The outstanding biographies of the nominees within the newly introduced selection for the title of "Most Inspirational Woman of Banja Luka" confirm that the largest city in Republika Srpska is home to many successful and accomplished women.

PHOTO: Grad Banjaluka

For this year's title of "Most Inspirational Woman ofBanja Luka" in the field of science, 28 women have been nominated, who have achieved remarkable results and successes in various scientific fields.

 Below are the biographies of the nominated candidates:

  • Maja Milijaš, a Ph.D. in technological engineering and the youngest Ph.D. in Republika Srpska. With her just under 30 years, she has made significant contributions as a scientist both internationally and in our Banja Luka.
  • Nikolina Makivić, recipient of the Tesla Medal and the pride of all generations at the Faculty of Technology, University of Banja Luka. She obtained her doctorate at the age of 28 at Sorbonne, specializing in molecular electrochemistry, working on an innovative concept involving bacteria. Nikolina currently resides in Paris.
  • Aleksandra Savić, founder of the Association of Proofreaders of Republika Srpska and its president. She is the creator of the JATOLOGY application, the mind behind "Linguist," and the compiler of the book "The Story of the Princess of Banja Luka." Pursuing doctoral studies at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, specializing in Linguistics, she has passed all exams with top marks and awaits the defense of her doctoral dissertation.
  • Ana Lojić, an innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial woman with over eight years of experience in the IT industry. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in DATA SCIENCE, enabling her to develop new tools and technologies for solving complex problems, such as predictive analysis. Furthermore, Ana has been the president of the Association of Innovators of the City of Banja Luka for 10 years, where her leadership encourages innovation among youth.
  • Marijana Maran defended her doctoral dissertation "Efficiency of Pedagogical Prevention of Peer Violence in Schools using Action Research" at the Faculty of Philosophy in Banja Luka. She is the author of numerous professional papers on this topic, which have been of great importance to the pedagogical community in recent years.
  • Nada Vasiljević graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy as the top student of her generation and the youngest master in primary education in Republika Srpska. She is the creator of numerous professional and scientific papers and the recipient of the Ministry of Education and Culture's plaque. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the methodology of primary education in mathematics.
  • Anja Kunić, a researcher, educator, and Ph.D. candidate at the Southern Danish University in Copenhagen, specializing in algorithmic architecture and construction, robotic construction with the integration of Industry 4.0 technologies, and sustainable material life cycles.
  • Suzana Gotovac Atlagić completed her doctoral studies in nanotechnology at Chiba University in Japan, where she also received the Rector's Award along with 6 other top-performing students of the 3rd cycle. She is employed at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Banja Luka. Her important personal mission is to advocate for the return of young professionals from our country after their education abroad.
  • Dijana Jelić, a doctor of physical chemistry and full professor at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Her scientific research focuses on drug delivery systems and biomaterials. She completed her master's and doctoral studies at the Faculty of Physical Chemistry in Belgrade and received two prestigious scholarships for postdoctoral training in the USA and Japan.
  • Vesna Ećim Zlojutro, a doctor of medical sciences, a full professor at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and the head of the Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University Clinical Center of Republika Srpska, has left a lasting mark on many people through her work. She has completed her medical studies, master's, and doctoral studies at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Banja Luka, and has participated in numerous clinical studies with a significant number of published professional papers. She was also the first gynecologist in the Orthodox clinic to work on a voluntary basis.
  • Vera Zih, someone who sees with her heart, and this is not a metaphor. She educated herself and then educated others in the field of protecting the rights of minority groups: children, young people, and women with disabilities. A woman who, during her maternity leave, prepares for the Bar exam. Apart from her business and family obligations, Vera Zih actively dedicates herself to the Association of Youth with Disabilities InfoPart, which, in cooperation with the University of Banja Luka, focuses on providing a more accessible environment for people with disabilities in the field of education and student standard, as well as other activities.
  • Snežana Kutlešić Stević, someone who, through her specialization in baromedicine - hyperbaric and underwater medicine, introduced innovative treatment methods in Banja Luka. Additionally, she received education not only at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade but also at the Golnik Clinic in Slovenia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she played a significant role in treating patients with respiratory problems. In our city, she is known for her collaboration with several associations that gather people with disabilities, and the fashion show for people with disabilities "Just Right" has become a recognizable and well-received event.
  • Lana Lugonja, a master of psychology and a doctoral student at the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb. She received the award for the best student in the psychology program during her undergraduate studies. Additionally, she was awarded a scholarship for excellence, which is awarded to the best candidate among all doctoral students. She has published over 10 scientific papers and received the "Dr. Jovan Savić" award in 2023 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Society of Psychologists of the Republic of Srpska.
  • Radana Bjelajac is currently pursuing her second cycle of studies at the Faculty of Technology, University of Banja Luka, majoring in Chemical Engineering. Upon completion, she will obtain a master's degree in chemical engineering. Using her expertise and the advantages of natural resources, she has created natural products under the brand "Pčelica" (Little Bee), continuously improving them with the aim of creating products that help people solve a wide range of health problems and improve their lives.
  • Jagoda Petrović is a regular professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, studying Social Work. She has conducted numerous scientific research projects on topics such as migration, community social work, social inclusion of the poor, psychosocial support for marginalized groups, and more. She has served as a coordinator on projects supported by UNHCR, the World Bank, the World Food Program, and others. She has published over 100 scientific papers and ten books.
  • Stojana Petrović, an associate professor at the Faculty of Law in Banja Luka, will join the ladies on stage. She completed her doctoral studies in civil law at the Faculty of Law in Banja Luka. She is the first female author in the field of legal sciences in Banja Luka to have published scientific papers in the prestigious global citation database "Web of Science". Although this is common in other fields, in the field of legal and social sciences, this is a challenging and exceptional achievement.
  • Nina Marić, an associate professor with a doctorate in medical sciences, serves as the head of the Center for Rare Diseases of the Republic of Srpska and the head of the Genetic Counseling Center. She is the recipient of the "Charter" of the Chamber of Physicians of the Republic of Srpska for the best results achieved in medical studies.
  • Isidora Graorac, a professor of Serbian language and literature by profession, has redirected her efforts, due to life circumstances, to research and advocacy in the process of finding solutions for missing persons. She is the president of the Board of Directors of the Foundation "Visual Archive of Serbian Suffering".
  • Ajla Akšamija, born in Banja Luka with a current address in the United States, is a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Utah. She heads a research entity for innovations in architectural science and educational programs. Her research expertise includes architectural-engineering science and sustainability, high-performance buildings, new architectural technologies, and innovations in architecture.
  • Verica Pavlić is completing her postgraduate studies at the Medical and Dental Faculty in Tokyo - University of Japan. She completed her doctorate with the highest grades, after which she returned to Banja Luka. To date, she has published over 40 scientific papers in international scientific journals and several books. She is the representative of the Republic of Srpska in the World Dental Organization. She is the recipient of the Eugen Schneider Award from the American Laser Association, the Center of Excellence of the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, the Great Seal Award of the Chamber of Dental Medicine, and many others.
  • Aleksandra Drinić holds a postgraduate certificate in archaeology from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and a master's degree in tourism, heritage, and development from the University of Glasgow. She has been involved in efforts to develop tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 25 years and was a member of the team that represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at its first tourism fair, VeTeeM, and created its first adventure product.
  • Slađana Mišić, a master of preschool education and the recipient of the Svetosavska Charter of the Republic of Srpska, with the title of Best Teacher of Former Yugoslavia, and the recipient of the "Global Teacher Award" in New Delhi, India. She is the author of several award-winning teaching aids, one of the authors of the current Program for Preschool Education in the Republic of Srpska. She is also a member of the expert team for education reform in the Republic of Srpska and the working group for amendments to the law on preschool education.
  • Jelena Škrbić Radić is the president of the Association of People with Diabetes in the Republic of Srpska "DiabetNo1". Although she graduated from the Faculty of Economics, she dedicates her life to the work of this association and is the main driver of other people involved in the work to help each other daily. Thanks to her efforts, the Health Insurance Fund of the Republic of Srpska has been providing sensors for continuous glucose monitoring to children and young people with type 1 diabetes in the Republic of Srpska up to the age of 18 since August 2023. She successfully initiated an initiative across Srpska, and now 12 municipalities/cities co-finance sensors for young people aged 18-30 and older.
  • Ljiljana Zrnić, a graduate electrical engineer and a beloved teacher at the Economic School. She is known for her engagement with the members of the Volunteer Section for 15 years and participates in numerous humanitarian actions. You will recognize her students as regular attendees of cultural events and festivals. Through her work and activities, she has inspired a large number of students to remain enthusiasts of culture even after completing their education.
  • Milica Gajić Bojić defended her doctoral dissertation at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, in February of this year. She is a co-author of more than ten scientific papers in international journals and the recipient of the Golden Plaque of the University of Banja Luka for academic achievement and completion of studies on time.
  • Bojana Carić, a specialist in internal medicine and subspecialist in endocrinology, is an associate professor at the Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Banja Luka. From her rich biography, it is worth noting that she became a doctor due to type 1 diabetes and selflessly helps all those affected by this serious illness, being beloved in those circles.
  • Vesna Šipka defended her master's thesis titled "Management of Seismic Risk for Primary and Secondary Schools in Banja Luka" at the Faculty of Security Sciences, University of Banja Luka. She is one of the co-authors of the Seismotectonic Map of the Republic of Srpska and the author of over 13 scientific expert papers in the field of seismology.
  • Isabela Marković, who defended her final master's thesis on the topic of "Femicide - Gender-Based Killing of Women" at the Faculty of Law in Banja Luka. This is the first scientific work on this topic written in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which aims to provide data that can contribute to the goal of adequate protection of women from this form of gender-based violence.

  • It is worth noting that when it comes to the selection of the "Most Inspirational Woman of Banja Luka" in the field of science, fellow citizens will have the opportunity in the coming days to get to know all the nominated candidates through social media, who will convey their wishes to the women of Banja Luka on the occasion of International Women's Day.

Which of them will be awarded the title of "Most Inspirational Woman of Banja Luka" in the field of science - or the first among equals - will be chosen by the candidates themselves.