Excellence of UCD staff recognised by student nominations for teaching awards

Posted: September 20, 2017

  • Tweleve members of UCD teaching staff and one team honoured with awards
  • New scheme allows students to nominate teachers for first time

Nominations made by 1,400 students at UCD have been central to a new process by which 12 members of the University’s teaching staff and one team have received Teaching and Learning Awards in recognition of their professional excellence.

At the beginning of 2017, UCD launched two new award schemes. Teaching Excellence Awards recognise individual faculty and staff in teaching roles for sustained commitment to teaching excellence and student learning.

Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning recognise individuals or teams including faculty, staff, tutors or demonstrators who have made outstanding contributions to student learning in a specific area.

The new award schemes seek to highlight the value and importance that the University places on high-quality teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum design. They also provide recognition for teaching excellence.

Presented

The presentation of the UCD 2017 University Teaching and Learning Awards took place in Ardmore House, Belfield, on Tuesday, September 19. The awards were presented by the Registrar and Deputy President Professor Mark Rogers.

UCD has rewarded teaching and learning excellence for many years. However, this was the first time students at the University had an opportunity to participate in the awards process by nominating the teaching staff who they felt exhibited a sustained commitment to teaching excellence and student learning.

This year is also the first year that faculty and staff have been able to acknowledge the work of colleagues through nominations.

Pictured above: at the Teaching and Learning Award ceremony at Ardmore House, left to right, stairs: Dr Fionnuala Dillane, UCD School of English, Drama and Film; Mr Cesar Scrochi, Ms Emma Howard, Mr Daniel Giles &  Dr Anthony Cronin, the Maths Support Centre Tutor Team, Mr James McDermott, UCD School of Law; Dr Vincent Hargaden, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering; Dr Thomas Grund, UCD School of Sociology and Dr James Matthews, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports; Front row: Dr Paul Perry, UCD School of English Drama and Film; Assoc Professor Emma Sokell, UCD School of Physics; Dr Monica Gorman, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science; Dr Suzanne Egan, UCD School of Law; Registrar and Deputy President Professor Mark Rogers, Dr Aideen Quilty, UCD School of School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, Assoc Professor Niamh Moore-Cherry, UCD School of Geography and Dr Niamh Nestor, UCD Student Adviser attached to Veterinary Medicine.

All students, staff and faculty were given the opportunity in February to submit a written nomination for any of the faculty, staff, tutors or demonstrators whom they believed provided UCD students with the highest quality teaching and learning experience.

Overall, students accounted for 1,401 (84%) of the 1,671 nominations for teaching and learning awards made, with the remaining 270 made by faculty and staff.

Success

Commenting on the overwhelming success of the new schemes, Professor Rogers said: “The direct involvement of students in identifying and recognising teaching excellence has greatly enhanced this awards process.

“As valuable partners in the UCD educational experience, their testimonies reflect genuine student experiences and the faculty and staff who make a huge difference to their learning and lives.” 

Some 735 individuals and teams were nominated for awards. Of the 735 nominees, 256 nominees made applications for the awards at college level.

Judges for the awards at college level comprised seven adjudication panels – one for each college, as well as one panel for staff who fell outside the college structure, such as library staff.

Judges

Earlier this year, the award judges granted awards to 73 people or teams at college level. Subsequently, 40 of the 73 awardees at college level received recommendations from their respective college adjudication panels to apply for awards at university level. Of the 40 who applied for awards at University level, 13 were awarded University Teaching and Learning Awards.

Teaching Excellence Awards were presented to: Dr Suzanne Egan, UCD School of Law; Dr Monica Gorman, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science; Dr Thomas Grund, UCD School of Sociology; Dr Vincent Hargaden, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering; Assoc Professor Niamh Moore-Cherry, UCD School of Geography; Dr Paul Perry, UCD School of English Drama and Film and Assoc Professor Emma Sokell, UCD School of Physics.

Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning were presented to: Dr Fionnuala Dillane, UCD School of English, Drama and Film; the Maths Support Centre Tutor Team, UCD School of Mathematical Sciences; Dr James Matthews, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports; Mr James McDermott, UCD School of Law; Dr Niamh Nestor, UCD Student Adviser attached to Veterinary Medicine; and Dr Aideen Quilty, UCD School of School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice.

By: Jamie Deasy, digital journalist, UCD University Relations