It gives us immense pleasure to announce that Ms. Shanthi Rajan – Director, Institution Development has recently been awarded a Commendation Teaching Impact Award 2020 (Individual Category) during the recent Teaching and Learning 2020 Conference organized by University of Stirling, UK (27 May, 2020).
In her capacity as the Director – Institution Development, UoS, RAK, she set up the Centre of Academic Excellence (CAE) at our RAK Campus. CAE is a think-tank for all the activities we pursue as educators. This centre brings in the latest in all the areas of research pertinent to the taught curriculum at our Campus. Another significant objective of the CAE is to enhance and encourage self, peer and guided mentoring and to bring their results to the classrooms. Research and Excellence in everything we do is the core thought driver of CAE.
She was instrumental in initiating Faculty Development Programs and the prime objective of these programs were to provide a deeper insight into their teaching practices and curriculum portfolio building of academic staff. These FDPs afforded an opportunity for educators to explore the fulcrum of pedagogical ingenuities and creativity while teaching the learners and to see self from a learner’s perspective. For all these to take effect, communication abilities were critical and it had to reach a critical mass to be effective. This became yet another corner stone on which she had devoted considerable time and inclination.
All the FDPs had some slices to build on the existing skill sets of the educators while others imported new skills based on the latest best practices relevant to inclusive teaching. The underlying theme to which she gave utmost importance was ‘consistent up-skilling’ and excellence in their practice.
This is what Shanthi had to say after receiving the commendation award “ I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to the judging panel at University of Stirling, UK and the management and the entire academic fraternity of University of Stirling, RAK Campus. It is truly humbling to have received this commendation award. Reflecting on how CAE has shaped up so far, it is gratifying to have got various opportunities to connect with fantastic academics, not just nationally, but internationally as well.
During the currency of these FDPs, thirteen of our teaching staff applied for AFHEA in December 2018 and all have received their AFHEA status by April 2019. This probably was most rewarding as the ultimate beneficiaries are the students in quest for excellence in knowledge.
Truly, change is the end result of all true learning – Thank you!”