Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Professor Kevin Nolan receives National Award for Excellence in Teaching

17 September 2012

Professor Kevin Nolan, Head of Department of Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), has received an individual award at the 2012 NAIRTL National Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

The annual ceremony, which took place at Dublin Castle on Monday 17th September, recognises higher education teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their teaching and have made an exceptional impact on student learning.

Pictured is Professor Kevin Nolan receiving his National Award for Excellence in Teaching from Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills

Professor Nolan was one of five higher education staff who received individual awards at this prestigious event in recognition of their outstanding contribution to teaching and research in higher education.

A strong believer in teaching-research synergy, Kevin has over 40 years of successful academic experience spanning from Ireland and the UK, as far as the USA and South America. He has lectured at all undergraduate as well as at MSc and PhD levels. Professor Nolan is the author of over research 100 publications in bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry for which he was awarded an NUI DSc degree.

This latest honour is one of many accolades which Professor Nolan has received in recognition for his contribution to teaching. RCSI students voted him ‘Best Pre-clinical Teacher' in 1999 and he was commended for his ‘Excellence in Teaching' in 1996, 1997 and 1998. In 2011, Professor Nolan was also recognised with the RCSI President's Award for ‘Best Teacher in Foundation Year Medicine'.

Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, RCSI, when nominating Professor Nolan said, ‘Kevin exemplifies excellence in third-level teaching that incorporates innovations in research to the obvious enjoyment of students. He is passionate about encouraging newer colleagues to gain teaching experience alongside experienced colleagues. Kevin consistently champions student representation on committees that have a direct impact on their education. He is one of RCSI's most respected senior academics who personifies the highest ethical and teaching standards and I commend him for his life's work as a worthy nominee of a national teaching award.'

Pictured at the awards are (l-r) Dr. Helen McVeigh, School of Postgraduate Studies; Patricia Whyte, Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry; Dr. Marc Devocelle, Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry; Maria Nolan, wife of Kevin Nolan; Professor Kevin Nolan; Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; Dr. Celine Marmion, Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry and Dr. Jane Holland, Anatomy.

Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, who presented the 2012 awards on the night congratulated the winners saying ‘You have mastered both the art and the science of teaching to benefit students and for this we are here to thank you and to celebrate you. There is no better way of ensuring that our society is creative and innovative than to lead by example and by providing innovative and creative teaching and learning opportunities in our Higher Education institutions. That is what these teaching awards strive to recognise and support.'

The National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) was established in 2007, and its vision is one where research and teaching go hand in hand. This is the fifth year of the Awards for Excellence in Teaching for which each awardee receives an engraved Louise Kennedy Aurora vase and a €5,000 sum which can be used to further enhance the teaching of their subject and which Kevin plans to use towards the funding of undergraduate summer research studentships.