OUTSTANDING academics were honoured last night at the Students Union’s inaugural I Love My Lecturer Awards.
More than 1,000 students nominated lecturers, tutors and supervisors for 10 awards at a glittering ceremony attended by Vice Chancellor John Brooks and NUS president-elect Aaron Porter.
The Best Teacher accolade went to podcast pioneer Kieran Maguire (MMUBS), whose approach to teaching was described as “inspirational and innovative”. Kieran recently produced 220 revision DVDs for his accountancy students raising money for charity in the process.
Janet Rooney (Physiotherapy), who admitted to crying when students graduate, won the President’s Award for outstanding teaching , with her students calling her “the best teacher we’ve ever had”. “I am what I am because of the people I work with,” she said.
Best Department was won by Information and Communications, which boasted “amazing courses”, “supportive academics” and was described as a big, happy family”. Acting Head Jonathan Willson paid tribute to all his colleagues, particularly Seamus Simpson and Dick Hartley.
Best Course went to Cheshire, to the Outdoor Studies team, represented by Dan Jones who said: “We are very passionate about what we do and about the fact that our students become highly employable”.
The award for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching was scooped by Edwina Higgins (School of Law) for her drive and inspiration. Edwina “turned her classroom into a drama” to teach students about life in the courtroom. She said: “It’s great to get feedback, particularly good feedback”.
Mike Lowe, (Leisure Management, Cheshire) won the Outstanding Teaching for Employability award, for his remarkable understanding of how all experiences, academic and pastoral help form work-ready students. “We do everything to maximise students’ chances of getting a job,” he said.
Secret of success
Dr Christopher Goldspink (Biology) won the Outstanding Feedback award for his dedication to improving grades, understanding of the subject and his communication skills.
Best Personal Tutor went to Joanne Ashman (Physiotherapy) with one of her students simply stating: “I feel safe at university because Joanne is my tutor.” She said the secret of the department’s success was balancing academic support with pastoral care.
Another biology lecturer Dr Nessar Ahmed walked away with the award for Best Supervisor. Nessar, described as calm and reassuring, had “helped many excel through his generosity and wisdom.”
Nursing student Rachelle Sutton was voted Best Course Representative.
The awards, which are set to be an annual event, were described by outgoing Union president Rob Boardman as “one of the best campaigns” of his time in office, and senior officer David Saxton said: “We have some truly remarkable people working at the University.”
Guest of honour Aaron Porter, who is the next President of the National Union of Students, said: “It is so heartening to come to a university where so much good practice is being celebrated, where lives are being transformed by dedicated academics.
“Good teaching can make so much difference to a student’s education and to their future.”
Picture: Kate Appleby, BA Photography student, MMU