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The University of Malta Dean’s Awards for Excellence in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics started in 1995. The event is now an established tradition which is also being followed by other faculties.  For the first time, the awarded students’ relatives were invited to the ceremony held on 6 May at 1800hrs in the Erin Serracino Inglott Hall on campus. The ceremony started with a welcome address by the Dean, Professor Charles V. Sammut, followed by the Pro-Rector Dr Mary Anne Lauri. There was a short performance by the Mediterranean Institute Students Quartet, directed by Dr Hans Jurgen Nagel, who played string quartet movements by Josef Haydn and Astor Piazzola.

The Dean started his speech by thanking the administrative staff of the Faculty Office who was responsible for the organisation of the event, and also thanked the sponsors. Bank of Valletta made possible the introduction of a new prize this year, the BOV Prize for Science, awarded to the final year student who placed first overall at the last Degree Classification Board of the Faculty of Science. The other sponsors contributing to the ceremony were Technoline Ltd, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Methode Electronics Malta Ltd and Agenda Ltd. The Dean remarked that the Faculty was going through a very busy and exciting phase which would make it more relevant in today’s knowledge based environment. In a world that increasingly depends on the generation of knowledge, scientists find themselves at the forefront, faced with responsibilities for many and varied problems. He said that scientists should not hesitate in proposing new ideas, and should remember that it was the destiny of most so-called scientific truths to start as heresies and others to end up as superstitions.

Professor Sammut used the example of ecology to make the point that students should think holistically about issues in order to avoid unexpected secondary effects arising from their professional activities to tackle problems. An integrated approach is important. A common, unifying theme among all branches of science and technology is a thirst for discovery, which often implies seeing what everyone else sees and thinking what no one else thinks.

In congratulating the students, Professor Sammut said that their names shall forever be engraved in the Faculty’s 94 year history and he hoped that they would be able to come back with their children and proudly show them their names which will be recorded in the Faculty Board Room. He appealed to the students to hold high the Faculty’s honour and to someday repay their debt to their families, society, their country and their Alma Mater.

Dr Lauri remarked that it is a great honour for students to be placed on the Dean’s List, as the awards are called, and that their families should be justly proud of these achievements, which were made possible by a combination of the hard work of all concerned: students, academic, support staff and of course, the parents.

Dr Lauri presented the certificates and the prizes to the following students:
                                            
First Year Students
Borg Caroline (Biology & Chemistry)
Borg Yanika (Maths & Statistics & Operations Research)
Galea Nadya (Maths & Statistics & Operations Research)

Second Year Students
Herrera Paul (Biology & Chemistry)
Mifsud Andrew (Maths & Physics)
Sciriha Marika (Maths & Statistics & Operations Research)

Third Year Students
Muscat Alison (CSAI & Maths)
Said Chantelle (Maths & Physics)
Tua Alan (Maths & Physics)

Fourth Year Students
Aquilina Elizabeth (Maths & Physics)
Galea Anthony (Maths & Physics)
Micallef Maria ((Biology & Chemistry)

The BOV Prize for Science was awarded to Ms Elizabeth Aquilina, who thanked the Faculty for profitable experience during the four years of her BSc (Hons) course.  She encouraged students to avail themselves of opportunities for student exchange and to attend summer schools relevant to their subject areas.

Science Dean's Award 2009

Back Row from left: Tua Alan, Herrera Paul
Middle Row from left:  Micallef Maria, Muscat Alision, Aquilina
Elizabeth, Said Chantelle, Mifsud Andrew
Front Row from left:   Borg Caroline, Sciriha Maria, Prof. C.V. Sammut,
Galea Anthony, Borg Yanika, Galea Nadya

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