Department of Criminology celebrates exceptional Teaching Assistants for their outstanding contributions

Four Teaching Assistants have received awards from the Department of Criminology.

Each year, the Department of Criminology at The University of Manchester recognises Teaching Assistants with TA of the Year Awards. The Department bestows the ’TA of the Year Award’ on Teaching Assistants who have demonstrated excellent performance over the past academic year, while the ’First-Year TA Award’ is awarded to first-year Teaching Assistants who have shown an exceptional performance. The judging panel received numerous nominations for many Teaching Assistants, but ultimately decided to honour Borja Alvarez Martinez and Ryan Peacey with the TA of the Year Award and Nicola Fox and Laura McCulloch with the First-Year TA Award.

Ryan Peacey and Borja Alvarez Martinez are PhD students at the Department of Criminology, whose research centres on arms trade controls and interactions between transfeminine victims of hate crime and police, respectively. Both Borja and Ryan have demonstrated a consistent high performance in their teaching over years, having taught in units such as Foundations of Criminological Scholarship, Policing and the Police, Criminological Research Methods, and White-Collar, Corporate and Environmental Crime (Borja), and Understanding Punishment (Ryan).

In Ryan’s nomination, a permanent member of the staff described his teaching as ’approachable and helpful to students’.

I have had a number of students approach me to tell me how great Ryan is at teaching the tutorials for this course unit. One has said "Ryan is just the best", others have said how great Ryan is at explaining things and how much this has helped them understand the course.

Similarly, another member of the staff nominated Borja for the TA of the Year Awards, describing Borja’s commitment to teaching and learning as ’impressive’.

Borja’s knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching white-collar and corporate crime has been invaluable, and he tailored some of the weekly tutorials to his own style and to adapt to the needs of the students.

The recipients of the First-Year TA Award are Laura McCulloch and Nicola Fox. Laura is an Associate Lecturer at Arden University and Research Assistant at the University of Manchester, who joined the pool of Teaching Assistants in the Department of Criminology in September 2023. Since then, Laura has been involved in the teaching of units such as Drugs and Society, Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action, and Psychology, Crime and Criminal Justice. In Laura’s nomination, her approach to teaching was described as "very friendly and welcoming to students as they arrived, creating a comfortable learning environment". Nicola Fox is a PhD candidate at the Department of Criminology, who also joined the Departmental pool of TAs in September and has since been involved in the teaching of modules such as Making Sense of Criminological Data and Modelling Criminological Data. Three members of the staff nominated Nicola for the TA of the Year Awards, claiming that "Nicola is one of the best TAs we have worked with".

These Awards celebrate the dedication and enthusiasm of Teaching Assistants in the Department of Criminology. The Department also acknowledges all’other TAs for their invaluable contributions to teaching excellence at the University: Diana Bociga, Valeria Caroli, Michelle Corallo, Tom Cunningham, Peter Duncan, Joshua Findlay, Oliver Hulmes, Maria Fernanda Ibarra, Monira Jahan, Ezra Lampesberger, Peggy Lockwood-Lord, Jana Macfarlane Horn, Ana Maria Nicoriciu, Paul O’Neill, Korry Robert, Chris Waugh, and Jinjin Wu.

The TA of the Year Awards are selected by the Department of Criminology through a Committee comprised of Prof Rosemary Broad (Head of Criminology), Dr Emily Turner (BA Criminology Programme Director), Dr Nico Trajtenberg (Criminology PGT Programmes Director), and Dr David Buil-Gil (TA Coordinator for Criminology). Candidates can be nominated by Course Unit Directors, Lecturers, students, and other Teaching Assistants. The Awards consist of a certificate of accomplishment and a voucher.