A summary of 10 years of fellowships named after prof. Halina Piekarek-Jankowska

For 10 years, every year the best 3rd-year geology student at the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography of the University of Gdańsk was awarded the Prof. Halina Piekarek-Jankowska Fellowship. In this way, the Professor's family commemorated her scientific fascination with geology.

It is 10 years since the death of prof. dr hab. Halina Piekarek-Jankowska. A graduate of the University of Warsaw, she spent her scientific life at the University of Gdańsk, where she was awarded a doctoral degree in 1979, habilitated in 1995 and became a professor in 2002. Her scientific work involved geology and oceanology with a specialisation in marine geology and hydrogeology.

Prof. Halina Piekarek-Jankowska held many positions at the University of Gdańsk. She was deputy director of the Institute of Oceanography, head of the Marine Geology Department, dean of the Faculty of Biology, Geography and Oceanography, up to and including vice-rector of our university.

She was also vice-rector and rector of The State University of Applied Sciences in Elbląg and taught at the Kashubian-Pomeranian High School in Wejherowo. She sat on the praesidium of the Marine Research Committee, was vice-president of GTN and a member of the Polish Geological Society. She held the position of president of the Elbląg Scientific Society (2010-2011).

In 2006 she was elected to the Sejmik of Pomorskie Voivodeship on behalf of PO. For her work at the University of Gdańsk, she was repeatedly awarded the Rector's Award, she was also decorated with the Golden Cross of Merit and the Medal of the National Education Commission.

Geology was her life's passion, as well as her husband's and son's field of professional interest. - 'She was the originator and co-creator of geology at the University of Gdańsk,' stresses dr hab. Waldemar Surosz, Prof. UG, Dean of the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography, UG. - 'I liked talking to her. She had an incredible sense of humour and distance to herself,' he adds. Her colleagues from the faculty still remember her fondly. - 'She was an exceptional person. The year of her untimely passing was extremely difficult for us.'

The Dean Waldemar Surosz remembers her also from his student years. - 'I had classes with her during my first year,' - he recalls. - 'She was an exceptional teacher, a great lecturer and an extremely concrete person,' - he adds. Additionally, she often devoted her private time to students. She also paid a lot of attention to PhD students. - 'She tried not only to shape them academically but also to establish a closer relationship with them, thus continuing the wonderful pattern of master-student relations,' - wrote prof. dr hab. Marcin Pliński in University Newspaper of October 2011 about exceptional predispositions of the Professor.

To honour her memory and to pay tribute to her commitment and scientific fascination with geology, which she retained until the last days of her life, in 2011 her family founded a scholarship named after her for the best 3rd-year geology student. For 10 years, every year it has been awarded to the best young geologist. - 'We were all proud and touched to see how warmly Halina is remembered and how well the work she did at the university is continued,' wrote the professor's husband and sons.

The prof. Halina Piekarek-Jankowska fellowships have been awarded to 3rd-year geology students with the highest grade point average obtained in the 1st and 2nd year.

According to dr hab. Małgorzata Witak, prof. UG, head of the Department of Marine Geology at the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography of the University of Gdańsk, some of the scholarship winners went on to study second-level marine geology or marine physics at Oceanography. Several are currently pursuing doctoral studies and are successful as young scientists. Such as dr Jan Król, who completed his doctorate at UAM and works at the Department of Palaeontology and Stratigraphy. The results of his scientific work were listed in the top 10 achievements of the Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences during the evaluation of units in 2016. Grzegorz Gorczyński (polyglot), who studied his third year of geology in Florence as part of the Erasmus programme, is currently pursuing his Master's degree at the University of Vienna (Institute of Palaeontology).

Let us add that the 2020/2021 academic year is the last one in which the scholarship is awarded. Professor will continue to be remembered by the community of our university.

Ewa Cichocka/Press Office of University of Gdańsk