Teaching and Learning Conference and Awards 2017

Image showing an audience listening to a lecture

Over 500 delegates attended the two-day event, which comprised over 60 sessions. In addition to teaching staff, over 60 LJMU students attended, co-presented or led sessions. The Conference programme also included sessions led by Professional Services staff. Delegates attended from over 30 sector organisations, universities and colleges, including LJMU strategic international partners, Institute of the Arts, Barcelona, Sino-British College (China), Southern Connecticut State University (US) and YPC International College (Malaysia). 

Keynotes were delivered by Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Professor Simon Bates (University of British Columbia, Canada). As opening keynote, Nick Hillman focused on three key areas: the post-election agenda; the newly published HEPI/Higher Education Academy Student Academic Experience Survey; and higher education after Brexit. Professor Bates’ keynote centred on technology-enhanced learning, stressing in particular the importance of interoperability and support. His keynote was followed by a workshop on interactive engagement strategies for large classes.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill, outlined the context and vision for the new strategy (2017-22); developing LJMU as a "pioneering, modern civic university". Professor Peter Byers (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education) closed the Conference, which included a reflection on the principles that will be guiding the new Teaching and Learning Strategy and priorities for the next academic year.

Mike McCartney, renowned documentary photographer, member of the Liverpool comedy, poetry and music group, The Scaffold and Honorary Fellow, presented a specially curated and exclusive exhibition of his photography to commemorate the University’s 25th anniversary. The exhibition featured favourite compositions, chosen by the artist, of his home city, past and present.

Group shot of the teaching and Learning Award winners

The highlight of the Conference was the presentation of this year's Teaching and Learning Awards.

Professor Clare Milsom, Teaching and Learning Academy Director commented:

“Excellent teaching is at the heart of a good student experience and LJMU is lucky to have many outstanding lecturers, support staff and programme teams. These awards recognise and celebrate the commitment, skill and hard work of some of the individuals and teams that make this University such a great place to study.”

The event was hosted by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Peter Byers, with citations delivered by Faculty Associate Deans and the awards were presented by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill.

Lindsey Gaston, Senior Lecturer Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition, who received a Rising Star award said:

"It is an honour being acknowledged by the University and the Vice-Chancellor this early in my academic career. Although I have been recognised as an individual it really is is a team effort and I want to thank my academic team for everything they do.

Rising Star Awards were presented to:

  • Lindsey Gaston EHC
  • William Hurst FET
  • Elizabeth Peatfield APSS
  • Tim Lane SCI

Individual Teaching Awards were presented to:

  • Sue Baker EHC
  • Celine Germond-Duret SCI
  • Conan Leavey EHC
  • Thar Baker Shamsa FET
  • Elizabeth Whitfield SCI

Individual Support Awards were presented to:

  • Hazel Clark SCI
  • Alex Fox EHC

Vice-Chancellor awards for Excellence in Teaching Innovation

  • Claire Hennessy EHC
  • Becky Murphy SCI (during the dinner it was announced that Becky has also won the VC Medal which will be presented during graduation).

Image of Lindsey Gaston

Lindsey Gaston

Lindsey has brought new perspectives to the Events Management team and the wider School of Sports Studies, Leisure and Nutrition. He has great energy and enthusiasm. Most of all, he cares deeply about education and his students. It’s no surprise that he has quickly become well-liked and admired by students and staff for his good-humoured and committed approach. In a relatively short period Lindsey has proven himself to be a considerable asset to his programme, School, Faculty and University and is undoubtedly a rising star in LJMU. 

Image of William Hurst

William Hurst 

William joined LJMU in August 2014. He completed his PGCert qualification receiving a Distinction grade which is borne out in his high teaching satisfaction scores from his students. He is an active researcher and strives to bring his research into his teaching, encouraging two undergraduate students to publish their work at international conferences.

Image of Liz Peatfield

Elizabeth (Liz) Peatfield (not in attendance)

Liz is a valued member of the Policing Studies Team and in the short time that she has worked as part of the team she has made a real impact on the student experience. With the philosophy that students are individual, who face different struggles in life while completing their studies, Liz aims at providing a friendly yet professional relationship. Where appropriate she uses her own area of expertise drawing on her thesis, a book and published papers. She always aims to offer the students the best that she can and she has a particular affinity to Higher Education as she believes it has changed her life for the better.


Image of Tim Lane

Tim Lane

Tim has demonstrated a commitment to developing rich learning experiences, students speaking in glowing terms about his teaching and the new first-year residential field trip that he organises. His research focusses on the timing of changes to the Greenlandic ice caps and promoting a better understanding of our climate; work that is aligned with our strategic aim of supporting knowledge transfer with national and global audiences. This activity has involved; extensive outreach work, pioneering a final-year Iceland trip with Southern Connecticut State University, using NERC funding to develop climate change content for schools, and being a co-editor of the Climatica website that presents environmental topics for a non-specialist audience.


Image of Sue Baker

Sue Baker 

Sue’s academic career has been characterised by commitment to her students, the nursing profession and, above all, patients. She is a gifted, enthusiastic and hardworking woman who is admired by students, colleagues and collaborative partners. Sue has made significant contribution to bowel cancer screening. She leads a national education programme for screening professionals. This has generated significant income and prestige for LJMU.  More importantly, it has seen nearly 700 specialists trained to provide a vital service that has saved or enhanced countless lives.

Image of Celine Germond-Duret

Celine Germond-Duret 

Celine specialises in the analysis of development and political processes, supervising PhD research in this area. In her role as a Level 4 tutor she has developed new induction events, activity reflected by healthy retention rates. Her enhancement work is also notable for fostering a sense of academic community. The ‘Sustainability and Employability’ online module that Celine has developed has been undertaken by students located across the globe, is supported my touching testimonies from its ‘graduates’, and is aligned with our strategic commitment to environmental responsibility.


Image of Conan Leavey

Conan Leavey 

Conan has been a highly regarded educator at LJMU for over 20 years. He is totally committed to teaching, supporting and supervising students. Conan is skilled at motivating students wherever they are in their educational journey. Whether a fresh-faced first year or a PhD student in the final stages of writing-up, he enthuses students with his energy, insight and faith in their ability. All in all, Conan is a gifted and is an inspirational academic, liked in equal measure for his tremendous intellectual ability and great wit.

Image of Thar Baker Shamsa

Thar Baker Shamsa 

An alumni of LJMU, Thar started his teaching career at MMU where he quickly established himself as a rising star. He joined the teaching staff at LJMU in 2013 and has been consistently nominated for Amazing Teaching Awards since joining LJMU. His contributions to the academic community at LJMU include supporting the PgCert, the T&L conference and securing curriculum enhancement and internship applications and he has completed the StellarHE training programme for Diverse Leaders in HE.

Image of Liz Whitfield

Elizabeth Whitfield

Liz has worked tirelessly to improve the student learning experience, supporting students in all aspects of their studies and embedding employability in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. This work has been acknowledged through two LiverpoolSU Amazing Teaching Awards; the 2016 Amazing Course Team award being accepted on behalf of the Geography programme that she leads. Liz realises our strategic aim of providing a stimulating and exciting learning environment through research, specifically into fluvial processes that have occurred during the most recent geological period.

Image of Alex Fox

Alex Fox

As Skills Support Officer in the Faculty of Education, Health & Community, Alex has dedicated her time to ensuring that students make the most of their work-related learning for their personal and professional development. She is also a key contributor to the University’s HEFCE funded Learning Gain research project and has a significant role in the Nursing and Allied Health Student Award Scheme. Alex has used her many talents as a teacher and an administrator to support both students and staff without call for praise.

Image of Hazel Clark

Hazel Clark

Hazel is an integral and vital cog in the delivery of programmes within the Faculty of Science and her work involves a variety of roles; booking and driving vehicles for field trips; providing technical support for practical work, both within the curriculum and for applicant days; and helping staff to devise new and innovative practical activities. Hazel’s colleagues attest that she fulfils all her responsibilities in a professional and down-to-earth manner. This has contributed significantly to the success of programmes across the Faculty, fulfilling our strategic aim of providing students with high-quality support for all aspects of their learning experience.

Image of Claire Hennessey

Claire Hennessy 

Claire has made a significant contribution to the teaching and learning agenda in the Faculty of Education, Health & Community and across LJMU. She is an outstanding academic citizen and has been pivotal to the creation and delivery of peer mentor scheme. This has had considerable impact on the student experience.  Her approach focuses on establishing the evidence base for the impact and outcome of any innovation. As such, her work on mentoring has gained institutional recognition. On top of that, Claire is a transformational lecturer and supportive colleague who commands the respect and affection of her students and co-workers.

Image of Beck Murphy

Becky Murphy 

Becky’s practice is distinguished by her six-year role as a programme team member on the PGCert and the focused initiatives that she has introduced to raise the profile of teaching and learning within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. In addressing our strategic aim of incorporating core employability skills, for example, she has overseen the provision of hundreds of placements, managing complex relations with multiple stakeholders. A major theme of her teaching-related research is the relationship between pre-university experiences and the ease of transition into higher education. This led to Becky developing a new Level 4 module for 320 students and withdrawal rates are now less than half that in the previous year. Aligned with her Subject Leader role, Becky has developed an effective template for pedagogic investigations and she has coordinated investigations by PGCert students, interns and final year project students. She is a true academic citizen who recognises working with, and learning from others, as an integral part of her practice.

Contact Us

Get in touch with the Press Office on 0151 231 3369 or