What a great month

What a great month behind: two of my PhD students published their academic dissertations. The dissertations of Juha Väänänen and Monica Gammelgård were publicly examined in the 17th of April and the 9th of May, respectively.

I take my responsibility as Custos seriously and offer cognac to calm the nerves of the disputant and the opponent.
I take my responsibility as Custos seriously and offer cognac to calm the nerves of the disputant and the opponent.

Juha’s research focused on social phobia and depression in adolescent population. Using the Adolescent Mental Health Cohort Study data he showed, for example, that depression predicted social phobia in girls, but in boys, social phobia predicted depression in 2-year follow up from age 15 to 17. Among boys, decrease in self-esteem during follow-up mediated totally the association between social phobia and subsequent depression. Among girls, however, decrease in self-esteem mediated the association between depression and subsequent social phobia only partially. The dissertation can be seen here: http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/96852

Monica’s research focused on violence risk assessment among adolescents. Using material collected in an adolescent psychiatric ward, in an adolescent forensic unit and two correctional schools, with follow-up within those institutions and in registers, she demonstrated the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) is a valid method for predicting not only institutional and community violence but also viewed at http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/96991

I had the honor of being assigned the Custos of the public examinations of these dissertations. It is really exciting to attend the public examination of a dissertation one has supervised. I would also have a point or two to express… Particularly if the PhD student has a moment of not knowing what to say, I feel such a desire to intervene! But The Custos has two sentences, one in the beginning and one in the end, and otherwise s/he remains silent.

Another big effort in which I was involved was that the committee working on reforming the transgender health legislation in Finland finalized its report. The law revision work itself ended up in some map of abandoned ideas, but the committee also worked to recognize further issues perhaps requiring attention in the field in the future, and these are explained in the report that can be found here: http://www.stm.fi/julkaisut/nayta/-/_julkaisu/1908059

Based on the clinical and scientific work of my team in Tampere University Hospital, I felt obliged to add a supplementary statement that is now duly included in the report.

In addition to these projects that were finalized, April was an intensive period piloting a research project that is really on a new field for me. I hope to be able to tell a lot more about that in the future! All these efforts required a lot of dancing to balance the mind. My husband and I had a tango weekend in Berlin, including milongas and private classes with Raimund Schlie http://www.dyrtango.de/. In the classes we focused – again – on the posture and tango walk. The basics can be eternally improved! I have also worked intensively to improve my performance on pointe shoes in ballet. I was feeling greatly satisfied about my success this spring when I happened to see my performance in class on video. That was a reality confrontation! Even if I was indeed on my toes, I cannot name a body part that would not have in bad position… May be my nose? However, when you are really lousy you cannot but improve. I have a goal: to not be clearly the weakest link in the class in the autumn.