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Rector’s Awards were presented to three outstanding teachers

Masaryk University has officially opened the academic year 2022/2023. At the ceremony, Rector Martin Bareš spoke about the university’s achievements, recalling the crises of the last two years, and presented awards to outstanding teachers.

Although the academic year 2022/2023 started on Monday 12 September, the official opening ceremony took place on Thursday 15 September at the Augustinian Abbey in Brno with the participation of representatives of all ten Masaryk University faculties and the Academic Senate.

In the Abbey’s Chapter Hall, rector Martin Bareš welcomed Jan Grolich, governor of the South Moravian Region; Jan Mareš, rector of Mendel University; and bishop Pavel Konzbul. Right at the beginning of the evening event, he thanked all members of the academic community for their very responsible conduct in the past academic year. “Over the past two years, we have been forced to face an unprecedented crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of this calendar year, however, we have also been confronted – both as a university and as a society – with additional threats and challenges we haven’t seen in decades: the Russian invasion of Ukraine followed by dramatic inflation and a severe energy crisis. However, I believe that so far, we as an institution have passed all the trials with flying colours, also thanks to your responsibility and solidarity. I am convinced that we will successfully overcome these challenges in this academic year as well,” said the Rector in his introductory speech.

He also recalled that despite all the difficulties and challenges, the university had managed to continue developing and improving its reputation and standing. Mr Bareš mentioned Masaryk University’s achievements in the area of collaborative projects and grants and recalled its international activities – the Mendel Genetics Conference and the upcoming ICRI conference. The Rector also highlighted the work of the MUNI HELPS Volunteer Centre, which received the European Citizen’s Prize from the European Parliament in 2021 and this year’s Excellence in Internationalisation award from the European Association for International Education.

The opening ceremony also included the Rector’s awards for outstanding teachers. All the awardees were recognised for their work and efforts in teaching.

The Masaryk University Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teachers in the field of natural sciences and medicine was presented to Jan Šmarda from the MU Faculty of Science.

Jan Šmarda

Jan Šmarda works in the Section of Genetics and Molecular Biology and specialises in both these fields. His lectures are praised for their educational value, structure and unconventional presentation style featuring engaging stories that encourage students to think about particular topics.

The Masaryk University Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teachers in the field of social sciences and humanities was presented to Irena Kašparová from the MU Faculty of Social Studies.

Irena Kašparová

Irena Kašparová is an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology. She specialises in the field of social anthropology, and critical interpretation of religion, ethnicity and nationalism in the context of Central Europe. Her students praise her authenticity and clarity of instruction, as well as her personal and friendly approach.

The Masaryk University Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teachers in the field of economics and informatics was presented to Michal Brandejs from the MU Faculty of Informatics.

Michal Brandejs

Michal Brandejs focuses on computer systems architecture, enterprise IT systems and services, and web design. At Masaryk University, he works in the Department of Computer Systems and Communications and heads the Computer Systems Unit. Students appreciate his lectures especially for the detailed teaching materials and excellent communication.

At the end of his speech, Rector Martin Bareš wished everyone at Masaryk University a successful academic year 2022/2023. “Despite all the crises and challenges, our university has managed to rise by 200 positions in the latest university ranking, and entered the elite club of the top five hundred world universities for the first time in its history,” added Mr Bareš.

Jiří Hanuš, MU Vice-Rector for Personnel and Academic Affairs, who hosted the event, concluded the evening by wishing everyone a peaceful new academic year.