In order to empower Lithuania’s young people, the philanthropic MJJ fund continue to provide financial support to students who can and want to contribute to the growth of Lithuania. This year, the MJJ Fondas has published a new list of eight students who have been awarded grants amounting to EUR 53,000 to master’s study programs at the world’s best universities.
MJJ Foundation is happy to share the stories of the eight laureates of this year’s Knowledge Grant. The knowledge which these young people going to bring home will contribute to an innovative, healthy, sustainable Lithuania. During their studies these talented students will share their knowledge in articles and video blogs. They are ready to create the future of Lithuania through sciences, art history, food technology, education, digital, IT, economy and innovation:
- Kasparas Briedis works as a cardiologist in Kaunas clinics and teaches students at Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. He has already gained an exceptional international experience and secured an international reputation. To gain additional experience and scientific knowledge in health economics and process management Kasparas will started Master’s studies in Health Economics and Management Cardiology (Executive MSC) London School of Economics and Political Science. “During my master’s studies, I aim to develop international experience in health economics and management, which will allow me to apply the acquired knowledge and management skills in the continuous improvement of the health care services of the Republic of Lithuania. I will seek to learn how to improve day-to-day clinical efficiency and management and their outcomes in cardiovascular disease, which is still the leading cause of death worldwide. In addition, the new professional acquaintances met could also open up further international cooperation opportunities between universities”, says Kasparas about the value of his studies for Lithuania.
- Paulius Sasnauskas laureate is going to do Master’s studies in Advanced Computing at London Imperial College. After his studies, Paulius is considering several possible areas of activity: continuing his studies in doctoral studies, engaging in research and development activities in a company, teaching at Vilnius University. In these fields, computer science specialists are highly needed, and from my master’s studies, I could apply my knowledge of machine learning to the construction of models that are used in artificial intelligence and decision-making. Also, I want to pass on the knowledge and experience gained while teaching at Vilnius University because by taking knowledge from the best universities in the world, it would be possible to present the latest research and share the best methods that are being developed in this field” Paulius shares his vision. Various after-school and post-study activities already gave Paulius opportunity to gain a lot of knowledge in informatics, program system design and development. He participate in various competitions and won the international “iGEM” competition which aim is to create a project that solves a biological problem affecting everyone and to present the results of the solution.
- Lukas Mažonas entered the competitive European Master’s in Food Studies program, which takes place at four leading food technology universities – Wageningen University & Research (The Netherland), University College Cork (Ireland), Lund University (Sweden) and AgroParisTech (France). He completed his bachelor’s studies at Wageningen University & Research, the best food technology university in Europe and one of the best in the world. Having acquired knowledge during his studies, Lukas intends to bring new ideas to Lithuania and share his knowledge. Apart from food, Wageningen University & Research is well known in the world as a university focused on 21st century issues such as the ecological crisis. After learning sustainable food industry, Lukas will aim to contribute to the “green” and healthy food industry in Lithuania with his input and experience. During this master degree Lukas will have the opportunity to study and learn a whole global vision, knowledge and skills thanks to Ireland, France and Sweden universities. He shares, “I would like to push Lithuania in the food sector and dream that one day our country will be a land of food innovation. Lithuania is ready to take the next step in the food sector and is open to innovation”.
- Sara Aškinyte will start Master’s studies in philosophy of education at University College London. She has been working in the field of education for more than seven years, from student self-government to leading one of the largest youth organizations in Lithuania – the Lithuanian School Students’ Union (LMS). She became a member of the Lithuanian Education Council, where they solved national education issues with other experts. “During this period, I became convinced that I want and am able to achieve changes in the Lithuanian education system, since it is the basis of society. I want to continue to improve, that’s why I entered the university with the highest ratings in the field of education – UCL, in order to gain irreplaceable knowledge that will be needed when I return to Lithuania”, Sara shares her motivation. She is convinced that after her master’s studies, she will be even closer to the change of the entire education system in Lithuania. Her goal is to work directly with education, paying attention to the school community, meaning, emotional environment and its importance. After completing her master’s studies, Sara will aim to work in educational expert groups, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and work together with interest groups.
- Lukas Baliūnas will study a Master in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. This university has access to the most modern technologies, with which Lukas hopes to gain invaluable experience. “After graduating from the University of Cambridge, I will return with the experience of a world-leading university and I plan to share the knowledge I have learned. I will seek to join the Lithuanian Association of Artificial Intelligence, to contribute to the organization of its activities, so that the popularity and significance of this field grows in Lithuania. My goal after graduation is to start working as a machine learning analyst or machine learning engineer in a technology and innovation company in Lithuania. I hope to contribute to the development of new machine learning models and their application in Lithuania. Most of all, I would like to contribute to natural language processing for the Lithuanian language. I would like to work on voice recognition, translation, or speech generation, because I believe that they are very important in modern society, but Lithuanians cannot take full advantage of them as Lithuanian language is rarely supported” Lukas Baliūnui shares his plans.
- This year, Gustas Mikutavičius will start his studies at ETH Zurich University’s statistics master’s program in Zurich, Switzerland, which is rated as one of the best in the world. Recently graduated from Vilnius University’s Finance and Insurance Mathematics study program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Gustas was one of the top students and managed to prove a new theorem on products of generalized subexponential distributions while writing his undergraduate thesis. About his motivation to go to Zurich uiversity he says “I would like to create a mathematics and informatics education platform for pupils and students. The results of the state matriculation exam in mathematics testify to us every year about the insufficient level of mathematics education. The newly created educational platform would make quality mathematical education accessible not only to a larger part of Lithuanian schoolchildren, but also to students. The statistical and artificial intelligence knowledge accumulated at the ETH Zurich University and transferred to Lithuanian students would allow the preparation of a sufficient amount top-class statistics and data science professionals.”
- Aistė Liuka Jonynaitė has been pursuing an academic career in the field of visual art and culture in Lithuania and abroad. After completing her BA in Art History at the University of York in Great Britain, one of the five most prestigious visual arts research departments, she will continue her MA studies at The Courtauld Institute of Art, in London, in the art history program ‘Global Conceptualism’. Aistė Liuka believes that awarding this scholarship is not only a personal assessment, but also a strong recognition of the value of academic culture and art sciences among other academic disciplines. “I chose the master’s degree in art history studies because I want to spend time and delve even deeper into the ideological and institutional features of Eastern European conceptualism. The current curriculum in the Courtauld Institute is one of the most progressive in the world, responding to the influences of feminist and queer theories. I will seek to understand how global experts rethink the influences of Eastern and Western contemporary art and I hope that I will be able to introduce the questions they consider into the processes of research and understanding of Lithuanian culture.“ says Aistė Liuka Jonynaitė about her choice and studies.
- Dovilė Butrimaitė will integrate Master of Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation at London School of Economics and Political Science. “My ambition is to contribute to the sustainable development of business in Lithuania. Today, for me, this means the opportunity to bring the knowledge gained at LSE University to companies with Lithuanian capital. I would like Lithuanian companies to solve widespread problems in society, such as social exclusion and inequality, poverty and lack of access to education. I believe that by using the benefits brought by technology and the knowledge of the people working in it, it is possible to apply every technological solution not only to the target audience of the company, but also at the state level” says Dovilė about her goals. She chooses this direction because often when thinking about the value of major innovations to the economy and the material well-being they bring, one forgets how much they affect the interests of society. It is important to teach future managers about sustainable social transformation.