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Confidential advisers for undesirable behaviour

Contact details for confidential advisers for undesirable behaviour

You can approach any confidential adviser at the UvA, irrespective of your department/unit or faculty. There are also special confidential advisers for PhD candidates at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Faculty of Dentistry

  • Annemieke Bos

    Annemieke Bos is a psychologist, who has worked at ACTA since 2001. She was awarded a doctorate by the Social Dentistry department in 2006. She now works two days a week as an assistant professor in the Orthodontics department. She lives in Haarlem with her husband and two daughters.


    T: +31 20 59 80202

  • Linda de Vries
    Potrait of Linda de Vries

    Linda de Vries has worked in the Academic Centre for Dentistry in Amsterdam (ACTA) since 1987. She works three days a week as a secretary in the educational institute. In addition, she assists the coordinator of the specific patient groups work placements line. She lives with her husband on the KNSM island in Amsterdam.


    T: +31(0)20 59 80305

Faculty of Economics and Business

  • Frank Belschak
    Frank Belschak

    Frank Belschak has worked in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the UvA since 2006. In addition to being a professor, Belschak is also programme director of the Bachelor's programme in Business Administration. He spent some time working at the University of Cologne in Germany before moving to the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and Leiden University, arriving at the UvA in 2006.

    Frank Belschak conducts research into ethical and unethical behaviour in organisations, which puts him in a good position to understand the importance of ethical conduct in the workplace and the severe consequences of unethical or undesirable behaviour on the work floor. In his role as a confidential adviser, he wants to help safeguard a healthy, ethical working climate at the UvA.


    prof. dr. F.D. (Frank) Belschak

    Faculty of Economics and Business

    Sectie Leadership & Management

Faculty of Humanities

  • Lia van Gemert
    Lia van Gemert

    Lia van Gemert is a professor of Historical Dutch Literature and director of the Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age. She has worked at the UvA since 2007. Before this, she worked at AUAS, Radboud University Nijmegen and Utrecht University.

    In her own words

    I am a confidential adviser because I consider it important to create a safe, pleasant working environment. In a competitive community like a university, you should be able to rely on a communal code of conduct that does not tolerate undesirable behaviour. A safe haven where people can talk freely is essential for those who experience problems relating to undesirable behaviour. It can be an enormous relief to talk to a neutral third party in confidence. And if you like, we can explore your options for remedying the situation together.


    prof. dr. E.M.P. (Lia) van Gemert

    Faculty of Humanities

    Capaciteitsgroep Nederlandse Letterkunde

  • Erik Laeven
    Erik Laeven

    Erik Laeven is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies and has worked in the field for some twenty years. He trained in Theatre Studies, and now works in a team giving practical courses in film and television. His specialist area is dramaturgy.

    In his own words

    One of the worst things if you have a problem is having no-one to share it with. It is essential be heard and acknowledged. Particularly when it comes to undesirable behaviour, which can be a hard subject to bring up at the best of times. People often think they are exaggerating, that it will pass, that it's their own fault or that they could suffer the consequences if they report it. As a result, some cases of intimidation, sexual harassment, bullying, aggression and discrimination never come to light and people simply aren't aware of undesirable forms of behaviour within their own corporate culture. Initially, people tend to keep problems to themselves for too long. Students and staff who feel threatened by undesirable behaviour need someone they can talk to in confidence about the situation and their options. This is why I became a confidential adviser.


    dr. F.A.M. (Erik) Laeven

    Faculty of Humanities

    Capaciteitsgroep Media & Cultuur

Amsterdam Law School

  • Erik van Arkel
    Potriat of Erik van Arkel

    Erik van Arkel has been a coordinator of operations in the Public Law department since 1 September 2017. He previously worked in operations and management in central government and ran his own business CATREAL.COM, which aims to help people and organisations to boost their resilience.

    In his own words

    As a confidential adviser, I want to help create a UvA environment in which people feel safe and where diversity is respected and valued.


    Mr E. (Erik) van Arkel

    Faculty of Law

    Dep. Public Law

  • Liesbeth Zagers
    Liesbeth Zagers

    Before being appointed to the UvA, she held various positions in faculties and teaching departments of Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She is familiar with many aspects of ‘the university’, as a student, as a researcher and as a member of support and management staff.

    In her role as confidential adviser, she is keen to offer a sympathetic ear and help people to find solutions to remedy undesirable behaviour. This is her way of contributing to a working environment in which everyone can feel safe and comfortable.


    mr. drs. L.M. (Liesbeth) Zagers

    Faculty of Law

    Amsterdam College of Law

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

  • Mirjam Koelewijn
    Portrait of Mirjam Koelewijn

    Mirjam Koelewijn is a project officer at the Graduate School of Social Sciences.

    In her own words

    "I have worked at the College and Graduate School of Social Sciences since 2012, initially for the Political Science programme and currently as a project assistant for PR & Communications. In the spring of 2016 I was appointed as confidential adviser at the Faculty of Social Sciences. I am happy this role allows me to contribute to a healthy working climate at the UvA. Since 2018, I have been a confidential adviser for students as well as staff.

    Honesty, prudence and clarity are very important to me, and these qualities are central to my work as a confidential adviser. I am a good listener and like to offer guidance and a sympathetic ear to staff and students who have experiences undesirable behaviour. A number of courses in Non-violent Communication have trained me to taught me how to really hear what people are going through. I can quickly get an idea of situations and of people's feelings and needs. I have noticed how valuable this is in my work as a confidential adviser."

    drs. M.G. (Mirjam) Koelewijn

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    OBP Groep Onderwijsbureau Sociale Wetenschappen

  • Els Kuiper
    Portrait of Els Kuiper

    Els Kuiper has taught courses for the Bachelor’s and Master's programmes in Education Sciences since 2010. She also works as an education researcher at the Kohnstamm Institute.

    As a major university, the UvA has an important duty to create a safe learning and working environment for students and staff. Els wants to be play an important role in this respect, by giving students and staff a safe place to come and talk about their experiences with undesirable behaviour. This is how she wants to help.

    dr. E.J. (Els) Kuiper

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Educational Sciences

Faculty of Science

  • Stefania Grecea

    Dr. Stefania Grecea is Associate Professor at Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences where she leads her own research team with expertise in functional inorganic and hybrid inorganic-organic materials.

    She also coordinates the first-year practical labs in the Chemistry Bachelor’s programme, and teaches courses on functional materials and catalysis for sustainable energy in the third year and in the Master’s.

    As confidential adviser for undesirable behaviour, she aims to contribute to a cooperative, pleasant and safe working atmosphere.


    dr. S. (Stefania) Grecea

    Faculty of Science

    Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences

  • André Heck
    A.J.P. Heck

    André Heck studied maths and chemistry at Radboud University Nijmegen. He lectured at this university until 1989, before heading up the CAN expertise centre for promoting the use of computer algebra in teaching and research. Since 1996, André Heck has held various positions within the Faculty of Science, all of them relating to science teaching, innovation in education and science teaching skills. He was awarded a doctorate for his work on science teaching skills in 2012. At present, he works as a lecturer in the mathematics institute, where one of his jobs is to develop and teach mathematics courses for non-mathematicians. Although André Heck does not officially hold a research position, the mathematics institute supports his research into science teaching skills for maths and physics. His research does not result in publications in international journals or conference proceedings, but it does make it possible to maintain and build expertise in science teaching skills, which can then be used to boost and innovate service education in maths in the Faculty of Science.

    André Heck has been working voluntarily as a confidential adviser for 4 years, after being approached about the position by the director of the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics on behalf of the Board of the Faculty of Science. His work as a lecturer brings him into contact with several degree programmes and he has many contacts and an up-to-date idea of what is going on in the Faculty. This helps him in his role as confidential adviser. His main motivation for becoming a confidential adviser was (and is) his dedication to creating a working environment in which Faculty of Science staff feel safe, and to offer support to staff who are faced with inappropriate, undesirable behaviour. André Heck performs this task for the Faculty of Science along with three other confidential advisers. They inform and consult where necessary, and attend training courses and meetings for confidential advisers within the UvA.


    dr. A.J.P. (André) Heck

    Faculty of Science

    Korteweg-de Vries Instituut

  • Martijn Rep
    Potrait of Martijn Rep

    Martijn has worked as a lecturer and researcher in biology in the Faculty of Science since 2000. He is a Professor of Phytopathology at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences. He has successfully supervised five PhD candidates and is now supervising another four.

    In his own words

    I believe that making employees feel safe at work is essential to the health of any organisation, including the Faculty of Science. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. This is why it is important to have someone you can talk to about a situation in complete confidence, and discuss your options for improving it and the steps you could take. Although the situations that come to light are far from pleasant, helping someone to see a way out or simply listening to their side of the story can be a very satisfying task. To me, every conversation I have with an employee is part of a joint learning process, and adds to my experience.

    prof. dr. M. (Martijn) Rep

    Faculty of Science

    Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

  • Anja Ruhland
    Anja Ruhland

    Anja Ruhland works as a coordinator of small-scale education and academic skills for the Bachelor’s programme in Artificial Intelligence.

    She studied Clinical Psychology and Methodology at the UvA. After graduating in 2001, she started working as a lecturer-coordinator, first in the Psychology department at the UvA, later at VU University Amsterdam, and since 2016 in the UvA's Artificial Intelligence department. In addition to her job as a lecturer-coordinator, she also runs her own therapy practice.

    As a coordinator, she is a pivotal figure in the Artificial Intelligence programme, coming into contact with tutorial groups from practically every course pertaining to the programme. She supervises junior lecturers and student assistants, and is in a good position to hear and see what is going on. She considers a good atmosphere to be important in her daily work in the Faculty, and is convinced that you only get the best out of yourself and others if the setting is right.

    She thinks that her background as a psychologist, therapist and above all a lecturer, will enable her to help create a safe, comfortable environment. She is trained (and trains other people) in communication skills, and has vast experience of listening in her role as a therapist. Although she is aware that a confidential adviser isn't the same as a therapist, she still considers it important and fulfilling to help people look for solutions within the circumstances and opportunities open to them.

    drs. A.M. (Anja) Ruhland

    Faculty of Science

    College of Science

  • Lydia Sprenger
    Lydia Sprenger

    Lydia Sprenger graduated in social psychology and started work as an editor and copywriter in the Communications department of the Faculty of Science in 2014. In this capacity, she writes the ‘Docent Uitgelicht’ column, in which lecturers from the Faculty are interviewed about their teaching. Outside her work at the UvA, she also writes for the FD newspaper and writes her own blog ‘Fat in the Head’.

    A friend once told her: ‘It's so nice that you don't judge’. She takes the same approach in her job as a confidential adviser. In her experience, it is often a fear of being judged that stops people who encounter undesirable behaviour from speaking out and makes them feel isolated.

    Ms L. (Lydia) Sprenger MSc

    Faculty of Science

    Afdeling communicatie

Executive staff and shared service units

  • Tamara van den Berg (Executive staff)
    Portrait of Tamara van den Berg

    Tamara van den Berg has worked as offcial secretary supporting the Central Student Council since 2016. She is also connected to the Humanities faculty as an assistant lecturer and research assitant in Philosophy. 

    In her own words:

    'As a confidential adviser I think it is extremely important people know they are not completely alone when faced with undesirable behaviour. I want to offer a sympathetic ear and the possibility to discuss problems confidentially in a safe environment, without any necessary consequences. An important first step in solving problems is to create a situation in which people feel comfortable taling about what is going on. Please don't hesitate to contact me if something is bothering you and you want to talk about it.

    If you want we can then discuss possible next steps. As a confidential adviser I am familliar with the formal and informal complaints procedures and I can provide information about possible referrals and follow-up steps if desired.

    Ms T.L. (Tamara) van den Berg MA

    Executive Staff

  • Hélène Boeren (Executive Staff)
    Portrait of Helene Boeren

    Hélène Boeren has worked for the Executive Staff of the UvA since 2003. She is employed as official secretary to the Doctorate Board and policy officer for the Office of the Rector.

    In her own words:

    I applied to become a confidential adviser because I feel everyone should feel safe and comfortable studying and working at our university. Discrimination, sexual intimidation, bullying and aggression have no place here.

    If you do experience undesirable behaviour I am here for you. I can provide a sympathetic ear and, if you want, I can provide information about the various options open to you, and help you think them through. I will treat the information you share with me in the strictest confidence. I am only allowed to break this confidentiality if you give me permission to share information with specific other parties in my capacity as confidential adviser. You are the one who decides, and I will only take action if you want me to.

    You can contact me via email or phone. I will do my best to make an appointment with you as quickly as possible, naturally taking into account the need to preserve confidentiality.

    Ms H.M.F. (Hélène) Boeren

    Executive Staff

    Bureau van de Rector Magnificus

  • Gijs Grob (Administration Centre)
    Gijs Grob

    Gijs Grob is an operational administrator for SIS in the AC. He also gives training courses in Microsoft Excel to UvA and AUAS staff. He has worked for the UvA since 2013 and has been a confidential adviser since 2018.

    In his own words

    “I became a confidential adviser because I want to help people and consider it important that the UvA provides a safe, comfortable working environment. I think that everyone deserves a chance to talk openly without being judged because everyone is equally important. I am a good listener and I'm happy to help look for a solution if that's what someone wants.”


    drs. G.B.J. (Gijs) Grob

    Administration Centre

    Student Administration

  • Juliette van Zuijlen (ICT Services and Facility Services)
    Potrait of Juliette van Zuijlen

    I have worked at the UvA since 2001, which is when I started in the Information Technology Centre. After a few years in various management positions, in 2015 I was appointed as head of Staff/Executive Secretariat. I support the ICTS management team and manage staff members (information security, finance, communication and secretariat).

    In her own words

    All UvA employees are entitled to work in a safe, respectful environment. I consider this very important. In the event of undesirable behaviour (aggression, intimidation, discrimination), I am here to listen to people and help them to find the best solution. All in the strictest confidence.


    drs. J.J. (Juliette) van Zuijlen

    ICT Services

  • Kasper Abcouwer (University Library)
    Portrait of Kasper Abcouwer
    Photo by Monique Kooijmans

    Kasper Abcouwer has worked for the University Library since 2001, first as a technical library officer, then as a subject librarian at the Pierson Revesz library and, from 2004 as an information specialist at the Faculty of Science. Apart from his traditional library duties, Kasper also focuses on the quantitative measurement of scientific publications (bibliometry). One of his bibliometric projects is uva-view. After hisdegree in physical geography at the UvA he worked for various organisations in Ecuador before returning to the UvA in 2001.

    In his own words:

    'If you experience undesirable behaviour at work you try to find a solution, and sometimes that works. As a confidential adviser I am on your side, everything we us stays between us and I will never take action without your consent. I will take the time to investigate with you what the best way is for you to tackle the situation.' 


    drs. K.M. (Kasper) Abcouwer

    Library of the UvA

    Faculteitsbibliotheek FNWI