The Outstanding Teaching Awards are a joint initiative between the University and Guild of Students, designed to recognise and celebrate excellent teaching staff who have made a significant impact on their students over the year. Being nominated for this award is an incredible achievement, and there are five awards to be won – one for each of the University’s five colleges.
We received 321 nominations this year from students who wanted to shine a light on a particular staff member that has made a difference to their time studying at Birmingham. These nominations were anonymised, shortlisted and then sent to a winners’ panel for judging.
We are pleased to announce the winners of the Outstanding Teaching Awards 2020…
College of Arts and Law: Dr. Matt Hayler
Matt was praised by several students in their nominations for delivering engaging lectures and seminars. Their passion for the subject they teach is evident and provides a source of inspiration for students to dig deeper. They also show interest in their students, supporting students individually and providing quality feedback as well as taking on board feedback they receive themselves. Their teaching is not only accessible to students with varying levels of background knowledge, but also encourages students to come to their own conclusions and challenge the content presented.
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences: Dr. Sam Cruchley
Sam is enthusiastic and engaging in the content they teach, despite teaching a difficult module. They are not only extremely knowledgeable, but engage students through a variety of interactive and innovative teaching methods. They work hard to link their module to other content that students have learnt, and prepare students for assessment by going through worked examples. Outside of teaching, they have been praised for going above and beyond to provide feedback, as well as personal and academic support to students - demonstrating care and attention to student wellbeing. Their kind and polite demeanour is also mentioned on various occasions. Students expressed wanting to let Sam know that they were appreciative of Sam’s support and hard work.
College of Life & Environmental Sciences: Melanie Bickerton
Melanie makes lectures engaging for students by inviting guest lecturers to hold workshops and setting small group tasks to reinforce and apply learning. They were noted as being a great communicator and resilient in the face of cancelled field trips and other challenges. Melanie actively seeks student feedback and acts upon it when received, to ensure the best student experience. They make the effort to organise extra-curricular events for the students within their small cohort, to help with careers advice. Students particularly expressed appreciation for Melanie taking the time to give individual and tailored advice to students.
College of Medical & Dental Sciences: Dr. Jonathan Mueller
The 2019 Outstanding Teaching Award winner for MDS has once again demonstrated their exceptional teaching and support for students, and this has not gone unnoticed! Jonathan’s love for what they teach and research is described as infectious and passionate. Several nominations alluded to Jonathan’s expertise, not only in the specific topic he teaches, but also more broadly. Multiple students also mentioned that Jonathan has been an exceptionally supportive Personal Tutor who shows genuine care and interest for their tutees. They challenge their tutees to reach their full potential, whilst encouraging them to enjoy their university experience. Their commitment, thoughtfulness and dedication to their role and developing students, truly makes Jonathan stand out.
College of Social Sciences: Dr. Roshan Boojihawon
Roshan has been described as knowledgeable, engaging and inspiring. Their lectures have been described as enjoyable, using multimedia methods to engage students, and they provide clear help for students when it comes to challenging content, encouraging students to ask questions. Roshan ensures that the content they teach is socially conscious, up-to-date and sustainable. They also inspire students to think critically and be curious about the world. Roshan listens to student feedback and ensures students have a fulfilling experience at the University instead of just worrying about grades, which demonstrates that they have students’ best interests at heart.
A massive CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners, as well as to those who were nominated, for all your hard work and dedication to teaching. Thank you, as well, to all the students who took the time and effort to nominate their incredible teachers! The Outstanding Teaching Awards will be presented at the postponed summer degree congregations in March 2021.