Just Herder receives the Professor of Excellence Award - Leermeesterprijs 2023
At the opening of the academic year on 4 September, Just Herder, Professor of Interactive Mechanisms and Mechatronics, received the Professor of Excellence Award from Annoesjka Cabo, Director of the Teaching Academy. This award is presented to someone who, as explained by Rector Magnificus Tim van der Hagen, “excels in both academic research and teaching, and in that elusive intersection of these two, where true education and understanding flourish.”
Prof. dr. Annoesjka Cabo, Director of the Teaching Academy, presented him with his award that included 15.000 euros to spend on a sabbatical, a Certificate, silver medal and two business class tickets provided by KLM. She emphasised that the Leermeesterpijs is "not only about igniting inspiration and motivation but also about embodying true role models who cultivate an environment where individuals can flourish into their very best selves."
Perhaps most notably, it's the countless votes of confidence and letters of support sent by both colleagues and (former) students, which were highlighted by Chair of the selection committee, Prof. dr. Jack Pronk: "His unwavering dedication to education, research, mentorship and the cultivation of the next generation of professionals has made an indelible mark on countless lives, including my own.”
Just finds joy in seeing others make the most out of the opportunities he tries to give them to learn and grow. It's this attitude of constantly challenging yourself to try new things that he hopes will inspire others. "I still feel like a student. My hope is that after their research, PhD candidates know more about a certain subject than I do. Graduating or obtaining one’s doctorate is a process in which someone grows and learns about themselves. It is important to give them the space they need."