NUI Galway Lecturer Recognised at the National Academy’s 2011 Award Ceremony

Award winners from NAIRTL’s 2011 National Awards for Excellence in Teaching (l-r): Thomas Farrell, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Jennifer Schweppe, University of Limerick; Aine Hyland, Chair of the NAIRTL Awards Selection Committee; Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn; Marion Palmer, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire; Frances McCormack, NUI Galway, and Kathleen Horgan, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
Nov 14 2011 Posted: 11:28 GMT

NUI Galway Lecturer in English and Vice-Dean (Learning and Assessment), Dr Frances McCormack, was among give third-level teachers recognised as exemplifying excellence in teaching at the annual National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) awards ceremony in Dublin recently.

At a time when Higher Education Institutions are being challenged to achieve ever higher standards, the National Awards for Excellence in Teaching symbolise the outstanding quality of teaching which many Irish students already experience. In particular, these awards value and celebrate successful efforts at integrating research, teaching and learning. The five winners represent disciplines as diverse as anatomy, Education, English and Law and were nominated by senior staff in their institution to go forward for the highly competitive award.

Minister Ruairí Quinn presented the awards at this prestigious ceremony and noted that the awardees were “Teachers who never cease in their own learning, cultivating the potential in their students, making each and every student feel recognised and valued.”

John Hennessy, Chairman of the HEA, stressed the benefit of a national awards scheme stating that “The award recipients bear testimony to the quality of imagination and commitment that characterises the Higher Education community.”

The NAIRTL Awards recognise higher education teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their teaching and have made an exceptional impact on student learning and the five winners are:

  • Dr Frances McCormack, Lecturer and Vice-Dean (Learning and Assessment), NUI Galway.
  • Dr Thomas Farrell, Anatomy Department, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Dr Kathleen Horgan, Lecturer and Coordinator of Microteaching, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
  • Dr Marion Palmer, Head of Department of Learning Sciences, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
  • Jennifer Schweppe, School of Law, University of Limerick

Regardless of disciplinary background, these teachers show a common purpose and mastery of teaching. This award ceremony recognises their subject based expertise as well as their passion and interest in cultivating the potential in their students.

NAIRTL was established in 2007, and its vision is one where research and teaching go hand in hand. This is the fourth year of the Awards for Excellence in Teaching and the award winners were chosen from thirty-six detailed submissions from seventeen different HEIs across Ireland. They will each receive a €5,000 award which can be used to support their teaching and research activities. 



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