FINTERDIS - Finnish Interdisciplinary Society Board of Directors 2018-19

Kirsi Cheas


Ph.D. (Area studies and media and communication studies). I defended my doctoral thesis in January 2018. My doctoral research compared proportions of perspectives in American and Finnish news on the Global South. As of January 2019 I will work as a postdoctoral researcher at the John Morton Center for North American Studies at the University of Turku. My work is inspired by the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, and I also promote Finnish-American academic collaboration as president of the ASLA-Fulbright Alumni Association. Email:

Anna-Leena Riitaoja

Vice President

Ph.D. (Education) in 2013. Currently I work as a postdoctoral researcher in social work and am a member of the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, CEREN, in the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. My current research project focuses on social work professional knowledge in encounters between migrants and the welfare state.

Essi Huotari


I am doing my master's in the department of  Environmental Science and Policy in University of Helsinki. I am also a board member of Kudelma - network for comprehensive and sustainable systemic change. Kudelma is an organization formed by teachers, researchers and students of the University of Helsinki willing to work together for sustainable future.

Elina I. Mäkinen

Board member

I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Management and Business and the New Social Research program at Tampere University. I received my Ph.D. in Organization Studies from Stanford University. I study collaborative processes at different knowledge and occupational boundaries.

Mikko A. Niemelä

Board member

MSSc (Philosophy, Master's Degree Programme on Civil Society). Previously, I have worked as a teacher of humanistic and social studies in secondary schools. Currently, I am preparing a doctoral dissertation in educational sciences in curriculum integration. My particular interest is in multidisciplinary content and the challenges it poses for teachers.

Annika Nuotiomäki

Board member

MA (English Translation Studies), BSc (Environmental Change and Politics). My second Master's thesis that I'm currently working on deals with consumer representations on the background of various climate applications and carbon footprint calculators available online.

Ruta Kazlauskaite

Board member

Ph.D. (Political science). My research locates within the interdisciplinary intersections of history education, philosophy of history, embodied cognition, and storytelling in new digital media (VR/AR). I have recently completed my PhD project (2012-2018) at the University of Helsinki, Finland, entitled "Towards an Embodied History: Metaphorical Models in Textbook Knowledge of the Controversial Polish-Lithuanian Past." Currently, I am an affiliated researcher at the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN) at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki.

Harri Kettunen

Board member

I carry out interdisciplinary research projects in Area and Cultural Studies at the University of Helsinki, combining history, linguistics, epigraphy, iconography, anthropology, archaeology, biology, and geography. Currently, my research and teaching focus is on Mesoamerica-related topics, comparative writing systems, as well as interdisciplinary methodologies and research strategies.

Janina da Silva Gonçalves

Board member

M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.) I have a background in economics and business administration, particularly the study of organisations and management. Currently I am finalizing my second master's in educational sciences. In my master's thesis I look at how the university student is constituted as a subject in the discourse on students' mental health. In my coming PhD research, I will explore the subjectification and study practices of university students. I am interested in the prevalent study practices of the university, the possibilities they open and the limitations they set for students; the university as a scientific community and students' place in this community.

Mikko K. Heikkilä

Deputy Board Member

Ph.D., Title of Docent; I am a researcher of the history of West Uralic and Germanic languages as well as General and Church History. I graduated as a Master of Arts from the university of Tampere in 2009. I have got teaching experience from university since the year 2010. I have taught Scandinavian languages, Finnish language and General linguistics. I doctorated in General linguistics at the university of Helsinki in 2014. I was granted Title of Docent (in interdisciplinary diachronic linguistics) by the university of Tampere in 2018. At the moment, I am working as a teacher and examiner of General linguistics and Finnish language at the university of Tampere.

Tiina Räisänen

Deputy Board member

PhD, applied language studies. I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä. My research interests include language and communication competence in working life, business and organizational communication and intercultural communication. I earned my PhD in 2013 (JyU). Currently I work on my postdoctoral project Professional Communicative Repertoires, funded by the Academy of Finland (2016-2019).

Jaana Helminen

Deputy Board member

MA, PhD candidate, University of Helsinki. My doctoral research focuses on environmental sustainability in the Olympics from an interdisciplinary perspective.  

Samuli Salmi

Deputy Board member

I defended my PhD in theoretical philosophy at the University of Helsinki in 2012, focusing on a topic related to the philosophy of science. Since then, I have continued my studies at the Faculty of Medicine, where I have conducted research as a member of several research groups and begun a doctoral project focusing on epidemiology. I also work as a science adviser at the Academy of Finland.

Jarkko Vikman

Deputy Board member

Doctoral candidate, University of Helsinki, Biblical studies.
My dissertation handles the evolution of religious expertise in the city of Ephesus during the first three centuries CE.