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

Professor Mary Leader and Michelle Flood receive National Teaching Hero Awards

01 October 2014

Professor Mary Leader, RCSI Department of Pathology and Michelle Flood, RCSI School of Pharmacy, have been recognised for excellence in teaching and their impact on student learning at the National Teaching Hero Awards. They were one of 53 Teaching Heroes from 27 higher education institutions throughout Ireland who received awards at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle on Tuesday, 30th September.

The National Teaching Hero Awards were established by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and other student bodies to explore and celebrate students' perspectives of great teaching throughout all higher education institutions.


Pictured (l-r) are USI President Laura Harmon; Minister for Education & Skills Ms Jan O'Sullivan TD; Vincent Healy, RCSI Student Union President; Patron of the National Forum Professor Mary McAleese; Professor Mary Leader, RCSI Department of Pathology; and Chair of the Forum Professor Sarah Moore.

Teaching Heroes are nominated by students and national award winners were selected by local student working groups which identified up to two teaching heroes from within their institution. The identification process used in each institution was informed by guidelines that focused on merit and learning impact. Professor Mary leader and Michelle Flood were nominated on behalf of the Students' Union and the RCSI student body and their impact on student learning.


Pictured (l-r) are USI President Laura Harmon; Minister for Education & Skills Ms Jan O'Sullivan TD; Patron of the National Forum Professor Mary McAleese; Ms Michelle Flood, RCSI School of Pharmacy; Chair of the Forum Professor Sarah Moore and Dr James Barlow, RCSI School of Pharmacy.

Students' Union President Vincent Healy said: "On behalf of the Students' Union and the RCSI student body, we are delighted that Professor Leader and Ms Flood have been identified as two of this year's National Teaching Heroes. We have worked with the National Forum to ensure that we identify teachers who have had a positive and lasting impact on students' learning experiences in higher education. This is a new way of ensuring that students get to identify their teaching heroes, and to thank and recognise them at a national level."


Pictured (l-r) are Vincent Healy, RCSI Student Union President; Professor Mary Leader, RCSI Department of Pathology; Daniel Creegan, RCSI Student Union Events Officer

Professor Sarah Moore, Chair of the National Forum said: "Outstanding teaching often happens quietly under the radar. With all our commitments to improvement and developing teaching and learning, these awards aim to shed more light on the kinds of teaching that students say they value most. This first iteration of the awards process showcases some great examples of teaching and will give rise to important conversations about students own perspectives on their learning."

National Forum Patron Professor Mary McAleese pointed to the importance of awards such as these in recognising the deeper societal significance of excellent teaching: "Excellence in teaching is about much more than simply getting students through their exams," she said. "It is about inspiration, passion, generosity of spirit, and a genuine desire to make a positive difference to students' lives."

Minister for Education & Skills Ms Jan O'Sullivan TD looked forward to the awards becoming an integral part of the teaching and education calendar. "Any celebration of excellence is worthwhile and to be welcomed but these innovative awards are doubly so in that they not only recognise marvellous teachers but give their students a voice in that process at the same time. All of us involved in the education system want to see the best outcomes for students; not just in the form of results or career paths but in terms of their overall experience and its impact on them as people. I wish to congratulate each of the 53 teachers being honoured this evening. They are all heroes."

For a full list of the 2014 Teaching Heroes visit: http://teachingandlearning.ie/priority-themes/2014-nominated-teaching-heroes