16 Jan
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Cum Laude!

I started dreaming about my PhD defense about three weeks in advance. One dream is still clearly on my mind. It was at my defense, and everyone was there: committee, supervisors, colleagues, friends and family. I was there too, standing behind a desk trying to answer the questions. The only thing was, however, that the desk was too high for me: I couldn’t see the committee, nor the people in the room. I was too small. In my dream I thought and said aloud that now “I had to rise above myself”.

I’m not convinced by the predictive power of dreams, but I did rise to the occasion during the public defense of my PhD dissertation on Friday January 10. I was feeling confident, and powerful in answering the opponents’ questions. Based on my dissertation and the defense, the committee awarded me with ‘cum laude’, a rare honor.

I am grateful for the support I received during my PhD. My supervisors Ariana Need and Henk van der Kolk gave my academic career the best possible start. My colleagues, both in my department and internationally, all learned me something valuable. My paranymphs Wouter Jans and Laurie Maldonado gave me moral support during my defense. To each and everyone: thank you!

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