Who are the humans that make a university flourish? When thinking about the faces of a university, professors and students may be the first people that come to mind. But there are so many more people: beadles, technicians, study advisors, secretaries, and many others. They all bring their stories with them when they come to study and work at the university, and they experience new stories together. Without them, the University would not be what it is.
“Humans of RUG” is a podcast series that showcases, in conversations with various guests, the many human faces of a large university such as the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. It was developed by the 2020 cohort of the Young Academy of Groningen (Sonja Billerbeck, Julia Costa López, Marcos Guimaraes, Lisa Herzog, Casper van der Kooi, Lukas Linsi, and Hanna van Loo), with help from podcast producer Wim Brons. It looks at the history of the RUG, its students and professors, the support structure within departments , but also how the University is perceived by and interacts with the outside world, the city of Groningen. As such, it makes different parts of the university more visible to one another and to the outside. Listen to these conversations - with study advisers and academic prize winners, with a beadel, a Dutch champion in 800m track running and the Mayor of Groningen, and many others - which bring the human side of this time-honored institution to life!
Health at the RUG
In this episode, we have a conversation with Ton Modderman (occupational and organizational expert) and Karen Huizing (psychologist for PhD students) about the mental and physical health at the university and about the people who keep them in check. We discuss the several ways the health workers at the university motivate students and staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and important aspects of a healthy work environment. We also get to know how the work life of these important employees look like.
The digital university
In this episode, we discuss the fast-moving digitalization of education and research at the RUG and beyond. We talk to Tracy Poelzer, specialist for digital education at the Center for IT, and Oskar Gstrein, assistant professor and member of the Data Research Centre at Campus Fryslân. We discuss the role of the pandemic as a catalyst of teaching innovation, the promises of the digitalization of research and education, but also the downsides that come with it.
Many talents at RUG - combining university studies with another professional career
In this episode, we bring together three RUG students or employees who in parallel to their studies or work flourish in another career path: Suzanne Voorrips, PhD researcher in cardiology and Dutch champion in 800m track running; Julian Bushoff, student in economics and party leader of PvdA Groningen; Yoeri Bonarius, student in international relations and working at the Royal Netherlands Navy. We talk about what it takes to thrive in their fields, and the challenges and rewards of pursuing two careers at the same time.
Professors of the RUG - success and failures in academic life
In this episode, we discuss the definition of success and failures in academia and academic life. Our guests are Prof. Amina Helmi from astronomy and Prof. Lodi Nauta from philosophy. Both received the most prestigious prize for scientific research in the Netherlands: the Spinoza Prize. We talk about how these highly regarded professors define their “successes” and “failures”, giving an in-depth view of life in academia.
The RUG from the outside
In this episode we look at the university from an outside perspective. In a conversation with the Mayor of Groningen, Koen Schuiling, and Karen Prowes from the International Welcome Centre North, we explore how the RUG integrates into Groningen, what it contributes to city life, and how its members have changed the region, the Northern Netherlands.
Support behind the scenes
In this episode, we focus on administrative and support staff in the university. When we think about the university, we normally think about teachers, researchers and students. However, all universities have a large number of people who keep things running behind the scenes. We talk with Anmara Kuitert, Departmental secretary and Qing Gong, confidential advisor for students, about the exciting parts, the perks, and challenges of their roles.