The name of the art object is ‘Obrigado’,” Portuguese for ‘thank you’. Her students are clearly thankful, as appeared from both the introduction video and the form filled in by her colleagues in order to nominate her. Both contained an avalanche of praising words. “The first e-mail address that the students know off by heart is yours” and “She always listens, pays attention to her students. Also, it doesn’t matter if she is really busy - she is all the time - but she is always there for the students,” the video says.
Köhler played a major role in the reform of the bachelor’s programme of Biomedical Sciences. Her colleagues describe a situation during the graduation ceremony of the first students to have completed the new bachelor’s. “Leo was honoured with a standing ovation,” when she approached the stage for her speech. “Something we had never witnessed before.”
Köhler emphasised that she may have been the one to receive the prize, “but that it is a team effort. I worked really hard, but so did a hundred others.” The fact that she won, has to do with visibility, she thinks. As a bachelor’s co-ordinator she is very visible. In addition, Köhler is a mentor, she supervises practicals, she gives lectures, assesses writing assignments, and she is a tutor in two tutorial groups each year. “I do all kinds of things, then you get noticed.”
“The best thing about education is working with students,” says Köhler. “You see how they grow; I love that. I also learn from them, for example, when they ask unexpected questions. Such questions make me think about how I can improve matters for the students.”
“My dream for the future is no more curriculum revisions in the coming years, but systematic improvements to the existing one,” says Köhler. At the moment, for example, her department is working on a series of practicals in which senior students supervise junior students. “Through the feedback that we get from students, our practicals are only getting better and more instructive.”