Staff from across the School of Public Health have been recognised in the 2023 President’s Awards for Excellence.
The President’s Awards for Excellence recognises the achievements of staff based on four award categories: Culture and Community, Education, Research, and Societal Engagement. Among the winners for each specialist area, those who have made exceptional contributions are also awarded with the President’s Medal.
Here is a round-up of this year's winners from the School of Public Health:
President’s Awards for Excellence in Education
President’s Medal for Excellence in Teaching
Dr Sian Powell has received the President’s Medal for Excellence in Teaching recognising her leadership of the General Practice Student Assistantship course on the MBBS programme and her contributions to the Department of Primary Care and Public Health.
Sian has consistently provided students with outstanding learning experiences to prepare them for clinical practice and innovated at pace during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, equipping students and tutors with skills to navigate new contexts, challenges and opportunities.
One example is the ‘Stop and Think’ model for clinical reasoning which has been developed by Sian to provide students and faculty with a powerful framework to apply clinical reasoning. The model uses an interactive workbook and small group sessions centred on discovery-based learning using authentic, complex clinical cases.
Sian also led the collaborative development of an assessment where all Year 6 students complete a real-world prescribing task, developing attention to patient safety, clinical reasoning and person-centredness.
As part of the nomination student feedback highlighted that the GPSA course has received fantastic feedback from students and is often listed among their favourite placements of their time in medical school, thanks to Sian’s organisation and active efforts to make the course as engaging as possible.
President’s Medal for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience
Jenna Mollaney has been awarded the President’s Medal for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience for her outstanding ability to rapidly identify, absorb and develop new ideas and apply these to her work within the Undergraduate Primary Care Education Unit and the Medical Education Innovation and Research Centre.
Examples of innovations led by Jenna include the I-Explore Social Accountability in Action module, where Year 2 STEMM students learn about social accountability and apply these to a real-world project to develop after-school sessions for pupils. Jenna also provides senior leadership for the Widening Access to Community Careers in Healthcare (WATCCH) programme which enables local secondary school pupils from widening participation backgrounds to access work experience in healthcare and mentoring from Imperial students. Jenna secured HEE funding to facilitate the sustainability of the programme.
Jenna is a passionate advocate for social accountability and ensuring our education and research positively addresses the priority health concerns of the local community. Her vision and leadership has ensured that social accountability is now built into the fabric of Imperial’s undergraduate primary care courses.
President’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision
Dr Anne Cori received the President’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision. Anne was commended for creating a supportive and encouraging environment providing direction and guidance for students to reach their best potential. She is dedicated to the personal and professional growth of students, who are developing into independent academics while having a safe support structure to learn, make mistakes and grow.
Anne also seeks out opportunities for her students to flourish in their future careers. She has invovled them in grant applications, arranged secondement opportunities with WHO and UKHSA, teaching opportunities as part of in-country workshops in collaborating countries and organising bespoke career events to introduce students to a wide range of career paths.
As part of her nomination one PhD student remarked: “She provided unparalleled support to all peers and assertive guidance and was exceptional in helping myself and others in the team safeguard our wellbeing.”
Another student commented: “Anne provides really helpful technical support for my work, but also combines this with providing excellent pastoral support, giving the confidence boosts that can often be needed during moments of self-doubt during the PhD journey.”
President’s Awards for Excellence in Societal Engagement
The President’s Medal for Excellence in Societal Engagement
Dr Lindsay Dewa was awarded the President’s Medal for Excellence in Societal Engagement for her innovative approach to engaging young people in her research and the revolutionary way she engaged the public with science.
Her nomination focused on the success of Nexus, a short film drama Lindsay co-produced with young people with lived experiences of COVID-19, and some with mental health difficulties. The film focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health, eating-related coping strategies, and the power of social connection.
The diverse group of young people involved in the project all played an equal part in the decisions of the project, with Lindsay giving them creative licence and making them key decision makers.
Due to the success of the project, Lindsay was able to promote her research across media outlets including the BBC, on social media, and at in person events. She secured funding to screen Nexus at events in London, Manchester, Middlesbrough and Birmingham during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, gaining interest in her research from the public, charities and clinicians.
Inspirational Partner Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement
The Mosaic Community Trust (Mosaic) supports the local community in and around Church Street, one of the most deprived areas of Westminster, which is located very close to Imperial’s St. Mary’s campus.
Mosaic aims to empower diverse, socially and economically marginalised and disadvantaged communities. One way this is achieved is through the training and empowerment of community members as Health and Wellbeing Advocates who then communicate health and wellbeing messages to, and advocate on behalf of, other community members.
The Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) have been collaborating with Mosaic for a number of years. From PERC’s initial conversations with Lena and wider team at Mosaic they became aware of their passion and dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of their local community and addressing health inequalities. Most recently they have collaboratively developed a series of health and wellbeing awareness sessions on priority areas of health for the community, including breast cancer, long COVID, blood pressure, stroke and menopause, through which they have educated the Mosaic community and informed Imperial and local researchers, and NHS services about the challenges, concerns and experiences of the community to improve both health research and clinical care.
Mosaic Community Trust:
- Asmahan Al Nidawi, Community Outreach Officer
- Alima Begum, Community Project Officer
- Lena Choudary-Salter, Founder and CEO
- Louise Hall, Community Engagement Coordinator
- Fahmida Yesmin, Community Projects Coordinator
Student Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement Team Award
The Urban Wildlife Challenge Team came together as part of the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) run at Imperial’s Grantham Institute. The Institute runs “Challenge Teams” each academic year, where students are placed into teams with a specific theme, with the mission to design a programme of public engagement and outreach, educating the public in their theme area.
The “Urban Wildlife” team decided that the main focus of their public engagement programme would be to run a series of workshops for local primary school children, allowing them to explore the wildlife that urban London has to offer. The team was in charge of defining what outreach it was going to conduct.
The team, in collaboration with external partner the Zoological Society of London, ran a series of eleven workshops across a three-week period in June-July 2022, for primary school years 4-6 (ages 8-11). These workshops covered eight different primary schools and taught 300 students.
The workshops were advertised to state schools, and some workshops took place with schools that have majority BAME classes. All schools were new to working with Imperial. For students, residing in inner London, access to the countryside is limited, and their curriculum has limited space for external visits – as such these workshops provided a special opportunity for these students, whose nature baseline knowledge was low. From this social challenge, these workshops formed close connections with the community of schools in north London.
Urban Wildlife SSCP DTP Challenge Team:
- Alex Auyang, Life Sciences
- Henry Grub, Centre for Environmental Policy
- George Horner, Physics
- Verity Miles, School of Public Health
- Alex Rabeau, Life Sciences
- Josh Reynolds, Life Sciences
Achievement Award for Societal Engagement
The WellHome Community Engagement Team were Highly Commended for the Achievement Award for Societal Engagement. The WellHome study focuses on the air quality inside and outside over 100 homes of children with asthma. The Community Engagement team was created to facilitate this research activity in neighbourhoods near the White City Campus.
As part of their nomination the team were recognised for their innovative approaches to participatory research, delivering more than 50 activities from faith centres, to schools, to community groups and beyond. Their work has built a level of trust and sensitivity with community members, where they feel comfortable inviting researchers into their home to take part in the study. The team have gone above and beyond to engage and empower the community.
The WellHome Community Engagement Team:
- Munira Elmi
- Swati Jain
- Esther Lie
- Adam Skillern
- Dr Diana Varaden
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