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Celebrating outstanding contributions to teaching and learning

Nine members of staff have been awarded prestigious Bangor University Teaching Fellowships. Teaching Fellowships recognise the importance of exceptional teaching and learning within the University, and are awarded based on evidence of excellence within five categories: Enhancement, Innovation, Impact, Scholarship, and Leadership

Nominations for Teaching Fellowships are made by Heads of Schools, and their evidence is reviewed by the Teaching Fellowships Panel, chaired by Professor Nicky Callow, PVC for Teaching and Learning. The Panel is composed of the College Directors of Teaching and Learning, members of the Centre for Enhancement in Learning & Teaching (CELT), and representatives from the Students’ Union.

Professor Nicky Callow, PVC for Teaching and Learning said,

"This year’s Fellowship recipients embody excellence in teaching and learning within Bangor University. It is without doubt that these recipients have transformed the learning experience for individual students, cohorts of students, modules, and programmes. More than that, these award recipients have positively enhanced practice within, and in many cases, beyond our University. Whilst Bangor University Teaching Fellowships are always a special recognition of excellence, to have received this award under the circumstances of this past year, is truly exceptional."

This year's Teaching Fellowships for the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering have been awarded to:

Dr Dei Huws - Senior Lecturer in Ocean Sciences

Dei’s leadership in Teaching and Scholarship has been long term and outstanding, and the organisational structure he has established, interventions he has put in place, skills developed and good practice disseminated have been central to the School successfully adapting to online teaching with great efficiency.Dei is passionate about the quality and excellence of teaching and has successfully passed on that passion to encourage all staff to be innovative and to design teaching around student focussed learning. 

Dei is a highly experienced member of the University’s Quality Assurance and Validation Panel, regularly undertaking audits, international partnership agreements and revalidation events across the University, including assessing programmes in situ at Changsha, China.  Having originally initiated and led College Welsh Medium teaching, Dei led the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol project to attract more Welsh medium students to the School of Ocean Sciences. 

Professor John Turner, Head of School of Ocean Sciences

Dei said, "The best days come in various guises, but they usually involve practical classes where there’s time to chat and get to know students. Whether it’s in the laboratory, ‘squashing mud’ to find its physical properties for engineering applications or in the field, performing geophysical surveys to deduce what’s under the ground without using a JCB! For the last couple of years, it’s given me and the module team a lot of joy to introduce a geology field course module based solely on Anglesey – what with the island being a UN designated GeoPark. In the School, it’s been great to help develop the teaching and learning aspects, based around a super team of teaching and scholarship staff that are forever finding better ways of doing things and then supporting the other, equally fantastic, staff in the School to do likewise."

 Dr Sarah Zylinski - Lecturer in Marine Biology

Sarah is an outstanding member of the teaching staff whose work with students to improve their experience, and contributions to teaching development in Ocean Science, have been exceptional.  Sarah receives consistent praise from both the students she teaches and those she encounters through her role as Director Student Engagement due to the extra distance she goes in her lecture presentations, supporting materials, guidance and support.    

Sarah has led the School in improving module organisation (the most important predictor of student satisfaction). She developed a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information at a higher level than modules, and she has produced a series of generic skills guides pitched in student friendly language on topics which even include online etiquette.  Her innovation is exemplified by a deep sea animal version of ‘Top Trumps’ which brings extreme marine habitat lectures to life by ‘tentacle and jaw’.  

Professor John Turner, Head of School of Ocean Sciences

Rebecca Jones - Teaching Associate

Rebecca is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher who continues to show a remarkable commitment to the student experience and employability.  

Rebecca’s creativity, organisation and management of the placement programmes has been highly successful just at a time when placement experiences and employability are becoming more important. Her contribution to the planning and execution of Welcome Week for SNS was exemplary, and helped to support students at a very difficult time, when we were all working from home and unable to meet our students face to face. Rebecca is a valued colleague and has much to offer the School and the University in terms of her consideration of student needs and abilities. 

Professor Nia Whiteley, Head of School of Natural Sciences

Rebecca said, "I'm a passionate supporter of student employability and have worked hard to advance the already established placements within the school. Placements are an important tool that students can use to implement theory into practice, develop valuable transferable skills, and explore potential career paths. I help students make informed decisions about whether a placement is right for them by coordinating cross-university talks. I'm always happy to share knowledge and ideas, and have helped advise other schools on our best practice methods and ways of implementing placements within their schools.  

I strive to ensure a safe, encouraging and supportive environment for students, similar to the one I received when I studied at Bangor University and which undoubtedly has helped me succeed, and helps me today strive to be a better educator. I am grateful to now work with such supportive colleagues who have helped make my teaching journey such a positive and rewarding experience."

Congratulations to them all!

Publication date: 15 July 2021

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