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School celebrated for enriching student lives

3 May 2016

The School is proud to announce that Professor Aris Syntetos, from the Logistics and Operations Management section, has been awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Supervisor Award at the 2016 Enriching Student Life Awards (ESLA).

There was also student success with Yasir Mehdi winning the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Student Rep of the Year Award.

The award ceremony, and black-tie dinner, was held on Thursday 28 April 2016 in the presence of Pro-Vice-Chancellor Patricia Price.

Professor Syntetos is the first recipient of this award with the category only added to the roster this year. Nominated by PhD student Violina Sarma and MPhil student Nicole Ayiomamitou, the award recognises the quality and value of the academic and pastoral support provided by Professor Syntetos to current, and former, doctoral students.

In excess of 500 nominations were received across the 2016 ESLA categories, with more than 50 nominations in the Outstanding Doctoral Supervisor category alone.

During the awards presentation, the nominators’ submission to the judges was read aloud. Violina said of Professor Syntetos: “From the very beginning, Aris has been a wonderful supervisor providing me guidance whenever I need any help. Following a few discussions with my PhD colleagues, I came to know that supervisors usually insist on adopting the research method they are comfortable with or to work with one particular topic.

“Aris challenges me to be innovative and come out with new ideas and methods. He helps me to establish new networks with other academics across the globe. Most importantly, Aris keeps insisting on a healthy work life balance.”

Professor Syntetos has successfully supervised 21 researchers and is currently working with two PhD and two MPhil (KTP) students alongside his own teaching and research activities.

While Professor Syntetos was unable to attend the award ceremony, his acceptance speech was read out on the evening: I see PhD supervision, and research in general (including Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associates who register for an MPhil, or even post-doctoral research assistants) as the most important part of my work.

“Research supervision goes far beyond training in a specific discipline, or certain methodological tools, to include cultivating an academic ethos of respect, empathy, progressive thinking and challenging the current status quo. It is only if my research students make a positive difference in this world that I will have succeeded in my work as a University Professor.”

Yasir Mehdi, a Chevening Scholar, is currently studying for an MSc in Accounting and Finance. Yasir has taken on many additional responsibilities and balances these with his academic study. As well as being a student representative, he is a member of the School’s Board of Study and the Learning and Teaching Committee.

The School offers its congratulations to Professor Syntetos and Yasir Mehdi for their efforts and success in the 2016 Enriching Student Life Awards.

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