Graduate School of Social Sciences

Contact & community

Summer Programmes Office | Graduate School of Social Sciences

If you have any questions about our programmes, or would like to get in touch, you can find our contact information below. You can also get to know the entire Summer Programems team, including our full-time staff and academic directors.


Summer Programmes Office team

Drs Mirjam Schieveld | 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 20 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 and Ian, 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 at the University of Amsterdam in Political Science. Grace has developed programmes on Security Governance and Conflict Resolution, as well as Migration and Integration, as well as managing and developeing summer school programmes, curricula, and managing scholarships. Grace is an avid puzzle and logic-game enthusiast, and as a former exchange student, passionate about travel and education.

Ian M Kenny, rMA | Programme Assistant & Communications

Ian moved to the Netherlands from Canada to undertake a degree in Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. Ian is responsible for managing and developing summer school programmes, the media landscape of the office, and is the coordinator of the Pre-University Honours Programmes. When he's not on his bike in the dunes or on a train to a different city, you can easily find him in a museum soaking up Dutch culture.

Social and Behavioural Studies| Academic Directors

Laurens Buijs, MSc | Introduction to Sexuality Studies

Laurens Buijs (1982), MSc. 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.

Robert Sember, MA | Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture & Society

Robert Sember is the New York City-based member of Ultra-red, an international sound-arts collective that develops art projects in relationship to political organizing and research in the areas of fair housing, migration, anti-racism, HIV/AIDS, poverty and alternative education. Robert is one of the Academic Directors for the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society. Robert has conducted sexuality-related research and has taught cultural theory and research methods at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York, the University of California in Los Angeles, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. He currently is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at the New School.

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.  

Dr. Maja Wrzesien | A Peaceful Mind

Maja Wrzesien is a 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 A Peaceful Mind: 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.

Dr. Kristen 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.  A licensed psychologist, Dr. Anderson received her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  Prior to joining the faculty at Reed, she was a research scientist and clinical faculty member in the UCSD Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry.  Dr. Anderson attended Simon’s Rock College and Drew University as an undergraduate and also holds a M.Ed. in Special Education from American International College.  For more information, please see her websites listed below.

Dr. Helle Larsen | Summer Institute on Addiction

My research focuses on social and cognitive processes related to psychopathology (alcohol use, smoking, anxiety) in adolescents and young adults. I am interested in the interplay between the social context (e.g., peer influence) and individual risk factors such as automatic motivational processes, risk taking and genetic make-up. In addition to conducting assessment studies to get a refined understanding of the processes and risk factors involved in psychopathologies, I conduct intervention studies. Among others, I investigated the effect of cognitive bias modification (retraining approach tendencies) combined with cognitive behavioral therapy to help adolescents quit smoking. Moreover, I am involved in online intervention studies using cognitive bias modification to decrease alcohol use, smoking, and anxiety (e.g., retraining approach tendencies and attentional bias via online training). Next to my research, I am in training as a cognitive behavioural therapist (VGCt, UvA minds) and I am a programme manager of Research Priority Area Yield. Yield conducts multidisciplinary research among 10 different research programmes (University of Amsterdam) with a focus on the bioecology of human development.

Dr. Caroline van Dullemen | The Politics of Ageing

Caroline is the Academic Director of the Politics of Ageing summer programme. Curious, analytical, empathic motivator with strong drive and more than 25 years of management experience in multifaceted politically and culturally diverse contexts. After more than ten years of working actively on demographic issues I am more encouraged than ever to ensure social justice to all generations. Being an organizer brought me into the management of the National Advisory Council for Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Green Left Academic Bureau, the foundation of WorldGranny and into the academic world.

The most excited I have been over the founding of the NGO WorldGranny (in 2004) and our micro pension initiatives which aims to support (future) older people in the Asia, Africa and Latin-America with various forms of (micro) pensions. In 2017, I defended my PhD thesis on The Politics of Ageing, the Risk of Old Age Poverty in Emerging Countries. I teach at the Free University in Amsterdam and present Summer courses on The Politics of Aeging at The University of Amsterdam. Furthermore, I work with my colleagues of Blue Print Pension Services for the United Nations PFIP on researching and implementing a micro pension scheme in two countries in the Pacific region. We also developed an online course on successful micropension designs.

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.

Urban Studies | Academic Directors

Dr. Marco te Brommelstroet | Planning the Cycling City

Marco te Brömmelstroet currently holds the position of Assistant 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. 

Dr. Freek Janssens | Protest and Resistance

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 | Amsterdam Sensescapes

Thea is an assistant professor, doing research in Urban Geography at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies (GPIO) at the University of Amsterdam, and teaching various courses in the undergraduate programme in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. She obtained my PhD at the same department in 2007, and is now Academic Director for Urban Studies: Sense, Space and Strategy.

Her main research interests lie within the field of Urban and Political geography. Over the years, Thea has done research on topics like: European and Dutch (area based) urban policy and policy discourses (URBAN, Grotestedenbeleid, urban restructuring); diversity, identity & social cohesion; urban and multi-level governance and the 'Europeanization' of Dutch cities. Her present research interest is more interdisciplinary in character, still focusing on the urban, but now combining insights from various disciplines like Human Geography, Psychology and Sociology. Topics relate to, for example, Sense of place, the Multisensory City and the 'planned' & the 'lived' city.

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.

Drs. Nadine Galle | The Circular City

Nadine serves as a consultant and education lead at Metabolic, and co-Academic Director of the Circular City summer programme. She studied environmental sciences and biology at the University of Toronto before obtaining her Master’s degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. Nadine joined the company in early 2016 with a mission to advance Metabolic Lab. The lab is Metabolic’s experimental showcase of applied circular urban development at De Ceuvel in Amsterdam North. Beyond Metabolic Lab, Nadine is involved in various projects within the built environment in Buiksloterham, an urban living laboratory and world’s first circular neighbourhood. Nadine applies systems thinking and her scientific  background to solve and communicate sustainability challenges. She has led Material Flow Analyses on various scales, such as for Schiphol Airport, the Dutch Wadden Island of Vlieland, and for DGTL Festival. As an urban ecologist, she has a particular interest in evidence- and nature-based solutions to further enhance circularity and resilience in cities. Ultimately, she believes we need to bring nature back into our urban ecosystems to allow both people and the planet to flourish. Nadine was born in the Netherlands and raised in Canada. Her global mindset and ease in communicating across cultures have led her to work on sustainability projects spanning five continents.

Drs. Gerard Roemers | The Circular City

Gerard is a senior consultant and strategic partnerships lead at Metabolic, and co-Academic Director of the Circular City summer programme. From this position he is, amongst other things, involved in collaborations with several universities and research institutes in the Netherlands such as the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). Gerard received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Groningen, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Development from the University of Utrecht. His work focuses on the interface between these two disciplines and is aimed at discovering the leverage points through which the material- water- and energy cycles in regions and cities can be closed. In other words, in finding out how the ideal of a circular city or region can be achieved, through novel planning and design processes, policies, and innovations. Some of the key projects in this direction include developing a circular economy strategy for the three Northern Provinces in the Netherlands, developing novel indicators and tendering procedures for the city of Amsterdam aimed at stimulating the circular design of the built environment, and various projects within Buiksloterham, a neighborhood with a circular vision developed by  Metabolic.

Anna Dekker, MSc | The Everyday City and Beyond

Anna Dekker (BA Sociology UvA; MSc Urban & Regional Planning UvA; City Design and Social Science LSE) is specialized in socio-spatial urban dialectics and Academic Director of The Everyday City and Beyond. Her academic and professional interests revolve around the planned vs. lived city, social cohesion and community development on the neighborhood level, the planning, design, use and experience of public space, co-creation processes, alternative mapping methods, feeling at home in the city and new work environments.

Political Science | Academic Directors

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 | 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 policy lead on migration & displament at Oxfam Novib, where she works on influencing & programme development in the field of forced displacement.

Dawid Walentek, MSc | Economics and Game Theory

Dawid works in the UvA’s Faculty of Social And Behavioural Sciences within the programme group on political economy and transnational governance. He teaches in the programme on political sociology: power, place and difference. He is the Academic Director for the summer programme, Economics and Game Theory.

Skills Development | Academic Directors

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.

Pre-University Honours Programmes | Academic Directors

Daan Bossyut, MSc | Urban Studies

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 Urban Studies. 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.

Luuc Brans, MSc | Politics and Society

Luuc Brans is Lecturer in the Political Science programme at the University of Amsterdam. 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 Society. 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 | History and Culture

Benjamin Roberts is an American writer, historian, and journalist based in Amsterdam, and Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in History and Culture. 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.


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


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

Published by  GSSS

Graduate School of Social Sciences

6 November 2018