We began our end-of-the-year celebrations already on May 12th with AAU’s 4th annual Awards Ceremony. Nature was showing all of its beauty in the Prague sunset as the boat set off from shore to explore the poetic river. A refreshing gentle wind relaxed our minds after a week filled with hard work. The chatting and laughter of AAU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends filled the deck with joy. The night was splendid, not even marred by the brief spite of rain. Thanks everyone for attending, for cheering with amazing enthusiasm, and for showing off your best dance moves. Here’s a toast, to all of us!

Congratulations to the award winners! Read on to find out what some of our award veterans love most about AAU and what their secrets to success are.

Adi Hadžić

You all know him. He’s the tallest Bosnian guy around, king of the grill, President of the Student Council. It’s Adi! This year Adi won the Student Distinguished Leadership award once more. It’s the third time he’s been recognized for his talents and contributions to our community and it’s also his last semester at AAU, so we decided to ask him a bit about what it takes to be SC President and also to find out what he’s going to do after he leaves us this summer. Here’s what he had to say:

Adi, you’ve been the SC President for nearly three years now. It’s a lot of work. You have to coordinate with students, teachers, administration, staff, and more. Everyone has their own opinions and suggestions for every event the SC organizes. You and the SC have to manage all that fuzz. How do you handle all this challenging work?

The position as President of the SC does demand a lot of time and dedication, as does any executive position, but I am happy where I am and would not change anything from over the past 4 years that I’ve been in the SC. I think that one of the most important factors in determining how successful you will be as President of the SC and generally as a member is how well you manage your time. Over the past few semesters I had a sort of “advantage” that I took only 3 or 4 classes per semester which left me with time to help organize events and make sure everything goes as planned. I also think a very important feature of my job is to properly delegate responsibilities to other members of the Council. There are usually 10 members and if everyone contributes equally towards organizing an event, then success is guaranteed.

What motivates you to dedicate so much to the SC and improve student life at AAU?

When I joined back in February 2013 it was just to help organize a few events (specifically the BBQ) and also to get to know more people at school. After a year I became more familiar with the structure and types of events organized, and I realized that there were still plenty of things that needed to be improved so I decided to dedicate part of my free time towards this. I’m still not sure how well we’ve done, this will best be seen in a few years, but I’m proud to say that we’ve established a few major events under my time, including the BBQ and International Day, and I hope these will continue after I leave AAU.

We appreciate your devotion and leadership in everything you’ve done for AAU’s students. You’ve helped build a community here and everyone thanks you for this. You’re leaving AAU soon, AAU will miss you. Will you miss us too? What are you upcoming plans?

I know it sounds like a cliché but AAU has really become my second home. I came here in 2012 as a transfer student to finish my bachelor’s and my plan was to leave in June 2014, but here I am finishing my master’s and I must say I would not want it any other way. I will always look back at my time at AAU and I will be proud of my time spent here. I definitely still plan to be involved with the school as an alumnus in the future. In terms of my upcoming plans, I’m still deciding but at the moment I am probably staying in Prague for at least 2 more years. The city has its own kind of magic and it’s really hard to leave after the 5 years that I spent here. It seems you will still be seeing me around at AAU events in the future. :-)

Sviatlana Skachykhina

One of her dreams is to go on an RV road trip across Europe and America. She is passionate about the philosophy of minimalism and simplicity. She enjoys watching students grow academically and personally during their studies at AAU. For Sviatlana, Assistant Dean of the School of Business Administration, this is the second time in a row she’s received the award of Most Engaged Administrator. We decided to ask what she loves most about her work.

Sviatlana, supporting over 40 SBA faculty members, scheduling on average 60 courses each semester, and serving as the principal contact for SBA students, your job is tough. What do you love about it?

First, I would like to thank all members of the AAU community who voted for me! It is an honor to receive this award and be appreciated for the work I do. 

Every year at Orientation I tell our new students about the one thing that I love most about my job at AAU, and it is our community. I have the unique chance to talk to our students and faculty members every day. This experience is priceless! Moreover, I get to work with amazing people. The administration team at AAU is very professional and dedicated. I learn a lot from my colleagues and they inspire me to do my best!

What do you think students benefit from most in having such an engaged administrator?

An engaged administrator takes action and get things done. This is what I think our students appreciate most. I, as all of my colleagues, want to help the students as much as I can. They count on me in many situations and I don’t want to let them down.

We’re sure that students and teachers alike love and respect your great devotion and commitment to AAU. At the same time, you’re fun, honest, and helpful to students like a friend. Do you wish that when you were at university you had an administrator as awesome as you are now?

Thank you very much for your kind words! I am lucky to have met many university administrators during my studies. All of them were helpful in their own way.

You always feel special when you come to the Dean’s office and they remember your name, ask how your day is going, and genuinely want you to be a successful student. This positive attitude helps create trust with students. It’s important for them to see that the administration of the university works towards the same goal as they do – getting their degree successfully. 


All Award Winners

Distinguished Artist – Dmitrii Shelenyov

Dmitrii has demonstrated exemplary abilities in photography and video making. Just check out the awesome video he made from this year’s ball!

Student of the Year, School of Business Administration – Kristian Pankulych

Kristian is one AAU’s most dedicated students. He has begun a promising career at Volkswagen and also works at AAU’s ATC helping students improve their writing skills.

Teacher of the Year, School of Business Administration – Robert Ellmann, M.A., J.D.

Not only are Dr. Ellmann’s lectures meaningful, he also always has a smile on his face, is open minded, and displays fairness and a kind attitude to his students.

Student of the Year, School of International Relations & Diplomacy – Veronika Bartaková

Veronika is passionate about IR and invests a lot of her time into developing AAU’s Diplomatic Club into a great extracurricular activity for AAU’s future diplomats.

Teacher of the Year, School of International Relations & Diplomacy – George Hays II, Ph.D.

Dr. Hays has a talent for making students think and spearheaded the SIRD’s popular Professors in the Pub event series. Contrary to what many people may think, he has been seen with a great smile.

Student of the Year, School of Humanities & Social Sciences – Jan Tompkins

Jan has a passion and great love for the humanities. He is a hardworking student who brings insightful opinions and arguments to class and promotes the arts wherever he goes. Jan also has his own show on Sound Bricks Radio, newly launched at AAU.

Teacher of the Year, School of Humanities & Social Sciences – Anthony Marais

By implementing extraordinary teaching methods in his classes, Mr. Marais is able to captivate the attention of his students to seemingly boring topics, a very valuable skill.

Student of the Year, School of Journalism – Chau Nguyen

Chau has a strong desire to learn and she is always doing everything she can to improve herself and the AAU community such as being involved as Lennon Wall’s Managing Editor and interning for AAU’s Marketing Department. 

Teacher of the Year, School of Journalism – Andrew Giarelli, Ph.D.

With extensive knowledge and real-life experiences, Andrew shows great dedication to teaching journalism. He cares about the progress of his students and utilizes practical teaching methods to get them used to the working environment in a news room.

Student of the Year, J.H.C. II. School of Law – Hanna Ripper

Hanna is a very hardworking student who has shown immense dedication for her studies which she pursues with unparalleled passion.

Teacher of the Year, J.H.C. II. School of Law – Carollann Braum, LL.M., J.D.

Dr. Braum makes law, a seemingly dry and complicated subject, exciting. Her lecturers are enlightening and interactive. With a great sense of humor, she explains legal concepts and cases in simple terms and language that everyone can understand.

Outstanding Scholar – Martin Mareš

Martin, a master’s student at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, has proven to be an outstanding scholar displaying exemplary research and essay writing skills.

Best Course of 2016/2017 – History of the Cold War

Taught by William Eddleston, Ph.D., this course under the SIRD is a toughie with loads of reading but greatly adored. Dr. Eddleston structures the class well and holds his students’ interest through his amazing knowledge and presentation of intriguing facts on the topic.

Club of the Year – Hiking Club

They’ve gone on adventures to Czech Switzerland, Czech Paradise, and even the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia, AAU’s Hiking Club has proven itself to be a fun, friendly, and strong community taking along even 40 students on some hikes.

Most Helpful Staff Member – Jozef Bartík

Helpful, amiable, and effective, Jozef is always willing to answer students’ questions and help them through the registration process and make sure it gets completed without any hitches.

Most Engaged Administrator – Sviatlana Skachykhina 

On the first front of AAU’s SBA, Sviatlana is very patient, kind, and fair. She always does her best to help others.

Staff Member of the Year – Iveta Morávková

Iveta goes above and beyond to organize student events at AAU with limitless energy and a constant positive attitude. No matter the time of year, something big is always brewing in her office to enhance the quality of student life at AAU.

Alumni Involvement Award – Kamila Q. Suchomel

Recognized for her fantastic effort to make AAU a great place for all its students and alumni, Kamila is a positive, creative and hardworking person who does her best to make her awesome ideas come true.

Alumni Achievement Award – Kristina Soukupová, Ph.D.

Dr. Soukupová has shown outstanding achievement in her professional field through her innovative and successful approach to war studies and consultancy on the international stage. AAU is also proud to have her as a lecturer.

Faculty and Administration Distinguished Leadership Award – Daniela Lenčéš Chalániová, Ph.D.

Daniela successfully manages juggling being Dean of the SIRD, AAU’s second largest school, along with being adored by her students as a teacher and thesis adviser. She is also a star researcher and photographer.

Student Distinguished Leadership Award – Adi Hadžić

Adi was nominated for this award as the best Student Council President of all time. He is a fair and dedicated leader with an awesome personality that everyone adores and respects.


Publication date: May 19, 2017