Face of the year 2014 - Kimmo Svinhufvud

I work at the Language Centre as a university teacher of Finnish as a mother tongue. Along with my colleagues, I teach many different kinds of writing courses to Bachelor’s degree students and post-graduates. We teach mother tongue language courses (Finnish and Swedish) in several Faculties as required in the degree, and some additional courses such as thesis writing and popularising science.

In 2014 the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers named me as Academic of the Year. The Union based their selection particularly on my merits as a teacher and as a developer of teaching. Special mention was given to my Blog and my publications, for example my book on how to succeed in writing a Master’s thesis (Gradutakuu, 2009), and another book I wrote with Carol Kiriakos that focussed on how to write a Doctoral thesis (Tohtoritakuu, 2015).

In my view, technology is not an added value in itself. Above all, what I like about being a teacher is that I get to meet new people and occasionally I’m also able to help them. Still, blogs, the social media and other technical solutions, such as Flinga, do inspire me and I enjoy using them. These new solutions may also address students and teachers in a new way, and at times they may help us to do things that have not been previously possible.

Alongside teaching, I also very much like doing research. As a researcher, I am mostly studying spoken interaction, but here too I’m interested in the role of writing in interaction, as a physical activity related to speech. Research and teaching overlap each other in my work in many ways: I observe, as a researcher and as a teacher, the communication between people, and as a researcher I constantly reflect on myself as a writer.

The Language Centre is an up-to-date and inspiring work community, and is part of the best university in Finland. Teaching is the focal point of the Language Centre, but research is also well respected.

Links (in Finnish):

Tieteentekijöiden liiton tiedote - vuoden tieteentekijä