Every year the LSE Students’ Union runs the LSE Teaching Awards. Following our re-affirmed commitment to a student-led Awards and a successful funding bid from NUS – a number of major changes to the project were made. Students have been involved at every stage; from the introduction of award categories for the first time ever, to setting the criteria and judging the winners.
Up until now LSE Awards have been reserved for professors, lecturers and class-teachers. Yet our students felt that this limited understanding of ‘teaching’ has excluded many staff members who offer crucial guidance and teaching services and who play a major role in shaping the learning experiences of LSE students. The new award categories were chosen therefore to maximize the inclusion of all types of staff and their different teaching roles; from class-leader to PhD supervisor, Academic Advisor, language teacher and departmental administrators (to name but a few!).
It also became clear that the vital work done across the institution in offering Pastoral Support and Professional Mentoring should be acknowledged. The introduction of the LSESU Award for Excellent Welfare and Pastoral Support and the LSESU Award for Professional Mentoring and Personal Development were very important additions to this year’s Awards and the heart-felt words submitted by students show the life-changing impact these two roles can have when done exceptionally well.
Students were free to individually nominate any member of staff and did not require signatories to their submission as in previous years. As a result, we have had much higher engagement from students across the school and far more personal comments submitted in support of staff. We are delighted with the overwhelming response this year. With 993 individual submissions and over 450 members of staff nominated – competition was steep!
Winner: Martin Anthony (Maths Professor)
- “His enthusiastic way of teaching is incredibly popular amongst students”
- “He should be recognized for making algebra so enjoyable!”
- “The best Maths teacher I’ve had both at my home university in the US and here at LSE”
Martin has been awarded this Teaching Prize because students wanted to thank Martin for his enthusiasm, generosity and compassionate approach to teaching complex mathematical concepts. Not only is Martin incredibly knowledgeable, nominations pointed to his ability to share this expertise using clear lectures, excellent additional resources, and a patient and coherent communication technique. Students appreciate his positive attitude to teaching, creating a safe and open classroom environment where no question is too small or silly to ask. Furthermore, many students referenced Martin’s skill at making mathematics relevant to the real world, giving background motivation for topics and taking time to approach problems from multiple different angles.
Highly Commended: Renuka Fernando (Accounting GTA)
Highly Commended: Lourdes Hernandez-Martin (Language Centre Assistant Language Coordinator)
Winner: Alexandru Marcoci - (Philosophy GTA)
- "Alex has been really helpful for the writing of that paper and more generally for deepening my desire to study for a PhD and work in the academic world"
Alexandru’s commitment to teaching extends above and beyond the expected duty of the GTA role. Identifying talent in his masters’ students, he has worked closely with students to shape and inspire a new generation of academics. After spending an enormous amount of time giving feedback on formative essays, Alexandru has recognized his students as academic partners and fine-tuned their research skills. He has made sure that other members of the department are aware of the progress of his students to ensure a consistent level of support is offered. One student highlighted Alexandru’s crucial role in encouraging them to submit an academic paper for presentation at a conference in Germany, while others thanked him for showing so much respect to the academic prowess of those he teaches
Highly Commended: Clare Hemmings (Gender Institute Professor)
Highly Commended: Nigel Dodd (Sociology Professor)
Winner: Nick Long (Anthropology Professor)
- "Exciting and captivating dissemination of topic knowledge every week"
- "Powerpoints are a wealth of understandable theory and case studies with vivid imagery to render the cases lively and graspable"
Students identified Nicholas’s use of innovative teaching methods as key to their enjoyment and successes in his courses. At the start of each lecture Nicholas plays a song relating to the topic of the week (even lugging in his own speakers every week!) grabbing students’ attention right from the beginning. Nicholas seamlessly weaves his personal research into the course content. His Powerpoints packed with vivid imagery and short videos were also praised. Nicholas uploaded a playlist of songs from the Southeast Asian region as a Moodle revision de-stress tool. To top it off, students detailed Nicholas’s commitment to the learning of all his students: one week when the ECHO system was not working Nicholas booked a lecture room and recorded the lecture again to an empty classroom just so that students who were unable to attend could watch online.
Highly Commended: Frederik Laker (International Relations GTA)
Highly Commended: Nicola Limodio (Economics GTA)
Winner: Rosie Coffey (International History GTA)
- "Since joining LSE, Rosie has been the best teacher I have encountered"
- "Feedback provided by Rosalind has helped all of us to improve our work"
- "Rosie goes out of her way to ensure that we are fully prepared for class each week"
The breadth and depth of support provided by Rosalind is truly exceptional. Feedback is provided quickly and in great detail following every formative submission: all comments are delivered in 1-2-1 meetings and Rosalind makes full use of students’ Moodle registers. Rosalind’s commitment to excellent feedback is not just limited to marking: feedback with Rosalind is an on-going process. She is extremely approachable and communicates students’ strengths and development areas through personal interactions, group work and responsive emails ensuring concerns are addressed quickly. She clearly communicates the themes of the course and the aims of each week enabling students to read with focus and efficiency. Rosalind often provides hand-outs with key events or themes, and when HY113 books are in short supply, Rosalind takes the time to email a scanned copy of the required pages so that all students can be fully prepared for class each week.
Highly Commended: Diana Popescu (Government GTA)
Highly Commended: Stephan Maurer (Economics GTA)
Winner: Antoine Paccoud (Geography Fellow)
- "Antoine is the most inspiring teacher I have ever had"
- "His passion for his subject has helped to drive my own"
- "I would like to thank Antoine for everything he has done for me and others"
Antoine received by far the most individual nominations of any member of LSE staff nominated. Students submitted more than 3000 words collectively in his support. He is acknowledged for his excellence as a lecturer, teacher and academic advisor and thanked for his dedication to students across a range of teaching functions; from excellent feedback provision to welfare support and professional mentoring. Students have immense respect for Antoine’s intelligence and amazement at his ability to rephrase, re-contextualise and reimagine age-old theories to make them accessible for every student. He gives an immense amount of personal attention to each student, ensuring everyone is confident with the content and their studies more generally. His door is quite literally always open. Antoine is incredibly charismatic, friendly and approachable and these aspects of his personality really shine during his classes and have inspired a huge number of students at the LSE this year.
Highly Commended: Alice Evans (Geography Fellow)
Highly Commended: Hakan Seckinelgin (Social Policy Professor)
Winner: Alicia Mejia (Management Teacher)
- "Alicia made me feel I could accomplish anything"
- "The most amazing person I have met at LSE and in my life so far"
Many students at LSE will resonate with the experiences of those Alicia has supported. LSE is a challenging place to study, academically and socially and many students look to their class teachers for pastoral support. Alicia expertly offers pastoral support within an academic context , giving hands-on advice to students on how to achieve academically and, how to remain confident despite setbacks or a competitive atmosphere. Alicia is thanked for her willingness to advice students in a personal setting, always having time to chat over coffee, reply to emails and offer kind and constructive advice. Students appreciated how Alicia was as keen to know about their lives as they were to ask questions about hers.
Highly Commended: Sue Haines (Disabilities Office Service Manager)
Highly Commended: Richard Perkins (Geography Professor)
Winner: Devika Hovell (Law Professor)
- "She is by far the best teacher we have ever had - she is an inspiration to us all"
- "Devika inspired me to take further law courses and re-qualify as a lawyer"
- "Everyone has heard of Devika, even outside the department!"
Devika masterfully combines academic rigour with professional mentoring, going above and beyond to make her course content relevant to the wider world and incorporating practical skill training into her classes. Her slides are always thought provoking and have proven a useful springboard for revision and job applications. Devika frequently invites guests to speak to students, judge mooting competitions or discuss their practice areas after a seminar. Devika has inspired many students to pursue law careers and sharpened the interests of those who had already decided on this path.
Highly Commended: Helena Ivins (Economic History Administrator)
Highly Commended: Matthew Whiting (Government GTA)
Winner: Ulrike Theuekauf (Government Fellow)
- "I feel very privileged to have had Ulrike as my Teacher"
- "She is an amazing teacher who goes above and beyond to help all her students"
- "Uli truly cares about her students"
Year after year, students tell LSESU how phenomenal Ulrike’s teaching is. This year she received one of the highest number of nominations, and has been commended for her high quality feedback, her inspirational teaching style, and the amount of personal attention she showers on each and every student. She is always on hand to help, and takes time to ensure everyone understands the course content. Passionate, patient and infectiously enthusiastic, she is truly a credit to the LSE.
Congratulations to all and thanks to every student who nominated!