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This year we received almost 250 nominations for the Academic Rep of the Year Awards, from students and staff across UCL eager to tell us about the huge difference a great rep has made. The nominations have been checked, the judging panel has met, and now we can announce the winners of each of the faculty awards, which you can find below.

Each winner will be recognised and receive a prize at our end of year event on the evening of Monday 4 June. We’ll also be announcing one overall winner at this event!

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Population Health Sciences & Overall Winner

Birgit Pimpel, Research Student Rep, Institute of Child Health

Birgit received many commendations from her peers this year, who describe her as “integral to the student representation at ICH” and “truly an inspiration!” She has received praise for the amazing work she has done in building a strong community amongst research students in the Institute of Child Health. She has had a positive impact on the social and academic life of her cohort, taking an active role in the postgraduate society, organising social events and representing students. In particular, she is being recognised for her active role in organising her departmental 3 Minute Thesis heat, and research ‘golden hours’ in which students meet to write together without distraction.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Andrew Mok Yuan Min, Lead Department Rep, Arts & Sciences BASc

Andrew was nominated for the outstanding leadership he has shown as an Academic Rep this year. He was commended by nominators for his approachable, “quiet and considered” hands-on approach to his role and his excellent diligence in representing student opinions on a range of issues. His list of achievements this year is impressive, including improving BASc students’ access to careers services, campaigning for a focus group to make significant changes to a specific module based on student feedback, and ensuring new rules relating to year 1 language progression to be brought forward for the benefit of current first year undergraduates.

Academic Rep of the Year – Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment

Joanna McLean, Course Rep, Bartlett School of Architecture

Joanna has been commended for her hard work, enthusiasm and proactive attitude towards her faculty SSCCs. She “always comes prepared in sharing student views and ensures these views are taken into account when decisions about the school are being made“’. She was a great supporter of the new Bartlett Architecture Student Forum, at which students share breakfast or lunch with staff and talk about departmental issues in a casual setting. Joanna has also influenced change this year in “personal tutoring systems, and portfolio recommendations and guides”, and her work has led to a student finance survey with a view to addressing printing costs.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Brain Sciences

Verlina Huang, Course Rep, Psychology and Language Sciences

Verlina has been nominated by fellow students for her efforts in alleviating the effects on students of the industrial action taken earlier this year. Verlina worked with staff through the SSCC to express students’ concerns about the effect of the strikes on assessment outcomes, and contributed to the arrangement of satisfactory solutions, including deadline extensions, and the removal of missed content from exams.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Engineering

Evelina Vrabie, Lead Department Rep, UCL School of Management

Evelina has been singled out for the extraordinary energy and creativity she has brought to her role as a rep. She has been commended by her peers for her effectiveness in gathering opinions and being a fantastic negotiator between staff and students, and has managed to successfully resolve her cohort’s concerns about grading and marking criteria. More than that, however, Evelina has brought real initiative to her role, and has made huge positive contributions to her student community through proactively organising events and socials. She has even establishing an alumni podcast, seeking out and interviewing former faculty students who have started their own companies.

Academic Rep of the Year – Institute of Education

Melissa Navarro Angeles, Course Rep, Social Sciences, Institute of Education

Melissa has been nominated for her outstanding dedication to her role, and her inclusive approach to gathering and voicing student opinion. She took a tailored approach to gathering feedback, getting to know students’ opinions in person, and making sure that no one was left out of the dialogue. She was a source of information for her peers during the UCU strikes, and has worked with staff this year to address student concerns around teaching and workload.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Life Sciences

Martha Watson, Lead Department Rep, Division of Biosciences

Martha has shown fantastic enthusiasm for her role this year, and has put tremendous energy into gathering student feedback in a variety of ways, from dropping into other students’ lectures, to her excellent use of social media to discuss student priorties in WhatsApp groups and create surveys on Facebook. She has been pragmatic and solution-focused and has worked proactively with staff to address student teaching and module issues with impressively fast turnarounds. Thanks to Martha’s hard work and initiative, long-standing student requests, including the need for information on dissertation supervisors, have been solved within the year.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Teja Vaddavalli, Course Rep, Department of Statistical Science

Over the past two years, Teja has made a real impact in building the student community in his department. He has combined his role as Director of the Statistics Society with his active work as a rep to organise extremely popular weekly events that have become a staple of departmental life and been tremendously successful in bringing students together to learn new skills and get to know one another. On campus, he is known as a passionate rep with a “larger-than-life personality”.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Medical Sciences

Aayushi Gupta, Lead Department Rep, UCL Medical School

Aayushi is well-known within her department for her hard work and extraordinary competence in her role. As well as expertly chairing her SSCCs, she is a familiar go-to for her peers in a large and busy faculty, she has taken the lead in organising a ‘Question Time’ for her department, at which students can submit and ask questions directly to the people in charge. Aayushi has also created a student FAQ document based on student input, improved materials on hospital placements, and affected real and important change on the teaching of a particular module to make sure it is safer and more patient-focused.

Academic Rep of the Year – Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences

Iida Kayhko, Faculty Rep (Postgraduate Taught), Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences

Described as an impressive and active rep who “always contributes to discussion in a positive and constructive manner and carries staff and students with her”, Iida has been nominated for her effective representation of student views, and her outstanding ability to work intelligently and constructively with staff to effect change. Her achievements include improvements for students in regards to module option selection, and ensuring that students were not penalised for unwillingness to cross picket lines during the UCU strikes.