What DA rule appeared most confusing to you when you started teaching here?
When acquainting myself with the student code of conduct I encountered not only the familiar issues related to good academic conduct and honesty, but also a dress-code that goes into quite some detail. And then I learned also about more informal aspects of the dress code, like the DA tradition related to bowties.
What is your signature phrase?
Don’t have a deliberate one, but I tend to start my seminars with ‘welcome everybody’…
What is your favourite spot at the Academy?
In terms of ‘iconic places’, the entrance hall displaying the uniform of a pupil of the Imperial and Royal Consular Academy between 1898-99 and 1918. It is also a reminder that the DA dress-code goes far back, whilst evolving over time…
If you could change one thing about the DA what would you choose?
When I worked in Spain, my office was close to the sea. So a DA close to the sea would be perfect, especially in the summer. In the winter it could stay where it is.
What was the best meal you ever had at the DA’s dining room?
Interesting that you are asking this question. One Friday I could only make it late for dinner, with just a few colleagues left finishing their lunch. Still, I got served and was told I should not hurry when I was the final one remaining in the dining room. I am not sure if it was the best DA meal I ever had, but I felt really well taken care of.
Do you think about joining the tradition of wearing a bowtie at the DA?
Let me try to approach this with some scientific rigour. According to the International Bowtie Society - and based on its “observations, research, and collaboration” - common bowtie stereotypes are that “(o)nly kids, comedians, clowns, eccentric professors (with pipes and comfortable shoes), or ice cream vendors wear bow ties”. Moreover, scientific research suggests that eccentric behaviour is easier kept under control by younger people; yet, as people grow older expressions of eccentric behaviour tend to increase. If, with progressive age, an inner urge to wear a bowtie should call for expression, I am confident that some of my wonderful colleagues at the DA faculty could readily provide me invaluable advice to pick the right bowtie.
What advice would you give DA students who aim at working for the EU?
Don’t hold the UK citizenship, embrace complexity and diversity, and meet your challenges with engagement, curiosity, courage and creativity - because you will be working for the worthwhile cause of integrating Europe.