Learning Innovation Unit - President Award Winners

Learning Innovation Unit

DCU Learning Innovation Fund (LIF) 2004/2005
President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning: Winners

The DCU President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning recognise outstanding contributions to its teaching and learning mission on the part of members of staff. There are two awards, valued at €2,500 each. Nominations are made by students and staff and are adjudicated on by a panel appointed by the University Teaching and Learning Committee. The awards are partly supported under the HEA Strategic Initiatives scheme.

The 2004/05 award-winners were:

Eilish McLoughlin, School of Physical Sciences [Citation]

The Moodle Team (Jennifer Burke and Morag Munro, Office of the Vice-President for Learning Innovation/Registrar, and Denis Cahalane, Information Systems & Services) [Citation]

The 2004/05 nominees were:

Eoin Campbell, School of Communications

Eoin has been a constant support to all students within the School of Communications. He is always willing to help people with all their technical needs. Students from his classes can always be assured that Eoin will be by their side if they need him to be. He explains the difficult things in a simple and logical manner that everyone can understand.

Briege Casey, School of Nursing

Briege stands out in her genuine interest in her students. Her passion and flair for teaching are obvious and her enthusiasm infectious. Her input into my education, and that of her other students, extends beyond the academic. In her Humanities module, she showed us that, at nurses, we can look deeper, find more, in the everyday and ordinary things we see in the hospital, be it pain, joy, love or disfigurement. She taught us to find the meaning in our role and to seek out the emotions we face.

Francesco Cavatorta, School of Law and Government

Francesco is an excellent teacher who has been both extremely helpful and very informative to all classes. Classes are lively and relaxed, yet I learnt the most there! He should be distinguished for the level of interaction he encourages, the obvious enormous effort he puts into each class and his tolerance of the questions you want to ask but sometimes feel you can’t.

David Denby, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies

David always shows enthusiasm in everything he does. If ever there is a problem, he is always at hand to help in any way that he can, even if it is outside of class work. He is professional but not too formal, which makes the learning experience even better. He is fair and understanding in all aspects of our studies. No matter what time of the day, David manages to bring humour and wit to each lesson. He is one of the lecturers we will always remember.

Pamela Henry, School of Nursing

Pamela is approachable and helpful when dealing with a broad cohort of students. She ensured that facilities were available to enable students to get the most out of Moodle. The students had a wide variety of experience of information technology, and many came to this core module with a negative attitude. Her results speak for themselves. She deserves to be applauded for her constant surveillance, course content and innovation.

Lynn Killen, School of Computing

We strongly believe Lynn is the best lecturer we have encountered in DCU. It is also obvious that her whole class holds her in high regard in terms of teaching. Lynn lectured us in the first semester of this year. She was able to explain a complex subject with ease and in such a way that she helped the class grasp the fine workings of it. Lynn made teaching and learning unlaboured for students – lecturing like it should be.

Brigitte Le Juez, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies

Since she joined SALIS in 1994, Brigitte has contributed hugely to the development of teaching and learning in the School. Her personable manner, her openness and her pedagogical talent make her a very popular lecturer from first year to Master’s level. She is an excellent teacher. She is very capable and informed, and has great insight and teaching ability. She is approachable and gets on well with the students. It is the class I enjoy most from my course.

Carmen Mangiron, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies

Carmen is very approachable and makes the class very enjoyable. She managed to adapt very well to teaching both business students and language students. We feel she really deserves this award.

Gerard McDermott, School of Chemical Sciences

Learning is about understanding, about understanding who you are teaching, about faith in your students, about patience, guidance and direction, and these are what Gerard has shown to me and to others. He has constantly given his time to aid students in lab reports. He will always be pleasant. The impact he has is clear when it comes to laboratory results, where grades have improved greatly.

Des McGuinness, School of Communications

Des demonstrates the power of positivity and passion in the academic profession. His enthusiasm and love of learning are infectious, and his teaching is challenging and interesting. He inspires students at all levels to participate and find their own niche in his subjects. He makes an effort to engage each and every student in each and every lecture, and he usually succeeds. He manages to bring a light touch to his lectures and, above all, he wears his learning lightly – he refuses to patronise his students.

Eilish McLoughlin, School of Physical Sciences

Eilish is a role model of the highest standard and she displays the characteristics of an excellent teacher. She personifies a passion both for her subject area and for education. The most consistently expressed opinion among students is that Eilish has been, and continues to be, one of the major positive influences over the course of our studies. She is always willing to lend a hand, and inspires students with her remarkably profound thinking and her enthusiastic embrace of new approaches within the discipline.

John McLoughlin, School of Chemical Sciences

John has been extremely helpful to all the students on the course. He has given his time and knowledge selflessly whenever it was required, both on campus for assignments and presentations and off campus while we were on work experience.His knowledge of his subject is outstanding, and he has an excellent ability to communicate information which may prove difficult for an undergraduate student. His non-condescending, accommodating and friendly manner makes him a worthy nominee.

The Moodle Team (Jennifer Burke, Morag Munro, Office of the Vice-President for Learning Innovation/Registrar, and Denis Cahalane, Information Systems & Services)

Not only have Morag, Jennifer and Denis played a central role in the deployment of Moodle across the university, they have also shown an exceptional level of commitment and professionalism in supporting us all. They have often gone beyond the call of duty to find solutions to all problems, have inspired us to review our teaching methodologies and have given us confidence to try out new things and share our successes and failures among ourselves.

Carmel Mulcahy, School of Education Studies

Carmel gave me confidence in myself and in the University. She developed a sense of trust throughout the class from day one. Carmel lectures on, amongst other subjects, values in education. She lives her values and holds all her students in unconditional positive regard, thus allowing us to build on strengths and counter any weaknesses within a safe and supportive environment. She is a giver of herself to students, colleagues and the greater community – a progressive and remarkable woman.

Gerry Mullins, School of Communications

Gerry is genuinely interested in the progress of each individual student in the class. His classes are interesting and motivating. Everything he taught us was based on his practical experience of being a journalist. His teaching techniques kept us interested and were a great help to our learning. He is always quick to offer help and advice to anyone who may need it on any aspect of the area. We have learnt valuable skills from him that will stand to us throughout our careers.

Noel Murphy, School of Electronic Engineering

Patience, dedication and genuine enthusiasm are the principal qualities of Noel’s outstanding contribution to teaching and learning. He is extraordinarily generous in sharing his knowledge and skills and giving of his time. Not only is he very attentive, but he ensures that he gets to the substance of the problem. Always someone who emphasises true understanding rather than learning by rote, he will take the time to think before he answers a question so as to communicate the idea or concept in the best way.

Michael Parkinson, School of Biotechnology

Michael should receive this award for all the time and effort he has put into setting up the PAL programme. He has helped set up a programme that is of great benefit to the students who attend and also to their PAL leaders. If ever you need advice, you know you can always talk to him. The feedback from the PAL students to us, and for us second-year students in terms of learning and recapping on what we did last year, is a great achievement.

Joanne Richards, Student Support & Development

Joanne deserves the award because she completely dedicates herself to a huge number of students and helps us to make the best of our learning in DCU. Without her, only a fraction of BS1 students would have passed Semester 1 exams.

Subject Librarians (Julie Allen, Lisa Callaghan, Amanda Halpin, Janice Hill,
Aisling McDermott, David Meehan), Library

The Subject Librarians are being nominated for their exceptional commitment to ensuring all DCU students are provided with appropriate learning opportunities to develop the necessary information literacy skills to become critical and independent users of information. They demonstrate exceptional creativity and goodwill in carrying out their responsibilities. Typical comments on their work include: ‘very enlightening and extremely helpful’ (from a student) and ‘really useful and worthwhile’ (from an academic staff member).

Brian Trench, School of Communications

Brian is a dedicated and enthusiastic lecturer. His lectures are meticulously researched, and presented in a concise manner that gives a clear understanding to students while roundly articulating the concepts and theories. He promotes learning as an interactive process with students. He has not only been an innovative teacher himself but has continually acted as someone who generates new ideas about how teaching can be more productive, more interactive, more rewarding for all.

Declan Tuite, School of Communications

Declan has a wealth of information on all the areas in which he teaches, and he gets this across to his students in an excellent manner. He is always available to take our questions and give advice. He genuinely aims for all students to reach their potential, and gives huge amounts of his time to help them to reach their goals. We cannot speak highly enough of him, and feel that he is extremely deserving of any award for his teaching.