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Queen Mary announces winners of Education Excellence Awards and President and Principal’s Prizes

Queen Mary University of London recognised its 2022/23 winners of the Education Excellence Awards and President and Principal’s Prizes at a presentation on Monday 20th March.

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Now in their fifth year, the Awards and Prizes celebrate some of the most innovative approaches to implementing teaching excellence; student engagement through co-creation and an excellent student learning environment across the University.

The awardees span the University’s three faculties, as well as Professional Services and those who have worked as part of University-wide teams.

During the ceremony, Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal, and Professor Stephanie Marshall, Vice-Principal (Education) recognised exemplary examples of use of new technology, academic support, curriculum improvements, student co-creation, and new pedagogic and assessment approaches.

Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal, Queen Mary University of London, said: “Tonight’s winners offer so many cutting-edge examples of students receiving the world-leading education that they deserve at Queen Mary. I am pleased to see talented staff across the University putting one of our core commitments into action and using the latest teaching methods and technologies to give students an unrivalled experience.”

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Vice-Principal (Education) at Queen Mary University of London said: “It’s important that we continue to strive to make our learning environment among the very best and give our students the platform to succeed long after they leave Queen Mary. That is why we are lucky to have so many educators who are continuously pushing the boundaries to offer an outstanding and world-class education.”

Education Excellence Awards winners

Humanities and Social Sciences

SEF Education and Scholarship Research Group

This award recognises the Education and Scholarship Research Group in the School of Economics and Finance. The group organised an annual conference to promote good practice in innovative pedagogy, new technology, curriculum development, equality, and diversity analysis. The group collected case studies and analyses from other universities and scholarship experts in economics and finance to enhance the School’s reputation as a centre of excellence in teaching and scholarship research.

TAs Team for the Professional MSc Programmes, led by Dr Thomai Filippeli

This award recognises Dr Thomai Filippeli and the PG Teaching Associates team who are crucial in delivering SEF's professional MSc Programmes. These programmes have seen an increase in student numbers over the last four years. Despite this, PTES scores have steadily risen and are among the best in the University.

Dr Georgy Petrov, Dr Fadi Safieddine, and Dr Aigerim Umbetbayeva

This award recognises Dr Georgy Petrov, Dr Fadi Safieddine and Dr Aigerim Umbetbayeva for the design and delivery of an innovative module for BSc Business Management focused on current challenges in business and management. The module is structured around the School's mission themes of good governance, social justice, and sustainability, with the value of ethics as a key thread.

Science and Engineering

Dr Faith Nightingale and Dr Li Wang

This award recognises assessment co-creation across modules in Queen Mary University of London Engineering School (QMES), Xi’an, China. Led by Faith Nightingale, Dr Li Wang and Dr Dong Dianbiao, the project aligns with our Excellence in Education pillar and the Active Curriculum for Excellence approach. It promotes interdisciplinary learning, project-based learning, and the development of professional engineering skills in a real-world context.

Dr Patrick Cullen

This award recognises Dr Patrick Cullen who has developed an innovative and outstanding pedagogic approach for a module he teaches to a diverse group of first year students in SEMS. He has used co-creation, web-based resources, and peer assessment to engage students in the design of their assessment questions, promoting student participation and enhancing their experience.

Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Amitha Ranauta and Danielle Thibodeau

This award recognises Dr Amitha Ranauta and Danielle Thibodeau for leading a group of staff from the Institute of Dentistry through reflective processes to introduce them to Action Research. The project aimed to evaluate an aspect of educational practice through reflection and hypothesise a future action research project.

Blizard Education Administrators

This award recognises the work and commitment of the Blizard Education administrators. The Blizard Institute is a major contributor to Queen Mary's distance learning portfolio and delivers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with a focus on meeting Queen Mary’s Strategy 2030 targets. The impact of the team's work is reflected in high levels of student satisfaction, with Blizard programmes outpacing comparators within the Faculty, Queen Mary, Russell Group, and sector.

Dr Graham Easton

This award recognises Dr Graham Easton who is a leader in education. He has demonstrated excellence in innovation and has had a lasting impact on his unit, wider Faculty, and the learner experience. He launched a podcast during the pandemic to support student learning and engagement and has co-developed new episodes with students. He also created an online learning module to support students in talking with Covid vaccine hesitant patients, which received a SEED award.

Laura Debrincat

This award recognises Laura Debrincat for her exceptional leadership skills and contributions to new projects within the Institute of Health Sciences Education. Laura consistently demonstrates Queen Mary’s commitments to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. Laura started by supporting the development of the new campus in Malta and established successful working relationships with the London Professional Services team.

Dr Pedro Elston

This award recognises Dr Pedro Elston who has made a significant impact on the Faculty and the University through his leadership of various initiatives. He has led the development of virtual reality as an educational tool for medical students, allowing over 500 students to study anatomy in a virtual environment. He has also created virtual guided meditations to support students' mental well-being.

Professional Services

SEED Award

The final Education Excellence Award recognises the work of Dr Ana Cabral and Dr Louise Younie who worked with learner representatives Harris Nageswaran and Marianne Melsen to deliver the SEED Award project. The SEED Award is a recognition scheme that encourages learner-educator co-creation to enhance learner experience and employability.

President and Principal’s Prizes

Dr Xue Zhou

This President and Principal’s Prize recognises Dr Xue Zhou. Between September 2021 and December 2022, Dr Zhou designed and oversaw three student-led pedagogical projects, including peer-led team learning (PLTL), digital-ready future business leader, and the collaborative student-led online symposium. The projects were successful and positively impacted student engagement and employability.

Team Peer-Led Team Learning

This President and Principal’s Prize recognises the work of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) project team which has cross-Faculty involvement. Queen Mary implemented PLTL in the 2021/22 academic year, making it one of the first UK universities to do so. PLTL is an active-learning pedagogy that takes a workshop-based approach to student learning, and it has been found to have significant positive effects on student outcomes and self-efficacy in the US.

Dr Jonathan Kennedy, Danielle Thibodeau and Ceri Bevan

This President and Principal’s Prize recognises Dr Jonathan Kennedy, Danielle Thibodeau and Ceri Bevan for the development of a virtual exchange program between global public health students and pre-med students at UC Santa Cruz, which focused on the theme of pandemics. This project, which was funded by the US-UK Fulbright Commission's Global Challenges Teaching Award, was the first virtual exchange program developed at Queen Mary and the first to combine virtual exchange and pandemic simulation.

Graduate Attributes Workstream

This President and Principal’s Prize recognises the Graduate Attributes Workstream members. The Queen Mary Academy established the Graduate Attributes Workstream in 2021 to update the University’s Graduate Attributes. The workstream was led by the Academy, and a working group was created with professional services staff, academic staff, Students' Union representatives, and paid student interns. The group used an approach that combined ‘extracting’ employability from the curriculum, co-creation of the curriculum, and alignment with institutional values.

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