Dr Heather Lally and Dr Ian McLoughlin receive President's Award for Teaching Excellence
Date Article Written:
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Two outstanding academics from the GMIT School of Science & Computing, Dr Heather Lally and Dr Ian McLoughlin, were presented with the GMIT President’s Award for Teaching Excellence at this year’s GMIT Conferring ceremonies, attended by their families, friends and colleagues.
Dr Heather Lally is a lecturer on the B.Sc. (Hons) in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology, specialising in freshwater ecology and biology. Heather is also a researcher in the GMIT Marine and Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC) where her research focuses on areas including the environmental impact of freshwater microplastics, and the application of drones for water sampling. Her teaching extends to lectures, practicals and fieldtrips with 2nd, 3rd and 4th year classes in module areas relating to limnology, oceanography, botany, and the ecology of aquatic environments. Dr Lally is course coordinator for final year students as well as module co-ordinator for a number of final year modules including Residential Field Trip and Research in Applied Freshwater & Marine Biology.
Dr Ian McLoughlin teaches modules in computer science and mathematics on undergraduate degree programmes and graduate conversion / upskilling programmes in the Deptartment of Computer Science & Applied Physics. Ian is also programme coordinator of the Higher Diploma in Science – Data Analytics; an online programme of study at GMIT, and a principal supervisor to a Masters (research) candidate within the department. A Fulbright Scholar, Ian was Visiting Scholar at Stanford University in California in 2014 and is currently the Fulbright Ambassador for GMIT.
Dr Sean Duignan, Head of Dept, Computer Science & Applied Physics, paid tribute to his two colleagues at the GMIT conferrings: “Much of the evidence underpinning these awards emanates from students’ evi-dence and depositions that detail various teaching and learning methods used by Drs Lally and McLoughlin which encourage students to become independent, engaged, critical thinkers.
“One submission in respect of Dr Lally notes, “Heather’s enthusiasm for freshwater topics and the conser-vation of the environment, as quite simply, contagious. Her approach to teaching is very adaptive and flex-ible, evolving with the needs and interests of her students. Her approach to teaching is one of continual encouragement which motivates one to engage not only with lesson material but also with one’s peers to develop a deeper understanding of the topics under study”.
“Dr Ian McLoughlin was an early adopter and leader among peers for the extensive recording and stream-ing of learning episodes, including lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and other learning interventions, to enhance the student learning experience at GMIT. His open library of reusable learning videos is exten-sive (and growing); a collection which is available seamlessly to students via GMIT’s online learning plat-form. These learning interventions were cited by numerous students as significant in their learning devel-opment. One final year computing student noted, “I think one of the best aspects of this year was the screencasts provided by Dr Ian Mcloughlin for Theory of Algorithms. It allowed me to review topics that were covered in the labs in a very easy and understandable way”.
Dr. Sean Duignan noted in particular the significant contribution to teaching and learning, the inspiring pedagogical approach to their respective discipline areas, and the pastoral care of students that both award winners are renowned for. “On behalf of everyone in the School of Science & Computing – staff and students alike – I would like to heartily congratulate Dr Lally and Dr McLoughlin on this award and recognition”.
For further information on courses in the GMIT School of Science & Computing, see: https://www.gmit.ie/science/school-science-and-computing
Dr Heather Lally (right) and Dr Ian McLoughlin, presented with the GMIT President’s Award for Teaching Excellence 2018 from Dr Michael Hannon, deputising President of GMIT.