The University of Huddersfield’s annual ‘Thank You’ awards ceremony was held on Monday, April 27 at St. Paul’s Hall. This event was organised by the Students’ Union, in partnership with the Teaching and Learning Institute. Around 60 University staff members, SU delegates and some students attended this ceremony. A total of 299 members of staff were nominated by 653 students for the ‘Thank You’ awards. 56 nominees were shortlisted by the Judging Panel and they were allocated to one of three categories: ‘Inspirational Teaching’, ‘Exceptional Student Support’, and ‘Enhancing the Student Experience.’ The Judging Panel also created a new award this year for the ‘Outstanding staff member across the three categories’ as result of the quality of student nominations received by a particular academic staff member.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Tim Thornton, highlighted the importance of having students’ voices in the Thank You awards’ scheme. Students at the University of Huddersfield have the opportunity to nominate any staff member who has had a positive impact on their University experience and the awards ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate such colleagues.
Vice President Education, Mike McGougan, spoke about the Students’ Union’s involvement in the organisation of the ‘Thank You’ awards. He said “It is a privilege to be a part of such a fantastic system where students can truly say thank you, not just the words, but a sincere heart-felt thank you and get true recognition for the staff that made a difference to them whilst they’ve studied here.” (Quote via SU website)
2015 Thank You Award winners
‘Inspirational Teaching’ award: Dr Simon Crump
“Simon is an incredible teacher. He’s the best teacher I’ve had during my entire education because he will work to the death to make sure we all get the grades we deserve. He goes out of his way to make sure we’re all okay and that we’re confident with our work…” (Student quote)
‘Exceptional Student Support’ award: Rukhsana Din
“Rukhsana has time for every question from every student that approaches her, and no question is too trivial. She is an inspiration to anyone thinking of becoming an academic tutor… I have suffered life-long mental health difficulties and frankly, had I not gone to see Rukhsana when I did during my first term, I would have left the course, I was completely overwhelmed. Rukhsana was understanding and I began to work with her on a weekly basis; as a result I developed confidence and belief in my abilities…” (Student quote)
‘Enhancing the Student Experience’ award: Dr Robert Allan
“I wouldn’t be where I am today on my course if it wasn’t for Dr Rob Allan’s direct and disciplined teaching style. Looking back on my life in education, I feel Dr Allan was the best teacher I had and made me feel capable of accomplishing anything with some serious hard work…” (Student quote)
‘Outstanding staff member across all 3 categories’ award: Dr Naveed Yasin
“I met him in the second year of my study as my teacher. He has a unique passion for enterprise and business. He is younger than me but my role model. He made my study at Huddersfield worthwhile…” (Student quote)
* Blog post written by Karolis Pantelejevas, Project Assistant, Teaching and Learning Institute.