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Extra Mile Awards 2015/16

Celebrating our most successful and inspiring students and staff

The Extra Mile Awards is an annual event run by the University in partnership with Birmingham City University Students’ Union.

The awards recognise the achievements of the University’s most exceptional staff and students.

We’re proud that our teaching staff not only come from industry but work hard to share their knowledge and insight.

The winner and runner-up in each category for 2015/16 were announced at an awards ceremony in Eastside City Park on Wednesday 11 May.

So here's the run-down of our fantastic staff and students who got a prize!

Jaspreet Singh
Gary Hazeldine
Daniel Browell
Steve Adigbo and Waheed Rafiq
Gillian Evans
Steven Wanless
Amrit Kaur Gill
Casey Petch

Staff award winners

Frontline and Behind the Scenes Staff of the Year

This award will be presented to an exceptional member of staff whose hard work ensures that the University runs effectively and that students achieve highly.

Winner: Gillian Evans
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

"Gill is not only a talented administrator who is well-organised and efficient – she also goes the extra mile to facilitate excellent outcomes."

Jim Chapman
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

"Jim’s warmth, humour, listening skills and sensitive fair and sensible approach seem to have generated a renewed positive team spirit.”"

Full list of finalists

Alan Kirton, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“If ever I’m having a down day Alan seems to sense it and raise mine, and others sprits.”

Daniel Maguire, Campus Management and Services
“Makes all students feel welcome into the building.”

Gillian Evans, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“Gill is not only a talented administrator who is well-organised and efficient – she also understands our priorities and goes the extra mile to facilitate excellent outcomes both within the University and beyond.”

Jim Chapman, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“Jim’s warmth, humour, listening skills and sensitive fair and sensible approach seem to have generated a renewed positive team spirit.”

Mitchell Gamwell
“One of the friendliest, most helpful people on campus.”

Mushtaq Hussain, Campus Management & Services
“His commitment to enhancing student satisfaction and student safety is always at the foremost of his actions.”

Engaging and Inspiring Teacher of the Year

This award recognises the University’s outstanding teaching.

Winner: Daniel Browell
 Arts, Design and Media

“His experience and expertise has greatly inspired me to learn and achieve.”

Runner up: Thomas Lancaster
Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

“He has brilliant methods in teaching and always interacting with us."

Full list of finalists

Chris Jones, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“Chris makes me feel valued and encourages me to see my worth.”

Daniel Browell, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“His experience and expertise has greatly inspired me to learn and achieve.”

David Osbaldestin, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“He's a truly passionate person who seems to genuinely want the best for all of his students”

Kate Whittaker, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“Her teaching is truly engaging, allowing you to build confidence in your work, reflect and improve.”

Kyle Brown, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Kyle has so much knowledge in how to tackle real world situations and always gives good advice, no matter how weird the situation.”

Sarah Wood, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“Sarah is one of the most inspiring humans, let alone teachers I have come across.”

Marian Crowley, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Marian doesn’t want you to think like she does……Marian just wants you to think!”

Neil Hollins, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“His motivational and authentic manner is inspiring and makes me want to teach.”

Paul Bradshaw, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“He has introduced us to so many relevant people and taught us so many skills that cannot just be acquired by going to a lecture.”

Thomas Lancaster, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
“He has brilliant methods in teaching, always interacting with us and making sure we are having fun whilst learning a dry subject like formal methods.”

Personal Tutor of the Year

This category recognises the University's best personal tutors.

Winner: Gary Hazeldine
Business, Law and Social Sciences

“My overall experience of university is enhanced by his enthusiasm, knowledge and passion.”

Runner up: Samuel Coley
Arts, Design and Media

“His continued belief in me has given me the motivation and confidence to see my course through to the end!”

Full list of finalists

Andrew Kulman, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“He has constantly motivated me and the rest of my course members to do our work and try our hardest with endless amounts of encouragement.”

Bernie St Aubyn, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“She has supported me through difficult personal circumstances and been an endless source of wisdom and common sense.”

Chris Jones, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“He has always given me the motivation and inspiration to stay strong and because of this I was more able to complete my academic work.”

Elaine Duddy, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“To my mind she is a superhero.”

Gary Hazeldine, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“My overall experience of university is enhanced by his enthusiasm, knowledge and passion.”

Julie Harbottle, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“The placement that Julie helped me set up was at a fantastic school that I was able to work hard at and succeed. From this they offered me a full time teaching role starting in September that without Julie would not have been possible.”

Kelly Davey Nicklin, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“She has, in a very short space of time, moulded my future more profoundly than many have in a lifetime.”

Marian Crowley, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Her unstinting commitment to the personal and professional development of her students will make me a better psychotherapist simply because she lives and breathes her profession – that of caring for others.”

Samuel Coley, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“His continued belief in me has given me the motivation and confidence to see my course through to the end!”

Tracey Perks, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“She’s my hero. I wouldn’t be where I am now without her.”

Researcher of the Year

This award will be presented to the academic member of staff who is judged to have made the biggest contribution to research and enterprise work over the academic year.

Winner: Stephen Wanless
Health, Education and Life Sciences

“Steve’s research into manual handling techniques, as well as directly informing practice, is underpinning learning and teaching both in the classroom and out in the real world.”

Runner up: David Wilson
Business, Law and Social Sciences

“Professor Wilson is the embodiment of a BCU academic – someone who cares about making a difference to those affected by the criminal justice system and passing on that knowledge."

Full list of finalists

Imran Awan, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Imran's research examines the impact of Islamophobia, anti-Muslim hate crime and security upon Muslim communities. He acts as an advisor to Government on anti-Muslim hatred related issues and has commented on terror-related issues on ITV Central News, Al Jazeera English and Channel 4 News.”

Matthew Tonkin, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Matt is a very well published researcher and has published over 15 papers in peer review journals spanning a range of topics from crime linkage to offender treatment.”

Christopher Dingle, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“The world premiere at the BBC Proms in August 2015 of his orchestration of Olivier Messiaen’s Un oiseau des arbres de Vie was the latest example of Dingle’s international reputation as the leading authority on one of the 20th century’s most influential composers and pedagogues.”

David Wilson, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Professor Wilson is the embodiment of a BCU academic – someone who cares about making a difference to those affected by the criminal justice system and passing on that knowledge to the next generation of criminal justice professionals.”

Stephen Wanless, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“Steve’s research into manual handling techniques, as well as directly informing practice, is underpinning learning and teaching both in the classroom and out in the real world.”

Team of the Year

The team award recognises the outstanding partnership work going on across the University.

Winner: Pro Bono Unit
Business, Law and Social Sciences

"The Unit provides free legal services to the most vulnerable in society in Birmingham and internationally. It also offers students a practice-based learning experience."

Runner up: CommUNIcate
Business, Law and Social Sciences

“This team has enabled staff and students from all sorts of backgrounds and ages to work collaboratively together and develop an outstanding showcase.”

Full list of finalists

International Women's Day celebrations organising team, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“The team gets involved with the students and the community. For example, the Women of Eastside project was displayed as a piece of art in the Curzon foyer, but it is also part of a wider project.”

Digital Media Technology Lab, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
“In the past year, members of the DMT Lab have received numerous grants, published over 50 academic papers, been on the front page of the national press and were listed as creating one of the highest impact studies of the past 20 years by the UK research council.”

Netball Sports Team, BCUSU
“The team tries to reach everyone at university to give them the opportunity to get involved, bringing the university community closer together and connecting campuses and people who would never usually cross paths.”

CommUNIcate - Student Academic Partners Project, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“This team has enabled staff and students from all sorts of backgrounds and ages to work collaboratively together and develop an outstanding showcase.”

Pro Bono Unit Committee (student members), Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“The Unit provides free legal services to the most vulnerable in society in Birmingham and internationally. It also offers students a truly transformative, practice-based learning experience by dealing directly with live cases and real clients.”

Scratch Media I am Human project, BCUSU
“I am Human was a documentary about Mental Health Awareness. The work, created by a team of volunteers, featured interviews with organisations across Birmingham creating art, and inspiring people to overcome their difficulties.”

Student award winners

Engaged Student of the Year

This award recognises students who commit themselves to getting the most out of their time at the University and help to improve the experience for other students too.

Winner: Jaspreet Singh
Business, Law and Social Sciences

“We need more students like him to make this world a better place to live.”

Runner up: Alexander Gittings
Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

“He persuades other students that anything is possible and fills others with confidence.”

Meet one of our nominees - Storms

Nursing student Storms Menri has been shortlisted in the Engaged Student of the Year category. Not only does he help other students with their exams and coursework as a mentor, he's also a dementia champion and a keen sportsman - captaining athletics teams and plays basketball.

"I wanted to get involved in every aspect of the university and feel a part of whatever was happening," he said.

Full list of finalists

Alexander Gittings, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
“He persuades other students that anything is possible and thus fills others with confidence.”

Ally Hirji, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“His dedication and the will to make a difference for other BCU students and staff is commendable.”

Danielle Balach-Warman, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“She makes my seminars interesting and never lets the conversation die down- I like how she encourages other people to talk too.”

Hazel Nash, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“She represents herself, her peers, the profession and the university in a positive way consistently.”

Jaspreet Singh, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“We need more students like him to make this world a better place to live.”

Marianne Kipling, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“She is strongly supportive of her peers whilst remaining professional and impartial in her approach.”

Mohammed Mahboob, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Mohammed is a fantastic student and is a real asset to our university.”

Storms Menri, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“I know a few students who nearly gave up because they had failed placement and also had a couple of exams to reseat. Out of his busy schedule, Storms supported these students to pass their exams.”

Zhi Lwee, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Mathew touched the lives of many of us who have studied the 10 week or 6 week English Pre-sessionals in UK. His actions helped integrate many of us to feel comfortable to the change of our environment.”

Entrepreneurial Student of the Year

This category recognises students who are going the extra mile to develop their employability and career prospects, putting the skills from their degree to work.

Winner: Steve Adigbo and Waheed Rafiq
Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

“They are co-founders of BlindX3 Ltd, a start-up company that specialises in the development of assistive technology for the blind.”

Runner up: Alexander Gittings
Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

"Alexander is an inspiring innovator and created a gadget called SmartIgnite, a device that allows domestic users to safely ignite fireworks via a smartphone app."

Full list of finalists

Aadil Farooq, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“He delivered the winning pitch during the Global Entrepreneurship Week Great Business Bake Off competition and was also part of the winning team of the European Business Masters Cup Preliminary Round competition.”

Alexander Gittings, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
“Alexander is an inspiring innovator and the creator of a novel gadget called SmartIgnite, a device that allows domestic users to safely ignite firework displays via a smartphone app.”

Steve Adigbo and Waheed Rafiq, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
“They are co-founders of BlindX3 Ltd, a start-up company that specialises in the development of assistive technology for the blind.”

Mahroz Mirzahekmati, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“As part of her studies she has designed, developed and created her own range of jewellery and actively sought out opportunities to retail the designs.”

Tadas Pustelnikovas, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“He successfully started his own high end Fashion Label, Tadas Vito Ltd in 2014 and has been working on the development of this alongside his studies.”

Student Academic Leader of the Year

This award is presented to the Student Academic Leader who is judged to have made the biggest difference to students on their course.

Winner: Amrit Kaur Gill
Business, Law and Social Sciences

"She attends meetings with tutors to explain exactly what we have told her, speaking on behalf of us, sticking up for us and backing our views - AMRIT IS OUR VOICE."

Runner up: Robert Crehan
Arts, Design and Media

"Rob is keen to solve any issues that may occur keeping both staff and students in the loop, and strives to make sure that all parties are happy with the outcomes."

Full list of finalists

Amrit Kaur Gill, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“She attends meetings with our tutors to explain exactly what we have told her, speaking on behalf of us, sticking up for us, backing our views and ensures our suggestions are taken seriously - AMRIT IS OUR VOICE.”

Avneet Chauhan, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“Avneet is vociferous in raising student issues, although she is also empathetic to the staff perspective as well.”

Indrani Datta, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Always contributes in trying to make Psychology a more enjoyable and fun course to learn.”

Martine Griffiths, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“She will always welcome you if you approach her, she is on the ball with her emails and isn't afraid to ask questions or turn up to student committees and catch up sessions.”

Robert Crehan, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
“Rob is keen to solve any issues that may occur keeping both staff and students in the loop, and strives to make sure that all parties are happy with the outcomes.”

Student in the Community

This category recognises students for their fundraising and volunteering work in the community.

Winner: Casey Petch
Health, Education and Life Sciences

"Not only has she completed her first half marathon a few days ago to help raise money for charity, but she has also done volunteer work with in the community in hospital wards, bringing teas and coffees to patients and just giving them a person to talk to."

Runner up: Kirsty Devaney
Health, Education and Life Sciences

"Kirsty is in the third year of leading Birmingham Conservatoire's Young Composers Project. The project is life changing for many participants who said it's increased their confidence, and encouraged them to pursue composition in ways they hadn't dreamed."

Full list of finalists

Abu Syddek, Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences
“Abu signed up to the National Trust summer challenge. During the programme he stepped into a role model position, supporting his peers and other young people.”

Casey Petch, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
"Not only has she completed her first half marathon a few days ago to help raise money for charity, but she has also done volunteer work with in the community in hospital wards, bringing teas and coffees to patients and just giving them a person to talk to.”

Kirsty Devaney, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“Kirsty Devaney is now in the third year of leading Birmingham Conservatoire's Young Composers Project. The project is genuinely life changing for many participants who have said how it has increased their confidence, and encouraged them to pursue composition in ways they hadn't dreamed.”

Simon Milburn, Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
“Over the years with the charity Kids Adventure, Simon has helped raise money and organise respite breaks for disadvantaged children.”

The Extra Mile Awards is an annual event run by the University in partnership with Birmingham City University Students’ Union. The awards recognise the achievements of the University’s most exceptional staff and students.

Nominations are now closed

Nominations for the Extra Mile Awards 2015/16 have now closed. The winners will be announced in an awards ceremony on Wednesday 11 May.

Thanks to everyone who made a nomination.