Prizes, Awards and Achievements

Published: 13 December 2020

SMLC staff and students received may accolades in 2020, including an Athena Swan Award, a book prize, various teaching awards and several memberships of academies and boards.

Among five new Athena SWAN awards the University has achieved in recognition of its ongoing commitment to gender equality for staff and students was the Bronze award won by SMLC. Professor Jill Morrison, the University's Gender Champion, said: "The University's latest Athena Swan awards are a recognition and celebration of the strides the University continues to make in the advancement of gender equality and prioritising support of one of the founding principles of the Athena Swan charter - representation, progression and success for all." Thanks in particularly was due to Dr Jim Simpson for his unique vision and superb guidance in the preparation of SMLC's Athena Swan Bronze case which included numerous discussions, two School surveys and several drafts of the final document. 
The awards are made by Advance HE (formerly the Equality Challenge Unit or ECU). There are three levels of Athena SWAN awards: Bronze (planning), Silver (doing), Gold (sustaining). 

Professor Bernadette O'Rourke's Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities (Palgrave) (co-authored with Gabrielle Hogan-Brun) was awarded the
prestigious British Association for Applied Linguistics Book Prize (BAAL) 2020. This annual prize for an outstanding book in the field of Applied Linguistics. The Handbook offers an in-depth appraisal of the field of minority languages and communities today and presents a wide-ranging picture of the field,with key contributions from international specialists in sociolinguistics, policy studies, sociology, anthropology and law on language diversity,multilingualism and migration. The book has been recognised as an essential reference work for specialist researchers and scholars along with public agencies and policy makers.

SMLC's TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) team colleagues are this year's recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award, the university's most prestigious teaching award, presented at the summer graduation ceremony. The TESOL programme is recognized as an exemplary academic model of collaboration between SMLC and the School of Education. Congratulations to Dr Carole MacDiarmid, Aneta Marren, Vanessa McDonagh, Bob Morrison, Anneli Williams, Brian Doonan and Rachel Elmslie, and to School of Education staff members Dr Julie McAdam, Dr Sally Zacharias and Dr Lavinia Hirsu for this outstanding achievement. 

This year's Student Teaching Awards were postponed earlier in the year, and were held virtually on Friday 12 June. Many congratulations to the SMLC winner Natalie Finlayson who achieved Best College Teacher (Arts). These awards recognise the great teaching support that our students have received. Nominations are now open for 2021 (close February 26th, 2021) and we hope to keep up the good work: 

Congratulations to Dr Enza Di Francisci, Programme Convener for the MSc in Translation Studies Nankai, who was appointments to the University’s new Shadow Board, following a very competitive selection process across the institution (over 180 applications were received). The 12 members of the new board will work with the Senior Management Group to provide input on major strategic issues and challenges. 

Dr Mirna Solic in Czech was selected to join the Royal Society of Edinburgh RSE Young Academy of Scotland. This year’s selection process was highly competitive therefore many congratulations are due to Dr Solic whose engagement with the Young Academy was based on her work in migration studies. The YSE remit is ‘to bring together young professionals from all sectors to work together on projects that benefit Scotland and the world’. 

The College of Arts supported the School’s recommendation that Dr Carole Macdiarmid of EAS and Dr Rachel Douglas of French be admitted to the Aurora leadership development programme for women. It is run as a unique partnership bringing together leadership experts and higher education institutions to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector.  

Just after our last newsletter was published, on 27 December 2019, Helen Manson, a Russian student then in her Junior Honours year, won international success for SMLC by coming second in an international competition for Russian language skills, ahead of over 7,000 other candidates from around the world. She demonstrated world-beating skills in Russian grammar and comprehension in the International Online Olympiad for Russian as a Foreign Language, organised by St Petersburg State University. We can only hope that Helen, who studies Russian and Spanish, can go one better this year and takes top spot worldwide! In May, Russian Senior Honours student Julia Lesny was selected as a Fellow on the highly competitive Cultural Vistas Alfa Fellowship, a charitable initiative to promote ties between Russia and other countries. As a Fellow, Julia will be sponsored to spend 2021 in Russia working for an arts organisation.

Student Helen Manson

SMLC is pleased to announce that, following nomination by SMLC and then the College of Arts, Dr Greg Kerr in French has been appointed to the University Senate

First published: 13 December 2020

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