At the Faculty of Science’s graduation ceremony last weekend, the president of LUNA handed out the union’s pedagogical and honorary prizes. 

The pedagogical prize is awarded to an outstanding teacher. Such a teacher should understand the individuality of different students, be an asset and resource for support, create enthusiasm for the subject being taught and take into account the student opinions. It is with great honour the Science Student Union awards this year’s pedagogical prize to Thomas Holst from the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science. 

From the students who nominated Thomas, it has been made very clear that he is enthusiastic about his subject, and teaching it to students. He always takes his time helping his students understand, he never makes anyone feel like they can’t ask questions or are stupid for not understanding. His students say that he always shows great patience, support and humour in his teaching, which both inspires and motivates them, even during covid and online education. His students describe Thomas as a very understanding and kind person, and always with a big smile on his face. In his acceptance speech, Thomas explained that receiving this prize did not mean that he was “finished” as a teacher, but that you can always continue to develop. The prize isn’t the finish line, just a checkpoint on the road. This notion of teaching as a learning process is another mark of a great teacher, and makes the union even more confident in giving Thomas the prize.

The honorary prize is awarded to an employee or a group of employees at the faculty that has eased the studies for students or has worked on strengthening the student voice. This year, the Science Student Union’s Honorary Prize is awarded to Ragnhild Möller from the Faculty Office.  

Ragnild is a person that most of the general student population would not know. She works at the faculty office as their work environment coordinator. In this role, she is the person everyone from department heads to the union presidium would call whenever a difficult situation arises, and a student is being mistreated or harassed. Ragnhild always goes above and beyond to help, with kindness and sympathy, even in situations that are not technically part of her job. She is also one of the driving forces behind the faculty’s equality work, for example through the groundbreaking work of the active action group. Ragnhild pushes the Faculty of Science forward to make sure it is a place where everyone can feel welcome and safe. In her humble and touching reaction to receiving the prize, the union sees a person who is truly worthy of it.