Sofia Wadensjö Karén named 2018 Alumnus of the Year
19 October 2018
The Alumnus of the Year distinction is being awarded this year to Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company Managing Director Sofia Wadensjö Karén. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies and Swedish at Uppsala University, she trained as a journalist and has long occupied a prominent position as a publicist in journalism. For seven years she was Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Vi magazine.
Each year Uppsala University presents the Alumnus of the Year distinction to a former student who has made “outstanding contributions in their career or achieved other noteworthy accomplishments”. This year the award goes to Sofia Wadensjö Karén, Managing Director of the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (Utbildningsradion).
From the explanatory statement: “Sofia Wadensjö Karén is committed to journalistic principles and changes in the media industry, but also to culture and education. She is both a wise voice in public life and a strong change manager. As an individual and in her professional activities, Sofia Karén Wadensjö exemplifies a strong sense of integrity. Accordingly, she is a good role model for Uppsala University students.”
“Considering how many students start their career path at Uppsala University, I am of course appreciative and honoured to be recognised in this way,” says Sofia Wadensjö Karén.
Wadensjö Karén studied literature at Uppsala University and received her Bachelor’s degree in 1995 before continuing her journalism training at Stockholm University. She subsequently worked as a journalist at the Laholms Tidning and Södermalm newspapers and at Aftonbladet. As the publisher of Vi magazine from 2011 to 2018, she reversed the publication’s decline in subscriptions and made it successful. In 2017 she received Sweden’s major magazine award with the explanation: “...This year’s award winner serves as an inspiration by fighting with high credibility for free independent journalism and by generating new business opportunities for the magazine industry...”.
In the spring of 2018, Wadensjö Karén became the Managing Director of the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (UR). For a number of years, she has been Board Chairperson of the Swedish Publishers Association and is now UR’s representative on the Board.
During her years as a student at Uppsala, Wadensjö Karén was actively involved in student life, especially in the Värmland nation student organisation, where she was editor of the its magazine, Wermlandus. For many years she was a member of the student organisation’s publication series committee, and she was also one of the main editors of the 350-year history of Värmland nation.
“My time at Uppsala University has influenced me on many levels. Gaining an understanding of scholarly theories and approaches, encountering the academic world of ideas and the traditions associated with the student nations for which Uppsala is so well-known. All of this has laid the self-evident foundation for my professional life, but also for me personally. Not to mention the fact that I got to know most of my closest friends during my years in Uppsala. The unique combination of a thirst for knowledge, intellectual heights and intense social interaction, which Uppsala offers, really provides the very best prerequisites for lifelong and deep friendships.”
On 19 March 2019 Sofia Wadensjö Karén will present an open lecture in connection with the award.
About the Alumnus of the Year distinction
The Alumnus of the Year distinction is made possible by a gift from Professor John Frederick Morgan-Jones, an Uppsala alumnus from Canada. In his 2003 will, Morgan-Jones wrote: I received my Degree of Licentiate of Arts from Uppsala University in 1960, and this contribution is my expression of thanks for Swedish hospitality.
Nominations for the Alumnus of the Year may be submitted by anyone with a connection to Uppsala University. Decisions about who should be awarded the distinction are made by Uppsala University’s Vice-Chancellor based on proposals by a nominating committee made up of the following: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (chair), one representative from each disciplinary research domain, the Director of Communications, the Director of the Development Office, a representative of Uppsala University’s alumni associations, a representative of the Student Unions and a representative of the Curators Committee.