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Above & B​eyond 2021-22

Congratulations to our colleagues and teams who were recognised for their outstanding achievements in contributing to our strategy.


Last night, Thursday 5 May, colleagues joined the Above and Beyond hybrid award ceremony to see ten awards presented to those who made an outstanding contribution throughout the last year and celebrate colleagues who have given 25- and 40-years’ service.


Geoff Day, Director of Marketing and External Relations, hosted the event with Principal Andrea Nolan, Chair of Court, June Boyle and the Senior Leadership Team on hand to present awards to our shining stars.


This year, 282 nominations were received with colleagues eager to praise their peers and share inspirational stories about the differences being made, not only in the University but much further afield. It’s safe to say the decision wasn’t an easy one for the award panel, and it certainly never got easier after shortlisting nominees. However, with much consideration, the panel’s winners were announced following a reception of food, drink, art, magic, and music.

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Above and Beyond 2021-22 Winners


Ambitious Award: Russell Wilson

Russell has been actively involved in numerous projects promoting technical roles. He won the RSciTech CPD award in 2020 and followed this up by winning the RSci CPD award in 2021.


Russell is currently involved in various collaborative groups with technicians from various institutions around the country. These collaborations resulted in Russell applying for grant funding for a project to promote technical roles as a career. He was successful with this funding and is leading on a project which involves technicians from various institutions creating virtual videos and presentations that explain the role of a technician.


Inclusive Award: Adam Satur

Adam (preferred pronouns: they/them) is a tireless and knowledgeable campaigner for diversity and inclusion. Adam regularly raises awareness of various topics or issues, very often with the lens of accessibility.


Whilst Adam is open about their own personal inclusion challenges, they show the same energy about a wide range of issues, in fact anything that is about giving staff or students equity of opportunity. Adam is also a thoughtful and dependable sounding board and someone who is able to bring balanced consideration to complicated and controversial issues such as trans rights in female only spaces.


The University benefits greatly from the additional work Adam puts in their research, and in their role as Co-Lead of the LGBT+ Network.


University Enterprise Award: Johnson Zhang

Professor Zhang has demonstrated his persistent and consistent effort in driving the entrepreneurship agenda forward.


He has become a role model for other academics to follow. He is relentless in devising solutions, aligning with business partners, and establishing new collaborations both within and beyond ENU. His entrepreneurship achievements are demonstrated in the following areas:

  • Increasing ENU’s reputation and showcasing our ambition at COP26 with social, environmental, and economic impact. The prototype of his new product (prestressed bamboo-timber composite structural material) offers the potential for radical change in the UK and globally.
  • His adaptable approach has successfully identified and exploited opportunities from the British Council, Asian investment, and opportunities in both the Asian and European marketplaces.


His patented product is bringing international attention to ENU and more income from commercialisation will come.


Leadership Excellence Award: Grainne Barkess

In managing a Researcher Development team who all started in or since March 2020, Gráinne has inspired and motivated them through immense challenges, from moving the Researcher Development Programme online and transitioning back to in-person events, to encouraging new and more expansive projects such as running a collaborative mentoring scheme for researchers with Queen Margaret University.


Gráinne promotes new and innovative opportunities, building careers and growing networks by encouraging team participation in sector professional development. She consistently promotes collaborative working and communicates effectively to deliver excellent results.


Her communication conveys clear instructions or feedback in a timely manner, and Gráinne has always taken the time to ensure that everyone is on the same page and responds to any question. Gráinne is an exemplary leader.


Learning & Teaching Award: Agata Krowinska

Agata Krowinska consistently provides a teaching experience that is innovative, challenging, inclusive and rewarding for students and inspiring and motivating to colleagues. 


She devises modules and assessments that are modern and innovative, the new module Social Media and Content Marketing for example received 100% satisfaction from students in its’ first iteration. 


With her fresh and exciting digital marketing modules Agata has been a key driver in keeping the Marketing Management degrees modern and relevant for students and practitioners alike. 


Agata runs the undergraduate dissertation module for the marketing group and her work in this regard has given our students confidence and direction, inspiring their choice of topic and giving them the enthusiasm to follow their interests to the best of their ability.


Professional Award: Edyta Hoszko

Edyta has shown exemplary professionalism in her work supporting the Data Driven Innovation Skills Gateway project at Edinburgh Napier University (£700,000). This project has been running for two years, with a further six years to go and the work Edyta has put in at the start to create excellent processes is ensuring not only that we are paid promptly, but that the University is gaining a reputation for accuracy and timeliness across the City Deal (£1.1bn).


The City Deal Skills Gateway is a complex project, with all colleges and universities in the South East of Scotland involved, so developing good working relationships is crucial for multiple partners, over an extended period.


This year we have added Queen Margaret University to the delivery team. Edyta is highly professional in all her dealings and is a real ambassador for Edinburgh Napier University.


Innovative Award: The School of Health & Social Care Interviewing Team 

This team has developed a computerised Confident Caring Assessment (situational judgement test) which reflects the requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) professional body standards.


This has involved working collaboratively with students, clinical partners and services users in the development of clinical scenarios (filmed) and computerised questions based around the behaviours outlined in the NMC (2018) The Code (outlines professional behaviour).


In 2020/21 the recruitment team invited over 2300 students for interview. This innovation will reduce workload associated with face to face/group interviews, and increase the opportunity to invite students, clinical partners and service users to co-produce a recruitment strategy.


Research & Innovation Award: Johnson Zhang

Johnson Zhang led his team in the innovative and impactful Bamboo-Timber Grid-shell structure research. The research group teamed up with the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) to showcase the grid-shell structure at COP26 to promote sustainable construction. This is pioneering research that has a far-reaching impact, which supports the UK Government’s net-zero ambition and has the potential to catch the imagination of the public.


This research could have significant positive impact on the external environment as it promotes sustainable construction materials in modern buildings and supports the UK Government’s net-zero ambition. Leading research in this area will not only safeguard the jobs in the forest and construction industry but also provide high added value to the Scottish timbers and creating a sustainable built environment. It also underpins the sustainable Covid recovery.


Partnership Award: Maggie Reid

Maggie has built relationships and partnerships with NHS National Services Scotland for the University, and recently led the successful NHS Assure tender bid.


These relationships have recently resulted in ENU being selected to manage calls and associated funding for NHS Scotland Assure through a £1million funding pot. This will not only improve the University’s relationships with NHS NSS but have positive reputational impact. 


Maggie worked across a number of internal and external key stakeholders to develop a successful tender proposal. These efforts show the development of impactful partnerships, delivery of outstanding results, overcoming challenges, developing external networks, benefitting local/national communities whilst providing a university-wide approach.


Outstanding Student Experience Award: Kirstie Farmer

In the short time Kirstie has been in post, Kirstie has made a large positive impact on the student experience of some of our most vulnerable students. Through leading our safeguarding arrangements, Kirstie has helped to ensure the wellbeing and safety of students who are at risk and missing, whilst also taking on a liaison role with the bereaved families of students who have died.


Kirstie has dealt with Afghan students who have been in crisis since the collapse of their country's infrastructure, with students at risk of forced marriage, students in mental health crisis and much more - all challenging cases that require knowledge, skills, tact and empathy.


Kirstie shows the utmost professionalism, works in partnership with internal and external stakeholders to deliver successful outcomes, is inclusive, and innovative.


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​Congratulations to all the winning, nominated and shortlisted colleagues!  


71 colleagues were also recognised for being successful in gaining their HEA fellowship status. You can find out more on page 18 of the event programme.


You can watch the full ceremony here.


​You can also check out our fabulous colleagues in photos taken by our photographer for the evening, Innes Reid, student from the School of Arts & Creative Industries. To see the images, please click here and log in​.​​​