AUBG Announces 2020 Teaching, Research Awards
Every year, during the annual Honors Convocation, in addition to recognizing its top students, AUBG gives two faculty awards: the Cosmina Tanasoiu Excellence in Teaching Award and the Faculty Research Award. And even though COVID-19 obstructed this year's plans to hold the traditional academic ceremony, the university still awarded two top professors for their contribution to the academic life at AUBG.
Professor Tatiana Ivanova won the research award for her outstanding research in the field of mathematics and Professor Arthur Pantelides received the teaching award for his exceptional teaching methods and dedication.
For years now, Dr. Ivanova, a prominent researcher in mathematics, has been working on a project titled "Braided sets, Algebra, Geometry and Combinatorics". Her joint paper with Belgian mathematician Michel Van den Bergh is one of the pioneering works on set-theoretic solutions of the Yang-Baxter equation (YBE) and their quadratic algebras. "This work together with several later works of mine verifies and investigates the close relations between areas in mathematics which arouse independently," she said.
Ivanova, who holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics, Algebra from Moscow State University, Russia and has been a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, says she enjoys teaching to both students majoring in mathematics and students taking math courses as part of their GenEd curriculum. "I enjoy the opportunity to share the beauty of mathematics with my students," she said. "It is remarkable that every AUBG student is exposed to mathematics on the level of general education and despite some initial difficulties, many students learn the art of abstract and analytic thinking. And I am happy to see our math majors develop and grow as mathematicians."
Professor Dr. Arthur Pantelides, who won the Cosmina Tanasoiu Excellence in Teaching Award, said teaching is “critically important because we work with the most important, most precious resource in the world - a young mind that we do our part to help develop. I feel honored and humbled to be in this position with such responsibility.”
Pantelides, who has extensive leadership experience in business and has worked in the U.S., Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Brazil and Mexico, believes that his teaching job is the most rewarding one he’s had. “I really enjoy the great diversity of the students who are here from essentially all over the world,” he said. “Additionally, my students really strive to learn and truly improve themselves, I can sense this and it provides a sense of mission, satisfaction, and accomplishment for me. I get much more satisfaction in helping my students and sensing their gratitude than I have ever received working in business for over 25 years. I really enjoy working with these wonderful young people and many times they make me feel younger and more dynamic myself.”
Blagoevgrad is a good place to practice the teaching profession, Pantelides also said. “I really like working here in this wonderful little college town called Blagoevgrad,” he said. “It is just the right size, not too big like, say, Sofia that has many distractions. Blagoevgrad has everything I need and motivates me to focus on my mission here at AUBG which is my personal ‘center.’”