RUSU Excellence Awards

By Professor David Stack, Head of Department

Every year the RUSU Excellence Awards honour those staff who students regard as having “gone above and beyond their expectations, tirelessly working to improve the delivery of their teaching and learning experience”.

 It is always gratifying to see History staff among the nominees, and it is particularly pleasing for the individual lecturers and tutors to see their efforts acknowledged by the people who matter most in the University – their students.

 This year saw a bumper crop of nominations for History. Six members of the Department were nominated, and these ranged from some of our most experienced tutors to the newest members of staff. What they share is an ability to inspire, and a willingness to go the extra mile when help is needed.

 No better tribute can be paid to them than to quote some of what our students wrote when making their nominations.


Dr Matt Broad

Nomination: Teaching Excellence Award

“Matt always makes himself available to help students. He combines great knowledge of the subject with an ability to inspire his students. This is mixed with a healthy sense of humour.”



Dr Hannah Newton

Nomination: Teaching Excellence Award

“Hannah is always contactable and whenever anyone in our lectures had an issue with either essays, presentations or personal problems, she was very understanding and would do her best to help. I have a newfound interest in the Early Modern period of History …”


Dr Jacqui Turner

Nomination: Teaching Excellence Award

Jacqui always has a positive attitude to teaching, … she is easily approachable and easy to chat with, which makes you actually want to do the reading and try your best at the essays she assigns!”


Professor Lindy Grant

Nomination: Outstanding Contribution to Research Inspired Teaching

Lindy has made me passionate about my subject which has driven me to apply for postgraduate study at Reading, and helped me gain invaluable work experience with English Heritage.”



Dr Emily West

Nomination: Personal Tutor Excellence award

“Helpful, supportive and always been there to give support when personal issues, started to get to me at university. Whenever I have emailed, I have had an instant response and always have had time made for me to go and talk and discuss possible solutions.”


Finally, a special mention is deserved for Dr Mara Oliva.


 Mara only joined the Department last summer but was nonetheless nominated for a Personal Tutor Excellence Award.

“I have only had Mara as a personal tutor this year but she has helped me so much in such a small space of time. She helps me academically with essay plans and my time management and also helps me with any personal problems that I have.”

 Mara then went one better by winning the Outstanding Contribution to Research Inspired Teaching Excellence Award. The testimony of her students provides an insight into why.

“Mara is always so enthusiastic about her topic.”

“She is on top of the literature and the latest publications.”

“She is a great motivator and made me feel like I could write an academic paper.”


Congratulations to Matt, Hannah, Jacqui, Lindy, Emily and Mara, and thank you to the students who took the time to nominate them.

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1 Response to RUSU Excellence Awards

  1. Emily West says:

    Thanks for this, David. I think the fact that we always do so well in these nominations shows just how much we work hard to engage our students as well as how fantastic and inspiring our students are as well! The RUSU event yesterday was also great. It was so inspiring to hear from all the prizewinners about how they work in partnership with their students. We have lots of ideas for the future!

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