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Dies academicus: Recognition of personalities who bring distinction to Masaryk University and its faculties

On the occasion of Dies academicus, the University honoured outstanding researchers and successful students, awarding its Gold and Silver medals to the laureates.

The ceremony took place in the Great Hall of Karel Engliš.

The annual celebration of Dies academicus took place on Thursday afternoon in the Karel Engliš Auditorium in the Faculty of Law building. The MU Rector’s Award is given in several categories to personalities who have made a significant contribution to the development of Masaryk University in recognition of their outstanding achievements in science and research, sport, teaching, the arts and civic participation. Recipients can be individual MU students and staff, or entire teams of people.

At the beginning of his traditional opening speech at the ceremony, Rector Martin Bareš thanked the Academic Senate, represented by its outgoing chair Josef Menšík, for the many years of cooperation and made special mention of the recently approved growth-friendly MU budget for this year. The Rector said he was pleased that the University had been able to secure steadily increasing budgets over the past few years but noted that quality and excellence remained paramount. “We want to be an important research university whose significance extends beyond the Czech Republic,” said Rector Martin Bareš.

He also recalled the twentieth anniversary of the Czech Republic’s membership in the European Union and the twenty-fifth anniversary of its accession to NATO, stressing that membership in these organisations is an invitation to take an active part in shaping Europe. “When I talk about the importance of Europe, which I see first and foremost as a free space for free citizens who share similar fundamental values, then I see the university – as an institution and as one of the great achievements of European civilisation – as an open and free space,” said Martin Bareš, adding that he was concerned about the recent resurgence of extremist, hateful and anti-Semitic rhetoric. “The academic ground is not and must not be a space for the spread of hatred or hateful ideologies, and no academic institution worthy of the name can ever accede to their demands,” he said, adding that universities should not be arbiters or judges in political or international events, disputes and conflicts.

In his speech, the Rector also touched on the idea of the eminent philosopher Karl Popper, also known as the paradox of tolerance: “It is our duty – as academic institutions and as whole society – to reserve the right, in the name of tolerance, not to tolerate the intolerant. This is the only way to protect the precious and fragile space of freedom and democracy as one of the highest human and social values. And I believe that universities – as institutions that have a duty to care for the intellectual heritage of Europe and European democratic culture – cannot and must not remain passive in this endeavour”.

He concluded by highlighting the importance of the award itself within Dies academicus. “We have come together to honour those who bring great credit to their Faculty and to our University as a whole. They are and can be an example to others, and together they cultivate our environment. I would like to thank and sincerely congratulate all the laureates,” concluded Martin Bareš.

MU Rector’s Award for Outstanding Creative Activity
Pavla Gajdušková, Milan Hluchý, Dalibor Blažek, CEITEC

Pavla Gajdušková, Milan Hluchý, Dalibor Blažek.

For their contributions to the identification of the cellular function of cyclin-dependent kinase 11 and the characterisation of its first inhibitor, a discovery published in Nature.

MU Rector’s Award for Outstanding Artistic Activity
Filip Krajník, ARTS MUNI

Filip Krajník

For his translation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, now being performed by the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice and published in book form with an introductory study and critical apparatus.

Klára Papalová, UC Telč

Klára Papalová

For her fundamental contribution to the creation of the permanent exhibition of Míla Doleželová in Telč. This was the culmination of several years of work, which resulted in the preservation and presentation of a significant part of the artistic legacy of the painter couple Míla Doleželová and Jiří Mareš.

Eduard Tomaštík, PED MUNI 

Eduard Tomaštík

For the outtanding performance of the world premiere of Missa Nativitatis by composer Phillip Jacob Rittler.

MU Rector’s Award for an Outstanding Sports Performance
Agáta Koupilová, LAW MUNI

Agáta Koupilová

For wining the bronze medal at the Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester, United Kingdom.

MU Rector’s Award for Extraordinary International Grant Competition Results
Peter Fabian, SCI MUNI

Peter Fabian

For receiving an ERC Starting Grant for the project “Metabolic regulation of the skeletal stem cell niche” and for receiving a grant announced by the Max Planck Society, Germany, leading to the establishment of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at MU.

MU Rector’s Award for Outstanding Research Results Achieved by Young Scientists under 40
Natural sciences and medicine:
Klára Marečková, CEITEC

Klára Marečková

Klára Marečková works on healthy brain ageing and is currently the principal investigator of the Czech Science Foundation junior grant “Prenatal brain programming and child behaviour: New insights into mechanisms”.

Social sciences: Jan Šerek, FSS MUNI

Jan Šerek

Jan Šerek’s successful research focuses on political psychology, particularly in the areas of civic and political socialisation and the psychology of democracy.

Economics and computer science
: Miloš Fišar, ECON MUNI

Miloš Fišar

Miloš Fišar is the main author or co-author of articles in prestigious journals, focusing on the following research topics: donation and donors’ willingness to use intermediary services, the contribution of scientific journals to the reproducibility and replicability of scientific knowledge.

MU Rector’s Award for Long-term Excellence in Research
Natural sciences and medicine: Karel Šmejkal, PHARM MUNI

Karel Šmejkal

Karel Šmejkal is an internationally recognised expert in the field of phytochemistry, especially in the separation and identification of natural substances. His secondary focus is on bioassays of natural substances, especially anti-cancer (effect on cell cycle), anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity.

Social sciences: Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky, FSS MUNI
Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky works at MU and Yale University at the Center for Cultural Sociology, focusing on illegal migration, immigrant spiritual capital, national identity, political culture, attitudes towards migration, Covid-19, and Ukrainian refugees.

Economics and computer science: Antonín Kučera, FI MUNI

Antonín Kučera

Antonín Kučera has successfully worked on problems in the area of analysis, verification and synthesis of discrete systems, which form the formal basis of modern methods for verifying and ensuring correct behaviour of computer systems.

MU Rector’s Award for innovations in teaching
Lucie Škarková, Jana Kratochvílová, Martin Fico, Michaela Pulkrábová, PED MUNI

Lucie Škarková, Jana Kratochvílová, Martin Fico, Michaela Pulkrábová.

For an innovative approach to applying the principles of entrepreneurship by transferring project-based learning methods to the training of future teachers.

Naděžda Rozehnalová, Matěj Myška, Jakub Harašta, Tereza Kyselovská, David Sehnálek, LAW MUNI

Naděžda Rozehnalová, Matěj Myška, Jakub Harašta, Tereza Kyselovská, David Sehnálek

For the significant transformation of teaching at the Faculty of Law, where distance learning in synchronous and asynchronous form has been part of the design of a new distance learning programme.

MU Rector’s Award for the Best Students in Master’s Programmes
Martin Elebach, LAW MUNI. For excellence in the Law and Legal Science programme.

Martin Elebach

Julia Anna Kent, MED MUNI. For excellence in the General Medicine programme.

Julia Anna Kent

Daniel Pluskal, SCI MUNI. For excellence in the Biochemistry programme.

MU Rector’s Award for the Best Students in Doctoral Programmes
Marcos González Lopéz, MED MUNI. For excellence in the Biomedical Sciences programme.

Marcos Gonzáles Lopéz

Július Vida, SCI MUNI. For excellence in the Physics programme.

Július Vida

Jakub Vostoupal, LAW MUNI. For excellence in the Law of Information and Communication Technologies programme.

Jakub Vostoupal

MU Rector’s Award for an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis
Domagoj Gajski, SCI MUNI

Domagoj Gajski

For outstanding dissertation titled “Investigating predator-prey interactions through direct and indirect approaches” investigating interactions between predators and their prey using modern molecular methods.

Samuel Pastva, FI MUNI

For his unique dissertation titled “Digital Bifurcation Analysis:  On the Qualities of Long-term Behaviour in Discrete Systems”, in which he analysed models of biological systems using formal information science methods.

MU Rector’s Award for the Active Development of Civil Society
Libor Musil, FSS MUNI

Libor Musil

For the support and development of social work organisations. He is the founder of the Association of Social Work Educators of the Czech Republic, was involved in the establishment of Ratolest Brno, an organisation focused on helping children and young people in risk situations, and served on the board of Houses for the Needy, an endowment fund in Brno.

MU Rector’s Award for Volunteering


IFMSA Student Association, MED MUNI
For organising a number of volunteer projects aimed primarily at educating the general public about various health issues and informing them about prevention options. To name the most important: World Health Day (WHD), World Diabetes Day (WDD), the SpoluSafe Project, and the SafeRUN event.

Martin Bartoš, Karolína Holíková a Marie Tormová

The awards were presented to Martin Bartoš, Karolína Holíková and Marie Tormová.

Employees: Barbora Bühnová, FI MUNI

Barbora Bühnová

For opening up the world of IT to women, girls and socially or economically disadvantaged groups, whose access to IT training will enable them to bridge the digital divide both in their personal lives and in the labour market. To this end, she is active in the management of three non-profit organisations (on a voluntary basis, without remuneration): Czechitas z.ú., Czechitas Endowment Fund and 42 Prague z.ú.

Other awards:

Silver Medals of MU

Ladislav Dušek

Ladislav Dušek - držitel Stříbrné medaile MU.

Jakub Fischer

Jakub Fischer - držitel Stříbrné medaile MU.

Tomáš Hruda

Tomáš Hruda - držitel Stříbrné medaile MU.

Petr Husa

Petr Husa - držitel Stříbrné medaile MU.

Ladislav Chodák

Ladislav Chodák - držitel Stříbrné medaile MU.

Dagmar Lastovecká

Dagmar Lastovecká - držitelka Stříbrné medaile MU.

Hana Machková

Hana Machková - držitelka Stříbrné medaile MU.

Alena Mizerová

Alena Mizerová - držitelka Stříbrné medaile MU.

Jiří Nantl

Jiří Nantl - držitel Stříbrné medaile MU.

Hana Ripková

Hana Ripková - držitelka Stříbrné medaile MU.

Gold Medals of MU

Naděžda Rozehnalová

Naděžda Rozehnalová - držitelka Zlaté medaile MU.

Naděžda Rozehnalová works at the Department of International and European Law at the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University as a professor and head of the Private International Law Centre. She was Dean of the Faculty of Law from 2007 to 2015, during which time she led the Faculty to become a leading research institution in Central Europe. From 2015 to2019, she served as Vice-Rector for Student Affairs. She is a leading figure in the field of international private and commercial law in the Czech Republic. Her research has long focused on private international law, international and domestic arbitration, and non-state law in proceedings before judges and arbitrators. Her academic and practical contributions have also had a significant impact on the field of arbitration. She is a member of a number of important organisations that help set the direction of the field. She is a member of evaluation committees for research projects in the Czech Republic and Poland and has received numerous awards from the academic community abroad.

Jiří Vorlíček

Jiří Vorlíček - držitel Zlaté medaile MU.

Jiří Vorlíček graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Brno and then joined what is now the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute in Brno. During his 45 years of practice he also worked in several other places. In 1973, he moved to the Second Clinic of Internal Medicine at St Anne’s University Hospital in Brno and later became the head of the Clinic of Internal Haematology and Oncology at the University Hospital Brno, which he managed from 1989 to 2010. From 1997 to 2003, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and from 2003 to 2008, he was involved in its management as a Vice-Dean. His activities in the construction of the Bohunice University Campus are particularly important. He was the first to introduce the concept of palliative medicine in the Czech Republic in the 1990s and has received many awards for his textbook of the same name. In 2007, he was awarded the Medal of Merit in the field of science by the President of the Czech Republic. He was the director of the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute from 2008 to 2014.