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York academic awarded National Teaching Fellowship

Posted on 5 August 2021

A University of York academic has been awarded a prestigious teaching fellowship in recognition of his contribution to higher education

Dr Glenn HurstDr Glenn Hurst. Image: Alex Holland

Dr Glenn Hurst has become one of the youngest academics in the UK to be recognised with the Advance HE 2021 National Teaching Fellowship.

Dr Hurst, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University, uses a holistic, systems-thinking approach to enable students to understand relationships between components to a problem and to be able to predict how outputs can change over time with changing variables.

Such a high-level and integrated understanding of systems is vital to equip the scientists, engineers and policymakers of tomorrow with the knowledge and skills needed to address complex, interdisciplinary global problems. 

Green Chemistry

Dr Hurst is internationally renowned for his work in incorporating Green Chemistry into curricula. His unique approach involves engagement of students using social media and innovative technologies. In this way, he is able to train students to work in teams and prepare them to solve complex societal challenges as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

In terms of sharing best practice, Glenn regularly publishes his work with students undertaking education-based research projects and is often invited to talk at international meetings. He regularly facilitates and delivers continuing professional development training in education for colleagues in York and beyond. Furthermore, he chairs the University’s Learning and Teaching Forum, which nurtures and shares creativity and good practice in learning and teaching across the institution.

Richly deserved

Reflecting on his award, Dr Hurst said: “I am delighted to be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. I am so grateful to the University of York for providing me with the opportunities, support and training together with the ability to work with such fantastic colleagues and talented students.”

“I am very grateful for the mentorship and support of colleagues together with the enthusiastic students I teach. In the future, I would like to truly transform the international Green Chemistry education community, developing transferable methodologies to implement systems thinking approaches and enhance interdisciplinary learning across a range of programmes.”

Professor Duncan Bruce, Head of the Department of Chemistry, said: “I am delighted with the news of Glenn’s richly deserved National Teaching Fellowship. Three members of staff in the Department of Chemistry now hold these awards, reflecting the outstanding educators in the Department and the passion we have for providing high quality, innovative education to our students.”

Professor Tracy Lightfoot, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students, said "Advance HE oversees both National Teaching Fellowships and Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence. These are highly-regarded markers of outstanding teaching and support for learning. In recent years York has done well in both. This year's award to Glenn Hurst extends our run of successes and marks his outstanding contributions to teaching in the Department of Chemistry, and across the University. The award confirms Glenn's passion and dedication to teaching and learning practice and outstanding contribution to student learning and support for staff”.

Glenn has previously won multiple national and international awards including the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Higher Education Teaching Award 2020, American Chemical Society Award for Incorporating Sustainability into the Curriculum 2019, Educate North Teaching Excellence High Commendation 2019, Times Higher Education Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Finalist 2018 and JISC HE Social Media Superstar 2017.

Further information:

The National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) Scheme is organised by Advance HE. Each year it celebrates and recognises around 50 individuals from across the UK who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

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