Award for Excellence in Teaching - Undergraduate Winner Announced!

Award for Excellence in Teaching - Undergraduate Winner Announced!

We are delighted to announce that Dr Emily Nordmann, School of Psychology, is the winner of the 2014 Award for Excellence in Teaching in the College of Life Sciences and Medicine for Undergraduate Teaching.

The College was delighted this year to receive nineteen nominations for seventeen members of teaching staff across the College for the Undergraduate Award. It was after careful consideration the College Directors of Teaching and Learning selected Emily Nordmann as the CLSM winner for her entertaining and educational teaching style that is dynamic and witty.

Her educational approach has been described by students as "unique", and she is very engaging providing feedback on assessments that is very informative and helpful. She pushes students out of their comfort zones, but provides sustained support above and beyond normal expectations, and ensures that students are constantly motivated.

Students find her approachable, with a caring personality filled with passion. We asked Emily what this meant to her:

You won the Award for CLSM this year, what are your thoughts on it?

I'm very happy to have won the award. I put a lot of effort into updating and improving my teaching and engaging with the students so it's extremely gratifying to have that rewarded. I first started teaching when this year's graduating class were in level 1. It's really nice that I've been able to see them develop from scared freshers into confident graduates, but they've also seen me go from a scared postgraduate demonstrator to a teacher they think worthy of this award.

Why do you think that you won this year?

I’ve done quite a lot of work on integrating the use of social media both into my teaching and across the Psychology programme as a whole, so I think one of the reasons is that I am inescapable! On a more serious note, a lot of the work I've done is very student-centered e.g., social media and peer-assisted learning. I think the best teaching is when you can have a dialogue, and the students appreciate that. I also consider myself lucky to work in the School of Psychology. We have a fantastic teaching team and are encouraged and supported in developing our teaching and trying out new methods and initiatives that play to our individual strengths.

Do you think it will have an impact on your teaching in the future?

We don't tend to get a great deal of feedback on our teaching outside of a few SCEF comments so it's good to know that a lot of what I'm doing is having a positive impact. I'll certainly remember the things that the students deemed important for my teaching in the future.


The main aim of the award is to recognise, encourage and reward individuals who have undertaken the development of the highest quality teaching, leading to particularly effective learning for their students.

The award covers any sort of course teaching from conventional lectures to special seminars and field courses and includes courses in both half sessions.

Professor Neil Macrae congratulated Emily and said “Fitting recognition for your outstanding contribution to the student experience”.

Professor Greaves said 'It is extremely gratifying that in the College we have such an array of dedicated, excellent teachers who are contributing hugely to learning and to a high quality student experience'.

Emily will be presented with the Award at a Graduation Ceremony this June.

Nominations were received from across the College and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our nominees.

Dr Doug Martin, School of Psychology
Dr Martin was nominated by students taking the PS1009 course for making lectures interesting, fun and easy to interpret. He was their “favourite” first year lecturer.

Dr Andy Yule, School of Biological Sciences
Dr Yule was nominated by students taking the course, ZO3306. He was quoted as being “a healthy and necessary sceptic”, with a critical mind always visualising the subject and reminding the students what it is all about. His down to earth teaching style encourages his students to ask questions and look at the finer detail, allowing them to develop as young scientists.

Dr John Baird, School of Biological Sciences
Dr Baird was nominated by students taking the course BI 1007. Most importantly the students felt they were “treated like adults and equals”, but found his lectures interesting, and him to be a funny and good lecturer.

Professor Stephen Redpath, School of Biological Sciences
Professor Redpath was nominated by students on the course BI3506 for being engaging and enthusiastic, but understanding the mentality of his class. Students find him approachable and always helpful. Students find his dedication to his research inspiring, and enjoy teaching techniques that link to real life scenarios.

Ms Genevieve Cseh, School of Psychology
Ms Cseh was nominated by students on the course PS 1001 for her great spirit and engaging students in the topics. The students feel she is understanding and supportive, with strong communication skills and the ability to get the best out of her pupils.

Dr Tyler Stevenson, School of Biological Sciences
Dr Stevenson was nominated by students on ZO4817, a course which they were exceptionally impressed with. Students found teaching fun and appreciated his speedy feedback which helps them improve. Students find Dr Stevenson “student oriented”, and feel he is always there for them.

Dr Jim McDonald, School of Biological Sciences
Dr McDonald was nominated by students on the course BI4802 for going beyond the call of duty for his students. Dr McDonald makes lectures interesting and always listens to his students, and promotes independent thinking.

Dr Michelle Pinard, School of Biological Sciences
Dr Pinard was nominated by students across courses in Biological Sciences for running well thought out courses with enough scope in assignments that every student could approach it from their own angle.  Students find Dr Pinard a good listener, supportive, sympathetic and she gives the best advice whenever the students need it.

Dr Helen Dooley, School of Biological Sciences
Dr Dooley was nominated by students on the ZO4011 course for the effort she puts into her work for students and going beyond the call of duty.  Students find her supportive, encouraging and extremely helpful. Students feel she is a motivational speaker with the power to engage and influence an audience, but most importantly inspire young women in science.

Mr James Mackie, School of Medicine and Dentistry
Mr Mackie was nominated by students on the BDS programme for excelling in his teaching and through his enthusiasm and kindness to students. Mr Mackie is described as always kind, helpful and encouraging and takes the time to teach classes that are interactive, well planned, facilitate learning and where there is always plenty of one to one teaching and encouragement. A really excellent teacher who always has a smile and a friendly hello for his students!

Ms Mirjam Brady-Van Den Bos, School of Psychology
Ms Brady-Van Den Bos was nominated by students taking the course PS1511. The students said that the mark of an excellent lecturer is the ability to teach effectively and pass down knowledge to the students, and to inspire curiosity and spark interest. The students feel that in this sense, Ms Brady-Van Den Bos is a truly extraordinary lecturer. Ms Brady-Van Den Bos has managed to bridge the gap between the lecturer's podium and the students' seats with an enthusiastic approach to teaching. Students said Ms Brady-Van Den Bos strikes the spark, and lets the students themselves find the fire that ignites curiosity.

Dr Lynden Miles, School of Psychology
Dr Miles was nominated by students on the course PS4536 for encouraging interaction with the topic and discussing and applying it in the everyday life. Students found his lectures interesting and funny with easy to comprehend examples which make even difficult concepts become clear and simple. Nominees said Dr Miles is always extremely supportive and helpful with an office door always open to students. Students also find him motivating with his unique way of teaching that influences students to develop their strengths, and appreciate his positive and useful feedback.

Dr Steve Tucker, School of Medical Sciences
Dr Tucker was nominated by students taking the course PA3004. Students felt that Dr Tucker deserves recognition for his incredible teaching and enthusiasm towards his students. He is described as highly reliable with student engagement that is second-to-none. He encourages all members of the class to participate and is hugely empathetic to students, understanding the pressures that students face. The students who nominated Dr Tucker said he has true passion for his job and for his students.

Mr Graham Cunningham, School of Medicine and Dentistry
Mr Cunningham was nominated by students on the BDS programme for his excellent teaching while in clinics. Students found Mr Cunningham very supportive and he provides very effective hands on teaching while having a knack for putting everyone at ease in tricky situations.

Professor Stephen Davies, School of Medical Sciences
Professor Davies was nominated by students on the course BM3803 for delivering interesting lectures in a way that makes the information easy to understand. Additionally nominees said he provokes great interest to research topics, and is supportive and inspiring. Professor Davies is described as having a friendly nature and is a great example of what a scientist should be like.

Dr Allison Carrington, School of Medical Sciences
Dr Allison Carrington was nominated by multiple students on the course BT 5007 for incredible efforts as an Industrial Placement coordinator. Students praised her detailed and timely feedback, and for always being there to provide support and advice to her students, caring for her students wellbeing and success. Students said Dr Carrington encompasses teaching in its core goal – all she wants is for her students to learn.

All the nominees and winners from all three Colleges have also been invited to a Tea Party with the Principal later in the summer to celebrate their achievement.