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Students celebrate inspirational staff at Hope Star Awards

The annual Hope Star Awards returned for 2018, with staff from across the University recognised for their work supporting students.

Hosted by the Students’ Union, seven awards were presented as a thank you to those who have gone the extra mile.

Nominated by students, the winners are listed below alongside testimonials explaining why they deserved to win:

Inspiration Award - Dr Jasna Balorda, Lecturer in Sociology 
Dr Balorda has dedicated her academic career to empowering the minds of students. Not only does she act as a mentor when studying difficult parts of the course, but she also provides genuine care and support to students when dealing with difficult times during their study. Dr Balorda’s burning passion for her taught subject is highlighted through the high attendance and interest in her classes, it is clear that she feels a sincere duty to opening the minds and hearts of her students not only to better themselves, but for the overall increased social consciousness and activism. Dr Balorda has inspired classes through her dedication to Sociology in her published works and she has also created an area of curriculum ‘neoliberalism in the age of austerity’, which has motivated many students’ further research ideas.

Supportive Staff Award - Irene Rose, Network of Hope Tutor in Disability and Education 
Irene was a godsend in the last year of my undergraduate degree. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness part way through my studies and the kindness, compassion, and support shown by Irene was overwhelming. She supported my decision to complete my studies and my application for my Masters study. Irene is a gem of the University and truly is an engaging, inspiring woman. 

Supportive Tutor Award - Dr John Jordan, Lecturer in Social Policy 
John has always provided excellent support in tutorials. He has always been available to offer help to students when help is needed most, and has always been challenging ideas for further thinking to extend knowledge. John is a great inspiration and a very supportive tutor, going above and beyond for his students, to always ensure that they achieve the best possible.

Student Opportunities – Dr Emma Katz, Lecturer in Childhood and Youth
Emma was described as an amazing person with a very understanding heart. When talking to her, she really puts herself in her students' shoes and you can see it. She always opens her arms up to any students who come to her with any problems and makes them feel comfortable and welcome. She has always been there and supported her students in every way possible, opening students up to plenty of opportunities. Many of her students have felt that if it were not for Emma, they would have felt like giving up on university and their future a long time ago.

Innovation Award – Dr Laura Hamer, Former Associate Professor and Head of Music
Laura was Head of Department of Music and course leader for the MA Musicology module. She created an innovative programme of learning that was engaging and intellectually stimulating. She was incredibly supportive and inspired her former student Ann to pursue further study within this field of research.

Course Representative of the Year - Sam Kelly
Sam was described as an outstanding course representative, as he's always friendly and approachable and whatever anyone's problem is, he'll always make sure that it gets solved as quickly as possible. He is friendly and treats everyone with the same respect, always going the extra mile to take up students’ issues at Staff-Student Liaison Committees to ensure the students he represents have the best learning experience possible. 

Hope Community Hero - Liz Mitchum, Gateway Administrative Assistant
Liz is always smiling and happy to help. She goes above and beyond to help students with any issue they face and always makes students feel they have someone there to support them. Liz is a credit to the University, as shown through her determination to support students in any way that she can.

Published on 24/05/2018