Alumnus of the Year was announced at the Grand Alumni Evening on Thursday.
Simo Ekman, Master of Health Care has been selected as the winner of the Laurea University of Applied Sciences Alumnus of the Year 2015 prize. Ekman graduated from the Master's Programme in crisis and special situation management in Hyvinkää in 2013.
Simo Ekman works as a paramedic at the Rescue Department of Central Uusimaa, where his area of responsibility includes developing plans and readiness for major accidents. He is also currently studying in a master's programme for disaster medicine at the University of Piedmont in Italy. Ekman has also been named Finland's Paramedic of the Year for 2014.
"Being selected Alumnus of the Year came as a complete surprise", Simo Ekman says.
"This is a great recognition from the study community. "I see the prize primarily as an indication of appreciation toward the work that I have done to develop my own profession."
Ekman feels that the alumni are of great importance to an institution of higher education and for the development of education:
"Students who have graduated have an important role in the development of education. Collaboration between alumni and educational institutions can improve the skills of professionals who are starting their work careers."
An Alumnus of the Year has been selected at Laurea since 2008. The prize is awarded to a Laurea graduate who has brought forward his or her training and the Laurea background in a positive manner. Also emphasised in the selection criteria is a positive approach to developing the work or the working community.
Proposals for recipients of the prize are accepted from all Laurea graduates and all members of Laurea staff. The final selection was made on the basis of the proposals by a development group for Laurea alumni activities.
The winner of the Alumnus of the Year prize was announced at the traditional Grand Alumni Evening in Helsinki on Thursday, 28 May. The Alumnus of the Year prize at Laurea is called the Pentti Rauhala Prize, in honour of Pentti Rauhala, who retired as President of Laurea in 2011.