Students Staff

14 July 2015

Excellence in Teaching Awards being presented at Graduation 2015

Stimulating curiosity and inspiring a commitment to learning are recognised through our Excellence in Teaching Awards presented during Graduation 2015.

Imagination and vision coupled with high standards of practice can help deliver a transformative educational experience for our students.

Excellence in Teaching Award winners

Graduate Teaching Award

  • Omar Abdulkarim, Department of Economics
  • Zohour Al-Sabbagh, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
  • Celia Antoniou, Department of Language and Linguistics
  • Ben Markham, Department of History
  • Ali Pisirgen, Essex Business School
  • Handy Tan, Essex Business School

Early Career Award

  • Dr Caroline Barratt, School of Health and Human Sciences

Experienced Award

  • Dr Ritta Husted, International Academy
  • Sue Innes, School of Health and Human Sciences

More about award winners

Dr Caroline Barratt, lecturer in the School of Health and Human Sciences, has received the Early Career award. The lecturer believes academic work is closely interconnected with the personal development of students.

“I perceive my role as ‘teacher’ to be to help students develop their sense of themselves,” Dr Barratt said. “To provide opportunities for students to get in touch with their own sense of meaning and to develop their interests in what they value and what inspires them.”

She has developed a blog on ‘contemplative pedagogy’ - the integration of meditative practices into teaching - which is being read around the world and is looking to develop a professional network to explore these issues further. “I believe this work could have an impact in the University and at a national level,” she said.

Dr Ritta Husted won the experienced teacher award. Within the International Academy Dr Husted is Undergraduate Director and International Foundation Programme/Four-Year Degrees Director and was described by the judging panel as a “confident and extremely skilled educator”.

She said: “My teaching philosophy is to provide equal opportunities for all students to fulfil their potentials and challenge their abilities. A key driver is to provide the students with knowledge as well as skills in order to help foster independent thinkers and academics of the future.”

Sue Innes, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Human Sciences and Postgraduate Musculoskeletal Pathway Lead, also received the experienced teacher award. A registered clinical physiotherapist Sue has developed a range of study options which carefully meet the needs of professionals and include online e-learning options. "The pathway has grown year on year and is now attracting local, national and international students," she said.

Head of School Vikki-Jo Scott said Sue was a "keen advocate for exemplary practice within this clinical field and in the field of education".

Graduate Teaching Assistants make a vital contribution to the academic life of the University and six have received awards this year. Handy Tan, from Essex Business School, challenges students and encourages them not to be afraid of mistakes and to “think for themselves”.

“I apply the experiences I have gained from the industry and transfer them to my students in class.”

New approaches including using smartphone applications to aid learning are also utilised. “The new generation of students is completely technologically literate,” he points out.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Zohour Al-Sabbagh in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies shares Handy’s love for teaching and also adopts multiple strategies for engaging students: "A skilled and successful teacher, I believe, is the one who knows how to motivate his or her students in a way that plants a sense of commitment and passion to learning."

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