THE fourth annual Staff Awards ceremony was a glittering success and a true celebration of all that is great about the University.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press opened the ceremony, which was attended by 600 people in the Business School on Thursday (July 7).
He thanked staff for their hard work “achieving great things” and reaffirmed Manchester Met’s position as an inclusive and open University.
TV personality Gordon Burns was “honoured” to host the ceremony and present the prizes. He regaled the audience with stories of his time as host of quiz show The Krypton Factor and as a victim of an elaborate prank by fellow TV host Noel Edmonds.
He told ManMetLife: “I am delighted to be here and it is an honour to present the Manchester Metropolitan Staff Awards.
“During my time at the BBC, we had the Ruby Awards to celebrate staff success in the regional and national news teams, and also the Royal Television Society awards. We were always keen to win and were fortunate to pick up many of these honours over the years. I still have the trophies at home!
“Awards like these are important because they help raise the quality of organisations and bring recognition for staff for their hard work. It is nice to pick up a memento and it always means a lot to realise that you are appreciated. Congratulations to all who were nominated.”
Josie Elson, Associate Director, Valuing and Engaging People, said: “Once again we had an excellent turnout and a really great atmosphere. Around 600 members of staff came along to cheer on colleagues who had been nominated for awards. Even the Manchester weather didn’t dampen the mood as the celebrations continued at the after-party on the roof terrace of the Art School. I spoke to several of the winners afterwards who talked about how proud, and humbled, they were to win. The awards clearly mean a lot to staff at Manchester Metropolitan.”
The Awards featured a vibrant staff festival with departments and teams from across the University hosting stalls in the Business School. In total, 548 nominations were received for eight categories.
Winners received a commemorative trophy and bespoke student art work from Manchester School of Art, presented by Gordon Burns and the Vice-Chancellor.
Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology Dr
Mohammad Hammoudeh (award collected by Dr Darren Dancey) won the award for Outstanding Innovation in Learning and Teaching. Mohammad encouraged friendly competition in the classroom, leading to excellent submission rates from students. Exercise and Sport Science’s Dr Carl Payton (right) was highly commended for the award.
For the category of Rising Star, the judges found it difficult to pick just one from the shortlisted. Ilona Gill, Executive Assistant at Manchester School of Art, and Dr Rory Shand, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Politics and Philosophy, were both announced as joint winners of the Rising Star award.
Ilona was described as a “godsend” and praised for her ability to identify where and when help was needed and act accordingly. Rory was also announced as a winner in recognition of his dedication and commitment to students.
The Best Team award went to the Birley Facilities and Domestic Services team – who are the single point of contact for all student, staff and visitor enquiries – after successfully piloting a new work model due to be rolled out across the University. The Security team (below) were highly commended for the award.
Once again, Unsung Hero was the most popular category and a difficult choice for the
judging panel. Student Services Administrator Joe Byrne (left) and Assistant Student Services Officer Steve Potts were both highly commended for their roles.
The winner of the Unsung Hero award went to Technical Officer Gail Spencer (above) who has worked with the University for 25 years across different departments and has always gone “above and beyond what is expected of her.”
The award for Exceptional Team Member went to Creative Writing Lecturer Dr Julie Armstrong who “always puts the student experience first” and makes sure that her team is able to pull together to ensure they give their best. Colleague Bev Stephens collected the award on Julie’s behalf. Senior Lecturer in Nursing Neil Wilson was highly commended.
Domestic Assistant Anthony Ivory (above) was awarded the Service Excellence award. Anthony was praised for always being willing to take on tasks outside of his day-to-day role to ensure the service provided is of the highest quality. Beverley Tonge (right) was highly commended for her commitment to service excellence.
The Exceptional Contribution to the Student Experience award went to Student Experience Support Tutor Laura Curry (above) in recognition of her “diligent and tireless focus on the student experience.” Yvonne Harris, Head of Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, was highly commended for her contribution.
For Outstanding Leadership, IT Helpline’s Service Desk Manager Martina Holubcova (above) took home the award in recognition of her commitment to her team and improving the student experience. Martina was praised for her “sterling attitude which has yielded positive results”. Paul Hodgson, (left) Principal Library Assistant, was highly commended in the category.
The Staff Awards 2016 were organised and run by Maryam Ahmed, Press and Communications Assistant, Lauren McDonnell, Chloe Murphy, Becki McGeorge, Marketing Assistants, Libby Basnett, Marketing and Events Officer, and Josie Elson, Associate Director of HR, with IT Services, Catering and Facilities.