News Article


More nominations than ever before – who are the 2021 Excellence Awards winners?

This year the RUSU Excellence Awards saw a record 519 nominations for members of staff across the University; the highest number of nominations the current Representation Team has ever seen. After such a difficult year, where all staff went above and beyond for their students, the Rep Team, alongside RUSU Education Officer George Ingram, wanted to recognise as many staff as possible, increasing the number of awards to 20, meaning that at least one member of staff from each school would be awarded.

“Allie is the glue holding together the Speech and Language Therapy department. She works endlessly, to support us with a smile and huge amount of knowledge, and strives to help us. She has gone above and beyond, securing us placements needed to graduate, always makes time to meet us and explains theoretical and clinical aspects incredibly well. I would not have made it through this degree without her, she's inspirational.”

RUSU’s Full-time Officers met with the Rep Team to read through all of the anonymised nominations before shortlisting and selecting the final winners; all of them thoroughly enjoying reading all of the wonderful things students had to say about staff and finding out about all of the innovative ways staff have been helping their students.

Congratulations to all the winners below!

Award Winner
Academic Tutor Excellence Award Dr. Mara Oliva Dr. Mara Oliva
Diverse and Inclusive Teaching Excellence Award Marc Jacobs
Support Staff Excellence Award Chris Bonham Chris Bonham
Teaching Excellence Award for Agriculture, Policy & Development Dr. Jo Davies
Teaching Excellence Award for Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science Prof. Mike Goodman
Teaching Excellence Award for Arts & Communication Design Dr. Matthew Lickiss
Teaching Excellence Award for Biological Sciences Dr. Natasha Barrett
Teaching Excellence Award for Built Environment Darren Bray
Teaching Excellence Award for Chemistry, Food & Pharmacy Dr. Philippa Cranwell
Teaching Excellence Award for Henley Business School Dr. Lebene Soga
Teaching Excellence Award for Humanities Dr. Luke Elson
Teaching Excellence Award for Institute of Education Martin Sutton
Teaching Excellence Award for International Study & Language Institute Gemma Goddard
Teaching Excellence Award for Law Dr. Matthew Windsor
Teaching Excellence Award for Literature & Languages Oscar Garcia Garcia
Teaching Excellence Award for Mathematical, Physical & Computational Sciences Dr. Calvin Smith
Teaching Excellence Award for Politics, Economic & International Relations Dr. Kenton White
Teaching Excellence Award for Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences Allie Biddle
Course Rep of the Year Leilani Davis
Senior Rep of the Year Amy Roodenberg and Lucia Martin
“Lucia is dedicated to the student experience & representing the student voice in a professional yet balanced way. In addition, Lucia has worked tirelessly to promote student engagement & wellbeing during the pandemic. Lucia will be a tough act to follow, but she has produced a guide to help future reps - another example of her dedication. Lucia has made a phenomenal contribution to the school; her positivity, professionalism & dedication have been impressive. Lucia has a wonderful way of supporting both staff and students. She is professional, pragmatic, warm and caring & uses these strengths to influence, inform positive change and occasionally to re-align expectations.”
“Amy has worked so hard both this year and other years when she has held other rep roles. throughout this academic year she has unfailingly passed on everybody’s concerns and fought for student’s representation and answers to questions, always with a positive outlook and optimism! She continues to represent us when others have given up and we owe her. She works tirelessly alongside her demanding uni course to help and support other students, and to make sure their voices are heard. She regularly keeps us updated, and she has contributed to a more supportive learning environment!”

The winners of each award were notified by RUSU earlier this week and have all been invited to the virtual Excellence Awards Ceremony taking place next Wednesday (12th May from 11:45-1pm), where they will be awarded their trophies alongside the 2020 winners who, due to Covid, were also unable to have a physical ceremony. The event will be open to all, so you can join the event if you wish.