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Queen's University Teaching Awards 2024

This year's Queen's Teaching Awards winners have been announced. These awards recognise the excellent practice of colleagues at various stages of their careers and in different roles across the University Faculties and Professional Services.

Lanyon Building facade and tower in the summer

The Teaching Awards scheme is open to full members of University staff and was established to encourage and reward the development of learning and teaching practices and learning support practices that have led to particularly effective/worthwhile learning.

Up to 10 Teaching Awards are normally available in three categories: Rising Stars; Sustained Excellence; and Excellence in Teaching or Learning Support by a Team.

This year, 13 awards were made. Congratulations to all of this year's winners, as follows:


Rising Stars

Professor Julie McCandless – Queen’s Business School

This Teaching Award is presented to Julie McCandless, a Professor of Practice in Queen’s Business School. Professor McCandless has used her expertise in business practice to deliver a learning environment for students to think creatively and critically. Her action learning approach provides her students with the opportunity to work on authentic business problems and develop professional skills important for managerial development. She has collaborated on a range of innovative initiatives that involve businesses in the curriculum, including student project delivery.

Dr Bee-Yen Toh – School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

This Teaching Award is presented to a student-centred and responsive teacher of Computer Science. Dr Toh’s range of interactive and engaging activities builds student understanding of complex topics. Her approach is highly responsive to student need leading to improved attendance, increased student performance and confidence for the diverse student body.

Dr Colin McClure – School of Biological Sciences

This Teaching Award is presented for the development and implementation of innovative teaching and assessment initiatives which provide students with authentic and engaging learning experiences. Dr McClure’s cross-Faculty collaboration on the development of a smartphone app “BioLab Assist’ integrates Augmented Reality improves student understanding of the material and builds student confidence.

Dr Patricia O’Lynn – The Graduate School

This Teaching Award is presented to a postgraduate leadership and training consultant in The Graduate School. Dr O’Lynn’s approach provides a range of innovative and active learning activities to enhance her students’ learning experience. She uses her established industry connections to provide practical learning experiences and networking opportunities with potential employers. Her collaboration with external stakeholders maintains the programme’s relevance and her work has led to improved student outcomes.

Sustained Excellence

Dr Jeremy Watkins – School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

This Teaching Award is presented for the establishment and delivery of the Philosophy for Children project. This highly distinctive learning experience incorporates a range or collaborative and interactive activities and assessments. These provide the students with an innovative way to build knowledge of the subject through their preparation and delivery of philosophy inquiries during placement in primary schools. This work enhances the students’ understanding of the subject, builds confidence and develops important skills for the future.

Dr Federica Ferrieri, Open Learning Programme – School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

This Teaching Award is presented to a tutor in the Open Learning Programme who employs a wide range of teaching approaches to meet the needs of non-traditional student groups, including mature learners, prison inmates and migrant communities. Her highly student-centred approach involves co-designing appropriate and innovative curricula that are effective, empowering and inspiring for her diverse range of students.

Kevin Campbell – School of Nursing and Midwifery

This Teaching Award is presented to a Technical Manager in the School of Nursing and Midwifery for the development and delivery of breakaway and de-escalation training to large numbers of undergraduate nursing students. This important initiative incorporates experiential learning with reflection and discussion to provide nursing students with vital skills and strategies to effectively manage and mitigate confrontational situations and build their confidence for working in practice.

Excellence in Teaching or Learning Support by a Team

Dr Scott Millen, Mervyn Barr, John Carberry, Stephen Darragh, Conor Doherty, Isaac Forsythe, Wesley McKeown, Paul McLaughlin, Tommy Moon, Jose Rico Mourenza, Karl Nash, Troy Patterson, Jonathan Preshaw, Adam Richmond and Robert Vaughan – School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

This Teaching Award is presented to a team in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering for the re-development of the Manufacturing Technology module, co-designed by academics, students and technical colleagues. It incorporates a comprehensive range of manufacturing technologies in the undergraduate curriculum to provide students with an engaging learning experience that effectively links practical and theoretical module content, leading to a positive impact on student outcomes.

Clare Hughes, Professor Christine-Brown Wilson, Dr Ciara Close, Dr Anita Mallon, Dr Gary Mitchell, Deirdre O’Neill and Dr Patrick Stark – School of Nursing and Midwifery

This Teaching Award is presented to a team in the School of Nursing and Midwifery for the development of “The Wellbeing Shelf”, a digital resource to support the wellbeing and resilience of student nurses and midwives. This resource, co-produced with students, practice partners, service-users/carers and academics, provides students with wellbeing support strategies for use in both University and clinical settings. This valuable asynchronous learning activity is embedded in all undergraduate modules and is now used to support postgraduate students across the School, with potential for rollout in other Schools.

Dr Abbie Edgar, Donna Hyland and Dr Fabiana Fausta McCracken – The Graduate School

This Teaching Award is presented to a team in The Graduate School that has collaborated to create a multi-modal programme to provide new Teaching Assistants and Lab Demonstrators with a comprehensive introduction to teaching. The module delivers a blended approach of in-person activities and online sustainable resources, underpinned by Universal Design principles, and uses a flipped classroom approach to deliver a personalised learning experience that supports critical thinking and active learning.

Dr Kevin Morgan, Haris Amir, Shannon McLaughlin and Professor Gosia Swadźba-Kwaśny – School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

This Teaching Award is presented to a team of academics and PhD students in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering for the development and delivery of a collaborative project that widens participation and encourages the uptake of further study. The project provides an opportunity for pupils from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to participate in a research team and to disseminate their work at a conference. The project aims to reduce the achievement gap and improve social mobility. It builds student confidence and supports the development of important skills for the pupils’ futures.

Dr Debbie Rainey, Anthony Anderson, Heather Gutteridge, Oonagh McCloy, Paul Morris, Dr Billie Joan Rice and Alison Smart – School of Nursing and Midwifery

This Teaching Award is presented to a team of nurse lecturers and technicians on the Pre-Registration Nursing course. The team has developed an immersive simulated experience to prepare their students to care for people living with dementia, during their undergraduate journey and after graduation. This augmented reality experience develops empathy with, and understanding of, the patient’s experience in a safe environment and has important impact on the students’ future clinical practice and patient care.

Dr Alison Calvert, Dr Simon Doherty, Dr Susan Doherty and Dr Anne Nugent – School of Biological Sciences

This Teaching Award is presented for the co-creation of the Sustainable Food Systems module, which is rooted in Education for Sustainable Development principles. The module delivers a range of active and engaging learning activities which encourage critical thinking and develop problem solving skills, preparing their students for meeting challenges and opportunities across multiple industrial sectors.


The annual Teaching Awards are organised by the Centre for Educational Development. To find out more about the Scheme, contact Liz McDowell.