Education Awards 2019 - the winners

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Firstly, let me introduce myself, I’m Jo. I’m a third year Youth and Community Work student who’s currently on placement with the Union of Students. I’ve been lucky enough to work with the Union on some really exciting events during my time with them, this is the story of just one of them.

You don’t expect to start your Wednesday carrying two ornamental bushes across a university car park, but today isn’t an ordinary day. It’s the day of the Union Awards – Education.

If you’re not sure what that means, let me explain; the Education Awards is the final event in a calendar of Union celebrations of student and staff achievement and it rewards excellence in learning and teaching. Throughout the last few months, the Student Voice team have been literally bombarded with nominations for staff and student representatives, each one giving a personal perspective of how their university experience has been positively impacted by someone else.

Work begins weeks before the doors of Derby Theatre open, as the team meticulously plan every aspect of the event. Promotion, notifying nominees, musical act auditions, shortlisting, more promotion, trophy selection, canapé choices, even more promotion! When we arrive at the theatre, it’s really just the finishing touches which need applying (and a dash round Derby for additional fairy light supplies). As we sit in a group, slotting bookmarks into freshly printed Student Voice Reports, we have a chance to reflect on the build-up and how, in its second year, the Education Awards has become more than a prize giving ceremony. It’s a chance to stand back and admire the commitment and dedication the University of Derby (including its Union of Students) has to offer, and how that can build and shape future opportunities for our students.

We break for lunch, then it’s back to work! Scarlet (Vice President (Education)) and Abby (Union President) arrive to start rehearsing their script run through, then it’s time to sound check the musical acts and wrestle with some helium balloons.

The photographer sets up, prosecco is uncorked and the doors finally open. The Student Voice team transform into evening mode in World Record breaking time, and the show gets underway!

After a warm video welcome from our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kath Mitchell, the winners and runners up are announced and invited to the stage to receive their awards. The appreciation is evident and everyone receives a rousing individual round of applause.

The results

Award Runner-Up Winner
Outstanding Personal Tutor of the Year Ruth Larsen Joan Howarth
Site of the Year Britannia Mill Chesterfield
Outstanding Support Staff of the Year Kelvin Brammer Daniel Cooper
Personality of the Year Tyra Tucker Emma Rodrigues
Exceptional Contribution to Education at Derby Chris Windmill Gavin Jinks
Mighty Module of the Year Does Psychology Matter? Group Work Skills – Occupational Therapy
Part Time Officer (Education) of the Year Tanith Jones Annaline Jones
Outstanding Contribution to Welfare and Liberation Julie Bernstein Karen Newberry
Part Time Officer (Welfare and Liberation) of the Year Oliver Moore Claire Smedley
College of the Year Arts, Humanities & Education Health & Social Care
Commitment to Student Voice David Patton Louise Pidgen
Biggest Rep Win The Occupational Therapy Programme Marjorie Tang
Vice President (Education) Award Chris Winson Alex Wood

Lecturers of the Year

College Runner-Up Winner
Arts, Humanities & Education David Barker Barry Squiresh
Business, Law & Social Sciences Devi Gill Lisa Cherkassy
Buxton Ken Airey Leanne Drennan
Life & Natural Sciences Katy Chamberlain Samantha Drake
Engineering & Technology Nicholas Korpelainen Ben Thomas
Health & Social Care Angela Pereira Liz Eate
UDOL Alice Doherty Jeanette Lewis

Programme Reps of the Year

College Runner-Up Winner
Arts, Humanities & Education Megan Crossland Emma Walker
Business, Law & Social Sciences Amber Danks Taye Martha Shalewa Adenkanbi
Buxton Adam Thurman Lorna Bennett
Life & Natural Sciences Cate Starr Cat Newstead
Engineering & Technology Wendy Southam Michael Dixon
Health & Social Care Sarah Clarke Sarah Cooke
UDOL Geraldine Cooper Áine Quigley

It’s no surprise to me that the event is a resounding success, from the runners-up and winners to the amazing musical acts (Will, Amy, Musical Theatre, and Cal – you absolutely nailed it!) and the words of our Union President ring true. Everyone in that room is a winner, especially, from my personal perspective, the Student Voice team. It’s been such a huge honour to work with such exceptional people who clearly have one common goal; to make The University of Derby and the Union of Students a place to be proud of.

At ten past ten, I carry the ornamental bushes across another carpark, and head home.

What a wonderful night.


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