Awards honour those making a positive impact

Making an exceptional difference to the experiences of others at Leeds has been recognised through an annual awards scheme.

More than 2,800 nominations were received for this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards

Leeds Partnership Awards 2020 winners. May 2020

In the latest of our regular feature series – profiling winners in all 14 categories of this year’s prestigious Partnership Awards – we are highlighting the outstanding accomplishments of recipients of both the Innovation and Positive Impact accolades.

The coveted awards celebrate those people who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership – an agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community.

Positive Impact Award

The Positive Impact Award recognises the person who has made an exceptional difference to others’ experiences through an outstanding contribution to their school, faculty, department or service, or who has worked hard to make individuals’ experiences better.

This award always attracts high numbers of nominations, with more than 930 submitted this year. The range and scope of nominations tell a story of excellence across the board, with many examples of support for others that embody partnership working. At the heart are individuals and teams, demonstrating that it’s the people who really make Leeds what it is.

Partnership Awards 2020. July 2020

Dr Mel Prideaux is the staff winner of the Positive Impact Award

Tireless efforts

Staff winner of the Positive Impact Award is Dr Mel Prideaux, Associate Professor of Religious Studies.

Professor Luke Windsor, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures and Professor of Music Psychology, was among those to nominate Dr Prideaux for the award.

He said: “Mel has worked tirelessly and creatively to foster a continued and enhanced partnership between students, staff and partners within and beyond her own faculty.

“Both in her personal actions, and in leadership of others, she has maintained a productive relationship with the officers and employees of LUU, and ensured that wherever possible, the student voice is not just heard, but acted upon.

“Similarly, she has ensured that student groups and individual students have a full understanding of our concerns, whilst making sure their ideas and views are heard and responded to.

“I can think of few people that have had such impact on student life in a leadership role, and the clarity and humanity she has brought to her work with students and staff should not go unrecognised.”

Dr Prideaux said: “I’m lucky enough to work in a role where I see our Partnership in action every day, and I see students and colleagues having a positive impact on the experiences of others.

“To myself receive an award for having a positive impact is incredibly humbling, as I know how many students and colleagues have had a positive impact on me and my experience here at Leeds. I’m really proud of our work in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures and of our students, who surprise, inspire and educate me on a daily basis… our students really make my job so rewarding.

“Knowing our students go out and make a difference in the world, having made such a difference while they’re here in Leeds, is the best job satisfaction. Being recognised for having a small part to play in their successes is a great honour.”

Partnership Awards 2020. July 2020

Women Breaking Barriers Network committee members (from left) Jordan Denney (Secretary), Bex Barclay (President), Veenea Nair (International Rep), Dr Funke Abimbola, Imogen Haywood (Events Coordinator), Mercy Yap (UG Rep), Ayesha Kuwari (UG Rep), Jessica Kelly (Events Coordinator) and Georgia Brizell (Social Media Rep) – not pictured is Gopalika Sreekumar (Network Ambassador)

Incredibly proud

The student/group award winner is the Women Breaking Barriers Network (WBBN).

In a joint statement, the organisation said: “As a student-led committee, we are incredibly proud that we have been awarded the Leeds Partnership Award for Positive Impact.

“We would like to thank all the speakers, staff and students who engaged with WBBN this academic year, making this award possible. We hope we have been able to provide accessible role models to achieve our aim of empowering female students, giving them confidence to overcome the barriers they may face within the workplace and outside of it.”

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award celebrates a person or group who uses innovative methods and approaches to engage and excite others. This may be through embracing new technology, developing new and innovative ways to enhance the student experience, or presenting challenging ideas in a way that sparks discussion and further understanding.

As an institution, innovation ensures we can respond receptively and proactively to change, maximising our resources for the creation and sharing of new knowledge.

Partnership Awards 2020. July 2020

Dr Dave Riley, who won this year’s Innovation Award

Career highlight

This year’s award winner is Dr Dave Riley, a Research Support Officer in the Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence (LITE).

Jo Moran, School Education Service Manager for the School of Geography and the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), was among those to nominate Dave for the award.

She said: “Dave is brilliant. He has been pivotal in putting in place an industrial mentor scheme, and mini mentor scheme, which has made an enormous impact on the employability of the ITS masters students, many of whom are international students.

“He works hard to build upon the work already done, and improve upon it further, building good relationships with employers in industry and academics in the school.

“An example of the impact of this work is the fact our School Rep last year was mentored by a member of staff at the World Bank. Since graduating, that student has presented his dissertation topic to the World Bank – and the world – through one of the online presentations.”

Dave said: “Winning the Partnership Award for Innovation is a career highlight.

“I was very surprised to win, and I'd like to thank everybody that took that time out of their day to send in a nomination for me. The award put a huge smile on my face, and put in me in a very good mood during the early days of lockdown.”

Further information

More in-depth profiles of each of the winners will appear on the For Staff website during the coming weeks. These will also be promoted via the fortnightly All Staff enewsletters and the Staff Twitter account.

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