Inverness College UHI Staff Win in Highlands and Islands Students' Association Awards

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday July 16 2018

Pictured: Left to right, Tara Morrison and Alice Mongiello.

Three members of staff at Inverness College UHI have been recognised for their outstanding contribution in the annual Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA) Awards.

The awards are voted on by students and cover all 13 colleges and research institutions within the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership.

Inverness College UHI took three of the 13 staff awards, with business and management lecturer Tara Morrison named Best Research and Dissertation Supervisor, education lecturer Alice Mongiello named Best Personal Academic Tutor and business and management lecturer Gillian Shaw named Most Engaging Online Tutor. 

Inverness College UHI student Holly MacLean also received the award for Best Contribution to Clubs and Societies.

A total of 49 members of staff at Inverness College UHI were nominated, with 14 members of staff highly commended in the excellence awards, which are now in their ninth year. 

Four Inverness College UHI students were also highly commended in the categories of Best Engagement with the Student Voice and Best Contribution to Clubs and Societies.

Tara, programme leader for the university’s MSc in Human Resource Management, was described by students as someone who goes “above and beyond”, is “amazingly supportive” and brimming with “positivity and encouragement.”

One student wrote:

“Tara has a wonderful lightness of touch – attending to her students’ academic and pastoral needs.

“Her thorough knowledge of her subjects inspires absolute confidence in the advice and direction she provides.

“I cannot speak highly enough of Tara.

“She really is fab!

“If Carlsberg did Dissertation Supervisors…”

Students described Alice, who is programme leader for the university’s BA (Hons) Childhood Practice, as an “outstanding” personal academic tutor, “a great role model”, “encouraging” and “always there for you.”

One student wrote:

“Alice is approachable and caring, she has a guiding way of inspiring students to focus on the positives, whilst remaining professional in her role.

“Alice will be one of those people in my learning journey who really stands out in making a true difference.”

Gillian’s tutoring style was described by students as “lovely, engaging and attentive” with a “perfect balance of professionalism, humour and levity.”

Students highlighted the preparation she puts into weekly sessions, providing a variety of engaging study resources and materials. 

One student wrote:

“This award was made for Gillian.”

Meanwhile, Holly MacLean, an HND Visual Communication student, was recognised for her role as president of the Anime and Manga Society, one of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ longest running student societies.

Holly, a class representative, has been president of the society for the past two years, in which time numbers have grown.

Alan Simpson, HISA president, said:

“The HISA Awards are an important opportunity to recognise and thank individuals who have made a valuable contribution to students’ learning experience.

“This year we received nominations from every academic partner for the first time and recorded a record number of 428 nominations, which was over 100 more than last year!

“The level of interaction with the awards speaks to the high regard our students have for their lecturers, tutors, support staff and peers, and the great work that’s happening across the University of the Highlands and Islands.”

Professor Chris O’Neil, principal of Inverness College UHI, said:

“There was a record number of nominations this year, so we are extremely proud to have so many teaching staff at Inverness College UHI recognised by students in this way.

“The student experience is at the heart of everything we do and to hear the impact staff have had on their learning journey is truly humbling.”

Dr Iain Morrison, Dean of Students at the University of the Highlands and Islands, said:

“You cannot fool students: they are experts in their own learning and can astutely and quickly identify staff who know what they are doing.

“The fact that a record number of university staff were nominated for these awards, by a record number of students, is testimony to the high quality of our lecturers, support staff and student representatives across the entire organisation.

“We are very proud of our colleagues and to have so many students recognise their hard work, commitment and expertise means that they are also appreciated by the people about whom they care most at work: their students.”

The University of the Highlands and Islands was one the first UK institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards.



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