Students, especially first and second year students who have not yet had the opportunity to get to know Masaryk University in person due to the Covid-19 pandemic, were greeted by Rector Martin Bareš in his traditional video address before the start of the semester. The opening ceremony of the new academic year took place on Thursday 16 September at the Augustinian Abbey in Brno.
Mr Bareš presented three awards to outstanding teachers: “I would like to thank all the awardees for their hard work and efforts in teaching, I appreciate it very much,” he said in his speech.
The Masaryk University Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teachers in the field of natural sciences and medicine was presented to Petr Liška from the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University.
Petr Liška focuses on mathematical analysis. In addition to this area, he teaches subjects such as information technology in secondary-school mathematics and analytical geometry. What students appreciate most about his lectures is his empathy, flexibility and human-centred approach, with which he helps them grasp even the most challenging and less popular areas of mathematics.
The Masaryk University Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teachers in the field of social sciences and humanities was presented to Irena Hůlková from the Faculty of Education of Masaryk University.
Irena Hůlková is an English language and literature scholar specialising in phonology and phonetics. Students praise her friendly approach, as well as her extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching. In addition to her lectures at the Faculty, she has prepared and released numerous educational videos on her YouTube channel and Instagram. The videos deal with oft-neglected pronunciation problems and are intended not only for students but also for the general public.
The Masaryk University Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teachers in the field of Economics and informatics was presented to Jan Böhm from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Economics and Administration of Masaryk University.
Jan Böhm’s teaching interests include statistics, data mining, discrete deterministic models and financial models simulation. At Masaryk University, he works at the Department of Applied Mathematics at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, and the Biostatistics and Data Analysis unit at RECETOX. What students appreciate most about Jan Böhm’s teaching style is the clarity with which he can elucidate complex calculations and problems.
The ceremony also included the announcement of the recipients of the Bronze Medal of MU. Masaryk University awards the Bronze Medal for outstanding results in science and education in the fields studied at Masaryk University, as well as for extraordinary humanitarian achievements and other acts of civic bravery and dedication. Over the past year, Masaryk University has been actively involved in combating the spread of Covid-19 and helping people deal with the pandemic. In this context, the Rector awarded the Bronze Medal to employees and collaborators of Masaryk University who have made a significant contribution to these activities. “Speaking about social responsibility and the role of the university, I want to thank all three of the awardees on behalf of the entire university. I appreciate their extraordinary commitment in times of crisis, which they helped to overcome with their hard work and dedication,” said Mr Bareš. The following people received the Bronze Medal:
Jindřich Vobořil from Podané ruce (Helping Hands, benevolent society)
Jindřich Vobořil is one of the leading Czech experts on addictions. Under his leadership as director of Podané ruce o.p.s., the benevolent society has become one of the two largest non-profit organisations in the Czech Republic dealing with addiction issues. Jindřich Vobořil is an external collaborator of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University. The Bronze Medal is awarded to him for organising volunteers for Covid-19 testing of MU employees, for the establishment of the Vlhká Street contact centre for homeless people during the Covid-19 emergency in cooperation with Masaryk University, and also for distributing medical supplies during the first wave of the epidemic in the Czech Republic.
Barbora Hauserová from the MU Volunteer Centre
Barbora Hauserová has been a coordinator of the Volunteer Centre of Masaryk University. During the first months of her work in the centre, she organised and facilitated volunteer services. During the second wave of the pandemic, she significantly contributed to the development of an application connecting volunteers with people in need. The Bronze Medal is awarded for her work in organising volunteers at the Masaryk University Volunteer Centre.
Jiří Uher from the MU Volunteer Centre
Jiří Uher served as head of the Office for External Relations and Marketing of Masaryk University and as director of the Masaryk University Volunteer Centre. During his time at Masaryk University, he helped prepare and organise the celebrations of the MU Centenary and participated in a new university promotional campaign aimed at prospective students. The Bronze Medal is awarded for his work on the establishment and activities of the MU Volunteer Centre.
At the end of his speech, Rector Martin Bareš also introduced the last of the awardees – the recipient of the Silver Medal of MU.
The Silver Medal is awarded to leading figures for their significant scientific achievements, increasing the prestige of Masaryk University, deepening cooperation with Czech and foreign institutions and for their contributions to the development of Masaryk University. The Silver Medal of MU was awarded to Josef Jařab from the Faculty of Arts of Palacký University Olomouc.
“I want to thank the professor for being here with us tonight. He was a leading personality of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, the first freely elected rector in Czechoslovakia, and a long-time rector of Palacký University in Olomouc, who contributed to its development and collaborations with Czech and international institutions, including Masaryk University. Above all, he is an excellent educator, literary scholar, translator and a great human being. Welcome!” said Mr Bareš in his speech.