Extraordinary staff and students celebrated at Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence event
Eight award winners and 16 commendation winners were recognised for their astounding achievements over the past year at an in-person awards event on campus. A new, special award was also announced and awarded for the first time during the ceremony.
Spirits were high at the event, which took place in Eldon Building and saw around 100 attendees, including individual and team winners and their nominators, and commendation winners. Nominators said a few words about the achievements of their nominees before the award winners came up to the stage to accept their certificates and have their photograph taken with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith. Afterwards, a celebratory reception was available with food and drink to give colleagues the opportunity to catch up and take more photos.
Graham said: “I’m really pleased to be able to thank colleagues around the University who have done some amazing things under very difficult circumstances over these last 18 months. I believe all colleagues have made great contributions to the University and community over the past year or so but these people that we are celebrating have gone above and beyond what would normally be expected of them. Every year I come to these awards and I’m blown away by the efforts that are made by people doing such exceptional things and I’m very grateful to all our winners.”
The event was live streamed by our CCI TV Channel from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) and a recording can be seen on their Youtube channel.
Here are our winners:
Amy Hughes, BA (Hons) Photography student
Covid-19 Testing Team
Photo from left to right: Georgina Barker-Woodward, Amanda Ward, Graham Galbraith and Joe Shoebridge.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit it quickly became clear that testing would be a key tool in reopening our campus and keeping our staff, students and the wider community as safe as possible. The team has played a vital role in the safe reopening of campus, carrying out over 32,000 tests to provide accurate infection data and in combating the narrative that university students were a primary cause for Covid-19 spread.
Wendy Wang - Food packages for isolating students
Wendy showed true leadership and determination in implementing a process for welfare packages for students. An estimated 500 international students were due to arrive into halls and the community on the weekend of 12-13 September 2020. These students were required (due to Covid) to immediately quarantine so had no chance to shop in advance. Wendy arranged hot food from a local restaurant and became the sole point of contact for those managing the phones that weekend. Wendy went to great lengths across that entire period to ensure no student went without a suitably culturally appropriate meal.
BAME Conference Team
Photo from left to right: Emilie Smith, Graham Galbraith and Marcella Kirby
Samuel Robson - STOP COVID-19
In collaboration with university and hospital research staff, Sam Robson established a next-generation sequencing centre for Covid-19. Using university equipment, hospital labs and a lot of good will, testing began on all SARS-CoV-2 positive samples collected at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth to identify variants and transmission chains in the local area. Over 15,000 genomes have been processed, with samples being sent from all over the South East of England. Sam has worked tirelessly to ensure rapid turnaround of results and provided the critical information required by infection control teams at local hospitals, as well as providing essential data on variants which has been used by policy makers to inform transmission control decisions.
The Study Buddy Club project
Photo from left to right: Alexander Sabine, Catherine Carroll-Meehan, Graham Galbraith, Jodie Pinnell and Karolina Szczepaniak
ICG Covid Response Team
Photo from left to right: Chris Pattison, Jascha Schewtschenko and Coleman Krawczyk
Pre-Sessional English (PSE) team
Photo from left to right: Andrew McColl-McWha, Graham Galbraith and Helen Ringrow
The PSE team are responsible for the Pre-Sessional English courses for international students wishing to develop their English Language skills to meet their degree's entry criteria. In March 2020, responding to the global pandemic and the potential impact on international students planning to undertake their studies in the UK, the team developed an institutional test to assess students' English Language skills for entry onto university courses due to the closure of English Language test centres which would in normal circumstances determine students’ eligibility. The team also completely redeveloped the campus-based Pre-Sessional English programme into a pure distance learning course in just 10 weeks, using a range of highly innovative technologies which was new to the institution. If they had not done so we would not have met our international student recruitment targets.
Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Citizenship
A special Award called the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Citizenship was also awarded to one of our students, Jessica Ware, in recognition of her remarkable courage and for being an outstanding representative of our students.
Last year, Jessica received a Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for helping to save the life of a fellow flat mate with meningitis. Her quick actions made the difference between her friend making a recovery or losing his life to the infection.
More recently, Jessica intervened to control the bleeding of a member of the public whilst waiting for the emergency services to arrive and take over. Jessica has encountered two incredibly traumatic situations which she faced with bravery and determination to help those in need.
- MyPort student service advisors and administrators for providing an exceptional service in running the new Coronavirus ‘Infoline’ service to process enquiries from students, parents and guardians around the Covid-19 pandemic, and other central university telephone numbers, including identifying and supporting self-isolating students as part of the Student Welfare Call.
- Exploring the history behind decolonising the curriculum team for developing induction workshops on Equality, Discrimination and the History of Race in Britain, and for delivering cross-university workshops to examine how attention to historical research can help other disciplines frame responses to the challenges of curriculum decolonisation.
- Science and Health Online Delivery Support Team for volunteering to be part of a non-expert team to help with the move to online teaching and learning in response to the Covid-19 restrictions.
- Library study space booking team for developing an initiative to successfully and fairly manage the reduced capacity necessitated by social distancing and to avoid long queues at peak periods which would have impacted staff.
- Library click and collect service for the significant service enhancement of developing the click and collect service that allowed students to request books in the Library, with staff making them available for collection outside of the turnstiles.
- Phil Jewell for SIGHT Project management for engaging nearly 150 member companies in the SIGHT programme, coordinating support and innovation for them, aligned to our mission to give back to the community as a civic university.
- Staff team in the School of Health and Care Professions during Covid for the continued delivery by academic and technical staff of high quality education during the pandemic to ensure the availability of high quality health and social care professionals both locally and nationally
- Placement students in the School of Health and Care Professions formed an essential part of the NHS workforce and have contributed to the national work on Covid-19.
- The Elected Officer Team at the Students’ Union for their tireless work to represent the interests of Portsmouth students in the very specific circumstances of 2020/21, and to drive forward campaigns and activities in less than ideal circumstances.
- BAME Ambassadors for developing and running student-led campaigns to help tackle the BAME awarding gap at the University of Portsmouth.
- The Forensic Technician and Online Course Developer team for the innovative creation of digital learning objects for online delivery to our student communities, including the use of interactive 360-degree images, practical crime scene photography, video demonstrations and other digital objects.
- The Student Engagement Dashboard team for enabling staff to identify students who may be falling behind and at risk of failure, through monitoring engagement, and facilitating student support.
- Rik May for supporting students to seek out wellbeing advice, delivering training to volunteers and actively promoting a positive culture around mental health, which has had a positive impact for our student sports clubs.
- The Virtual Year Abroad team for giving students the opportunity to complete a Virtual Year Abroad, which included online language tuition, professional communication and conversation, as well as virtual exchanges and virtual placements.
- The Students’ Union Advice Service Peer Advisors for keeping the service running effectively through the pandemic, providing ideas for how to enhance it, and delivering an excellent service to our students.
- BSc (Hons) Cyber Security And Forensic Computing Student Alan Ross - for volunteering to support the running of the Government's Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, including registering all participants, preparing all the online sessions, hosting keynote speakers and acting as an MC on the day