Passion and dedication results in top teaching awards

Two dedicated colleagues have been rewarded for their inspirational teaching.

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 Inspirational Teaching and Postgraduate Researchers Who Teach or Demonstrate 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.

Passion and dedication results in top teaching awards. August 2020

Jane Hetherington, who won the Inspirational Teaching Award

Inspirational Teaching Award

Inspirational Teachers use their passion and dedication for a subject area to inspire others to be ambitious and enthusiastic, and to challenge them to develop new ideas.

Working from a diverse range of disciplines, nominees in this category use different pedagogies to encourage and nurture their students, expanding horizons and minds. There were more 400 nominations in this category, celebrating the excellence of teaching at Leeds and highlighting its vital contribution to student and staff engagement and development.

This year’s winner, IT Trainer Jane Hetherington, has been recognised for leaving staff and postgraduate researchers “feeling empowered, capable, willing to practice and increasingly skilled” when they take her courses at the IT Training Unit.

She has gone above and beyond to “provide the highest level of enthusiasm and care in her style of teaching ... enchanting her students with an unquestionable level of love and attention”.

Ryan Grant, Student Success Officer, was among those to nominate Jane for the award.

He said: “I am nominating Jane for this award as she is an unsung hero in the University.

“As a teacher myself, I understand how difficult it can be to master teaching complex concepts to people who may never have encountered them before; Jane does this with seeming ease and gentle humour.

“Attending Jane’s sessions have left me feeling empowered, capable, willing to practice and increasingly skilled. In terms of reinvesting into the University’s staff development, improving people’s technical knowledge and skills, as well as people’s self-confidence, Jane really does – beyond a doubt – play a massive role.”

Jane said: “I was totally surprised and overwhelmed to receive this award and delighted to have even been nominated.

“In this day and age, it is almost expected that people can use Microsoft Office products effectively, which is a little unfair considering what these applications can do. My aim is to make life a little easier for staff and students through the training courses, and to help them master the skills they need. I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to share my knowledge and work with such receptive people.”

Passion and dedication results in top teaching awards. August 2020

Karen Tatham, who won the Postgraduate Researchers Who Teach or Demonstrate Award

Postgraduate Researchers Who Teach or Demonstrate Award

This award recognises a registered Leeds PhD student who, while undertaking their own study, has also actively and exceptionally contributed to other students’ education as a module assistant, seminar leader or demonstrator.

Postgraduate researchers were nominated by their colleagues and students for the inspiration they provide and the engagement they foster through their teaching and demonstrating practice.

This year’s winner is Karen Tatham, Demonstrator/Module Assistant in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Karen Hardcastle-Rad, a PhD Candidate in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS), School of Sociology and Social Policy, was among those people to nominate Karen for the award.

She said: “Karen has made a tremendous difference to the postgraduate resarcher experience.

“She has provided postgraduate researcher representation at many levels and always has students’ interests at heart. She always makes time for everyone and is well respected for her knowledge and expertise.

“Karen has organised multiple workshops and has not only facilitated skill development but has also empowered and raised confidence levels.”

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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