SRUC Lecturer Nominated For Top Innovation Award

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A lecturer at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been recognised for her work to enhance teaching and improve the student experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cath Seeds, Programme Team Leader for Wildlife and Conservation Management at SRUC’s South and West Faculty, has been shortlisted in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category of the annual THE Awards.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she has used her experience in both e-learning and nature conservation, to embrace digitally enhanced teaching with a focus on the student experience.

From supporting a cross-campus re-design of a key programme, to developing a virtual field trip during the first Covid-19 lockdown and completing the Scottish Academic Leadership Programme, Cath has been both passionate and imaginative in her support of colleagues and students.

Cath, who is one of eight lecturers from across the UK shortlisted for the award, said: “I am both shocked and delighted to be shortlisted. It has been an unprecedented time for everyone in education and it is lovely to be recognised for the hard work and creative energy that went into delivering our programme over the last year.
“I found it an extremely challenging time but also an inspiring one, to see how far we could take our teaching delivery to ensure our students on the Wildlife and Conservation Management course could gain a high-quality experience despite the effects of Covid.
“It is also an opportunity to reflect on the brilliant team at SRUC who inspire and support each other. We are a team and as such the last year has been truly a team effort.”
Nick Sparks, Dean of SRUC’s South and West Faculty, said: “Cath is recognised by colleagues and students alike as an outstanding, innovative and generous teacher. 
“For Cath, the students come first, followed closely by her team, and she is always striving to give them the best experience while also proactively supporting colleagues in their development.
“This nomination is richly deserved and will be welcomed by Cath’s students and colleagues alike.”     

There were a record 600 submissions for 20 categories, covering a wide range of university activity across leadership and management, administration and academia.

With the awards focussing primarily on activity during the 2019-20 academic year, many submissions were based on the outstanding initial response to the unique and wide-ranging challenges brought about by Covid-19.

The 17th annual THE Awards – which are widely known as the ‘Oscars of higher education’ will take place on 25 November at the Hilton London Metropole in central London.