Celebrating the SSTAR Awards 2023 Winners

Written by: UPSU

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On Wednesday 10th May, 2023 we hosted the 2023 SSTAR Awards (Student Staff Teaching and Representation Awards) in the Students' Union.

The SSTAR Awards are our Student Staff Teaching and Representation Awards. They are an opportunity to show your appreciation for someone at the University who has made a major difference to your time and experience this year. This could be a caring personal tutor, an engaged course representative, an inspiring lecturer or an individual who champions equality and diversity, for example.

This year we had an incredible 233 nominations, with 26 award winners and over 12 categories!


Why are the SSTAR Awards important?

These awards are incredibly powerful, whether your nominee wins or not, your words can mean so much to that person. Because knowing you have made a difference for at least one person can really mean the world. — Tonari Arikekpar, VP Education (2022-2023)



Big Thank You Award...

The Big Thank You Award is given to anyone that makes your day that little bit better, it could be any individual member of staff, staff team or a student that enhances your experience at the University of Plymouth. No matter what they do, why not say thank you by nominating them for this award.

Winners: Emma Purnell & Emma Baker

Highy commended: Miriane Reverter, Michael Collins, John Spicer & Caroline Anthony 




Campaign Project of the Year Award...

Winner: Star Plymouth 

Highly commended: Shehany Warnakulasuriya




Course Rep of the Year Award...

Winners: Abigail Hollyoake, Holly Shearn & Ayisha Mahmood




Creative Teacher of the Year Award...

This award is given to someone who thinks outside the box when delivering the curriculum by incorporating a number of different teaching methods, effectively engages students and keeps them interested in what is being taught.

Winner: Iain Channing

Highly commended: Alison Warren




Mel Joyner Award for Championing Equality and Diversity Award...

Awarded to an individual or individuals who really put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything that they do.

Winner: Chandanee Kotecha 



Part-time Officer of the Year Award...

The winner of this award will have made time for students, used appropriate and tailored methods to proactively collect students' feedback – feeding the outcome back to the students they represent.

Winner: Ahmed Hammad 




Personal Tutor of the Year Award...

The Outstanding Personal Tutor Award recognises those Personal Tutors who make time for you and treat you as an individual, show a willingness to listen, advocate your needs, champion and inspire and make a real difference to your University experience.

Winners: Scott Davidson, Tamara Mortimer & Marnie Smith




Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year Award...

This award goes to a Postgraduate supervisor to recognise their contribution to your academic experience.

Winner: Oliver Smith



Most Dedicated Dissertation/Project Supervisor Award...

Completing a large project or a dissertation can be one of the biggest sources of stress for a student, the Award for the Most Dedicated Project/Dissertation Supervisor goes to a member of staff who has been by your side to support and guide you throughout.

Winner: Oliver Smith




Support Staff of the Year Award...

Supporting students throughout their time at University can make a world of difference. The One in a Million Support Staff Award recognises those members of support staff who, in any shape or form, aid students to make their lives and their student experience better.

Winner: Judith Caboche 

Highly commended: Glenn Harper



Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award...

Awarded to University of Plymouth staff member who shows passion and enthusiasm for teaching and inspires their students to be the best they can be.

Winner: Sian Lewis

Highly commended: Theresa Waight




Programme Lead of the Year Award...

This award is for a Programme Lead who has made a recognisable difference to your experience within your Programme.

Winner: Sarah Tuck

Highly commended: Soozi Baggs





Congratulations to all the students and staff members who were nominated and the winners, the student experience wouldn't be the same without you. Please be proud of the incredible work you do and keep going!

And we want to say a huge thank you to all of our amazing course reps, without all of you we wouldn't be able to support students the way that we do. Thank you!

If you want to celebrate an incredible representative or staff member, or both, nominations are now open for the SSTAR Awards 2024! Click here to find out more information and to nominate someone for the SSTAR Awards 2024!



There are individuals who have gone above and beyond to support students, and they should be recognised for this. — Tonari Arikekpar, VP Education (2022-2023)