Ceren: 2016 Rising Star Award winner


I am Location Manager at Study Group in the Netherlands where I am responsible for planning and coordinating administrative and teaching activities. I received the EAIE Rising Star Award in 2016 and I consider this recognition to be the best moment of my 14-year career in the field of education. Receiving an award from a prestigious organisation such as the EAIE often means your future employer will have no second thoughts in hiring you. Right after receiving the award I added the title ‘EAIE Rising Star Award winner 2016’ to my resume, and immediately found a great job with Study Group. This is the best career step I have ever taken! With more than a decade of experience in the field, I could have worked anywhere, but the EAIE award opened doors for me in the Netherlands, a country where higher education is considered especially advanced. Destiny is a funny thing. I ended up in Groningen, the Netherlands – the destination of my first European business trip 13 years ago. I am happy to be back where I started.

When I heard my name at the EAIE Liverpool 2016 awards ceremony I got really emotional and hugged EAIE President Markus Laitinen. This was a spontaneous reaction that I think was a reflection of the encouragement that I received from Markus and all the leaders of the EAIE team. They are part of my international family and have given me a tremendous amount of support. After the awards ceremony, photos of me receiving my award appeared everywhere at the conference. Many colleagues contacted me to connect, including individuals I had never met face to face. The visibility that comes with receiving this award is great; it connects people from all over the world.

Since receiving this recognition, I have become involved even more within the EAIE community, working closely with experienced colleagues. Being in direct contact with a group of talented professionals is extremely inspiring and motivating. We are already seeing the fruits of our labour! In May I will present a workshop on the qualifications of refugees at the NAFSA Annual Conference in Los Angeles together with some EAIE volunteer leaders. We are now able to take what we started at the EAIE Spotlight Seminar on integrating refugees into higher education to the next level: overseas. I will also hold a workshop at the 2017 EAIE Annual Conference in Seville, where I will illustrate the results of the studies I first introduced at the 2016 Liverpool conference. Next year we are planning to apply for APAIE and reach out to Asia too!

Sharing experiences is the most important thing the EAIE taught me and I will continue to share as much as possible. I hope I will be an example for my colleagues from my country, including those still hesitating to get involved. I hope they will submit more papers, become members of the EAIE and participate in the global dialogue. In this community, regardless of your nationality or position, we are all aiming for a common goal: making the world a better place through education. I hope more and more distinguished professionals will continue to join the cause!