On 20 December 2019, the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus certified the competition results and conferred the title of Scientist of the Year of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus 2019 to Alexander Kovalenya, Academician-Secretary of the Department of Humanities and Arts of the NAS of Belarus, Corresponding Member of the NAS of Belarus, D.Sc. in Historical Sciences.
Alexander Kovalenya is a well-known historian in Belarus and abroad. His scientific work is related to the history of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War, the guerrilla movement and underground struggle in the occupied territory of Belarus (1941-1944), the youth movement of the twentieth century.
Alexander Kovalenya is the initiator, developer and co-executor of the unique fundamental interdepartmental scientific project "Belarusian Statehood History" in five volumes (the presentation of the first volume took place in January 2019). In this work, based the latest achievements of modern Belarusian historical science and the national-state ideology of the Republic of Belarus, for the first time in historiography, the historical and national forms of Belarusian statehood have been formulated, the most complicated processes and events of the genesis and development of Belarusian statehood from antiquity to modernity have been summarized and disclosed. A special place in this project is given to the process of formation and development of an independent sovereign Belarus. Alexander Kovalenya participated actively in drafting the concept of the four-volume "Great Historical Atlas of Belarus", in editing and preparing several maps and special texts. Currently, he is the Scientific Director of the state program of scientific research "Economy and humanitarian development of the Belarusian society" for 2016-2020 and the Scientific Director of the assignment "Belarus in the geopolitical processes of the 20th and early 21st century" of this program.
Alexander Kovalenya is the chief editor of several Belarusian scientific journals and a member of the editorial boards of some Belarusian and foreign research journals. He is also a scientific editor and reviewer of different case-studies and popular scientific publications. Alexander Kovalenya is the author of 25 textbooks and teaching guides for secondary schools and universities. Under the leadership and with the direct participation of Alexander Kovalenya, the first teaching methodology on the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet People (in the context of World War II) was prepared for secondary schools and higher educational institutions of the Republic of Belarus. It includes a program, a textbook, a reference book, a workbook, and a teacher's manual. The textbook "The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet People (in the context of World War II)" was recognized as the best in the CIS. Alexander Kovalenya is a member of the Scientific and Technical Council for the sectoral scientific and technical program "Education through training" under the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.
The scientist initiated and participated in drafting the Concept of the history of Belarus, approved at the Fourth International Congress of Historians of Belarus "Historical science of Belarus: personalities, concepts, achievements (to the 90th anniversary of the Institute of History of the NAS of Belarus)" (Minsk, 17-18 October 2019). In 2019, he published several socio-political and scientific-methodical papers; he has done a lot of work as Chairman of the Council for the preservation of historical heritage. Alexander Kovalenya was the organizer and participant of 10 scientific and practical events in 2019, including international conferences and congress.
Alexander Kovalenya is a carrier of the breastplate of Excellent in Education of the Republic of Belarus (2002); honored worker of science of the Republic of Belarus (2014). He was awarded the Francysk Skaryna Medal (2006) and the Golden Medal of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for a great contribution to the development of science (2016). As a member of a team of Belarusian and Russian scientists working on the monograph “The Country on Fire 1941-1945”, Alexander Kovalenya won the Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (2018).
Alexander Kovalenya is the author of more than 490 scientific and educational works, including 34 monographs (4 individual), 25 textbooks and guides. Alexander Kovalenya was the organizer and participant of more than 150 international, republican scientific conferences and scientific congresses. He has repeatedly made plenary presentations at international scientific forums in Russia, Ukraine, China, France, Poland and Germany.
The title "Scientist of the year of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus" is conferred annually. The competition for awarding this title aims to identify and encourage the best scientists of the Academy of Sciences, to familiarize the scientific community with the most significant achievements of scientists, and to reinforce the image of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The competition is expected to stimulate creative activity, to promote the prestige and effectiveness of research and innovation work, and to strengthen scientific schools running in the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.