• Home
  • Login
  • Welcome to the Staff Intranet
YOU ARE HERE: Skip Navigation LinksEdinburgh Napier Staff Intranet > Service Depts > Information Services > IS Scoops > USG Award Winners 2017

​IS Staff Members Amongst USG Award Winners


A huge congratulations to the 3 Information Services (IS) staff members who were amongst the winners of the 2017 University Secretary's Group (USG) Awards, also known as "The Gerrys".


The IS winners were:

  • Andrew MacFarlane, Senior IT Developer, for the "Outstanding Newcomer Award"
  • Billy Murray, Student Records Assistant, for the "Unsung Hero Award"
  • Laura Ennis, Information Services Advisor, for the "Innovation Award"


Here's what their Managers had to say:


Andrew MacFarlane - Outstanding Newcomer Award


Andrew has been at the University for under 3 years but in that time has had an enormous impact on the Information Systems Development Team.

His enthusiasm and drive and ability to quickly grasp technical details is an asset to every project he works on and is a contributing factor to their success.

Andrew is adept at multi-tasking as can be seen by his contribution to several ongoing live projects, including Timetabling, CRM, Event Accounts, GDPR, Enterprise Data Mapping…

(Within the team he also organises the Christmas night out – which given the teams’ inability to do this in a timely manner in previous years  is greatly appreciated by his colleagues)

As well as work he does in Wider Community organising his local choir, He was also last year a bone marrow donor for the Anthony Nolan Trust.


Billy Murray - Unsung Hero Award


Billy Murray works in the Student Systems Team in the role of Student Records Assistant.  He is responsible for the production of hundreds of transcripts and diploma supplements for our alumni each year, for the processing of suspensions, withdrawals, name changes and course transfers on SITS for our current students and dealing with a multitude of phone enquiries from students and university colleagues. 


These are not glamorous or high profile tasks but they are all vital to the smooth running of the University and for the experience of our current and past students.  Past students need transcripts to secure new jobs or work visas and tasks like course transfers need undertaken swiftly for accurate record keeping but also to ensure there are no financial implications for students from funding bodies or loan providers. 


Billy works very hard to ensure that everything that comes to him is dealt with promptly and to a high standard.  Where unanticipated problems do arise, he ensures swift and satisfactory resolution for customers by taking the time to talk to the relevant colleagues to get the information he needs.


I have been very impressed with Billy’s commitment to his job over the past year.  He is extremely diligent with an in-depth knowledge of his area of work.  Furthermore he is a helpful and friendly colleague who I receive consistent good feedback for from customers both internal and external.  I have included some examples below:


‘Billy Murray is fab.  He is really helpful and gets stuff done’. – School of Computing Office – September 2016


‘I would like to send a quick email saying that I am most grateful for an excellent service that a Napier student record shop provides. I would like to give a personal 'thank you' for Billy Murray.’ – from an ex-student on 09 March 2017


Laura Ennis - Innovation Award


Laura joined Information Services as an Information Services Advisor in August 2015 (1 year 9 months service), and has already made a striking contribution to the team, bringing a great deal of enthusiasm, innovation and professional awareness to the post and to the team. 


She has established excellent contacts and working relationships with the School of Applied Sciences, and has made numerous presentations to both their School Executive, and also their academics and researchers, and has also worked on panels for programme approval events. 


She has very quickly provided a wide range of information and research support services to that School, and has received excellent feedback for her efforts.  She has also made some significant innovations – for example, she brought in/organised an external speaker of interest to the School, whose talk was well attended and much valued.  She also thought up, organised and  hosted a global online webinar on open access issues, with three of the leading global experts sharing their wisdom with a global audience.


Her teaching style is inclusive and innovative…her session on data visualisation at the most recent Leap into Research event received excellent feedback, and involved the audience creating presentations via lego bricks and other materials to get across some key concepts. 


She is constantly bringing new ideas into her professional practice and into the service.  She co-wrote a journal article for the library profession’s “Sconul Focus” which has been accepted and due to be published in the forthcoming edition.  She has also worked with SAGE publishers to champion our use of SAGE Research Methods Online – a key database of resources on research methods of use to a wide range of researchers as well as teaching staff.


Laura has also looked beyond Information Services to the wider University – enthusiastically working with the recently award nominated Big Read initiative, developing relationships with Kingston (our partners in the project) on her own initiative, visiting them in the very early stages of the project.  Subsequently, she has delivered presentations to the London Book Fair with Kingston colleagues, to spread the word on our work in this area.  She has been acknowledged as one of the key players in our roll out of the Big Read.  She has also been one of the two lead players in the roll out of our new reading list software – Leganto.  Indeed, this week she will be in Padua, Italy delivering a talk on how we were one of the early takers of this product and our usage of it.


All in all, she has achieved much in a very short time with us, and in my view fully deserving of either of the award.