As university lecturers, most of our time and effort goes into ensuring that our students have a positive and beneficial learning experience – at least that’s what we would like to be able to say as another mind-numbing admin task rears its ugly head. But in all seriousness, lecturing is a wonderful and rewarding job that allows us to share our knowledge and interact with enthusiastic young people.
Most days, every new lecture gives us a good idea whether we are succeeding at what we are trying to achieve, namely educate the next generation, or if, as may well sometimes be the case, we “must do better”. But even when we are quite certain we’re doing well, it’s always nice to see that subjective impression confirmed. True, there are student evaluation questionnaires that form part of regular quality assurance processes, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not happy to see our work acknowledged in other ways. We therefore very much welcomed the “My Astonishing Aston Academic” awards which were launched by the Aston Students’ Union this year.
They provide a chance for students to nominate and celebrate their favourite academics in the following student elected categories:
– Most motivational academic
– Best personal tutor
– Academic who made the most difference
– Academic who inspired your career choice
– Outstanding feedback
– Most engaging use of learning technology
At the awards ceremony, held on 1 March, the winners were announced, and German at Aston is very proud to say that our sessional lecturer Dr Simone Schroth was presented with the award for Most Motivational Academic in the School of Languages and Social Sciences.
Simone, whose background is in comparative literature and translation studies, has only been with us since the beginning of the academic year. An accomplished translator, she is currently working on translations from English and Dutch into German, including writings by world-famous diarist Anne Frank. But above all, she is a very experienced lecturer who has previously taught at universities in Dublin and Newcastle. Simone was delighted to receive the award last night and to see her work appreciated in this way. She says: “Being nominated was a lovely surprise, as was being presented with the award. Now I feel even more motivated myself – thank you very much and my best wishes to you all!”
A full list of winners and nominees from all four Schools at Aston can be accessed here.