Terttu Nevalainen
Humanist of the day

Terttu Nevalainen

At school, the careers advice officer claimed that Terttu Nevalainen was best suited to life as a farmer's wife on a large farm. This did not come to pass—large farms were few and far between in Kainuu—but leading a National Centre of Excellence for more than ten years has apparently required similar gifts of this professor of English.

Terttu Nevalainen

Taimi Terttu Annikki Nevalainen
Born May 31, 1952, Vuolijoki

Master of Arts 1977 (English philology, phonetics, general linguistics, Romance philology), PGCE (English) 1978, Licentiate 1986 and PhD 1991, University of Helsinki; postgraduate studies 1980–81, University College London

Professor of English Philology 1997–, University of Helsinki
Academy Professor 2010–14, Academy of Finland
Leverhulme Visiting Professor 2007, University of Sheffield
Senior researcher 1996–97, 2001–02, 2008–09, Academy of Finland
Associate professor 1993–97, University of Helsinki
Visiting researcher and lecturer 1992, 1994 and 1996, University of Cambridge

Publications, research projects and other academic activities

Research themes: English language and its variation and change, corpus research, historical sociolinguistics, English during the Tudor and Stuart period.

Awards and special achievements:
Prize for best doctoral thesis 1991, University of Helsinki
Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters 2001–
Festschrift Variation Past and Present 2002
City of Helsinki Science Award from 2006

Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
Written by Terttu Nevalainen (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

Many of my best memories from the University of Helsinki—students graduating, funding being granted, new research ideas—are related to the various communities within which I have worked over the years. Also important are the places where members of these communities naturally meet each day.

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Problem solving unites research and teaching. Teaching at the University means that you have the privilege of working with gifted young people. In addition to Helsinki, I have lectured in countries such as Spain and Great Britain, and I have also taught English students at the renowned University of Cambridge. There too the students fill the backrow first!

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