What we do

A vibrant student life needs a good student journal – and that’s what we are doing. We put into words what Maastricht’s student body thinks of the world’s affairs.


The Maastricht Diplomat is the town's leading journal for student opinions. It is published by the journal committee of the United Nations Student Association (UNSA). The committee is comprised of around 25 students from various faculties and backgrounds. Next to the online blog, the MD publishes a regular podcast on Soundcloud and on Spotify. Our topics include everything from global to local debates in politics, science, society, and culture.


In our editorial process, every member receives extensive feedback and gets the opportunity to develop their individual journalistic style. The MD is a ground for experimenting and learning. This year, a particular focus of the MD will be on testing new media formats like video and on further developing our presence on social media.

Who we are

Peter Pelzer

Peter Pelzer

Head editor

Peter is a student of European law and has been a writer for the Maastricht Diplomat since 2019. He grew up in Berlin and has obtained a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Bonn University before moving to the Netherlands. Peter's diverse interests include European and global politics, science and technology, jazz, and literature. His favourite book was Camus' The Plague before it was cool.

Brendan Hogan

Brendan Hogan

Head editor

Brendan is a proud European who has reared Belgium and Ethiopia and let loose in the Netherlands. He has been serving his time at Maastricht University attempting to get a BA in European Studies (whatever that means). His interests include but are not limited to: games, politics and sci-fi. Also perusing some solid post-apocalyptic fiction from time to time, as it gives him hope for the future. He currently is a Co-head of the Maastricht Diplomat and is running the podcast (follow us on Spotify, Soundcloud, or Apple podcasts). And, almost forgot to mention, greatly enjoys a good cup of tea.

Roo Read

Roo Read

Co-head audiovisual media

Roo Read is a proud TCK who grew up mostly in Singapore. She came to the Netherlands to study Arts and Culture at Maastricht University and is an aspiring documentary filmmaker who focuses on telling human stories. She has always been fascinated by the power of storytelling and joined the Maastricht Diplomat in 2019 to continue her passion through writing and podcasts. This year she will be the Co-Head for the audiovisual media section of the Maastricht Diplomat!

Anahita Lotfollahzadeh

Anahita Lotfollahzadeh

Co-head social media

Anahita is an Iranian that has grown up in Germany. Now, she is considered one of the *rare* Germans studying Psychology at Maastricht University (play “Englishman in New York). If you ever wonder about her whereabouts, look out for tea and coffee stains on the ground. She can’t be far.
Other than writing and reading, especially poetry, she likes “turning things into rocket science” and trying out anything you could think of. Speaking of, she is convinced that psychology helps her understand the world and its dynamics more profoundly. After all, wouldn’t things be better, if we understood ourselves, thus everybody else, more clearly? She aspires to share food for thought with anyone who is just as eager to figure it out. Whatever that is. As long as everything is as interconnected as is, there’s enough to wonder, ponder, write and ask questions about. Her strongest opinion? Questions are the best type of sentence – feel free to change her mind.

Charelle Abdallah

Charelle Abdallah

Editor

In a nutshell, Charelle is a 24-year-old from Lebanon, holding a bachelor degree in Film Studies and an aspiring scriptwriter/filmmaker. She came to the Netherlands to study Art, Literature and Society at Maastricht University. Joining the MD was not part of her plan, but she did it anyway, and currently she couldn't be happier.

Dan Edwards

Dan Edwards

Editor

Dan is very British, hailing from nearly all parts of the UK. Whilst he is not good in the sun, it has not deterred him from being a member of the Maastricht Diplomat for 3 years. Dan does not judge on race, gender or sexual orientation but does judge on music taste. Whatever people may say about him, he does not drink too much. *beer can opening*

Marence Jurgens

Marence Jurgens

Editor

As an enthusiastic third year European Law student, Marence is always in for interesting conversations. Her love for reading and writing finds its roots in Maastricht, where she grew up in a small village. Besides playing tennis and going for the occasional run, she’s interested in international and European politics, science and culture.

Natasha Simpson

Natasha Simpson

Editor

Natasha is a happy African feminist. Born and raised in Zambia she came to The Netherlands to study European Law. She joined the Maastricht Diplomat in 2019 to continue her love for writing. Some of her interests are exploring different cultures, looking at societal norms and how they came to be, tea, cooking and African music. She is enthusiastic about writing for the Maastricht Diplomat this year.

Paloma Pitsillides

Paloma Pitsillides

Editor

Paloma is a 22-year-old South African/Cypriot who studies a combination of peace and conflict studies, law, and public health at the University College Maastricht. On the rare occasions she leaves her house, Paloma enjoys exploring new places with friends and stalking cute dogs she sees on the street. However, most of the time you will find her at home, under a blanket with a book or movie and a warm beverage of choice. She is fascinated with debunking conspiracy theories and is interested in unpacking systemic injustices. Her work at the diplomat consists mainly of editing pieces with her team, however in the future she may publish work of her own.

Simon Wirtz

Simon Wirtz

Editor

When Simon signed up to be an editor for his high school’s newspaper at age 13, he couldn’t imagine that he would end up being an actual journalist 12 years later. After graduating from an extensive journalism training with a German newspaper, for which he paused his Bachelor’s degree in European Studies, he returned to class and joined Maastricht Diplomat as a new editor in autumn 2021. Simon wants to expand his skillset by writing journalistic texts in English and making his first steps in the realm of podcasting. He’s always up for a conversation about anything, but especially about politics and societal issues. And he loves a Kölsch, Brand or coffee with it! Furthermore, Simon lives polyamorous: He doesn’t just love his girlfriend, but also his dog Luna, who the couple adopted from a Romanian shelter.

Alodia Heijmans

Alodia Heijmans

I used to like to write teasing and polemical articles when I was 15 years old in my high school newspaper, in the city where I am from in France. I used to write because I liked it, without necessarily caring about the usefulness of what I was doing. Today, I write in this newspaper which seems to be more serious even though I still intend to have fun with words. And later, I'd like it to become even more serious, so serious that it would be a job for me, but I promise that making puns will still be my favorite weapon.

Ana Navarro Bullo

Ana Navarro Bullo

Born in western Argentina and raised in a Catalan village, halfway my BA at Maastricht University and strolling around the world when the time (and budget) allows. Big fan of long conversations, photography in all of its ways and the power of people's own stories. Endlessly indecisive so no favourite books or cities but the poems of Jacques Prévert – and grapes. If I could magically get a skill, it'd be to remember good quotes.

Anthi Likitsakos

Anthi Likitsakos

Anthi is a first year student in the Global Studies program of Greek descent from the United States. She is passionate about politics, environmental studies, and creative writing. In her free time, Anthi loves to read, take photographs, sing, and play guitar. In Maastricht, you may catch her going through stacks of clothes at Kringloop stores or falling off of her bike.

Cam Nghiem

Cam Nghiem

Cam joined the Maastricht Diplomat because, despite his love for international politics, economics, and social justice, three years of doing Model UN is frankly quite too much for him. Also because he enjoys writing! You can easily find Cam trying to study so many languages at the same time, listening to Ariana Grande hitting high notes, and struggling to cook authentic Vietnamese food in Europe.

Ekaterina Zemskova

Ekaterina Zemskova

Ekaterina is a 22-year-old from Belarus. She has a bachelor’s degree in international law and now she is doing her master’s degree in Globalization and Law at Maastricht University. Kate is deeply passionate about human rights, women’s and reproductive rights in particular. She is also interested in politics, journalism, psychology, and ukulele playing.

Giuliana Brancaleone

Giuliana Brancaleone

Giuliana, short G, is a self-proclaimed introvert. They enjoy conversations with people that go beyond the daily small talk. As someone who grew up in the middle of nowhere, in-between mountains, in Switzerland, being outside and grounded to the earth is a crucial part of their life. Nature and creativity are essential for her sanity. They find pleasure in researching and challenging norms or things that are taken for granted. This is not too surprising, considering she is a second-year Arts and Culture student.

Jane Hilgert

Jane Hilgert

Growing up between Germany and the Philippines, as well as the stereotypical high school exchange year in the USA, I am now happily at home here in Maastricht. Currently, I am enrolled in my third year of European Law with a minor in Sustainability and wish to pursue a career in ocean governance. After two years of organizing UNSA’s EuroMUN in the Marketing & Communications Team and plenty of creative writing experience, I am looking forward to finding and showcasing my own voice at the Maastricht Diplomat in the audiovisual media team.

Jonathan Wijayaratne

Jonathan Wijayaratne

Katherina Petersen

Katherina Petersen

Katherina is greatly interested in how society, science and technology push and shape each other through complex connections. This is why she is studying the ESST master’s degree at Maastricht University, where she delves into scientific and technological development from an interdisciplinary perspective. With this background, she aims at investigating these aspects further via her writing for the Maastricht Diplomat. In her free time, Katherina enjoys running, time with friends, and trying to learn new languages, which goes: up and down, comme ci comme ca, ​​más o menos.

Lee-Ann Lichtenberger

Lee-Ann Lichtenberger

Lee-Ann is a first-year Global Studies student from Luxembourg. She has graduated in 2021 and is now very happy to be studying in Maastricht. She has already been part of her secondary school's paper and is therefore looking forward to be a part of a new community and start writing articles for the Maastricht Diplomat. She deeply cares about topics such as climate change, history, literature, feminism, and politics. In her free time, she loves to read, go for a walk, play guitar, and learn new languages.

Leilani Radaideh

Leilani Radaideh

Leilani is a current second year student of European Law at Maastricht University. She is Jordanian-Slovenian and was born in Sacramento (Sacramento where you at?), raised in Dubai. She finds interest in art, literature, listening to David Bowie and...oh yeah, law! You can find Leilani trying various falafel places as she attempts to find the best falafel in town (suggestions are welcomed).

Lucrezia Nicosia

Lucrezia Nicosia

Léane Del Duca

Léane Del Duca

Léane is a passionate Franco-Luxembourgish student who grew up in France. She decided to move this year to Maastricht in order to obtain a Bachelor in European Studies. Particularly touched by arts, she finds her interest in playing the piano, listening to various types of music, knitting and discovering new languages. She enjoys writing about culture, history, politics, literature and philosophy. As a curious and open-minded person, she freshly joined the Maastricht Diplomat, expecting to develop her writing skills and to build new friendships.

Meike de Jong

Meike de Jong

Hi! My name is Meike and I am a second-year biomedical sciences student. I like to (re)make clothes and read especially Scandinavian thrillers. I am a real cheesehead, so if there's one thing you can wake me up for at night, it's cheese. Some might argue about my taste in music, but I love rap music. My favourite rapper is Jack Harlow or Ronnie Flex (for all my Dutchies :)). I am interested in science and the way it is implemented by society. So that's what I would like to write about.

Mercure Libbrecht Gourdet

Mercure Libbrecht Gourdet

Born and raised in Germany from Swiss and Belgian parents, Mercure is passionate about anything world politics, arts (high and low), new technologies, science and linguistics. Whenever he’s travelling you will always see him with a camera in one hand, a book in the other. As an avid cyclist and photographer, he is particularly fascinated by capturing the beauty in mundane moments and learning about other people’s stories. His favourite location in the world are probably the alps, he loves speeding down them when they are covered in snow, may it be on one or two boards, or climbing them back up.

Paula Nörr

Paula Nörr

Paula believes in the power of words and loves to read and write about people and politics. The 2nd year European Studies student deems the Maastricht Diplomat as a unique platform where the students and people of Maastricht can share their stories and thoughts both in written and verbal form. Besides debating about society and policies, Paula likes to go for a run or walk in the nature around Maastricht. She is passionate about learning new languages, travelling, yoga and cooking in good company.

Pearl Lock

Pearl Lock

Radina Andreeva

Radina Andreeva

Radi is an Econometrics student who is beginning her 4th year in Maastricht. Besides economics, she is mostly interested in psychology, philosophy and astrology. She joined the Maastricht Diplomat to participate in the podcast and interact with a wide array of people that one might not typically meet at a SBE event. In her free time, she enjoys spending her salary at Coffeelovers as well as experimenting with cooking and reading.

Sarbani Bag

Sarbani Bag

Sarbani is a first year biomedical sciences student who is not only passionate about journalism but, also, creating an impact through her words. As a South Asian coming from a small island in the Caribbean, known as St.Maarten, she aspires to inspire others through her works, her actions, and everything that falls in between. Aside from her passion for writing, she also enjoys reading, dancing, learning languages and creating memories with her loved ones.

Sharada Kerkar

Sharada Kerkar

Sharada Kerkar is a development sector practitioner, illustrator, and storyteller. Over the last 6 years, she has worked in the area of digital education, entrepreneurship and art livelihoods. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s in Public Policy and Human Development at the UNU-MERIT. She loves to travel, get drenched in the rain, read children’s literature, and anthropomorphize the objects, animals and plants around her.

Valentina Giolli

Valentina Giolli

Valentina is a first-year student in Global Studies. She was born and raised in a small city near Florence, which made her wish to travel as much as possible. She is passionate about geopolitics, social justice, feminism, and weird facts about the world. She’s a big fan of books, movies, and music, especially when combined together. Whether she’s traveling around the world or enjoying a sunny day in Maastricht you’ll catch her with AirPods on and a book in her hands.

Victoria Alexander

Victoria Alexander

Victoria is a third-year student of European Laws at Maastricht University. A deeply passionate and energetic person, her interests range widely from politics to religion to health and more. Basically, if it catches her attention, she’s into it. She enjoys singing, “art-ing,” and making jewelry, but above all, she enjoys spending quality time with the people who make her happy.