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Utrecht University
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Opening Academic Year 2016-2017

Utrecht University presents awards to talented students


Student Rick Vreman wins the Student Award for Best Master's Thesis and Antoine Steenkamer wins the Student Award for Exceptional Extracurricular Achievements. During the opening of Utrecht University's Academic Year, they each received a certificate and a sum of 1,500 euros. Robbert Dijkgraaf and Sander Dekker talked about the impact of science before the award ceremony.

The Opening Academic Year has been recorded in full. Please check the video.

Antoine Steenkamer, a Master's student Law and Business, receives the Student Award for Exceptional Extracurricular Achievements. Antoine is the founder of Stichting Spelendergrijs, which offers education and entertainment to elderly people in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes. The organization hires talented students from universities and schools to, for instance, give lectures, give musical performances or teach ICT.

Antoine was also a board member at study society Sirius and started an interdisciplinary research team regarding the legal side of using stem cells and cell lines from bio banks. The jury is confident that with Spelendergrijs, Antoine started an enterprise that has a big chance of becoming a permanent fixture in society.

Please read the the panegyric on Antoine Steenkamer.

Rick Vreman, an alumnus of the Master's programme Pharmacy, wins the Student Award for Best Master's Thesis. Rick used an economic model to investigate what the health benefits and economic benefits of a 20 % reduction in additive-sugar intake could be for the American population. His calculations showed that this would reduce health-care costs with more than 10 billion dollars per year. On top of that, he also calculated that significantly less people would die of diabetes.

The jury believes that Rick's thesis does not just contribute to his field, but also contributes to the handling of an important and current social problem. The jury praises the very clear lay-out of the thesis, as well as the crystal-clear style in which it is written. "The approach shows a thorough insight in the subject matter as well as the ability to present this in a compact and convincing way."

Please read the panegyric on Rick Vreman.

About the Student Awards
Utrecht University presents the Student Awards to students who perform exceptionally within and outside their degree programmes. By doing this, the university wants to encourage students to give it their all and to show that they are proud of them.

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