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In late 2019, AUC alumna Lisa van Holsteijn was announced as the winner of the AUV Alumni Award and Erik van Halewijn was named Folia’s UvA’er of the Year. Both Erik and Lisa were awarded the prizes for their efforts in bridging the educational gaps in their communities.

AUC alumni receive awards in 2019

Erik and Lisa’s  award-winning projects

Lisa van Holsteijn focuses on community building in Honduras

In March 2017, Lisa co-founded the NGO educate. with fellow UvA alumna Antonia McGrath in Honduras. As Head of Fundraising, she arranges a variety of fundraising efforts, such as concerts, charity runs and second-hand clothes sales. The money raised is used to financially support educate.’s university scholarship programme, implementation of library networks and school-based nutrition education. Currently, educate. is supporting three first-generation Honduran students in their higher education.

Erik van Halewijn works toward equal education in Amsterdam

Like Lisa, Erik’s project Studiehub strives to promote equal access to higher education. As the co-founder and project leader of Studiehub, Erik manages a free tutorial programme in the Indischebuurt neighbourhood of Amsterdam-Oost. Alongside his Master's studies in Cultural Analysis, he comes to the community engagement centre Cybersoek twice a week to oversee and provide academic support for 60 elementary school children. Apart from regular homework guidance, Erik also organises a regular programming class to interested pupils.

AUV Alumni Awards and Folia’s UvA’er of the Year

Both the AUV Alumni Awards and Folia’s UvA’er of the Year seek to recognise individuals affiliated with the University of Amsterdam (UvA) who have made a significant contribution through their socially-engaging projects.

AUV Alumni Awards

The AUV Alumni Awards are awarded annually to UvA alumni who have made an outstanding impact on society. In 2019, 31 projects were submitted for the initial round of consideration by the five-member judging panel that consisted of UvA Staff and a winner of the previous AUV Alumni Awards. Eight projects, including Lisa’s educate., advanced to the final round of selection. On AUV Day 2019, Lisa, alongside Antonia, was awarded one of the top prizes of the AUV Alumni Awards, receiving 3000 EUR towards the continuation of her project’s success.

Folia's 'UvA'er of the Year'

Since 2015, UvA’s own journalistic publication Folia has nominated members of UvA who have made a societal impact as 'UvAer of the Year'. On 16 December 2019, Erik was honoured as UvA’er of the Year in the Award Ceremony that took place at the Amsterdam Academic Club.

More information

You can find more information about Lisa and Erik's projects via the links below. Be sure to also read the interview and original articles to hear more from the award-winners. AUC would like to congratulate both Lisa and Erik on their continued work in creating a more diverse and inclusive society.