Ten individuals and seven teams were presented with Vice-Chancellor’s Awards in a ceremony on the Boldrewood Innovation Campus in July, in the presence of colleagues, family and friends.
The annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards recognise exceptional contributions made by academic and professional services staff.
This year, the criteria for the scheme were aligned to the University’s values: excellence, creativity, community and integrity.
The ceremony each July is now a key date in the University calendar, often eliciting a mixture of surprise and pleasure from those who are successful.
This year Reena Pau was recognised for her work as an Outreach Officer for Electronics and Computer Science. She works to encourage more girls to consider studies in STEM subjects. She described her shock at winning:
“I did not expect [an award] at all, but after it sank in I was really honoured, especially as I know so many people doing amazing work at the University.”
Ash Smith works on the Web and Data Innovation Team which was chosen for its innovation and commitment in problem solving. He said the award was encouraging.
“I like to think I’ve always been passionate about what I do; it was nice to think that others think I do good things as well. One of the biggest problems in my field of Linked Open Data in particular is that it is very hard to measure how effective it is, so winning an award is a big boost.”
Jules Field, who developed the University’s ‘Dropoff’ web system, a file transfer method, as a response to a common problem of transferring large files by email, thinks the awards scheme plays a vital role in motivating staff:
Many people have a real loyalty to the University and its aims. Picking out individual staff and teams who have gone ‘above and beyond’ is an essential part of fostering and retaining that loyalty, in a time of great change and hugely increased demands on everyone.
Doug Poole and Sara Mailis from the Communications and Marketing team took an award for their Virtual Open Day, an interactive application which allows students to explore our campuses without the need for travel. It supports the global growth of the University and plays a key role in our student recruitment campaigns.
Doug said: “I think the awards are an excellent way of encouraging and rewarding those who demonstrate impact and excellence in their work. It is especially important as the only award which recognises people from across the whole institution to my knowledge.
Southampton is a vibrant place, bristling with academic vigour and research successes. As such, taking time to also celebrate the success of professional services staff is a great way of giving all of us a sense of pride which is connected with the overarching excellence of our endeavours as an intuition.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Don Nutbeam says the Awards provide a very special opportunity to recognise some of our most dedicated, resourceful and caring staff.
The individuals and teams who receive these awards are often unsung heroes who are at the core of our community and exemplify all that we aspire to as a University. Choosing the recipients is always a challenge, presenting the awards always a privilege.