UHI Archaeology Institute lecturer recognised in student awards.


Dr Sarah Jane Gibbon has been ‘Highly Commended’ by students studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute for her work as research and dissertation supervisor. 

Sarah Jane, lecturer in archaeology at the UHI Archaeology Institute, was praised for her “patience and genuine interest” in students’ work. One student explained “ Sarah Jane was always available for me to email and ask something. Her feedback was always invaluable, and made me feel as though she was thoroughly interested in my work, not simply because I was her student, but because I was a fellow academic.”

Speaking of her award, Sarah Jane said: “It is such an exciting time to be engaged in teaching and research at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute. Students are always encouraged to develop their own ideas and build a deep understanding of archaeology and it is such an honour to have our efforts recognised by the student body. Thank you.”

I can’t offer any remarkable stories about being plucked from the brink of despair, but I am grateful for you considering Sarah Jane for this award as, in my experience, she constantly and unquestioningly went above and beyond the requirements of a dissertation supervisor, leaving me feeling very positive about my Masters and considering the possibility of taking research further.

The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first UK institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards. The initiative, now in its eighth year, recognises excellence in 14 categories, with winners coming from around the university partnership. Other staff and students who have received accolades this year are:

  • Most Inspiring Lecturer – Thomas Garnham, Inverness College UHI
  • Most Engaging Online Tutor – Tara Morrison, Inverness College UHI
  • Best Class Representative – Sheila Bowie, Inverness College UHI
  • Outstanding Lecturer of the Year – Matt Sillars, Inverness College UHI
  • Best Personal Academic Tutor – Judith Munro, Inverness College UHI
  • Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor – Andrew Jennings, Shetland College UHI
  • Best Assessment Feedback – Frances Dick, Perth College UHI
  • Best Academic Support – Heather McNeill, West Highland College UHI
  • Best Research or Dissertation Supervisor – Ragnhild Ljosland, Orkney College UHI
  • Best Support Staff – Maureen Mackenna and Judi Worthington, Argyll College UHI
  • Best Engagement with the Student Voice – Student – Scott Anderson, Argyll College UHI
  • Best Engagement with the Student Voice – Staff – Lindsay Henderson, North Highland College UHI
  • Best Contribution to Clubs and Societies – Joe Penhaul Smith, SAMS UHI
  • Outstanding Contribution to HISA – Iain Morrison – University of the Highlands and Islands

Dr Iain Morrison, dean of students at the university, said: “You cannot fool a student: they know high quality learning and teaching and great student support when they see it. The fact that there was a record number of nominations, covering every part of the university, suggests that our staff continue to provide excellent teaching and support for the people whose feedback they care about most, their students. The student testimony from these awards is genuinely moving at times and anyone considering studying with us can be assured they will be in good hands.”

Holly Scrimgeour, president of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, said: “The HISA Awards are an excellent opportunity for our students to celebrate the people who have supported them throughout their studies and reward them for their efforts and contributions to university life. Our lecturers and support staff are vital to the student experience during study and these awards allow us an insight into who is going above and beyond to positively benefit our student population. The nominations are a delight to read. The HISA Awards also acknowledge our class representatives and clubs and societies ensuring that we celebrate those students who give their time and support to their classmates. It is an honour to give these awards.”