RUSU Excellence Awards

The RUSU Excellence Awards recognise University of Reading staff who display excellent and innovative teaching practice.

We award the staff who students believe have gone above and beyond expectations, tirelessly working to improve the delivery of your teaching and learning experience.

We also celebrate the amazing work of our Course Reps and Senior Reps who go the extra mile to represent the student voice and create positive change to teaching and learning, through the Senior and Course Rep Awards. These are awarded at the Student Experience Award Ceremony.

The 2021 Excellence Awards are open from the 17th January 2022. Nominate a student or member of staff.

RUSU Partnership in Teaching and Learning Showcase

Results for the 2020/21 Excellence Awards have been announced. See below for the winners.


Teaching Excellence Award Categories

For inspiring teaching staff who have applied their in-depth subject knowledge to provide you with engaging and intellectually stimulating lectures. It aims to recognise exceptional individuals who have gone above-and-beyond teaching expectations: supporting, guiding and inspiring you to reach your full potential. Winners of these awards in the past have been described as engaging, supportive, helpful, inspiring, enthusiastic and dedicated to their profession.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Jo Davies

An amazing role model, teacher, tutor and programme director. She constantly ensures we are engaged in the course, that we feel supported, and that she is doing as much as she can to make our university experience better.

2020/21 Winner - Professor Mike Goodman

I’ve been inspired by the high expectations he sets on the work, his own commitment to lifelong learning and his unfailing support. He’s crafted a truly unique and memorable module for human geographers this academic year.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Matthew Lickiss

Matthew runs his module flawlessly and has support the entire year group through this difficult time, going out of his way on multiple occasions to support students, with wellbeing issues, course-related incidents and essay writing. He’s been so kind and also has a great sense of humour.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Natasha Barrett

In what has been an incredibly tough year for everybody, they have consistently delivered online learning to the highest possible standard, with a positive attitude and a huge smile. She has made this year that bit more enjoyable, with her clearly passionate attitude towards teaching being nothing short of inspiring.

2020/21 Winner - Darren Bray

Darren has been an inspiration ever since the first lecture he gave. He always gets us talking and always has more to add to the lessons. On a personal note he has helped me believe in myself by talking about his dyslexia, helping me to overcome what I have struggled with for many years.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Philippa Cranwell

Philippa always goes above and beyond for the Chemistry, from hosting lunchtime revision sessions, to even taking on additional course lectures to cover during Covid-19. With the online lecture format, she has really embraced the technology in a way that is engaging and easy to follow.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Lebene Soga

I have never met a lecturer with such positive energy when teaching in class. He always ensures the class stays interactive and even makes the students feel comfortable to speak with him which is what we need much more.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Luke Elson

Luke consistently went the extra mile to ensure every student was satisfied with his teaching and always responded to feedback and made necessary changes, displaying a strong willingness to experiment with new methods to improve student understanding and interaction.

2020/21 Winner - Martin Sutton

Martin has always gone the extra mile to support our wellbeing and progress, both through the way he has spoken to us in our sessions with him, and through his actions in proactively organising an appropriate schedule for us and in quickly responding to our requests, giving students the boost they needed to carry on.

2020/21 Winner - Gemma Goddard

She was always making it feel as though we were actually in a classroom due to how interactive she had been with us throughout the year. She has always helped us the second we ask for it and she has made the lessons a lot more fun compared to other subjects. She's the best!

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Matthew Windsor

He’s really inspired me to want a career in international law. He’s a cheerful and enthusiastic lecturer who is passionate about the subjects he teaches. He has a wealth of knowledge that he is passionate to share and all seminars are engaging. A true credit to the School of Law.

2020/21 Winner - Oscar Garcia Garcia

He is extremely helpful, approachable and friendly. His lectures are always fun and interesting to watch, you can see he's passionate about what he does and he manages to create a stress-free bubble, which is essential now. He truly deserves this award and the recognition.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Calvin Smith

Firstly, the lengths he has gone to, to assure our quality of teaching hasn’t gone down is astounding. He also has been supporting students’ voices when it comes to exams, organising meetings in his own time and always making sure we looked after each other. He’s worked tirelessly to ensure ALL of his students on are well supported in every way.

2020/21 Winner - Dr. Kenton White

an all-around brilliant teacher, passionate and knowledgeable. Not only is he academically exemplary, but he is also very supportive of his student's mental health, considerate, compassionate and understanding. I always look forward to seminars led by him, as his enthusiasm for the subject really wears off on you.

2020/21 Winner - Allie Biddle

She is always there whenever I am in need of support and I always come out of meetings with her feeling reassured as her advice, feedback and knowledge is always second to none. She is an inspiration as a clinician, as a lecturer, and as a person, and it’s truly our honor to have her as part of the program.

Staff Awards Categories

These awards are primarily for non-teaching members of staff that enhance teaching, learning and the student experience through inspiring and supportive means. Previous winners have been described as innovative, conscientious and those that continually go out of their way to help.

Academic Tutor Excellence Award

For exceptionally supportive and approachable Academic Tutors who show commitment to students; ensuring excellent academic support and guidance.

2020/21 Winner: Dr. Mara Oliva

The most inspiring, uplifting, and positive influence. She has always been on hand for support and guidance, and has helped lift some of the burdens of this year by taking on challenges to ensure our needs were met.

Support Staff Excellence Award

For outstanding contributions of non-teaching staff (such as administration, or technical support staff) that ensure your University experience runs as smoothly as possible. These staff members may be the people who help you in the labs, answer your admin queries from first to final year and work behind the scenes to support students on a daily basis.

2020/21 Winner: Chris Bonham

He was extremely supportive for all Erasmus students. He immediately reached out to me and offered his support. He also connected me to mental health and well-being services. He’s just an incredibly kind and thoughtful staff member!

Diverse And Inclusive Teaching Excellence Award

For teaching staff that design and deliver an engaging and diverse curriculum, accessible for all students and learning styles. They encourage students to be proactive, challenge and consider different experiences and perspectives.

2020/21 Winner: Marc Jacobs

He’s started a BAME project, setting up student mentors to support BAME Year 1 students in their studies and with anything they need. He is always there to chat and support you and is very aware of different needs and, even if he is not your tutor, will make time for you.

Excellence Award for Best Staff-Led Sustainability Initiative

This award recognises a staff-led sustainability initiative with a positive effect on the university experience. Initiatives can include ethically-sound events and campaigns that were educational and fun.

Student Awards Categories

Every year we recognise Reps that have excelled in their role and helped enhance the student experience, not only for other Reps but all students. The award celebrates their achievements and how they have used the role to inspire and motivate others.

Course Rep Of The Year

For a Student Rep who has committed to their role as a representative from day one and has consistently gathered quality feedback from students throughout the year to fairly represent their cohort. Has attended SSPG meetings and participated in discussion, delivering evaluation and critical feedback from students to staff. Has encouraged problem-solving and helped close the feedback loop on any issues that have arisen regarding Teaching & Learning. Finally, who has gone over and above to support their course mates and improve the student learning experience.

2020/21 Winner: Leilani Davis

Leilani has provided excellent student leadership in supporting the transition to blended/online learning this year. She cares deeply about her fellow students and brings her full energy to enhancing the student experience as course rep and in staff-student partnerships. She reflects carefully about how best to represent her cohort and also provides important support and guidance for other student reps.

Senior Rep Of The Year

For a Senior Rep who has committed to their role as a representative from day one and has consistently gathered quality feedback from students throughout the year to fairly represent their school. Has participated in discussion, delivering evaluation and critical feedback from students to staff. Has encouraged problem-solving and helped close the feedback loop on any issues that have arisen regarding Teaching & Learning. Finally, who has gone over and above to support their course mates and improve the student learning experience.

2020/21 Winners: Lucia Martin and Amy Roodenberg

Amy has worked so hard and throughout this academic year she has unfailingly passed on everybody’s concerns and fought for students’ representation and answers to questions, always with a positive outlook and optimism!

Lucia has made a phenomenal contribution to the school; her positivity, professionalism & dedication have been impressive. She is professional, pragmatic, warm and caring & uses these strengths to influence, inform positive change and occasionally to re-align expectations.