Winners of Teaching Excellence Awards 2024 announced

Teaching Excellence Awards 2024. Three light blue and two dark blue hexagons are arranged in a pattern.

We are delighted to announce the winners of our Teaching Excellence Awards 2024, in a celebration of the exceptional contributions to education by colleagues across the Division. These annual awards recognise the remarkable commitment and innovative teaching practices demonstrated by colleagues at all career stages.

The awards are presented in two categories:

  • Individual/Team Awards for Academic Staff 
  • Individual Awards for Academic Staff (Early Career Strand) 

While announcing the recipients, we also wish to recognise the outstanding work conducted by staff throughout the Division. We extend our gratitude to everyone involved for their dedication and ongoing effort.

Professor Timothy Power, Head of the Social Sciences Division, said: 'Every year, this award is an opportunity to recognise the exceptional work of our colleagues from across the division. Many congratulations to this year's winners and nominees - it has been wonderful to spotlight the fantastic support you offer to your students as well as your innovations in teaching methods, all of which contribute to the outstanding education we offer.'

2023-24 Teaching Excellence Award winners

Individual/Team Awards for Academic Staff

Dr Jones has short, curly brown hair. She is wearing dark glasses, a red dress and black cardigan and is smiling.

Dr Emily Jones, Blavatnik School of Government

"Through my teaching I get to curate robust and reflective conversations among groups of brilliant individuals who bring a diversity of experiences and perspectives into the classroom, and who want to improve the world. We grapple with some of the most pressing public policy challenges of our times, and I invariably learn in the process. What's not to love?"



Dr Jones’ exceptional teaching is marked by her innovative use of real-life scenarios and negotiation simulations. Emily champions these methods across the School, training other lecturers into integrating theoretical concepts with case discussions. Despite her busy schedule, she provides empathetic guidance to her supervisees, earning her high praise from MPP alumni.

Dr Wainwright has long blonde hair and is wearing a black t-shirt and blazer. He is standing in front of foliage and smiling.

Dr Laurence Wainwright, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment 

"To me, teaching excellence is about three things. First, creating an environment where each individual is able to fully manifest their academic, personal and social potential and unfold their unique journey through both academia and life. Second, fostering a cohort culture where everyone feels supported, valued, included, comfortable being themselves, and able to truly speak their mind with confidence and courage. Finally, developing a classroom culture where deep learning is the norm and critical analysis and nuance is the mindset of enquiry for framing and understanding phenomena."

Dr Wainwright’s approach to creating an atmosphere where students can thrive has resulted in exceptional levels of group cohesion and camaraderie. Laurence focuses his attention on the development of team building, such as through activities undertaken during their field trip at the beginning of the course, as well as connecting with students before the course starts to ensure that they are comfortable asking questions. This has resulted in students reporting a high level of trust and openness which has further supported their own ability to grow within the course.

Dr Chloë Montes Strevens, School of Geography and the Environment

Dr Strevens’ excellence is exemplified by her focus on inclusive teaching. This approach has been multifaceted by both designing accessible learning materials for students with disabilities as well as presenting a diverse range of voices within her teaching, such as inviting engaging speakers from the Global South. Chloë is currently working with the Centre for Teaching and Learning to diversify the summative assessment of the MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management to further promote a more inclusive and accessible course offering whilst enhancing the development of professional and real-world skills.

A collage of the Modern South Asian Studies team. The headshots include three men and six women, all smiling at the camera.

Modern South Asian Studies team, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies  

"We are delighted and honoured to receive a Teaching Excellence Award. This recognition was possible only because the hard work and innovation of our colleagues was mirrored in our driven and creative students. We're grateful and proud to have honed a teaching format together that elevates our shared learning and furthers our critical engagement with the field of South Asian Studies." Dr Ankita Pandey and Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada



The Core Teaching Team of the MSc and MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies has demonstrated innovation in their teaching approach by introducing a new format for their core course, focusing on a key canonical text in South Asian Studies each week. This approach has fostered a thriving intellectual community among the students and significantly enriched their engagement and learning. The team’s commitment to continuous improvement and responsiveness to student feedback has been instrumental in this success. Their innovative teaching methodology, which balances depth and breadth of knowledge, has transformed the core course into a vibrant and intellectually stimulating learning environment. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from students attests to the influence of the core course on their academic and personal growth. 

The Core Teaching Team consists of: Dr Ankita Pandey, Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada, Professor Imre Banga, Dr Thiruni Kelegama, Dr Yasser Kureshi, Professor Nayanika Mathur, Dr Anwesha Roy, Professor Justin Jones and Professor Rosalind O’Hanlon.

Individual Awards for Academic Staff (Early Career Strand)

Dr Park has short black hair and is wearing light, round-rimmed glasses and a turtleneck jumper. He is sat at a desk and turned slightly to look at the camera.

Dr Albert Sanghoon Park, Oxford Department of International Development 

"I thank the students, staff, and faculty at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) for a research environment that integrates teaching excellence. This award is a credit to the MPhil teaching committee and the departmental culture at ODID, which has allowed me to innovate and further develop my teaching abilities."


Dr Park, who teaches on the flagship MPhil in Development Studies, has made exceptional contributions to the degree since joining in 2022. As a supervisor, he excels in supporting students’ self-development throughout the course. In particular, Albert works with supervisees to explore their course goals and personal trajectories in international development. This care for inclusive learning extends to Albert’s approach to course design. In addition to students and lecturers, he sees teaching assistants as a key link for student learning and feedback. As co-convener of the mandatory Core Course, Albert worked with Course Director and fellow co-convener Dr Chigudu to pilot a capstone ‘Core Forum’. This created a space for the international and multidisciplinary cohort to draw out and discuss their respective views on the past, present, and future of development studies by the end of the course.

Dr Styring is standing on a suspension bridge, smiling. She has blonde hair which is tied back, and is wearing a bright blue coat with a black rucksack.

Dr Amy Styring, School of Archaeology 

"I'm delighted to receive this Teaching Excellence Award and to have been given such positive feedback on the approaches I've taken to enhance the diversity and inclusivity of teaching on the MSc Archaeological Science course."




Dr Styring has made significant strides in her teaching approach, particularly through the use of technological tools. Amy has adapted her course design to include bite-size pre-recorded lectures, Q&A sessions, interactive quizzes, and discussion seminars to encourage active participation and involvement. In her redesign of the Biomolecular Archaeology core course, she introduced quizzes via the Vevox tool to encourage active participation and test students’ understanding at the end of technically complex lectures. This innovative approach has been successful in encouraging student participation and developing their critical analysis skills in assessing research design and data interpretation.

Dr Danica Sims is standing in front of a bush with white flowers. She has straight brown hair and glasses. She is wearing a white blouse and navy blazer.

Dr Danica Sims, Department of Education 

"As an early career academic, about to celebrate my first year at the University of Oxford, it is incredibly encouraging to be recognised for excellent teaching. Thanks must be given to the Department of Education, and my brilliant colleagues, who model excellence in all areas, and to the indispensable administrative team who work their magic behind the scenes. It has been a joy!"



Dr Sims’ excellence in teaching is highlighted by her adaptability and commitment to student-centred learning. Danica has made substantial improvements to the programme’s instructional design, particularly supporting remote learning via Canvas. She has implemented scaffolding and explicit communication strategies, adding supporting notes to enhance student understanding. Danica has also introduced seminar session evaluations and has been proactive in responding to student feedback. Her efforts to improve engagement, understanding, reflection, and application of course content have been well-received by students. Danica has created a virtual community of practice on Microsoft Teams and initiated a graduate seminar series whereby recent graduates are invited to present their research and network with current students. These innovations foster a sense of community and provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning.

Dr Howell has short brown hair. He is sat inside, wearing a white shirt and dark jumper under a dark coat.

Dr Edward Howell, Department of Politics and International Relations  

"Central to a rigorous university education is that students learn how, and not what, to think. I am grateful to my students—to whom I dedicate this award—who have actively taken part in the collective endeavour of teaching and learning, in seeking to answer big and difficult questions through rigorous, reasoned, and evidence-based debate."


Dr Howell’s teaching philosophy is rooted in the goal of inspiring the next generation of global citizens within and outside the classroom. This is achieved through an iterative relationship between teaching and research, where each inspires the other. He has enriched tutorials through the provision of tailored reading lists, meticulous feedback on essays, and by allowing students to apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations—such as by engaging with crisis simulations and policy-related questions—through a focus on empirical realities, thereby enhancing their understanding of the subject matter. Edward’s emphasis on ensuring that students learn how to think, rather than what to think, has created a stimulating learning environment where every student is given the opportunity to fulfil their utmost potential.

Dr Stephany is standing in front of a large patch of grass. He has short brown hair and is wearing a white shirt and grey blazer.

Dr Fabian Stephany, Oxford Internet Institute

"I feel deeply honoured to receive this award. Engaging with and sparking curiosity in my students has been incredibly rewarding. I treasure sharing my knowledge and experiences, and equally, I cherish learning from their fresh perspectives and insights. Thank you for this recognition."



Dr Stephany has demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting MSc students. Despite being relatively new to academic teaching, Fabian has introduced a ‘Thesis Ideas Discussion’ at the end of each class. This segment fostered a stimulating research environment among students by serving as a platform for students to refine their research topics under Fabian's guidance. This aspect of his teaching is frequently cited as a favourite among students.

Dr Gemma Newlands has long auburn wavy hair and large, blue-rimmed glasses. She is wearing a straw hat and a blue and white striped shirt, looking directly at the camera.

Dr Gemma Newlands, Oxford Internet Institute

"For me, teaching excellence means ensuring that students come out of every interaction either having learnt something new or having learnt to view something familiar in a new way."




As an early-career academic, with just one and a half years of teaching experience, Dr Newlands quickly made her mark by taking on the challenging task of redesigning and delivering a foundation MSc course, aimed at students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Gemma refocused the curriculum in light of the rapid changes in the subject area, also diversifying the reading list in the process to better reflect the international experiences and interests of her students. This has proved to be an excellent decision which has been very warmly received by students. 

Gemma has also collaborated with co-convenors to ensure a greater connection between the two parts of the data analysis course and the corresponding assessment. Embracing inclusivity, Gemma increased the length of her lectures to accommodate multiple short breaks, these ensure that all students would have a better chance of understanding key points whilst also allowing for the material to be explored in greater depth.

Dr Knesl has fair hair and light brown eyes, and is smiling. He is standing in a corridor, wearing a navy suit, white shirt and blue striped tie.

Dr Jiri Knesl, Saïd Business School 

"I appreciate this award as recognition of my commitment to teaching, continuous improvement, and adapting to evolving students’ needs."




Dr Knesl has demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement. This is evident in the significant increase in teaching evaluations over a short period of time. Jiri’s continuous effort to improve and adapt teaching to students’ needs is reflected in several innovations introduced to the courses, including the visualization of necessary steps for technical courses, introducing Python in classes, and offering flexible office hours. Jiri’s teaching approach, which includes a theoretical foundation, practical application, and the inclusion of professional guests, provides a useful and critical approach which has been praised by Executive MBA students.

2024/25 TEA scheme

We will be announcing the schedule for the 2024/25 TEA scheme in Michaelmas Term 2024. All members of staff with teaching responsibilities will be invited to submit an application to be judged by the Division’s Quality Assurance Committee.