Staff excellence celebrated with President & Rector's Awards

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Student and teacher on computer

Imperial has announced the recipients of the 2013 President & Rector's Awards and Medals for Excellence.

The College is deeply proud of the award winners, their leadership is highly valued and crucial to enhancing our outstanding education experience

– Debra Humphris

Pro Rector (Education)

The accolades are awarded annually to recognise staff members who have made outstanding contributions in teaching, pastoral care, research supervision and supporting the student experience. Staff can be nominated by colleagues or students from all areas of the College.

Winners of the awards receive a cash prize and are invited to a prize giving ceremony and lunch. The President and Rector’s Medal is given to a small number of nominees within each category who are judged to have made exceptional endevours. Medal winners are invited to receive their medal at the Commemoration Day Ceremony in October.

The awards are decided by a selection panel, representing both staff and students, and chaired by Professor Debra Humphris,  Pro-Rector (Education). Congratulating the recipients she said:

"Providing world-class education and pastoral support  for our students is a priority for the College and core to our education mission.  The staff recognised with these awards are all truly dedicated to supporting our students and I am extremely grateful to them for their commitment, innovation and hard work.  The College is deeply proud of the award winners, their leadership is highly valued and crucial to enhancing our  outstanding education experience."

Alexander Whittaker, who became a lecturer in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering in 2009, received the Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence. Valuing the importance of field skills in his discipline he has designed two residential geology field trips, alongside running a first year course in residential geology.  He said:

“Good field teaching takes time and effort to get right, particularly when you are in charge of 50 or more students for up to two weeks.   I've designed these courses to give the students a real insight into how mountain belts grow and decay over time, how to 'read' Earth history from rocks, and the industrial perspectives for petroleum geology and mineralisation. I see this award as recognition for all the hard work that goes into planning, organising and running these trips successfully – it was a surprise of the best kind!”

Susan English, the Faculty Education Manager in the Faculty of Medicine, received the Medal for Supporting the Student Experience. Thanking her colleagues she said:

“I was surprised and honoured to be awarded the medal.  I have a fantastic team, and they have supported me in making numerous improvements this year.  My job is challenging, and I am often involved when there is a problem, so this award was a real boost for me and makes the hard work worthwhile."

Dr Jane Davies (NHLI), who received the Medal for Research Supervision, works with students on MDRes and PhD programmes, focused on the disease cystic fibrosis. As part of a long-standing collaboration with Professor Andy Bush, her students have identified novel therapeutic targets, some of which have led to collaborations with industrial partners.  Dr Davies said:

“I am delighted and honoured to have my supervisory role recognised by the award of the President & Rector’s medal.  I would like to thank colleagues and students who proposed and supported me for this medal and take the opportunity to say what a pleasure it is working together and seeing real and tangible results, which will hopefully lead to clinical benefit for our patients.”

Martin Holloway, Academic tutor in the Department of Bioengineering was a recipient of the Medal for Pastoral Care. He said:

"I am delighted to receive this medal for pastoral care. In addition to wanting each and every student to reach their full potential here at College, I try always to remember that any student could, in the future, become my bank account manager!"

The awards were set up in 2006 and are managed by the Education office.


Jennifer Cooke

Jennifer Cooke

John-Paul Jones

John-Paul Jones
Communications and Public Affairs

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