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Direct view


In 60 secs


Meet the Major Review Award winners, who are commended for the significant contribution to teaching that they have made at LSE.


Dr Liz Barnett, Director of LSE's Teaching and Learning Centre, reflects on the growing value LSE places on teaching excellence and celebrates this year's prize winners.


Rosie Coleman, LSESU Education Officer, explains the changes to this year's Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards and why they are LSE's Teaching Oscars.

  2 July 2014  

Direct view

    Direct view from Dr Liz Barnett

Dr Liz Barnett, who retires this summer after 16 years as Director of LSE's Teaching and Learning Centre, talks about how this year's teaching prizes reflect the increasingly rich mix of teaching and learning that happens across the School.

Professor Janet Hartley proposed prizes for teaching back in the mid 1990s. Since that time, the value the School places on excellent teaching has been growing and 'excellence in education' is at the heart of the School's strategy for the future.

This year, we celebrate the performance of five Major Review successes, all of whom have gone beyond what's expected of them to ensure that students receive an outstanding education. Over 60 class teachers have been recognised for their contribution to the small group teaching that remains at the heart of much of the School's provision. In this group, a number of names reappear year after year. And this year, 14 departments added to the number of prizes awarded.

Finally, the Students' Union has launched a new approach to its Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards, recognising not only the excellent work that is done to inspire and enthuse in the class/seminar room and lecture hall, but also the support for learning that goes way beyond that, recognising those who support students in their personal lives and plans for the future.

Many of the ideas, techniques and approaches of these prize-winning teachers are being actively shared with others, through the annual Teaching Symposium, the LSE teaching blog and regular personal contacts between staff in the Teaching and Learning Centre, excellent teachers and colleagues across the School.

Congratulations to all - LSE has much to celebrate and build on for the future.



Major Review Award winners


LSE's Major Review Awards are given to faculty who have made a significant contribution to teaching at the School.

We asked this year's winners to tell us about their best teaching experience of the year.


Alex Gillespie, Department of Social Psychology

"My best teaching experience this year was running an informal social psychological experiment in a seminar class. It gave students hands-on experience of the experiments reported in the literature, making the students more critical of the validity of such research. Moreover, the informed discussion about the experiment also changed my plans for future research."


Tanya Harmer, Department of International History

"The highlight of this academic year has been the opportunity to design and teach a new specialised graduate seminar that is directly related to my current research. It has been exciting to analyse and debate new readings, methodologies and thematic issues with a group of 13 informed and intelligent students. By asking them to post short weekly review essays of key readings to Moodle 24 hours before class, I also found that the students were far more engaged and ready to contribute the minute they walked into the classroom than students in other graduate classes I have taught. There was a real buzz each week to the discussions and time flew by as everyone took part in a dynamic, interactive seminar."


Carmen Marchiori, Department of Geography and Environment

"I have come to appreciate that a critical factor in effective teaching is providing a road-map for students, which explains the rationale, story and underlying logic of the material covered. I have also increasingly realised the importance of offering detailed and constructive feedback which pivots around actionable recommendations as to how students can enhance their work in the future. Finally, I think it is important to approach teaching as an on-going learning process, and engage with and learn from the experience of colleagues."


Francesco Nava, Department of Economics

"When teaching, I try to cater to all types of students, bearing in mind differences in background and in learning pace. I encourage participation and questions during lectures, and I spend a considerable amount of time after lectures clarifying materials to the least advanced students, or providing advice and guidance to the most advanced. The best experience that I have every year is seeing some of the students, who were initially less advanced, progress and excel over their programme."


Solene Rowan, Department of Law

"My best teaching experiences usually occur when I introduce comparative law elements into my lectures or classes. Looking at the way other systems work is not only instructive, but it also stimulates wider discussion about legal and cultural differences. It shows students that in many cases there is not just one way of answering a legal problem, and that there is often no right or wrong to answer. LSE is the perfect place to introduce comparative law in this way as it is such an international institution. It is thrilling to hear what students from so many different parts of the world have to say about their own legal systems and cultures and to hear their comparative observations about English law."


60 second interview




with ...  Rosie Coleman, outgoing LSESU Education Officer and convenor of this year's Awards.

What prompted the changes to the LSESU awards this year?

When I was a student I had many great teachers but I never bothered to nominate them because the process was too hard. Finding fellow classmates to back up my nomination was difficult, especially around exam time when nominations always opened. So as Education Officer I wanted to lead the overhaul of the project.

How did the new categories come about?

I can't count the number of times I've used the Oscars comparison but I think it's a good one: without categories the awards system was like giving out 'best actor' prizes without any criteria! Categories just made sense.

What sort of response did you get from students and teachers to the new awards?

It's all been very positive. The number of nominations was off the record this year compared to previous years - we had 993 individual submissions - which of course meant more teachers nominated too, so everyone's happy!

What's been the best thing about being the LSESU Education Officer this year?

Making a difference to students' lives at LSE and helping to shape academics' understanding of students' views.

Do you have any advice for your successor?

Understand the big picture and do your research. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems at LSE!


LSESU Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards 2014





Award for Sharing Expertise and Knowledge

For demonstrating a broad knowledge and variety in teaching, facilitating engaging debates and dialogue and taking time to ensure students understand.

Winner: Martin Anthony, Department of Mathematics

"The best maths teacher I've had, both at my home university in the US and here at LSE."

Martin has been awarded this teaching prize because students want to thank him for his enthusiasm, generosity and compassionate approach to teaching complex mathematical concepts. Not only is Martin incredibly knowledgeable, but  nominations pointed to his ability to share his expertise using clear lectures, excellent additional resources, and a patient and coherent communication technique. Students appreciate his positive attitude to teaching, creating a safe and open classroom environment where no question is too small or silly to ask. Furthermore, many students referenced Martin's skill at making mathematics relevant to the real world, giving background motivation for topics and taking time to approach problems from multiple different angles.






Highly commended: Renuka Fernando, Department of Accounting

"Makes her own personal experiences relevant to issues we face at university and is a caring, understanding and supportive teacher."

Renuka was one of the most nominated members of staff in this year's awards. Her personable and charismatic approach to teaching accounting was repeatedly referenced by students. Renuka demonstrates a broad knowledge enhanced by her experience in the commercial field and expertly provides different perspectives to those covered in textbooks.




Highly commended: Lourdes Hernández-Martin, Language Centre

"A truly great teacher and one that LSE should be proud to have."

Students commended Lourdes on her clear, concise and thorough approach to language teaching. Her thorough knowledge and passion for her subject encourages students to look outside grammar textbooks and into the world of cinema, music and books to experience the true culture of the language.





Award for Collaborative Research and Guidance

For being personally invested in their students' education, recognising their value as an academic equal and providing them with fantastic guidance.

Winner: Alexandru Marcoci, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

"Alex has been really helpful for the writing of that paper and more generally for deepening my desire to study for a PhD and work in the academic world."

Alexandru's commitment to teaching extends above and beyond the expected duty of the GTA role. Identifying talent in his masters' students, he has worked closely with them to shape and inspire a new generation of academics. After spending an enormous amount of time giving feedback on formative essays, Alexandru has recognised his students as academic partners and fine-tuned their research skills. One student highlighted his crucial role in encouraging them to submit an academic paper for presentation at a conference while others thanked him for showing so much respect for the academic prowess of those he teaches.





  Highly commended: Clare Hemmings, Gender Institute

"She pushes us as well as supports us. I've never seen a teacher balance this better."

Clare is commended for her genuine and respectful approach to masters' teaching. Clare provides excellent suggestions and advice, while pushing her students to fulfil their academic potential. Furthermore, students referenced the end of term conference event as a particularly interesting way to develop ideas and skills. She his the perfect balance of holding students' hands while letting them excel as young academics in the discipline of gender.



  Highly commended: Nigel Dodd, Department of Sociology

"He creates an ideal environment in which we can flourish as young, aspiring academics."

Nigel goes far beyond class teaching, offering numerous one-to-one feedback and advice meetings and informing students about the specifics of the academic network. He provides additional resources and directs students to the latest research, publishing opportunities and suggests various perspectives for students' individual academic careers."





  Award for Innovative Teaching

For going beyond the traditional role of teaching, providing exciting perspectives and cutting edge research to their students' learning and enhancing this learning with technology.

Winner: Nicholas Long, Department of Anthropology

"Exciting and captivating dissemination of topic knowledge every week."

Students identified Nicholas's use of innovative teaching methods as key to their enjoyment and successes in his courses. At the start of each lecture Nicholas plays a song relating to the topic of the week (even lugging his own speakers every week!), grabbing students' attention right from the beginning. His Powerpoints, packed with vivid imagery and short videos, were also praised. Students also detailed Nicholas's commitment to the learning of all his students: one week, for example, when the ECHO system was not working, Nicholas booked a lecture room and recovered the lecture again to an empty classroom so that students who were unable to attend could watch online.





  Highly commended: Frederick Laker, Department of International Relations

"I have enjoyed every single class and I truly believe Frederick deserves this award."

Frederick's creative approach to structuring a class, characterized by packing many activities into the hour, has enabled students to fully engage with the debates of this comprehensive course. Frederick demonstrates cases through Powerpoints with embedded short videos, highlights definitions, provides essay outlines and his mini-quizzes are something of legend amongst IR203 students.



  Highly commended: Nicola Limodio, Department fo Economics

"Employs out of the box methods to make every class different."

Nicola has a unique and well-structured approach to teaching, always bringing something new to the class in order to make it more interesting. At the start or end of each class, Nicola shows two or three videos, articles or pictures which remind students of the core principles or important context to microeconomics. Additionally, he creates PDFs on his website to clarify problems and improve understanding.



  Award for Excellent Feedback and Communication

For being approachable, responsive, providing excellent feedback and being willing to use innovative communication to help their students develop and understand.

Winner: Rosalind Coffey, Department of International History

"Since joining LSE, Rosie has been the best teacher I have encountered."

The breadth and depth of support provided by Rosalind is truly exceptional. Feedback is provided quickly and in great detail following every formative submission: all comments are delivered in one-to-one meetings and Rosalind makes full use of students' Moodle registers. She is extremely approachable and communicates students' strengths and development areas through personal interactions, group work and responsive emails. She clearly communicates the themes of the course and the aims of each week enabling students to read with focus and efficiency. Rosalind often provides handouts with key events or themes, and when books are in short supply, she takes the time to email a scanned copy of the required pages so that all students can be fully prepared for class each week.





  Highly commended: Diana Popescu, Department of Government

"I'd like to thank Diana for her hard work and fantastic attitude to teaching."

Diana matches the hard work of her students with timely, detailed and constructive feedback which provides great assistance in understanding course material and preparing for exams. Diana gives two to three times the amount of written feedback her students are used to, providing a separate document with paragraph-by-paragraph analysis and referring explicitly to the strengths and weaknesses of each submission.

    Highly commended: Stephan Maurer, Department of Economics

"Stephen is the most responsive teacher I have ever met and always delivers high quality classes."

Stephan is patient, dedicated and thorough. He provides timely feedback to all students on paper and in class, often including his own ideas on many topics covered to help students gain an alternative perspective on the material. He is very flexible with his time and regularly stays back or uses email to address questions unanswered in class.





  Award for Inspirational Teaching

For being really charismatic, driving students to learn more, challenging their perceptions and encouraging them to apply your knowledge to the wider world.

Winner: Antoine Paccoud, Department of Geography and Environment

"Antoine is the most inspiring teacher I have ever had."

Antoine received by far the most individual nominations of any member of LSE staff nominated. Students submitted more than 3,000 words collectively in his support. He is acknowledged for his excellence as a lecturer, teacher and academic adviser and thanked for his dedication to students across a range of teaching functions. Students have immense respect for Antoine's intelligence and amazement at his ability to rephrase, re-contextualise and re-imagine age-old theories to make them accessible for every student. His door is quite literally always open. Antoine is incredibly charismatic, friendly and approachable and these aspects of his personality really shine during his classes and have inspired a huge number of students at LSE this year.

    Highly commended: Alice Evans, Department of Geography and Environment

"Alice pushes us to exceed our own expectations." 

Alice is everything you could ask for in a teacher - sharp, quick-witted and motivational. Her knowledge is limitless and really inspires students to push themselves. She offers new perspectives to every topic and her incredible work ethic means that formative work is marked at an incredible speed and quality. She was commended for her teaching both in the department and on the LSE100 programme and many students thanked her for her passion and drive.

      Highly commended: Hakan Seckinelgin, Department of Social Policy

"What I learned in his class will stay with me for the rest of my life."

Hakan is commended for teaching with passion and  encouraging everyone to engage with deep discussions. By combining knowledge of key course content with practical examples based on his own field experiences, Hakan creates an inspiring class atmosphere, encouraging students to challenge what they have already learned, really caring about the wellbeing of every individual and driving them to further their knowledge of the course and the wider world.





  LSESU Award for Excellent Welfare and Pastoral Support

For really caring about their students' personal welfare, being a constant point of support and being able to signpost them to appropriate support services.

Winner: Alicia Mejia, Department of Management

"The most amazing person I have met at LSE and in my life so far."

Many students at LSE will resonate with the experiences of those Alicia has supported. LSE is a challenging place to study academically and socially, and many students look to their class teachers for pastoral support. Alicia expertly offers that support within an academic context, giving hands-on advice to students on how to achieve academically while also remaining confident in a competitive atmosphere. Alicia is thanked for her willingness to advise students in a personal setting, always having time to chat over coffee, reply to emails and offer kind and constructive advice.





  Highly commended: Sue Haines, Disability and Well-being Service

"Without Sue, I would not have been able to complete my studies here at LSE."

Sue is a vital point of contact for many students at LSE, frequently liaising between service providers, university management and national organisations to make students' time at LSE manageable. She is renowned for her no-nonsense approach and for working quickly, efficiently and persistently to get answers and outcomes. For the many disabled students at LSE, Sue is one of the most important members of staff at the School.



  Highly commended: Richard Perkins, Department of Geography and Environment

"He really is the unsung hero of LSE."

Richard is commended as a lecturer, MSc programme director, academic adviser and warden. Many students describe Richard as a 'life-line', empathetic to student issues and always able to give excellent pastoral advice. Students thank him for always considering them as intellectual equals, believing in their potential and providing them with the opportunity to flourish during their time at LSE.




  LSESU Award for Professional Mentoring and Personal Development

For adding value beyond the traditional academic reach, helping students to develop professionally and to add value to their skill set.

Winner: Devika Hovell, Department of Law

"She is by far the best teacher we have ever had - she is an inspiration to us all"

Devika masterfully combines academic rigour with professional mentoring, going above and beyond to make her course content relevant to the wider world and incorporating practical skill training into her classes. She frequently invites guests to speak to students, judge mooting competitions or discuss their practice areas after a seminar. Devika has inspired many students to pursue law careers and sharpened the interests of those who had already decided on this path.






  Highly commended: Helena Ivins, Department of Economic History

"I have never met someone so committed to the department and the students as Helena."

Helena is commended for the exceptional amount of time and effort she puts into helping students with career development. Alongside her administrative role in the department, she cares about the progression and success of every student. Students thank her for always informing them of alumni networking events, research internship vacancies, LSE part time jobs or mentoring programmes and potential career opportunities.

    Highly commended: Matthew Whiting, Department of Government

"Matthew is the best teacher I have come across, not just at LSE but at any institution."

Matthew is aware of students' academic interests (and non-interests!) and takes a genuine interest in each class member's career goals and aspirations. He recognises that university is part of a longer journey and is active in helping students move on to the next stage of their professional lives.




  LSESU Award for Exceptional Contribution to Teaching

For being consistently exceptional in all areas of teaching, being nominated repeatedly in recent years and valued by a vast number and range of students at LSE.

Winner: Ulrike Theuekauf, Department of Government

"I feel very privileged to have had Ulrike as my teacher."

Year after year, students tell LSESU how phenomenal Ulrike's teaching is. This year she received one of the highest number of nominations and has been commended for her high quality feedback, her inspirational teaching style, and the amount of personal attention she showers on each and every student. She is always on hand to help and takes time to ensure everyone understands the course content. Passionate, patient and infectiously enthusiastic, she is truly a credit to the School.


Class Teacher Awards


Class Teacher Awards are nominated by academic departments in recognition of the special contribution made by graduate teaching assistants, teaching fellows and guest teachers to their work.

  • Department of Accounting: Chrisoulla Constantinou, Renuka Fernando

  • Department of Anthropology: Ana Guttierez, Joanna Whiteley

  • Department of Economic History: Edward Kerby, Bernardo Wjuniski

  • Department of Economics: Joshua Bernstein, Yi Jie Gwee, Andrew Hodge, Luis Martinez, Mohammad Vesal
    Department of Economics runners up: Florian Blum, Albert Blue Perez, Thomas Carr, Alex Clymo, Ana McDowall, Clement Minaudier, Maria Molina Domene, Frank Pisch, Rajneesh Verma

  • Department of Finance: Adrien de Boisanger, Panagiotis Couzoff, John Kuong, Kevin Long, Milan Martinovic

  • Gender Institute: Amanda Conroy, Harriet Gray

  • Department of Geography and Environment: Joel Gill, Thomas Smith

  • Department of Government: Inez Feiin von Weitershausen, David Jenkins, Maria Norris, Diana Popescu

  • Department of International Development: Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock, Guo Xu

  • Department of International History: Rosalind Coffey, Valeska Huber, Andrea Mason, Robin Mills, Elizabeth Shlala

  • Department of International Relations: James Strong, Yuan (Joanne) Yao

  • Language Centre: Stephanie Beltrando

  • Department of Law: Robert Craig, Marie Burton, Keina Yoshida

  • LSE100: Zeynep Kaya, Diego de Meric, Claire O'Donnell, Jose Javier Olivas Osuna

  • Department of Mathematics: Ahmad Abu-Khazneh, Matthew Jenssen, Ioannis Kouletsis, Tony Whelan

  • Department of Management: Jonathan Ashong Lamptey, Dimitrios Karamanis, Karin King

  • Department of Media and Communications: Alex Free

  • Department of Methodology: Lukas Linsi

  • Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method: Chris Blunt, Andrew Goldfinch

  • Department of Social Psychology: Joseph Downing, Margarita Gelepithis, Eleri Jones

  • Department of Sociology: Liene Ozolina-Fitzgerald

  • Department of Statistics: Rafal Baranowski, Youyou Zhang


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