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Awards for the Associates

Awards for the Associates

The Awards for the Associates is given to professional associates of the University of Ljubljana for important contributions to the improvement of work processes and the academic environment at the University members and the Rectorate.

Nina Podlipnik works at the University of Ljubljana’s Academy of Music, where she provides key administrative support in international projects. Since 2016, she has been successfully running the international office, showing strong dedication to her work and to students, who are happy to work with her.


Vesna Stajčič is part of the technical staff at the University of Ljubljana’s Academy of Music. In her work she is always motivated, precise, dedicated and ready to solve any problems. She pays special attention to first-year students and new employees, always making herself available for support and guidance. She also provides assistance to the teaching staff.


Otilija Mlakar works in the Financial and Accounting Department of the University of Ljubljana’s Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television. She sets high professional standards with her attitude towards work. We see her as a person who more than deserves recognition for her dedication and whose attitude will undoubtedly leave a big mark at the Academy.


Miha Benedičič is an invaluable and indispensable colleague who for three decades has been an exceptionally enthusiastic, diligent, dedicated and professional photographer at the Academy, which produces a large volume of works each year that need to be photographed and documented. In addition to creating reproductions of works by students and others, he works as a technical assistant at the Department of Photography.


Admir Ganić is a technical assistant in graphics courses. When he started in his position, on his own initiative he set about improving the situation in the graphic studios. His work is invaluable and has contributed to the improvement of working conditions in the graphic workshops, the organisation of the graphics archive, and the excellent organisation of student work during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Through her dedicated work, Mag. Petra Jager has managed in a short time and in challenging working conditions to turn the Academy library into an inspiring environment that encourages students to read, think and pursue their research. Among her contributions are the new appearance of the reading room and the renewed exchange of library material with museums and galleries.


Since his first day at work, Matej Zonta, Secretary General of the Academy, has shown great responsibility and loyalty, as well as exceptional professionalism, which is reflected in his above-average knowledge of many areas of work and willingness to participate in development tasks. He receives recognition for his outstanding contribution to the functioning of the Academy and for his dedication during the first and second waves of the pandemic.


Dušan Birtič has been involved in professional work in the field of small ruminant breeding for 35 years. Among other things, he runs an evaluation station for rams. His work reflects the awareness that the quality of professional work depends on the cooperation of both breeders and professional services. He is known to breeders as a respected expert.


For more than 33 years, Simona Leskovec has been committed to ensuring the smooth running of research and teaching at the Chair of Microbiology in the Department of Food Science and Technology. She is creative in tackling new challenges, happy to support and pass on knowledge to young people, and contributes significantly to the achievements of her colleagues and the reputation of the University of Ljubljana through her professionalism and dedication.


Anton Zupančič is the Assistant Secretary General of the Faculty, whose performance greatly exceeds the scope of his duties, while being actively involved in teaching, research, and professional work at the Department of Wood Science and Technology. He strengthens the reputation of the University of Ljubljana’s Biotechnical Faculty by setting an example and through his personal integrity and diligence.


Rebeka Koncilja Žgalin has been working at the faculty for 20 years, showing exceptional commitment, professionalism and collegiality. Throughout this time she has been involved in the organisation of scientific research work. She proved herself by heading the renovation of the Central Economics Library, and she also established and headed the Centre of Excellence for Biosensors, Instrumentation and Process Control.


Sašo Novak is an invaluable part of his team, the most recognisable face and pillar of the Academic Affairs Office. Students rate him as the best professional associate and he is always available and responsive. He regularly stands out in student surveys and receives more and more praise each year.


Petra Rus is an irreplaceable member of the Faculty. Her experience in organising the teaching process is invaluable. She is one of the few people who know all the ins and outs of the study programmes of the University of Ljubljana’s School of Economics and Business. Her work shows exceptional commitment, professionalism, precision, independence and reliability.


Katja Knez is a particularly warm, positive and people-oriented colleague, who is rarely seen with a frown or in a bad mood. Her flexibility, ability to listen and understand, and above all her high level of empathy, are the personality traits that make her truly trustworthy among students and colleagues.


Mojca Bergant Dražetić has played an exceptional role in the organisation and delivery of teaching at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences during the COVID-19 epidemic. At the Student Affairs Office, she organised the work tasks in such a way that all scheduled and unscheduled activities were carried out in full and without delays.


Dr. Nina Gržinič Frelih heads the Communication Office which is charged with the Faculty’s promotional and information activities and effective communication with the public. She performs her work with exceptional enthusiasm, a positive approach and dedication. She is an excellent colleague who undoubtedly contributes to the better functioning of the Faculty and good relations between employees.


Mag. Tea Urankar, Secretary General of the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering, has used her excellent legal knowledge and empathy to face the challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic and the implementation of the APIS business information system with exceptional success.


Mag. Sara Gornik is Head of the Financial and Accounting Department. She played one of the key roles in the implementation of the APIS business information system at the Faculty, as well as at the University in general, adapting the system to the needs of individual member faculties. Her support for the project has been extremely beneficial for the adoption of the new system.


Mag. Jerica Mrak Pestotnik works at the Secretary’s Office of the Department of Geography. She is extremely precise and systematic in her work. Thanks to her, the Secretary’s Office is a dynamic hub of the Department. Her professionalism, creativity and skills are also appreciated at the Faculty level, leading to her involvement in a number of responsible tasks that she has always performed with distinction.


Tanja Kadunc has worked at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Pharmacy since 1991, and has been Head of the Student Office since 2007. She has been actively involved in shaping the activities of the Faculty’s offices, from the Secretary’s Office where she started out to the Student Office. She performs her duties professionally and with precision.


Andrej Vitek, Darko Malič and Rok Horjak work at the Faculty’s Computer Centre. The Centre’s key achievements of the last year were the implementation of the BBB distance learning system and its integration into the learning environment, and the implementation of a hybrid learning environment before the start of the 2020/2021 academic year. This ensured a smooth transition to the new study process during the pandemic.


Andreja Jaklič works in the Financial and Accounting Department where she performs the demanding tasks of payroll accounting. She uses her extensive knowledge and experience to help in other areas as well. She shares her knowledge with new employees, often substituting for a colleague in accounting or taking on any task that needs to be done effectively and on time.


Nives Macerl is the Secretary General of the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Computer and Information Science and Head of Joint Services. She coordinated key users in human resources from the start and during the implementation of the APIS business information system, proving herself with a constructive approach to work and exceptional commitment.


Janja Juršič is an outstanding colleague working at the Student Affairs Office. She plays a key role in preparing study programme timetables, responding to student applications and drafting various reports, all of which requires exceptional breadth, understanding and experience. As a member of the Governing Board of the Faculty, she is distinguished by a constructive approach in finding the best solutions for students.


As Secretary General of the Faculty, Mag. Barbara Leskovšek provides constructive proposals for introducing positive operational changes and putting them into practice. Her commitment and attention to detail ensure the smooth functioning of the Faculty, and she contributes significantly to its good organisation, and to respectful and positive workplace relations. She transfers her knowledge and skills to her colleagues and is always looking for solutions that benefit the Faculty.


Nina Prunk began her career at the Faculty’s Student Affairs Office before transferring to the Financial and Accounting Department. Her diligence, attention to detail and knowledge of her field of work and regulations allowed her to advance to the position of Head of the Financial and Accounting Department. She is characterised by her friendly style of management, which ensures excellent results and a pleasant workplace atmosphere.


Barbara Baraga initiated the development of the UL Alumni Clubs Network. Her efforts have resulted in the establishment of a platform for clubs used by the most advanced universities, the development of a common range of services for alumni, and closer cooperation between University academies and faculties in this area. She has thus contributed to improving cooperation with alumni, which is important in terms of the accreditation evaluation procedures.


In 2019, we started implementing the APIS business information system, which is extremely important for the operation of the entire University. The success of such a wide-ranging project largely depends on the coordination between stakeholders, where Mihaela Bauman Podojsteršek is doing an outstanding job. As a result, APIS has been implemented at the Rectorate and also some University members, and intensive preparations are underway to implement it at other academies and faculties as well.


During the pandemic, Matic Klevišar proved to be indispensable in the implementation and introduction of new shared digital services at the entire University level. His key contributions to the success of these services frequently required him to work overtime, and the beneficial results were felt by users working remotely – students, teachers and professional associates. We know Matic as a sociable colleague who always creates a friendly mood.


Irena Leban has been heading the University’s Office for Investment and Real Estate since 2012. Despite the limited budget, she has successfully managed construction, adaptation and renovation projects, thus contributing to the improvement of working conditions at University members and to the international comparability of the University. She also established effective control of real estate management.


Rebeka Lesjak deserves credit for developing and designing the excellent internal “Masterclass” programme for obtaining Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships, and for training candidates and developing project applications for Horizon 2020 calls. Through her efforts, the University has significantly improved its performance in applying to international calls for proposals and in attracting postdoctoral researchers from home and abroad.


During the pandemic, Mag. Maja Slovenc took on the highly responsible task of coordinating and organising testing and vaccination efforts at the entire University, as well as securing accommodation for foreign students in quarantine and informing them about government measures. She demonstrated an extraordinary sense of responsibility in her commitment to help foreign students in quarantine who were failed by the state authorities at the start of the pandemic and were left without accommodation. She also offered them assistance when they were experiencing other personal difficulties.


For Petra Tomc, there is no such thing as impossible. During the pandemic, she led the renovation of the premises at Aškerčeva 5, demonstrating perseverance and exceptional organisation. Despite the exceptional circumstances, the project was completed almost on schedule. Thanks to her work and efforts, we have been able to preserve funding and draw on the budget funds provided.