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Dr Sarah Morton of UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice joint recipient of the Central European University 2020 European Award for Excellence in Teaching
Thursday, 18 June, 2020
Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Morton, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice who is the joint recipient of the 2020 European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The awards, which are accompanied by the €5,000 Diener Prize, will be presented at CEU’s Opening Ceremony on September 25, 2020 in Vienna.
According to Professor Marvin Lazerson, chair of the judging panel, “Dr Morton creates learning environments that support students who have experienced lifelong educational disadvantage and continue to face major barriers to accessing and sustaining education. She does this with a strong educational philosophy and close relationships with community organizations.” Emphasizing that the relevance of Dr. Morton’s work goes beyond simply teaching, Lazerson adds: “At a time when universities must become genuine members of the communities within which they live, her devotion to having all stakeholders benefit from her work is extraordinary.”
Dr. Sarah Morton, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at University College Dublin, reveals in a personal statement that “What is key to my teaching practice is creating learning environments that support students who have experienced lifelong educational disadvantage and continue to face major barriers to accessing and sustaining education. My main goal as a teacher is to ignite and sustain curiosity and passion within the students I teach for the subject at hand.”
UCD’s Community Drug Outreach Program, of which Morton is the director, is an initiative that seeks to assist students who have experienced educational disadvantages or social exclusion, as well as those affected by drug and alcohol issues, in finding a pathway to undergraduate study. According to one of her former students: “Dr Morton is truly an exceptional lecturer and tutor. She is one of a kind displaying great passion for her subject and who personally through her support alone has given many of my year the ability to bring real change to their lives through imparting her knowledge in a jargon-free way and always being available and responsive to the needs of the person behind the student!”
Dr. Morton has previously been recognized by University College Dublin for her dedication to teaching: she was awarded the UCD College of Social Sciences and Law Teaching Excellence Award in 2018 and the University College Dublin Teaching Excellence Award in 2019.
Niamh Moore-Cherry, Associate Professor of Urban Governance and Development in UCDs School of Geography, University College Dublin as well as Vice-Principal for Teaching and Learning in the College of Social Sciences and Law, says of Morton that: “She actively seeks to create a learning environment that values and integrates the students’ lived experience as well as ensuring there is a culture of respect for peers and the University.”
Colin Scott. Vice Principal for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Dean of Social Sciences at UCD commented: "I am delighted to see this outstanding international recognition for Dr Sarah Morton's outreach education programmes and the wider work of UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. As a University UCD is committed to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion through its research and education, and Dr Morton's teaching and learning bring these commitments to life, engaging societal partners in ensuring access to key aspects of education for some of those who are underrepresented amongst students in higher education."
The European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities was launched by CEU Provost and Pro-Rector Liviu Matei for CEU’s 20th anniversary in 2011. As a part of CEU’s commitment to excellence in teaching within the institution and across Europe and beyond, the award is administered by the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). The Diener Prize is made possible by a generous gift from Steven and Linda Diener in memory of Ilona Diener. For further information on the award and previous recipients, please visit: http://ctl.ceu.edu/news/recipients-european-award-excellence-teaching.