2016 College Recognition Awards
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences was proud to acknowledge the achievement of many outstanding members of staff with our six 2016 award categories.
Both winners and runners-up were invited to attend our awards ceremony on Wednesday 28 September 2016 in the Teviot Debating Hall, where winners were announced.
A collection of photos below documents the afternoon and the achievements of many exceptional staff members.
The Head of College for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Dorothy Miell, acted as compere at the ceremony.
The award categories were reviewed after 2015 and six were available in 2016:
- Award for Excellence in External Engagement
- Most Effective University community-building initiative
- Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience
- Award for Outstanding Leadership
- Most Outstanding Team
- The Susan Manning Award for an Outstanding Mentor
Josh Littlejohn, founder of Social Bite and the Scottish Business Awards, kindly agreed to attend and help present the awards.
Winners and runners up both received certificates with the winner receiving £3000 to be used towards:
- professional development
- adding to a research grant
- lodging with the School/Office and used for attending conferences
- paying for training
- paying for a study visit abroad
- purchasing a special piece of equipment
Award for Excellence in External Engagement
The winners of the Award for Excellence in External Engagement were Dr Kristina Konstantoni and Dr Marlies Kustatscher from Moray House School of Education. Marlies and Kristina were nominated for their Knowledge Exchange project 'Children's Rights and Social Justice'.
After the project, Marlies and Kristina were contacted by a group of young people (aged 10 to 18) from marginalised backgrounds, who had become aware of their work and wanted to work with the University of Edinburgh in order to challenge experiences of discrimination in their schools.
This led to the creation of the project 'Creating transformative partnerships: Making spaces for tackling childhood and youth inequalities', which involves young people as co-researchers and has led to over 160 interviews with other young people, highlighting the striking experiences of discrimination they face in schools.
The runner-up of the Award for Excellence in External Engagement was Mr Mourad Diouri from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. Mourad was nominated for his outstanding efforts in organising the first Edinburgh Arab Festival which aimed to open up a new forum inviting the community to experience the beauty, diversity and richness of the Arab World.
The festival was highly praised and allowed visitors to gain insight into Arab Culture through live and scheduled workshops, speeches and seminars in poetry, storytelling, film screenings, food tasting and much more.
"It was a great pleasure to take part in the first ever Edinburgh Arab Festival. I was humbled by the organisers' efforts to achieve many events in a very short period of time, it was a testament of their commitment and hard work."
Award for Most Effective University Community-building Initiative
There were joint winners of the Award for Most Effective University Community-building Initiative. One of our winners was Ms Muireann Crowley from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. Muireann was nominated by several colleagues and fellow PhD students for her outstanding efforts in community building within the school.
"When I started my PhD study in 2012, there were not many social/academic events for postgraduate students, and a lot of us felt quite isolated at the beginning. But, Muireann has co-organised or co-founded the LLC WiP seminars, LLC Blethers, the Journal Writing Week, and most recently the LLC Theories and Practices Seminars, through which we gradually formed a friendly and peer-helping community."
Our second winner was Dr Peta Freestone from the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Peta was nominated for her fascinating work on the Dangerous Women Project which explores questions about the dynamics, conflicts, identities and power relations which women today live with.
"The Dangerous Women project is a brilliant example of a project that is exciting, engaging and compelling while retaining intelligence and academic rigour. Posts are widely varied in terms of content, but not quality. There is a vigorous social media campaign to reach out beyond IASH's regular audience in the Twitterverse and that is highlighted by the discussions that emerge online after postings. Add to that the profile of some of the contributors - Anne-Marie Slaughter, Shami Chakrabarti, Nicola Sturgeon - and you have something shaping up to be quite extraordinary."
The runner-up for the Award for Most Effective University Community-building Initiative was Ms Rebecca Hewer from the School of Social and Political Science. Becky was nominated by colleagues for founding the School's blog, It Ain't Necessarily So. The blog publishes writing of PhD students from current affairs, international relations to food and television.
"Becky has generated a vibrant community around the blog, with numerous events such as writing retreats and a combined entertainment and educaitonal event for the 2015 UK General Election. It reflects her personal and intellectual qualities, her energy and commitment, and above all her ability to lead and inspire both her fellow students and also academic faculty."
Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience
The winner of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience was Ms Sue Renton from the School of Social and Political Science.
Realising the importance to students of close collaboration with EUSA, she spearheaded SPS's PALS implementation, with her enthusiasm and dedication to the distinctive SD PALS scheme notably benefiting students from across the university, and strengthening and widening the SD community. Sue has been especially pivotal in the creation and subsequent successes of the University's Sustainable Development Association: "Our two University Sustainability Awards would not have been possible without her consistent support and guidance."
"Sue is constantly innovating, trying out new things and thinking of new ideas to help SPS students”. Sue, realising that some students were having difficulties in settling in, worked with IAD on delivering new support mechanisms, and introduced new induction materials including new Freshers’ Packs. “Sue has unequivocally changed my experience at University for the better through her knowledge, engagement, and passion”
There were joint runners-up of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience. One of our runners-up was Dr Lauren Hall-Lew from the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences. Lauren was nominated for her work on an academic journal within the School to showcase undergraduate research and work.
"Lauren started an academic journal in 2015, specifically to showcase undergraduate research. While many undergraduates produce exceptional scholarship, most do not get an opportunity to share their work with the wider academic community. Lauren's initiative in setting up and organising this journal is an instance of excellence in student support and development that sets an example to us all."
Our second runner-up was Ms Rebecca Shade from the School of Social and Political Science. Rebecca was nominated by her colleagues not only for her core duties but for her tendency to go above and beyond the call of duty. Rebecca has been crucial in running the PIRPALs programme, which gives year-1 students the chance to meet and be guided by senior Politics and International Relations students.
"One of the reasons we think Rebecca is worthy of this nomination is not just what she has accomplished but that she does so with positive good cheer and patience while managing a host of other duties. She makes sure her excellent work and dedication is passed on to others. As well as sharing her ideas and best practice with others in SPS through School SSO meetings, Rebecca was particularly good at sharing knowledge and expertise with new members of staff."
Award for Outstanding Leadership
There were joint winners of the Award for Outstanding Leadership. Out first winner was Dr Francine Shields from Edinburgh College of Art. Francine is the Director of Professional Services in ECA and was nominated by a number of colleagues for her supportive and empowering leadership style.
"Francine is honest and open; she includes her staff rather than excludes. She doesn't shy away from difficult conversations but likewise is sensitive to some of the challenges faced when the School has been/is in the process of significant transformation. She remains calm and positive under the multiple pressures of a busy and wide-ranging remit in addition to dealing with particular instances of potential stress and/or additional issues."
Our second winner was Dr Katie Cebula from Moray House School of Education. Katie was nominated by her colleagues for her contribution as an academic leader, fully engaged in teaching, research and administration but also equally motivated to help colleagues achieve the highest possible standards on all fronts.
"She was supportive from the start, emailing me before I started to ask if I needed her garage to store my things as I was moving up from London. She has provided constant mentorship, not just for work related duties, but also my academic studies and job-seeking."
"I think 'outstanding leadership' is a perfect description of Katie's contribution, but also it must be noted that her leadership and organisational style is good-natured and cooperative, always making things happen smoothly by involving and coordinating people in an efficient, but relaxed and inclusive way."
Award for Most Outstanding Team
The winner of the Award for Most Outstanding Team was the Executive Development Team from the Business School. The team were nominated by colleagues for their hard work, collegiality and improving the executive culture within the Business School.
"The culture within the wider Executive Development Team has developed over the last two years into a genuinely supportive, collegiate and integrated unit; which has delivered a consistent and very high quality customer service to all executive learners."
"The great strength of the Executive Development Team is that they understand both the faculty perspective and client aspirations. Their role transcends facilitation and is a crucial ingredient in the development of a successful product."
There were joint runners-up of the Award for Most Outstanding Team. One of our runners-up was the Events Team from Edinburgh College of Art. The Events Team were nominated for their seamless running of numerous large scale events within the School.
"A considerable amount of the team's extra time and effort goes into organising multiple events and includes a lot of unsociable working hours, including evenings and weekends as well as working late in the office."
"The team's meticulous organising, flexibility, level headedness and all round positivity in their approach to all that they do makes what are extremely complex projects run incredibly smoothly."
Our other runners-up were the Student Development Team from the School of Social and Political Science. The Student Development Team were nominated by colleagues for their contribution to the school, particularly their involvement in running the SPS Practice Programme which connects postgraduate students with the world beyond academia. This year the programme negotiated and offered 94 masters level projects in 23 countries and six continents. The work based placements replace the standard research dissertation and students find them invaluable.
"It was great to get office experience in a sector I would ultimately like to work in, and to focus on a current project with current issues for my dissertation is something new and exciting."
"The team make a significant contribution to the life of the Graduate School and have energised and inspired those they work with - students, academics and administrators. Student reports evidence just how positive students feel about the support they receive from the team."
Susan Manning Award for an Outstanding Mentor
The winner of the Susan Manning Award for an Outstanding Mentor was Professor Stephanie O'Donohoe from the Business School. Stephanie was nominated by colleagues for the support she has offered to staff across all years and grades, both informally in her day to day interactions, and formally in her capacity as PhD supervisor, staff mentor, Research Champion and Chair of the School UG Special Circumstances Committee.
"What sets Professor O'Donohoe apart from her peers as an outstanding staff mentor is the quality and quantity of time and effort she devotes to the mentoring roles she performs on a day to day basis. Her door is always open, her advice is consistently measured, constructive and informed and her passionate commitment to developing and supporting staff at all levels (PhD through to grade 10) is clear for all to see and benefit from."
The runner up of the Susan Manning Award for an Outstanding Mentor was Dr Inger Seiferheld from the Business School. Inger was nominated by colleagues for her unwavering support and guidance in all aspects of work.
"Inger has always been highly supportive of my developmental needs, would always have an open door, and could always offer advice that was right and fair, and has taught me to be able to do the same."
"Inger has offered me a sound ear and institutionally solid advice, and helped me to develop into a strong and reliable source of advice for academics, administrators and students."