The MDXSU Teaching Awards were established in 2014 to recognise and reward the incredible staff here at MDX, and are entirely student-led, from the student-submitted nominations - 1,300 this year - to the panel of student judges who have the difficult task of deciding the shortlist and winners.
The powerul and moving awards ceremony was hosted by MDXSU Vice Presidents Orla Hillary and André Thompson, with the focus being on partnership between students and staff, and celebrating the quality of teaching and support at MDX.
"This year our awards are themed around partnership... championing partnership between staff and students and celebrating the world class partnership which we are lucky to have here at MDX."
- Orla Hillary, MDXSU Vice President Health & Education and Science & Technology
Following a delicious meal and the chance for students and staff to meet and chat, the awards ceremony began with a welcome from MDXSU and an opening speech from Middlesex University Vice Chancellor Tim Blackman, who spoke about his intentions for Middlesex to be world-renown for it's teaching, and how research and teaching are not in conflict - "they're both about learning and discovering new things"
"A successful university is not just about amazing teachers or amazing students, but about the community that they create."
- Vice Chancellor Tim Blackman
And the winners are...
Dr Mona Sakr, Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood
Student excerpt - “In every seminar and lecture Mona is amazing, always pushing us and making lessons more interesting and interactive. We learn so much from her sessions.”
Best Support Staff
Steve McMahon, Sports Activator
Student excerpt - “I can’t put into words how much Steve, or 'Stevo', has helped me throughout my time at University. Stevo goes above and beyond to help everyone. He runs a wheelchair basketball club at University and ensures students of all abilities feel welcomed and included. I was born with spinal deformities and Stevo has taken the time to research it and find out as much as he can. Now he has done that, he knows exactly how to help me excel at sport and for this, I am truly grateful.”
Special Award for Outstanding Compassion
Richard Barry, Senior Lecturer in the Psychology Department
Student Excerpt - "Richard talked me through referring modules and kept me going when I felt like giving up... He made the effort to reach out and always had time for me. He inspired me to discover my passion for psychology and recognise skills I didn't realise I had. Thanks to Richard I'm on track for a first, will be coming back to Middlesex to complete my Masters, and I'll be leaving university with a purpose I didn't arrive with."
Most Innovative Teaching
Dr David Westley, Director of Programmes for Counselling & Psychotherapy
Student Excerpt - "I find his lectures very motivating and interactive. David makes the dullest of themes intriguing and makes a lecture which ends at 7pm a joy to attend. He has very good teaching skills and is very down to earth and supportive."
Dr Carmel Clancy, Head of Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Student Excerpt - “Carmel's input into this year’s inter-professional symposium has been absolutely fantastic. Both Carmel's knowledge and experience have come across well during her sessions on Mental Health. The realism and objectivity of her sessions made it so easy to relate to the topic at hand. This innovative approach to enable partnership across the fields within the School of Health & Education has been fantastic. Thanks to the partnership with Carmel the Nursing Society at Middlesex are now looking at new and innovative ways of bringing more cross-platform and cross-field teaching and awareness sessions to students studying all aspects of nursing and midwifery. Carmel is a very approachable, knowledgeable, friendly and passionate academic and I am really looking forward to working more with her to build stronger partnerships within the school, and across our diverse fields of education here at Middlesex.”
Most Inspiring Teacher (Joint winners)
Dr Emma Dowling, Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Student Excerpt - “Dr Emma Dowling always motivates students to achieve to the maximum level in order for us to succeed. She allows her students to voice their thoughts… [and] her teaching skills keeps all students so engaged. She is a creative teacher and most of all inspiring.”
Dr Christine Eastman, Senior Lecturer in Work Based Learning
Student Excerpt - “Dr Eastman has transformed my experience of education from a Dickensian approach to something akin to Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. Growing up I watched films where teachers inspired and motivated their students and I always wondered what it would be like to have such a teacher and now I know! … Dr Eastman inspires me to want to learn, to want to know, to want to understand and to be so much more than I ever thought I could be. I genuinely miss my peer learning sets and look forward to our UniHub exchanges as a group and this is because of her passion.”
Congratulations to all staff who were nominated or shortlisted, and thank you on behalf of your students! The nominations illustrate the level of student-staff partnership, as well as the level of knowledge, passion and compassion that exists amongst the community of staff at Middlesex - which clearly does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by students.
Further thanks to all students who placed one of the 1,300 nominations received this year. As well as giving us an opportunity to bring students and staff together to celebrate at the awards ceremony, the nominations received this year will be used by Middlesex Students' Union to suggest improvements to the university in future so we can continue to develop teaching and partnership at Middlesex.