Hands On and Inspirational.

Congratulations to our fantastic BA Interior Architecture Course Leader, Gem Barton who has just picked up a national teaching excellence award for her “hands-on” and inspirational teaching. Gem was made National Teaching Fellow by Advance HE in recognition of her services in her field at a glittering ceremony in Manchester last week.

Of Gem, Advance HE said: “A hands-on and inspirational teacher with innovative and often radical views about the future of education and creative practice, she balances her passion for teaching excellence with her empathy for others. Her research interests lie in the power of imagination and creative communication, centering on the theme of ‘experimental realisms’.”

Gem is an author and academic, and has taught and published on the subjects of gender, feminism, film, spatial production, narrative, storytelling, reality, representation, career and enterprise, academia, teaching, interiors, architecture – all directly informing her approach to teaching and learning, centering around inspiring students to develop their potential.

Alison Johns, Advance HE’s chief executive, congratulated Gem and other winners: “Becoming a National Teaching Fellow or winning CATE team is a huge achievement. It can be truly life-changing. Creating ambassadors for innovative and impactful teaching who are valued by institutions and colleagues, and who can set in motion change and enhancements to make a really positive impact on student experience and outcomes across their institution and beyond.

Gem, who joined Brighton University in 2010, said: “I’m genuinely delighted and overwhelmed to have been awarded an NTF. My journey from a 23-year-old teaching assistant (during my Masters in Architecture) in 2005 to the course leader of a truly innovative and national award winning Interior Architecture course has not been easy but it has definitely been rewarding.

Professor Ruth Whittaker, University of Brighton Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, who accompanied Gem to the Ceremony said: “The award is richly deserved and we are delighted Gem has been honoured and recognised for her commitment to such an important field of education.”

The Fellowship award has been running since 2000 and there are now more than 815 National Teaching Fellows, with up to 55 individuals receiving the award each year. Gem became the 9th member of staff at Brighton University to be given the award.