The Alum of the Year, the Teacher of the Year, and the Student Group of the Year, among others, were awarded at the annual celebration of the University of Lapland. Photo: Elli Alasaari.
The Alum of the Year, the Teacher of the Year, and the Student Group of the Year were awarded at the annual celebration of the University of Lapland on 1 March 2023. In addition, the Dissertation Award and Rector’s Award were presented. A new Award for Science/Art Communication was also given to university researchers during the annual celebration week.
Alum of the Year 2023: Maarit Simoska
The Steering Group for
Alumni Activities awarded Maarit Simoska the title of alum of the year.
Maarit Simoska earned a Master's degree in social sciences at the
University of Lapland in 1996 and she is a licensed social work
Simoska sets a positive example by working in diverse
sectors of society as a journalist, politician, entrepreneur, and memory
specialist. She has spent most of her career as a journalist in print
media and at Yle. She has consciously sought researchers at the
University of Lapland for interviews and made stories on interesting
research topics for both provincial and national media. Social
work-related themes have been of special interest to her, and she has
endeavoured to advance social justice by introducing various issues into
Simoska is known for her societal knowledge and
for her devotion. As an alum, she has actively and positively
contributed to the notability of our university and admirably pointed
out the significance of social work as an enabler of the well-being of
people living in Lapland. Through her activity, Simoska has strengthened
collaboration between the university and the job market. She also gives
lectures and participates in teaching actively at the University of
Lapland. Maarit Simoska is a commendable alum who has an interactive
relationship with her home university.
Alumn of the Year, Maarit Simoska. Photo: Elli Alasaari.
Teacher of the Year: Salla Jutila
Student Union of the University of Lapland awarded Salla Jutila the
title of teacher of the year. Salla Jutila works as university teacher
in tourism research at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The Student Union
describes the teacher of the year as follows:
In addition to her
teaching duties, Salla Jutila has worked as an exemplary teacher tutor.
Students have always been able to arrange personal guidance meetings
with her when there is a need for such. In guidance meetings, she brings
up the most relevant problems and knows how to steer in the right
direction when progress in studies seems difficult. In addition to her
excellent personal guidance, Salla has an ability to consider students'
everyday life around their studies and she is flexible by scheduling
study periods while listening to the students' wishes.
Teacher of the Year, Salla Jutila. Photo: Elli Alasaari.
Student Group of the Year: First year students of sustainability education
Student Union of the University of Lapland awarded a student group of
sustainability education – Gabriel Fiskarholm, Hanna Huostila, Telma
Metsämuuronen, Nuppu Savolainen, and Siiri Syrjänen – the title of
student group of the year. Student Union describes them as follows:
the challenges brought by the new degree programme, the sustainability
education students who started their studies in autumn 2022 have
performed excellently during their first fall of studies. In an
exemplary and constructive way, they have brought out the problems and
development areas they have identified within the programme. They have
actively sought to develop education. In addition, they have also
provided exemplary support to each other since the beginning of the
A group of first year students of sustainability education were awarded as the student group of the year. Photo: Elli Alasaari.
Dissertation Award to Joonas Vola
The doctoral dissertation Homunculus – Bearing Incorporeal
Arcticulations by Joonas Vola was awarded with the Dissertation Award. The jury
decribes the dissertation as follows:
Joonas Vola's interdisciplinary dissertation studies the subject of research on "The Arctic in change". The dissertation
demonstrates scientific courage and strong expertise in both the
philosophy of science and arctic research. Vola's monograph rethinks the
starting points of research and research writing and offers new ways to
define the Arctic as a concept and network of meanings. The
dissertation also has international significance and potential both
methodologically and from the perspective of the Arctic.
Joonas Vola received the dissertation award. Photo: Marko Junttila.
Rector's Award to Petra Falin
purpose of the Rector's Award is to recognise work, an employee, or a
group that has made a valuable effort for the benefit of the university.
This year the Rector's Award, 2,000 €, was given to Doctor of Arts,
Senior Specialist Petra Falin.
Rector Antti Syväjärvi describes the recipient as follows:
Falin works in research and development services, where her rigorous
competence has been at the community’s disposal – as service-oriented
expertise. The person has been a member of the Research Development
Committee, engaged in various research evaluations, and carried out
tasks requiring first-rate RDI expertise. Finally, it is important to
point out her contribution to the ethical pre-evaluation of research.
has worked successfully and provided a significant contribution to the
entire university community. She has selflessly and in a highly
professional manner supported the university in ensuring the success of
one of its central tasks. In our community, the recipient is regarded as
a team player who works in the best interests of the university and
strives for success through cooperation. When working for a team or the
community, she does not place actors in order of preference to optimise
issues for the benefit of her favourites or herself. Instead, she treats
people and teams impartially and patiently. Therein culminates the
ethos of service production.
Petra Falin received Rector's Award. Photo: Elli Alasaari.
In addition, medals of honour and recognition of service were handed out during the annual celebration.
Award for Communication to researchers of the OdigO project
new Award for Science/Art Communication was also given to university
researchers during the annual celebration week. With the award for
communication, we want to highlight researchers' and artists' own good
practices in communicating and popularizing science, research, art and
design, as a part of the social interaction of the University of
Lapland. The award is given for communicative activity which has
promoted the understanding of research/art in society, has demonstrated
an insightful attitude and courage, and/or has acted as an inspiring
example in the university community.
The researchers and project
personnel of the OdigO project (The skillful tutors of adults' and aging
population's digital competences to Lapland) were awarded for their
communication: Professor Päivi Rasi-Heikkinen, University Lecturer
Susanna Rivinen and University Lecturer Hanna Vuojärvi from the Faculty
of Education of the University of Lapland, as well as Principal Lecturer
Satu Elo, Senior Lecturer Tuula Ahokumpu and Senior Lecturer Anne
Jokelainen from the Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
project has taken up the topical theme of the digital skills of aging
population. Researchers and project personnel have done meritorious work
to ensure that the perspective of the elderly would be considered and
heard in the development of digitalization and in the related discussion
and practical measures. They have implemented and continue to implement
versatile, multi-channel and well popularized communication about the
results of the project and research related to the theme, such as open
webinars, a 15-part short video series, articles in newspapers and
magazines, social media content, and expert interviews and talks. Their
communication activities have made University of Lapland and its
researchers known as experts in this research area both nationally and
Researchers of the OdigO project were awarded for their
communication. Susanna Rivinen, Päivi Rasi-Heikkinen and Hanna Vuojärvi in the photo by Elli Alasaari.