Academics from Royal Holloway have been shortlisted in two categories for the prestigious THE Awards 2022, widely known as the "Oscars of higher education".
THE Awards 2022
Dr Will Shuler, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies from the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance has been shortlisted for the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year award. This award recognises the academic whose imagination and passion have transformed a course and inspired students.
When the Covid-19 pandemic required a move to online teaching, Dr Shuler empowered his theatre students to think dynamically about their digital performance-making. He used Augmented Reality (AR) to ‘break the screen wall’ to reach through the computer screen and connect with students and audience members in their space, transforming their difficulties online into a positive space for students to thrive.
Dr Shuler worked with an interdisciplinary team of academics from the Department of Media Arts and the Department of Electronic Engineering, securing funding from StoryFutures Academy, to develop an accessible, web-based toolkit called ARStorydecks.com for embedding AR into online teaching and performance-making. ARStorydecks has since been shared with 15 other universities through StoryFutures Academy.
Professor Katherine Brickell from the Department of Geography has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year award which recognises and rewards an individual who has created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for doctoral students. Professor Brickell has gone the extra mile to build and foster inclusivity for doctoral students, and particularly female and BAME candidates from working class backgrounds. Professor Brickell has supported nine PhDs to completion and is currently supervising six further students pursuing challenge-led studies of pressing global social justice issues – from violence against women and girls, trafficking, the housing crisis, to menstrual injustice.
John Gill, editor of the Times Higher Education, said: “This is the 18th year that the THE Awards will celebrate the best that UK higher education has to offer, across 20 categories covering all aspects of university activity.
“Once again, the shortlists reflect universities doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times, during the 2020-21 academic year, when the pandemic continued to force higher education and all who work in it to respond to an unprecedented challenge.
“That universities did so with alacrity and creativity is clear from the truly exceptional stories told in the awards submissions, and we had over 550 in all – among the highest number ever.
“All of us at THE are looking forward to celebrating with those shortlisted when we get together for the ‘Oscars of higher education’ in November.”
The winners will be revealed on 17 November 2022.