A positive outlook is the most characteristic feature of Johanna Mäkelä’s personality as she prepares to assume the position of dean on 1 January 2018.
Holding a doctoral degree in social sciences, a docentship, and a professorship in food culture, Mäkelä has a multidisciplinary background. Before being appointed professor in early 2012, she worked as research director at the Consumer Society Research Centre for more than ten years. She has also successfully promoted Finnish food culture in the media.
Her previous duties in the world outside academia have prepared the new dean for her position and convinced her of the importance of community interaction. Mäkelä believes she will be able to take advantage of her experience in her work as dean.
“We have to be active both inside the University and outside it.”
As dean, Mäkelä wants to bring the Faculty and the experts it produces to the forefront. She believes the University should highlight and take pride in having the best teacher education in Finland and the Nordic countries.
Towards the future with an open mind
Mäkelä is looking forward to her new position with interest. The job will be demanding, but she won’t be doing it alone. Instead, Mäkelä intends to cooperate openly with teaching, research and University Services staff.
“The University is an expert organisation. It’s the job of the dean to make everyone feel like they’re a part of the Faculty and the University.”
Like many others, Mäkelä likes to muse on what the Faculty will look like in five, ten or twenty years. She wants to encourage open discussion about the goals of the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The Faculty is diverse and exceptional, as it produces academic experts in education while at the same time providing professional qualifications for teachers at different levels of education.
“My main idea is to find out how research and teaching communicate with each other.”
Mäkelä believes the Faculty has a strong international connection. Promoting education export and the forthcoming international Master’s programme for class teachers will further boost the international dimension.
“We have a bright future,” says Mäkelä.