MEET OUR PROJECT TEAM


 

The Compassion for Universities project launched in March 2019 with the recruitment of project manager Laura Heimonen. Her partner in the project is Sini Forssell. Sini started in Nyyti as a project coordinator in early May.

Get to know Sini and Laura:

Myötätuntoa korkeakouluihin -hankkeen hankekoordinaattori Sini Forssell

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING IN THE COMPASSION FOR UNIVERSITIES PROJECT?

I’m Sini Forssell, and I’m in charge of activities directed at students at our pilot university, University of Jyväskylä. I will be working on developing a peer mentoring model on promoting compassionate operational culture and training student mentors, among other things.

 

WHAT IS ESPECIALLY INSPIRING TO YOU IN THE PROJECT?

In the Compassion for Universities project, I’m especially inspired by the approach that focuses on changing the culture and engaging in collective activities instead of concentrating on individual-level solutions. I think that this project has to do with questions about what is important in life and what kinds of skills a person needs in our changing world. These things easily become blurred in a culture promoting effectiveness, competition and performance. To me, developing a compassionate culture is a crucial social question in a time when attitudes seem to harden and various confrontations are increasing.

 

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW JOB?

That I’ll be able to help people to pause together and encounter each other in an appreciative manner. These are magical moments!

 

WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE PROJECT?

I’ll bring my experience on using digital methods and leading groups, as well as on academic peer mentoring groups. From my previous job as a researcher on sustainability science, I’ll also wear my researcher’s glasses through which I’m looking at the world.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO ON YOUR FREE TIME?

I spend time with my family, engaging in everyday adventures and fun discussions. I engage in Taekwondo, which includes complete presence in the moment and challenging one’s own limits. I enjoy nature each time I get the chance as a city-dweller. I also work in Hetki ry, an association for sustainable wellbeing. I read a lot, usually several books simultaneously.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO PEOPLE INTERESTED IN THE PROJECT?

I wish you leisurely summer moments, and let’s be in touch!

 

 

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING IN THE COMPASSION FOR UNIVERSITIES PROJECT?

I’m Laura Heimonen (Master of Theology, Undergraduate in Administrative Sciences) and I’m in charge of the project as a whole. I’m also responsible for coordinating the community personnel training sessions included in the project. This training provides professionals working in teaching and guidance methods of self-compassion and compassion as tools for developing their own pedagogical competence and the university community.

 

WHAT IS ESPECIALLY INSPIRING TO YOU IN YOUR NEW JOB?

International research has, in recent years, focused strongly on self-compassion and compassion. A growing group of top universities has created the structure for research, pedagogics and teaching to promote a compassionate culture in academic communities. Utilizing this research and related applications in academic guidance on the micro and macro levels is extremely intriguing. We are talking about academic skills, but also future working-life skills. One especially interesting object of research is the connection between self-compassion and compassionate thinking and action.

 

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW JOB?

I expect new networks, inspiring teamwork and the chance to learn new things each day.

 

WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE PROJECT?

I’ll bring my experience on my responsibilities in the national social and healthcare field, as well as a pedagogics and psychology viewpoint on developing personnel competence and, in this case, compassion skills.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO ON YOUR FREE TIME?

I relax with my family in various ways, exercise and read, especially non-fiction.