Heather Barnett, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Photography and Film in the School of Media, Art and Design at the University of Westminster has been awarded one of this year’s prestigious and coveted National Teaching Fellowships.

Heather's National Learning and Teaching Fellowship is awarded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and recognises individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence in learning and teaching.

Heather is one of only 55 lecturers and learning support staff selected from some 180 nominations from HEIs across England, Northern Ireland and Wales to receive this accolade in 2012.

In announcing the awards, Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA, noted the highly competitive nature of these awards and their prestige within the sector.

He commented: "The 55 new Fellows created this year have all made a highly valuable contribution to learning and teaching within their institutions and often more widely. At the HEA we are committed to recognising and rewarding excellence in teaching. Students deserve - and expect - the best possible learning experience during their time in higher education, and fantastic staff such as National Teaching Fellows help to deliver this experience. I am extremely proud of the HEA in delivering this programme and I congratulate all successful recipients."

As well as her lecturing role in Photographic Arts, Heather is a practising artist with a long-standing career working at the intersections of art and science. Her pedagogic interests focus on developing methods for student-centred and active learning, within curriculum design and in extra curricula and community initiatives. Heather piloted MADFest, a school-wide arts event which provides collaborative and informal learning opportunities to all students within the School of Media, Arts and Design. This is now a very successful annual event in MAD.

Broad Vision Project

Interdisciplinary approaches are at the heart of Heather's work and she has been the primus mobile behind Broad Vision project which has involved staff and students from across four of the University's academic schools.

The Broad Vision project, which Heather initiated in 2010, brings together students from a range of arts and science courses to learn from each other and work together. The project explores how we look at, see and interpret microscopic worlds, from the diverse perspectives of six disciplines across the University of Westminster.

The project has developed an innovative interdisciplinary educational model, now validated as a collaborative module to run in 2012-13, and has generated a significant number of co-authored student/staff outputs including publications, exhibitions and presentations at national and international conferences.

Notes to editors

As a practising artist with numerous commissions and exhibitions to her name, Heather is inspired by biological design, self-organising systems and technologies of vision.

Last year 'Flow', the artworks she produced together for the Guy's Hospital Cancer Day Unit, won the Building Better Healthcare (BBH) Best Use of Visual Art in Healthcare Award 2011.

Related websites

Heather’s website: http://www.heatherbarnett.co.uk/

Higher Education Authority: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/

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