Decorations awarded to members of Turku UAS staff
On Independence Day, the President of the Republic of Finland confers decorations upon citizens who have distinguished themselves in the service of Finland. In 2020, Rector and President Vesa Taatila, Principal Lecturer Raija Nurminen, Principal Lecturer Osmo Eerola and Senior Lecturer David Yoken were awarded decorations.
In the photo, from the left: Raija Nurminen, Osmo Eerola, Vesa Taatila and David Yoken. Photo: Antti Ala-Könni
Decorations of the Orders of the White Rose of Finland and the Lion of Finland are conferred upon citizens in recognition of outstanding civilian or military conduct in the service of Finland. Vice Rector Juhani Soini and Chair of the Board of Turku UAS Niko Aaltonen presented the recipients with the decorations at EduCity on 28 January.
Recipients of the decorations at Turku UAS with justifications
First Class Knight of the White Rose of Finland
Under the baton of Rector and President Vesa Taatila, Turku University of Applied Sciences has developed into one of the most successful universities of applied sciences in Finland. The role of Turku UAS has become significant in enabling the growth and well-being in the region of Southwest Finland.
Doctor of Philosophy Vesa Taatila has successfully worked in management positions of Finnish higher education institutions for over 10 years. Before moving to the education sector, Vesa Taatila worked business and HR management positions in several large Finnish technology companies. During his career, Taatila has demonstrated exceptional merit in his competence areas, of which higher education management, innovation management and pedagogy have become the most significant. As a demonstration of the international level competence in these fields, Taatila was in 2019 appointed in the Research and Innovation Council of the Government, headed by the Prime Minister.
Taatila is a member of the Board of the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences Arene and an expert whose opinion is often heard in the preparation of Finnish higher education legislation. He has a versatile resume in positions of trust in organizations related to his work, academic career and hobbies, which manifests his extensive and socially active role very well.
Earlier Taatila has received honorary titles and tributes from the members of his work community, which describes very well his management principles among his own and in promoting the issues important to the community. In terms of academic education, Taatila is a Doctor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor in Innovation Education from the University of Turku in 2011.
Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland
Principal Lecturer, Master of Health Sciences, Doctor of Health Sciences, Assistant Nurse, Registered Nurse, Specialized Nurse (Intensive and Anaesthetic Nursing) Raija Nurminen has worked meritoriously by implementing and strongly developing Master’s degree education in the field of Social Services and Health Care and as a promoter of Research, Development and Innovation activities (RDI) at Turku University of Applied Sciences 2008–2020.
Since 1982, Nurminen’s expertise as a Senior Lecturer, Rector and in particular as a Principal Lecturer has enabled her participation in all stages of the reform of vocational education and higher education, including the early stages of universities of applied sciences, the post-graduate degree experiment and its establishment.
At Turku University of Applied Sciences, Nurminen’s competence areas in Master’s degree education include, in particular, competence management, strategic management and development in leadership. She has actively worked in continuing professional education in different organizations in the field of health care and social services, both in Eastern Finland and Southwest Finland. Her strengths include the integration of teaching and RDI projects and networking which yields added value to these.
Raija Nurminen has done important work in terms of regional development. She has had an integral role e.g., in the development of cancer patients’ treatment and cooperation with the Cancer Society of Southwest Finland. Nurminen is an active social influencer and she has published an abundant amount in national journals and networks in the field.
Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland
Doctor of Engineering Osmo Eerola has worked successfully as Principal Lecturer at Turku University of Applied Sciences from August 2010, and as a Degree Programme Leader in management education from August 2018. Eerola has played an exceptionally significant role especially as a developer of Master’s degrees in the field of engineering. For example, he was the initiator and central developer in launching and designing the Master’s degree programme in Project Management. When launched in 2015, the degree programme was reportedly the first degree programme in Finland focusing on project management and leading to a Master’s degree. Project Professionals (PRY, formerly the Project Management Association) awarded the degree programme as the academic project act of the year in November 2016.
Before starting at Turku University of Applied Sciences, Eerola had a considerable career in industry, as a product developer and product development manager. He has worked in several responsible positions especially in the Finnish electronics industry, in both large-scale enterprises and at the start-up level. For example, Eerola worked as project manager in the very demanding product development project at Nokia, developing the first GSM phone. He has distributed this vast experience to future generations with passion for almost ten years now.
Eerola also works actively at the organization level, especially with voluntary national defence and reserve officer activities. He has acted as the Chair of Piikkiön-Kaarinan Reserviupseerit ry (the Reserve Officers of Piikkiö-Kaarina) since 2009. Earlier he has been active in student organizations, trade union activities and junior chamber of commerce. According to a peer description, “Eerola represents the lifelong learning thought at its best”.
Cross of Merit of the White Rose of Finland
David Yoken works as the Senior Lecturer in Music in the degree programme Performing Arts at the Arts Academy of Turku UAS. Yoken is a versatile musician, percussionist and pedagogue. Internationality and an innovative search for something new are reflected in his artistic identity. In his pedagogy, he is specialized in studying the combination of music and movement, and the importance of physicalness to human beings.
In his activities, Yoken is a strong networker and builder of international contacts. He has been broad-minded in developing dance teachers’ new competences and taking the competence to new environments. The dance teachers’ degree programme cooperates strongly with basic education and educational institutes which teach basic education in arts, and in its project activities, the competence related to dance, performing arts and social inclusion is taken to different target groups.
Under the baton of Yoken, the degree programme in dance has done systematic development work in the Nordic NordPlus networks for a couple of decades. In project activities, Yoken has started to increase the themes related to sustainable development, climate change and ecological activities as a part of art education and develop the interaction between scientific research, researchers and artmakers.
In terms of international activities, Yoken has strongly developed European and Northern American interaction. Yoken is a member of the board of Fulbright Finland Foundation and in his role, he develops the international activities of the entire Finnish higher education network. His extensive and active expert contacts have enabled receiving top experts in the fields of art and science to visit Finland.