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Welcome to the 2021 Education Awards 

The Student Choice Awards give students the chance to thank members of staff who have inspired and supported them during their time at UCL, letting these staff members know that their hard work makes a difference. A list of all staff who received a nomination can be found on our Roll of Honour. We have also published our report on What do students value most? which draws on the many nominations we have received this year.  

Exceptional individuals and teams receive the Provost’s Education Award. These awards recognise staff making outstanding contributions to the learning experience and success of our students. 

The Academic Rep of the Year Awards celebrate those reps who went the extra mile to represent students and have worked with staff to make student’s academic experience better. A list of all reps who have been nominated and the winners from each individual faculty award can be found in our previous announcement.

See the shortlist for the awards - or scroll down to see today’s winners announcement.

Award for Inspiring Teaching Delivery

Winner: Ahmed Saadé

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences

Ahmed is a PGTA in the Department of Economics at University College London. He is a graduate from the American University of Beirut and is a current Doctoral candidate in Economics at Cranfield University. His research centres on the determinants of monopsony power in labor markets, with a particular focus on East Asian economies. He joined UCL in September 2020 (and he’s just loving it).

“He creates an amazing learning environment where everyone is able to freely share their opinions.”

Runner-up: Alireza Mani

Associate Professor (Teaching), Faculty of Medical Sciences

“The passion he has for whatever subject he is discussing translates so well into his teaching.”

Alireza was born and brought up in Tehran. He studied Medicine at Tehran University and moved to UCL through a Wellcome Trust fellowship. He enjoys working on interdisciplinary projects both as a teacher and researcher, and has always tried to combine insights from mathematics to clinical medicine. He teaches Physiology and Pharmacology to undergraduate students at UCL. Walking and talking about history are his main hobbies.

Runner-up: Danielle D’Lima

Senior Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Brian Sciences

“Her classes are very interactive, and she is incredibly supportive and encouraging if students are struggling or contributing to the discussion.”

Dr Danielle D’Lima is the Senior Teaching Fellow for the UCL MSc Behaviour Change. Her role includes designing and delivering teaching across all core modules as well as overseeing research projects on intervention development, implementation and evaluation. She has an evolving interest in capacity building in Behaviour Change Science and Implementation Science as well as the application of Behaviour Change Science to teaching and training. Danielle has a PhD from Imperial College London on the influence of feedback on professional behaviour change in healthcare and has contributed to various research projects on patient safety and quality improvement in the NHS.

Award for Excellent Personal Tutoring

Winner: Angela Cooper

Teaching Fellow, Institute of Education

Angela has worked at UCL in CLIE since 2005 when she originally started teaching on the pre-sessional course. She had previously worked teaching English at universities in Turkey, China and the Gulf countries. Angela now teaches on the UPCSE, the foundation programme at UCL as well as the Thesis Writing Option for PhD students. During the summer she designs and delivers the 8 week preparation course for UPC students who are applying for department of Laws and must take the competitive LNAT exam.

Angela has gone over and beyond and has spent so much generous time and effort on her students.”

Runner-up: Ana Pellicer-Sánchez

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Institute of Education

Ana cares deeply about her students, pushing them to succeed while offering an exceptional level of support.

Dr Ana Pellicer-Sánchez is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the UCL Institute of Education. Her research centres around the teaching and learning of vocabulary in a second or foreign language, with a particular focus on learning from reading. Her recent research has made use of eye-tracking to explore the cognitive processes involved in vocabulary learning and multimodal reading. She is co-author of An Introduction to Eye-tracking: A Guide for Applied Linguistics Research (CUP) and co-editor of Understanding Formulaic Language: A Second Language Acquisition Perspective (Routledge).

Runner-up: Eleanor Chiari

Lecturer (Teaching) Programme Director BA in Language and Culture, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

“She is always there to help both academically and pastorally.” 

Eleanor teaches interdisciplinary and Italian modules in SELCS, where she acts as programme director for the BA in Language and Culture. During lockdown she started ‘The Nest’ a weekly gathering for students to engage in meaningful conversations. In her spare time she hosts unitarian gatherings and services, writes letters to an inmate on death row, dabbles in puppetry and poetry, and has recently discovered the joy of mudlarking. She lives in South East London with her husband and two children.

Award for Amazing Support Staff

Winner: Fiona Rose-Clarke

Undergraduate Centre and Placements Manager, Faculty of Medical Sciences

Fiona Rose-Clarke has worked at the Medical School as the Undergraduate Centre Manger (Whittington Hospital) for 2 years.  She has previously worked in several departments within UCL, namely School of Pharmacy and Registry, where she has enjoyed working face2face with students.  Fiona considers the best part of her job by far to be student contact and enabling students to get the most out of their learning journey and having a positive student experience. Her motto for life is taken from George Gershwin “Life is a lot like jazz…..it’s best when you improvise”

 ”She is literally a one-woman-army, and I truly believe is the sole reason any medical students were able to assist in the pandemic effort at the Whittington hospital at all.”

Runner-up: Kathryn Ball

Biological Sciences Teaching Administrator, Faculty of Life Sciences 

“An amazing person who has consistently been understanding and helpful.”

Kathryn has worked as the Biological Sciences Teaching Administrator for almost 14 years.  A lot has changed over that time, both in the way TAs work and the structures they work within.  Some of these changes led to less personal contact with students, so for the past few years Kathryn has prioritised developing and maintaining more personalized communication with students, and encouraged more staff and student interaction through informal means.  Meeting and getting to know the students is one of the highlights of the job, so Kathryn is pleased to play an active part in developing this area.

Runner-up: Linda Taschenberger

Teaching Support, Faculty of Brain Sciences 

 She is always positive and encouraging and always takes into considerations any concerns we might raise.”

Linda has worked at UCL since 2018, joining the department of Experimental Psychology as teaching support in September 2020. Fostering a positive learning environment and providing academic and pastoral care to our undergraduate students in such a challenging year has been immensely rewarding and Linda has often been impressed by the maturity and endurance the students have shown. Having herself studied at universities in Sweden, Australia, UK, Germany and Singapore, Linda considers it a joy to work in such a multicultural setting on a daily basis.

Award for Exceptional Feedback

Winner: Megan Donaldson

Lecturer in Public International Law, Faculty of Laws

Megan convenes International Criminal Law (LLM), teaches in Public International Law (LLB) and tutors Public Law (LLB). Her research is focused in public international law, its theory and history, and she enjoys thinking about how teaching shapes the way both lecturers and students conceptualize law.

Her commitment to teaching and dedication to helping students learn has made taking her module a hugely rewarding experience.”

Runner-up: Alinda Damsma

Lecturer in Biblical Hebrew, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

“Her feedback has been exceptionally detailed each and every time, for any kind of submission.” 

Dr Alinda Damsma teaches Biblical Hebrew in the Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies at UCL. She received her Bachelor and Master of Divinity from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (2003) and her PhD from the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL (2008). She is currently working on two monographs: a grammar of the Aramaic language of the Zohar, Judaism’s most important mystical work, and a study on the perception of magic, divination, and witchcraft in the English Bible translations, particularly the King James Version and its predecessors, and their impact on the early modern witch-hunts.

Runner-up: Danielle D’Lima

Senior Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Brian Sciences

“No other lecturer in all the modules I have done is as engaged, as as kind, as well organised.”

Dr Danielle D’Lima is the Senior Teaching Fellow for the UCL MSc Behaviour Change. Her role includes designing and delivering teaching across all core modules as well as overseeing research projects on intervention development, implementation and evaluation. She has an evolving interest in capacity building in Behaviour Change Science and Implementation Science as well as the application of Behaviour Change Science to teaching and training. Danielle has a PhD from Imperial College London on the influence of feedback on professional behaviour change in healthcare and has contributed to various research projects on patient safety and quality improvement in the NHS.

Award for Outstanding Research Supervision

Winner: Natalie Marchant

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Brain Sciences

Dr Marchant holds a Senior Fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Society and is a co-investigator on several UK- and internationally-funded projects that investigate how lifestyle and thinking style can affect brain health in older adults. She is proudly involved in the supervision of 4 outstanding PhD students and a number of excellent MSc students each year.

“She not only cares for her students but believes in them, pushing them to their best and encouraging them to be confident about their skills.”

Runner-up: Caroline Knapp

Lecturer, Faculty of Mathematics & Physical Sciences

“I have been fortunate enough to work with her over five years and I believe I wouldn’t have received the same support, encouragement and skill transfer from another academic at her level.”

Caroline Knapp was appointed Lecturer in 2017, in the Inorganic section at UCL Chemistry. She gained her MSci (2006) and PhD (2010) from UCL in the field of precursor design for aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition. Following this she worked on low valent group 14 chemistry at UC Davis, with Professor Phil P. Power FRS. She returned to the UK, firstly with a post doc. at Imperial College before being awarded a Ramsay Memorial Fellowship in 2015. Aside from teaching her research group now carries out investigations isolating highly air and moisture sensitive precursors for the printing of electronic devices.

Runner-up: David Thornalley

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences

“From the moment David and I started working together as a supervisor/supervisee team, he has always treated and spoke to me like a peer.”

David is an Associate Professor in UCL Geography. He studies climate change and ocean circulation during the geological past and over the last century. He obtained his MSci and PhD in Earth Science from the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral work in the UK and USA he joined UCL in 2013 as a Lecturer. David teaches at all levels, but is most involved in MSc courses, and is Deputy Director of the London NERC DTP. He loves being able to share his enthusiasm for research and hopes he can convey to students the excitement of making new discoveries.

Award for Active Student Partnership

Winner: Fabio Freddi

Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering Sciences

Dr Fabio Freddi is a Lecturer in Structural Design in the UCL-CEGE Department since 2017. He had previously worked at other universities in Italy, USA, and UK. His teaching in the MEng Engineering and Architectural Design aims at developing student’s intuition on structural engineering problems within an Architecture’s environment. His research focuses on the response of structures to extreme loads, including earthquake engineering and structural robustness, with a research vision on integrating structural modelling, probabilistic concepts, and experimental results into a coherent framework for the design of innovative structures chasing the urgent needs of modern societies for resilience and sustainability.

“He is always very keen on getting feedback from students and implements the suggested changes promptly.”

Runner-up: Kirrily Pells

Associate Professor of Childhood, Institute of Education

“She is more than a lecturer, she goes above and beyond to ensure each student, and staff member, is comfortable, happy, stress, and worry free.”

Kirrily is the Programme Leader for the MA Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights. Her research and teaching are in the field of childhood studies and concerns global childhoods and children’s rights especially in relation to violence, poverty and intersecting inequalities. Her current research focuses on memories in childhood and intergenerational relations in Rwanda and arts-based approaches with children and youth for peacebuilding as part of the study: Mobile Arts for Peace: Informing the National Curriculum and Youth Policy for Peacebuilding in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal.

Runner-up: Nephtali Marina-Gonzalez

Associate Professor (Teaching), Faculty of Medical Sciences

“He formed a bridge between the students and the staff.”

Dr Marina-Gonzalez is a cardiovascular neuroscientist based in the Division of Medicine. He studied General Medicine in Mexico where he also did a Masters and a PhD in Neuroscience. His research interests include the study of the role of the autonomic nervous system in the pathogenesis of arterial hypertension and heart failure. He is academic lead of the year 1 integrated Medical Sciences programmes and has a passion for research-based education.

Award for Brilliant Research-Based Education

Winner: Ilyas Azouzi

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Institute of Education

Ilyas is a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant here at UCL, where he is also completing a PhD in History looking at architecture and postcolonialism. He was born and raised in beautiful Switzerland, where he became a schoolteacher after graduating, but chose to move to London five years ago to pursue his course at UCL. Here, he was able to cultivate his passion for history and architecture and to develop a more transdisciplinary approach to his research. He is fortunate now to be able to teach those topics both at the History Department and at the CLIE.

“He always listens to us and helps develop ideas, which I appreciate.”

Runner-up: Elena Titov

Associate Lecturer (Teaching), Faculty of Brain Sciences

 ”She effectively used her own research as a tool to engage students, by enabling them to question the status quo and pursue their own research interests.”

Elena received her PhD in 2012 at the UCL Department of Linguistics. In the following years, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Linguistics, University of Potsdam. In the past three years she has been teaching at the UCL Department of Linguistics. Starting from January 2021, she has been employed as an Associate Lecturer (teaching) at the UCL Department of Linguistics. In her free time, she is a musician and singer-songwriter, fronting an alternative rock band. She lives in East London with her husband, two daughters and two cats.

Runner-up: Paola Pedarzani

Professor of Neurophysiology, Faculty of Life Sciences

Before joining the great Neuroscience research community at UCL, Paola studied Medicine at the University of Pavia in Italy, did a PhD in Neurophysiology at the University of Oslo in Norway and worked as a group leader at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen, Germany. Her research is based at the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology and focuses on how neurons in the brain generate and process signals and information. Teaching and mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate students has been an inspiring and nurturing experience over the years that has made her realise the transformational power of science and education.

Award for Diverse and Inclusive Education

Winner: Luciano Rila

Lecturer (Teaching), Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Luciano Rila joined UCL Maths in 2008 running support for A Level Further Maths in a Widening Participation role. He built up outreach as core part of the department’s activities, working with a team of PhD students. He started teaching in 2015, receiving a Faculty Teaching award in 2016. He co-chairs the departmental Athena SWAN committee and is one of the founders of the LGBTQ+ STEM at UCL network (@LGBTQ_STEMatUCL).

“He has always strived at sharing knowledge with students with the desire of creating a more accepting and welcoming community.”

Runner Up: Hélène Neveu Kringelbach

Associate Professor in African Anthropology, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

“She has been extremely committed to ensuring her students learn about cross-cultural encounters in a range of ways.”

Hélène Neveu Kringelbach is Associate Professor of African Anthropology at UCL. Her doctoral research focused on dance, social mobility, morality and notions of self in Dakar, Senegal. Her monograph Dance Circles: Movement, Morality and Self-Fashioning in Urban Senegal (Berghahn Books, 2013) was awarded the Amaury Talbot Prize in African Anthropology by the Royal Anthropological Institute. Since 2011 she has carried out research on ‘mixed’ marriage and transnational family relationships between Senegal and Europe. This work focuses on experiences of racial, cultural and religious difference within families, and on how the management of marriage migration by states shapes these relationships.

Runner-up: Xine Yao

Lecturer in American Literature to 1900, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

“The care she has taken in both discussing the works themselves, but also the circumstances of how the authors became marginalised voices, has been unbelievable.”

Dr. Xine Yao is Lecturer in American Literature to 1900 at University College London. Her first book is Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America which has won Duke University Press’s Scholars of Color First Book Award (October 2021). Her honours include the American Studies Association’s Yasuo Sakakibara Essay Prize and her research has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is a BBC Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinker and the co-host of PhDivas Podcast.

Team Awards

Winner (Outstanding response to teaching or support during the pandemic): Library Skills Team

UCL Library Services

Katie Abranson, Nazlin Bhimani, Helen Biggs, Sandra Blaj, Simon Bralee, Kate Brunskill, Sarah Burn. Shinwha Cha, Heather Chesters, Cecile Dubuis, Adam Eades-Miller, Mary Anne Fisk, Vanessa Freedman, Debs Furness, Giulia Garoli, Andrew Gray, David Green, James Henderson, Gabriela Hujova, John Iona, Kieron Jones, Liz Lawes, Chris Li-In-On, Gillian Mackenzie, Debora Marletta, Dan O’Connor, Veronica Parisi, Sophie Pattison, Zuzana Pincikova, Iona Preston, Colin Rennie, Emily Selvidge, Jacqui Smith, Paola Stillone, Zoe Thomas, Suzanne Traue, Tabitha Tuckett, Angela Young 

“#LibrarySkillsTrainers delivering innovative online training and support at UCL empowering students to develop information literacy skills. @UCLLibraries.” 

This large team, co-ordinated most effectively by Angela Young, comprises many smaller teams and individuals from across Library Services, who took advantage of the new working environment to facilitate closer collaborative working and to work on co-ordinated efforts to ensure a positive learning experience of students. The outcomes have been substantial, considering the experience of students and researchers at all stages, from enhanced induction for new students, to bespoke support for students undertaking dissertations as well as ongoing support for students at any level. Full consideration has been given to students in different circumstances and with differing needs, always ensuring accessibility, and a choice of asynchronous or synchronous learning opportunities, and group and individual support. The team has also shown a commitment to ensuring effectiveness and quality assurance of the teaching sessions and materials produced by the team, including getting feedback and input from students and processes of peer review, peer observation and reflection. 

Winner (Staff-student partnership): UCL Medical School Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group 

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Bimpe Adeyemi, Zenni Emeka-Enechi, Santino Coduri-Fulford, Lois Haruna-Cooper, Jayne Kavanagh, John-george Nicholson, Tina Nyazika, Leona Sharma, Simisola Sule, Fernanda Fenn Torrente, Sarah Wong, Menna Yakoub.

“UCLMS students & staff are working together to share experiences & ideas to create the safe spaces and tools to tackle discrimination.”

The UCLMS Student-staff Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group is successful on-going student-staff collaboration, which has been formalised and gained momentum in 2020/21. This collaboration has approached EDI issues holistically, formalising the governance structure into multiple subgroups (including race and ethnicity, gender, disability) which sit under the EDI Committee banner. The group has contributed to networks across the United Kingdom, such as the medical student Decolonising the Curriculum group. These initiatives have resulted in several publications in peer-reviewed international journals already. UCL medical students have also composed a Decolonising reading list, which has been adopted at UCL beyond UCLMS. Work has also led to real-world impact, such as introducing the ‘Mind the Gap’ app on to all clinical students’ UCL iPads and introducing a more diverse set of images into the MBBS curriculum. The group are undertaking dedicated work around widening participation, which has contributed to our admissions numbers in 2020/21 increasing from 3% to 10%. Their website is open access and details current initiatives and impacts. It is well curated and updated. Their open-minded and collaborative approach to EDI has made significant contributions and impacts within UCL Medical School and will continue to yield benefits to staff, students, and patients.

Winner (Academic Support): Elizabeth Dow

Senior Departmental Tutor, Barlett School of Architecture
Faculty of the Build Environment 

Central to Elizabeth’s success in implementing change is her evident integrity and commitment to fairness. As our Senior Department Tutor, overseeing a team of 12 Departmental Tutors and over 100 personal tutors (of whom 40 are attached to the scheme that changed), she sets the benchmark for all others. She is deeply admired, trusted, and respected by staff and students, and is our lead standard-bearer for student pastoral care, The Bartlett School of Architecture has changed in many ways over the past 5 years, and one of the most important and significant of those changes has been the transformations outlined here. Elizabeth is far too modest to expect recognition of this kind; it is the last thing she seeks, as her priorities are always focused on student need, and being available for that next call or email that could arrive at any time from someone seeking her support. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude for not only doing her job so well, but for changing something so vital to the school’s health and its priorities.

“Assoc Prof Elizabeth Dow @BartlettArchUCL is recognised @UCL #TheEducationAwards for spearheading substantial change in support of students through a new personal tutoring structure.”

Winner (Academic Support): John Gray

Professor of Applied Linguistics and Education, Culture Communication and Media
Institute of Education 

John’s commitment to, and success in, giving students the best possible intellectual and personal experience is truly exceptional. He offers a model of best practice to colleagues across the faculty and indeed the university, showing how we can make a positive impact and promote innovative research through teaching and with students. This award exemplifies John’s principled approach, bringing together intellectual rigor with pedagogic and organisational talent to work towards social justice for all.

“An inspirational example of institutional support for doctoral education.”

Winner (Assessment and Feedback): Victoria Hilborne

Lecturer (Teaching), UCL Chemistry
Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences 

This award highlights the contributions Vicky has made to enhance the student experience, specifically in assessment and feedback, but more broadly as well. Vicky’s contribution to transforming the Level 7 taught material, and additionally shifting the 2nd year Phys Chem laboratories to a remote course, has been remarkable and goes far beyond what would be expected. By shifting a whole year’s assessment to coursework and integrating formative and summative feedback within the Topics in Modern Chemistry courses, Vicky has taken a leading role which has impacted on the whole department and will continue to do so in years to come. As chair of the Departmental Staff Student Consultative Committee (DSSCC) Vicky has also played a significant role in maintaining two-way feedback in this year of remote learning, which has been crucial to the success of all our programmes this year. Feedback from staff and students has been extremely positive about her contributions. To lead all these changes, alongside carrying out all her other teaching and administrative duties to an excellent standard, is really remarkable.

“@hilborne_vicky driving assessment changes and feedback loops at @UCLChemistry for a quality chemistry education experience.”

Winner (Education Success for all): Tim Young

Lecturer (Teaching), UCL Institute of Neurology
Faculty of Brain Sciences 

Dr Young has gone far beyond simply excelling in his own role over the last year of Covid-19. He has utilised his own experience in distance learning and passion for teaching to empower both students and educators. His educational reach has extended from important Institutional input with the major new ION Mark sheet to ION-wide recommendations for lecturers. Regionally he played a significant role in preparing critical care educators across London for the Covid-19 ‘second wave’ and built on this with national level contributions of educational tools for trainees via Health Education England.

 At a national level Dr Young has enhanced Advance HE’s support for student participation in the 2021 PTES. Internationally he has shown effective education for large companies and in support of medical schools in developing countries. Finally on a global scale Dr Young has seized the opportunity to work closely with two global specialist medical societies to ascertain the educational needs of developing nations and then address this with his major current project for non-specialist doctors globally. Moreover he has fulfilled his doctor’s role for the country against the pandemic, initially at the NHS Nightingale, then performing remote neurology clinics, and most recently as a doctor vaccinator.

“Dr Tim Young has excelled in educational delivery @UCLIoN: supporting distance learners, improving feedback to students, and creating a questionnaire to ascertain the neurology educational needs of physicians in developing nations across Africa and elsewhere.”

Winner (Education success for all): Andrea Jiménez Dalmaroni

Honorary Associate Professor, London Centre for Nanotechnology
Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 

Andrea is passionately committed to transforming university education in STEM through modern evidence-based methods and active learning, and she has been highly effective; she is among the international leaders in this area, making her own original contributions and working with leading groups worldwide. She has promoted wide-ranging and successful innovations and helped to promote a culture change at UCL. In addition, she has shown exceptional national leadership (unique, in someone at her career stage) with the organization of a series of UK-wide workshops having international input and reach. She feels a sense of personal mission to bring practice in the UK to level of the best elsewhere, and she is achieving this at UCL and nationally.

“@AndreaDalmaroni helps bring international teaching innovations in STEM education to @uclmaps, with education success for all at their heart.”

Winner (Outstanding response to teaching or support during the pandemic): John Iona

Subject Librarian, Initial Teacher Education and Curriculum resources
UCL Library Services 

John’s work in developing online resources at all levels from induction to specialist support has been a major benefit to the staff and students of the IOE in this period. He has been able and resourceful in his use of technology, and his practice in teaching and training has been exemplary. He has received overwhelmingly positive feedback on his work from members of IOE, which is richly deserved. Moreover, John has shown himself to be a wonderful team player, extending his outputs to encompass resources that support UCL students in any discipline, and always keen to share his experience and learning with his peers. John’s outward-looking, proactive, and positive approach has helped to ensure that teaching and research activities at the Institute of Education have been underpinned by strong and timely library skills support during this incredibly challenging year.

“Recognising the immense contribution of @j_iona_lib in supporting our ITE students @IOE_London – your work is appreciated by us all!”

Winner (Outstanding response to teaching or support during the pandemic): Carl Sayer

Professor (Teaching), UCL Geography
Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences 

Carl is renowned in the department for his caring attitude to students and his total commitment. This was demonstrated during his recent term as Undergraduate Tutor (during which the department turned around its NSS freefall) and is demonstrated in this award nomination. When confronted by the reality of Connected Learning and the ongoing, rolling lockdowns. Carl turned despair into productive innovation that not only salvaged the year for his students but also was an inspiration to others in the department who replicated his model. Not only does he deserve credit for the original ideas, but the style is so distinctively Carl. Who else would go camp for three days to record videos? Who else would go further and take the time and energy to insert all the jokes and field class hijinks into an asynchronous educational experience? It is on the back of efforts like this that the Geography Department has managed its transition to Connected Learning and (largely) maintained its students’ goodwill during a year of Covid-19 anxiety and lockdowns.

This award would be a powerful bust for Carl and the department who have worked imaginatively in their teaching practices.

“Bringing fieldwork into Connected Learning: @CarlSayerUCL of @UCLGeography nominated for innovative video-based field class learning that enabled him to teach students locked down all over the world about flora and fauna of Norfolk and Dorset.”

Winner (Outstanding response to teaching or support during the pandemic): Rikke Duus

Lecturer (Teaching), School of Management
Faculty of Engineering Sciences 

Dr Duus’ approach to the design, development, and delivery of her package of asynchronous and synchronous materials and activities reflects the School’s priorities in the pivot to UCL’s temporary operating model. The package she has assembled is an excellent example of how to provide digital education in a digital world. Student feedback is an exemplar of positive support for the experience provided. The provision of a digital peer-learning hub has prioritised the creation of a sense of community in strengthening ties with many students at a distance studying remotely. The role of external speakers has clearly been welcomed by students, and this has resulted in an alignment of ideas and concepts with the realities of work, engaging with organisational challenges in a digital world. The use of the 3Cs model reflects her approach to innovation. The fact that her approach has been published in Harvard Business Publishing Education speaks volumes. Already other colleagues in the School are being motivated to engage with and learn from her example. Of note is the feedback from the School’s online MBA students. These are all working executives who, rightly, are demanding with high expectations. Rikke has delivered to them an experience which has taken those students to the next level in terms of challenges and the ability to respond to those challenges. Additionally, the other two modules referred to are popular with students from the School’s Information Management for Business degree. Those students are interested in and engaged with, by the very nature of their degree, the modern digital world, and associated analytics. Rikke’s IMB modules are a clear fit with our students’ realities. Finally, Rikke’s modules fit well with some of the School’s thrusts concerning disruption, analytics, and innovation.

@UCLSoM Rikke Duus awarded in #TheEducationAwards for supporting teaching in a pandemic through digital design and delivery of real-world digital applications.

Winner (Postgraduate Teaching Assistant): Alexandra Peca Amaral Gomes

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Bartlett School of Planning
Faculty of the Built Environment 

Alexandra has been a key contributor to our urban design and project teaching over many years, having always had excellent feedback from both students and module tutors. Her interest in, and ability to explore multi-media and computer-based teaching have always been regarded as innovative by her colleagues and have been much valued. However, their full value to the department has become known as we faced all the restrictions related to the Covid pandemic and had to migrate all our teaching online, including all design- and project-based modules. These modules constitute an essential part of the professional education provided by the Bartlett School of Planning and it is imperative for the School that they are delivered to the highest possible standards. Alexandra’s dedication to her role as PGTA, her commitment to the School and her skills as teacher have contributed decisively to make that transition to online project education successful.

She has been contributing to the life of the School and the quality of our teaching form many years. She has led on initiatives to improve the learning environment for doctoral students, improving e-learning techniques within the school, improve the social experience for students with film and photography events and much more.

Alexandra has been a valuable member of the BSP community, much more than just a PGTA.

“@xpgomes3 is nominated for her unique combination of urban research, multi-media, and education, that has been supporting students and staff @UCL_BSP for the last 10 years.”

Winner (Postgraduate Teaching Assistant): Jonathan Hawkins

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences 

The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) like most experimentally focused departments was particularly challenged by the need to deliver an equivalent student experience on-line. The fact that our first-year undergraduate numbers had more than doubled added to this challenge. Jonathan developed a simulation-based alternative to Challenge 2, an interdisciplinary project undertaken by all first years which took place over eight weeks (conventionally five weeks), in Multisim. He also developed tutorials and workshop scripts to support the students with their fundamental understanding of Multisim and built a live prototype to help students visualise the relevance of the task they were undertaking in the real world. This was a significant achievement that was incredibly important to support the education of first year electronic engineers. In addition to supporting students, Jonathan prepared videos to assist in the training of his fellow PGTAs and was fully flexible with his own time in supporting colleagues as needed to deliver Challenge 2 under difficult circumstances. Jonathan demonstrated technical excellence, extreme collegiality, and a commitment to support both EEE and UCL in an extremely demanding period. His efforts are worthy of wider recognition by the UCL community.

“Jonathan Hawkins has been true credit to EEE and FES. I look forward to him receiving an Education Award which he so rightly deserves.”

Winner (Postgraduate Teaching Assistant): Aoife Horan

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, UCL Economics
Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences 

Aoife is a MSc alumni who was hired in September 2020 as TA and course manager for Econ0002 to help handle the management of a module which now had nearly 800 students and 20 TAs (some part-time, some Term 1 only, etc.). She started her work by helping the lecturers with the coordination of the First Year Challenge, a key part of the first-year induction process and an introduction to economics which students start on before they arrive at UCL. This element of the module was particularly important this year because of the large cohort as well the fact that most things were online. Aoife was an invaluable member of the team, organising private channels for each of the tutorials and groups across all 800 students, helping them with technical or logistic questions, and introducing them to the tutorial setup run entirely through Teams. In addition, she provided logistic support for the Moodle learning portal for the module, setting up and answering questions about the regular quizzes, answering students’ questions about everything from where to find different elements of the module, assessment dates, tutorial issues etc. Her help with the Jan Moodle quiz has made this year the smoothest ever despite the cohort having more than doubled. Finally, she worked extra hours to properly handover the course manager position to Duygu, whose workload has been significantly reduced because of all the prep work already completed by Aoife. It is unthinkable that that Econ0002 module has run as smoothly as it has despite the sudden explosion in numbers, issues with TA supply, and the crisis, and it would not have happened without Aoife.

“Aoife’s calm, caring and competent handling of a nearly 800 strong first year cohort and a team of nearly 20 Teaching Assistant’s has been exemplary.”

Winner (Staff-student partnership): Magda Raczynska

Associate Professor
Faculty of Laws

What has always been characteristic of Magda’s approach to teaching and module development, is a deep and genuine enthusiasm for, and total commitment to, students and their learning, and towards developing student-centred and methodologically informed learning environments. This has repeatedly been demonstrated in her own teaching and review of the modules she teaches and was corroborated by comments in student evaluation questionnaires year after year.

This year has been no exception. Magda, as illustrated by the two examples referred to in the nomination she received, has typically pre-empted, and identified learning needs and learning environment challenges that this year has presented students with and devoted energy and enthusiasm in not just supporting the students but enhancing their learning experiences. It is evident from formal and informal student feedback that the student is always at the centre of Magda’s thinking about her teaching and that there is great appreciation for the value of her efforts. Magda appreciated incredibly early on that developing a sense of partnership with her cohort and activities to support that was essential for maintaining a sense of belonging and community in the faculty this year and the two initiatives described clearly have done this successfully.

The department particularly commends Magda on the co-authorship of the response to the Law Commission formal consultation. Engaging the students with collaborative research, connecting their learning to real world law reform processes, and offering them authentic learning experiences implements many of the faculty’s endeavors for a connected curriculum.

“Partnering with students in real-impact research on consumer sales, and in teaching. Congrats to Magda Raczynska from UCL Laws on her UCL Edu Awards nomination!”