School of Social and Political Science

SPS honoured at CAHSS Recognition Awards 2021


Colleagues at the School of Social and Political Science have won a number of awards at the College’s Colleague Recognition Awards this afternoon, including the Adaptation to Change Award, the Excellent Newcomer Award, the Outstanding Team Award, and a highly commended in the Community Engagement Champion Award.


The awards run annually in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and are an opportunity for staff to recognise the work of their colleagues and nominate them in a range of award categories.

Congratulations to:

  • SPS Social Work Practice Learning Team, who won the Adaptation to Change Award
  • Dr Shaira Vadasaria, who won the Excellent Newcomer Award
  • SPS Technology-Enhanced Learning Team, who won the Outstanding Team Award
  • Professor Nasar Meer, who was highly commended for the Community Engagement Champion Award

Social Work Practice Learning Team – Adaptation to Change Award

John Devaney, Head of the Social Work department said:

“We are delighted that the Social Work Practice Learning Team of Avril McIvor, Lee Corcoran and Rona Gray have been awarded the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Adaptation to Change for 2021.

“There were over 170 nominations from across the College for this prestigious award, and it is testament to the endeavour and ingenuity of the team that students were able to have placements this year. We are indebted to our practice partners for providing the range of stimulating and suitably challenging placement opportunities, and for taking on the supervision of our students in the challenging circumstances of the past year.

“Students have provided very positive feedback about their placement experiences and the preparation they have received as they move towards graduation and qualified practice.”

Shaira Vadasaria – Excellent Newcomer Award

Colleagues who nominated Shaira said: “Despite being so newly-arrived to the University, Shaira has galvanized the new RACE.ED network and brought together colleagues across the University to think about responsive pedagogies in times of crisis.”

And: “ she brings together other colleagues, researchers, students and non-academic community to the activities that she is either organising or participating.”

SPS Technology-Enhanced Learning Team – Outstanding Team Award

Colleagues who nominated the Technology-Enhanced Learning Team said: “Our TEL team are an invaluable team that have steered us through a time of immense challenges with patience, collegiality, and a commitment to problem-solving. Through leading and coaching the TEL Team helped staff to adapt to and manage a range of new technologies and possibilities, while ensuring that teaching pedagogy was at the heart of the use of technology.”

Nasar Meer – Community Engagement Champion Award

Colleagues who nominated Nasar said: “Nasar Meer is an outstanding member of the University community. As director of RACE.ED, he has done tremendous work in forging community relations across the University, and helped constellate a network of scholars and educators committed to anti-oppression and racial equality.

“In bringing us together through this network, Nasar has built the infrastructure for collaborating across creative, inspiring and meaningful community-centred relations. He is a colleague that has done tremendous work to engage our community at large.”

Shortlisted colleagues

Well done to all who were shortlisted for awards this year:

  • The Inspiring Colleague Award: John Devaney, Alan Marshall, Marie Storrar and Sarah-Jane Cooper Knock
  • The Outstanding Team Award: SPS Communications and Engagement Team
  • The Advancing Inclusion Award: Centre of African Studies Decolonizing Working Group
  • The Adaptation to Change Award: SPS Student Support Office
  • The Excellent Newcomer Award: Katucha Bento
  • The Community Engagement Champion Award: Oliver Escobar
  • Head of College Award for Exceptional Service: Gary Clapton

More about the awards

The winners and highly commended individuals in each category were selected by a panel of judges and announced in a virtual ceremony on Thursday 27 May.

The ceremony included appearances from University Principal Peter Mathieson and newly-appointed University Rector Debora Kayembe.