Olympic gold coach and glass artist new honorary doctors 2023

For 2023, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences have appointed sports coach Vésteinn Hafsteinsson and designer Åsa Jungnelius honorary doctors at Linnaeus University.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Linnaeus University has appointed artist Åsa Jungnelius honorary doctor. Her artistry is multifaceted with glass as the primary material and with expressions linked to womanhood, taboos, desire, and temptations, sometimes represented in the form of gigantic nail polish bottles and lanterns in the form of fannies.

The both local and international reach of Jungnelius’s work has meant a lot to people both within and outside academia. Her work has a place in people’s everyday lives as well as on the international art stage, in the private sphere and in the public space.

“Such inspiring life’s work, which is still in progress, deserves special recognition. Therefore, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is proud of the decision to appoint Jungnelius honorary doctor at the faculty, where her artistry is a source of inspiration, both from an artistic and scientific point of view”, says Bodil Petersson, pro dean at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has appointed discus thrower and athletics coach Vésteinn Hafsteinsson honorary doctor. Hafsteinsson, originally from Iceland, has taken part in no less than five World Championships and four Olympic Games.

After concluding his career as active discus thrower, Hafsteinsson has enjoyed great success as coach in athletic throwing sports. He has, among other things, coached Estonian world and Olympic champion in discus Gerd Kanter. For the Swedish audience, Hafsteinsson is perhaps most well known for being the coach behind the Olympic success in Tokyo in 2020, where discus throwers Daniel Ståhl and Simon Pettersson won gold and silver respectively.

Hafsteinsson continuously exchanges knowledge not only with coaches and leaders in other athletics sports and other sports, but also with leaders in entirely different sectors. In this way, he is a role model for everyone who strives for precision, performance, professionalism, and combining science and practice.

“Hafsteinn is a good ambassador for Linnaeus University as he has great respect for science, has a scientific approach in his way of working, and promotes collaboration between Linnaeus University and other societal actors. In his collaboration with academia, he also contributes to setting knowledge in motion”, says Marie Hedberg, pro dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Vésteinn Hafsteinsson and Åsa Ljungnelius will be conferred their honorary doctorates at Linnaeus University’s Academic Ceremony which will take place at Kalmarsalen in Kalmar on 3 February 2023.