An unprecedented four members of staff from the School of Chemistry have been awarded the prestigious Principal’s Medal for Exceptional Contribution during the covid-19 pandemic
Director of Teaching, Prof. Michael Seery and Director of Internationalisation, Dr Chris Mowat were jointly awarded the Principal’s medal for leading the School’s response to the pandemic. Chancellor’s Fellow Dr Valentina Erastova also was also recognised for her ‘Scientist Next Door’ initiative, connecting school pupils stuck at home with a network of scientists worldwide. School of Chemistry Website and eLearning Officer, Mike Johnstone was also awarded a Principal’s medal. He represents the School on the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Group of the College of Science & Engineering. The CSE TEL Group was recognised for its activities focused on delivering a positive student experience.
The Principal’s Medal was first awarded in 2008 and is one of the most important ways in which the University recognises both professional services and academic colleagues or current students who have made outstanding contributions to both the University and wider communities and consistently demonstrated the University’s Values.
These awards are the highest bestowed upon students and staff in the University.
Given the extraordinary events of 2020, the decision was made to increase the number of awards this year to enable the recognition of individuals, teams and departments from our University community who have played a critical role in how we have responded to the Covid-19 crisis.
There was only one category this year: the Principal’s Medal for Exceptional Contribution.
Commenting on the receiving the Principal’s medal;
Professor Michael Seery said;
‘It is an honour to receive this award and it could not have happened without the hard work, dedication and commitment that the entire School has demonstrated throughout the pandemic.’
Dr Chris Mowat commented;
‘It’s really lovely to receive this honour. What is important to me is that the work that’s being recognised was all for the benefit of our students at a time of great need. I am proud to be part of the School of Chemistry community and to have the privilege of working with great colleagues to make a real difference for our fantastic students.’
Dr Erastova said;
‘With the lockdown closing schools, we became worried that children will not get an opportunity to feed their interest in sciences. Here the idea of Scientist Next Door emerged, creating a platform to connect researchers with families, to stimulate interest and to share our passion in science.’
Professor Colin Pulham, Head of the School of Chemistry commented;
‘As a School we always kept the wellbeing of our students and staff at the forefront of all our actions throughout the pandemic. The fact that Michael and Chris, Valentina and Mike have all been awarded this impressive honour is testament not only to them, but also to the outstanding efforts from the entire School in the face of these very challenging circumstances. I am extremely proud of them all, the entire School, and our amazing students.’