Celebrating Amazing MDX Staff at the Teaching Awards 2015

Tuesday 14-04-2015 - 15:42
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 On Monday 13th April, Middlesex students, teachers and staff gathered for the second ever MDXSU Teaching Awards, established in 2014 in order to recognise and reward the incredible staff here at MDX.


The Awards are entirely student-led, and are based on nominations from students at the university - over 700 nominations were received this year. A panel of students and elected student officers then had the difficult task of creating a shortlist for each of the awards based on the touching nominations received.


The awards were hosted by MDXSU Vice Presidents and future comedy duo Sophie McKay and Jean Wong, with awards being presented by Middlesex University Chancellor Dame Janet Ritterman; Middlesex's Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Marketing Officer Katie Bell; MDXSU Vice President Sarah Bennett; Vice President Elect Andre Thompson; and President Aman Siddiqi.


The focus of the evening were the shortlisted staff and why students had nominated them. Guests were also treated to a free evening of delicious food, as well as music from super-talented MDX students, the O2J Trio and Nuala Bennett-Wilford.


Read below for the results for the five award categories, as well as a special extra award:


Most Empowering Teacher

The shortlist...

Dr. Pat Cartney

“Pat is one of the most capturing, talented and thought provoking teachers I have come across... She never fails to gather and hold the attention of the entire room and puts so much evident hard work, enthusiasm and genuine passion into her teaching. She empowers her students by always varying her teaching methods, putting great thought into the preparation she asks us to do. I feel privileged to have been taught by Pat throughout my time at Middlesex.”

Dr. Beata Burczynska

“The deferral of all of my coursework and exams was so overwhelming but her understanding made it possible for me to do well and continue on to third year... [She] made me feel that superiors do care about our futures, which made me want to do better in my work.”

Dr. David Westley

"When teaching a topic it stays in my mind even when the lecture is finished. David does not teach because it is his job, he teaches because it is his passion. Being taught by him for all three years of my degree, he has never made me feel as though there is no other option left. Without a doubt he is one of the most patient lecturers I know."

Dr. Erin Sanders-McDonagh

"She is incredibly passionate about what she teaches and this is something that comes across in her seminars. She is passionate, engaging and an incredibly helpful teacher who takes pride in the work that she does."

And the winner is...

Dr. Anastasia Karamalidou, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

"[Anastasia is] an exceptional individual who cares a great length for [her] students to understand the topic she teaches… she guides each individual to reach their potential and helps each student view the world from different perspectives. She empowers the student mind to stay focused on their learning, speaks from a personal approach and I feel I have achieved a lot whilst learning from her.”


Best Feedback

The shortlist...

Chris Batchelor

"Chris possesses perhaps the most adept talent for giving constructive, considered, helpful feedback. Whether it’s in performance classes, in class discussions or in giving feedback on assignments, Chris is always sensitive to the differing learning attitudes of each student. Of all of the wonderful teaching I’ve been fortunate to receive as a student on this course, Chris’s feedback has been some of the most useful, resonating and long-lasting advice."

Dr. Anastasia Karamalidou

"Dr. Karamalidou is honest when she gives students feedback which is always within the required time frame. Her door is always open for those students who desire to discuss their feedback on a one to one basis and will signpost students to where they can get extra support if she cannot provide it."

Dr. David Westley

"This teacher is amazing! His teaching capability deserves an award. He is brilliant, he makes sure everyone understands him and is on the same level... He is the only lecturer that allows us to provide draft coursework before submitting the work. He is consistent in providing the feedback and he is also consistent in replying to emails as well as his visiting hours."

Dr. Jackie Meredith

"She gives really good feedback and explains everything in detail. She doesn’t make you feel silly about mistakes that you have made. She makes sure that you understand everything before she leaves you, and really encourages you when recognising the good parts of your work."

And the winner is...

Angela Scollan, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and Education

"Angela offers a unique feedback experience that is so different to all other feedback received… She not only provides feedback on where you went wrong but also on what you did right. Angela will offer up her own free time to either email people or meet up with them to discuss the feedback given if it has not been understood. Her feedback has always been helpful and constructive and has helped me improve."



Most Innovative Teaching

The shortlist...

Sarah Lewis-Brooke

"Sarah is very different in the way she delivers information. Her teaching style is great and she goes the extra mile to give you that wow feeling which reminds you of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Her lessons are interesting and challenging which is a key element of social work. Sarah keeps you wanting to learn and broaden your knowledge.”

Dr. James Graham

"He always makes a point and provides good examples of what a difficult text or phrase might mean. He draws parallels to today’s society and explains so that everyone understands."

Lucy Neville

"She makes learning fun. She stimulates your mind and that’s what learning is about to me. She always has videos that match the topic that she is teaching. Lucy makes you want to learn more - she is what learning should be like."

Dr. David Westley

"He teaches in such a ways that keeps you awake and interested. He interacts well with his audience and knows how to get us to absorb the information he presents. He is a fun lecturer who is energetic, lively and seems very enthusiastic about his work."

And the winner is...

Dr. Steve Kett, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Engineering

"Any biosciences student will let you know enthusiastically about the multitude of trips and guest speakers Steve has organised for us. Steve’s wit and admittedly terrible dad/old man jokes easily capture an audience. Even in the most tedious of subjects, Steve can get a laugh and keeps our attention effortlessly."


Best Support Staff

The shortlist...

Peter Beverstock, Barry Cooper and Urim Iseni

"This nomination cannot just go to one of the people in this department, it needs to go to all of them as a team. These guys are life-savers sometimes when we have issues with technical stuff, they will help as much as they can. They never help so much that you don’t learn anything. I think they’re an amazing team and they all deserve this award equally."

Elizabeth Sylvanus-Ley

"Elizabeth is our department administrator. She has made an immense positive contribution to my student experience on a daily basis and my university experience would not be the same without her. Elizabeth has motivated me year on year to run for Student Voice Leader. Without her enthusiasm and prolonged support I would not have stayed in this role. She plays a vital role in the successful running of all of the diverse degree programmes. She goes above and beyond in her job to support those around her and her efforts can go unnoticed as she works ‘behind the scenes’. She is a fantastic, supportive member of staff and she truly deserves this award."

William Gillingham-Sutton

"He makes students feel welcome, and his enthusiasm for photography and his deep professional expertise about the subject matter only encourages us to keep learning. He often speaks to people to find out what they would like to learn about and organises workshops accordingly. He goes far beyond his call of duty to deliver the best teaching experience possible."

And the winner is...

Oliver Rix, Graduate Academic Assistant in Sport Science

"I have witnessed a change in fellow classmates work ethic and myself since having Oliver as an assistant teacher. He has contributed a great deal of enthusiasm and motivation for me to work harder and achieve a good grade. I have never heard Oliver refusing to help a student, and he would rather stay on after class until each student understands what is being asked of them. His ability to teach has never gone unnoticed and he has always taught with great care and thought."



Most Inspiring Teacher

The shortlist...

Jonathan Jaye

"It is often echoed in popular discourse that every teacher has the ‘choice to bring light into their classroom or cast a shadow.’ Jonathan is someone whose teaching is so fantastic in every way that none of the categories quite cover how brilliant he is. His compassion towards his students is deeply motivating, he always greets us with a smile and he wears an enthralling attitude that is contagious. He seeks to find the positive in every challenging situation. Jonathan has had a resonating, positive and profound impact on my student experience, which is why I so deeply sought to nominate him. He always manages to preserve an inspiring and engaging learning environment. He relates to us on a personal level and seeks to realise our full potential, which empowers us to go onto make positive contributions in the fields in which we study. There is not a single student who does not appreciate Jonathans immense, care, compassion and inspirational demeanour."

Rob Townsend

"Meeting Rob during my audition and experiencing his enthusiasm for teaching and lose of music is one of the main reasons I ended up studying at Middlesex. His dedication to running the best possible course with limited resources is unwavering, and he often goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that BA Jazz students have the best possible experience on the course. As well as being a very inspiring musician to be learning from, Rob also embodies a very positive energy that successfully motivates all the students on our course."

Julianne Morrison

"She taught me so much last year and it wasn’t even her job to do so, she spent her own time with on her lunch breaks and after hours to help me. She was an amazing support to me and I honestly believe if she hadn’t be there I would have failed. She is always so pleasant and all of the students always speak highly of her."

Dr. Steve Kett

"Steve inspires me, not with motivational speeches, but with his actions. The things he has done as a scientist, the people he’s met and the places he’s been inspire me to do the same. Life doesn’t always go to plan but every experience is a learning opportunity. Sometimes the most inane things become the defining moments. Steve always has an anecdote ready for why a particular skill or lecture can help us in the future. He doesn’t ask us to be better, he makes us want more so that we end up pushing ourselves. Steve is inspiring and he has had a big impact on our lives."

Raouf Khodabux

"His dedication and passion to research is one of the most valuable assets. He has clearly explained why evidence in nursing is so important and how it may affect us when others didn’t. I believe that because of Mr. Khodabux I have successfully completed my second year of university and entered my third year with exceptional grades. He has never expressed negative emotions or remarks towards any lack of knowledge I may have had when I started to learn about the subject. I learnt that asking questions is not painful and most importantly I really saw my progress and felt it in the classroom."

And the winner is...

Claire Lewis, Lecturer in BA Graphic Design

"Claire is a tutor that I will never forget! She has been so supportive to me over the last three years and throughout my first year Claire was the one who supported me and helped me with my educational needs.  She will always reply to my emails, even though most of them are not related to her. She is so passionate about all areas that she teaches and that inspires me. She has a clear love for education and that motivates me to try even harder. Even when she didn’t teach me last year, she made time to meet me at least once every two weeks to help and support me with my work. I could write forever about how much Claire has impacted my uni life in such an amazing way, I will never forget her."


Outstanding Compassion

Finally, a special award for Outstanding Compassion went to David Price, a senior lecturer in mental health nursing, for his phenomenal support and compassion towards one of his students, Linder Matonga, following her cancer diagnosis.

"In June 2014 I was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, I am in the clear now.

After learning of my diagnosis I emailed this person explaining everything. He thought it was impersonal to reply the email and took it up on himself to see me in person. He listened and was very compassionate when I told him of my fears and worries. I was feeling numb, scared and overwhelmed, but the way he spoke to me was so human and full of warmth. He told me to concentrate on the treatment and getting better and that academically he would do his best to support me.

Far above and beyond his role as my lecturer, this person always had time for me, he ensured I wasn’t stressing unnecessarily about my course and made me focus on getting better. He supported me through the horrible side effects of treatment and has made it possible that I can still graduate at the same time as the rest of my group in July 2016.

I don’t think he realises how much of a difference he has made in my life. I nominated this lecturer for a student led teaching award, but myself and the union agreed that this doesn’t seem enough. This lecturer deserves a special award for all  that  he has done for me, and I am sure for others and so continues to do.

I want to take this opportunity to thank this person for all the amazing support he has given me and for making such a positive impact on my life. All of the things he has done to support me has taught me that he doesn’t just teach compassion, he fully practices it. So thank you for being an absolutely amazing lecturer. "


Thank you to all the students who placed a nomination - the Teaching Awards would not have been possible without you taking the time to do so, and your nominations were really appreciated. Finally, congratulations to everyone who was nominated! The nominations demonstrate that your hard work doesn't go unnoticed, and we hope that shortlisted nominees enjoyed the evening.

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