The Alum of the Year Award was presented to comic book artist and illustrator Jussi-Pekka ”JP” Ahonen. He gave a video address at the Annual Celebration. Photo: Ville Rinne.
The Annual Celebration of the University of Lapland was organized on Tuesday the 1st of March. The alum of the year, the teacher of the year, the student community of the year and the doctoral dissertation of the year were awarded. Furthermore, the rector’s award was presented and the medals awarded by the President of Finland on the 6th of December 2021 were given. Staff members with long careers at the university were also awarded.
Alum of the Year 2022: Jussi Pekka “JP” Ahonen
This year, the University of Lapland’s Steering Group for Alumni Activities decided to present the Alum of the Year Award to comic book artist and illustrator Jussi-Pekka ”JP” Ahonen.
JP Ahonen graduated from the Degree Programme in Graphic Design in 2006. He has published his work widely in Finland where he is known particularly for his comic strip series Villimpi Pohjola, which has appeared in the newspapers Aamulehti and Lapin kansa. Some of Ahonen’s own study experiences have also found their way into his work. Moreover, Ahonen is an internationally published comic book artist known particularly for his comic strip series Belzebubs which combines comic art, metal music, and animation in inventive ways. Ahonen is currently working on the script for his upcoming animated series Belzebubs for the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (Yle). Illustrations made by Ahonen also regularly appear in newspapers and magazines.
Since his graduation, JP Ahonen has maintained contact with the Faculty of Art and Design of the University of Lapland. Students describe his lectures as rewarding. The Steering Group for Alumni Activities also paid attention to Ahonen’s contribution to student well-being. He has readily shared his career experiences and provided valuable peer support to students. Ahonen is characterized as an important source of encouragement and a trusted counsel to students.
Teacher of the Year: Miia Hast
The Student Union of the University of Lapland awarded Miia Hast to be the teacher of the year. She is a University Teacher in the Faculty of Education. The Student Union's grounds for their decision:
Miia Hast greets students with a cheerful attitude, asking how they are doing. She is interested in their condition and truly present, which is proven by her approachability. She treats students in a fair and equal manner. Hast does not only give advice on her own subject, but on other topics relevant to students’ life and future careers, as well.
Hast’s innovativeness and enthusiasm towards her subject have a positive effect on students’ motivation. Good examples of her student-oriented approach are the development of students’ original ideas and flexibility with courses schedules as well as participation possibilities. Her work also includes influential acts, for students’ rights for example, that might be invisible for some.
The teacher of the year is Miia Hast. Photo: Ville Rinne.
The student community of the year: Huoleton Huone Project
The Student Union of the University of Lapland awarded Huoleton Huone as the student community of the year. Their grounds for the decision:
Huoleton Huone was a project by students. The group was looking for solutions with science and art on how to improve the University of Lapland as a studying environment. The basis was people’s wellbeing and mental health and the aspect of prevention guided the project. The objectives were to increase communal activity at the university, and to offer a channel for venting and peer support. These were advanced by workshop activity, Instagram channel and magazine articles. Open and committed attitude, as well as versatile skills and motivation to improve the sense of community at the University of Lapland, were typical for this group.
By their systematic activity and ideas, the group has invested in the wellbeing of both, the students and staff of the university, and in the sense of community. The arctic student identity shows in their open-minded attitude towards learning, in helping others and in their interest to improve and develop wellbeing in the whole university community.
The Student Community of the year is Huoleton Huone project group. Some of the students of the group were present at the Annual Celebration. Photo: Ville Rinne.
Distinguished Early-Career Researcher Award: Heidi Härkönen
The best dissertation of the year award was presented to Heidi Härkönen and her dissertation Fashion and copyright: Protection as a tool to foster sustainable development (Faculty of Law). The grounds for the award by the evaluation group:
Heidi Härkönen’s dissertation “Fashion and copyright: Protection as a tool to foster sustainable development” (Faculty of Law) introduces fashion law into the Finnish juridical discourse particularly from the viewpoint of sustainability objectives.
The study consists of five multidisciplinary research articles that link traditional legal methods with a new topic and examine the intertwining of the methods with sustainable development.
The author has succeeded especially in specifying the research topic and adopting a multidisciplinary approach. Härkönen’s methodological proficiency demonstrates her thorough knowledge of the research topic. The author skilfully navigates the vague and difficult concept of copyright protection by changing the course of the research whenever necessary.
Härkönen’s dissertation makes interesting reading, and she boldly presents her own views. The dissertation creates an excellent basis for further research on fashion law. In addition, the study is significant in a wider societal and cultural context.
Heidi Härkönen’s dissertation “Fashion and copyright: Protection as a tool to foster sustainable development” is the best dissertation of the year. Photo: Ville Rinne.
Rector’s Award: Anna-Maija Partanen
The Rector’s Award, the sum of 2,000 euros, was presented to Doctor of Education and a University Lecturer in didactics of mathematics Anna-Maija Partanen. The idea of the Rector’s Award is to recognise work, a worker, or even a group that has made a valuable effort for the benefit of our university. Rector Antti Syväjärvi's grounds for the award this year:
Anna-Maija Partanen has succeeded in her work and made a valuable contribution to our community. The work is a combination of developing our internal operations and engaging in activities at the national level. Through her work, this year’s awardee has enhanced the internal coherence and positive visibility of the university.
LUMA Centre Lapland, in the Faculty of Education, was established in 2015 as part of the LUMA Centre Finland network. The network aims to inspire children and young people to engage in natural sciences, mathematics, technology, and computer science. A busy actor in the Faculty of Education, LUMA Centre Lapland has also increased cooperation with other faculties and units. For example, a university for children and young people is under construction.
Through LUMA activities, science and art education become a natural part of the lives of children and young people. Also, they become familiar with the university and the way it works. But let’s bear in mind that LUMA Centre Lapland is also teamwork. We therefore thank the entire team for their efforts.
Anna-Maija Partanen and Antti Syväjärvi at the Annual Celebration. Photo: Ville Rinne.
Medals awarded by the President of Finland
The medals awarded by the President of Finland on the 6th of December 2021 were presented at the Annual Celebration:
Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland
Knight of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
Awards for the staff members with long careers
The staff members with long careers at the University of Lapland were also awarded at the Annual Celebration.
35 years career:
Elli Hiltunen, Lisbet Jacobson, Eija Kumpula, Kirsi Kuusikko, Arja Piironen and Jaana Salmela.
30 years career:
Raili Heikkilä, Michael Jacobs, Jukka Jokimäki, Leila Juanto, Tuija Katermaa, Sari Keskiniva, Rauno Rusko, Monica Tennberg and Seija Ulkuniemi.
25 years career:
Riitta Aikio, Pertti Aula, Max Juntunen, Tarja Kemppainen, Seija Lanko, Leila Lipiäinen, Soili Nysten-Haarala, Susanna Parikka and Minna Turunen.
20 years career:
Miia Hast, Maria Huhmarniemi, Tarja Juntunen, Tomi Knuutila, Satu Kumpulainen, Jaana Köngäs, Jari Mikkola, Minna Nousiainen, Heidi Pietarinen, Suvi Ronkainen, Arto Selkälä, Outi Tuomikoski, Hanna Vakkala and Susanna Vuorjoki
15 years career:
Jose-Carlos Garcia-Rosell, Kirsi Hannula, Matti Honkala, Kamrul Hossain, Ilari Hovila, Markku Kiikeri, Kaisa Kostamo-Pääkkö, Marjo Laukkanen, Eila Linna, Susan Meriläinen, Toni Raja-Hanhela, Tiina Seppälä, Jaana Severidt, Sandra Wallenius-Korkalo and Antti Väisänen.