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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Innovation recognised with teaching award

Published: 13 July 2016

Geography and Environment recognizes excellence in teaching by awarding annually the Mike Clark teaching award. This year the academic unit received some outstanding applications, and as such has made two awards.

Professor Mike Clark worked in the Geography Department at the University of Southampton for his whole career, from undergraduate to postgraduate, eventually rising to the position of Professor in Environmental Management. Mike was an outstanding academic, with a high degree of intellect and a rare ability to communicate effectively across disciplines. One of his greatest strengths was his passion for communicating Geography, which he shared with his audiences whenever he spoke. He was a truly inspirational lecturer and students would always leave his lectures wiser than when they went in, and often with a keen sense to learn more. He enthused his students and enriched their learning and development markedly.

Dr Brian Hracs used a unique lecturing style to enhance the learning experience of students in GEOG 1004: A Global World. As the convenor of GEOG 3063: The Creative Economy, Brian has developed innovative ways to encourage student engagement during lectures, seminar discussions and a field trip to Shoreditch. In addition, Brian has been instrumental in developing our employability agenda across our undergraduate programmes and created numerous links with industry, of which he is being considered for national awards.

Brian says, "This award and the incredibly positive student feedback is gratifying and serves to validate and further motivate my efforts to develop and deliver high quality teaching that is both pedagogically informed and responsive to the dynamics of contemporary students."

Brian was also runner up in the Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU) Excellence in Teaching Awards as ‘Most Engaging Lecturer’ in the Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences.

Dr Nathaniel Lewis has developed an impressive and inspiring new course called Sexuality and the City. The course is the first at Southampton devoted to feminist and sexualities geographies and examines how human sexuality intersects with health, migration, home and work life, and urban development. Through a project proposal, theoretical paper, and empirical investigation, students in the class become an expert in any topic of their own interest, which this year ranged from examining mental health outcomes among rural gay and lesbian populations to comparing prostitution law in Sweden, England and the Netherlands. Student feedback was consistently excellent across all categories, with several students declaring that it was the best module they had done during their degree.

Nathaniel comments, "It's gratifying to receive this award not only because my module is new at Southampton, but also because I've developed it just this year and thought carefully about how to show students the relevance of sexualities geographies in our everyday lives. I'm really pleased that they see the value in it."



Dr Nathaniel Lewis
Dr Nathaniel Lewis
Dr Brian Hracs
Dr Brian Hracs
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