Congratulations to our Teaching Awards 2024 winners!

Posted in: awards, events, innovation, learning and teaching

Inspirational learning and teaching was celebrated at this year's Education Awards, held on Wednesday 24th April 2024. The Education Awards combines the Academic Rep Awards, Peer Support Awards and University Teaching Awards in one night of celebration.  Nominees, colleagues and students from the University were invited to join in the celebrations at the Apex Hotel.

Large numbers of nominations were received for the University Teaching Awards this year,  which recognise outstanding staff achievements in learning and teaching across the University. Professor Julian Chaudhuri, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), congratulated all nominees for their commitment to delivering exceptionally high-quality learning and teaching, and pastoral support activities.

This year we celebrated seven award winners, on top of our six previous awards. Previously managed by the SU, we are honoured to look after Personal Tutor of the Year award.

We were delighted to present an Honorary Master of the University on the evening to Anthony Payne, Anthony was an inspirational leader in student support and wellbeing at the University of Bath and beyond. He was Director of Student Services at the University of Bath from 2014 to 2022, overseeing the transformation of the department into a sector-leading operation.

We look forward to talking to our award winners over the coming weeks to find out more about their outstanding effort and commitment to learning and teaching, and what it means to them to win an award.


Personal Tutor of the Year Award

This award recognises the important and valuable role Personal Tutors have in supporting students in their studies and personal development throughout their course.

Dr Gwen Scott (Department of Life Sciences) has shown exceptional dedication and unwavering support and care towards her tutees. She consistently goes above and beyond to ensure each student feels heard and supported, providing guidance on both academic and personal matters. Her approachability has generated a positive environment for open communication, which has allowed students to feel comfortable in discussing concerns.  As one of her students states: “It is tutors like her that enable Bath to have a high student satisfaction when it comes to mental health and stress…. she makes it her aim to ensure every student and staff alike can talk to her freely and is always happy to give up her free time to make herself available for anyone.”. Dr Scott's open-door policy and regular communication with tutees, assistance with career planning, and advocacy for improvements within the department, all highlight her exceptional qualities as a mentor and educator.

"I was both surprised and delighted to have been honored with the Tutor of the Year Award. This recognition means a lot to me, especially as so many other outstanding tutors were nominated. I am deeply touched by the heartfelt statements submitted in support of my nomination. Hearing how my efforts have positively impacted on my students lives is incredibly rewarding.  It is a joy to witness the academic and personal transformation and growth, that occurs within my students during their degree program.  Being entrusted with guiding and supporting my students while they are at Bath is both genuinely humbling and fulfilling. Thank you all for this incredible honor!" Gwen Scott


Innovation in Learning and Teaching Award

The Innovation in Learning and Teaching Award is made in recognition of a significant contribution to innovation in curriculum design, content or delivery.

Professor Jason Hart & Dr Katharina Lenner (Department of Social & Policy Sciences) are innovatively transforming the learning experience of students on their course. What sets Jason and Katharina's approach apart is their innovative design and content, which combine research-led, team-based learning with field work in Jordan to give students a deep understanding of humanitarian issues, especially involving refugees. Their extensive experience in the Jordanian context allows them to guide students through sensitive political landscapes, fostering critical thinking and empathy-driven learning.  Their commitment to their students, education and social justice has earned them praise from students and colleagues alike. From their engaging lectures to their thoughtful inclusion of diverse perspectives, they go above and beyond to create a thought-provoking and life-changing learning experience.

"We are very grateful for this award. It makes visible a project that has a special place in our teaching. We take students on our MSc Humanitarianism, Conflict & Development to Jordan every year in order to learn about the lived experience and governance of displacement. This is in a country that has the highest number of refugees in relation to the overall population worldwide, and that has been at the centre of our research for many years.  
Enabling our students to meet people we have known and/or conducted research with  - whether as humanitarian professionals or as individuals displaced to Jordan - and to become part of our ongoing conversations, provides them with in-depth, embodied insights into the daily life of displacees and humanitarian workers. Moreover, it allows students to bring in their own lived experience and knowledge of the sector to create unique conversations and reflections. This year, the Gaza war was on everyone’s mind and shaped many conversations. It provided a powerful reminder that humanitarian action does not happen in a void, but is deeply political and contentious. 
It’s a privilege to be able to offer a learning experience that connects so strongly with our own research expertise, and with places and people we care deeply about. It has been enormously gratifying that each successive cohort of students have described the experience of the Jordan residential as perspective-shifting and even life changing. Conversely,  their energy, their openness and their enthusiasm to learn from the complex picture on the ground make this trip a deeply fulfilling experience for the two of us every year." Katharina Lenner & Jason Hart

Mary Tasker Award

The Mary Tasker Award recognises excellence in teaching, particularly through the use of creative and effective approaches.

Dr Touseef Mir (Department of Social & Policy Sciences) is an inspiring educator who is also a catalyst for positive change within his field. Students praise Dr Mir for his infectious passion for the subjects he teaches and the highly interactive nature of his sessions. His dedication to fostering inclusivity and addressing issues of diversity and decolonisation within the curriculum, reflects his profound understanding of the importance of these issues and his efforts have significantly enriched his colleagues’ efforts to tackle these topics. In addition to Touseef's exceptional teaching abilities, his impact extends beyond the classroom. As the founder of (Pe’nd), an innovative educational initiative focused on decolonial approaches to knowledge production, he has spearheaded community-university partnerships.

"Receiving the Mary-Tasker (2024) is really humbling. The award is not my individual achievement, rather it is the result of a collective and organic endeavour. Teaching never happens in vacuum. It needs an ecosystem to thrive in. My wonderful colleagues, amazing students, all supportive department and the beautiful university in general are my ecosystem that inform and shape my teaching. They all helped me get here. So, the award is not just mine, but equally theirs, THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!

I feel especially thankful to my colleagues whose rich work, knowledge and toil I have been building upon and who have always been there to support and encourage me. Equally importantly, I have been lucky to have some of the best students I could ask for and I am deeply thankful to them. It is their interest, interaction and engagement that make my teaching effective.

Moreover, having received the award is quite reassuring. It is a recognition and appreciation of my teaching praxis and engagement. The award, most definitely, has boosted my zeal to keep building on my pedagogy be it innovative and inclusive teaching methods, decolonial teaching praxis or decentring the in-class power dynamics." Touseef Mir


John Willis Award

The John Willis Award recognises dedication to the academic and personal lives of students combined with a significant contribution to teaching and accomplishment in research. We received many strong nominations for this Award.

Dr Adam Hahn (Department of Psychology) is an exceptional academic who has made a significant impact in the field of teaching and research. In the realm of research, he has demonstrated a strong track record with his publications in leading journals and scholarly outputs advancing knowledge in the field of social cognition, particularly around unconscious biases. Dr Hahn's impact on students is profound, inspiring critical thinking and a spirit of inquiry. His dedication to their personal development in his unwavering support and compassion goes beyond the classroom, providing support and guidance when most needed.

"I feel incredibly honoured to have won the John Willis Award, and I was deeply moved by the comments that were submitted on my behalf. I feel enormously privileged to have been able to teach students that are as motivated and exceptional as my students at the University of Bath (and previously the University of Cologne). I owe all of my commitment to teaching to their incredible motivation: It is their eagerness to learn and their excitement to engage with my teaching that incite me to continuously improve my teaching methods and materials.

One of my goals in teaching as a fundamental, basic researcher is to make students understand how fundamental research in cognitive science, research on basic processes of the mind, is meaningful to everyday life. I was hence especially moved by this award’s focus on the combination of research and teaching, and that so many of my students seem to believe that the content of my classes and my research matters to their everyday life. Lastly, my specific research is on implicit bias and other cognitive distortions that can lead to prejudice and discrimination, and my classes include many demonstrations that encourage students to notice their own biases. The popularity of such research on implicit bias has waxed and waned over the past decades, and I’m incredibly happy to see that so many young students today show renewed excitement and willingness to engage with understanding their own unwanted biases.

I hope I will be able to continue to excite students in the future" Adam Hahn

Director of Studies Award

The Director of Studies Award recognises the important role played by Directors of Studies in supporting learning and teaching, and their positive impact on the student experience.

Dr Robert Grover (Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering) gives exemplary support to students and staff, while his dedication to student feedback and course improvement sets a standard of excellence. As head of the third-year studio, his innovative approach to curriculum development has inspired both students and staff alike, while his leadership in the undergraduate architecture studio has been nothing short of exceptional. Despite challenges, his commitment to student support and programme advancement has never wavered and his tireless efforts have elevated the architecture program to the forefront of national league tables.

"I was surprised and delighted to receive the Director of Studies Award.  I have been privileged to work with exceptionally talented students and staff who fully understand what makes a great education. This has made my role as Director of Studies for BSc Architecture a simple one, to listen to what our students have to say and to support them as best I can to achieve this. I firmly believe it is our role as educators to create a nurturing environment which enables students to try things out, make mistakes and take ownership of their learning" Robert Grover

Best Team Award in Support of Student Learning

The Best Team in Support of Student Learning Award recognises exceptional or innovative teamwork in the delivery of learning and teaching.

Design Studio 6.1: Regenerative Cities Studio Team (Alexander Wright, Andrew Jarvis, Anne Claxton, Jayne Barlow, Rupert Grierson), Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering. This team has achieved unprecedented success, with their final year projects receiving accolades from prestigious national and international awards. Their commitment to addressing the climate emergency through sustainable design has earned them recognition but what truly sets the team apart is their innovative approach to pedagogy. Through problem-led, studio-based learning, they provide students with a deeply engaging and enriching experience that goes beyond the traditional classroom setting. Their cohesive teamwork ensures a coordinated approach to student learning, exposing students to a wide range of inputs and encouraging critical thinking. The team’s passion for regenerative design creates a collaborative environment where students are encouraged to experiment, innovate, and push the boundaries to their creativity.

"We’re delighted to receive the Team award this year and its wonderful that we can share the recognition across the teaching team.  We feel a huge debt of thanks goes to our students, whose success in winning a whole range of design competitions last year, using projects arising from the Regenerative Cities Studio, must have won the attention of the judges.  We continue to develop the studio and we’re looking forward the next academic year, and the continued success and recognition of the student’s work." Design Studio Team 


Leadership in Learning and Teaching Award

The Leadership in Learning & Teaching Award is awarded to a member of staff who can show a sustained and successful profile of transformational leadership in learning and teaching within the University.

Professor Nathalia Gjersoe (Department of Psychology) has made significant contributions to education leadership at departmental, faculty and University level over the past five years, which has set her apart as an exceptional leader. Thalia's leadership goes further than her department as evidenced by her integral role in university-wide initiatives such as the Mental Health Charter and Teaching Development Fund. Her proactive approach and dedication were especially evident during the pandemic, where she not only provided vital support within the University but also established a network of Associate Deans from other institutes. Leading the Curriculum Transformation work across the faculty of H&SS further showcased her ability to navigate complex challenges, while keeping colleagues informed and engaged. Her exceptional breadth of knowledge, strategic thinking, attention to detail and empathetic leadership style all make her a very worthy winner of this award.

"Thank you so much for this award, and to the University of Bath for the leadership opportunities I have enjoyed in the time I have been here. My favourite thing about these roles is that I have had the opportunity to work with and bring together amazing people from different communities across the University and outside of it. In any big, complex organisation there are a wide range of sometimes competing priorities, all of which are important and all of which need people who’s focus it is to ensure we can deliver on them for our students, our staff, and the wider national and international community. What has really struck me at the University of Bath is how much kindness is brought to these potentially difficult discussions and how hard people are working to make sure that their part of the University is doing as well as it possibly can." Nathalia Gjersoe


Our winners will present at Edufest 2024, where we will be able to hear of all the good practice.


Our Highly Commended nominees

This year, a handful of nominees were awarded Highly Commended by the Awards Committee: Dr James Fern, Department for Health (Innovation in Learning & Teaching); Dr Kerin Petrini, Department of Psychology (Personal Tutor of the Year Award); Dr John Benardis, Department of Computer Science (Leadership in Learning & Teaching); Dr Miles Wheeler, Department of Mathematical Sciences (Mary Tasker Award)


Congratulations to all those who were shortlisted and nominated for our Teaching Awards this year;

Personal Tutor of the Year Award: Cressida Lyon, Francoise Koumanov, Emily Hards, Ian Fairholm, Richard Hamshaw, Christopher Amaral, Nikki Coghill, Brian Jones, Lorenzo Caggiano*, Paul De Bank, Lauren Cowley, Anita McCrogan, Emma Denham, Maria Niklison Chirou, Nathalia Gjersoe, Adam Brazil, Dilara Bural*, Jo Daniels, Elise Pegg, Ioannis Georgilas.

Innovation in Learning & Teaching: Carl-Philip Ahlbom, Edward Elias*, MariCarmen Gil Ortega, Rod Valentine, Simon Prince, Stephen Wells, Thomas Fletcher

John Willis Award: Cameron McGarry, Fulvio Pinto, James Scobie*, Samuel Bull, Thomas Fletcher*

Mary Tasker Award: Cristina Lafuente Martinez, Elena Minelli, Mary Mahon, Paul Mitchell, Lorenzo Caggiano, Rebecca Burden, Thomas Powell*, Jamie Chapman, Wali Aslam*, Andrew Barnes, Jonathan Cox, Teslim Bukoye, Shaun Williams, Andrew Shea, Pamela Jackson, Samuel Bull, Oliver Pountney, Anna Young, James Scobie, Chris Blenkinsopp, Mitchell Callan.

Leadership in Learning & Teaching: Barrie Marsh, James Fern*, Vuokko Wallace.

Best Team in Support of Student Learning: Mechanical Engineering UG DoS Team (Charles Courtney, Felicity Bond), Generative AI Team* (James Fern, Kim Watts, Carl-Philip Ahlbom, Harrish Madabushi, Abby Osborne, Marie Salter, Chris Bonfield), International Exchanges Team (Teslim Bukoye, Claire Woolfe, Helen Friend, Ben Smith), Skills Centre Foreign Language* (Claire Charlemagne, Carmen Schembri Wismayer, Daisy Zhu, Moira Govan, Anne-Catherine Mechler, Asun Solano Torres, Yolanda Frutos-Toledo, Khalil Estaytieh, Ana Bertolossi, Satoko Suzui, Ying Gao, Rachel Los, Carmela Esposito Faraone).

Director of Studies Award: Ailsa Russell, Alison Tincknell Smith, Fabio Nemetz*, MariCarmen Gil Ortega*, Mariana Bonnouvrier, Soheil Davari, Vaggelis Giannikas.

* shortlisted

Read more about the awards made to student reps, peer mentors, lecturers, and support staff years at this year's Education Awards.

Find out more about the University Teaching Awards.

Posted in: awards, events, innovation, learning and teaching


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