UEA tutors honoured for their teaching - by their own students

The University of East Anglia Transforming Education Awards. Picture: UEA

The University of East Anglia Transforming Education Awards. Picture: UEA - Credit: Archant

They are often the unsung heroes who inspire some of the fine city's greatest minds and help make their university one of the best in the country.

The University of East Anglia Transforming Education Awards. Picture: UEA

The University of East Anglia Transforming Education Awards. Picture: UEA - Credit: Archant

And now workers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have been honoured for their efforts - by the very students who they are there to teach.

UEA's Students' Union organised the Transforming Education Awards to honour those who help to make the university one of the UK's leading places to study.

The awards consisted of 13 categories including Advisor of the Year, Advocate for Students and Support Staff Member of the Year, as well as two teaching awards which identify innovative and inspiring teaching.

All of the winners were decided by a student panel who sifted through around 450 nominations from a range of schools, which recognised individuals and teams who go out of their way to make a positive impact.

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Prof David Richardson, vice-chancellor, said: 'It's really encouraging to see so many students keen to recognise the hard work of our staff.

'It's the people who make UEA such a great place to work and study and these awards acknowledge those who go above and beyond.'

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This year featured a new 'Vice-Chancellor's Award' for an overall winner across all the categories, which was awarded to Juliet Harrison from the School of Health Sciences.

She was nominated for her dedication to ensuring paramedic students become successful clinicians, delivering quality care with dignity and respect.

She said: 'I really believe in my students and that they can be fantastic so I set quite high goals as a teacher and I expect them to get there.

'As any lecturer will say, watching students grow is wonderful.'

Another new element to this year's awards was the addition of the University Teaching Fellow Award, which was awarded to Dr Tom Hargreaves from the School of Environmental Sciences for bringing his lectures to life through theatrical performances, making them memorable and entertaining.

He will receive an Excellence in Teaching bursary for three years to use for professional and personal development.

Dr Hargreaves said: 'What I constantly aim for is trying to have fun and creative sessions to allow a safe space for students where they can explore things and be critical.

'I always look for fun ways of teaching so if I can keep doing that then hopefully that's enough.'

Dr Mark Hobbs, from the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities - who won the Advocate for Students Award - said: 'Thank you to everyone who nominated me, but also to my fabulous team.

'Lecturers aren't just there to do their research and to teach. They are also there to help students so they feel supported.'

Dr Francisco Costa, also from the Interdisciplinary Institute Humanities, won the Equality and Diversity in Teaching Award for addressing issues around sexuality and gender through his teaching.

He said: 'This has been made possible because of the wonderful students I work with.

'It was the first time running the module this year and I've tried to bring global LBGTQ experiences and research into the classroom.'

Dr Stephen Robinson from the School of Biological Sciences took home the PhD Supervisor of the Year Award for helping students with pastoral issues, providing emotional support where needed.

He had this advice: 'To be a great supervisor you need to be able to listen and know what students need to succeed, as they are all individuals.

'Seeing them complete their PhD is the best, knowing that you've done a little bit to progress them in their career but also their journeys through life.'

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