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Video presenting the main celebrations of the 650th Jubilee of the Jagiellonian University

The grandest point of the academic year 2013/2014 were the May celebrations of the 650th Jubilee. They began on Saturday, 10 May, with a holy mass concelebrated by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz at the Wawel Cathedral, after which the participants formed an academic procession and headed towards Auditorium Maximum, where a special senate session took place. Speeches were given by members of University authorities and several distinguished guests, including Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland and Prof. Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, the Minister of Science and Higher Education. Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, winner of the Academy Award for his soundtrack to the film Finding Neverland, had prepared an extraordinary show for the occasion: UNIVERSA - Open Opera. The people walking the streets of Kraków in the evening could also admire the illumination of University Quarter buildings.

Tomas Tranströmer awarded with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa

On 12 September 2014 at 5.00 p.m., the ceremony of conferring an honorary doctorate of the University of Silesia and the Jagiellonian University upon Tomas Tranströmer, a Swedish poet, took place in Stockholm. The degree recipient is a master wordsmith, a virtuoso of metaphysical reflection, poetic conciseness and pensiveness, an examiner of the condition of the man of our times, and a creator of poems of imperishable value. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011.

Tomas Tranströmer was awarded with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Silesia and the Jagiellonian University at the same time. This is an unprecedented event in the history of both universities. Its importance increases even more when we realise that we gather around an artist who pulverises us with the strength of his poetry – seemingly simple, easily understandable, though at the same time contemplative and metaphysical, lapidary, restrained in the use of metaphors, filled with melancholic Scandinavian landscapes, full of paradoxes and contradictions, thanks to which – as it was put in the Nobel Prize motivation – "through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality."

"The title of Doctor Honoris Causa is the greatest award that a university has to offer. It is conferred on persons of great stature and international renown to honour their contribution to the development of science, art and culture," said Prof. Wojciech Nowak, Rector of the Jagiellonian University.

"This exceptional title is awarded to persons who have distinguished themselves with unique characteristics and brilliant minds; those whose unwavering pursuit of truth is recognised by the whole academic community, yet at the same time is difficult to describe and assess because of its innovativeness," stressed Prof. Wiesław Banyś, Rector of the University of Silesia.

The ceremony of conferment of honorary doctorate upon Tomas Tranströmer

12 September 2014 (Friday), 5.00 p.m.

Villa Nedre Manilla, Djurgårdsvägen 230, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Members of the delegation

Jagiellonian University

Prof. Wojciech Nowak – Rector
Dr hab. Elżbieta Górska, prof. UJ – Dean of the Faculty of Philology
Dr hab. Magdalena Wasilewska-Chmura – laudatory speaker
Ms. Paulina Gajda – a representative of the Department of Communications and Marketing

University of Silesia

Prof. Wiesław Banyś – Rector
Dr hab. Ryszard Koziołek, prof. UŚ – Vice-Rector for Education and Student Affairs
Prof. Józef Olejniczak – laudatory speaker
Prof. Rafał Molencki – Dean of the Faculty of Philology
Prof. Marian Kisiel – Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Philology
Prof. Grażyna Szewczyk – reviewer
Ms. Elżbieta Sonnenfeld

"The hero of today's ceremony wrote that ‘You can see beauty only from the side, hastily' (Under pressure). Therefore, it is not granted –also a poet must seek it and discover it. He discovers it for us and – 36 – combines according to John Keats's formula: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty!' In fact, we pursue the same path. We, scholars, are always a few steps behind poets, because scientific truths sometimes depreciate, whereas poetic truth is resistant to erosion. Therefore, universities need poets as they intuitively find the easiest path to and the most accurate formula for the truth and beauty. Let it be then a signpost for us and therefore, Dear Tomas, we are grateful and honoured that you accepted the invitation to the scholarly community of the Jagiellonian University." – a quote from the laudatory speech written by Magdalena Wasilewska-Chmura from the Jagiellonian University, translated by Magdalena Praczyńska-Janik.

Prof. Szczepan Biliński awarded honorary doctorate of the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk

The opening ceremony of a new academic year at the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk on 1 September 2014 included the presenation of an honorary doctorate to the former Vice-Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Szczepan Biliński from the Institute of Zoology at the Jagiellonian University Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences. The decision to confer the degree was made by the Senate of the Precarpathian National University on 28 January 2014.

The degree award ceremony was officially opened by the Vice-Rector of the Precarpathian National University, Prof. Ihor Cependa. As stressed in the laudatory address, Prof. Biliński has been one of the initiators of cooperation between the Vasyl Stefanyk University and the Jagiellonian University, as well as a long-time friend and collaborator of the Ukrainian higher education institution.

Expressing his gratitude, the JU Professor pointed to the symbolic importance of the award, as his parents had come from western Ukraine. He dedicated the award to all persons thanks to whom he had been able to conduct research and then work in the field of research management, including his parents, his academic mentors: Prof. Anna Krzysztofowicz and Prof. Czesław Jura, his collaborators, former students, and his wife, Prof. Barbara Bilińska.

The ceremony was also attended by the JU Vice-Rector for the Medical College, Prof. Piotr Laidler and the Dean of the JU Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences, Dr hab. Małgorzata Kruczek.

Representatives of the University of Kufa in Iraq visit the JU

On 5 September 2014, a delegation from the University of Kufa in Iraq visited the JU. They were interested in signing an agreement concerning joint research in the fields of medicine, pharmacy and health sciences.

The delegation was led by Mohammed Saeed Abdul Zahra, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Ziyad Raoof, Representative of Kurdistan Regional Government in Poland. The Jagiellonian University was represented by Prof. Piotr Laidler, Vice-Rector for Medical College, Prof. Beata Tobiasz-Adamczyk, Rector's Proxy for Education and International Cooperation at the Medical College, Prof. Jerzy Wordliczek, Rector's Proxy for Clinical Affairs at the Medical College, Prof. Tomasz Brzozowski, Faculty of Medicine Vice-Dean for Scientific Researches and International Cooperation, and Prof. Alicja Budak, Faculty of Pharmacy Vice-Dean for Medical Analytics.

Photographs by Jerzy Sawicz

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Orientation Day at the JU MC Faculty of Medicine

The orientation meeting for first year students of medical and dentist programmes of the School of Medicine in English was held on 1 September in the Teaching and Congress Centre of the JU MC Faculty of Medicine. Freshers come from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, France, Australia, Syria, Slovakia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Welcome address was delivered by Professor Tomasz Brzozowski, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. The staf from the School of Medicine in English and the members of Student Government provided freshers with a handful of practical tips.

The meeting concluded with a white coat ceremony. Later on the same day, the newly admitted students visited the JU Chair in Anatomy and the Museum of Anatomy.

Visit by the Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science

On August 29, the Jagiellonian University hosted a delegation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, which consisted of: the Minister of Education and Science, Serhiy Kvit, the Chairperson of the Education and Science Committee of the Supreme Council of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada), Liliya Hrynevyvh, the Minister's advisor, Maksim Striha, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Andrey Meleshevich, and the President of the International Foundation for Education Policy and Research, Taras Finikov.

The guests were received by the Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Wojciech Nowak. The Dean of the Faculty of International and Political Studies, Prof. Bogdan Szlachta also took part in the meeting.

The issues discussed at the meeting included the current situation in Ukraine, as well as the prospects for the Polish-Ukrainian collaboration in the areas of research and higher education. The guests were shown the stately Assembly Hall of JU Collegium Novum and took a tour of Collegium Maius Museum.

Pioneer research of a JU Medical College doctoral student

Izabella Grzyb, a JU Medical College doctoral student, is conducting pioneer research to answer the question whether the personality of a mother as well as her fear and depression may lead to a preterm birth.

"Preterm birth may have a variety of causes. Some of them have not been researched yet. It seems then that the research may be expanded to include psychological factors and provide preventive healthcare to more pregnant women," the researcher explained.

Preterm births constitute 11% of the total number of births in the world. "15 million children are born prematurely every year. They are prone to numerous health problems, and their treatment is very expensive," said Izabella Grzyb.

In her research, she focuses particularly on type D (distressed) personality. People with this type of personality exhibit a tendency towards depression, pessimism, worrying, blaming, nervousness etc. Its effects was never before researched with pregnancy in mind, hence its innovativeness of this study. Apart from negative emotions, the researcher also studies the influence of positive ones, such as optimism and hope. She tries to determine whether they can play the role of a "counterweight."

One of the aims of this research is to create a programme providing psychological assistance that would reduce the impact of negative emotions on pregnant women. Its promoter is Prof. Józef Krzysztof Gierowski, head of the JU MC Chair of Psychiatry.

(source: PAP – Science in Poland)

Ear piercing in early childhood increases the chance of allergies


(photo by Filip Radwański)

The allergologists from JU Medical College discovered that children who had their ear pierced are much more frequently diagnosed with allergies – not only during their childhood, but also later in life.

"It doesn't matter whether the piercings are made of gold or silver, or from any other material. Jewellery contains nickel, which very often causes allergic reaction. It mostly causes dermatitis, and the parents mistakenly assume that it's because of food or drink, like milk, while in fact it's caused by the piercing which comes in contact with the immunological system," said Dr hab. Ewa Czarnobilska, head of the research team.

What is more, the organism "remembers" this, which may lead to allergic reactions caused by nickel later in life, even if the person no longer wears piercings. Some examples include jewellery, dental braces and implants, and suchlike. High concentration of nickel is also present in metal pots and water pipes as well as some kinds of chocolate, nuts, legumes, wine, beer etc.

The allergologists have conducted their research on a group of 428 students, aged 7–8 and 16–17. In 30 percent of subjects, an allergy to nickel was confirmed – most of them had piercings in early childhood.

(source: PAP – Science in Poland)

JU archaeologists back to Cyprus


Excavation works on the Agora of the ancient city of Paphos / Photo: Prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka

The fourth season of excavations on the Agora of the ancient Cypriot city of Paphos conducted by the Jagiellonian University expedition has begun. This year, the archaeologists continue to excavate the area of eastern entrance to the Agora, where they have been exploring a well from the Hellenistic period, that is more than 2 thousand years ago. They have hypothesised that it used to be a water tank.

- When such wells were no longer used, they were filled-in with useless objects, especially broken vessels, but also other items. They make extremely valuable finds, as they provide insight into the everyday life of the people who inhabited Paphos those days – says the head of the research project, Prof. Ewdoksja Papuci- Władyka.

The archaeologists are also carrying out excavations next to the southern portico of the Agora and in the central part of the ancient city. The research at the second of these sites is focused on recording the architectonic remains discovered by the Cypriot archaeologist, Kyriakos Nikolaou, in the 1970s. The Polish researchers want to compare them to the results of their own excavations, carried out nearby.

This season, the archaeologists are going to continue testing state-of-the-art archaeological and archaeometric techniques. The research equipment they are going to use after finishing excavations will include georadar, laser scanner, and a drone with a digital camera.

The team of researchers includes a large group of JU Institute of Archaeology students. For the latest news from the excavations, visit the official website of the project.

Source: PAP – Science in Poland

Rector of the Precarpathian National University visits JU

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On Monday, 25 August 2014, the Jagiellonian University Vice-Rector for the Medical College, Prof. Piotr Laidler received Prof. Ihor Cependa, the Rector of the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. Important details concerning further cooperation between the two academic institutions were discussed at the meeting.

The Jagiellonian University and the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University have been collaborating since 1 September 2007, when a relevant agreement was signed in Ivano-Frankivsk, during the opening ceremony of a new academic year. The document envisages joint research projects, exchange of research data and curricula, as well as student and staff exchange. It also opens the possibility of future student exchange within the framework of specific programmes, prepared by particular university units. The ongoing collaboration is especially active in the field of English Studies, Law, and Economics.

The Precarpathian National University was founded in 1940. It is named after Vasyl Stefanyk, a Ukrainian writer and social activist, famous for his novellas. From 1892 to 1898 he studied medicine at the Jagiellonian University. At that time he made friendships with many Polish modernist poets, including Stanisław Przybyszewski and Stanisław Wyspiański.

Currently, Precarpathian National University consists of 14 educational institutes and faculties, 36 scientific establishments, 3 colleges where young specialists, bachelors, and masters are trained, as well as 3 educational and consulting centres. There are more than 16 thousand students and several hundred academic staff members studying and working at the University at the moment.

The University in Ivano-Frankivsk has been engaged in a long-time collaboration with academic centres in Europe, Asia and the USA, in such areas as joint research, research quality improvement, organisation of conferences and symposia, and academic staff training. The university has signed more than 70 agreements with foreign higher education institutions.

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Zdjęcia: Jerzy Sawicz

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