Tell us your story 2012/13

Every year, the University provides the economy with thousands of work-ready graduates, skilled men and women with the skills and experience to succeed in the workplace.

Behind the scenes there are the efforts of our professional and administrative staff. These are our unsung heroes, the staff whose hard work and support ensure that the University runs effectively and our students achieve the best they can.

We think that recognising the achievements of our staff is important, which is why we have introduced two staff categories for this year’s awards to recognise the quality and variety of work on offer.

The Professional and Administrative Staff of the Year category recognises those members of staff who work for the University in a professional, technical or administrative capacity.

Winner

Shona McQuillan - Enquiry Handling and Database Manager

Shona has helped the University to develop a new system which has revolutionised how the University communicates with prospective students.

Shona also provides exceptional support for prospective students, receiving praise from the mother of an applicant with Asperger Syndrome for her ability to go the “extra mile” to help her son.

Lyn Holder, Head of Outreach and Enquiry Management, who nominated Shona for the award, said: “Shona provides day-to-day advice and guidance to hundreds of potential students. We have had a large number of emails from enquirers thanking her for her support.”

Runner up

Justin Sanders - Print Technician

Justin’s work is a great example of some of the exceptional work done ‘behind the scenes’ by administrative and professional staff at the University.

Since his arrival in 2009, Justin has set up links with industry and suppliers and is frequently arranging opportunities for students to work with better materials and equipment. Justin works to support a wide variety of students at all levels of ability and also works to support students across two different schools.

Nominator Professor Andrew Kulman said: “Justin has transformed the print facilities since starting at the University and student activity has increased tenfold. He has also selflessly supported staff in their duties and become a big presence in the School.”

Finalists

David Allsop - Operations Manager

With a background in the housing sector, David Allsop has been able to bring a fresh approach to management in the faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

Nominator Lesley Gabriel said: “David has completely transformed the way that our office is run. He is also incredibly supportive to students and members of staff throughout our faculty. He always goes the extra mile to support us and help us feel valued.

“David's dedication to his role, calmness in the face of calamity and incredible sense of humour inspire his team and other staff within the Faculty.”

The fact that David has been nominated for this award by a number of his colleagues just goes to show the high regard that his work is held in.

Ian McDonald - School Administrator

Working as part of the administration team in the Birmingham School of the Built Environment (BSBE), Ian’s expert knowledge of University systems and photographic memory of students is cited by his colleagues as making a real difference to the student experience.

Nominator Matthew Smith said: “Not only does Ian know all of the students by name, he also takes the time to provide a personal service in a mentoring capacity.”

As well as providing first class support, Ian is also finding time to study for a PGCE to help enhance the support and teaching he provides to students in his school.

Jane McAllister - Careers Consultant

Experienced careers consultant Jane works with students and staff from both at our City Centre Campus. She uses her numerous connections with employers to help students at the University develop their job prospects.

Colleague Caroline Thorley, who nominated Jane for the award, said: “Jane’s advice, support and dedication have made her very popular with students. She works tirelessly to develop student career prospects.

“She is also a great source of support to other members of the careers team and is always ready to offer advice, share ideas and support colleagues with their work. She always makes time for others, no matter how busy she is, and has been an invaluable source of support to her colleagues.”