UPSU SSTAR Award Winners 2018

On Thursday 26th April UPSU held the annual Student Staff Teaching and Representation (SSTAR) Awards, hosted by Vice President of Education Maja Smith. These prestigious awards recognise the many excellent University staff members and dedicated students we have here at the University of Plymouth. This year we saw 612 detailed and inspiring nominations from University of Plymouth staff and students. A committee of University of Plymouth students and representatives chose the winners.


The shortlisted and winners are:

Student Voice Gold Awards

The Student Voice Gold Award is for students who have logged over 60 volunteering hours through their roles within Student Voice. The following students have amassed a total of 628 hours between them:

  • Charles Markham 

  • Louise Crichton 

  • Kiesha Turner 

  • James Lord 

  • Lucy Thatcher 

  • Goda Cegialyte

  • Victoria Hunt 

  • Katherine Pierce 

  • Jema Payne

The Big Thank You Award

This award is for a member of service staff (catering, cleaning, tech, etc.) who makes the day-to-day experience of University for students and staff just that little bit better. Whether it’s making your 9am latte just how you like it, or providing a consistently reliable service from anything from keeping our classrooms clean to fixing any IT problems, these are the people we often forget to thank.

  • Winner – Kathy Parrett

  • Runner Up – Susie Bissell

One in a Million Support Staff Award

Supporting students throughout their time at University can make a world of difference. This award is given to a member of support staff who goes above and beyond to make the lives of students better.

  • Winner – Catherine Smith

  • Runner Up – Samuel Duffield

Best Placement Support Award

Going on placement can be exciting, stressful and scary all at the same time, but with the support of a key staff member, these worries can often be managed. This could be someone who has given support, advice or guidance about placements (this can be either a year out placement or as part of the course). 

  • Winner – Remy Foucher

  • Runner Up – Claire Hornsby

School Rep of the Year Award

Schools Reps give up hours of their time to represent students in their School. This can sometimes be a difficult job so a School Rep who listens to students, acts upon feedback and creates real change deserves recognition!

  • Winner – Victoria Hunt

Excellence in Championing Career Development Award

Awarded to a staff member who champions student employability and career development, this award is there to thank those who put students’ futures in the heart of everything they do. This can be from CV advice, help finding a job or simply just being a motivating or encouraging voice, it all makes a difference.

  • Winner – Alena Tkacova

  • Runner Up – Dave Worthington

Sustainability in the Curriculum Champion Award

Sustainability is the creation and maintenance of social, environmental and economic conditions that allow human and natural life to flourish and continue, without stalling the ability of future generations to flourish also. This award is a great way to thank and celebrate academics who have gone above and beyond to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attributes required to be sustainability leaders, as well as promoting good practice.

  • Winner – Stuart Collier

  • Runner Up – Victoria Hurth

Most Dedicated Dissertation/Project Supervisor

Completing a large project or a dissertation can be one of the biggest sources of stress for a student so having a dedicated supervisor by their side to support and guide them is vital. Postgraduate Teacher/Supervisor of the Year is an award designed specifically for Postgraduate students to recognise the efforts of their supervisor or a member of staff who teaches them.

  • Winner – Stuart Collier

  • Runners Up – Alyson Norman (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences), Natalie Semley (Faculty of Business), Min Wild (Faculty of Arts & Humanities), Claire Embling (Faculty of Science & Engineering), Wondwossen Abate Woldie (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry)

UPSU’s Peer 2 Peer Trainer of the Year Award

UPSU’s Peer 2 Peer Training Scheme sees University of Plymouth students design and deliver workshops on developing core skill areas, to their fellow students. In its inaugural year, the following 5 students have executed these sessions, as well as helped to better shape the Peer 2 Peer Training Scheme for the future:

  • Georgina Miller

  • Jazmine Law

  • Katherine Pierce

  • Lauren Fidler

  • Paige Harris

  • Overall Winner – Katherine Pierce

Stand Out Part-Time Officer Award

UPSU has 15 Part-Time Officers ranging from Welfare to Environment & Sustainability. These officers help make UPSU an inclusive space for students to create real change within the University of Plymouth and the wider community.

  • Winner – Goda Cegialyte

  • Runner Up – James Lord

Postgraduate Teacher/Supervisor of the Year Award

An award designed specifically for Postgraduate students to recognise the efforts of their supervisor or a member of staff who teaches them. This award is to recognise any postgraduate staff that has made a difference to student’s lives as they embark on furthering their education to their next milestone.

  • Winner – Simon & Sue Webster

  • Runner Up – Julian Stander

Inspirational Teaching Award

This award is for a staff member who shows passion and enthusiasm for teaching and inspires their students to be the best they can be. They share their depth of knowledge and demonstrate complex skills inside and outside a lecture or lab, with the potential to inspire a student to achieve great things. 

  • Winner – Toby Whitley

  • Runners Up – Kath Vineer (Faculty of Arts & Humanities), Kevin Burrows (Faculty of Business), Gunnar Schmidtmann (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences), Issy Hallam (Partner Institutions), Jonathan Unsworth-White (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry)

Most Effective Feedback Award

The award for Most Effective Feedback is for staff who provide clear and concise comments on what students did well and how they can improve. These staff members should return their feedback within 20 working days to a standard that will help student improve and learn.

  • Winner – Tristan Coombe

  • Runner Up – Alison Bacon

Course Rep of the Year Award

Course Rep of the Year recognises the hard work of the Course Reps at the University of Plymouth. Course Reps are there to listen to the views of the students on their course, represent those views and make a real difference to the academic experience for students on their course.

  • Winner – Atiyya Islam

  • Runners Up – Anne-Cecile Semichon (Faculty of Business), Elena Licata (Faculty of Science & Engineering), Laura Roberts (Partner Institutions), Victoria Williams (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences) 

Outstanding Personal Tutor Award

A Personal Tutor can often be a lifeline during a student’s time at University on all things academic, pastoral and even career development! Having a Personal Tutor who champions and inspires students to do their very best, but also being there if things go wrong can make a real difference.

  • Winner – Alyson Norman

  • Runners Up – Philip Medway (Faculty of Arts & Humanities), Stacey DeAmicis (Faculty of Science & Engineering), Jessica Robinson (Partner Institutions), Judith Caboche (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry), Natalie Semley (Faculty of Business)

Sensational Programme Lead Award

This award is for a Programme Lead who has made a recognisable difference to the experience of students within their programme through listening to student feedback, creating a working relationship with Course Representatives, students and much more!

  • Winner – Matt Roser

  • Runners Up – Andrew Hunt (Faculty of Business), Jody Patterson (Faculty of Arts & Humanities), Ben Brilot (Faculty of Science & Engineering), Laura West-Burnham (Partner Institutions), Clare McIlwaine (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry)

Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods Award

This award is for somebody who thinks outside the box when delivering the curriculum. Deviating from the standard of PowerPoint slides or reading from a textbook really engages students and keeps them interested in what is being taught.

  • Winner – Sarah Howes

  • Runner Up - Jane Collingwood


Read more about the nominations for this years SSTAR Awards and quotes from University of Plymouth students about what makes teaching excellent.