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Sunderland academics awarded for excellence in teaching and learning

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Published on 17 October 2019

L-R Andrew Sturrock, Dr Abigail Moriarty, Michelle Sheridan SARC manager from the police, Adelle Hulsmeier and Nicholas Glean.
L-R Andrew Sturrock, Dr Abigail Moriarty, Michelle Sheridan SARC manager from the police, Adelle Hulsmeier and Nicholas Glean.

Sunderland academics stepped onto the stage this week to collect their awards after being recognised in the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

The awards, hosted by the Higher Education Academy, last night in Manchester, recognised learning collaborations that capture creative, innovative practice and benefit the student experience.

The University of Sunderland’s Dr Adelle Hulsmeier and Nicholas Glean, in conjunction with Northumbria Police and their Sexual Assault Referall centre, Michelle Sheridan and Julie Tekkin, have won a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) - a hat-trick for our Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, which has twice before received the national accolade.

The CATE project plays an important role within the University and beyond. Led by Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, it represents a unique collaboration between our drama and media production teams, Northumbria Police and various organisations involved in supporting victims of crime.

Part-funded by the Police and Crime Commissioners Community Fund the project allows students studying both drama and media production to work on a live client brief, enabling them to gain practical experience and important skills to promote employability. The project has been running for the past six years – more than 500 students have taken part in the production of 23 films on a variety of serious crimes.

Uniquely, the films have been used to raise awareness among children, health professionals, the police and other university students - making a significant contribution to the lives of victims and helping with prevention and awareness raising. The project has received widespread acclaim, from the media industry, from forensics experts and those dealing with the victims of crime.

Adelle, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts and Programme Leader for Screen Performance, said: “Our CATE award win is just fantastic. Over the past seven years the team have worked incredibly hard to make sure a diverse and hard-hitting project has impact for teaching and learning, the policing sector and the wider community. We could not be prouder of what we have been able to achieve, and the CATE award is such a wonderful way to recognise this.”

Andrew Sturrock, Principal Lecturer in Pharmacy, has become our latest National Teaching Fellow.

Throughout his time at Sunderland and in Higher Education, Andrew has successfully driven improvements to the student experience. Under his leadership, the University’s Master in Pharmacy (MPharm) programme has been wholly transformed, both in terms of student success, learning and teaching approaches and assessment.

Andrew said: “I am delighted to have received this award and to represent the University at the Teaching Excellence Award Ceremony. The National Teaching Fellowship scheme provides great recognition for the teaching and learning developments that I have been involved with. It will act as a springboard to further develop my own career and to continue working with the outstanding MPharm programme team to continuously improve the student experience and quality of our graduates.”

The event, hosted in Whitworth Hall, was also attended by Dr Abigail Moriarty, who joined the University in August as the new Pro Vice-Chancellor of Learning and Teaching.

Dr Moriarty said: “Last night I was very proud to be the PVC for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sunderland! It was an amazing event for Higher Education to see the transformational activities happening across the sector. It was inspirational for me to see OUR staff winning these accolades for their teaching excellence, each one make a positive impact on our students and the wider community."