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Celebrating Excellence

3 December 2012

Celebrating Excellence

Nick Hinsley and Tony Lloyd are porters based at the School of Music. Nick having been in his role for 21 years and Tony for 12. Throughout that time they have proven themselves to be integral members of the School of Music to the extent that their nominator says "in many ways they are the School of Music".

Nick and Tony are two of the staff from across the University recognised for their commitment and achievements in the first Celebrating Excellence Awards.

Hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, the award ceremony took place on 23rd October in Aberdare Hall. Awards were given out in 13 categories, rewarding individual, team and collaborative achievements across research, learning and teaching, innovation and engagement, and the University's operations.

A total of 27 individuals and groups were presented with awards, each having been nominated by their colleagues for going above and beyond the call of duty and for demonstrating outstanding commitment and contribution to the University.

Speaking about the ceremony, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure said: "It was my very great pleasure to host the first Cardiff University Celebrating Excellence Awards evening. Over 60 members and groups of staff were nominated for the Awards and we congratulate all of them. They represent the highest level of effort, excellence, innovation and best practice. Their significant ongoing contributions are acknowledged and greatly valued."

Meet some of the winners and find out why their colleagues nominated them:

Dr Elizabeth Chadwick
Dr Elizabeth Chadwick, School of Biosciences

Dr Elizabeth Chadwick, School of Biosciences, awarded a prize in the Exceptional Enhancement of the Student Experience category

Over the last seven years, Dr Liz Chadwick of the School of Biosciences has established the Cardiff University Otter Project, a research and monitoring project run collaboratively with the Environment Agency, as an internationally recognised research team. Core to all her activities is the application of research-led teaching, increasing the employability of undergraduate students and fostering the career development of young researchers. This 'behind the scenes' research training she provides gives students a welcoming, no-risk environment in which to gain practical and inter-disciplinary skills. This greatly improves student confidence, nurtures a passion for science and provides an outlet for creativity and research that has radiated out beyond the School of Biosciences.

Due to the wide popularity and dissemination activities of the Otter Project, Liz has already hosted more than 100 volunteer students and is regularly visited by vets and consultants. She has a natural ability to excite individuals about her work and her presentation is often the most popular of the day for attending school children.

Liz maintained the productivity and continued funding for the Otter Project while on maternity leave, providing an excellent role model for women in science and demonstration of the how the University supports the principles of Athena Swan.

Her nomination for this award was put together by multiple staff who say they are "in awe of the silent dedication of Dr Chadwick. We all benefit enormously from her work but most importantly she creates a fruitful and happy working environment for all".

Nick Hinsley and Tony Lloyd
Nick Hinsley and Tony Lloyd of the School of Music.

Nick Hinsley and Tony Lloyd, School of Music, awarded a prize in the Sustained Excellence category. 

Nick Hinsley and Tony Lloyd, porters based at the School of Music, were jointly nominated for this award.

Alongside carrying out their allocated security and reception duties, they take an active interest in the subject area, ensuring the smooth running of many departmental activities, School and University events, providing support and a friendly ear for students, and creatively solving estates and space issues.

Perhaps the most important indicator of Nick's and Tony's contribution is the high esteem in which they are held by music students. The volume of thank you cards in the porters' lodge is testament to this, and comments from them such as the following say it all:

"Nick and Tony, you are fantastic! It was a pleasure to walk into the entrance of Music and see you two – it would always put a smile on my face every day."

"Nick and Tony, you are awesome!"

"Thank you so much for everything – always sorting things out and greeting us with endless humour."

Nick and Tony also provide a huge amount of support to academic staff, administrative staff and library staff working in the School, often anticipating problems before they arise to ensure things run smoothly. Alongside their stellar behind-the-scenes work, they are the public face of the School during public concerts and when groups, students from other schools and guest academics visit. They work tirelessly to ensure that internal and external stakeholders have a positive experience.

The School's Facebook group was asked why Nick and Tony are the best porters on campus. The response: "Because they're Nick and Tony! Two lovely cheeky chappies! The Department just wouldn't be the same without them!"

Professor Terry Threadgold
Professor Terry Threadgold, Pro Vice-Chancellor Staff and Diversity, awarded a prize in the Lifetime Achievement category

Professor Terry Threadgold, Pro Vice-Chancellor Staff and Diversity, is described by her nominator as "the kind of authentic leader that will make you look back over your career and be grateful you had the opportunity to work with."

Terry's career spans the globe. She was an undergraduate and postgraduate at Sydney University before being appointed to her first lectureship in the English Department. Whilst at Sydney she worked with others to set up the Centre for Womens' Studies and Performance Studies, and was Head of the Department of early English Literature and Language, before she left Sydney for Monash University, Victoria in 1993. There she was Head of the Department of English, Deputy Dean of Graduate Studies, Director of the Graduate School, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

Terry's funded Australian research included work on women and ageing, and on risk, communication and injecting drug use. Her book, Feminist Poetics: Poeisis, Performance, Histories, a study of race, nation and identity in Australia, remains a key text in the field of feminist cultural studies and critical discourse analysis.

Terry joined Cardiff University in 1999 as a Research Professor, later holding the position of Head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies between 2003 and 2007. During this period her most recent book, Shoot First and Ask Questions Later: Media Coverage of the 2003 Iraq War, was published. She has also been Head of the Schools of English, Communication & Philosophy and History, Archaeology & Religion – the only woman to have been Head of three Schools at Cardiff.

In 2007 Terry became Pro Vice-Chancellor for Staff and Diversity. She has led on projects that have contributed hugely to the University, including leading the development of the University Workload Model, creating a career pathways model for academic staff, the whole equality and diversity agenda across the University including encouraging the staff networks, recognition in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, achievement of Athena Swan and developing the role of women in STEM subjects through confidence building work, and specific work on equality and diversity in relation to REF 2014. Terry was also the lead member of senior staff who ensured the University achieved Investors in People recognition and through that work contributed to the Leadership and Management Framework and staff development programmes.

This is all just to touch on the breadth and excellence of Professor Threadgold's achievements over her career. Here at Cardiff she has been responsible for ensuring that students and staff have a positive working environment and can be themselves at work. And she is of course the architect of this very Celebrating Excellence Awards scheme, for which we are so delighted she has been nominated and shortlisted.

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