Going above and beyond to support our students

Unwavering enthusiasm for – and commitment to – our students has been officially recognised in a prestigious awards scheme.

Lynne Veal and Dr Alastair Baker are among those to be honoured in this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards

Leeds Partnership Awards 2021. June 2021

The latest in our feature series – profiling winners in all 14 categories of this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards – highlights the outstanding accomplishments of recipients of the Personal Tutor and Mentor 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.

And with nearly 2,200 nominations, there has been plenty to celebrate.

Making a real difference

The Personal Tutor Award recognises someone who does their utmost to support their students, promoting engagement with academic and co-curricular activities, and facilitating their personal development.

This year’s nominations highlighted the inspirational force of personal tutors and commended them for the difference they make to the experiences of their students

And such was the calibre of nominations, judges selected joint winners in this category.

Lynne Veal is Lecturer and Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Apprenticeship Programme.

Donna Wilson-McTigue, a BSC Nursing Apprenticeship student, was among those to nominate Lynne. She said: “Lynne has always gone above and beyond during my time on the nursing apprenticeship.

“She’s always at the end of her phone/emails to answer any queries we have or to support and bolster our spirits.

“During covid-19, students would regularly receive messages of support and encouragement from Lynne. She even gave up some of her time on a Sunday morning to attend a tripartite meeting with myself and my mentor during one of my assessed placements. She always goes above and beyond for us, even personally sewing stripes on our epaulettes every academic year that we pass.

“Simply put, I’m nominating Lynne because she absolutely does care about her students and we think she’s amazing.”

Lynne said: “I was extremely surprised to be nominated for doing what I believe is my job – supporting students through their course.

“To win made me immensely proud. Students in healthcare have had such a difficult year balancing university study and working in clinical practice through the covid-19 pandemic. I’m honoured to be their personal tutor.” 

Leeds Partnership Awards 2021. June 2021

Lynne Veal, joint winner of the Personal Tutor Award

Our other joint winner in this category is Dr Christopher Hassall, Associate Professor of Animal Biology.

Rosa Lyne-Hall, a second year Biology student, was among those to nominate Dr Hassall. She said: “Chris has always been there to help me and always quick to reply and offer me advice and info on anything I’ve been needing to know or worrying about.

“He’s a great personal tutor and super helpful, while also having a genuine care for us and how we’re doing. He’s very kind and knowledgeable and goes above and beyond for us, should we need it!”

Dr Hassall said: “I’m truly honoured – and very pleasantly surprised – to have been given the award.

“Personal tutoring is often the most difficult – but most rewarding – part of academic work, and it’s a pleasure to be able to make a difference in students’ lives. I’m proud of all of my colleagues, who have done so much to support so many students in such difficult circumstances during the past year.” 

Inspiring the next generation of scientists

Guidance and support of mentors encourages and nurtures others to develop their skills and prospects for the future, helping them grow and progress, either personally or in their learning.

Mentors take many guises, but share the quality of going above and beyond their usual remit to help others to achieve. And it was clear from the nominations in this category that the impact and importance of exceptional mentors cannot be underestimated.

Winner of this year’s Mentor Award is Dr Alastair Baker, a Research Fellow in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering (Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences).

PhD student, Thomas Shaw, was among those to nominate Dr Baker. He said: “Alastair is extremely approachable with a lot of knowledge that has helped me kick-start my PhD.

“I started my PhD in September 2020 and he was the first person in my group, beside my supervisors, to help me out and guide me through any questions and problems I had.

“Alastair has gone above and beyond what he has needed to do for me. Alastair’s passion for science and pushing the boundaries of knowledge is very inspiring and he’s perfect for inspiring and helping the next generation of scientists.”

Dr Baker said: “I’m truly humbled to have won the Partnership Award for Mentor for the whole University.

“For my day-to-day conduct, in which I work with my peers, to have had such a positive impact on so many that they took time out of their day to nominate me is incredible. I believe that information should be shared, not guarded, and that positive engagement is a two-way street! Now, more than ever, it’s essential to be kind and there’s no greater gift than your own time.

“A massive thank you to everyone that wrote in nominations for me and thank you to the University for curating this environment and the opportunities in which I can be a mentor.”

Leeds Partnership Awards 2021. June 2021

Dr Alastair Baker, winner of the Mentor Award

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 weekly All Staff enewsletters and the Staff Twitter account.

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