For the second year in a row, Thesis Day was held in Alnarp and Ultuna to celebrate SLU students’ academic efforts. About a hundred students displayed their degree projects in a poster exhibition. The projects concerned considerable global events such as climate change and small components like Omega-3 in black soldier fly larvae – and everything in between. Regardless of size, the theme was clear: student projects contribute to solving vital problems.
In her opening speech, SLU’s Vice-Chancellor Karin Holmgren highlighted the complex challenges we face and talked about how students, with the theoretic knowledge and practical skills they obtained at SLU, play important roles in this development. Her inspirational message to the students was that they will be on the front line.
“You can be change-makers,” said Karin Holmgren.
Two SLU alumni shared their experience and advice. Forester Elin Olofsson talked about how she and two classmates launched #sluttaverkat, forestry’s appeal in relation to #MeToo. She was named Alumnus of the Year in 2018 for this work. On Thesis Day, she received the award from Vice-Chancellor Karin Holmgren. Horticulturist Ida Backström talked about her modest career beginning, working with weeds and counting carrot seeds, and how it has been very useful to her in subsequent jobs. In her current role, she, among other things, researches new, practical cultivation techniques and strategies. For example, clearing carrot weeds. When she graduated, Ida’s dream was to make the world a better place. That dream is still alive, but the path has changed these past few years. She emphasised that even small steps count.
“Dream big, but don’t turn down offers and opportunities because they don’t match your ‘rock star’ personality,” was Ida Backström’s final advice to the students.
One of the highlights of Thesis Day was the poster exhibition, where students displayed their degree projects to their families, friends, future colleagues, SLU staff and students. The exhibition included impressive breadth of science – from considerable and abstract events such as climate change to species and cell level, like horse blood concentration. The joint theme for the degree projects was that they, both in small and big ways, contribute to creating better living conditions for people, animals and plants.
The day ended in a festive manner with a speech by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and SLU alumnus Erik Fahlbeck, awards for best poster as well as thank-you cards and roses to all participants. Representatives from SLU Alumn made an inspiring speech on the importance of being active SLU alumni and maintaining contact with the university. After the ceremony, SLU Alumn made a toast for the soon-to-be new alumni.