The Dermot McAleese Teaching Awards were given to four teaching assistants from Trinity’s School of Social Sciences and Philosophy on Monday. The awards recognised outstanding commitment to teaching and learning in College.
The awardees were Stefan Müller of the Political Science department, Sara Singleton of the Sociology department, Stefano Ceolotto of the Economics department and Matthew Shearer from the Philosophy department. Each recipient came from the school’s four respective disciplines.
The awards, now in their seventh year, were presented by Professor Neville Cox, the Dean of Graduate Studies. Named after the former Whately Professor of Political Economy, Dermot McAleese, the awards were established through donations in recent years from graduates of the school to Trinity. Professor McAleese has also provided financial support to ensure the continuation of the awards.
Each winner was selected through a nomination process which involved examining their ingenuity in their tutorial instruction. This included whether their tutorials stimulate critical thinking amongst students, their student engagement, their organisation and problem solving skills and the contribution of their tutorials to the overall delivery of the course.
Stefan Müller is a teaching assistant for the module Research Methods for Political Science. His research thesis focuses on the circumstances under which political parties and officials decide to make promises, claim credit, and attribute blame.
Sara Singleton is a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Sociology module. She is a research assistant on the H2020 Gaming for Peace project (GAP), a project designing a soft skills curriculum for peacekeeping staff embedded in role-playing computer game. Her research methodology involves in-depth qualitative interviews and vignette experiments.
Stefano Ceolotto is a teaching assistant for the module Mathematical and Statistical Methods and is currently researching whether making a pro-environmental action makes people less willing to engage in future environmental-friendly behaviour. He is also a recipient of the school’s prestigious Grattan Scholarships, which aims to promote high quality research and teaching.
Matthew Shearer is a teaching assistant for the History of Philosophy module. His research focuses on virtue epistemology and his thesis is currently titled as ‘Virtue and Cognition’ and looks at the effects of intellectual virtues on cognitive processing.
Also present at the awards was Senior Lecturer Dr Gillian Martin who expressed her delight at the recognition of the awardees for their contributions in making Trinity a more welcoming community. “They have created a stimulating learning environment, encouraged students to debate and discuss ideas and to gain a deep understanding of their disciplines,” sad Dr Martin. “I am delighted that these talented teaching assistants are being recognised for the positive impact they have made, as role models and mentors.”
Professor Cox noted that “all of the nominated teaching assistants have demonstrated a great commitment to their teaching roles and it is encouraging to see the next generation of educators demonstrating a professional and innovative approach to teaching practice.”
The awards selection committee were also impressed with the overall standard of nominees and presented five certificates of achievement to Ciaran Devlin, Egle Gusciute and Robert O’Keefe from the Department of Sociology, Alan Duggan from the Department of Political Science and Mischa Kleis from the Department of Economics.