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In February and March, we asked you to tell us about the amazing staff you’ve encountered at UCL and we were overwhelmed by how many of you got in touch to tell us about such positive stories. These nominations stand as an example of how research and teaching at UCL should progress and will help us show the university the kind of things that you want.

1478 nominations were submitted for 764 different staff members

Our panel of student judges read through ALL of those nominations and narrowed it down to three outstanding contributors in every category. You can also view every member of staff nominated for our awards at this link.

Amazing Support Staff

Shortlisted: Agnese Benzonelli

As a lab technician within the Institute of Archaeology, Agnese is often the friendly face that students first go to when encountering challenges. She combines a professional attitude with a calming energy to make sure that everyone who uses the lab feels encouraged to ask for help.

She takes an active interest in helping students both in and out of the lab, not only making sure that students get enough lab time to finish their projects, but also ensuring that they know what archaeological opportunities there are by being active on social media. Agnese is always ready to share her knowledge and has been nominated to show “how much she is appreciated” by those she supports.

Shortlisted: Clare Lewis and Thomas Kador

As co-conveners of the BASc Final Year Dissertation, both Clare and Thomas have shown outstanding support to their students, guiding them towards completing their dissertations. Their genuine care for student wellbeing is clear, checking in with everyone to make sure that any problems get resolved quickly.

Clare and Thomas have made themselves readily available for numerous office hour drop-ins, and at the same time are “uber responsive” to emails, always making time to listen to students and going “above and beyond” to help them. They were both nominated to show how valued they are to the students they support.

Shortlisted: Nadine Mogford 

Nadine is the programme organiser for the LIDO PhD programme and has really made the effort to get to know every single one of the hundreds of students in her care. She understands the challenges and struggles of PhD students and is readily available to meet anyone for a chat whenever needed.

Nadine has also taken the role of Careers Adviser, providing her students with opportunities for internships and personal development, even creating stand-up comedy workshops to improve presentation and public speaking skills. She was nominated because “all PhD students should have a Nadine in their department”.

Active Student Partnership

Shortlisted: Dan Carter

Not only is Dan the course administrator of the Engineering & Architectural Design MEng, he is the administrator of several modules throughout the degree too, and has been described as “one of the most hard-working people” within the programme. He puts a lot of effort into making sure that the student’s learning experience is the best it can be by ensuring that students are informed about with what’s going on, and actively seeking all forms of feedback regarding the course, acting on the negative to ensure that newer cohorts don’t face the same issues.

Dan is the first person students talk to if they face any kind of problem, and they do so because they trust him and know that he will do his best to help. His students are looking forward to their remaining years of their degree and appreciate all the hard work he does.

Shortlisted: Liz Jones

Liz actively works with her students to better engage with them and to understand what they are going through. She is very open to discussion, opinions and ideas, and on every occasion responds in kind words and appreciates the feedback.

During her postgraduate taught module, she ensures that all of her students understand how they will be assessed, even discussing anxiety issues, the positives and negatives of different assessment approaches and how the marking will be done before the exam. Liz is planning sessions with each student to assess what they thought about the exam and the module overall, showing how much she values working with students. One of her students even says “Liz is probably the first teacher in my life who was more worried about her students’ exams than the students themselves”.  

Shortlisted: Selena Nemorin

Selena has been exceptionally open-minded and supportive throughout her taught module within Education and Technology MA. After concerns regarding the module where brought to her attention, she responded immediately and began offering additional weekly small-group workshops the week after she was told of the issues.

Selena ensured that all of her students were included within these workshops and that everyone could feed in to their content. She is currently working with student reps to re-design the module to better serve her students in the future. Her initiative and responsive attitude inspires and motivates her students and they “cannot thank Selena enough for all her time and effort”.

Brilliant Research-Based Education

Shortlisted: Suzanne Farid

Suzy convenes the Biochemical Engineering design project module and has been applauded for her effort to keep the course at the cutting edge of research within industry. She updates the course every year and actively encourages her students to find novel and innovative solutions as long as they can show that it would work in real world applications.

Suzy has consistently gone out of her way to arrange workshops and lectures with industry professionals to help students with their projects, and is always available to help students contact members of the department who would be able to discuss concepts in further detail. The amount of time she dedicates to being available to her students is “somewhat unbelievable”.

Shortlisted: Heather Jones 

Heather teaches a postgraduate module within History, incorporating the latest research and developments in the field. She interweaves an overview of what has been done previously with ‘new thinking’ across many different academic disciplines and utilises works from English, French and German writers (using underutilised resources to provide fresh perspectives).

Heather actively encourages her students to conduct their own studies through class-based assessments, resulting in many of them researching barely investigated areas of historical research for their essays and making them feel like they are collaborating in cutting-edge research. Her students truly appreciate how “she goes beyond the normal scope and makes a real effort to involve them”. 

Shortlisted: Meg Russell

Meg convenes a module which utilises cutting edge perspectives and expert external speakers to help her students gain more insight and knowledge about British Parliamentary Studies. She encourages her students to conduct their own research and to discuss with others how best to approach their joint-research projects in class.

Meg’s experience with policy makers and Parliament shows through her support and knowledge of the range of sources her students can use for their research. She “always encourages debate in seminars” to help further perspectives and has even organised a trip to Parliament to help bring the course content to life.

Diverse and Inclusive Education

Shortlisted: Jeff Bowersox

Jeff teaches ‘Black Germany’, a module in which he covers African diaspora in Germany, black experiences and the idea of ‘Germanness’, and utilises a diverse range of works and incorporates BME female voices to ensure that diverse perspectives are included within the course. This course encourages discussion of these works, often leading to students discovering movements and campaigns that they had previously not come across.  

Jeff encourages debate within his seminars, allowing the class to cross cultural boundaries by focusing on international perspectives and global examples. His module gives his students “an opportunity to explore matters and concepts of race, racism and prejudice”.

Shortlisted: Ashraf Hoque 

Ash is one of the “most critically engaged and purposeful in their promotion of alternative narratives and discourses” in his Anthropology of Islam course. Within his reading list, he highlights global south feminist writers and when teaching the canon (with its white male reading list), makes sure to contextualise this in wider discussions of power and colonialism.

Ash encourages his students to develop their own voices and narratives of decoloniality and purposefully highlights the political-economic factors at play in their own education to ensure his students do not become complacent. Ash has gone beyond diversifying his reading list, consistently raising and addressing questions concerning how, why and for whom the research covered in his course has been conducted for.  

Shortlisted: Christine (Xine) Yao

Christine runs a seminar series within Modern Literature titled “Diaspora and Dispossession”, within which she encourages her students to explore writers of colour from the early 20th century whose work is not covered in more traditional Modern Literature courses. She pairs texts with essays and dissertations that cover different theories and ideas related to discrimination and dispossession, helping her students engage with subjects they might not be familiar with and to widen their world view.

The seminar series is “enlightening and interesting”, with Christine’s passion for these diverse texts evident in her enthusiasm with which she teaches them. Her students are glad that they have the opportunity to be part of her seminars as “it is an experience unlike any other they have had on the course so far”.

Excellent Personal Tutoring

Shortlisted: Cloda Jenkins

Cloda supports students within the Economics department, connecting all the aspects of an economics’ student’s experience in her work. She has done an excellent job of linking the Economics department with the rest of the university so that support services are more easily accessed by students of the department.

Cloda goes above and beyond to support the needs of all of her students and supports the strengths in each of them, students leave her office with a renewed perspective on issues they discuss with her. She is a “true champion for the Economics department”, who has “brought about incredible benefit to the student body”.

Shortlisted: Mark Kristiansen

Mark has a passion and enthusiasm for his position at the ICH that is evident as a personal tutor. He takes the time to listen to student issues and uses his life experiences to give advice on how to overcome them, he makes sure that his students know that they simply have to drop him an email or go to his office and he’ll make the time to listen to them, regardless of how busy he might be.

Mark truly cares for his students, bolstering their confidence in their own abilities and being there for them when they do not expect his help. He is an “amazing personal tutor” and makes an active effort to fully support all those who talk to him.

Shortlisted: Lidunka Vočadlo

Lidunka’s door is always open to anyone that comes across it in the Earth Science department, she is always ready to offer helpful, practical advice and reaches out to students who are struggling. She encourages students to seek help and provides advice so that they not only feel better but can also cope with difficult situations and are prepared for the future.

Lidunka helps both undergraduates and postgraduates, actively encouraging them to take up opportunities outside their studies. She constantly thinks of others and “without Lidunka’s wealth of knowledge of supervising many students over the years, the department would be poorer”.

Exceptional Feedback

Shortlisted: Susan Askew

Sue’s feedback has been described as “mindblowing” by her students within Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment, she ensures that her feedback can be easily understood, that the content is constructive and even takes the time to highlight the areas that were done well. This type of feedback has bolstered her students’ confidence and motivation to improve.

The feedback that Sue gives sparks associations that open ideas out into new, more creative areas, meaning that her students are constantly challenged and she has “utterly changed” how some understand educational issues. Her availability to discuss the feedback given, alongside her generosity with the time she gives each of her students, is illustrated through her students’ willingness to take ownership of their thinking and articulating their ideas without doubt.

Shortlisted: Abhishek Bhattacharya

As a GP tutor in the Medicine in the Community placement module, Abhishek provides well planned and tailored sessions that clearly have been shaped by constructive feedback from previous years. After students interact with patients, he promptly gives “exceptional and personal” feedback to each student regarding what was covered that day so that his students can reflect on how they did and focus on what they can put into practice.

For the end of module reports, Abhishek gives each student multiple points on which to focus on and puts a lot of effort into the quality and quantity of this feedback. Through his feedback, his students can feel how much he cares for their progress.

Shortlisted: Kevin Bryson

Kevin is a “competent, professional and dedicated teacher” within Computer Science, and is one of the most beloved lecturers amongst CS students. His feedback exemplifies his dedication to his students, in one example he made a static website for each of his students to clearly and transparently show the mark they received (and why) and personal feedback for their coursework.

Kevin does his best to teach challenging material in an accessible and engaging way, using the feedback he gives students to help them understand the concepts better. His students have nominated him for his approach to teaching and is “one of the best lecturers” they have ever had.

Inspiring Teaching Delivery

Shortlisted: Abhishek Bhattacharya

Abhishek’s GP sessions are invaluable to his students within the Medicine in the Community placement module. These sessions are always delivered with enthusiasm and are clearly planned ahead of time, utilising a range of methods to keep his students engaged in what he is demonstrating.

Abhishek makes sure to send students relevant resources for their studies, even after the GP sessions are finished, showing that he goes “above and beyond his expected role”. He has been described as an “inspiring teacher” and his students can clearly see how much he cares about his students.

Shortlisted: Hans van de Koot

Hans uses technology to deliver a “student-centric learning experience” within the Syntax module he teaches. His use of video lectures, weekly quizzes and Moodle forums help the ‘flipped classroom’ format of the class, putting more of a focus on answering student questions within the lecture and ensuring that the course is completely tailored to the students’ needs.

Hans’ own enthusiasm for syntax is transferred to his students through his teaching delivery, ensuring that even those who have no desire to pursue syntax further are fully engaged throughout the course. He very effectively creates a “supportive and engaging learning environment” and his students applaud his effective use of technology.  

Shortlisted: Rasmus Nilsson

Rasmus has been described as one of the most “passionate, inspiring and supportive” professors in SSEES by his students, bringing an enthusiasm and flexible teaching style to his Monday morning seminars. He conducts the seminars in such a way that students actively want to participate and express their views without fear of making mistakes.

Rasmus is always happy to engage in debates in class, responding actively and perceptively to the interests and queries of his students and adapts seminars to what they want to discuss. He breaks down even the most complex issues in a way that is easily accessible to everyone in the classroom, and takes his students on “intellectual adventures”.

Outstanding Research Supervision

Shortlisted: Sandra Leaton-Gray

Sandy supervises PhD students within the IoE, specifically those within Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment. She has a motivation and enthusiasm to help her students, which contrasts with her ‘pull no punches’ attitude when identifying areas for improvement in their work, an attitude which prepares her students to defend their theses in their viva.

Sandy has been a steady support to her students, helping them with workspace issues and overcoming any barriers that they might come across whilst completing their research. She “is always there to help” and helps her students take their careers onwards and upwards.

Shortlisted: David Thornalley

David is a friendly and approachable person and a source of support and a great mentor for the PhD students he supervises within the Geography department.  He ensures that his guidance is consistent by always giving regular and constructive feedback, addressing anything from thesis chapters to job applications.

David facilitates mock vivas to challenge those he supervises and makes them feel like an equal instead of feeling like someone is ‘in charge’ of them. He provides mentorship, support and patience and is an “awesome role model” to all those he supervises.

Shortlisted: Miranda Wolpert

Working with Miranda is “highly inspiring and exciting from an intellectual perspective”, she is exceptionally empathetic with all of the PhD students she supervises within PALS. Her curiosity, passion and enthusiasm for her research area is contagious, and she encourages her students to explore their own questions and ideas without self-doubt.

Miranda fully engages with her students in supervisions and has found the right balance between providing guidance and letting them take ownership. She always has made time for supervisions and her students are very grateful for how “incredibly supportive and encouraging” she is.