LSESU Award for Personal and Professional Development
Dr Callum Ward
"As the first person in my family to go to university, it never occurred to me that pursuing education further would be a realistic option until I encountered an inspirational mentor. It’s not that we shared any particular personal rapport, but his teaching and encouragement instilled a passion for the subject from which flowed a confidence to pursue it. As a new teacher that’s what I’ve aspired to, so it is the best compliment I could possibly receive to be nominated for empowering working class students to pursue higher education.
The main aspect of my mentor’s approach which I sought to implement in my own practice was to treat the teacher/student relationship as one of comradeship, in Jodi Dean’s sense of ‘comrades’ as a relationship of solidarity between people who are different and don’t necessarily agree but are on the same side in a collective struggle. Here, the collective struggle is that of their engaging as young scholars with transformational ideas in an atomising institutional and societal context which often works against such meaningful intellectual endeavours.
I am only at LSE on a one year fellowship as sabbatical cover so my individual impact in curating such an environment has been limited. Rather, I benefited from joining the already existing LSE geography student community of ambitious scholars who have built their own networks of learning solidarity both in class and across the university."
LSESU Award for Inspirational Teaching
"I’ve been part of LSE for a long time: I did both my undergrad and master's degree here, and now I’m doing my PhD. I teach a course which I did as an undergrad and, to be honest, found pretty hard at the time. Econometrics has a reputation for being difficult and boring, but this is only because many people get so frustrated with the technical details that they never get to see the big picture. Now that I research Econometrics for a living, I wanted to share the amazing subject that I know, rather than the dry one that some end up resenting.
At the end of the day, I believe that 80% of being a good teacher is just in genuinely caring about your students. Unfortunately, there’s a culture across the Economics world where many PhD students see research as their job - because that’s what matters for your career going forward - and teaching as something they have to do. In terms of impact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I personally know the impact that a great teacher can have, both from my time at LSE and before, so I loved the opportunity to try to be that person for my classes. Fortunately, my students were so amazing it made caring about them very easy.
In the future, I’d love to keep on contributing to teaching at LSE. My time here as an undergrad shaped who I am as a person in immense ways, and it cultivated a passion for Economics which directly led to my current lifestyle. It would be a great honour to be able to pass some of that on to the newest generation."
LSESU Award for PhD Supervision
Professor Patrick Wallis
"Supervising PhD students is one of the most rewarding things I do as an academic, so receiving this award was a real pleasure. I am deeply grateful to my student Nora Qiu for nominating me.
I think of supervision as a long conversation – not always an easy one – in which we are trying to work out what the project is really about, how the evidence is reshaping the question, and how it can make a contribution to the field (plus an enormous amount of editing and a bit of life coaching).
When it works well, it is a joy to have that conversation, so the award really should be going in the other direction."
LSESU Award for Excellent Communication and Feedback
(Highly commended: Rémy-Paulin Twahirwa)
LSESU Award for Welfare and Pastoral Support
Dr Yally Avrahampour
"Masters level courses in management usually a context where a student cohort is composed of students who come from a wide variety of prior educational backgrounds. Consequently, one of the routine challenges we face is ensuring that learning takes place by students who engage with the course content in different ways. Such a context provides lots of opportunity for a teacher to benefit from teaching students with different educational backgrounds or needs. I would like to share two ways that I have grown as a teacher whilst engaging with these differences over the past year.
First, in a course that is making use of case-based teaching, I have used weekly formative assessment to guide interactions between students regarding the course content. Specifically, I divide the cohort of approximately 80 students into 16 study groups of approximately 5 students per study group. From the second to the penultimate week of the course, two study groups each week submit a case commentary of not more than 500 words on the case, after the case is discussed in that week’s seminar. Then, following an introduction to case-based teaching and the assessment approach of the course, I ask another two study groups to provide constructive feedback of around two paragraphs on the commentary written by the first two groups. I then provide feedback on the case commentaries and on the feedback on the commentary. I place the commentaries and student feedback on Moodle so that there is an opportunity for the entire cohort to review the written student interaction regarding the course content.
Please let me focus on two of the intended benefits of this approach. First, the group formative work precedes the individual formative assignment and individual summative assignments. Feedback then becomes process that leads the students towards a better understanding of the course material. Second, an aspiration is that the combination of peer feedback and teacher feedback at each stage initiates conversations by students regarding the course content and increases the probability that the feedback will be used by students receiving the feedback. In these two ways the aspiration is to provide students with an opportunity to engage with the course in a way that is attentive to their background or needs.
Second, another opportunity to relate educational practice to the specific needs of students occurred this year when I had the opportunity to mentor a student who has a disability. In this instance, adopting a team-based approach was indispensable. The department of management programme office were helpful in many ways, including managing extensions and directing me to the services that are available for students with a disability. Also, colleagues in the Student Wellbeing Service were key in educating me regarding the additional resources that are available to support our students. I was delighted at the end of the year to have the privilege of receiving the LSE SU award for Student Wellbeing and Pastoral Care. It was only possible with the wonderful support of colleagues in the department of management programme office and in the Student Wellbeing Service. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank both the department of management program office and the Student Wellbeing Service for their support and guidance. Thank you very much."
LSESU Award for Student Partnership
Professor Leigh K. Jenco
LSESU Award for Professional Services Staff
LSESU Award for Innovative Teaching
Dr Paroma Bhattacharya
"I’m very humbled to have received the LSESU Teaching Award for Innovative Teaching for 2021/2022! My deepest gratitude to my wonderful students from the MSc. Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme for nominating me and for being there during the awards ceremony to support me and cheer me on. It was truly a moment I will cherish forever!
Looking back at the academic year, I can say that my teaching practice comprised of three key pillars. First, I aimed to create a safe space for learning, inside and outside the classroom. I believe that the collective psychological safety between the cohort and me enabled the students to engage with their best foot forward, to ask any questions or voice any opinions freely and without judgement, and to learn from their mistakes in a safe environment, with a continuous exchange of constructive feedback. Second, I used multiple methods and modes of content delivery, catering to various learning styles and diverse student profiles in the classroom. An interactive approach to teaching was especially important for a theme like social innovation and entrepreneurship, to ensure that the students had a good grasp of key theories and frameworks that contributed to their academic learning trajectory within LSE, and also equipped them to launch impactful entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial projects, in the real world post their LSE journey. Finally, co-creation and collaboration with students was also one of the key values underpinning my teaching practice. I aimed to actively listen and act on relevant student feedback and on several occasions, I co-created learning opportunities with the inputs and engagement of the students themselves, leading to a series of practical workshops, interactive live-case consulting sessions, fireside chats with key industry experts, etc.
As an early career academic and teacher, this year of hybrid teaching has been extremely enriching and enlightening. The support of my colleagues, the rewarding interactions with the students and this teaching award (the cherry on top!) has truly inspired me to keep learning and growing, to contribute to the domain of management education for years to come."
(Highly commended: Dr Tanya Harmer)
LSESU Award for Inclusive Education
Dr Jacob Breslow
"I want to thank my students for taking the time out of this hectic year to nominate me, and my department, for the LSESU Teaching Awards. One of the immense pleasures of my job is that I get to meet a new cohort every year, and these students bring their own unique experiences, values, hopes, and insights into the classroom. This year’s cohort has been amazing. They have shown such brilliant solidarity with faculty and staff during the industrial actions taken by UCU, and they have been so supportive of one another through another year of the pandemic.
It was truly a surprise to be nominated for the Inclusive Education Award. Putting inclusivity at the heart of teaching and education is important to me, but it is also necessary to say that my pedagogical approaches are ones I’ve developed collectively with my colleagues here at the Department of Gender Studies and elsewhere. Providing teaching that seeks to account for and challenge the intersecting structures of erasure, invisibility, dehumanisation and epistemic injustice that so often constitute education is an ongoing and unfinished project - and I’ll take this recognition as a reminder that this work must continue.
Here at LSE we have a heightened responsibility to ensure that our teaching is inclusive and centred in feminist, trans, queer, anti-racist, decolonial, and anti-ableist social justice movements and scholarship. LSE currently has a 22.91% gender pay gap, and the mean gender bonus pay gap is 64.4%. The School has fallen 35 places in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index this year. Astonishingly, there is no data about a race pay gap, nor does the gender pay gap data account for race or ethnicity as something that augments gender. Yet in 2019/20, the gap in recruitment offer rate between white and BAME applicants increased to 6.7%, meaning that white applicants continue to be more likely to be hired by the School. I could go on, but these statistics do not adequately speak to the everyday racism, heterosexism, transphobia, elitism, precarity, and coloniality that our students and our colleagues experience. These statistics do, however, demand that faculty members urgently seek to find ways of addressing these issues within our classrooms, and within our work at LSE more broadly. As we’ve repeated many times this year, our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. Our students want us to undertake these urgent efforts, and they learn from the work we do in the classroom to make the LSE a more inclusive community."
LSESU Award for Departmental Excellence
Department of Gender Studies