Double success for DMU lecturers in prestigious national teaching awards


Outstanding academics from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been recognised with two of the most prestigious awards for teaching excellence in Higher Education.

Dr Jo Rushworth has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF), whilst Jo’s mentor Dr Angela O’Sullivan led her inter-disciplinary CrashEd team to achieve a national Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). Both awards will be presented by Advance HE at a glittering awards ceremony in Edinburgh later in the year. This is an unprecedented achievement as Angela achieved NTF status last year and Jo has been her first mentee through the highly competitive scheme.

NTF Awards
National Teaching Fellowship Award winner Dr Jo Rushworth and her mentor Dr Angela O'Sullivan

Dr O'Sullivan, who is an Associate Professor and Head of Widening Participation in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and immensely proud to have led the CrashEd team who have all shown excellence in their diverse expertise and their collaborative approach to teamwork. Jo’s NTF success at such an early stage of her career is equally phenomenal. It has been a privilege to mentor her and it is wonderful to see her enthusiasm and innovative approach to teaching and learning recognised nationally, it will be magical to receive the awards together.”

CrashEd,  led by Dr O'Sullivan, is an immersive crime scene which engages students using a real crashed car, actors, mannequins and special make-up effects including bullet holes, blood spatter and stab wounds. The CATE award recognises and celebrates outstanding collaborative impact in teaching. Only 15 awards were given nationally this year.

Members of the CrashEd team: Mark Fowler, Marisol Martinez-Lees, PC Tim O'Donnell, Angela O'Sullivan and Annette Crisp

The CrashEd team is made up of DMU lecturers Angela O’Sullivan, Annette Crisp, Mark Fowler and Leisa Nicholls-Drew from the faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Marie Bassford and Joanne Bacon from the Faculty of Technology, Leicester College’s artistic make-up lecturer Marisol Martinez-Lees and PC Tim O’Donnell of Leicestershire Police. The team also engaged artistic make-up special effects students as co-creators.

crashed extra pic
Angela with from left, Annette Crisp, Joanne Bacon, Marie Bassford and Leisa Nicholls-Drew

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Dr Jo Rushworth, a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, is one of the youngest winners of an NTF award. Jo has been lecturing at DMU for four years, during which time she has championed Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and helped to lead the design and teaching of the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education for new lecturers. Jo’s unconventional lecturing methods include using chocolate, songs and scratch cards to teach her own subject, biochemistry, and she is keen for her students to co-create their own lectures.Her co-created innovations include #DMUsay feedback boxes and a student-staff communication pathway.

Jo said: “I have had so much support from my students and colleagues, particularly my mentor Angela and our Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr Abi Moriarty, who first introduced me to UDL. DMU has given me so many opportunities to grow as a teacher and to share my ideas, and now the NTF award opens a doorway to national and international collaborations.”

Professor Jackie Labbe, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic, said: “Jo, Angela and the CrashEd team exemplify the innovative, student-centred approach to learning that we champion at DMU. We are proud to have lecturers who put so much effort into creating exciting and impactful programmes and make such a huge contribution to the student experience.”
Posted on Thursday 30th August 2018

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