Dean and Management
Prof. Dr. Murray Pratt is Dean of Amsterdam University College.
Murray Pratt joined Amsterdam University College in February 2016 as Dean, succeeding Acting Dean Dr. Ramon Puras and Founding Dean Prof. Dr. Marijk van der Wende. He also holds a chair at the University of Amsterdam as Professor of Contemporary Humanities.
Pratt obtained a MA (Hons) in English and French from the University of Glasgow, also studied at the Universities of Lyon and Coventry, and holds a PhD (DPhil) in Modern and Medieval Languages and Literature from the University of Oxford for his thesis, Autobiography, Fiction and Identity in Alain Robbe-Grillet, Hervé Guibert and Roland Barthes. Among his areas of expertise, Pratt has published extensively on French and international cinema, literature and culture. From 2010 to 2015, Pratt was Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University, where he also held a chair in French and International Studies. He joined Nottingham Trent University in 2008 as Head of the Department of Languages and International Studies. Prior to this, he headed the department of European Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, where he also served as Deputy Director of the Institute for International Studies.
At Nottingham Trent University, Pratt developed innovative educational pathways for students with civic and cultural partners, including galleries, museums and media companies, and supported the launch of the city’s National Videogame Arcade and television station, Notts TV. He has a keen interest in promoting digital learning, and his pioneering work involving students in the production, dissemination and enhancement of an online graphic novel about Nottingham’s literary history was awarded the 2015 Guardian prize for teaching excellence. Pratt’s further educational interests include internationalisation in higher education with a particular emphasis on the development of in-country studies and global studies.
Vice Dean & Director of Education
Dr. Ramon Puras is AUC's Vice Dean and Director of Education.
Ramon Puras graduated (Diplom) in Chemistry/Biochemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). He received his PhD on ‘HIV integrase: a target for drug discovery' (AIDS research) from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, and followed postdoctoral studies at the VU University Amsterdam. He has been a lecturer at Utrecht University and University College Utrecht (UCU) and he was involved in the development of the Prestige Master programme in Biomolecular Sciences. Before joining AUC in 2008, he was responsible for the international Master’s programme in Oncology at VU University Medical Center. From 2009 till 2012, he was the AUC Head of Studies Sciences, in charge of the Science curriculum at AUC. He also teaches Big Questions in Science and Introduction to Biology.
Dr. Belinda Stratton is AUC's Managing Director.
Belinda Stratton obtained her BSc (Honours) and PhD in Chemistry at the University of East Anglia in the UK, with a study abroad period at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After her studies she worked in an editorial department of the scientific publishing company Pergamon Press, before moving to the Netherlands and starting work at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) in 1993. She was the EAIE's Publications and Information Manager when she was recruited to the AUC team at the end of 2007.
Head of Studies (Sciences)
Dr. Michiel van Drunen is AUC's Head of Studies Sciences and (co-)teaches Introduction to Environmental Sciences and the theme courses Energy, Climate and Sustainability. He obtained his master degree in environmental chemistry at Leiden University and received his PhD on “Measurement and Modeling of Cluster Formation” at the Delft University of Technology. After he finished his PhD he became researcher and assistant professor at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the VU University, where he worked on a wide variety of research projects and was responsible for most of its teaching activities.
Head of Studies (Academic Core)
AUC's Head of Studies (Academic Core) is Dr. Anne de Graaf. Her research focuses on marginalised groups, as well as peace and conflict studies, and explores the role of voice—specifically young people’s—as a means of claiming agency in peacebuilding and conflict. She is an award-winning author of over 80 books, with 5 million sold worldwide. Her teen and adult novels (fiction based on fact) explore themes such as child soldiers and AIDS survival. She has traveled extensively to post-conflict areas throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Europe, interviewing for her books and articles. She has also lectured and guest taught at universities in the Netherlands, South Africa and the U.S., including Harvard MUN, West Point and her alma mater, Stanford University.
Head of Studies (Social Sciences)
Dr. Sennay Ghebreab is AUC's Head of Studies Social Sciences and teaches Information Lab and the theme course Introduction to Information, Communication and Cognition. He is also an adjunct associate professor at the Psychology Institute of the University of Amsterdam, and a member of the research priority program Brain and Cognition. Sennay studied Information Systems at the University of Amsterdam. He received his PhD from the same University in 2002 in medical image analysis and retrieval. Part of the research was carried out at Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, CT, USA). Subsequently, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Erasmus MC, University Medical Center (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), where his research interest gradually shifted from medical imaging to cognitive vision in psychology.
In 2005, he returned to the University of Amsterdam with the goal of bridging research between computer vision and human vision. He worked between two different research groups at two different faculties: Intelligent Sensory Information Systems Group (Science) and the Cognitive Neuroscience Group Amsterdam (Social Science). His current research aims at understanding and computationally modeling of visual perception and decision making processes and other cognitive processes, in particular bias/stereotyping as a mechanism to cope with the complex (social) environment we live in.
Head of Studies (Humanities)
Dr. Mariëtte Willemsen is AUC's Head of Studies Humanities. Dr. Willemsen received her PhD in Philosophy and an MA in Dutch Linguistics and Literature from VU Amsterdam. Before joining AUC she was Associate Professor in Philosophy at VU Amsterdam where she taught courses on the History of Philosophy and Aesthetics. In her recent work she focuses on emotion theories and the role of the imagination in ethics. Dr. Willemsen joined AUC in September 2011 as a tutor and as a lecturer. She teaches Philosophy, Ethics and Modern Philosophical Texts at AUC, and served as AUC's Senior Tutor from August 2014 through September 2016.
Huan Hsu is AUC's Senior Tutor. Huan Hsu also lectures in journalism, creative writing and academic writing at AUC. He is the author of "The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China" (Crown/Random House, 2015). A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he received his MFA in creative writing from George Mason University, where he also taught literature, creative writing and composition. As a staff writer for the Washington City Paper in Washington, DC, and the Seattle Weekly, he won two Society of Professional Journalists awards and received recognition from the Casey Foundation for Meritorious Journalism. His essays and fiction have appeared in Slate, The Guardian, The Literary Review and Lucky Peach. Hsu began as AUC's Senior Tutor in October 2016.