The graduation ceremony celebrated their academic achievements and thesis awards.

Graduates from the Part-time Executive Master Corporate Communications programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) received their MSc degree on campus on 16 February 2023. The graduation class 2022 worked on inspirational thesis topics, and completed specialised communication and general management modules. The graduation ceremony celebrated their academic achievements and awards.

During the graduation ceremony, keynote speaker and executive presence coach Antonie Knoppers stressed the importance of non-verbal communication to become a more effective leader. He said there are many ways to strengthen presence and body language. “There is no one size fits all. Each person has a different posture, different voice, and different way of connecting. It’s all about finding the right balance.”

RSM Dean Ansgar Richter agreed: “Finding such balance is key to success. You’ve found a way to maintain your focus while juggling work, family and studying.” Prof. Richter added that role of communication in society is more than critical than ever in our increasingly globally networked society, of what we say and how we say it. “It about conveying critical, authentic, and transparent messaging in a way that has never been done before.”

Making a difference

The ceremony continued with Academic Director Professor Joep Cornelissen, who said this graduation class is making a difference in their organisations and to society. The graduates’ critical, reflexive and engaged attitude has resulted in thesis research on topics such as: what makes people give to good causes, what helps us create more engaging workforces, where people really get a sense of belonging, how we can manage the reputation of an organisation through a pandemic or crisis, and how can we foster truly engaging transformational leadership. “These inspirational cases show that you’ve gone the extra mile to address topics that are societally important and that you are pushing the boundaries of the corporate communication field both academically and in practice.”

The 19 new Master of Science in Corporate Communication graduates are: Melissa van AnraadJulien Anseau, Amber van den Boom, Leonie BoonNouzha ChouâliMarike DoedensJeannette DuinSusanne EmbletonFriedel GrantRamon de GrootNienke ten Hagen - DieterichNatasa IvacicRoland KrijgerLaura van LingenTineke Meijers-FaassenKarin OostDenis SalamadinHumaira (Huma) Suleri-Latif and Harm Theuns.

They have more than 15 years of work experience, and now have senior positions in various fields, from the corporate world to government, NGOs and education. The graduates represent eight nationalities. They are from Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Switzerland, the UK, and Ukraine.

Andreas Award for Innovation

The Andreas Award for Innovation in Corporate Communication 2022 was awarded to Melissa van Anraad for her thesis about the effects of language choices by executives in earning calls with investors on the firm’s financial performance. The academic jury said Van Anraad showed creativity and innovation by using a methodology from finance research, and thesis has significant implications for effective investor communication in practice.

An honorary mention went to graduate Friedel Grant for her thesis Organisational listening to employees in hybrid work environments. She was recognised for her qualitative, exploratory study outlining tactics, challenges and lessons related to strategic listening within hybrid workplaces in the UK and Europe.

Prof. Cees van Riel Award

The winner of the Prof. Cees van Riel Award for Impact and Excellence in Corporate Communication 2022 is graduate Roland Krijger, for his thesis Corporate reputation improvement through non-financial information disclosure on social media networks: an experiment with stakeholder engagement and its dimensions. The jury said this topic is under-researched, and that Krijger used multiple methods and a sophisticated experiment to test his hypotheses.

An honorary mention went to Karin Oost, for her thesis about using strategic communication for public-private co-creation in the healthcare information sector in the Netherlands.

Corporate communication programmes

The part-time Executive Master of Science in Corporate Communication (MCC) is developed by RSM’s Corporate Communication Centre. Around 1,300 business professionals from 30 countries and nationalities have completed short modules and workshops of the programme as short corporate training courses. More than 300 of them have graduated with an MSc in Corporate Communication title. 

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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