Celebrating Excellent Service

Published: 24 June 2015

On Commemoration Day this year, the University presented three, Celebrating Excellent Service awards. Who won?

This year's University 'Celebrating Excellent Service' awards acknowledged the work of a team, and two individuals.

Awards for Excellent Service to the University - Student Communications Team

The University is fortunate to have staff who make a significant contribution to the life and work of the University, going well beyond what is expected from them in their day to day roles.  This annual award is intended to recognise and promote the work of those individuals and teams who go the extra mile to make the University of Glasgow a great place to work or study and make a real contribution to the University’s success. 

This is the second year of the Excellent Service to the University Award and the University recognised the outstanding contribution from the Student Communications Team, part of Student Services. The team are: Grant Reilly, Greg Sheridan, Fiona Sneddon and Magdalena Zdrojewska.

The citation concluded: "Perhaps their biggest achievement though is the change in culture seen in communicating with our students. No longer do we have a plethora of individual departments telling students what they think they want to hear in the way that they think they will reach them. Rather, we have a partnership approach between the services working together as a coherent whole together with the student body which delivers an accessible and responsive way in which students can easily get the information that they require to enable them to get the best out of their time here.

"The initiative was theirs, the ideas are theirs and the successful approach to student communications is entirely down to the dedication, professionalism and hard work of the four member Student Communications team present here today."

Andrew Charters - MVLS

Andrew has been Head of Finance in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences since October 2012. The citation read: "Andrew is an outstanding Head of Finance, who is always willing to work over and above his call of duty for the benefit of the University.  Over the last three years, Andrew has excelled in financial and strategic planning for three schools and seven research institutes in our College.   This in-depth understanding of all aspects of financial planning as well as the legal and estate issues has been crucial for several complex projects and business cases, including all aspects of the academic developments at the South Glasgow University Hospital.  Andrew’s exceptional skills and attention to detail have been particularly important in developing our ten partner collaboration agreement for the Stratified Medicine Scotland – Innovation Centre as well as achieving successful funding deal for the Imaging Centre of Excellence, also at the South Glasgow University Hospital.

"Other major achievements over the last two years include the successful transfer of two Medical Research Council Units into the University, where Andrew positively influenced senior administrators in the Medical Research Council Headquarters in London to achieve maximum gains for Glasgow scientists.

"More recently, Andrew has been negotiating tirelessly our arrangements for Trans-national Education in Singapore, yet again working well above the call of duty in order to achieve financial agreement in time for our academics to prepare new programme for the next academic year."

Award for Excellent Community Engagement - Dr Tony Pollard

This is the second  year of the Excellent service to the Community  award and the University recognised the outstanding contribution that colleagues make to the Community. The  Excellent Service to the Community award went to Dr Tony Pollard.  

The citation read: "Tony is that rare beast – a celebrity archaeologist – who first came to public notice with his innovative television series on battlefield archaeology, Two Men in a Trench, which he presented alongside Neil Oliver in 2002-2003. Since then, he has successfully used his media profile to pursue academic research alongside his quest to develop a wider public appreciation of battlefield heritage. He has done this through appearances in a wide range of TV documentaries, ranging from Time Team specials through to more recent contributions to series such as National Geographic’s Nazi Megastructures.

"This year his broadcast work was nominated in two categories in the Celtic Media Festival Awards, and his BBC documentary series Quest for Bannockburn, in which he renewed his onscreen relationship with Neil Oliver, was awarded Best Factual Series. The Bannockburn series is characteristic of Tony’s work – building on several years of academic research undertaken by Tony and his colleagues and creating vivid images of past events through good honest down-to-earth archaeology, drawing upon the contributions of metal detectorists,  stuntmen, military strategists, cutting edge computer-graphics, and some 1200 volunteers including school pupils, local history groups, and armed forces veterans.
Indeed, Tony is notable for engaging war veterans and serving members of the armed forces with their history and archaeology. Since meeting Harry Patch, the last surviving WW1 veteran who died in 2009 aged 111, accompanying him on his final visit to Flanders and hearing first-hand about his experiences, Tony has been passionate about the value of involving veterans in his work.

"While filming Channel 4’s Digging the Great Escape, in which Tony led a team to find the famous Stalag Luft III escape tunnels, he worked with veterans and saw the effects that confronting war history and archaeology can have on those who had themselves served, and he has subsequently sought to incorporate veterans in many of his projects, recognising the value of their experiences of conflict in understanding past battlefields. He has done this through working with Operation Nightingale, an initiative which helps rehabilitate injured soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan. This year he has been involved in Waterloo Uncovered,  a project developed by members of the Coldstream Guards and led by Tony, and designed to undertake the first ever comprehensive archaeological survey of the battlefield. He is also working with veterans of the Falklands War to develop a project around the archaeology of those battlefields before the physical evidence on the islands deteriorates any further.

"On our own doorstep, Tony has been working with the University’s Archive Service to engage our staff, students and alumni, together with schools, local and military heritage groups, in a Great War project which seeks to remember the individual lives of the 761 staff and alumni who died in that conflict. During this, he has rediscovered the University’s impact on the rehabilitation of the veterans of the Great War through the work of Sir William Mcewan, Glasgow’s professor of surgery and the chief surgeon of what was to become the well-known Erskine Hospital charity who are celebrating the centenary of their foundation next year.

"Tony would be the first to remind us that in all this he is aided by other members of the team. But there is a reason why he currently appears on a banner on the railings along University Avenue with a caption which reads ‘Inspiring people with ambition’. Tony’s work in ensuring that the significance of battlefields are recognised internationally and his engagement of the public through his media work and in his work with veterans, is inspirational, and, in turn, he inspires others through his example."



First published: 24 June 2015

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