"For example, I guide Master's students in writing their thesis in which they make a subject all their own, and I really enjoy that personal contact. Preparing and giving lectures to larger groups also gives me energy. This year, for the Social Prejudices course, I delved into several classics in Sociology, including pieces from the 1960s/70s. (Re)reading these pieces often provides inspiration for my own research as well. Maintaining that link between teaching and research is very valuable, and this interaction often gives me new insights." Nella mainly researches migrants in Western Europe and looks at the extent to which they feel at home. "I do this by applying a mix of methods, so both qualitative analysis through interviews/focus groups and quantitative analysis based on large-scale survey data."
Looking for the golden middle ground
Nella's biggest challenge is nurturing her curiosity while respecting her own limits. "In my teaching and research, I am very concerned with what is happening in the world right now and how we can understand it, so I like to stay up-to-date on this. The fun but sometimes challenging part is that I can be watching News Hour on the couch at night, and that information gives me ideas for a lecture I'm about to give or a research project I'm working on. So I quickly view this information through a work lens, but it is also important for me to take it off sometimes. I don't think this is a bad thing, but I'm still looking for that golden middle ground between both respecting my enthusiasm and my peace of mind.''