Once again, IP is happy to welcome four newcomers into the IP crew! Not only is this a significant expansion (in particular of our event team), we are also happy to note that all four of them are women. We firmly believe in gender equality and continue to put added emphasis on the recruitment of women to our team (interested? Join us!). With this announcement, we have taken the opportunity to ask every one of them a unique question as a way of introducing them to our audience. Without further ado then, let us introduce our new team members.
Marleen Van der Straten, Event Assistant
Marleen is a Belgian student of General Economics and a graduate of International Politics. She is interested in global governance, international relations, economics, and institutions. We asked Marleen the following question: what book should be a must-read for every student of international affairs?
“Determining a ‘must-read’ is difficult, but a decent account of world affairs that I came across – and that isn’t a university textbook – is Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger. The author may be controversial and, like myself, you may not agree with his politics, but the book is a thorough account of two centuries of world politics from the world’s most famous practitioner of realpolitik.”
As our Event Assistant, Marleen will help Ward in the organisation of upcoming activities and with the managing of our online calendar. Several events are in the pipeline, and when we announce them we hope you will be as excited as we are!
Julia Overeem, Event Assistant
Julia is a Dutch student of Interpreting, and International Relations & Diplomacy. Her interests in languages and cultures have expanded to a broad interest in international affairs. We asked her if she had the choice, which important person in international affairs she would like to have dinner with?
“Christine Lagarde, because she is an incredibly intelligent and impressive woman. Not only does she meet the high standards set for a leader of the IMF, but she is very charismatic on top of it. She does not only deal with economic issues, but also addresses others like gender inequality and public-health threats. I agree with her opinion on most affairs that she discusses in interviews, so I think a dinner conversation with her would be very interesting.”
Julia will also become an Event Assistant, and thus join Marleen and Ward in planning activities. She will focus on providing logistical support to our events.
Naomi Vleugels, Event Assistant
Naomi is a Belgian graduate of Political Science and History. Her main interests are peace, conflict and development, with a particular focus on Africa. Which event in the recent history of international affairs would she have wanted to attend?
“What was accomplished at the COP21 talks in Paris was very impressive. The deal is ambitious in its goals, and broad in its geographical scope. Of course the deal received a lot of criticism as well, and some of it was correct. Whether the actual implementation of the agreements will succeed, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the negotiations must have been very intense, considering that such talks about climate are also about economy, culture and development.”
Naomi too will become an Event Assistant and will work with Ward on our upcoming activities. With her appointment, the event team has grown to a total of four members. An excellent number to also increase the amount and scope of our events.
Michelle Boonen, IP Ambassador in Antwerp
Michelle is a Belgian student of International Relations & Diplomacy, and a graduate of Communication Sciences. Her interest lies in European politics, globalization, migration and new developments in communication structures. Finally, we asked Michelle which subject in international affairs she would still like to learn more about?
“Because of my communications background, I have always wondered about the impact of the internet and social media on global terrorism. Concerning terrorism, it would also be interesting to learn more about the current state of extremist Jihad movements (IS, Boko Hara, Al Qaeda, etc.) around the globe.”
With a new academic year coming up, we have appointed a new ambassador to the city of Antwerp. While Maarten, our previous ambassador there, will become Marketing Assistant, Michelle will take his place as our representative with the University of Antwerp, student associations, and students themselves. Plan to study at the University of Antwerp and have any questions for her about IP? Feel free to !