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Contact & community

Any questions regarding studying in Amsterdam in the summer? Get in touch at summer-info-gsss@uva.nl. Below you can find our visiting and mailing address, profiles on our office team, as well as our long-list of Academic Directors. Scroll through this page to take a look at our community!

Postal address

Graduate School of Social Sciences | University of Amsterdam | PO Box 15725 | NL - 1001 NE Amsterdam | The Netherlands | Tel: +31 (0)20 525 3776 | Email: summer-info-gsss@uva.nl

Visiting address

University of Amsterdam |Amsterdam Roeterseiland Campus | Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam | Our room nr.15 is located on the 7th floor of the B-building: REC B 7.15


Summer Programmes Office Staff 


  • Mirjam Schieveld, MSc | Programme Director

    A Cultural Anthropologist by training, Mirjam grew up in and around Amsterdam. Mirjam is the founder of the Summer Programmes Office, starting with the Summer Institute on Addiction and the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture & Society over 24 years ago. Mirjam is an alumna of the University of Amsterdam, and has devoted her professional life to the creation and development of academic programmes. Mirjam also gives lectures in summer programmes, and is a lifelong fan of Amsterdam's football team, Ajax, and a major foodie. Along with Grace, Ian, Charlotte, and Luzie, Mirjam leads the Summer Programmes Office's year-round team in order to bring quality programmes and experiences to students from across the world.

  • Grace Yano, MSc | Programme Manager

    Originally from the United States, Grace has been living and working in the Netherlands after completing her studies (MSc) at the University of Amsterdam in Political Science. Grace has developed many programmes, among them our courses on Security Governance and Conflict Resolution, as well as Migration and Integration, and Economics and Game Theory. Grace is also responsible for managing curricula, and our extensive scholarships network, and developing new summer school programmes. Grace's scholarly interests lie in political science, (cyber) security, and economics.

  • Ian M Kenny, rMA | Programme Coordinator

    Ian moved to the Netherlands from Canada to undertake a degree in Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. Ian is responsible for managing summer school programmes, developing partnerships, and coordinating the media landscape of the office. He is the main contact person for students in Amsterdam throughout the summer. Ian is also a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, researching 'mythological thinking' as a potential resource to help grapple with various mediations and realities of the Anthropocene.

  • Charlotte Luttik, MA | Programme Coordinator

    Charlotte holds an MA in Cultural History from the University of Utrecht and joined our team in 2018. Her scholarly interests include cultural studies, museum studies, urban studies, sociology and conflict studies. She is responsible for managing a variety of our ongoing programmes, as well as developing new ones. Charlotte also coordinates our scholarship opportunities and social media presence.  


  • Luzie Voss | Assistant Programme Coordinator

    Luzie is originally from Germany, and after having lived in Asia for seven years, she came to the University of Amsterdam for her studies. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree (BA) in European Studies. Having just completed an internship with the Summer Programmes Office, Luzie is now a member of the core team. Within the office, she coordinates programmes and communicates with students before and during the summer. Her interests include, amongst others, European politics and history, as well as gender and sexuality studies

Academic Directors 


  • Laurens Buijs, MSc | Introduction to Sexuality Studies

    Laurens Buijs is a social scientist who teaches in the Sexuality Studies program at the University of Amsterdam, and one of the Academic Directors for the Introduction to Sexuality Studies programme. He is also the founder of IncInc, a diversity policy consultancy. His work focuses on Dutch public policy, mainly in the realm of LGBTQ politics, sex work, multiculturalism, and the rise of new right-wing anti-Islamic parties after 9/11. A critic of the myth of ‘progressivism’ in the Netherlands, he is frequently asked to comment on these and other topics in the Dutch media.

  • Dr. Marie-Louise Janssen | Introduction to Sexuality Studies

    Dr Marie-Louise Janssen is the Track Coordinator of Gender, Sexuality and Society (MSc Sociology) and is one of the Academic Directors of Introduction to Sexuality Studies, as well as a module coordinator in the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society. Marie-Louise Janssen lectures in the areas of gender and sexuality studies, migration and human trafficking and ethnographic research methods and techniques at the department of Cultural Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam.

  • Dr. Diane di Mauro | Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture & Society

    Diane di Mauro holds a PhD. in Social Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has functioned as the Academic Director for the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society, since 2009. She has worked over 25 years in the field of reproductive rights and human sexuality, specializing in the design, implementation and supervision of major programmatic initiatives relating to public health and policy. From 1995 through 2006, Dr. di Mauro directed the Sexuality Research Fellowship Program at the Social Science Research Council.  From 2002 to 2017 she was a faculty member at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health where she taught and mentored MPH students in sexuality, public health, research and service delivery.  While at Columbia University, she also directed the MAC-AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative which provided comprehensive training of South African advocacy leaders in HIV/AIDS prevention and gender equity. She currently has a private forensic practice, specializing in child placement, custody and child/parental rights.  For her full professional profile see her LinkedIn profile. 

  • Robert J Davidson | Advanced Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society

    Robert (Robby) J. Davidson is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam. Davidson is the programme manager of the Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) and was an editor of the Tijdschrift voor genderstudies (Dutch Journal for Gender Studies). Davidson’s research interests include LGBT studies, the institutionalization of social movements, processes of intersexualization, masculinity, queer theory, and the Netherlands. Davidson has published in the Journal of Homosexuality, Mobilization, and Social Movement Studies.

  • Dr. Maja Wrzesien | Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions

    Maja Wrzesien is a former postdoctoral researcher (Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow) within the Psychopathology and Development group of the Research Institute of Child Development at the University of Amsterdam. Maja is Academic Director of Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions. Her research is largely interdisciplinary, focusing  on emotion regulation in youth with special emphasis on mindfulness, self-compassion, and new technologies. She is also a certified mindfulness trainer. She has performed different mindfulness training in public and private sectors for youth, parents, and educators. She has supervised several Master students and has participated in both international and national research consortia. She has published in numerous academic journals. Here you can find her personal website: https://majawrzesien.com/

  • Dr. Kris Anderson | Summer Institute on Addiction

    Kristen G. Anderson, Ph.D. is the Principal Investigator of the Adolescent Health Research Program and an Associate Professor of Psychology at Reed College, and Academic Director of the Summer Institute on Addiction.  Her area of expertise is the developmental psychopathology of addictive behaviors from late childhood through emerging adulthood. Dr. Anderson has specialized in youth alcohol and drug use decision-making in social contexts, longitudinal modeling of process-oriented data, and the integration of personality and social-cognitive models of substance use initiation and maintenance.  Dr. Anderson has published extensively and has received research funding from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the ABMRF: The Alcohol Research Foundation.  In 2013-2014, she was as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Amsterdam.  Dr. Anderson was the principal investigator of the Portland site of Project Options, a national, multisite field trial of a school-based alcohol and drug prevention program funded by NIAAA.

  • Guido van Garderen, MSc, MPA | Building Brands and Influencing Behaviour

    Guido van Garderen (MSc at UvA; MPA at Harvard) is currently pursuing a PhD in marketing, and Academic Director of the Building Brands and Influencing Behaviour programme. His research examines how a well-defined brand strategy helps destinations attract talent, trade, tourists and investment, thereby gaining an economic competitive advantage. As a former Strategy Director at the Global brand consultancy Interbrand, he combines best practice examples with the latest academic insights, to develop an understanding of key analytical frameworks and tools, that are essential for a winning brand strategy.

  • Prof. Dr. Marco te Brommelstroet | Planning the Cycling City

    Marco te Brömmelstroet currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam, and is Academic Director of the Planning the Cycling City programme. His teaching in Planning Bachelor and Master's programmes centers around the (problematic) integration of land use and mobility and ways to improve this. His research is strongly intertwined with planning practice. He has done several studies on how to improve the use of knowledge in urban strategy making processes. Recently, he extended his curiosity into the role of the bicycle in the functioning of cities and vice versa. Not a coincidence; he covers around 5.000 kilometer annually as a bicycle commuter in Amsterdam, 7.000 kilometer on his racing and touring bikes and he owns a cargo-bicycle shop in Germany. He tries to combine a fanatic advocacy attitude towards cycling in cities with a healthy distant view as academic researcher.

  • Meredith Glaser, MSc | Planning the Cycling City

    Meredith Glaser is an urban strategy and mobility consultant, based in the Netherlands since 2012, and Academic Director of the Planning the Cycling programme. She is originally from California, holds Masters degrees in urban planning and public health from UC Berkeley. Meredith holds a guest appointment at the University of Amsterdam, where she co-leads this summer programme and conducts research on cross-national policy transfer and knowledge exchange related to cycling and mobility. She hosts other university-level student groups and international professional delegations for cycling and mobility study tours. Meredith regularly collaborates with local Dutch municipalities and universities on cycling projects and workshops. She lives in Amsterdam with her family, 4 bikes and no car.

  • George Liu, MSc | Planning the Cycling City

    George Liu is a researcher, educator, and consultant in urban mobility and in 2020, will be the acting Academic Director of the Planning the Cycling City programme. He specializes in online education, presenting weekly academic paper reviews on the Urban Cycling Institute's YouTube channel and helped create the world's first academic cycling Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at the University of Amsterdam. His research investigates the experience of cycling and exploring how ideas from urban design can guide the creation of healthy and attractive environments that encourage cycling as a practical and delightful mode of daily transportation. His previous research at the University of Toronto includes a study of cycling patterns in the suburban communities. George is cross-appointed at the Department of the Built Environment at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Fun fact: George plays trombone with the Bicycle Showband Crescendo, the only mounted band of its kind in the world!

  • Dr. Freek Janssens | Social Movements and Social Change

    Freek Janssens is an urban anthropologist, specialising in food, public space, and social movements, and Academic Director of the summer programme on Social Movements and Social Change. His research focusses on the politics of urban marketplaces in an era when they are increasingly being ‘replaced’ by both supermarkets and farmers’ markets. Freek has conducted extensive ethnographic research in London, Amsterdam, and Istanbul, amongst other places.

  • Prof. Dr. Richard Ronald | Urban Studies: Planning and Living in Cities

    Prof. Richard Ronald is a core member of the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He is the Academic Director of the Urban Studies: Planning and Living in Cities programme. Among other functions, he is the editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy, coordinator of the Home Ownership and Globalization Working Group of the European Network for Housing Research and Co-editor of the Palgrave book series The Contemporary City. He has published widely on housing in relation to social, economic and urban transformations in Europe and Pacific Asia including a number of monographs and edited volumes. Richard has held Japan Foundation as well as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships at Kobe University in Japan (2002-2006), and been a Visiting Professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea (2010-2012) as well at the Asia Research Institute as National University Singapore (2015). He is originally a graduate of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in the UK.

  • Dr. Thea Dukes | Urban Studies: Sense, Space and Strategy

    Dr. Thea Dukes is an urban/political geographer and a psychologist. She teaches various courses in the Interdisciplinary Social Science programme (ISW), with a strong focus on urban issues (such as Contemporary debates, Perspectives on Amsterdam and Age, City & Work). Thea is the Academic Director of Urban Studies: Sense, Space & Strategy, a course that has been developed at the interface of human geography and environmental/ experimental psychology. Her main research interests relate to the urban as a political area, combining insights from various disciplines like Human Geography, Sociology and Psychology. Topics relate to, for example, area-based urban policy, urban governance, sense of belonging, the multisensory city and the contestation of space.    

  • Dr. Mendel Giezen| The Circular City

    Mendel is an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urban Development and Infrastructure within the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, and Academic Director of the Circular City summer programme. He is the Founder and Chair of the Sustainable Cities group within the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP).  He works on projects in adaptive decision-making and planning of spatial interventions, the up-scaling of low carbon urban development, and the governance of resilient and circular urban water systems. He supervises two PhD research projects and has participated in both international and national research consortia. Mendel holds a certificate in "Essentials of Leadership" obtained at the Erasmus University and has published extensively in a variety of academic journals.

  • Dr. Iris van Huis | Placemaking in the City

    Iris van Huis is a new face to the University of Amsterdam, and has jumped in to Summer Programmes with us in her first year. Iris' work is truly interdisciplinary: her areas of academic interest range from engaging men in conversations and movements regarding gender+ equality, urban sociology, Dutch nationalism, and cultural anthropology. Iris is co-directing our summer programme, Placemaking in the City.

  • Joris Buis, MSc | Acting in the Anthropocene

    Joris Buis is co-directing our new programme on the Anthropocene together with Elias den Otter. Joris is trained as an ecologist and conservation biologist and combines his background with a broad interdisciplinary interest in fields such as philosophy and the arts. After working at the University of Amsterdam in teaching and course development for 10 years, Joris’ recent career switch to the National Institute for Nature Education (IVN) now puts him in the middle of 'on-the-ground' nature conservation in the Netherlands and beyond. 

  • Elias den Otter, MSc | Acting in the Anthropocene

    Elias den Otter is co-directing our new programme on the Anthropocene with Joris Buis. Elias is trained as a sociologist and combines his knowledge of the social sciences with the fields of climate change and sustainability. He worked as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam for several years on topics such as sustainability, urban planning, design thinking and placemaking. Now Elias is devoting his time to develop skills and knowledge on organic farming, permaculture and regenerative agriculture and is planning to start his own future proof farm in the Netherlands. Both on a practical and theoretical level, he seeks ways to bridge the fields of food consumption and production, traditional and future oriented (agri)culture, urban and rural area development, low tech and high tech solutions and nature conservation and agriculture.

  • Dr. Martijn Dekker | Security Governance and Conflict Resolution

    Dr. Martijn Dekker is a political anthropologist, specialised in human security from below: how people confronted with armed conflict try to improve their own security. Martijn is the Academic Director of the Security Governance and Conflict Resolution programme. His research interests include self-organised security initiatives in war situations, humanitarian interventions, the (re-)emergence of social boundaries in times of conflict, and the dynamics between community based forms of security and the (official) state security apparatus.

  • Evelien van Roemburg, MSc, LLM | Migration and Integration

    Evelien van Roemburg holds a Bachelors degree in law (LLB) from the University of Amsterdam (2006) and a Masters degree in law (LLM) from both The University of Amsterdam (2008) and Columbia Law School, New York City (2009). She also holds a Masters degree in political science (M.Sc.) of the University of Amsterdam (2010). Evelien is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law, and Academic Director of the Migration and Integration summer programme. Her thesis, under supervision of Prof. Zieck, concerns the supervisory task of UNHCR, the refugee agency of the United Nations. She has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science at the University of Amsterdam, where she specialised in conflict studies, refugee studies and the United Nations. She is currently serving as the Europe Migration Campaign Manager at Oxfam International, based in Brussels, where she works – together with her team – on influencing the EU and member states’ position and policies towards refugees.

  • Dawid Walentek, MSc | Economics: Markets & Society

    Dawid works in the UvA’s Faculty of Social And Behavioural Sciences within the programme group on Political Economy and Transnational Governance. Dawid is also a researcher on education policy with the Department of Sociology. Dawid scholarly work is mostly focused on economic sanctions and international trade. He is the Academic Director for the summer programme, Economics: Markets & Society.

  • Alexandru Voicu, MSc | Comp. Intro. Research Methodology and Design

    Alex Voicu is a lecturer in the Political Science Department (Afdeling Politicologie) of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG), and is Academic Director of the Comprehensive Introduction to Research Methodology and Design. He has designed and taught courses on party politics, international relations, and social science methodology. His courses, workshops and guest lectures have had audiences from a variety of disciplines (political science, international relations, anthropology, sociology, human geography, development studies, medicine) and academic levels (BA, MA, Research Master, PhD).  Alex received an honorable mention in the UvA Lecturer of the Year (Docent van Het Jaar) 2014 competition, recognizing his place among the top 5 lecturers in the faculty that year. His own research deals with political elite recruitment and its implications for democratic representation in Romania, Hungary and the UK.

  • Andrew Chakhoyan, MPA |Multilateralism, Globalization & Corporate Diplomacy

    Andrew Chakhoyan is the Academic Director of the Multilateralism, Globalization & Corporate Diplomacy programme. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and is an alumnus of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leadership Program. Andrew is the founder & CEO of the Netherlands-based Strategic Narrative Consulting, a boutique advisory firm that specializes in business diplomacy and public policy in tech. He has previously served in the U.S. Government, managed corporate affairs for a global telco, and held a leadership position at the World Economic Forum.  Andrew is a member of the Netherlands Speakers Academy and a regular contributor to publications such as Futurism, NewCo Shift, and WEF Agenda.

  • Daan Bossuyt, MSc | Pre-University Honours Programme: Sustainable Cities

    Daniel Bossuyt completed his Research Masters in Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. In addition to studying at the University of Amsterdam, he also studied at the Free University of Berlin and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) at Stockholm. Daan is the Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in Sustainable Cities. He is currently pursuing his PhD with the Human Geography, Planning and International Development department at the University of Amsterdam. Daniel's research focuses on self-build housing in the Netherlands and Brasil.

    Daniel is co-director of the PUHP: Sustainabile Cities programme with Afra Foli. 

  • Afra Foli, MSc | Pre-University Honours Programme: Sustainable Cities

    Afra Foli completed the Research Master in Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2016. Her study included a research visit at the University of Pretoria. She is currently pursuing her PhD with the Human Geography, Planning and International Development department at the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis is on waste practices/infrastructure in rapidly growing cities, using the case of Accra to investigate socio-political interactions with waste in urban space. 

    Afra is co-director of the PUHP: Sustainabile Cities programme with Daniel Bossuyt. 

  • Luuc Brans, MSc | Pre-University Honours Programme: Politics and Identity

    Luuc Brans is en education coordinator and project manager at Diversion, a social enterprise, and co-founder of DISI, a startup that aims to better understand the divisive forces behind disrupted societies, and is a former lecturer at the UvA in Political Science. He studied political science and the sociology of culture at the University of Amsterdam, while also doing an exchange at the Free University in Berlin. Luuc is the Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in Politics and Identity. He went on to obtain his master’s degree in Nationalism Studies with distinction at the University of Edinburgh. Luuc’s research interest lies with nationalism and national identity in general, and the development of German national identity after the fall of the Berlin Wall in particular. As a political sociologist, he values interdisciplinary approaches.

  • Dr. Benjamin Roberts | Pre-University Honours Programme: Journalism

    Benjamin Roberts is an American writer, historian, and journalist based in Amsterdam, and Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme: Journalism. His fascination for Dutch history and culture started when he was sixteen while taking a boat trip through the canals of Amsterdam on his first visit to the Netherlands. Afterwards, he decided he wanted to live in Amsterdam and study Dutch history. He first enrolled at the Vrije University of Amsterdam where he earned a Bachelor's and Master's in Dutch early modern history, and afterwards did a PhD at the University of Groningen. In 2018, the English edition Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll in the Dutch Golden Age was published. He currently works as a journalist writing about art, culture, history, and sports for various English and Dutch magazines including Time Out Amsterdam, XPO Magazine, and The Holland Times. Besides history and writing, he also enjoys teaching spin and yin yoga classes.

  • Roel van Engelen, MSc | Pre-University Honours Programme: International Relations

    Roel van Engelen is a lecturer and assessment coordinator in the Political Science Department of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG), and is Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in International Relations. Roel has designed and taught undergraduate courses on International Relations and Political Economy, and has ample experience with different teaching methods and activating and interactive work forms. Roel is particularly passionate about teaching International Relations, an extremely exciting field of study that is in constant movement and in which connections to current developments in world politics are never far away. 

  • Dr. Javier Garcia-Bernardo | Machine-Learning for the Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Javier Garcia-Bernardo is a data scientist at the Tax Justice Network. He completed his PhD at the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR) and his MSc in Computer Science at the University of Vermont, specializing in complex systems. In his research he applies computational and machine learning methods to social science questions, in particular in the fields of network science and corporate tax avoidance. He has previously taught data science graduate courses at the University of Amsterdam, and workshops on data scraping, data visualization and text analysis.

  • Dr. Jonas Haslbeck| Machine-Learning for the Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Jonas Haslbeck is a postdoctoral researcher at the Psychosystems lab at the University of Amsterdam. He holds degrees in psychology (BSc) from the Karl-Franzens University in Graz and statistics (MSc) from Utrecht University and recently completed his PhD dissertation at the University of Amsterdam on formal models of mental disorders. In his research he uses statistical and computational methods to model cross-sectional and time series data related to psychopathology. He also developed software to estimate a wide range of graphical and time series models and taught workshops on statistical estimation and a course on network analysis.