NOMINATIONS FROM UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW STUDENTS COLLECTED & COLLATED BY GUSRC
WELCOME TO THE STA 2012/13 REVIEW...
This was the third year of the SRC’s annual Student Teaching Awards and this short booklet gives extracts from students’ nomination forms for those teachers who won or were shortlisted for an award. As you will see in the forthcoming pages, the standard of nominations this year was once again excellent. It was certainly not easy for the student panel to pick out winners! 2012/13 was the third incarnation of the STAs, following 2011’s pilot scheme PETs, and last year’s incredibly successful STAs. GUSRC are incredibly proud to organise the awards and give students the opportunity to reflect on those who have contributed to their time at university and to honour them by putting them forward for an award. The STAs also allow students to identify best practices at the University, identifying the teaching methods and staff work that can be shared throughout the institution.
We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from the University, in particular Professor Frank Coton, the students who made up the selection panel, the staff at the SRC who helped organise the award ceremony, the hundreds of excellent nominations and of course the superb teaching taking place across the University without which there would be no point in having these awards! We hope the next incarnation of the STAs will once again build on the foundations laid in these formative years. Nominations will reopen in November 2013 and close in February 2014. Thanks!
GUSRC VP - Learning & Development 2012/13
increase in nominations from postgraduate students in 2012/13
Science & Engineering - 20%
Arts - 25%
Social Sciences - 33%
MVLS - 22%
all nominations received across four categories of Best Teacher
46 total nominees 12 categories
Some of the Student Teaching Award winners for 2012/13
Best Teacher: College of Science & Engineering This award is for the best overall teaching within the College of Science & Engineering.
Shortlist: Calum Cossar “Calum has made this course interesting, interactive and engaging. He got you interested in the subject and with tutorial challenges in the lectures. The labs were good at challenging our knowledge, and the music through them just was great! He is extremely approachable and friendly. He learns a majority of people in the classes name, a class which is the size of 130. I want to do well in this subject, all because of Calum and I can’t thank him enough for his help.”
Shortlist: Sara Sareno “Sara Sareno is a teacher who has a passion for her subject that inspires her pupils. She approaches each topic with enthusiasm and humour, making each aspect relevant and memorable. In particular, her impressions of different characters are silly but very memorable. All the students appreciate her quirky approach to teaching, and I look forward to her next set of lectures!”
Winner: Alastair Craw “The man was just wonderful in every way, he was passionate about his subject to the point that it was impossible not to enjoy it too, regardless of how difficult it was. In his office hours he would always ensure he got everybody’s questions dealt with, and still managed to explain them as thoroughly as possible. His finest moment must have been on the day of Children in Need. He didn’t just put out his hand and ask for money for a good cause, he came in dressed as, and delivered a lecture as Scarface, including the accent, which it must be said was remarkably good. In short, Dr Craw is a god.”
Best Teacher: College of MVLS This award is for the best overall teaching within the College of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences.
Winner: Ed Tobias
Shortlist: Chris Finlay “Chris is engaging, and polite as well as very approachable. The feeling is that he wants to be teaching and enjoys passing on his experience. Lecture slides are well presented. Emails are answered promptly and every effort is made to help. He makes the labs interesting and keeps the lectures interesting by adding personal experience allowing us to see relevance to our field. He tells the class what he expects from them and has always been in his office when I have needed a question answered. All of this added together has made biology 1A a much more pleasant experience therefore making the transfer into higher education easier.”
“His lectures were outstanding- far and away the best material out of the entire 12 weeks of teaching in the semester. The resources were first class and he was so passionate about what he was teaching. The support he provides is phenomenal and he really goes the extra mile- he’s giving a lecture to the entire year from 5pm-7pm shortly before the exams just so that we feel comfortable with this subject. He really worked hard, was so dedicated and nobody in the whole year has a negative thing to say about his lectures. For the best lecturer I’ve experienced at Glasgow, he really deserves the award.”
Shortlist: Neil Evans “From the first day Neil talked about physiology with great fervour, without coming across as arrogant or that the subject is easy to grasp. He refuses to carry on if he feels anyone in the classroom is stuck, and always implores students to ask questions. Many professors end their lectures with “Any questions?”, to which there is rarely a response. Neil basically says (throughout a lecture), “There should be questions after that topic, where are they?”. In addition, Neil is a very approachable professor for students uncomfortable speaking in class. “
Best Teacher: College of Arts This award is for the best overall teaching within the College of Arts.
Winner: Dougal Campbell
Shortlist: Thomas Munck
“I’d like to nominate Dougal Campbell because quite frankly he is brilliant. I recently transferred here from another university and Dougal provided a lot of advice during the process and from the first email he made feel more welcome than I had ever felt before at my last university. I don’t think anyone is ever bored in one of Dougal’s classes and he puts in so much extra time for us whether it be finding material, teaching extra classes or listening to ‘France Culture’ picking out sterling stylistics examples.”
“Prof. Munck’s genuine passion, encyclopaedic knowledge and intellectual curiosity bring the French Revolution and its characters to life. His tremendous intellect and passion is notable not for its dominance, but for its inclusiveness and flexibility. I have never had a teacher like Professor Thomas Munck and am never likely to again. He is brilliant.”
Shortlist: Katrin Uhlig “She cares about providing useful material and collects online exercises and websites for every single lecture, making it easy to prepare. When you have a concern she is always there to help you and will try her best to research anything you ask. She cares about all her students individually. I attend German lectures as they are fun, easy to follow and feel warm and friendly. She is the kind of teacher that is great, helpful and personal.”
Best Teacher: College of Social Sciences This award is for the best overall teaching within the College of Social Sciences.
Shortlist: Matt Dawson “His lectures are engaging, interesting, wellstructured; he explains things in a clear, but nonpatronising way. His enthusiasm for the subject is infectious – it is so clear from his teaching that he is so passionate about what he does, and he is keen to share that enthusiasm with his students. In class, he is great at facilitating discussion – for example, posing some really interesting questions but also encouraging students to ask their own questions, and develop their own critical perspectives. He is also very organised and on-the-ball with everything: for example, putting lecture slides on Moodle weeks in advance, responding quickly to emails, soliciting feedback halfway through the course and then taking on board the suggestions to improve the latter part of the course. Matt is just a fantastic teacher and human being.”
Shortlist: Patrick Bell “Dr Bell has had a lasting impact on how I approach my study as his advice and knowledge are among the most valuable I have gained at university. His passion for his subject is contagious! The set-up and atmosphere of his classes make it easy to contribute to discussion and debate, without feeling nervous. His module is very well organised; the reading list, the manner of assessment and learning outcomes clear. Dr Bell’s tutorials, his style of teaching and manner is an example of how university should be.”
Shortlist: Raymond McCluskey “The lectures that Dr McCluskey has given this year are by far the best we have had throughout the course so far. Given limited time, he has used it brilliantly, providing us with a good knowledge base for teaching social sciences in schools. In addition to teaching the material, he provides suggestions of how to use the information in classrooms. Dr McCluskey is also quick to respond to any questions and is a great asset to Glasgow University.”
Best Advisor of Studies This is awarded in recognition of the excellent advisors of studies who give out excellent information about courses and the university, in addition to caring for students and offering pastoral care.
Shortlist: Stephen Marrit
Winner: Mike Broad Shortlist: Sheila Dickson “Mr Broad has been myto mentor almost 5 years “She is readily willing get tofor know her students and my timefunny at University on Iacouldn’t personalimagine level. Friendly, and a bitwithout crazy, him. enthusiasm is infectious and he plays very sheHis is the sort of lecturer that will always stopa for a active role all aspects student He dedicates chat in theincorridor, andofwill drop life. by social events a and largeoff sum of his time all students regardless er advice in anto informal environment. Asofan whether not they are under histhe mentorship and adviser,or I cannot praise enough help she has makes ort to learnthe more about his students giventhe meeff throughout years enough. She is a outwith their University lives. Always approachable good listener and wonderful motivator, she is easy and always Mr encouragement, Broad is preciselyadvice what I and look to confi deainsmile, and her for in a Student Advisorenthusiasm and I knownever I, and fail many general idiosyncratic to leave others, shall miss him a great dealher as offi wece.” go on to me feeling better after visiting leave Glasgow University.”
“No matter what problem or petty query I have had, Dr Marritt has always been there to help me with compassion. I am well aware that his role must be demanding and take up a lot of his time and energy, yet I always feel I am receiving 100% of his attention and guidance. His help and input has inspired me during my time here at University of Glasgow and given me faith that the University truly cares for the students.”
Shortlist: Elizabeth Tanner “Elizabeth Tanner is a fantastic Advisor of Studies who will go the extra ten miles to ensure our university experience is fantastic and obstacle free. Whether you have trouble with the work load, problems with personal matters or just want to have a wee chat, Liz is always there.”
Best Research Supervisor This award was created to honour the brilliant supervisors guiding students through their research here at the University of Glasgow.
Winner: Rebecca Mancy
Shortlist: Sarah Armstrong
“It takes a certain genius to balance the demands of the role of mentor with the responsibilities of personal research and teaching successfully. Rebecca sets high expectations and provides everything you need to achieve them- she seems to be able to create more hours in her day for her students than any other research supervisor I have known. I could extol her academic virtues ad infinitum, but her distinguishing feature may be her accessibility to her students, her warmth as a friend, and the commitment she demonstrates to our accomplishments and well-being. Our collaborations as her students have an been underlaid with a great congeniality, which only contributes to our achievements as individuals. She defines academic and interpersonal excellence in her ability to both manage and nurture. I can think of no more deserving candidate for this honour than Rebecca.”
“Upon starting at Glasgow, Sarah immediately made me feel welcome by introducing me to other PhD students and inviting me to guest speak at a class she taught. We then spent months putting an ethics form together and Sarah remained encouraging throughout this long process.”
Shortlist: Stephany Biello “Stephany is an excellent research supervisor, who is always willing to support you in your research endeavours. Moreover, she is willing to push to boundaries of her own knowledge and go with you to where your research question takes you, even if it is outwith her own comfort zone. She’s always available and ready to listen, and advises you on how to develop personally and professionally in order to help you succeed. In short, Stephany is dedicated to her all students and thoroughly deserves this award.“
Best Dissertation Supervisor An award for the University of Glasgow staff members who offer support, guidance and constructive criticism as students progress in writing their most significant piece of work at the University.
Winner: Phillips O’Brien
Shortlist: Colleen Batey
“Dr. O’Brien has gone the extra mile to help, guide and assist me in completing my dissertation. To compound the complexities of completing my degree I am not in residence, but am based in the US. We usually meet biweekly via Skype and email much more frequently. Dr. O’Brien has given up many a Sunday evening to Skype with me. His academic guidance and caring has made a huge difference for me.”
“Dr C.E. Batey is my dissertation supervisor within archaeology. I could not have asked for a more passionate and helpful supervisor. She was also the reason I decided to pursue Viking studies as my main area of focus within archaeology.”
Shortlist: Ray Stokes “He has a deep knowledge of his subject and managed to infect me with his enthusiasm. In fleshing out the idea for my dissertation he was influential. Even in my early draft efforts he was adept at finding something interesting and relevant to build on. He wears his expertise lightly and brings you along with him without any condescension.”
Best Postgraduate Who Tutors Recognising the work of postgraduate students who take up positions as tutors to pass their knowledge on to younger students.
Winner: Andrea Thompson
Shortlist: Emeline Morin
“She is always willing to help out, will answer emails so quickly with detailed replies, not just quick responses. These emails can come at weekends or evenings too, she doesn’t keep to “office hours” to respond to your queries, which always makes you much more willing to contact her in the first place. Tutorials are always interesting and the discussion topics are always thought provoking and never are the questions able to be answered with just yes or no answers, they always make you look further, and dig deeper.”
“Emeline is very insightful in the way the French and English operate which I can relate to, especially grammar and culturally-wise. What I really love is that when we learn a new word she doesn’t just explain the meaning of it but often gives us the words derived from it, connotations or even common words that are often mixed up with it. I find that her tutorials are always informative.”
Shortlist: Monika Winiarczyk “I feel like I’ve learned far more from her tutorials than I have from the actual lectures, she’s given us great advice and information in a way that’s easily understandable but not patronising. Her enthusiasm for the subject is very motivating. I honestly can’t gush enough, she’s single-handedly getting me through this term and I’ll be heartbroken if I don’t get her next term.”
Best Support Staff From administrators to counsellors this award gives students the chance to recognise the work of the staff that don’t teach, but still offer a lot to students and the student experience.
Winner: Maggie Baistew “Maggie has proved a phenomenal supporter for students. From the start, she has guided us on a seamless road to Glasgow. Her help with the documentation and with the new rules we all faced has been outstanding. During the semester, her creative, solution-oriented spirit has often resolved problems for all of us, who did not feel constrained in a bureaucratic machine. If there is one person I will remember forever from my experience at Glasgow, it would be her.”
Shortlist: Stuart Davis “Since I have come to the University of Glasgow, Stuart has always been friendly, knowledgeable and professional. He really cares about the needs of each individual. He has also been great at supporting the social and career sides of the postgraduate programme offering any assistance possible and attending events!”
Shortlist: Shazie Ahmed “With a smile and good humour, Shazia Ahmed makes sure that I can get the grades that I want in Maths 1R and 1S. She is straightforward and clear in her explanation, while not making you feel bad about not remembering background knowledge. Shazia has an impressive, subtle skill – her outstanding memory for names, making you feel welcome and encouraged.”
Shortlist: Alan Scott “Alan has been part of the university community as a lab demonstrator for roughly 40 years, and he is still keen on helping students who struggle with lab work. He is in the lab every day, and he says he could not imagine doing something different in his life. Chemistry with Alan is how it should always be: hard work, but full of fun and enjoyment.”
Focus on Employability Award This is for the staff member who highlights career potential and helps students develop skills and graduate attributes alongside academic work.
Shortlist: Anne Davis “Anne is a supportive teaching member of staff that I went to see in my first year for advice on studying abroad. She tells us about opportunities that have arisen, and what the subject is like in the working world. Furthermore, she reminds us that employers look for the skills we are practising and encourages us to practice independently, whilst also being available for help if required. “
Shortlist: Suzanne McCallum “Suzanne McCallum spends a considerable amount of time of making opportunities available to students to employability events. Through communication with the Careers Service and her contacts in industry, she organises a variety of events to improve our employability and makes available opportunities for us to meet with employers. “
Winner: Dickon Copsey “Dickon Copsey has organised some great employability events for students during the first semester. He is very approachable, enthusiastic and interested in students’ experiences. Dickon was very generous with his time and constantly seeking to use his contacts and reach to people that could help my project. On several occasions he recommended students that could contribute and, more generally, he made a significant impact on my networking. His commitment to students is impressive and my experience as a student at the University of Glasgow is definitely enriched by this interaction.”
Best Feedback This award recognises helpful feedback from staff members which was particularly noted to have improved student learning skills and knowledge.
Winner: Robert Gibb
Shortlist: Dougal Campbell
“Robert gave excellent feedback both on the formative and summative assessment for the Current Issues in Social Theory module. He really engaged with what I was trying to do and his formative feedback helped greatly in allowing my essay to be innovative and original whilst still achieving the learning objectives. His feedback is incredibly detailed with excellent suggestions made and clarifications that demonstrated not only his wide knowledge of the topic but also his support of students who wanted to explore the topic in an alternative manner.“
“Dougal puts so much effort into everything. He always emails you back, straight away or within a few hours even at the weekends or late at night. His feedback is amazing, he gives so much advice. I sometimes worry that he puts in too much time, he always helps you out.”
Shortlist: Lito Tsitsou “She was extremely approachable when I had anything to query and she would always take the time to explain things clearly and I was never in any doubt as to what was required each week for my tutorial; the feedback that she has given me so far has been both encouraging and very helpful to me.”
Most Innovative Teaching This award is for the teacher that likes to think outside the box, shake things up a bit and provide a different slant on teaching.
Winner: Laurence ‘Billy’ Grove
Shortlist: Thomas Anker
“I’ve only been in 3 of this lecturer’s classes but he is easily a lecturer who stands out from the rest. My mind was made after the first lecture in which he dimmed the lights, put a red screen on though the projector and played The Cure whilst frantically reciting Albert Camus’ ‘L’étranger’. I should also mention he gives sweets (presumably paid for out of his own pocket) to people simply for asking questions. Always a joy to be in his lectures. Lastly, his name is Laurence but he’s always called Billy. Just adds to the mystery.”
“Dr Anker’s lectures are unusual in many ways. He has recognised that there is quite little sense in trying to transmit theoretical concepts during them; instead, Dr Anker creates a deep fascination with his subject area. His approaches definitely manage to trigger thinking outside the box. Dr Anker’s lecturing has instilled me with a passion for the subject.”
Shortlist: Rob Jenkins
“Rob was an animated and enthusiastic lecturer. In addition to his lectures, which were varied and thought provoking, he put aside time after every week and invited the class to a cafe for further discussion about the material. This is just one example of the extra steps that Rob will take in order to help his students.”
Best Subject Area Each year, one subject area is singled out to receive a special award to honour the work of all the staff within the discipline. This award attracts a large number of nominations, snf id one of the toughest categories for which to determine a winner
Winner: Orthodontics “We want to nominate the department of Orthodontics because they are such an organised department which makes being a dental student easier! They always put their lectures online in advance which means students can print them in advance so it’s easier to follow the lecture. They often include quizzes and podcasts on the moodle site and also extra written documents giving more information on the topic which makes understanding the topic much easier. We think every department ought to do this but Orthodontics is leading the way! The handouts for the tutorials are available in advance too which makes it easier to organise notes and you can take more from the tutorial rather than frantically trying to write everything down. Staff are also very approachable and willing to explain when you don’t understand, it can be a bit complicated sometimes so friendly and approachable staff are crucial!”
GUSRC WOULD LIKE TO THANK...
Some of the GUSRC Council Members who made up the awards shortlising panel. The 2012/13 Student Teaching Awards were a significant success and it would be remiss of the SRC not to acknowledge those who have assisted the awards in every way. The most significant contributors to the awards are the students who submit nominations. In seizing the opportunity to recognise the hard work done by the staff of the University, they enable the awards to take place and continue to grow, year on year. Weâ€™d also like to extend thanks to those students who volunteered time to publicise the awards in any way - getting the word out is a big part of getting nominations back in, so the time spent letting people know about the awards is crucial to its continued success. The award winners are selected each year by a small panel of SRC Council members who review the hundreds of nominations over the course of many, many hours. Their scrutiny and decision-making skills are very much appreciated and they also deserve thanks for participating in the annual awards ceremony as presenters. Though the STAs give the students the opportunity to award staff at the University, the awards couldnâ€™t go on
without the support of University staff. Special thanks must once again be extended to Frank Coton, Vice Principal of Learning and Teaching, whose financial assistance in the awards means they continute to be a proud and prestigious event of the University. This year the STA awards night was held in the Randolph Hall. It was a grand ceremony with food, drink and even a small salsa dancing demonstration! Everyone who came had a fantastic evening and we would like to thank hospitality services for their help in providing catering. Finally, though there are only a few dozen listed in this booklet, thanks must go to all staff of the University of Glasgow for their continued support, teaching and enhancement of the student experience. All staff at the University contribute to making this institution what it is, and on behalf of the students who are lucky enough to study here, a huge thank you goes out to all of you. We look forward to continuing the STAs in 2013/14 to highlight the amazing work done by members of staff at the University of Glasgow.
Nominations Open: 18th November 2013 Nominations Close: 17th February 2014 Awards Ceremony: 13th March 2014
A review document of the Students' Representative Council's annual student teaching awards.