Two PRE lecturers receive Senate Awards for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Dr Meredith Warren, Lecturer in Biblical and Religious Studies in the School of English, and Dr Casey Strine, Lecturer in Near Eastern History and Literature in the Department of History have received Senate Awards for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
The University of Sheffield Senate Awards Scheme aims to encourage and promote good practice, and raise the status of teaching and learning as a scholarly and inspirational activity. The Scheme rewards inspirational academics who demonstrate an exceptional contribution in the area of learning and teaching and/or supporting and enhancing the student learning experience.
Students on a Philosophy, Religion and Ethics degree can choose modules with these award winning academics, as part of their studies in religion.
Dr Meredith Warren was recognised for the use of creative ‘unessays’ in Biblical studies.
Meredith said, “Teaching students at all levels to find joy in their education is a priority in how I approach the classroom. I focus my teaching on fostering creative, critical thinking that students can apply beyond the biblical studies classroom. I am so privileged to be in a position to help the next generation of scholars develop their enthusiasm for their studies into inventive, insightful projects that benefit the wider community. My teaching on the academic study of the Bible not only allows me to share the education and research I’ve developed, but I also inevitably learn from my students. When given the freedom to think creatively, students develop the confidence to take a chance on their own insightful ideas. I am committed to my students and strive to continually update my pedagogy to better reflect their needs.”
Meredith teaches Biblical and Classical Literature in the School of English.
Dr Casey Strine received an award in recognition to innovative teaching and assessment. Casey explained,
“I grew up with a mother who taught primary school for two decades. I was infected with her passion for seeing students learn and develop to the extent that it has become something deeply interwoven with who I am as a person. To me, all teaching is formation: the great privilege of a teacher is to introduce students to new ideas and ways of analysing information so that they can form their outlook on life, decide what matters to them, and define what makes their life worth living. I seek to make my classroom a place of intellectual discovery and exploration where one is allowed to try out new ideas and see whether they work — equally as much for me, as for the students. I believe this shared project of learning, with the missteps and changes of direction that come with it, excites students, releases them from a fear of ‘getting it wrong’, and encourages them to join in on the intellectual journey.”
Casey specialises in Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature, including modules on the Old Testament, and Ten Commandments.
Senate Award recipients become a “Senate Fellow” for life. Previous Senate Award Winners include Dr Katie Edwards, renowned for developing interdisciplinary use of gender and cultural studies approaches in biblical studies, and Dr Minna Shkul, for pioneering LGBT* studies.