INSPIRATIONAL TEACHING AWARDS 2013
Edwyn is a true product of Sheffield Hallam, having done his original degree, PhD (both in chemistry) and PGCE here. He is now the course leader for the PGCE primary and PGCE early years education courses, as well as teaching science on all primary and early years QTS courses.
Before joining the University in 2000, he spent nine years as a nursery and reception class teacher. At various times he has worked as a pyrotechnician, a scientist for the Ministry of Defence, a professional pianist and a children’s entertainer. He also sings with the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus.
This is Edwyn’s third Inspirational Teaching Award and received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for his achievements.
‘He has demonstrated how teaching should be done – with a real passion for his subject!’
Paul is the course leader for BSc Food Marketing Management and BSc Food and Nutrition in Sheffield Business School. He teaches a range of marketing and business-related subjects and is currently studying a DBA in the field of consumer behaviour.
Paul joined the University in 2000 and, in 2006, he was Interdisciplinary Champion for the £1.27 million Food Innovation project to deliver new multidisciplinary interventions for the food and drink industry. He was then project manager on a three-year Yorkshire Forward project delivering ongoing innovation interventions for regional food companies.
Over the past 20 years, Paul has worked in both the public and private sectors in a range of business development, project management, marketing and teaching roles.
‘If it wasn’t for Paul and his support I wouldn’t be at university today. I would just like to thank him for all his support and work in encouraging me and supporting me to stay in university.’
Tracey started nursing in 1987 and worked as a staff nurse and junior sister at Weston Park Hospital. She moved into clinical research and was the nurse manager for the Cancer Research Centre, before becoming a lecturer in 2001. She teaches on the undergraduate nursing programme on a variety of subjects but specialises, unsurprisingly, in oncology.
Tracey is absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for this award and really humbled by the fact that students have taken the time to write about her. She says she loves teaching and enjoys passing on her experiences to the students.
Outside of work, her three boys take up a lot of time but Tracey also loves the theatre and has been acting and directing with a Rotherham group for over 30 years.
‘She is very knowledgeable and passionate about her subject. She creates exciting and interesting seminars, and openly and honestly shares her own personal and professional experiences. I found her classes inspirational.’
Mehmet Bülent Özcan
He joined the University – then Sheffield City Polytechnic – in 1990 as a lecturer. Mehmet is now a senior lecturer and a member of the Software Engineering, Graphics and Multimedia subject group in the computing department in the faculty of ACES and is currently the course leader for Software Engineering.
Married with sons, Mehmet spends his weekends driving them to different places in the country to play football, as well as maintaining his coral reef tank, reading on water chemistry and marine biology.
‘He is always inspiring people to push further and go further.’
Katy studied art and design history at Staffordshire Polytechnic and philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has been teaching art and design history and critical theory for over 20 years, with a particular focus on graphic design.
She is especially interested in the work of Marcel Duchamp and how art and design history and theory helps inform and develop the work of designers.
At Sheffield Hallam, Katy is responsible for the contextual studies modules across visual communication and also contributes to the teaching of some of the design modules on the graphic design degree.
‘She is extremely enthusiastic and passionate about what she teaches us. This makes it a much more enjoyable experience and a lot easier to learn a difficult subject!’
Jenny spent the early part of her career working in the hotel industry, winning the Hotel Manager of the Year award in recognition of improved financial performance and staff and guest satisfaction scores.
Family relocation to Glasgow and Sheffield allowed Jenny to share her industry experiences on a part-time basis with students from the Scottish Hotel School in Strathclyde University and from Sheffield Hallam.
It was this insight into the value of an industry-based practitioner to the student experience that prompted the next phase of Jenny’s career at Sheffield Hallam. As course leader, she has been able to work closely with students and industry to create a range of opportunities that enhanced the relationships between the University, the employers and the undergraduates.
‘Jenny goes above and beyond the whole time and assisted me with getting a fantastic placement opportunity.’
Claire is a senior researcher in the Art and Design Research Centre, a senior lecturer in occupational therapy in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing and is currently undertaking a research secondment in learning and teaching.
Claire says of her role at the University, ‘I am so fortunate to be able to work across two faculties and to have the opportunity to embed my research within my teaching. Learning is such a creative process, and in combining the two I hope to inspire students and show that they too can play a role in shaping occupational therapy in the future.’
In 2011, Claire was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship and last year she was made a fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the profession. This is Claire’s third Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘Claire has an incredible passion for what she does and how she can use her skills and knowledge – not only to benefit others in practice, but to educate people around the world with her vast experience and research.’
Phil can’t imagine teaching without an eventful previous life in industry, where some great successes were interspersed with the odd catastrophic failure. His experience running megaplex cinemas for UCI or the sales operation at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and managing Health and Racquet Clubs for Esporta, provides him with many anecdotes which he still relies on heavily when trying to relate some of the theory of events management.
Phil considers himself a ‘pracademic’, and encourages all academics to find ways of connecting and re-connecting with practice in their fields. He says it’s an honour to win this prize, and he’s inspired by the many colleagues – in the events team and beyond – who show passion and commitment to students.
‘Phil is always enthusiastic and goes that extra mile for students.’
Mark is a law graduate of Sheffield Hallam and joined the teaching staff in 2006. He worked in business for 20 years, most recently as an operations director in a Littlewoods Group company, before moving into academia. He has subsequently completed the postgraduate certificate in higher education.
Mark became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2010 and currently specialises in company law, criminal law and the law of torts. As a principal lecturer, he leads on markets and recruitment of the Department of Law, Criminology and Community Justice.
His passion for his work is only matched by his love for Sheffield Wednesday, his dog Mac and his family. his is Mark’s third Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘He makes even the dullest of subjects interesting. He is always enthusiastic, and always takes the time and effort to make sure you’re ok in yourself and not just focused on the work. If you have a problem he will do whatever he can to help.’
Liz is a first-year tutor to about 100 maths students. She says it’s hard work, but satisfying to ‘make them into a little maths family’, as one student put it in recent feedback. She teaches pure maths including group theory, linear algebra and cryptography.
In 2005, Liz took two years of unpaid leave to go and teach voluntarily in Zambia in a boys’ secondary school in the bush. She is particularly interested in mature students and ethnic minority students – both the challenges they face and the positive impact they have on the other students.
Liz is involved with the maths help drop-in service and the annual Pop Maths Quiz for school students. Outside work, Liz tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors. This is Liz’s second Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘Liz is the reason that I’m going to graduate and have a degree in mathematics. You can genuinely tell how much she cares about us all.’
Jane joined Sheffield Hallam in 2004 as a senior lecturer in the social work subject group in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, following 18 years in social care, mainly in the field of mental health. She leads the BA Social Work course.
Jane is passionate about working with learners and enjoys the complex challenges of leading the delivery of a course that combines both academic and professional learning for students.
In her spare time, Jane’s two main hobbies are music and camping. She can be a complete anorak about tents and banjos if allowed to be.
This is Jane’s second Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘She makes learning fun and interesting without losing the seriousness of the issues being discussed. Instead of talking at us, she takes us on a learning journey with her.’
Douglas is a senior lecturer and course leader for undergraduate environmental degrees. This vocation was inspired by his first degree in environmental biology from Kings College, London. It was his PhD in fungal-insect interactions that first brought him to Sheffield.
Douglas’s experience includes working for a National Park Authority, developing and providing environmental education for pupils, students and international professionals. He has demonstrated on WEA courses on fungi, and enjoyed a spell as a self-employed landscape interpreter working with archaeologists and artists. He is currently trying to restore and environmentally retrofit an arts and crafts period family home.
He says that lecturing is a healthy mixture of performance and scientific precision – all the better when mixed with first-hand experiences and a sense of purpose.
This is Douglas’s second Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘He is engaging, entertaining and his fascination with all of the topics he has covered is contagious. I am quite an introverted person and Doug always gets me involved and reinforces it with positive responses. He is a world class teacher!’
Andrew is a senior lecturer in thermofluids and course leader for BEng Energy Engineering. At the age of 18, he started a techanical engineering degree at Sheffield University. Over the course of his degree, Andrew decided lecturing looked like a lot of fun, and Sheffield was such a friendly and vibrant town that he wanted to stick around after graduation.
Through his PhD and then some post-doctorate work, Andrew developed his love of engineering as a discipline that can give you profound insight into every aspect of how the world works.
He now works in the mechanical engineering subject group, surrounded by ‘fantastic academics that each bring their own talents to our teaching and, while occasionally grumbling about workload, relentlessly care about ensuring the students and the rigours of their education – making the job lots of fun.’
‘The course content is exactly what I need and his teaching methods are ideal and student-focused, which makes it a pleasure to come to his lectures.’
Jane has been at Sheffield Hallam for over 20 years. She is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing and the course leader for undergraduate biology programmes.
Although she favours molecular genetics, Jane’s research has been varied, from developing vaccines for cholera to analysing rocket fuel for the Indian Space Research Programme. Other subjects have included the subcellular localisation of proteins in kiwi fruit, the positioning of atoms in doped superconductors, and mechanisms for encouraging bioscience students to work autonomously.
Outside work, Jane is a member of the City of Leicester Singers, where she relishes being absorbed into a harmonious group.
This is Jane’s second Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘She always has time for her students, listens and has a sense of humour so lectures are never dull.’
Originally from Leicestershire, Steve moved to Sheffield in 1978 and stumbled into teaching after four years of NHS administration work after answering an ad in the job centre in 1984 for part-time communications teachers. At the interview he was persuaded that he was suitable (mostly as they had three unstaffed classes starting the next week).
The rest is history – he has spent almost 30 years working at Sheffield City Polytechnic and then Sheffield Hallam. He still teaches communication on a range of degrees and focuses lots on employability skills.
Outside of work, Steve is married with two adult stepsons. He enjoys the outdoors, be it running twice a week, walking in the countryside or playing golf. He also has a lifelong obsession with watching sport – particularly his hometown football team, Leicester City.
‘Steve’s a real down-to-earth bloke who made the classes so interesting and a pleasure to be involved with. He liked to have a bit of banter which was good and always had a laugh but could be serious about something five minutes later. Top man.’
Mo completed his studies in mechanical engineering and subsequent PhD at the University of Leeds. After several years of postdoctoral research at UMIST – during which he was responsible for developing a unique underwater explosion-structural interaction simulation code – he joined the then Sheffield City Polytechnic as a lecturer specifically to develop and integrate finite element facilities in the mechanical engineering course.
Mo has always had a special fascination with aerospace, and three years ago he wrote, developed and implemented a very attractive aerospace engineering course. It is now the second most popular course in the department – and he is the course leader.
Mo has published over 30 scientific papers in internationally refereed journals.
‘One of the reasons I applied for Sheffield Hallam was that on the open day he was so enthusiastic and you could tell that he thoroughly enjoyed his job. He is a pleasure to be taught by and I also look forward to his lectures because of his friendly, funny and hardworking nature.’
Nigel enjoyed a 15-year career in sales and marketing for the UK grocery industry before joining Sheffield Hallam in 2007. He has been involved in the launch of numerous products sold under a number of household brand names and, more recently, many different ranges of retailer ownbrand products. He has worked with all the major UK retailers.
Nigel is a senior lecturer in the Marketing subject group where he teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as engaging with businesses on behalf of the University in both teaching and consultancy roles.
Earlier this year he was part of the team that successfully bid for the Nestlé business degree. He is also course leader for the specialised marketing degrees and is studying for a DBA.
‘He is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the module he teaches that I can’t help but feel interested and passionate about the subject. His is my favourite module and the one I try hardest in.’
Liz is a senior lecturer in built environment, and most of her time is spent leading and delivering undergraduate modules in research methods and dissertation. She also teaches on building materials and building conservation, and is involved in research and external consultancy.
Liz has been working on a long-term research project with English Heritage and Oxford University and has recently been nominated as the UK principal expert on the European Standard CEN technical committee on the evaluation of methods and products for conservation works.
As well as lecturing, she enjoys being a student, managing to maintain an unbroken post-compulsory education record as a student of various college and university courses.
Liz is married to Tim Nightingale (who reacts affably to being referred to as ‘Mr Laycock’ in correspondence). They have three daughters.
‘She encouraged us to enjoy university life but take work seriously. She gets the balance right.’
Having left Mexborough comprehensive school in 1984, Susan took up a job as a dental nurse. After the embarrassment of fainting on the first day in the surgery, she decided to go to night classes and take A levels. Some years later, she was able to gain a PhD from Cambridge, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
She was driven by the determination she had – and still has – that university is for those who are able, whatever their backgrounds.
Coming from a non-traditional background, Susan is fiercely passionate about the fact that Sheffield Hallam opens doors for others from such backgrounds and offers a brilliant quality of education. She says the most inspirational thing about teaching here is seeing her students gain in confidence.
‘She is committed to getting the very best out of her students. I love the way she challenges and encourages at the same time.’
Martin is a Fellow Chartered Management Accountant, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He has many years’ experience working for large FTSE100 companies such as Cadbury’s, Rexam and Alliance and Leicester. Alongside his lecturing commitments, he also works with Eldon Electric Ltd as a consultant UK finance director.
With a masters degree in business research, Martin is currently undertaking a PhD based on research into communication apprehension and self-efficacy in accounting students.
‘He taught me finance! He made it easy! I’m petrified of finance and I can do it now! I’m absolutely amazed! No one has ever been able to teach me finance before (and several have tried).’
David is currently researching Parkinson’s disease, linking together a range of biochemical and analytical methods to find out how and why cells die in the brain. He tries to use this background to give context to his teaching and show how the content of the lectures is really used.
The award is a reflection of the high quality of teaching and commitment of his peers who give him space to try out new ideas. His family also play their part, by asking the hard question of ‘Why should I care?’, and only tutting a little when he answers emails at night.
‘He is a very passionate and fun lecturer and his lectures have been a highlight for me personally. He reaffirmed my love of science and as a result I want to go on to do a PhD, carry out research and try and impart knowledge to students in an interesting and inspiring way.’
Much of his research is centred upon creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. He tries to challenge the norm and bring a different perspective to all his teaching – closely following in the footsteps of his relative William Willett, who came up with the ‘crazy’ idea of Greenwich Mean Time.
His enterprising activities this year have gathered momentum with the development of the SBS Enterprise Society, closer links with industry and cross-faculty collaborations. Alongside this, Matthew has a keen interest in the use of technology-enhanced learning.
Matthew would like to dedicate his award to his late father Stephen Willett, who has been an inspiration all through life and has taught Matthew through his courageous fight with cancer that no matter what obstacles life throws at you, you can do anything you put your mind to.
‘He has inspired me to think outside the box with academic theory and I have no doubt he will benefit my thoughts for many years to come.’
After time spent at Pfizer and the Co-op he moved back to Sheffield to head up a regional design and promotion agency, before going back to the client side of marketing as retail marketing manager for Whitbread and then marketing director for a national food wholesaler.
Tim draws on his business experience to bring knowledge, passion and a practical context to his teaching and actively encourages student feedback as a means of continually developing his teaching materials and delivery style.
As a placement officer he builds strong relationships with employers to maximise employment opportunities at placement and graduate levels.
This is Tim’s second Inspirational Teaching Award.
‘Tim is so supportive and enthusiastic. He’s really passionate about his job and doing the best for his students.’
INSPIRATIONAL RESEARCH SUPERVISOR AWARDS 2013
Bill is professor of international tourism studies. He is well known for his research in the areas of tourism policy and planning, tourism and governance, and tourism and sustainable development. He is co-editor of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, which is ranked number 2 in the top 39 international journals in the fields of hospitality, sport, leisure and tourism (Thomson Reuters’ SSCI Impact Factor). He is also associate editor of the Journal of Ecotourism, resource editor for Annals of Tourism Research, and on the editorial boards of 12 other research journals.
He has edited or co-authored books on rural tourism and sustainable development, tourism partnerships, sustainable tourism in Europe, coastal mass tourism, and tourism governance.
His first degree was from the University of Cambridge, his PhD was from the University of London, and prior to joining Sheffield Hallam University he worked for the English Tourist Board.
Outside work his interests include international travel and watching ice hockey and football.
‘He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, both in academia and at government planning level, in the area of my research and thus is able to help me visualise things from different perspectives and aid my critical thinking to be creative and original.’
Andrew is currently principal lecturer in international business. His research covers the innovation process and the spatial natureof knowledge networks. He received his PhD from the University of Sheffield.
Outside of work he enjoys cycling, motor racing and cricket, as well as a good pint in a decent boozer.
‘Andrew is very encouraging, and gives great unwavering support and mentorship. I get a full package of constructive comments, criticisms and commendations. I am inspired by his calm and collected nature. He’s very knowledgeable but so down-to-earth.’
Ann is professor of health psychology and head of research ethics at the University. She is a registered practitioner health psychologist, a qualified psychotherapist, and a principal fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Her research interests are in individual differences mainly in health and wellbeing, positive psychology and psychometrics, and she has published extensively.
Ann came to Sheffield Hallam on a temporary contract in 1987 before there was a psychology degree and suggested that the time was right to develop one. She was subject leader in psychology from 1991 to 2000, building up the department.
Ann is an experienced research supervisor having 15 PhD completions, 11 of which were at Sheffield Hallam.
‘After supervision with Ann I always feel inspired and feel a sense of renewed energy to continue. This has been invaluable over the three years as doing a PhD feels like a long road at times.’
Simon is a senior lecturer in business computing. He has many years of industrial experience in accounting and ICT and has published widely, with over 90 learned publications to date. He has research interests in enterprise architecture, business information technologies, the web, conceptual structures and interaction design.
In his spare time Simon enjoys real ale and good food, including barbecues when it’s sunny in the back garden. To compensate for such indulgences, he goes walking in the Peak District. He also exercises at Sheffield Hallam Active.
He enjoys family life with his wife Clare, his 10-year-old daughter Lucy, two dogs, two cats and a tank of tropical fish. That just about leaves him enough time to lie down.
‘His breadth and depth of knowledge is fantastic and he is always keen to share information and knowledge as much as he is willing to listen and learn himself.’
Angela qualified as a nurse in 1985 and after many years of clinical nursing developed a career in health services research. Her research lies in evaluating patient experiences and needs especially regarding health inequalities, access to services and public health.
She is also involved in evaluations of health services and initiatives in the NHS. She currently works as a professor of health services research in the Centre for Health and Social Care Research.
She has supervised four PhD students to completion and is currently supervising six students at Sheffield Hallam. Outside of work, Angela enjoys long distance walking in this country and abroad and dabbles in climbing.
‘Angela gave me the confidence and support to take that step and realise what I had to offer the University, what the University had to offer me and how together, we could deliver a doctorate that could make a positive difference.’
OUTSTANDING STUDENT SUPPORT AWARDS 2013
Andrew has worked in the international student support team at Sheffield Hallam since January 2008, co-ordinating the arrival and integration of all the University’s international students. He has worked on developing various integration projects including the Local Friends project, Conversation Club and bringing together British and international students as part of their course.
Andrew has also worked for Common Purpose, Wakefield District Council and Business Link West Yorkshire, mainly in events planning and marketing. He graduated from Liverpool with a degree in politics.
His spare time is split almost equally between supporting Everton and entertaining his six-year-old daughter.
This is Andrew’s second award for outstanding student support.
‘He is active and very passionate about events for the international students, which helps them to meet each other and feel much comfortable during their study experience.’
Katie graduated from Sheffield Hallam in 2011 and became a teaching assistant in the physiotherapy department. Her main focus is to mentor and support students throughout their academic and professional journey – starting at the very beginning by ensuring the admissions interview is a relaxed and positive experience.
Mentorship of the students through their assessment tasks is a key aspect of her role. Due to their close working relationship, Katie is often able to identify when students may be struggling and works with them to resolve their difficulties.
She is passionate about her role at Sheffield Hallam and feels she is constantly developing her understanding around learning and development. Katie says, ‘I am delighted to have received this vote – it truly means the world to me.’
‘Katie makes the time to sort out any problems with the course or anything else, and doesn’t make you feel you’re wasting her time.’
Polly started working at the University in 2007 in the Sheffield Business School, and then moved to the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, where as a student support officer she currently looks after 700 student nurses and midwives. She really enjoys working with the students and finds it a rewarding and sometimes challenging role.
Polly has lived in Sheffield all her life and, after having twin boys at an early age, returned to education as a mature student to study social policy at the University of Sheffield, which she loved. Her boys are now grown up and one is getting ready to go to University this year, which Polly says is very scary!
‘Polly provided me with exceptional support when I lost my father earlier on in the year and made contact with me on a regular basis to ensure that I was okay and coping well.’
Claire grew up in Sheffield and started her first job as a clerical officer for community physiotherapy in June 1989, aged 17. She joined Sheffield Hallam in 1999, working in postgraduate student support for the business school and then for the Faculty of ACES since 2005.
She says she has always found Sheffield Hallam a friendly place to work and enjoys working with and supporting students. Sheffield Hallam is a place she feels supported and appreciated.
Claire’s outside interests include playing computer games, going to the cinema, walking and listening to music.
This is Claire’s third award for outstanding student support and receives the Vice-Chancellor’s award for her achievements.
‘Claire is always keeping me informed and is quick to respond to any problems or questions.’