Teaching Excellence Recipients 2021
(L to R Top Row) Dr Monica Ward, Dr Diarmuid Torney, Aishling Silke, Dr Barbara Dignam, David Kennedy, Dr Cameron Peers (L to R Bottom Row) B. Rel. Ed. School Placement/TOP Online Programme Team: Marie Conroy Johnson, Dr Enda Donlon, Dr Elaine McDonald, Dr P.J. Sexton, Dr Audrey Doyle

President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching 2021 'Showcase Event'

More than 200 people attended the (virtual) Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, 19th May 2021.

In his opening address, DCU President, Professor Daire Keogh spoke of how “the awards recognise the exceptional work of DCU’s teachers and support staff during what has been a very challenging period. They have gone above and beyond, showing extraordinary resilience, agility and creativity in the way they have pivoted to online Teaching and Learning.” 

Professor Keogh also remarked that “what also emerges strongly from this year’s citations is the empathy and support our teachers have shown their students, going above and beyond to ensure that they continue to receive the transformative education they deserve.”   

"Student appreciation is also captured in statistics with a record 700 plus nominations received.  This year saw the largest ever number of team nominations and getting through this year has truly been a team effort" said Professor Keogh.

The award ceremony presentation slides highlight some of the wonderful comments provided in the nominations.


This year's recipients of the President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching are...

Teaching Support Category
Dr Cameron Peers, School of Health and Human Performance

”To use a good analogy that I heard recently, staff were thirsty for knowledge with the move to hybrid delivery. Sometimes we felt like we were hit with a water cannon instead of being given a glass of water, Cameron has been that glass of water!”

Team Award
B.Rel.Ed. School Placement/TOP Online Programme Team, School of Policy and Practice: Dr Audrey Doyle, Dr Enda Donlon, Marie Conroy Johnson, Dr PJ Sexton, Dr Elaine McDonald

“I am continually astounded at the Team’s success in implementing a rapidly executed but thoroughly considered alternative to the type of school placement rendered impossible by the pandemic. They equipped students at immense speed with the additional technological skills and encouragement needed for the new reality.”

Special Award for Distinctive Approaches to Teaching
David Kennedy, School of Human Development

“It is clear this has not been an easy period of time for anyone regarding online learning and online teaching, but having a lecturer with this amount of enthusiasm and clarity within their module in an online setting really helped facilitate my learning over the course of the year.”

Special Award for Distinctive Approaches to Assessment and Feedback
Dr Barbara Dignam, School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music

“Barbara has revitalised the assessments in her modules to make them relatable for the modern student, and to give students a strong sense of ongoing development and achievement.”

Special Award for Distinctive Approaches to Innovation in Teaching
Dr Diarmuid Torney, School of Law and Government

“Diarmuid is by far the most organised and prepared lecturer I have ever worked with. He is very structured with his course content, and having such a great handle on his teachings brings confidence to his students. His insight into climate change policy is unrivalled and learning in Diarmuid's lectures is effortless.”

New Lecturer/Tutor Category
Aishling Silke, School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education

“Aishling advocates strongly for her students and even more importantly is the biggest advocate for the early childhood education sector, and has instilled this advocacy in each student she teaches.  She has just been a wonderful lecturer from the first time she taught us, to the sheer dedication she has put in with organising  placement during the current pandemic - her love for DCU and education makes learning fun and motivates us, our students, to do our best!” 

Overall Academic Winner
Dr Monica Ward, School of Computing

“Monica was an amazing teacher before March 2020, but she became even better since then as she, almost single handedly, guided our School and Faculty to a successful pivot to online teaching due to Covid-19. We would be lost without her and she really deserves this award for her extra special contribution this year above all other years. She is an excellent teacher to both staff and students. The feedback from students has been consistently positive and is usually sprinkled with words such as ‘enjoyable’ and ‘enthusiasm’".  

Previous Winners