Lecturer of the Year 2019 – Katja Hoekstra

Tuesday 09 July 2019

Katja (29) works as an English and Intercultural Communication lecturer for the Academy of Communication & Creative Business.

Lecturer of the Year 2019

What is the secret of Katja Hoekstra, Lecturer of the Year?

“I was very pleased and positively surprised when I heard that I had been nominated by the students as Lecturer of the Year. Such an honour!” Katja (29) works as an English and Intercultural Communication lecturer for the Academy of Communication & Creative Business. “I am very proud to have been nominated by the students. And to actually win it … that is really the icing on the cake! My secret? To be honest, I really have no idea.”

As a lecturer, I do find it important to believe in what I do and that I genuinely enjoy my work. I try to challenge myself by continuing to learn, but also by asking myself at the start of each session what expectations or learning questions the students have, and then to discuss the learning outcomes. How will the students benefit from it in their lives both now and in the future during their careers? Why is it important? And what are the challenges? I find personal contact, mutual respect and cooperation to be very important. In my opinion students and lecturers are jointly responsible for the result achieved during the session.”

Why do you think the students have nominated and elected you?

“Students have told me in the past, that they appreciate it that I am easily approachable and that I reply relatively quickly to their emails. I also set the bar quite high, both for myself and for the students. I understand that I have been nominated because I express my expectations and try to develop and maintain good personal contact. In so doing, I do not shy away from confrontations, they are part of everyone's learning process.”

What do you like about your work?

“Above all, the visible developments of students who after many ups and downs, give a presentation with confidence or write a tremendous reflection report. What makes my work really enjoyable, is the variety of tasks and responsibilities and the trust that management puts in me to develop and implement new ideas. But I also get a lot of satisfaction from the cooperation with my colleagues from other programmes.”

Connecting, inventive and enterprising are the core values of NHL Stenden. What do these values mean for you and do they play a role in your work?

“Definitely! A major, central role in all my activities. I believe connection is extremely important, not only here amongst ourselves, but also with the surroundings, the practice and the whole world. I am convinced of this; Together each achieves more. Inventiveness, tackling problems as challenges, approaching them in different ways and facing your limitations are instructive. Since I was a young child, I have always been very enterprising and in search of adventure and opportunities. I encourage and motivate others to do this as well, because it has benefited me a lot personally. And of course, I often face my own limitations! That is when I ask myself, why I ever decided to do a certain task or take on a specific responsibility. But in the end, I am usually glad or relieved with how the experience has made me stronger.”

About Katja

“I completed my Teacher Education in English and graduated with a master's degree in Educational Theory. I teach subjects related to the English language, intercultural communication, global citizenship and diversity competence. In addition, I am an Exchange coordinator for students who want to follow a minor abroad in their third year.”