments on corporate valuation’

Michael Göpper - bachelor Economics and Business Economics (SBE)
‘Modelling Asymmetric Switching Costs’

Merit Geldmacher – bachelor Econometrics and Operations Research (SBE)
‘Image Segmentation and Regular Partitions’

Kenny Sieben - bachelor Fiscal Economics (SBE)
‘Design of Tax Systems’

Robin Jos Schormans - bachelor Arts and Culture (FASoS)
‘Proving Einstein right: Making sense of scientific discovery before the fact’

Laura Dohmen - bachelor European Studies (FASoS)
‘Influential in the crisis or a crisis of influence? The European Parliament’s legislative influence in the wake of the economic crisis’

Merle van den Akker – bachelor University College Maastricht (FHS)
‘The Neurology of Addiction, Making a Case for Shopping Addiction’

Viktoria Obermann – bachelor Maastricht Science Programme (FHS)
‘Effects of the Supernatant of Stored Red Blood Cells on Immune Cell Function’

Fabian Fränz – bachelor Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (FHS)
‘Fitness diversity driven co-evolution’

Myrthe Dingemanse – bachelor Psychology (FPN)
‘Validation of the SART and PVT as predictors of driving performance in narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia patients’

 Watch the granting of the bachelor prizes

Dies Natalis 2017

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