A microbiologist who has championed opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in areas such as research, external and media engagement, and learned societies, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Dr Tina Joshi, Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology in the School of Biomedical Sciences, is up for Most Innovative Teacher at the 2020 THE Awards – often described as the ‘Oscars for higher education’.
The award recognises those academics whose imagination and passion have transformed a course and inspired students, and requires nominees to be supported by testimonies from current students and graduates.
Tina has been teaching for just three years, but in that time has introduced a number of changes to the teaching culture of the subject area, championing external engagement to foster deeper understanding of science, and develop key life-skills that serve students in their careers.
“I’m delighted and more than a little bit stunned by this shortlisting,”
said Tina after the announcement by Times Higher Education.
“I’ve always been an advocate for making science relatable – and fun – and that has driven some of the changes I’ve made. First and foremost, it is about the students, and their positive response and support has been an inspiration for me.”
Tina lectures on Clinical Microbiology and Infection and Immunity, and regularly uses innovative props or engaging links to modern culture during her lectures. Through her roles on the scientific committee of Antibiotic Research UK and the policy committee of the Microbiology Society, she also shares the latest developments in the sector, and creates opportunities for students to become involved in events, such as the Microbiology Society Conference.
As a University Public Engagement Champion, Tina works with local charities, providing public lectures, and talks to schools and students in other disciplines such as dentistry. She is the founder of the University’s branch of the Soapbox Science movement, and has involved students with a range of events including the national spectacular at Freedom Fields. She also took on the Antibiotic Awareness Week event at the University and in 2019 ‘handed it over’ to her students, who then organised public lectures, pub quizzes and film screenings, raising money for the charity Antibiotic Resistance UK.
Tina, who was awarded the Hind Rattan – ‘The Jewel of India’ – in 2018 by the Indian government to honour the international impact of her work, also draws upon her own research experience in the field of AMR and infection control in her teaching. This includes the design of a handheld device that combines mini-microwave technology and a bio-sensor to test whether patients are resistant to certain antibiotics.
“This is fantastic recognition for Tina, for the School and the University, and well deserved for the way she has approached her teaching and supported her students. Having inspirational female figures in science is incredibly important, and Tina has truly embraced that role.”