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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Dr Ana Margheritis - SUSU Award Best Academic Support – Highly Commended

Published: 13 May 2020
Dr Ana Margheritis

Dr Ana Margheritis Reader in International Relations, Department of Politics and International Relations (PAIR) has won an Academic Staff award for Best Academic Support.  This award is awarded for any academic staff member who has provided exceptional academic support, which can be through innovative teaching methods, high-quality feedback on work or through support during timetabled learning sessions. The award is also open to members of our community who may support teaching activity, including Postgraduate teaching assistants and demonstrators.

Dr Ana Margheritis

'Ana's module on International Relations Theories does not follow the usual lecture-and-seminar model of teaching, instead she teaches solely through seminars designed to allow us to take ownership of our own learning. Ana's innovative seminar format asks us to read key articles about relevant theories, asks us for our own initial reaction to the readings and theory, and gives us the opportunity to structure and lead our own seminars. Through these seminars Ana encourages deep discussions, always pushing us towards a deeper analysis of the topics at hand. From just a brief look around the room, it is clear that Ana's teaching methods engage the entire class.

During the seminars, Ana always provides us with feedback on our understandings of the readings through positive encouragement, offering us different avenues to explore or different ways to understand the same topic. Throughout the twelve weeks Ana would periodically encourage us to think of our essay topics. During the last seminar, she set aside time for each of us to go through our ideas and gave us the opportunity to develop on our ideas as a class as well as providing her own feedback. I found this to be an innovative method as it allowed us to develop our own ideas but also apply our learning to others' ideas. She also provided the opportunity to ask for feedback after the seminar whilst she was on research leave (i.e. no longer teaching), and I was able to set up a very insightful Skype meeting with her during this time where she provided very detailed guidance on my essay plans just days before the due date. After the essays had been submitted and marked, the feedback provided was invaluable.

It was detailed, addressing every single aspect of the work (e.g. clarity, logical flow, knowledge, analysis, relevance and style) and provided very in-depth notes on how to improve. This feedback has since been taken forward and applied to several other pieces of work. I think Ana deserves to win "Best Academic Support" because the criteria outlines innovative teaching methods, high-quality feedback, and support. I feel Ana's module on IR Theories has demonstrated excellence in all three categories. I feel I learnt more through this teaching method, that lecturer input was present throughout the module (rather than just on essays), and feedback on essays was detailed in addressing all the criteria in such a way we could apply it to future pieces of work'.

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