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27th August, 2021

Gold for MDX in the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme

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For the first time, all three Middlesex University National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) nominations have been awarded Fellowships.

The NTFS is a highly competitive peer reviewed process with only 55 NTFs awarded annually. The University is delighted to congratulate Dr Eddie McCaffrey, Senior Lecturer in Television Production; Dr Sheila Cunningham, Associate Professor: Adult Child & Midwifery and  Dr Emily McIntosh, Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience in gaining the National Teaching Fellowship.

The NTFS’s mission is to recognise, reward and celebrate individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession. The scheme is run by Advance HE (previously the Higher Education Academy) and allows Higher Education providers from across the UK to make three nominations per year. Established in 2000, the scheme has created 1,034 National Teaching Fellows who continue to foster an active community of passionate and committed colleagues in the development of both individual and cross-sector excellence. Nominees’ reach, scale and impact across three criteria of individual achievement are considered, raising the profile of excellence.

“I’m so proud of Sheila, Eddie and Emily. This is the first time that all our nominated staff have been awarded fellowships. It’s an exceptional outcome and very well deserved. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme celebrates outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education and it’s wonderful that several of our staff have been recognised. Our team in CAPE deserve praise too as they support our candidates through the process and nurture prospective applicants.” Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University

Dr Eddie McCaffrey, Senior Lecturer in Film, was nominated for his efforts towards widening participation, developing graduate employability and working collaboratively with colleagues across education and industry, and in particular for leading work on sector-wide COVID safe filming guidelines for universities and colleges and the Connected Campus initiative around industry skills and opportunities.

External reviewers praised his passion, energy, “herculean” leadership skills during COVID, his role as a changemaker, commitment to continuing industry developments and application of principles of collaboration and innovation to effective work practice, in which he was described as a role model for his students.

Eddie says he sees the award as being for the “University, Faculty, Department and Film programme – I wouldn’t have been able to do this work if it wasn’t for management vision and support.” Eddie wants to thank his teaching colleagues, the Head of the Media Department, the Deputy Dean, and the Dean of Arts & Creative Industries Kene Igweonu for their support and, especially, former Executive Dean Carol-Anne Upton for her unwavering encouragement, as well as the Academic Practice Enhancement team at CAPE, particularly Deeba Gallacher for her support and nomination guidance.

Dr Sheila Cunningham, Associate Professor in the School of Health, Social Care and Education was nominated on the basis of her continued long term commitment to inclusive practice, European exchanges and experiences and outstanding commitment to supporting and developing colleagues’ professional development.

Sheila’s impact on the student learning experience has been evidenced over her 28 years at Middlesex where she has purposefully taken on roles and positions where she wants to ‘make a difference’ to students and colleagues. She says: ‘’Higher education changed me forever and I strive to pay it forward’’.

Sheila’s practice and approach is held in high esteem, as demonstrated in her receiving a University Teaching Fellowship (2004), University Senior Teaching Fellowship (2011) and Principal Fellowship of the HEA (PFHEA) in 2016. This is also recognised by our students: Sheila received the ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ award from Middlesex University Students’ Union twice and was nominated nationally for ‘Bioscience Teacher of the Year’.

Sheila said of the award: ‘’I have committed a huge part of my career to teaching students in nursing and wider professional fields – I do it for the love of teaching, caring and making a difference. I am on a learning journey still – this is my hope, to learn together after all, there is still a lot more to do. ’’

Dr Emily McIntosh, Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience since 2019, was nominated for her extensive expertise and impact at several national and international Higher Education institutions in the areas of personal tutoring/academic advising, student transition and inclusion. Supporting hundreds of colleagues, impacting upon thousands of students, Emily’s model of early intervention and transitional support (EI) provided significant evidence of her reach, value and impact in this area.

Emily’s EI model is a culmination of years of thinking and experience. The design of six core pillars is built around relationships – connecting transition, peer education and academic support – and the student journey, drawing upon the scholarship of literature around transition, retention and progression, attainment, the fragmentation of students’ lives, belonging and social and cultural capital.

The pillars connect the transitional elements of student success, and mainstream relationship-focused curricular pedagogies. Through this work, Emily has established advising as core pedagogical practice globally across the HE sector through her engagement with sector-wide national and international bodies (UKAT, NACADA, RUN, Spinnaker).  She has also contributed to international sector-wide work and research on early intervention, transitional support, student success and advising. Emily is a passionate advocate of academic advising as a key vehicle within which to connect and curate the student learning experience, facilitate transition, and champion equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Emily said: “I’m humbled to have received this award, and I hope that it will help to raise the profile of academic advising and its importance to student success, and to help provide high-quality support and recognition for tutors/advisors who perform this critical role”.

Commenting on the University’s Olympian performance in this year’s NTFS, Vice-Chancellor Professor Nic Beech said: “I’m so proud of Sheila, Eddie and Emily. This is the first time that all our nominated staff have been awarded fellowships. It’s an exceptional outcome and very well deserved. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme celebrates outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education and it’s wonderful that several of our staff have been recognised. Our team in CAPE deserve praise too as they support our candidates through the process and nurture prospective applicants.”


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