Jonathan Kress and Markie Lugton of the School of Mathematics and Statistics both received 2022 Dean of Science Staff Excellence Awards at the Science end of year celebration earlier this month. 

Jonathan Kress, who is Director of First Year Mathematics and Statistics, won the Leadership Excellence Award. Associate Professor Kress was recognised for his comprehensive understanding of the first-year maths curriculum and content, as well as his technical ability in the Mobius platform, which has gained him a lot of respect and appreciation from his team and the School.

A/Prof Kress was conferred his award by the Dean of Science, Professor Sven Rogge, at the Faculty end of year celebration on Friday 2 December.

His nomination for the award, provided by Professor Adelle Coster, cited his coordination and mentorship of staff involved with first-year courses, and his involvement with the School’s Teaching Academy team, delivering high-quality, high-impact teaching to 3000-4000 students each term. A/Prof Kress has been the main driver behind the development of interactive learning, teaching, and assessment methods using the Mobius platform, which has enabled the efficient and robust delivery of courses and has been invaluable in both a fully-online and hybrid teaching environment.

"He is always generous in sharing his extensive technical and mathematical knowledge. Jonathan has done an incredible job ensuring the teaching unit functions superlatively, fostering a climate of trust, inclusivity, collaboration, and innovation", said Professor Coster. 

"Through his leadership, Jonathan has gained the respect and appreciation of his team and School. He is also a strong advocate of empowering existing staff to develop their own ideas, and many staff members have gone on to earn grants and teaching awards under his guidance."

Markie Lugton, the School's Teaching Support Administration Officer, won the Community and Wellbeing Champion Award. She was recognised for her tireless efforts to support School members.

Markie has provided outstanding support to staff to enable them to dedicate their efforts to the delivery of effective hybrid teaching. Her care for our HDR students also goes well beyond her work responsibilities. During the pandemic in particular she remained in contact with all of them individually, ensuring they have access to support, and more importantly ensuring they know that someone who cares is available. 

Markie has taken over many teaching administration tasks, including those which were previously handled by the exams branch. This has allowed staff to focus their efforts on the smooth delivery of hybrid teaching.

Her nomination for the award, submitted by Professor Coster and Professor Josef Dick, cited her calm personality and can-do attitude, which have been extremely valuable in stressful situations - particularly during the pandemic and the remediation of the Red Centre building.

"Markie always responds quickly and positively to any request from staff and students", said Professors Coster and Dick, "and everyone knows that she is someone who can be relied upon in times of need, which supports the wellbeing of staff and students alike."

We commend Jonathan Kress and Markie Lugton for this recognition of their unwavering efforts to support staff and students of the School of Mathematics and Statistics.