Beyond the scientist: Carolien Ruesen


Carolien Ruesen,  PhD candidate department of Internal Medicine, member of the RIHS PhD Council

Where and when were you born?

I was born in Wehl, a small village in ‘De Achterhoek’, in the summer of 1988. My father planted a ‘birth (apple) tree’, which is still there, next to the local swimming pool.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live in the city center of Nijmegen, with my (since this summer) husband Daan.

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

Annie M.G. Schmidt. I read all her books and wanted to be a writer, just like her. When I was 8 or 9 years old, I wrote a ‘book’ called “een bezoek aan feesten in andere landen” that I copied and sold on a charity evening at my primary school. A girl who was in my class and who was a really good drawer made all the pictures for the book. I still have a copy at home.

Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)

I guess at some point I realized that I found reading more interesting than writing, although I still quite like writing. Which comes in handy when you are a scientist.

What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?

I think this was when I earned one of the five grants in the annual internal PhD competition for Masters students of the medical faculty. Together with my current promotor I wrote a research proposal and I am now doing my PhD on this money.

What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?

Obtaining my PhD is my most important goal right now. After that, I would like to find a job where I can contribute to the control of infectious diseases. In general, it is important to me that I keep challenging myself, and learn something every day.

For what can we wake you up?

Puppies :)

What is your hobby and how good are you at it?

I am a fanatic football player. I started playing when I was five and played in boys teams until I was 14. Nowadays I do reasonably well as a defender or defensive midfielder at SC Woezik vrouwen 1, in Wijchen.

What is your biggest irritation?

A mosquito constantly circling around your head when you are trying to sleep, and completely disappearing the moment you turn on the light.

Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?

Mary Kok-Willemsen, President of the FootballEquals Foundation. She was my trainer in the ‘meiden C1’ when I played for the ‘RKHVV meidenvoetbalschool’. She is the best trainer I’ve had and one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. She is the living proof that women do have knowledge about football. It would be interesting to talk about her vision on women’s football and how we can bridge the gap between men and women in this sport in the Netherlands.

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