Faculty celebrates wins at 2024 Teaching Awards

Accolades earned for Faculty of Social Sciences staff as the Winners of the 2024 University of Leeds Teaching Awards are announced.

The prestigious University of Leeds Teaching Awards recognise the work and innovation of colleagues in delivering high-quality teaching and learning at Leeds. Now in their fourth year, the awards continue to grow, with submissions almost doubling compared to 2023.

Amongst the high-level applications demonstrating impact by colleagues across the University, staff from the Faculty of Social Sciences won in two categories of the awards.

Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: ‘Congratulations to you, the winners of our 2024 University of Leeds Teaching Awards.’

‘Your work makes the Leeds Curriculum come alive for students, and ensures they are able to engage fully in their course, their future and our world. Thank you for continuing to push the boundaries of what’s possible, for empowering our students to be their best selves, and for everything you do.’

Each of the winners receives a grant to support professional development or scholarship, a certificate of recognition and an invitation to the celebratory event with colleagues in September to officially recognise their success.

Decolonising the curriculum

Johanna Loock, Ayse Rumeysa Kotan, Dr Hizer Mir and Professor Salman Sayyid from the School of Sociology and Social Policy, were recognised as Early-Stage Collaborative Excellence Winners for ‘Decolonial Module Development in Sociology’.

Their module ‘Formations of Coloniality and Modernity’ was designed to be a core module at the beginning of their level 1 students’ journey. The team wanted to ensure that the module shifted away from an additive approach in which topics such as gender, race, or disability are considered marginal to traditional Sociology and its key thinkers, often consigned to the tail end of a semester.

Student testimonies evidenced the transformational impact of the module and recognised it helped meet their demands for less Eurocentric and more globally inclusive ways of understanding the world: ‘I liked how it proved how Eurocentric the world is, I never thought about it that way before.’

Left to right: Ayse Rumeysa Kotan, Johanna Loock, Dr Hizer Mir and Professor Salman Sayyid

Improving experiences for under-represented students 

Rachael O’Connor, from the School of Law was a Sustained Excellence Winner for her work on developing authentic relationships between students and staff through reverse mentoring, within higher education (HE) and beyond.

The University Panel commended Rachael for, ‘showcasing you not only practice what you preach with respect to creating inclusive spaces for learning, you are leading the way on pedagogic research with respect to methods, as well as developing innovative insights into how to create a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for staff and students.’

‘Your approach to CPD is exemplary, both for yourself and others - you have achieved a lot in a short time.’