Best Teachers of 2016

Thursday 21 April 2016

2016-04-21T13:00 Best teachers of 2016 mainbody

Top teachers at the University of St Andrews have been recognised for their talents, as voted for by their own colleagues and the students they teach.

In two separate awards — University Teaching Awards nominated by Heads of Schools, and Students’ Association Teaching Awards nominated by students — the best teachers were acknowledged for their dedication in supporting students through their studies.

This is the fourth year of the University Teaching Awards, which see Heads of School nominate colleagues who have made a significant contribution to excellence in teaching over the past year, across all academic staff, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The winners, decided by a judging panel of senior staff, were:

  • Dr Sonja Heinrich of the School of Biology
  • Dr Jon Coulston of the School of Classics
  • Dr Ian Smith of the School of Economics and Finance and
  • Dr Elizabeth Sinclair of the School of Medicine.

Vice-Principal (Proctor), Professor Lorna Milne, said: “The Teaching Awards ceremony is one of the most important and enjoyable events of the academic calendar. It’s a heartfelt celebration that combines deep personal warmth and mutual respect among staff and students — attributes that also characterise our best learning and teaching. I’m delighted for the wonderful colleagues who won nominations and awards, and terrifically grateful to everyone who contributes to outstanding teaching around the University.”

In the Students’ Association Teaching Awards, students nominated a record number of teachers they believe deserve recognition.

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Thirteen exceptional staff were recognised: Dorothy Christie of the School of History for Commitment by a Support Staff Member; Dr Martin Campbell of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience for Best Dissertation/Project Supervisor (Arts/Divinity); Dr Tim Raub of the School of Geography and Geosciences for Best Dissertation/Project Supervisor (Science/Medicine); Dr Paloma Gay y Blasco of the School of Philosophical, Anthropological & Film Studies for Excellence in Teaching — honours level (Arts/Divinity); Dr Antje Kohlne of the School of Physics & Astronomy for Excellence in Teaching — honours level (Science/Medicine); Dr Eric Stoddart of the School of Divinity for Excellence in Teaching — postgraduate level; Dr Ana Del Campo of the School of History for Excellence in Teaching — sub-honours level (Arts/Divinity); Dr Will McCarthy of the School of Geography & Geosciences for Excellence in Teaching — sub-honours level (Science/Medicine); Dr Maggie Ellis of the School of Psychology for Innovation in Teaching; Professor Nigel Rapport of the School of Philosophical, Anthropological & Film Studies for Postgraduate Research Thesis Supervisor; and Julianne Mentzer of the School of English for Teaching Excellence by a Postgraduate Student.

A special prize went to Dr Jeffrey Murer of the School of International Relations for Contribution to Excellence in Education — awarded to a staff member whose teaching has changed the lives of his students.

Finally the Proctor’s Award, given to a student who has made a particular contribution to enhancing learning and teaching, went to Eleanor Mullin.

Students’ Association’s Director of Representation, Joe Tantillo, said: “The winners all demonstrated that they are willing to go above and beyond in the classroom, often supporting students beyond the classroom as well. Excellent teaching can change a student’s life and, as students, the teaching awards are a way for us to thank the academics that have transformed our worldview through their teaching.”

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