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Four of DPAG’s academic community were Award winners at the Teaching excellence awards.

Left to right Helen Christian (Chair of the Awards Ceremony) with DPAG award winners Sharmila Rajendran, Rumi Smilevska, Kerry Walker, Lisa Heather, and guest Carolyn Carr.

In a ceremony held at Oxford Town Hall on Tuesday 31st October. Sharmila Rajendran and Rumi Smilevska received Project Awards, which provide funding for proposals to support the development of educational initiatives in the Medical Sciences Division and Lisa Heather and Kerry Walker received Excellent Teacher awards, which recognise the significant contribution of an individual to teaching within the Division.

Sharmila’s award was for her project ‘Enhancing inclusive learning environments using smart whiteboard and virtual reality’.  This project will integrate the latest technological advancements in virtual reality (VR) and smart whiteboards with traditional approaches to teaching anatomy.  VR provides an immersive experience for exploring and interacting with 3D anatomical models, which pilot work has shown helps students better conceptualize anatomical structural relationships, whilst smart whiteboards promote a collaborative and interactive approach to learning.

Sharmila and Rumi together with Emma Sadler and colleagues from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were made an award for the Project ‘Dissecting medicine's past: an exploration of the historical, legal and ethical context of cadaver use in medical education for students about to start their anatomy teaching’. This project will pilot a new teaching workshop where students will explore the history of anatomical teaching in the UK and North America. This new initiative will discuss case studies to explore questions of historical practices and develop sensitivity around death and the use of the body after death.

Lisa’s award was for her outstanding teaching in the Metabolism series of Biochemistry lectures. Both Year 1 pre-clinical medical students and Biomedical Sciences students voted to nominate Lisa for her exceptionally clear and interesting lectures which make accessible understanding of several complex pathways and concepts.

Kerry’s award was in recognition of her outstanding teaching in lectures, seminars and practical classes in Neuroscience for the Year 2 Pre-clinical Medicine and Biomedical Science courses. Kerry organised from scratch a new ‘Neural Codes’ option in 2022-23 for Biomedical Sciences students which received excellent student feedback on its first delivery.

Congratulations to Sharmila, Rumi, Lisa and Kerry for their awards and ongoing commitment to excellence in teaching.