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Golden HSE -2014 Award Winners Announced

On December 1, HSE celebrated another anniversary and, according to tradition, awarded the best teachers, researchers, administrative staff, and students with the Golden HSE prize.

Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov set the theme ‘Youth’ – for a University which is aging, year on year, but which continues to renew itself, experiment and open up to the world.  HSE Academic Supervisor Evgeny Yasin, who this year celebrated his 80th birthday, expressed his confidence that HSE would ‘for many years to come, continue to be Russia’s best university’. HSE President Alexander Shokhin called the university a ‘fusion of youth and maturity’, noting that older generations of academics and researchers remain young at heart thanks to the students.

That very fusion of youth and maturity was visible on stage in Izvestia Hall, where the Golden HSE awards ceremony took place.

Honoring mathematicians

The winner of the Achievement in Research award was Boris Feigin,  HSE Tenured Professor and head of the International Laboratory of Representation Theory and Mathematical Physics. He helped establish the Faculty of Mathematics at HSE, recognized by international experts as one of the 100 best faculties of mathematics in the world by BA education quality, and is one of the world’s leading mathematicians.

Teachers you remember

The HSE’s best teachers have — for four years now — been chosen by University students themselves. Golden HSE includes one of the oldest nominations, for Achievement in Teaching. And this is a different kind of recognition, by those ‘on both sides’ of the faculty.

What distinguishes a great teacher from a good teacher? Computer Sciences Professor Mikhail Ulyanov tried to put this into words, as he was giving the award to Tenured Professor Leonid Grigoriev. ‘Teaching quality  is when, many years later, you remember the discipline and the teacher who explained it to you so well.’

Tenured Professor Marina Kolosnitsyna, who received this award, is undoubtedly one such teacher. ‘This is undoubtedly the most important award in my life, because it comes from colleagues, from students, from friends,’ she said in her acceptance speech.

Life after graduation

The Golden HSE awards given to university graduates have doubled in number. There are so many excellent graduates, that one award is not enough. One award, Alumni success in academic activity, is given to those who have graduated but choose to stay on in further education. This year, the award went to Ivan Boldyrev, Associate Professor in the Department of Theoretical Economics. After completing his BA and MA at the HSE’s Economics Faculty, while also studying at the Moscow State University’s philosophy faculty, he focused on studying the history of economic thought and methodology, and also on German philosophy and literature.

Boldyrev could not attend the ceremony, for an admirable reason  he is working on his dissertation at the Humboldt University’s Institute of German Literature, in Berlin.

The award for Alumni success in professional activity recognizes those who, after graduating from University, go on to achieve impressive results in business or public service. The 2014 award was given to EY CIS and Russia Partner Alina Zaborovskaya. The BA and MA Economics Faculty graduate ‘brought good news to HSE students’  ‘there is life’  even after the most demanding teachers you inevitably come across. So ‘the suffering will be comforted, the debtors will become CEOs and shareholders.’

A person – not a role

The 2014 Golden HSE award For kindness and personal involvement was given to Marina Demidkina, who heads the Social Sphere office, and who has proved more than able to resolve even the most unusual problems.  She is recognized not just for her kindness and personal involvement, but for her ‘real humanity while in a senior administrative post.’

Changing  - to cheat fate

Tenured professor Mark Levin, who heads Russia’s first Department of Micro-economic analysis, was given the Contribution to development of the School award for establishing ‘a conceptual research flow as an effective area of developing BA studies’. At the HSE Economics Faculty, students can either choose basic study options, or research options, which involve delving deeper into micro- and macro-economics and other related subjects.

25 ‘silver nestlings’

The HSE ‘silver nestling’ award, one of the most recent, recognizes youth achievement – as teachers nominate their students. This year, almost 100 were nominated, and 25 were given the awards. As Tenured Professor Alexander Arkhangelsky said, in announcing the winners — ‘spread your wings and fly’.

Oleg Seregin, HSE site news service

Photo – Mikhail Dmitriev

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