A festive Christmas lunch for faculty and professional services staff at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) on 14 December was the occasion to recognise excellence at RSM throughout the past year. Awards were presented for excellence in attracting funding, in teaching, outstanding professional services, and for the first time, a new award for impact with positive change.

Awards were presented by the Dean, Professor Steef van De Velde.

RSM Positive Change Award: ECWO

This new annual award was presented for the first time this year, one in which RSM launched its new mission statement, to be a force for positive change in the world, and was proposed by RSM’s Executive Board.

The Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) was described by the jury of members of the RSM Executive Board and the RSM community as a passionate team that embodies RSM’s core values: creative, caring, critical and collaborative. “They go beyond duty in addressing the critical importance of inclusiveness,” they said. “Their programmes empower especially, but not exclusively, women. With their contagious energy, they inspire and encourage others both inside and outside RSM.  They help build diverse and inclusive organisations and thus contribute to positive change in society.”

Prof. Bevelander, who initiated and leads ECWO, was presented with an award certificate and a gold pin in the form of a hummingbird, representing the story of ‘The Hummingbird and the Forest Fire’ from the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Professor Wangari Maathai; you can watch the story  here.

“I’m very proud of the ECWO ‘Dream Team’ who in such a short period have made a positive impact in business and at the university,” she said.

The gold hummingbird pin presented with the Positive Change award 2017 was exclusively designed for RSM by Dutch artist Jantine Kroeze, in co-operation with LugthArt.

RSM Funding Award: Dr Dan Schley

Assistant Professor Dan Schley in RSM’s Department of Marketing Management won the RSM Funding Award for landing the prestigious Veni grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) earlier this year. He plans to use the grant to further research overconsuming, and to develop a new stream of self-control research. The award not only validates the scientific value of Dr Schley’s research ideas, but also its relevance. Presenting the award, Dean Steef van de Veld said: “The success rate for Veni in the social sciences is only nine per cent. The jury noted that Dr Schley had just joined RSM and was asked to put the proposal together at short notice. He had overcome the differences between USA and European research funding ‘marketplaces’ to put together the application.

“The jury also felt that the topic was of high societal relevance and had a clear link to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which RSM has adopted as a reference framework for its mission, to be a force for positive change in the world. The award also recognises RSM’s international reputation in being able to attract talented early career researchers from abroad, said the Dean.

RSM Innovative Teaching Award: Magdalena Cholakova

Magdalena Choloakova is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in RSM’s department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. “Her course focuses on strategies for developing effective managerial skills. She adopts a fully experiential approach, thus allowing students to learn by practicing directly in class and interacting with each other. The jury particularly liked the fully ‘flipped’ classroom format, with very effective didactical arrangements such as role plays, simulations, an interactive theatre with a real actor and other team-based exercises.

“These are very effective means for stimulating active academic learning and the training of transferrable skills,” said the Dean.

Dr Cholakova’s didactical concept and approach can be easily transferred to other courses, and this has been demonstrated using a similar design in one of her other courses, Entrepreneurship Skillsets,  with similar success. The jury is convinced that her approach can function very well as a good practice in the school, directly transferrable to other courses at RSM too, said the Dean.

RSM Outstanding Professional Services Award: Dorothy Grandia

Dorothy Grandia is assistant director of the Career Development Centre at RSM, and communication faculty for the Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO). “She has added tremendous value to the school in a number of ways including successfully coaching students, delivering skill training,  and she set up personal development courses across the school,” said the Dean. Dorothy Grandia also provides coaching for colleagues in support of their career and work-related challenges.

The jury noted that she is praised by those who work with her, particularly due to her ability to inspire them to be the best they can be. She has moderated and hosted some of the smallest and biggest events at RSM, conveying concepts, ideas, and messages in a clear, compassionate and positive way. Many of us have seen her on stage and will recognize her extraordinary talent in this respect. She’s a staunch advocate of diversity, referring to Dory’s role as moderator for the RSM Leadership Summit and other events and her work for ECWO, in which she develops and delivers leadership communication programmes for women in business.

The Dean said: “RSM has benefitted from her ability to translate academic research language into tangible messages that can be understood by the general public and can be translated into practical action. This is exemplified in her work for the Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business (ECFEB).”

More information

For more information about this news item, please contact Aisha de Valk-Abubaker avalk@rsm.nl.

Faculty & Research , EC for women and organisations , Positive change