Awards for Excellence in Pastoral Care and Student Support
Kate Baird, the student administrator for PhD students, and Mick Jones (Genomics Laboratory) have been awarded Imperial College Rector’s Awards for Excellence. These awards recognise staff members who have made outstanding contributions to student care at Imperial College, London.
Kate’s 2012 Rector’s Award for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience recognises her stellar work in managing the administrative aspects of PhD student training at the CSC. Since taking up her role in January 2010, Kate has instigated significant improvements to the PhD student experience on campus. From developing an enhanced programme for undergraduate summer students, to making key contributions to graduate student recruitment, Kate’s influence has reached every area of student life for the 80 PhD students at the CSC.
“She always goes the extra mile,” says Professor Anne Soutar (Director of Postgraduate Studies). Students of the CSC were queuing up to support Kate’s nomination. “Everything she does is prompt and she really takes time out to help us when we have questions or need help with any aspect of our PhD studies,” wrote one 3rd year student. “Without Kate it would have been a different PhD story.” Kate herself says winning the award was a great honour. “I was really pleased when I heard. It made me feel like the work I do is being recognised and appreciated, which is really meaningful.”
Dr Mick Jones is the joint head of the Genomics Laboratory at the CSC, a College Tutor at Imperial College, and runs a Masters course in Molecular Medicine. Mick, who won a Rector’s Award for Excellence in Teaching a decade ago, has now been awarded a Rector’s Medal for Excellence in Pastoral Care. “He has always provided outstanding guidance and support, particularly to postgraduates in the Faculty of Medicine,” says Chris Harris. “Some pastoral issues are extremely complex in nature and Mick works tirelessly both to reassure students and to find practical solutions to help them get the most out of their experience at the College.”
Mick Jones is one of four College Tutors looking after the 16,000 students at Imperial College, including those at the CSC. He also makes particular effort to get to know each student he teaches. “Students are so important,” says Mick. “Knowing that someone in the organisation is there to help them, and will do the best they can to get them through, makes a big difference. Hopefully the students appreciate that they are cared about.” The testimonials speak for themselves: “He is honestly the best academic I have come across in four years of university in terms of helpfulness, intelligence, and all round niceness,” offered one student. “Dr Jones has more dedication to his students than any other supervisor I have encountered in my time of higher education,” wrote another.