Humans of FASoS

Jacob Ward: from child actor to assistant professor

Jacob Ward, assistant professor in the history of technology and politics, is your average English lad: he grew up in London, his parents are both teachers, and as a teen, he tried to convince his mum that science fiction books are just as interesting as Shakespeare’s King Lear.

To sparkle up his run-of-the-mill childhood, Jacob’s parents chose an eccentric person to babysit their son: no other than UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


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Aristea Paraskewopoulos’s Greek roots

Such an exotic, tongue-twisting last name, I thought when I invited Aristea Paraskewopoulos, junior Lecturer at FASoS, for an interview. When I met Aristea at Bandito, her looks seemed just as exotic, but the accent caught me off guard.

What was Aristea’s Greek story?


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Adam Dixon: from fisherman to professor

Adam Dixon, associate professor of Globalization and Development, had a busy life when he was studying at university. He was a first-generation academic and did not receive funding for either his master’s or his PhD. To help cover his costs and tuition, he had to work alongside his studies.

His main source of income? Commercial fishing in Alaska.


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Camilo Erlichman’s mate intake

Camilo Erlichman, Assistant Professor in History, has his roots in Argentina. When he was three years old, he moved to Germany with his parents, who had done their post-graduate studies there.

What does he miss most about Argentina besides his family?


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Elissaveta Radulova’s 1001 nights fairytale

Elissaveta Radulova, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, has been at FASoS for 19 years already. “I came here in 2002 for the master’s in European Public Affairs, back then the only master’s programme in European Studies that FASoS offered. When I graduated, I stayed on as tutor in the Bachelor ES, worked on my PhD (defended in 2011), lectured, tutored, chaired the Board of Examiners (for 6 years), and since 2019 I am the programme director of the BA European Studies.

So, I think it’s safe to say that most of my colleagues got to know a lot about me over the years. For example, that I adore (dark) chocolate and that travelling is my best relaxation pill. I guess, though, there is one journey I have not shared much about as it was so long ago. It influenced me greatly, and it is often on my mind, because this country has become such a troubled land lately…,” Elissaveta tells me, and naturally I am curious to learn more.


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Josje Weusten’s dystopian novel

It’s a relief to meet with my interviewees at Bandito again. A cup of coffee gets all the creative juices flowing.

But it’s not just coffee that helps lecturer Josje Weusten be creative. Her guilty pleasure is to put Catfish: The TV Show – a reality show about truths and lies in online dating – on when she starts writing.


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Maha Naami: sewing into peace and tranquility

Maha Naami, PhD candidate in the LIMES project, is looking forward to October. Not because she loves those dreary rainy days, but because she will finally be reunited with her husband and cat for good. In March 2020, Maha came to the Netherlands to start her PhD but had to leave her loved ones behind in Morocco.

Feeling alone during the pandemic and wanting to take her mind off work more easily, she started a new hobby: sewing.


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Saskia van Bergen: future haptotherapist

Saskia van Bergen, student care officer for Global Studies, meets me via Zoom right before the summer break. I always do a little online research on my interviewees before I interview them.

Although there isn’t much to find on the internet about Saskia, I did come across her LinkedIn page. Her educational background and work experience looked excellent, but I was more intrigued by her volunteering work. Saskia has been a volunteer for Care4Neo, an Association for Parents of Premature Children, since 2011.


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Sven Assink’s Carbage run to his roots

Those of you who know Sven Assink, IT manager at FASoS, may have once or twice compared him to a Viking. But not to worry: this is entirely justified because Sven told me he is of Swedish decent.

What did strike me as a bit more odd was his hobby: participating in Carbage runs – 5000 kilometres rides through Scandinavia in a really old and really cheap car. I was of course eager to know more about this.


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Aneta Spendzharova’s love for mountains and her twins

I meet Aneta Spendzharova, associate professor in Political Science, via Zoom on her tenth wedding anniversary. She met her husband while she was in graduate school in the United States. They got married in Maastricht in 2011 and welcomed their twins, Boryana and Matteo, 20 months ago.

According to Aneta, she is a chaotic person by nature and she loves being outdoors, which helps her to clear her mind and find inspiration.


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