Louise Jackson, Head of Learning Enhancement at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to learning and teaching.
As a recipient of the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning within the UK, Louise is one of only 55 National Teaching Fellows chosen from nominations submitted from across the higher education sector. The award will provide Louise with £10,000 in support of her professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.
Originally trained as a singer, Louise developed an interest in Baroque and contemporary music before embarking upon a career in learning and teaching within the arts. Among Louise's teaching interests are gender in music; collaboration; diversity in the curriculum; widening participation in higher education and research into the role extracurricular activities play on undergraduate understanding and expectations of higher education. From training undergraduates in delivering music workshops and summer schools to helping raise aspirations among children who may not consider higher education as a viable option, and facilitating staff engagement with a range of new pedagogic methods and tools, Louise's ability to inspire and engage is recognised by everyone she works with.
Louise said: "It is a real privilege to be awarded this Fellowship, and it is particularly exciting that my work around inclusive education and excellence in learning and teaching within the arts has been recognised.
"I have a particular interest in how learners in the performing arts sector are introduced to undergraduate study and in what way this links to preparation for life after graduation: this award will help facilitate the start of this project."
Since joining Trinity Laban in September 2012, Louise has spearheaded initiatives such as the launch of new strategies for Learning and Teaching and Technology Enhanced Learning, as well as staff engagement tools such as the Learning Enhancement newsletter.
Trinity Laban Principal, Professor Anthony Bowne, said: "Louise is a passionate communicator, whose dedication to facilitating the engagement of teaching staff with new pedagogical tools and strategies is an enormous asset to our institution. Her ability to translate her personal enthusiasm for improving the student experience into practical strategies which actively engage, stimulate, inform, inspire and empower have a hugely positive impact upon students and staff alike."
Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA, said: "Becoming a National Teaching Fellow is a great honour and will undoubtedly lead to many new and exciting challenges, but I believe that it is students who will benefit most from these awards. Our students deserve the best possible learning experience and it is colleagues like those we celebrate today who can make a real difference to their futures."
The Fellowship scheme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, and is open to staff whose teaching or support roles enhance the student learning experience at institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Successful nominees were nominated by their institutions and submissions had to show evidence of three criteria: individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence.