Academic Awards 2018 – the winners

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On Thursday 10 May we celebrated the Academic Awards 2018 – an opportunity to say thank you and well done to our dedicated student volunteers and University staff who strive to improve the academic experience at Southampton. The awards were held right here at the Union and were presented by our VP Education, Sam Dedman.

After the Awards, Sam Dedman commented: “It was my absolute pleasure to host the Academic Awards 2018, recognising the best that our University community has to offer. This year has certainly had its challenges, but Academic Reps and staff alike have persevered and delivered truly exceptional experiences to students at this University. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, and I look forward to seeing many of you again at the Academic Awards 2019!”

A full photo album from the night can be found on our Facebook page. Photo credit: SUPS Events

A full list of the award winners can be found below:

Faculty of Business, Law and Art

Academic Representatives

Winner – Divyam Khera (Business, Law and Art Faculty Officer) – Divyam received over 15 nominations for his work this year and has been described as a friendly and approachable person who is always willing to listen to everyone’s concerns. In particular, he has received much praise for setting up successful drop-in sessions, his quick responses and proactivity. His ‘commitment and desire to fulfil the role is what is needed out of representatives.

Winner – Hiranga Runage (Digital Marketing Masters Course Representative) – Hiranga has received several nominations praising her representation of students’ views. She managed to add more lab sessions to a module and always reports an issue at the right time so it can be resolved. She has been described as always having an open ear and taking every concern seriously.

Best Academic Support

Winner – Anna Anderson (Senior Teaching Fellow, Southampton Law School) -Anna always goes over and above the call of duty when asked for help. She gives up her own time to provide extra help and always answers emails promptly. She has a positive and supportive attitude that her students have praised her for. One nominator wrote of her commitment: ‘she always made us feel that she was happy to help and wanted to do everything she could to help.

Highly Commended – Sharon Sinclair-Graham (Teaching Fellow, Southampton Law School)

Best Feedback

Winner – Dr Ian Cammack (Principal Teaching Fellow, Southampton Business School) – Ian has been nominated for his excellent feedback and the reassurance he offers his students. He provides detailed comments enabling students to know exactly how to improve.

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Dr Filip Saranovic (Lecturer in Maritime Law, Southampton Law School) – Filip has been described as an ‘excellent academic with amazing interpersonal skills’. He is always approachable and goes out of his way to help students and offer them support. He shows genuine interest in his students’ wellbeing and understands the difficulties of student life. One nominator wrote: ‘He has truly made an immense difference, for the better, in my academic life and my experience at the University of Southampton.’

Highly Commended – James Stallwood (Researcher in Gaming, Winchester School of Art)

Best PG/UG Demonstrator or Teaching Assistant

Winner – David Clark (Postgraduate Researcher at Winchester School of Art) – David has been recognised for his exceptional commitment to supporting students. He goes out of his way daily to help all students that go to him for support. ‘Nothing is too difficult or challenging for him.’

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Thomas Chapman (Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Southampton Business School) – Thomas has completely redesigned the digital marketing module based on student feedback and his lectures include videos, imagery and case studies. He has also created three assessment types to ensure that the assessment is appealing and engaging for everyone.

Highly Commended – Dr Julia Wolny (Principal Teaching Fellow in Marketing, Southampton Business School)

Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Academic Representatives

Winner – Jake Maddocks (Civil Engineering Academic President) – Jake had several nominations praising his fair representation of students’ views, and his ability to make online surveys fun and interesting! His commitment to the role has been second to none; ‘Jake is certainly someone who deserves recognition for his relentless commitment.’

Best Academic Support

Winner – Professor Simon Kemp (Professorial Fellow in Education for Sustainable Development) – Simon works very hard to make sure all his students are as employable as possible. Lectures are always engaging and modules are designed to turn students into professionals. One nominator wrote: ‘Simon always goes the extra mile despite having a million responsibilities at the University.’

Best Feedback

Winner – Dr Hugh Lewis (Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering) – Hugh is always available for help and advice, and really takes an interest in his students. His lectures have anecdotes and useful comparisons which ‘help students understand what they’re taught with “real world” applications.’

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Dr Derek Clarke (Lecturer in Water Resources) – Derek has been selected as the winner for this award as he has gone out of his way to support his students. He is always free to listen, and continues to check up on his students as well as offering time management advice.

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Dr András Sóbester (Senior Lecturer in Aeronautical Engineering) – András is always engaging and full of an unlimited supply of interesting facts and knowledge about the entirety of aviation. His passion about the subject shines through and his students describe his lectures as ‘the ones we look forward to each week and enjoy the most.’

Faculty of Health Sciences

Academic Representatives
Winner – Jessica Sainsbury (Nursing Academic President) – Jessica has worked tirelessly to improve things this year for nursing students; nothing is too much trouble or effort, even when she has her own work and placements to consider. She has been described as approachable, passionate and ‘an amazing support in every regard, she has been there throughout all highs and lows of the nursing course and never fails to be there when needed.’

Winner – Ashleigh Brown (Year 1 Dual Field Child and Adult Nursing Course Representative)
Winner – Sophie Weir (Year 3 Adult Nursing Course Representative)
Winner – Thomas Tierney (Year 2 Adult Nursing Course Representative)
Winner – Rebecca Thomsen (Health Sciences Faculty Officer)
Winner – Jessica Sainsbury (Nursing Academic President)

The Nursing team have gone above and beyond what they needed to do in order to find out the opinion of the student body and deliver it to the faculty. They have fought for the rights and opinions of nursing students in SSLCs as well as in Faculty development meetings and the team have even taken on plans outside of their roles as Academic Reps.

Best Academic Support

Winner – Mark Cole (Senior Teaching Fellow in Podiatry) – Mark has been selected as the winner for this award as he goes out of his way to ensure that messages are delivered in his engaging lectures. His students have described him as a ‘great subject coordinator.’

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Terri Fletcher (Lecturer in Children’s Nursing) – Terri has been selected as the winner for this award as she has gone over and above her professional duties to support her students. She genuinely cares for the wellbeing of students and makes time to listen to their concerns, no matter how big or small. She has organised extra group meetings for her students to discuss any worries or concerns, which has been invaluable. One nominee wrote: ‘She is truly a fantastic role model and has taught me so much over the four years and is, without a doubt, totally deserving of this award.’

Highly Commended – Diane Gow (Lecturer in Health Sciences)

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – James Wilson (Lecturer in Mental Health) – James has received high praise for his engaging lectures that make his students think wider than they would normally. He organises additional external speakers and gives extracurricular activities that not only enhance his students’ CVs, but also enhance their practice. James has been described as ‘outstandingly engaging, enthusiastic and possibly a tad bonkers.’

Highly Commended – Kay Townsend (Lecturer in Cancer Care)

Faculty of Humanities

Academic Representatives

Winner – Sophie Pitman-Kisbee (Film Academic President) – Sophie has received several nominations for her great leadership. She has helped students understand what was going on behind the lectures and debated with staff on important issues. She also led her rep team by example and always keeps them up to date with what is going on.

Winner – Alice Arnold (History Academic President) – Alice has been described as ‘very friendly, approachable and full of passion for both the subject of history, and for student representation of it.’ She always acts quickly and efficiently to resolve any issues raised, including issues with a group project module and with module selection. She personally helped to resolve both these issues, making it fairer for all students. This highlighted how she has ‘listened to our concerns and helped rectify them fully.’

Best Academic Support

Winner – Dr John McNabb (Senior Lecturer in Palaeolithic Archaeology) – John has offered ‘phenomenal support and guidance’ for his students academically, particularly for students on a year abroad placement by broadening their academic perspective, with one nominee saying ‘his encouragement gave me strength to continue with my dreams’. His passion, encouragement and commitment to getting the best for his students is unparalleled.

Highly Commended – Dr Stephanie Jones (Associate Professor in English)

Best Feedback

Winner – Dr Christopher Prior (Lecturer in 20th Century History) – Chris has been described as ‘a marking machine’, his feedback is clearly annotated with lots of useful, detailed comments and he also provides great feedback 1-2-1. One nominator wrote: ‘Chris clearly wants to help his students achieve their best.’

Highly Commended – Dr Malcolm Cook (Lecturer in Film)

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Dr Patricia Romero de Mills (Lecturer in Modern Languages and Linguistics) – Paty has been instrumental in the welfare of students on their year abroad. She has been a real asset to all students living in another country by motivating, supporting and reassuring anyone that contacts her and she does so with an unbridled enthusiasm. Paty regularly ‘posts motivational quotes and videos which really do make your day and put a smile on your face’. One nominator wrote: ‘I would like her to know how much she is appreciated and how many students’ hearts she has touched with her help!’

Highly Commended – Dr Alice Hunt (Associate Professor of English)

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Adrian Sewell (Senior Language Tutor in Modern Languages and Linguistics) – Adrian has been nominated for this award for his enthusiasm and passion. He is always willing to chat through any matter to further engage on topics, and help encourage and nurture students’ interest. One nominator wrote: ‘ His classes are always lively, motivating and students always comment on how much passion Adrian has for teaching languages.’

Highly Commended – Dr Fiona Woollard (Associate Professor of Philosophy)

Faculty of Medicine

Academic Representatives

Winner – Anna Halstead (Medicine Faculty Officer) – Anna has done a fantastic job this year working with students, staff and the Students’ Union. She has actively collected feedback from Course Reps and students to then make systematic improvements to the curriculum. She has minimised stress on students and even secured university accommodation for those students without housing who were returning for their finals last January. One nominator wrote: ‘It’s a difficult job to do whilst juggling her academic commitments in fourth year so I am very thankful to her.’

Winner – William Connelly (Year 1 Course Representative for BM4 Medicine) – Will has been selected as a winner for this award for his exceptional engagement. During the staff strikes, Will helped organise teaching for his course mates to ensure their education was not affected. He also always attends meetings to make sure his cohort is represented. One nominator wrote: ‘I hope he takes on more senior advocacy roles in the future.’

Best Academic Support

Winner – Dr Tracey Newman (Associate Professor in Clinical Neurosciences) – Tracey has been described as ‘a true star’. She has gone above and beyond when it comes to supporting her students, she is always on hand to meet and replies to concerns quickly whether they are large or small. She always encourages her students to do their best.

Highly Commended – Dr Nilesh Satgurunathan (Abbeywell Surgery Partner)

Best Feedback

Winner – Dr Scott Border (Principal Teaching Fellow in Anatomy) – Scott has ‘an exceptionally receptive outlook to students’ and is particularly attentive to feedback. He always takes time to see students and ‘clearly loves the subject and will go out of his way to make sure you understand what it is you’re learning’.

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Dr Sally Curtis (Principal Teaching Fellow) – Sally has been described as ‘an approachable and friendly person that we are able to contact anytime we want, for academic support or personal support and always expect a reply soon after’. She is fully committed to every student she encounters and her dedication to the BM6 programme is amazing.

Highly Commended – Dr Tracey Newman (Associate Professor in Clinical Neurosciences)

Best PG/UG Demonstrator or Teaching Assistant

Winner – Scott Harris (Medical Statistics Group) – Scott has been nominated for his patient and supportive attitude. He always replies to emails and ‘excels in explaining statistics’. His interactive sessions ensure that his students maximise their learning.

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Dr Caroline Childs (Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences) – Caroline has been praised for her tutorial groups, which really focus on each individual’s needs. She always makes each lecture fun, interactive and easy to understand. One nominator wrote: ‘Caroline came into BM6 to teach us for her first year in this course and really planted her foot in.’

Highly Commended – Dr Raj Patel (Senior lecturer in Medicine)

Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Academic Representatives

Winner – James Pearce (Year 4 Course Representative for Chemistry) – James has done a great job in collecting opinions and feedback from the chemistry cohort, making sure ideas were discussed at SSLCs and passing on any feedback. James also worked hard to get more reasonable printing credit for chemistry students.

Winner – Nathaniel Davey (Year 4 Course Representative for Chemistry) – Nathaniel has been excellent at listening to students’ opinions and working with lecturers to improve their university experience. He has been described as ‘very friendly, open and proactive’. He has also worked hard to allow chemistry students more flexibility on when they could work on their research projects during the exam period.

Best Academic Support

Winner – Dr Mark Light (X-Ray Diffraction Manager) – Mark has been described as ‘extremely patient and understanding’ and will answer every question in detail, regardless of whether it is required knowledge for the course. He encourages his students to read more about the topic and is always happy to suggest books. One nominator wrote: ‘Although it is their job to teach and support us, I feel that the level of support and help given has exceeded the remit.’

Highly Commended – Dr Lawrence Hawkins (Associate Professor in Marine Biology)

Best Feedback

Winner – Professor Sybren Drijfhout (Professor in Physical Oceanography and Climate Physics) – Sybren has been selected as the winner for this award due to his commitment to providing great one-to-one feedback to his students. He pushes his students to develop their writing skills and scientific understanding. One nominator wrote: ‘Sybren provided the most feedback I’ve ever received for any one module!’

Highly Commended – Dr Simon Boxall (Principal Teaching Fellow)

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Dr Lawrence Hawkins (Associate Professor in Marine Biology) – Lawrence goes beyond the call of duty for his students, whether it is his engaging and insightful lectures or his endeavour to give you the best possible feedback on work. He always has an open door and an encouraging word as he helps solve your problems. One nominator wrote: ‘He is one of the best parts of my experience at Southampton over the past 4 years!’

Highly Commended – Professor Robert Marsh (Professor in Oceanography and Climate)

Best PG/UG Demonstrator or Teaching Assistant

Winner – Stephen Barnes (Postgraduate Research Student in Chemical Education) – Steve has been selected as the winner for this award for being ‘friendly and approachable at all times’. He has set up extra support sessions for his students and always takes time out of his own day to help them.

Highly Commended – Oliver Hughes (Teaching Assistant for Science Foundation)

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Dr Neil Gostling (Senior Teaching Fellow in Biological Sciences) – Neil’s lectures are always dynamic and engaging, he is an amazing lecturer who explains everything clearly and concisely. He has been described as ‘kind and caring towards all his students’ and one nominator wrote: ‘His banter (and beard) is always on point!’

Highly Commended – Dr Neil Wells (Head of NMR Spectroscopy Facility)

Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering

Academic Representatives

Winner – Eliza Law (ECS Academic President) – Eliza has been selected as the winner for this award for her brilliant communication with students in the faculty and engaging with university matters. She also organised peer-to-peer learning during the strikes and gathered feedback for the new lab modernisations.

Winner – Kacper Kubara (Year 1 Course Representative for ECS) – Kacper goes out of his way to help his cohort and his caring attitude has gained him much respect amongst his peers. He has also been involved in organising extra activities for students including tours to the cleanroom.

Best Academic Support

Winner – Professor Mahesan Niranjan (Professor of Electronics and Computer Science) – Mahesan has been selected as the winner for Best Academic Support for his ‘amazing enthusiasm and teaching quality’. He understands each student’s position and ensures every individual in the class comprehends the material he teaches.
Best Feedback

Winner – Dr Srinandan Dasmahapatra (Academic Staff in Electronics and Computer Science) – Scrinandan has ‘proved to be one of the most committed lecturers in ECS to deliver an excellent education to their students’. Despite a large cohort of students taking his module, he not only gives fantastic feedback that helps his students understand their mistakes, but also takes the effort to make the feedback thought-provoking and encouraging.

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Aneesha Sethi (Postgraduate research student) – Aneesha always goes above and beyond when it comes to helping others. She always puts helping students first with all their concerns, and points them in the right direction, to help resolve issues quickly. She has been described as ‘a friendly and approachable person that’s always there to help.’

Highly Commended – Julian Field (Electronics and Computer Science)

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Oliver Bills (Academic Staff in Electronics and Computer Science) – Oliver has been selected as the winner for this award for his passion about computer science and life. His enthusiasm has earned him the respect of his students. One nominator wrote: ‘His positive attitude to the module makes the lectures more than just reading off the slides.’

Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences

Academic Representatives

Winner – Jessica Paternoster (Year 1 Course Representative for Education) – Jessica has received several nominations praising her work this year. She has worked hard to make improvements on modules and support her fellow students. One nominator wrote: ‘She also has a positive attitude and warm personality which makes her an approachable Course Rep. Overall she is a well-rounded and caring person!’

Victoria Farley-Wood (Education Academic President) – Victoria has worked tirelessly over her three years as an Academic Rep for her fellow students’ voices to be heard. She has constantly been on hand to support students with any academic or pastoral issues and has also been involved in the organisation of events in the faculty such as Open Days for prospective students. One nominator wrote: ‘I don’t know anyone more committed to the effectiveness and smooth running of their course.’

Matthew Cowley (Joint Honours Officer) – Matthew has been an active Rep since he started at the university three years ago. He was instrumental in the creation of the Joint Honours Officer role and has continued to ensure that joint-honours students are represented at cross-Academic Unit and cross-Faculty meetings. He has made an incredible difference to student satisfaction through championing students’ concerns and improving academic consistency. Matthew always makes himself available to meet with students to discuss key issues, and has remained positive and committed throughout his time here.

Best Academic Support

Winner – Dr Sylwia Cisek (Lecturer in Psychology) – Sylwia has received several nominations praising her excellent teaching and support. She has been described as an ‘incredible lecturer’ who is engaging, provides extremely useful documents, and responds to students’ questions at all hours of the day. One nominator wrote: ‘I can’t thank her enough for boosting my confidence and actually making me believe in myself.’

Highly Commended – Dr Emma Tompkins (Professor of Geography, Environment and Development)

Best Feedback

Winner – Stefanos Marangos (Lecturer in Strategy) – Stefanos has received high praise for his support and great feedback. He provides critical feedback and makes his students feel at ease. One nominator wrote: ‘His feedback and assurance was key for our success, he is a great lecturer.’

Highly Commended – Dr Andrew Phillips (Senior Teaching Fellow in Environmental GIS)

Best Pastoral Support

Winner – Dr Sally Hayward (Lecturer in Geography) – Sally has been praised for her invaluable help and support. She is always there ready to listen to whatever problem a student may have, and works it through with them to come up with a solution. Her door is always open. One nominator wrote: ‘Without her, my time at Uni would have been a lot less manageable.’

Highly Commended – Ros Hyde (Principal Teaching Fellow, Southampton Education School)

Best PG/UG Demonstrator or Teaching Assistant

Winner – Daniel Cernin (PhD Student in Mathematical Sciences (Statistics)) – Daniel goes above and beyond the requirements of his role. He answers every question and arranges to meet students outside of tutorials to provide extra support. One nominator wrote: ‘Daniel goes out of his way to ensure that we, as students, are both happy and successful.’

Highly Commended – Panagiotis Giannarakis (Teaching Fellow in Economics)

Most Engaging Lecturer

Winner – Professor Sarah Stevenage (Professor of Cognitive Psychology) – Sarah has received several nominations for her insightful and engaging lectures that always tie theory to real life. Sarah made listening to her both essential and enjoyable, ‘her deep knowledge of the topics she discussed, and personal spins on topics made the theory we covered real and challenging.’

Highly Commended – Dr Jacob Juhl (Lecturer in Psychology)


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