University Study Prize for seven students
On Monday 2 September, seven recent graduates will receive the University Study Prize due to the exceptional quality of their final theses. These graduates are: Femke Bangma, Cas Coopmans, Mark van Goor, Michelle van Haren, Lisa Jacobs, Lidewij Nissen, and Raymond van Teeffelen.
Each year during the opening of the academic year, the University Study Prize is presented to students who wrote a final thesis of exceptional quality during the previous academic year.
Femke Bangma (Faculty of Science)
Femke researched materials with magnetic and super-conductive qualities in the High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML). To conduct her research, she had to create her own components for the experimental design, become an expert in the techniques for reaching milliKelvin temperatures, and learn how to combine this with the use of extremely strong magnetic fields. The experimental design that Femke developed with her colleagues has become part of the HFML facility, and can be used by physicists visiting Nijmegen from around the world. Her research also led to follow-up projects.
Cas Coopmans (Faculty of Social Sciences)
Cas studied the processing of anaphora in the brain. Anaphora are words that refer back to persons or concepts mentioned earlier, such as the names of people and the words he and she. Cas researched why we have little trouble keeping track of whom those words refer to.
He found that the understanding of anaphora involves not one, but at least two processes: a memory process and a bilingual integration process. With his research, Coopmans builds a bridge between the brain research areas of memory and language.
Mark van Goor (Faculty of Medical Sciences)
Mark researched the protein structure of TRPV5, a protein in the kidneys. This protein, and its colleague protein TRPV6, ensure that the calcium balance in the body is maintained. The special aspect of this research is that, by using cryogenic electron microscopy, Mark created a 3D model of the protein and managed to make the molecular structure visible. He achieved it in collaboration with a lab in San Francisco. The expectation is that this research will contribute to the development of medication for kidney stone patients.
Michelle van Haren (Faculty of Law)
Michelle received her degree in both civil law and criminal law. Her research focused on directors’ liability in criminal law and civil law. A director of a corporation can be held personally liable under both civil and criminal law. However, it is unclear how directors’ liability is assessed under both areas of Dutch law and how these judgments relate to each other. Michelle’s research offers an answer to these legal questions. In her research, Michelle argues that the threshold for directors’ criminal liability is generally higher. Michelle also graduated from the Business Administration Master’s degree programme in 2016. Her thesis for the Master of Laws was also published as a book.
Lisa Jacobs (Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies)
Lisa researched the paradox of fiction: how is it possible to have emotions for beings or characters in a book or film when we know they do not exist? The current theory states that you need to know something exists before you have an emotion in response to it, and you have to believe that whatever causes the emotion is real.
According to Lisa, the paradox of fiction is the same as the one of our daily lives: we also create stories from everything that we experience or what we see in the news — situations that have actually happened. Lisa demonstrates that the paradox of fiction is not specific to fiction.
Lisa graduated in 2016. She obtained her Master’s in Medicine at the time. She works as doctor in training for specialist (AIOS) Internal Medicine at the Spaarne Gasthuis in Amsterdam.
Lidewij Nissen (Faculty of Arts)
Lidewij researched the cultural practices regarding the funerals of the Nassau-Dietz families, the Frisian branch of the Nassau dynasty during the 17th century. The family used the funeral ceremonies to create their dynastic identity and seized the moment as a chance to present political manifestos. Using testaments, funeral processions, condolence practices, and mourning poems she shows how the Nassau-Dietz family purposely accentuated their Frisian identity, without losing sight of the connection to the Orange branch.
Lidewij’s thesis contributes to the knowledge of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces and adds an important dimension to our understanding of Europe’s dynasties. Her thesis was awarded the prestigious Elsevier/Johan de Witt thesis prize.
Raymond van Teeffelen (Nijmegen School of Management)
Social media platforms are quickly gaining ground in sub-Saharan Africa. Cheaper smartphones are contributing to an increase in use of social media among African citizens. African governments strategically use social media to achieve their own objectives. Raymond researched the relationship between social media and confidence in politics among nearly 50,000 Africans and discovered that people who consume news through social media have less faith in political institutions. This is particularly true for people who live in rural areas and in countries with a lot of corruption and media repression.
Opening of the 2019 – 2020 Academic Year, Monday 2 September at 2.00 pm, De Vereeniging, Nijmegen. Radboud staff and students have received an invitation by e-mail to attend the opening of the academic year. You can register using the link in that e-mail. If you no longer have the e-mail, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.