FINTERDIS - Finnish Interdisciplinary Society Board of Directors 2019-20

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. In October 2019, I was elected as an at-large board member at the U.S.-based Association for Interdisciplinary Studies and I also promote Finnish-American academic collaboration as president of the ASLA-Fulbright Alumni Association. 

Mikko A. Niemelä

Vice president

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.

Anna-Leena Riitaoja

Board member

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

Board member

MS, Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Helsinki. Currently I work with my dissertation. My intrest is to study how scientific environmental knowledge is (or should be) communicated from science communities to societies. I am also a board member of Kudelma - Network for Comprehensive and Sustainable Systemic Change.

Mikko Salmela

Board member

I work as university researcher in practical philosophy at the University of Helsinki. My doctoral thesis (UH, 1998) was on the history of Finnish philosophy, and my path to interdisciplinarity began in my post doctoral research on emotions that is a multidisciplinary research area itself. Within this area, I am interested in both theoretical and applied research. In recent years, my research has focused on collective emotions and their functions in the dynamics of social groups, on the role of emotions in interdisciplinary interaction, on the role of shared emotions in the construction of communality in urban housing; as well as on the emotional dynamics of populist political movements and polarization.  

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.

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.

Jori Grym

Board member

Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration), Business Economics, Hanken School of Economics, Finland. I research how human beings make choices using decision theory as a doctoral candidate at the Hanken School of Economics and part of the behavioral economics research group at the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics. I'm especially interested in ethical decision making and moral judgement. I study these subjects in a broad context but lately have been concentrating in the world of digital money and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. My field of research, behavioral economics, is an interdisciplinary field that combines elements from psychology, social psychology and economics. Fascination with this field has given me an ongoing curiosity of interdisciplinary science and a thirst to learn from many schools of thought and science. I am also a member of the Heterodox Academy, which cultivates diversity of thought among academia.

Nina Strandén

Board member

I am studying to be a class teacher at University of Helsinki, aiming for the dual teaching qualification (class teacher and subject teacher of mathematics). I have also completed basic and intermediate studies in Special Education. Through my previous qualification as a Kindergarten Teacher and Head Teacher, I have 16 years' experience of working with children, students and colleagues in English. I travel often to USA, Florida to visit my relatives with my husband and children. I am very actively involved in many organizations. To mention few, I am a board member of Suvikyky, Support group of foreign language and immersion teaching of Finland and a member of Comprehensive School at Helsinki. I am also active in many University organizations developing teaching and preparing International programmes. My interests are education, languages, teaching methods, internationalization, agency, digitalization and special education

Jarkko Vikman

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.

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).

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.

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.