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The University of Southampton

Southampton academics recognised for their impact on higher education

Published: 2 August 2023
Professors Pathak and Stevenage
Professor Sarah Stevenage (left) and Professor Pathik Pathak (right)

Two professors from the University of Southampton have been awarded prestigious National Teaching Fellowships in recognition of their impact on higher education.

Professors Pathik Pathak and Sarah Stevenage have been awarded the fellowships, which celebrate individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and on teaching.

Professor Pathak is the founder of the University’s Social Impact Lab, which runs activities designed to enable students to lead sustainable social change.

He said: “I believe that higher education isn’t just a place to prepare students for the workplace, or to develop subject specialists, but to grow leaders who are world-ready.”

More than 5,000 students have taken part in Social Impact Lab since it started in 2017. It is the UK’s first university centre dedicated to promoting social impact leadership through co-curricular activities. The lab’s flagship programme is Spark India, which takes students to India every year to work on social welfare challenges.

On his fellowship, Professor Pathak said: “I am delighted and honoured. Although these awards are for individuals, teaching is always a collaborative endeavour. I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the many colleagues and students who have been wonderful and generous partners.”

Professor Stevenage, who has taught at Southampton for 30 years, is an expert in cognitive psychology. She has also provided leadership in education as Associate Dean Education for her current and previous faculties since 2012.

In her teaching, Professor Stevenage uses a ‘human book’ approach to give a highly personal account of the impact of dementia. She explained: “It involves students learning from a human with lived experience, rather than from a book. The ultimate goal is to support students to become active questioners and compassionate professionals, rather than passive recipients of knowledge.”

As Associate Dean, Professor Stevenage has been instrumental in shaping the educational innovations of others. Five years ago, she launched the Latitude Prize, which funds projects that cross disciplines, demonstrate impact, and rely on student co-design. She has championed the use of simulation teaching to develop clinical skills, the development of virtual field trips, resources to support mental health education, and a deep understanding of the black student experience.

Of the fellowship, Professor Stevenage said: “No one can achieve anything on their own, so I owe this award to those fantastic colleagues who have been willing to accompany me on the journey to provide an educational experience that we and our students can be proud of.”

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