Tag: RATE Awards

Congratulations one and all!

Another very pleasant part of this whole blog catch-up thing is that it gives me a chance to pass on great news about successes for staff and students.

The University’s annual RATE teaching award ceremony took place at the end of last month so, firstly, congratulations to our Divisional colleague Bashir Saade who won this year’s prize for Excellence in Teaching in Arts and Humanities. It was fantastic to see a number of French at Stirling staff also being nominated for their hard work and commitment to teaching over this past academic year across a range of categories: Exceptional Student Support Award; Research Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year; Best Tutor; Fantastic Feedback and Excellence in Teaching in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. And the feedback from the voters always makes us smile:

‘An inspirational teacher and one that I desire to be like myself’;

‘So passionate about her subject and creates an enjoyable atmosphere for learning. Where every student feels their opinion or interpretation is valid’;

‘Very constructive and friendly feedback that gave me the confidence to write essays with more ease’;

‘Most involved, best informed, best organised tutor and professor. Will always get back to you on time, will help with anything, always on time, always available for appointments.’

Thank you to all the students who voted for us – it really is very much appreciated by us all!

And congratulations, too, to Caitlin, Eszter and Eilidh, Stirling’s three successful applicants for this year’s Stevenson Exchange Scholarships, all of whom will be able to benefit from funding to undertake research projects while on Study Abroad or English Language Assistantships next year.

Eilidh – who is studying French with Spanish and Professional Education – will be working on a project exploring how a particular region balances its history and traditions against a desire to modernise and to exist within a changing world, with a particular focus on Lyon where she’ll be spending her year as a Language Assistant. Caitlin – who is on the same degree programme as Eilidh – is keen to explore the influence of Gothic art and architecture on the region around Montpellier where she’ll be working, also as a British Council Assistant. And Eszter – whose degree is in Spanish and Marketing – will be in Spain, on Semester Abroad, and examining feminism and the creative industries while studying at the University of Navarra-Pamplona. Congratulations to all three recipients of these competitive scholarships and we look forward to tales of your time abroad and the work you do with the Stevenson over the year ahead.

And thanks to Jean-Michel DesJacques and Jose-Maria Ferreira-Cayuela, Study Abroad Coordinators for French and Spanish respectively, for all their work in helping develop the applications.

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We’re back!!

The blog has been rather quiet over the past few months but, as the teaching and assessment side of the semester winds down, it’s time to get things started again. There’ll be new student profiles, articles on what our students are up to on Study Abroad and news about research activities and plans but, by way of a starting point, a healthy list of congratulations!

We currently have three undergraduate students (Stefano, Nicolas and Annika) completing their Semester Abroad in France and working on fascinating and diverse research projects thanks to Stevenson Exchange Scholarships. Updates on the projects will follow from them but extra congratulations go to Stefano who – we have just learned – has been jointly awarded one of the University of Stirling’s Williamson Travel Scholarship which is likely to be put to very good use to fund fieldwork in Northern Italy and Southern France, examining  integration practices for refugees and asylum seekers between the two countries.

At the recent Conversation awards ceremony, our PhD student, Fraser McQueen, was the recipient of the Most Prolific Author award thanks to articles on the politics of contemporary France that have been read almost 13000 times.

And particular congratulations to our Language team of Brigitte Depret, Jean-Michel DesJacques and Mathilde Mazau who received an array of nominations at the student-led RATE awards (for everything from Excellence in Teaching in Arts and Humanities to the Santander Outstanding Achievement Award) with French Programme Director Cristina Johnston being awarded the Best Tutor prize.

And on a less strictly academic note, congratulations, too, to David Murphy for successfully completing the Stirling Half-Marathon and to our 2014 honorary graduate Mark Cousins whose new film The Eyes of Orson Welles premieres this very night at the Cannes Film Festival.

Yep, definitely a good place to start things off again on the blog! Congratulations to all and look out for more posts over the days and weeks ahead…

Teaching Award Nominations

It’s the time of semester when the nominations are announced for Stirling’s annual RATE Awards or the ‘Recognising Achievement in Teaching Excellence’ awards, to give them their full name. The RATEs have been running since 2010 with students nominating staff across a wide range of categories from Faculty awards for Excellence in Teaching to the Fantastic Feedback Award. As in previous years, French at Stirling staff feature among the nominees, with Jean-Michel DesJacques, Mathilde Mazau, Brigitte Depret, Fiona Barclay, David MurphyElizabeth Ezra and Cristina Johnston all having been nominated. As well as offering an opportunity to blow our own trumpets a little, this is also a chance to say a collective thank you to the students who took the time to vote (both for us, as individuals, and just generally!). Merci!

And congratulations, too, to our Literature and Languages colleagues who’ve been shortlisted for a range of awards. Beatriz Basso, in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and Katie Halsey and Angus Vine in English are all on the shortlist for Excellence in Teaching in Arts and Humanities. And Angus has also been shortlisted for the Professional Mentoring Award, along with our Religion colleague, Alison Jasper. Good luck to them all – the award ceremony itself takes place on 19 April.

Life as a Lectrice: New Linguistic Adventures

2016 Mathilde photoToday is the last day of undergraduate teaching at Stirling for this academic year and it seemed like a good point to post an article by the newest addition to our teaching team, French Language Assistant Mathilde Mazau (who also happens to be one of our RATE nominees for this year):

“I was born and raised in France and came to live in Scotland in 2007. I absolutely love my new country and I can’t believe it will be 10 years next year. I live in Glasgow with my two little trilingual girls (English/French/Gaelic) so languages and multi-culturalism are an integral part of our daily life.

I started teaching English 14 years ago in France, and I have loved every single aspect of it. I also work from home as a freelance translator, specialising in contemporary art translations. Teaching and translating are the perfect balance for me. I started teaching English at University level 12 years ago, in Normandy and then French here in Scottish universities in 2009.

Teaching my own language has been a fascinating journey and one that made me realise that you never really stop learning about your mother tongue: languages are incredible and teaching them has really become a passion. I started as a lectrice here in Stirling in September 2015 and I feel very fortunate to be part of the French team, on such a beautiful campus. My colleague Brigitte Depret and I share an office and we continuously discuss our teaching methods and experiences, which I find very stimulating and enriching.

My job as a native lectrice is to teach written and spoken French. Written tutorials focus on the grammatical aspect of the language and we all know how challenging it can be sometimes, but who doesn’t love the subjunctive or the fact that all adjectives agree in gender and number? Spoken tutorials are usually based on articles or topics seen in French news, and will lead to discussions and debates, in French bien sûr, where everyone is encouraged to take part. I love seeing my students improve their skills over the months/years and it never ceases to amaze me when they can finally have a long, structured conversation.

As this semester comes to an end, I am really looking forward to seeing my students again next September for new linguistic adventures.”

Thanks to Mathilde for the blog post and fingers crossed for the RATE awards!

Award Nominations for Students and Staff

Great news for four students at different stages of degrees involving French at Stirling who have all been invited to attend an interview for a Stevenson Exchange Scholarship for projects they plan to undertake while abroad over the next academic year. We hope to be able to give more details on the projects and the students’ successes after the interviews in late-April but, in the meantime, they know who they are and we wish them the best of luck for their interviews! (In the interests of full disclosure, 3 of the 4 have submitted proposals for projects in Spain but all are students taking French…)

Great news too on the staff front with news of nominations for this year’s RATE awards (Stirling University’s student-led prizes for excellence in teaching) with Fiona Barclay, Brigitte Depret, Mathilde Mazau and Cristina Johnston in the running for a range of awards including the ‘I love my tutor’ award, for ‘Excellence in Teaching in the Arts and Humanities’ and for ‘Outstanding Professional Mentoring and Personal Development’. Again, more news on these nominations to come later this month but congratulations to all colleagues who’ve been nominated and thank you to the students who did the nominating – it’s very much appreciated!

RATE Award Nominations for French Staff

As the teaching semester reaches its final few days, it’s great to hear that French staff are once again among the nominees for the Stirling University RATE Awards. These awards offer students an opportunity to vote for tutors, lecturers, support staff and supervisors who have had a particularly positive impact on their learning experience across a range of categories including Excellence in Feedback, Best Personal Tutor and Most Innovative Use of E-Learning. Congratulations to Bernadette Corbett, David Murphy, Elizabeth Ezra and Cristina Johnston who are all nominated this year.

The awards will be given out at a ceremony on 22 April, at the end of the University’s annual Learning and Teaching Conference.