The feather – Sarah Rohaert

A Feather in Your Cap: the feather is a prize passed on from one UAntwerp colleague to another in recognition of their efforts or achievements. This month Devanshi Saxena (Faculty of Law) passes the feather on to Sarah Rohaert (Faculty of Design Sciences).

I met Sarah when I came to Antwerp in 2015 after two weeks of a summer school in Leuven. Sarah was representing USOS in welcoming a group of five Indian students to Antwerp. I remember us being deeply touched by her kind hospitality and her enthusiasm about our participation. Over the years I have seen Sarah participate with the same amount of empathy and enthusiasm in her work with USOS to help foreign students feel welcome and included in their various projects.

Sarah is currently working as a researcher and guest professor at the Department of Product Development, Faculty of Design Sciences. Every time I hear her talk about her work with the students, I see the genuine appreciation she has for her role as an educator and the happiness she derives from seeing her students thrive. The last time I met Sarah, it was during the India edition of the USOS Sustainable Fair on Fair Fashion, an exhibition designed by the students of the European Project Semester. Sarah was proud of the work of the students in creating an interactive survey board that served as an educational tool for creating awareness about the true cost of Fashion.  

Colleagues such as Sarah make me very optimistic about the potential of our university in generating useful scholarship and in preparing students to think creatively and constructively to deal with the various problems we face as a society. I am always inspired by the creative approach she takes in her work and in her personal projects that make complex issues more comprehensible for her audience. Her research and teaching in the area of sustainability and her orientation towards social justice is commendable. These characteristics make her an ideal recipient for the feather.