GCU wins prestigious national teaching excellence awards

Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:18:00 BST
Dr Larissa Kempenaar, Dr Sivaram Shanmugam, Elspeth Donaldson, Douglas Lauchlan and Dr Philippa Dall.
Dr Larissa Kempenaar, Dr Sivaram Shanmugam, Elspeth Donaldson, Douglas Lauchlan and Dr Philippa Dall.

The University has been recognised nationally with two prestigious teaching excellence awards from Advance HE.

Liz Simpson, from the Department of Nursing and Community Health, has been honoured with a National Teaching Fellowship, while a team of teaching and research staff from the Department of Physiotherapy and Paramedicine has won a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE).

Now in its 20th year, the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

Liz Simpson, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, joined GCU in 2003 after a successful career in nursing. The award recognises her commitment to enhancing student learning using Simulation-Based Education (SBE). Liz is an expert in SBE and has transformed GCU's clinical skills teaching facilities and initiated a new strategy for SBE at the University.

Her pioneering approach to education has involved building strategic partnerships with other disciplines across the University, such as journalism, law and forensic science, and with core service providers such as Scottish Fire and Rescue and the Scottish Ambulance Service to allow our students to grow and to experience pressured critical decision-making in a safe and constructive way. 

The CATE award recognises teamwork that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning in higher education. It was awarded to a team of physio staff, comprising Dr Larissa Kempenaar, Dr Sivaram Shanmugam, Elspeth Donaldson, Douglas Lauchlan and Dr Philippa Dall, for their project entitled 'Health promotion in easy-to-ignore communities'.

The team, led by Dr Kempenaar and Dr Shanmugam, works with students and a range of community partners, including Lodging House Mission, Glasgow Science Centre and Waverley Care, to transform the learning experience for students on the pre-reg MSc Physiotherapy programme. They have designed a model through which our students can work directly with community partners in Glasgow to organise, design and deliver health promotion activities in creative ways. The transformational educational approach enhances students' learning experience by enabling them to be health promotion agents within communities, responding to real-world health priorities. The team is one of just 15 projects at UK universities to receive a CATE this year.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said:"This is wonderful recognition for the University and both awards reflect our commitment to delivering the best possible experience for our students. I would like to congratulate Liz and the outstanding team of physiotherapists for working collaboratively with students, service users, community partners and other stakeholders to advance healthcare in innovative ways and to create positive learning outcomes for our students. Both awards are fully deserved."

Professor Andrea Nelson, Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences, said:"I am delighted that the innovation in education and partnership working demonstrated by Liz and the Physiotherapy team has been acknowledged in these prestigious awards.  Both of the areas of work make a profound impact on our students and we are proud of the work done by our staff and students in transforming care in the communities we serve. It is wonderful to see such exciting work in the University and I would like to commend Liz, Larissa, Sivaram, Elspeth, Douglas and Philippa on their national teaching excellence awards."

AdvanceHE is an independent non-profit organisation committed to world-class teaching in higher education. It works in partnership with institutions and individuals in higher education to support continuous improvement and student success.

The awards ceremony will take place online later this year.