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UEA academics recognised for outstanding teaching

Two UEA academics have been recognised for their exceptional teaching and have been named National Teaching Fellows by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) today.

Dr Fabio Aricò in UEA’s School of Economics and Dr Gill Seyfang in UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences both receive the prestigious title, which is the highest individual recognition for excellence in teaching in Higher Education.

Dr Aricò is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Economics. He is an award-winning teacher, popular amongst students and colleagues for his passion, energy, and enthusiasm. He makes intense use of learning technologies to communicate with students, and support the development of student confidence along with skills. His teaching methods are evidence-based; consistent empirical evidence demonstrate their effectiveness.

Over the past two years alone, Dr Aricò has delivered more than thirty presentations on his methods, invited talks, and teaching development workshops, held both nationally and internationally, which registered outstanding feedback and impact and his teaching methods are currently being implemented by an increasing number of colleagues in the wider academic community.

Dr Aricò said:  I am delighted to receive this prestigious recognition. This is a rewarding personal achievement, but it is also the result of great team-effort. The School of Economics at UEA is thriving for its teaching excellence and it is an honour to be leading a team of such dedicated and enthusiastic colleagues. I am also grateful for the opportunity to disseminate my teaching approach to support student confidence. We are educating the next generation of leaders, and we want them to be confident and prepared to face the complexity and the uncertainty of the challenges ahead.  

Prof Sally Brown, Chair of the Association of National Teaching Fellows, supported his nomination by saying: “Fabio is a highly influential member of the UK learning and teaching community, who innovates thoughtfully and practices evidence-led scholarship.”

Dr Gill Seyfang is a Reader in Sustainable Consumption, in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. She heads a programme of world-leading research on 'grassroots innovations' for sustainability and draws on this to shape her transformative teaching on sustainable development.

Dr Seyfang is best-known for using performing arts pedagogies and 'Theoretical Theatre' to portray different concepts or theories, as an engaging teaching tool for active learning about sustainability. The idea has been taken up in other disciplines, institutions and countries worldwide. It is transforming teaching in sustainable development.

In supporting her nomination, UEA Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Neil Ward said: “Gill’s work has helped give force and momentum to innovative pedagogy in what is one of UEA’s most prominent schools.

Dr Seyfang said: “Using comedy and theatre helps students to make an emotional connection with complex material, and results in much deeper learning. It breaks down barriers in the classroom too, and encourages everyone to participate more actively.”

HEA Chief Executive, Professor Stephanie Marshall, said, “A National Teaching Fellowship is the most prestigious individual award for excellence in teaching in higher education. These awards represent a fantastic achievement by all 55 new NTFs. I am sure the whole sector joins me in applauding them in their success. The new NTFs represent some of the very best teaching in higher education and I am sure they will inspire others as we share their innovative practice and ideas across the sector. The UK is justifiably proud of its higher education sector and its reputation is enhanced by the examples of excellent teaching highlighted by these awards.”

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