A Dutch woman turned Dromore resident has ‘mastered’ multi-tasking to graduate with distinction from Queen’s University, Belfast.
Maike Rea-Schermer managed to juggle study with having a baby, and running a business, to gain a Master of Sciences degree in Atypical Child Development.
Maike settled in Dromore with her locally-born husband in 2013 but has continued to run De Taalsleutel, the Netherlands-based company she set up to advise on special education and teach professionals within that setting.
She now plans to continue her studies at Queen’s with a part-time PhD in Psychology.
Likewise, she means to continue consulting with both Dutch and Northern Ireland schools on special educational needs.
Reflecting on her time at Queen’s, Maike said: “One of the things I loved most about Queen’s was the beautiful buildings and scenery around campus and the great sense of history and heritage – 160 years of tradition.
“During my research, I collaborated with several primary schools in Northern Ireland, after which one of the schools asked me to provide a workshop for their staff on speech, language and communication needs in children.
“My aim is to provide more services like this.
“ I love the way Queen’s interacts with its local community and impacts on society.
“Building bridges with schools is not only beneficial to my research, but it also provides the opportunity to share the latest insights and, in this way, what happens in universities can actually change lives.
“That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.”