Tell us your story 2012/13

Studying at Birmingham City University is all about upgrading your future: preparing yourself for the world of work through the University’s practice-based teaching and numerous links with top businesses.

However, none of our successes would be possible without the efforts of our academic staff. They provide innovative teaching and exceptional support for students, which helped us win a Times Higher Award for Exceptional Student Support in 2010.

Our academics are also leaders in research; the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise highlighted our pioneering research in arts, humanities and the social sciences.

For this year’s awards, we wanted to recognise the work of these exceptional academics with their own individual award.

Winner

Professor Alister Scott - Professor of Environmental and Spatial Planning

Since moving to Birmingham City University in 2009, Alister Scott has made a big impact in his field, gaining plaudits from the research community and developing new ways of teaching.

Alister’s innovative work has bought together academics from the University with leading professionals in his field, a pioneering approach which has helped to link the University’s academic research with business.

In his spare time, Alister writes as a blogger for the Birmingham Post and his expert opinions on planning are frequently sought after by the national press.

Runner up

Dr Kerry Gough - Theory Lecturer and Welfare Officer

Kerry is one of the University’s biggest advocates of student engagement work; she runs a number of successful partnerships projects with students.

Her development of the Level Up mentoring programme has been praised for creating a sense of community amongst new students. Professor Phillip Thickett said: “Kerry has made a great contribution to the learning community of the school and of the wider university by her commitment to and involvement in the student engagement agenda.”

In addition to her teaching and research roles, Kerry also has an active involvement with the student cohort. Kerry and her student partners have recently won funding from the Student Academic Partnership programme for the development of paid student projects within the School of Media.

Finalists

Emma Flint - LLB Law Tutor

Law lecturer Emma was nominated for a Tell Us Your Story award by one of her students for the work that she does to combine employability skills with her course.

Emma uses her own time to run career lectures for law students and goes to great lengths to bring in her legal contacts to speak to students.

She also helps students maximise their employability skills by encouraging them to get involved in extracurricular activities such as work experience, placements and mooting.

In her spare time, Emma helps run a Facebook page for new students and has set up a Twitter account to provide details of job opportunities and keep her students up to date on their course.

Dr Lyndsey Harris - Admissions Tutor and 1st Year Tutor, Criminology

Lyndsey Harris is one of many exceptional academics at the University. Her research is a leading light in the field of counter terrorism studies.

Though her work might go unnoticed by some members of the public, Lyndsey’s research contributes to the safety of the UK, ensuring that the nation’s counter terrorism work is informed by cutting-edge research.

But it’s not just her academic expertise which is valued. Nominator Tom Fletcher said: “As a student, what I really appreciate about Lyndsey’s approach to teaching is that she is always willing to put aside her own time to help all the students in her classes.

“I’ve experienced first-hand how much she helps the Criminology and Security Studies department. In my opinion, it’s her hard work that keeps the department ticking over and I know that dozens of students have benefited from her approach.”

Nigel Wynne - Senior Academic in Learning and Teaching

Nigel has led on and contributed to a range of learning and teaching developments within the Faculty for a number of years.

Arguably Nigel's most notable achievement has been the development and deployment of the Virtual Case Creator, (VCC) software.

This online simulated platform has been used throughout the Faculty of Health and beyond to support a full range of vocational undergraduate courses, from nursing, to speech and language therapy to education. The VCC essentially allows students to practice decision making skills in a safe environment before entering their chosen professional practice environments.

Senior Lecturer Emma Winterman, who nominated Nigel, said: “Nigel has a real passion and belief in enhancing the student experience. His enthusiasm and motivation to deliver excellence to our students has permeated throughout his team.”