Keele Excellence Awards 2017

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Posted on 23 June 2017

 Keele University is delighted to announce the Keele Excellence Award winners for 2016/17

The Keele Excellence Award scheme seeks to identify and reward excellent teaching practice and support for student learning across the University. The scheme is managed by the Learning and Professional Development Centre, with support from KeeleSU and Keele Postgraduate Association, on behalf of the University Learning and Teaching Committee.

This year the external assessment panel member was Susan Bolt, who, after assessing all the applications received, commented on the high standard and encouraged those applicants that were unsuccessful to apply again in a future round.

The award winners are:

Martyn Parker 200 Martyn Parker

Mathematics – Keele Excellence Award in Learning and Teaching

During the seven years that Martyn has been at Keele, he has developed and deployed a technology enhanced/blended learning strategy within the mathematics department which has transformed teaching and assessment practices. In a discipline which relies heavily on traditional blackboard and whiteboard approaches for teaching, Martyn has led by example and introduced a series of educational technologies, including: mathematics tutorial videos which are embedded in the KLE and have been viewed over 20,000 times by Keele students; the use of screen capture software to provide students with combined video and written feedback on assessments; and, novel assessment methods which require students to create multimedia video presentations. Martyn’s innovations have not only been adopted widely within mathematics at Keele but he has also disseminated his approach at conferences, leading to wider adoption at other universities. Martyn also received a Student-Led teaching award for ‘Innovative Teaching through Technology’ in 2015.


Rebecca Laycock 200 Rebecca Laycock

Environment and Sustainability – Keele Excellence Award in Learning and Teaching (Early Career Award)

Bekki is a Teaching Fellow in Environment and Sustainability with a passion and commitment to student-centred and participatory sustainability education within and beyond the classroom. Bekki teaches on an international collaborative programme with Nanjing Xiaozhuang University and has invested much time developing a culturally inclusive teaching approach for supporting Chinese students in their transition into UK higher education, with positive student results and feedback across the board. Outside of the classroom Bekki contributes extensively to sustainability education agendas at Keele, including: co-organising the World Student Environmental Network’s (WSEN) Global Summit hosted at Keele in 2016; co-organising three national sustainability education conferences; and, designing an online sustainability Learning Pool course. Bekki is also co-founder and currently leads Keele University’s Sustainability Research Network (KUSRN) which has hosted an incredibly popular seminar series attracting over 600 attendees in three years. Bekki has presented her pedagogical research at several national and international conferences.


Yvonne Skipper 200 Dr Yvonne Skipper

Psychology – Keele Excellence Award in Learning and Teaching (Early Career Award)

Yvonne embodies a research informed approach to teaching. This enables her students to realise their potential and brings a real world authenticity to Psychology learning which enhances students’ transferable, employability and research skills. An example of this approach is her White Water Writers project which gives students the chance to collectively write and publish a full length novel in a week. Yvonne has a sustained commitment to broadening the student learning experience: supporting students to make a difference within the local community by organising volunteer placements in local schools; collaboration with Stoke City Council and working with the SU, outreach team and SSDS at Keele. Yvonne has co-organised a national pre-conference for the British Psychological Society, bringing together more than 40 psychologists, postgraduates, teachers and educational professionals to share best practice in student feedback and has been invited to present at a variety of national teacher conferences about her work.


Catherine Forbes 200 Catherine Forbes

Pharmacy – Staff Supporting Student Learning Award

Cathy is an Undergraduate Senior Administrator in the School of Pharmacy who provides exceptional and much valued support to Pharmacy students both within and beyond their formal studies, as evidenced by receiving six KEA nominations this year. Cathy’s colleagues have described her contribution to the school as positive, approachable, proactive, immeasurable and exceptionally organised! Indeed, Cathy’s excellent organisational skills have contributed to the re-design and streamlining of many admin processes in the school, including: scanners to replace paper registers; a movement to online DBS applications which all MPharm students require; and self-organised placements for all 2nd and 3rd year MPharm students. Cathy has proactively supported the Keele Association of Pharmacy Students (KAPS) in organising many events, she organises an annual careers fair for all Pharmacy students and has established an Alumni network for the school. Cathy’s inherently caring nature also extends to the pastoral support of many Pharmacy students.


Mark Arrowsmith 200 Mark Arrowsmith

Pharmacy – Staff Supporting Student Learning Award

Mark works as Pharmaceutical Sciences Technician providing exemplary support to staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students in Pharmacy, which goes above and beyond the expectation of his role and shows unwavering commitment to the student learning experience. Mark leads lab teaching sessions; has developed a suite of learning resources to support students in mastering a range of laboratory techniques, including teaching slides, laboratory scripts, skills sheets and marking criteria; he provides individual online written feedback to students on their work, as well as contributing to group feedback classes; and has even taken on the role of personal tutor for one year four student. Mark has been instrumental in designing pharmaceutical lab environments, purchasing appropriate equipment and has provided consultancy support to the university centrally in the design of new lab spaces. Mark also effectively supports new teaching staff and PhD student demonstrators in their orientation and utilisation of the Pharmacy labs.