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Three Sheffield Hallam University academics have been recognised with national awards celebrating outstanding achievements inlearning and teaching in higher education.

Dr David Smith, Sue Beckingham and Dr Kim Bowerhave been awarded National Teaching Fellowships by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in recognition of how they have influenced teaching practice and inspired learners.

A National Teaching Fellowship is the most prestigious individual award for excellence in teaching in higher education and is awarded for individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence.

Dr David Smith is a senior lecturer in biochemistry and molecular biology at Sheffield Hallam.  He is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and has been awarded the student-nominated Sheffield Hallam University Inspirational Teaching Award three times.

He received his fellowship for his teaching passion and for his use of active learning techniques including objects and 3D models to stimulate students' imagination.

David said: "I am totally blown away to be awarded a national teaching fellowship and it is a real honour to have my practice recognised at this level. To know that my teaching is valued by my students and has inspired them to transform themselves makes it all worthwhile.

"The award means a great deal personally as it comes after many years of innovation, wonderful comments from my students and peers and learning from others."

Sue Beckingham is a senior lecturer in information systems within the Department of Computing. She is also a Senior Fellow of the HEA, Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association, and a Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technology.

In 2015 she was selected by JISC as one of the ‘Top 50 Influencers of Social Media in Higher Education'. In 2016, Sue was one of eight academics to be chosen as LEAD Associates at Sheffield Hallam and led a project titled 'The PjBL Toolkit – Embedding Digital Capability through Project Based Learning and Multimedia Reflective Practice'.

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Sue said: “As an avid lifelong learner with a deep interest in the scholarship of learning and teaching and reflective practice, I have felt proud to achieve Senior Fellowship of the HEA, Fellowship of SEDA and Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technology. However being awarded the National Teaching Fellowship is the ultimate honour.”

Her passion for the use of digital and social media in learning and teaching is well known and includes both publications and invitations to present this work internationally across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Denmark, South Africa and USA.

Sue said: "I am passionate about helping my students develop confident communication skills though multimedia reflective practice and creating a professional online presence. It is such an honour that my work has been recognised with this award. As a National Teaching Fellow I very much look forward to embracing opportunities to engage in further innovative practice working with both academics and students."

Dr Kim Bower is a principal lecturer in education within the Sheffield Institute of Education with a passion for languages, intercultural awareness and inclusivity. 

She has previously led curriculum innovations in modern foreign languages through two national pilots: French subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses and the Anglo-French bilateral project.

The SKE programme widened access to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) by enabling large numbers of graduates of German and Spanish and graduate linguist foreign nationals who were unfamiliar with the UK educational system to access ITE. In 2012 the SKE national evaluator estimated that 800 trainee teachers who would not have otherwise been able to access ITE had trained successfully.

Kim is currently leading the development of subject knowledge enhancement courses across the teacher education department at Sheffield Hallam University to further increase access to teacher training.

The recipients will officially receive their award at a ceremony in London in November.

For press information: Jo Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email