Recognising inspiring teaching and mentoring

Exceptional work in developing students’ skills through inspirational teaching and mentoring have been honoured during the prestigious Leeds Partnership Awards ceremony.

Dr James Worrall and Dr Zlatko Papic at the Leeds Partnership Awards ceremony

Dr Worrall and Dr Papic

The latest in our feature series – profiling winners in all 13 categories of this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards – highlights the outstanding accomplishments of recipients of both the ‘Inspirational Teaching/Supervisor’ and the ‘Mentor’ accolades.  

Inspirational Teaching/Supervisor  

The Inspirational Teaching/Supervisor category of this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards featured nominations for an individual or group who continually inspires students, using their passion and dedication for a subject area to encourage them to continually develop their thinking and academic skills. 

This year’s award was received by Dr James Worrall, from the School of Politics and International Studies, for his outstanding work and support towards his students as a module lecturer. 

Dr Worrall received many nominations that recognised his dedication and hard work in ensuring no student was ever left behind. Nominations also praised Dr Worrall’s clear passion for his work and encouraging his students in delving into more nuanced discussions, ultimately enabling them to make the most of their time studying under his guidance. 

Dr Worrall said: “It’s wonderful to have won the award in this category and to see all that hard work recognised by students. I was runner-up back in 2011 and have won the faculty level award in this category a couple of times since, so I guess I have a bit of a track record in this area and it’s nice to complete the set!  

“But in all seriousness, I really enjoy my teaching and seeing students make progress with their skills and knowledge, especially to see them really get inspired by the material and the challenges it presents. I want people to leave my classroom feeling their mind has really been stretched, yet at the same time they have new tools for coping with complexity and that they’ve had fun in the process.” 


Whether a Student Education Service (SES) staff member, academic or a student, this award recognises guidance and support that has encouraged and nurtured others to develop their skills and prospects for the future, helping them to grow and progress, either personally or in their learning. 

This year’s Mentor accolade was presented to Dr Zlatko Papic, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, for his guidance and support whilst mentoring students. 

Nominations were full of praise for Dr Papic’s dedication in mentoring and developing the skillsets of his students, and continuously going the extra mile to help his academic community. 

One nominator said: “Zlatko is a hugely valued colleague of mine, and in my opinion an ideal mentor. He manages to combine two essential virtues: he is an exceptional researcher and dedicates extensive amounts of time and care to his students.  

“His research is cutting edge and genuinely world class, and so it is really inspirational to see him leading young researchers to this frontier with utmost professionalism and high standards.” 

Another nominator said: “Zlatko is an exceptional mentor. Pertinent and professional, yet always poised to provide a helping hand and fight your corner when assistance is needed.  

“Throughout my time as an undergraduate and into my postgraduate years, Zlatko has always been a mentor who I am confident I could go to in times of need, whether it is a simple academic question or a more personal matter.” 

Find out more

The annual Leeds Partnership Awards celebrate the achievements of staff and students who truly put into practice the agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community. 

The winners were announced during a gala celebration in May.  
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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