Rewarding excellent teaching

Thursday 30 April 2015

Rewarding teaching mainbody

University of St Andrews staff recognised with awards.

Exceptional staff at the University of St Andrews were recognised at a ceremony in Parliament Hall this week (Wednesday April 29, 2015).

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 third year of the University Teaching Awards, which see Heads of School nominate colleagues who have excelled in the past year. The winners, decided by a judging panel of senior staff, were:

  • Dr Emma Buckley (School of Classics) – pioneering original modules on classical topics
  • Dr Graham Kirby (School of Computer Science) – championing ‘learning by doing’
  • Dr Ruth Robinson (School of Geography and Geosciences) – Director of the GeoBus mobile educational outreach programme
  • Dr Martyn Quick (School of Mathematics and Statistics) – the “good-humoured go-to man”
  • Dr Jim Aiton (School of Medicine) – known to students as “Uncle Jim”
  • And Dr Bruce Sinclair (School of Physics and Astronomy) – for his commitment to widening access.

The awards were presented by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.

Meanwhile the students presented awards to the individuals who have helped shape their learning experience and supported them to realise their goals.

  • Dissertation/Project Supervisor (Arts/Divinity) – Jasmine Gani (International Relations)
  • Dissertation/Project Supervisor (Science/Medicine)- Akira O’Connor (Psychology & Neuroscience)
  • Postgraduate Research Thesis Supervisor – Peter Mackay (English)
  • Excellence in Teaching – Sub-Honours level (Arts/Divinity) – Ian Smith (Economics)
  • Excellence in Teaching – Sub-Honours level (Science/Medicine) – Paula Miles (Psychology & Neuroscience)
  • Excellence in Teaching – Honours level (Arts/Divinity) – Faye Donnelly (International Relations)
  • Excellence in Teaching – Honours level (Science/Medicine) – Jane Wishart (Biology)
  • Excellence in Teaching – Postgraduate level – Sandra Romenska (Management)
  • Teaching Excellence by a Postgraduate Student Who Tutors – Matthew Pauley (Management)
  • Commitment by a Support Staff Member – Stuart Allison (Earth & Environmental Sciences)
  • Innovating in Teaching – Peter Cameron (Maths)

This year’s awards are especially significant as St Andrews teaching staff received a record 375 nominations from their students across 11 categories.

Director of Student Representation Ondrej Hajda says the record number of nominations this year “demonstrates not only the extremely high quality of learning and teaching at the University, but also the fact that students deeply value the opportunity to study with passionate, caring, and inspiring lecturers, tutors, and supervisors.”

The Students’ Association awards have been running since 2010, when students felt there was a need to recognise good teaching and acknowledge those who go above and beyond the call of duty. This year’s awards were presented by Association President Pat Mathewson.

A special Proctor’s Award was also made to student Martin Eide for his exceptional commitment as Careers Representative in the School of International Relations, and as class representative in both International Relations and Modern Languages.  The judging panel were particularly impressed with Martin’s work as Persian class representative in helping to secure Persian as an Honours discipline and his efforts to promote employability over the past year in his role as class representative.

The Proctor, Professor Lorna Milne, commented:

“This award represents what we are here to celebrate today; the fact that we work well together to help students to blossom and to contribute to what we do.”

Notes to news editors

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office, contactable on 01334 467310 or [email protected].

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