Winners announced: Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence awards 2021

Congratulations to the winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2021. These awards reward individuals and teams who make a marked impact on enhancing the student learning experience. This year’s winners impressed the judging panel with their commitment to students, as well as the transformational impact of their work.

Professor Tom Ward, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education congratulated the winners:

‘Since starting at the University in May, I’ve been impressed by the commitment of colleagues to work in partnership with students to enable the very best educational experience for our students.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding work happening across the University. This year’s winners have demonstrated passion, creativity and impact and I’m sure that you will all join me in congratulating them on their achievements.’

Awards and Recipients

Individual Award Winners

Dr Vanessa Armstrong, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences

Recognised for: work as Academic Lead in Employability and the transformational impact within the School in this area. The development of the placement year within the School,  influence on the wider view of placements across the institution, and research in this area was commended.

Dr Vanessa Armstrong

‘I’m really honoured and grateful  to receive the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition for some of the initiatives and contributions I have made to teaching and learning since starting my role at Newcastle University in 2012. 

It is great to get recognition for the employability-related projects that I have worked on that have had a positive impact on our student cohorts and helped them to gain confidence and go on to graduate destinations.  Accessibility of opportunities for all is something that I am passionate about and hope to carry on working on and developing working alongside colleagues across the School, Careers Service and University.’

Dr Stacy Gillis, Senior Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature & Culture, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Recognised for: the scale of the transformational impact in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, across all levels. Numerous awards and positive feedback show how Stacy’s effective teaching is valued by students.  The panel found the work undertaken with children in care was moving and particularly noteworthy, showing positive value for both students and the children. 

Dr Stacy Gillis

‘In these days in which the humanities are under attack for a perceived lack of ‘value’, it is so heartening that the institution is recognising the work of those of us who teach in the humanities: the humanities is the study of what makes us human, and how we got to this point, how to respond to the challenges of today, and where we might go in the future.  This award really marks the tremendous work of all my students (past, present and future!) in grappling with these complex – but ultimately rewarding – challenges.’

Team Award Winners

Combined Honours Centre, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Recognised for: the passionate and supportive environment the Combined Honours Centre provides for their students. This is clearly demonstrated by the excellent student feedback and numerous nominations for TEAs. The panel felt that an inclusivity document produced by Combined Honours was commendable and noted that the Combined Honours Centre clearly has an innovative approach to teaching and learning with co-creation and student partnership at the forefront, and this gives real value to the students.  

Combined Honours Team and Students

‘The Combined Honours team wishes to dedicate this award to our strong and vibrant student community who have made such a vital contribution to the life of our centre and the university as a whole. We are truly humbled to have received such a prestigious award and delighted to have had the opportunity to share our passion for student engagement and student-staff partnership with the awarding panel.  We hope that this experience will create further opportunities to promote our supportive culture, and approaches to collaborative learning and teaching across the wider university, offering support to others that want to do the same.’ 

Patient Pathways, Graduate School, Faculty of Medical Sciences

Recognised for: The Patient Pathways Workshop event sees proactive roles for patients in the teaching of Clinical Scientists as they share personal experiences of their pathway from discovering the first signs of head and neck cancer through diagnosis, treatment and subsequent after care with small groups of trainee Clinical Scientists. The panel found the project very moving with an excellent ethos and transformational impact for all people involved. The student experience is enhanced significantly through experiencing the patient stories, with a clear impact on practice in the NHS. The panel thought the project to be very innovative, were impressed by the co-design of the workshop, and feel this work should be championed across the Faculty and wider institution. The resilience shown by the continuation of the workshop during the pandemic was commendable.  

Patient Pathways Team

Dr Chris Eggett, Degree Programme Director said:  

‘I’m delighted and honoured to receive this award on behalf of the delivery team for our Patient Pathway Workshop.  The success of this teaching session over the last five years has been due to the superb contributions from a broad team of enthusiasts.  Local patients are key members of the teaching team working alongside NHS and academic colleagues from Newcastle, London and Liverpool to give our MSc Clinical Science students insight into all aspects of a patient care pathway from diagnosis, through treatment to recovery.’

For further information about the awards, including the application process, please visit the VC’s Education Excellence Award section of the LTDS website. The 2022 awards will open next academic year.

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