Meet Our Faculty

Paul Anstiss

Paul Anstiss, BA

Media Ethics

Paul Anstiss has worked as a broadcast news journalist for more than 25 years. He was a television reporter and news reader for the BBC (Breakfast News, BBC News Channel, and BBC World Television) and for the ITV commercial network in the United Kingdom. Anstiss also worked for five years as a senior producer, reporter and presenter for Radio Netherlands Worldwide. During the course of his career, Anstiss has travelled extensively on assignments throughout the world and covered a wide range of stories including the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, G7 summits, conflicts in Somalia and Bosnia, and climate change in Antarctica.

Today, in addition to his work as a lecturer in journalism, media literacy and media ethics, Paul writes for companies such as Shell, AEGON, and Amsterdam Marketing. He coaches politicians and company executives in Europe, Africa and the Middle East on their media and presentation strategies.

Alexandra Arshanskaya

Alexandra Arshanskaya, MS

Alexandra Arshanskaya is a visual thinker, visual artist, performer, visual design professional, and teacher with a background in science and finance. Her professional practice includes painting, drawing, performance, digital art, photography, videography, graphic design, illustrations, and interdisciplinary projects. Besides lecturing in the Media Department at Webster University Leiden, Arshanskaya gives drawing and painting lessons and offers workshops in various visual techniques. Also, she maintains visualizations and visual coaching during conferences, seminars and business meetings.

Arshanskaya obtained a BA from the Royal Academy of Art (The Hague, The Netherlands) in 2012 and then went on to study exact sciences at the St-Petersburg State University, Russia, completing her MS degree in Mathematical Economics. Since 2006, she has been exhibiting, performing and collaborating on different visual projects in London (UK), Berlin (Germany), St-Petersburg (Russia) and throughout the Netherlands.

More information about Alexandra's projects can be found at: Alexandra Arshanskaya's personal website; Alexandra Arshanskaya on LinkedIn

Taco Hidde Bakker

Taco Hidde Bakker, MA

Art writing and translation

Taco Hidde Bakker is a writer, translator and researcher based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 2007, he completed a master's degree in Photographic Studies at Leiden University with a thesis on the crossroads of photography theory and visual anthropology. Subsequently, he worked as researcher and writer on the large-scale documentary project, "The Last Days of Shishmaref," with Paradox and photographer Dana Lixenberg. His writings about art and photography have been widely published in magazines, including Camera Austria International, Foam Magazine, EXTRA, British Journal of Photography, and The PhotoBook Review, and also in catalogues and artist's books.

His first volume of essays, "The Photograph That Took the Place of a Mountain," was published in 2018 by Fw:Books.


Marije L. Balt, MA


Marije Balt has an MA in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. She is a former senior diplomat of the Netherlands government. She will take students through the world of defense, diplomacy and development from an insider's point of view. As an expert on peace building, she currently advises organizations and companies working in (post) conflict countries and frequently travels to countries like Somalia, Mali, and Libya. In her capacity as a trainer, she works at the CIMIC center of excellence with NATO Higher Command.

Allison Kirk

Allison Kirk, PhD

Academic Writing, Theoretical and Historical Linguistics

Allison Kirk, PhD, is a Canadian linguist and English instructor. She obtained her doctorate degree from Leiden University Center for Linguistics in 2012, with specialization in word order and information structure in Old Greek. Kirk has been teaching at Webster Leiden Campus since 2013, as well as coordinating the Writing Center. She also teaches at Utrecht University in the department of English Language and Culture. Allison teaches a variety of courses in English linguistics, as well as English academic writing. Her research interests include nominal and clausal syntax of Indo-European languages, as well as of Iroquoian and Algonquian languages spoken in Canada.

Vanessa Lann

Vanessa Lann, MA

Music Composition

Vanessa Lann studied Musicology, Piano Performance, and Composition at Harvard University, in addition to Physics and Film Theory. She later received her master's degree in Music Composition from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. She is an internationally-recognized, prize-winning composer, and many of her works are known for the complex mathematical principles which govern their structures.

Her music has been performed in concert halls throughout the world, including Lincoln Center (New York) and The Concertgebouw (Amsterdam). She has been commissioned to create works for such distinguished ensembles as the Radio Chamber Orchestra of The Netherlands and the Orchestra De Volharding, as well as for soloists including Tomoko Mukaiyama, Guy Livingston, Ivo Janssen, Harry Sparnaay, Annelie de Man, and Eleonore Pameijer. She was the subject of a Dutch television documentary in 1997, which focused on her music and on the compact disc recording of her work for the large ensemble, Dancing to an Orange Drummer. Six other CDs feature Lann's music, which are published by Donemus, Amsterdam.

She recently received the 2019 BUMA Classical Award for being the most-performed Dutch composer worldwide.

Piotr Perczynski

Piotr Perczynski, PhD

Political Theory

Piotr Perczynski, PhD, earned his graduate degrees in International Relations and Political Science from Warsaw University and was awarded scholarships at Oxford University, Leiden University and University of Amsterdam. He was a postdoctoral researcher on political theory at Leiden University (1998-2001) and senior lecturer at the European Institute of Public Administration (2006-2009). He has also served as a head of Political Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister, as a national coordinator for Performance Budget (statutory authority) and a Vice-Ambassador of Poland to the Netherlands (2012-2016). Currently, he is a lecturer on politics and international relations and is doing research on the work of Machiavelli and Castiglione.

Carlos Roos

Carlos Roos, PhD


Carlos Roos, PhD, is a lecturer with seven-plus years of experience teaching core curriculum, elective, and mandatory courses in the humanities and the social sciences, with a focus on the arts. His teaching at Webster covers areas such as media and communication, art as social practice, and cultural studies. Roos has a master's in Philosophy of Art and a PhD in Creative and Performing Arts, both from Leiden University. Relevant publications include “A metaphysical model of communication: With examples from The Gold Rush” (2019) and “Lost performance and short film: Behrupiya on the stages of global capitalism” (2018). Roos is the executive editor of Empedocles European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication.

Sheetal Shah

Sheetal Shah, PhD

Interim Head of Global Citizenship Program

Sheetal Shah, PhD, is the academic director at Webster Leiden Campus, Webster University USA. As an educator and change maker at heart, she is a psychologist with a global orientation and has had the privilege of applying most psychological theories to different contexts in the real world, for example, education, public health, leadership, global citizenship, and grassroots-level work.

Shah specializes in the field of counseling for chronic illnesses and trauma; her research interests are focused in the field of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. In 2012, she founded the Bijlmer Project, a research project investigating the needs of victims of human trafficking, and now volunteers with the intervention phase of the project, Bridge2Hope that addresses the psychosocial and vocational needs of sexually trafficked women and men in the European Union. This project has also been a successful experiential learning component for many courses that are taught in both the psychology and global citizenship programs at Webster’s Leiden campus.

Part of Shah’s philosophy of teaching has been to connect students to real-world problems, or what she calls the "classroom outdoors" or "classroom in the community" format. This approach focuses on using experiential learning components in the field to build on the theoretical underpinnings that students learn in the classroom. Having studied both in India and the UK, and having worked with an American educational system within a Dutch/European setting, her familiarity with diverse curricula has helped her understand and effectively respond to the evolving needs and dynamics of the international student profile that universities cater to as part of their global network.

Jonathan Talbott

Jonathan Talbott, BA

Interpersonal Communication

Jonathan Talbott is a communications advisor with a specialty in spoken communication and a background in the performing arts.

“I started out in business with a plan to help presenters eliminate ‘Death by PowerPoint,’ but it has gotten a little out of hand. The presenting work led to coaching TEDx talks. I’ve now assisted in the creation of more than 200 of those. Before I knew it, I was helping people and organizations with giving pitches, preparing for panel discussions, focusing their small talk at events, planning negotiation communication and practicing interviews. I spend a fair amount of time talking about goals, strategy and planning, particularly with regard to emotional connection with audiences. I also work with lots of startups on market validation, which really means asking good questions and carefully listening to the answers.”

Talbott is a regular guest lecturer on communications skills at the Delft University of Technology, Utrecht University and Erasmus University.


Marjon van Opijnen, MBA

Business Ethics

Over the past 15 years, van Opijnen's main focus has been on social sustainability and justice in the Netherlands, Europe, Africa, and Asia. In the different positions she has held, she has operated on operational and strategic levels within organizations and in relation with external stakeholders. Where applicable, she also touches upon the more systemic change that projects or problems require.

The main fields in which she initiated and carried out projects are: sustainable supply chain management, human rights, sustainable business development, strategy & policy development, leadership and economic & business transition to a new economy, and sustainable society.

Furthermore, she has been teaching Responsible Business at the Nyenrode New Business School since 2008. She holds a Master of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Applied Ethics. She successfully fulfilled the basic auditors training for SAI and followed several trainings in the area of systemic work and leadership.

Bob Zevering

Bob Zevering, MA

Dutch and intercultural communication

Bob Zevering studied Dutch at the Free University in Amsterdam where he received his MA in Arts (Dutch language and culture). He continued his studies at the Free University with an MA in Education.

With his company, Learn the Language, he has provided and arranged language and culture courses for middle and higher management at companies since 1999. He also set up several combined language and culture programs for talented refugees/'statushouders'.

Next to his regular company courses, he also coaches cast members of big musicals like Billy Elliot, The Lion King, Anastasia and Tina Turner. He helps the (international) performers with their language skills and makes sure that the rhythm, pronunciation, and intonation of their lines are how they should be.