This year’s laureate of the Lambers Student Excellence Award is Nikki Speklé, who graduated summa cum laude from both Erasmus School of Economics and Erasmus School of Law. She is presented the award, which is sponsored by ARK Fonds of Erasmus Trustfonds, during the Opening of the Academic Year on Monday August 31. The Award contains a monetary value of 3,500 euros and a medal.
‘An exceptionally gifted student’
In October 2018, Nikki Speklé completed her Master Economics and Business, with a specialisation in International Economics. She obtained a 9.5 for her Master thesis 'Closing the gates, moving the crime? An analysis of the effect of closing turnstiles gates at metro stations on the spatial distribution of crime in Rotterdam'. Thesis supervisor International Economics Professor Olivier Marie calls Nikki an exceptional student and probably one of his best students he has ever had: ‘From the start of the formation of her research idea to the final defence of her findings, the whole process was absolutely excellent. I was so impressed by the research that I proposed that we join forces at some point to turn it into a full fledge academic paper.’
In July 2019, Nikki also graduated summa cum laude from Erasmus School of Law with a master’s degree in Legal Theory & Socio-Legal Studies. Her thesis 'Enfranchising 'all affected interests': The case for a world federation' was again awarded with a 9.5, the highest mark her thesis supervisor Legal Theory, Professor Wibren van der Burg, has ever given in more than thirty years of teaching: ‘For her thesis, Nikki has studied the available literature extensively and her critical discussion of it is excellent and shows good analytical skills. It is broadly interdisciplinary with a focus on political theory – which is even more impressive since this is not her primary specialisation. In my view, it is an excellent thesis by an exceptionally gifted student.’
Intrigued by socially relevant topics
Nikki, who now works at the Boston Consulting Group after finishing the joint programme in Economics and Law, says she wants to dedicate her career to making a positive impact on society: ‘Bringing about positive change does not only require knowledge and vigour, but also the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To cultivate this latter quality, it is fundamental to understand how people not-so-similar to yourself might look at the world. The prize money can help me gain new perspectives I would not have been able to explore in depth if it were not for this Lambers Student Excellence Award. I would love to do a summer course at London School of Economics, for example “Islam and Politics” or “China: Global Power, Global Impact”. These topics are of great importance of today’s and tomorrow’s society but my knowledge on them is rather limited. Thus, I would love to get the chance to learn more about this in a stimulating environment.’