2013 Award Winners stories

About our Faculty Award Winners:

The following section includes bios from some of our faculty winners reflecting on their working experience and how they feel about winning a faculty award. Thank you to all who have contributed.

I have been a registered psychotherapist for over 15 years. As a psychotherapist I have practised in a variety of challenging settings and these include Higher Education. My research interests lie in mental health and well-being and I am an advisor on student mental health issues for several universities. I teach on the BA(Hons) Education Studies with Psychology and Counselling and I am module leader for the counselling. I have been teaching at Sheffield Hallam University for almost two years and can honestly say that they have been enjoyable ones.

Dr Bill Naylor, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I was so pleased to received notification of my nomination as an ‘Inspirational Teacher’ again this year.  Each year I admit to a little bit of both pride and amazement as I print out the notification and stick it on my wall.  When things don’t go quite to plan, or when I have a low day and have doubts I can glance over to it to remind myself that I have done something right for someone in the previous year, pick myself up and get on with it again.  Around the department it is a real morale boost to get one.

This is why the email saying I was nominated as a Faculty Award Winner was very nearly missed, it was completely unexpected. I am a little bit nervous of sharing this with my colleagues because I don’t want to undermine their achievements in any way!  We’ve all worked so hard this year, we make a great team, and I couldn’t do my job without them.

I feel really privileged to be able to work as an academic, it’s a fabulous job in so many respects, and I am so unspeakably proud of the small part I played in the future successes of our amazing students

Dr Elizabeth Laycock, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I am thrilled to have been selected as one of the faculty winners and particularly for my teaching to have been thought of as inspirational by my students, future teachers themselves!

I am a senior lecturer in secondary science (physics) education.  Much of my teaching is on the undergraduate route towards Qualified Teacher Status but I also teach extensively on Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses both pre and post QTS.

I was a secondary school physics teacher for 17 years and latterly in senior leadership before arriving at SHU In 2008.  Initially, I worked full time in the Centre for Science Education as a professional development leader in the Science Learning Centre. However, for the past three years I have split my time between CPD and Initial Teacher Education.  What bridges the two is a passion for physics but more importantly, how physics is taught.

Ms Heather Wain, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I joined Sheffield Hallam in Spring 1996 and worked as a visiting lecturer for just under a year before starting officially with the University in January 1997 on a .5 contract lecturing in Hospitality Management. I think my profile is typical of many at SHU in that I gradually built up my contribution to the Department of Leisure and Food management, increasing my hours to allow me to take on more teaching and the role of course leader for our Hospitality Management undergraduate courses. After our move to the Sheffield Business School I took on full time hours and am currently Hospitality Subject Group Leader.

Jenny Cockill, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I was delighted and little overwhelmed to hear that I have been nominated by my students, especially as they have to put pen to paper to do so.

I have worked at Sheffield Hallam for 15 years, with my major areas of teaching being physiology and pathology with a fair bit a dabbling in nutrition, embryology and forensics. I have run a number of modules on these areas.

I have done most jobs in the department over the years. I have been: first tutor, final year tutor, international tutor for several international teaching projects; course leader for: BSc Cellular and Molecular Biosciences, BSc Biosciences for Business, BSc Biotechnology, BSc Human biology, BSc Biochemistry (the latter two I still hold). I am and the chair of the Biomedical Sciences Research Ethics Committee and are part of the Faculty and University Ethics Committees.

In addition to this I am research active and work on the development of novel treatments for cancer, I have two brilliant PhD students and two more on the horizon. We have put out a number of publications this year and we have few more in the pipe line.

I don’t think that I do anything special when I teach I just try to make it fun, stand in those student shoes and think how am I going to get this across to you in a way you can understand.  The trick I feel is that if they are having fun they do not realise that you have slipping them some tricky science theory.

I do love teaching and getting the best out of my students is always my goal.

Nikki Jordan-Mahy, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I am a school nurse and a specialist nurse practitioner in young people’s sexual health. I am passionate about making a difference to the outcomes of children and young people. I have worked in the community since 1995. My interests are children and young people’s mental health, sexual health promotion, safeguarding children and behaviour change. I teach on the public health nursing programme at Sheffield Hallam and have been part of the team since 2004. My main priority is teaching and supporting public health nursing students in working with families to improve their health.  I have remained a practitioner and work as a school nurse and young people’s specialist practitioner in sexual health services in Sheffield.

Pat Day, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I joined the ambulance service in 1996 and qualified as a paramedic in 1999.  In 2005 I gained a first class honours degree in Pre-Hospital Care from the University of Wales, Swansea and went on after that to take other qualifications including Royal College of Surgeons Medicine in Remote Areas, Travel and Tropical Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, International Trauma Life Support and a teaching qualification.

Approximately 5 years ago I decided to take the plunge and become freelance.  This involved working in the private sector for a variety of providers.  I kept my bank contract with East Midlands Ambulance Service (and still have this today) but I felt that it was a big world out there so decided to explore!  I worked in South Central Ambulance Service based in Southampton and also as a technical rescue paramedic in industry.  I also undertook training with the military in Hereford led there by my interest in remote hostile environments.  I also worked as a consultant in Clinical Governance and Audit in the private sector having been part of the NHS Clinical Governance Development Programme.  I worked many weird and wonderful hippy and rock festivals and sports events (too numerous to mention) and taught for Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Services (LIVES).

I have always had an interest in teaching, academia and research and have had 22 publishes to date in a variety of medical journals.  I also have ideas for books which I WILL get round to at some point.  In Sept 2011 I began as a Lecturer in Paramedic Practice at SHU and loved it!  I was upgraded to Senior Lecturer this year and am just finishing my PGC LTHE.  I plan to take this to Masters being a glutton for punishment!

My hobbies and interests include loud rock music, reading, esoteric subjects, nature, gardening and online gaming (probably a rather strange combination).  I live with my partner in the idyllic middle of nowhere in Lincolnshire.

Sarah V. E. Christopher, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I have been teaching in the English subject group at Sheffield Hallam since 2007. My main area of teaching is Nineteenth-Century literature. I am Module Leader for a Level 6 Core, Victorian Literature, for which I introduced fully inclusive assessment practice (an area I am very keen on), along with a special option about fiction and work, which enables students to gain credit for online discussions – and receive weekly grades and feedback.  I am also due to start team teaching a new employability module next year, Civic Engagement, with a colleague from the History subject group.

 Sue McPherson, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I joined SHU in 2007 following 15 years as a practicing Chartered Surveyor.  I am now a PL primarily teaching across the Real Estate and Construction programmes, with a focus on applied economics for the Built Environment.  That said, I’m a bit of a ‘jack of all trades’ and I also teach modules focusing on Property/ Real Estate Management whilst having a very active role with employer engagement, placements, B2B etc.   I’m an Assessor for The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and active in the local branch.

Tony Cheetham, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I work within the Centre of Leadership and I am responsible for the MSc Health and Social care Leadership programme and the Faculty wide MSc Advancing Professional Practice award. I have been working at the University for 5 years now. This is my first job in a University setting; prior to arriving here I spent a large chunk of my career working in leadership roles in in both public and private sector social care organisations. Coming to the University was a great opportunity for me and somewhat of a change of direction perhaps ‘from Boardroom to Blackboard’. The students that I work with are generally post graduate, mature students working in leadership roles in organisations, dealing with the complex and difficult problems that organisations face at this time. I love to hear their stories and work with them so that they are able to develop a better understanding of their world. Although I accept that this may sound a bit of a cliché, I genuinely feel privileged to be let into the lives of the people that come to the programmes. I get a real sense of satisfaction when I am able to contribute to helping people to achieve the things that they perhaps didn’t feel they ever would.

Dave Johnson, 2013 Faculty Award Winner 

Having failed my eleven plus examination as I young man I was left with a feeling of intense frustration with respect to the education system at that particular time. A residual facet of that experience was a very long term lingering self-doubt and lack of confidence. Returning to education as a mature student resulted in gaining academic qualifications up to doctoral level. A long hard rewarding road indeed! Perhaps this is the reason I feel so strongly about young and not so young students grasping the wonderful educational and support opportunities offered in today’s world.

Dan O’Hare, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I’m the course leader for the UG Events Management course in the Sheffield Business School. I’ve been at Sheffield Hallam University for 12 years, first as a research fellow then I moved over to full time teaching.

Daryl May, 2013 Faculty Award Winner 

I started nursing in 1987 and worked as a staff nurse and junior sister at Weston Park Hospital. I moved into Clinical research and was the nurse manager for the Cancer Research Centre prior to becoming a lecturer in 2001. I teach on the undergraduate nursing programme on a variety of subjects but specialise unsurprisingly in oncology.  Outside of work my three boys take up a lot of time but I love the theatre and have been acting and directing with a Rotherham group for over 30 years. My other main hobby is costume construction and I design and make costumes for the stage and fancy dress!

I’m absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for this award and really humbled by the fact that students have taken the time to write about me. I love teaching and enjoy passing on my experiences to the students. I don’t think I do anything special- I’m just me!

Tracey Briggs, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

Melvyn lived and worked in Bristol for 8 years after graduating with a degree in Animation.  His work there involved setting up 2 Animation studios, running Animation workshops and being a workshop facilitator for community based groups.

As a freelance Animator, he continued to work with a diverse range of people from cottage industry start-ups to Universities and Production studios.

After moving to Sheffield, Melvyn joined Hallam University as an Associate Lecturer to work with Animation and Film Effects degree students in 2009.

“I love both the technical and creative side of animation and film work. It is always my aim to be diverse and adaptable in the work that I do and to use each job as an opportunity to both further myself and create something different”

“Whether it’s teaching a young person how to animate for the first time or working as part of a team on a film set, I am right at home”

Melvyn’s first book “Stop-motion Animation” is due to be released in October 2013

Melvyn Ternan, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I was absolutely made up to be a faculty winner in the Department of Sport and the fact that I’ve had an impact on the learning of my students gave me a real boost at a busy time of the year. This is my 5th year at SHU and my subject discipline is management, leadership and human resource management in sport. So in sporting terms I consider this a big win and something I will always be proud of.

Eddie Mighten, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

I have worked at the University since November 2000, working for the Facilities Directorate, after spending approximately 3 years there, I moved to collegiate crescent and worked as an administrator for the Health & Wellbeing Post Graduate team. I took a career break in 2006 and had two children and then returned to work in August 2011, where I then started in the Sheffield Business School as a senior administrator, in Student Services.

I am very honoured to have received the Inspirational teaching award, even though I don’t teach, but work in Student Support. I feel immensely proud that the students I support have taken the time and effort to put pen to paper, I was completely shocked to be nominated, and to be a Sheffield Business School faculty winner.

Gemma Harrison, 2013 Faculty Award Winner 

I was very pleased to be nominated by the students; it’s always nice to know someone somewhere can be excited by enzymes and DNA.

I joined Sheffield Hallam three years ago from a research background with a focus in disease mechanisms and biotechnology. My current research interest is in the field of Parkinson’s disease linking together a range of biochemical and analytical methods to find out how and why cells die in the brain. I try to use this background to give context to my teaching and show how the content of the lectures is really used.

Outside the lectures and the lab, I am a keen cyclist disappearing into the dales for days on end, as well as an eclectic set of hobbies from kite flying to maintaining my 7 inch vinyl collection.

David Smith, 2013 Faculty Award Winner

Graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in 2011, I applied for the Teaching Assistants Post in the Physiotherapy in October 2011. My role has developed over the past year and a half but the main aspect of my role is to mentor and support students throughout their academic and professional journey; starting at the very beginning by hosting the admissions interviews, ensuring that the interview process is a relaxed and positive experience. I also support students and academic staff in teaching sessions by encouraging students to engage with practical activities to facilitate development of their physiotherapy handling skills. Mentorship of the students through their assessment tasks is a key aspect of my role and also, where appropriate, I signpost learners to student services. Due to our close working relationship I am often able to identify when students may be struggling and I endeavour to work with them to resolve their difficulties and support them in meeting the demands of the BSc (hons) course. I am passionate about my role at Sheffield Hallam University and feel that I am constantly developing my understanding around learning and development. I am delighted to have received this vote; it truly means the world to me.

Katie Kay, 2013 Outstanding Student Support winner

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