English and Creative Writing wins Department of the Year

25 April 2015

Members of the winning department, English and Creative Writing, celebrating their success at the 2015 Aberystwyth University Student Led Teaching Awards.
Members of the winning department, English and Creative Writing, celebrating their success at the 2015 Aberystwyth University Student Led Teaching Awards.

English and Creative Writing was announced Department of the Year at the Aberystwyth University Student led Teaching Awards which were held on Friday 24 April.

Department of the Year was just one of eleven awards presented during the Awards, which are now in the fourth year.

Lecturers, support staff and student representatives were honoured with accolades during the evening, which was held in Medrus.

Pro-Vice Chancellor, Student Experience and International, Professor John Grattan said: “I would like to congratulate all of the winners and nominees at this year’s Student-Led Teaching Awards. At Aberystwyth we are investing significantly to further develop the learning and teaching experience, in terms of technology and resource, and in acknowledging and rewarding excellence. The enthusiasm and appreciation the students have shown for the inspirational work and dedication of colleagues right across the University is reflected in this year’s record number of nominations.  It's a great pleasure to see our students voting for those they feel are the star performers when it comes to teaching and inspiring them. This is what makes Aberystwyth University so special.”

The winners are as follows:

Student Representative of the Year
Winner: Julie Ashton, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Philippa Oakden, a student that Julie represents said: “Julie is the best student representative I’ve had throughout my education. She gives a voice to people who are too shy to speak up for themselves, and we could not ask for a better student representative.”

New Staff Member of the Year
Winner: Catherine Cottrell, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
Ryan Davies who was taught by Catherine said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be taught by Catherine this year. She’s been consistently professional, enthusiastic and confident in lectures. Dr Cottrell has quickly become a firm favourite lecturer to many and deserves recognition for her teaching ability!”

Postgraduate Teacher Award
Winner: Devon Simons, Department of International Politics
In nominating Devon for the award, Peter Serafin said: “Devon is one of those flexible educators who is not limited to her area of expertise. She’s open to debate and is willing to help students.”

Support Staff of the Year
Winner: Meinir Davies, Department of Computer Science
Connor Goddard, a student in the Department of Computer Science where Meinir works said: “The level of support that she provides to all students is second to none, and is much like a “mother figure” to the department.”

Welsh-Medium Education
Winner: Hywel Griffiths, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
In nominating Hywel for the award, Laura Truelove said: “Hywel is an exceptional teacher in the area of rivers, particularly through the medium of Welsh. Not only is his teaching of the subject excellent, but also his support when using Welsh to communicate, particularly when considering terms in the field that haven’t been translated.”

Supervisor of the Year (Undergraduate)
Winner: Glyn Jenkins, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Lauren Marks nominated Glyn for the award. She said: “My dissertation tutor has gone above and beyond the call of duty of his role. As a degree scheme co-ordinator he’s exceptionally busy, however his dissertation students come first when they need to see him. He’s passionate and caring and I’m lucky to have had him as my supervisor this year.”

Supervisor of the Year (Postgraduate)
Winner: Pippa Moore, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Pippa was nominated by PhD student Ally Evans. “I’ve nominated Pip for an award every year since I’ve been in Aber working on my PhD. Now in the very final stage of the process, I appreciate more than ever the support I continue to receive from her as my supervisor and friend.”

Personal Tutor of the Year
Winner: Helen Marshall, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Sophie Boyle, a student in IBERS said: “I cannot express enough just how much support Helen has given me over the past three years at University, both in and out of term time. She’s not just taught me the knowledge in Marine Biology, she’s taught me how to grow as a person and believe in myself. If any teacher or tutor deserves this award it is without a doubt Helen Marshall.”

Exceptional Contribution to University Life
Winner: James Vaughan, Department of International Politics
A new award for this year, Cameron Smyth who nominated James for the award after taking part in the Crisis Games said: “Jim helped me get a lot out of the Crisis Games; he got me involved and allowed me to use all of my skills to the best of my ability”

Outstanding Teaching Award
Winner: Ayla Göl, Department of International Politics
Sarah Dorman nominated Ayla for the award. She said: “Ayla’s not only a great lecturer but also offers students a new way of viewing the world and challenging stereotypes.”

Department of the Year
Winner: Department of English and Creative Writing
Alice Vernon, a student in the department said: “This Department is like my eccentric second family. Every student wants to feel special, but the Department of English and Creative Writing has such a warm, welcoming and personable atmosphere that I really have to thank them for.”


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Arthur Dafis
Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs
Aberystwyth University
01970 621763 / 07841979452 / aid@aber.ac.uk