Antonia Mackay wins 2014 Teaching Teapot Award

Friday, 09 May 2014

Antonia Mckay

At a farewell barbecue party for English and Drama final-year students, Associate Lecturer in English literature, Dr Antonia Mackay, was honoured with this year's Nigel Messenger Teaching Teapot Award.

The award set up by Dr Daniel Lea a few years ago, is voted on by students, and has been won by Caroline Jackson-Houlston, Eric White, Daniel himself, Niall Munro, and now passes onto Antonia.

Head of Department, Dr Simon Kövesi, presented Antonia with the award. "The great thing about this prize is that I get to see student comments not just about the winner, but about all of my magnificent colleagues teaching across English literature, Drama and Creative Writing. We have a fabulous team here, and teaching is at the heart of what we do - and evidently we do it well. This battered old teapot is an annual reminder of that," Simon said.

Programme Lead for English literature, Drama and Creative Writing, Dr Daniel Lea, was equally pleased. “I'm absolutely thrilled that Antonia's hard work, commitment, and integrity have been recognised by the students. It's fantastic for one of our own former students to be growing into her professional academic life with such evident promise, and for her to be rewarded by our students for her warmth and talent as a teacher. The Nigel Messenger award is a genuine reflection of our students' appreciation of the teaching team's expertise, and I'm delighted that Antonia has been the stand-out member of that team this year.”

Receiving the award, Antonia said “I am incredibly honoured to have been voted for by the students at Brookes and wish to thank them all for their part in the teaching process. Without their engagement and enthusiasm, this achievement would surely not have been realised. It is wonderful to feel such support from both my colleagues in the department and the students, and I hope to be able to continue to inspire and encourage future English students at the University.”

Students praised Antonia's keen understanding of what they need in class, her engaging and informative style in seminar, her ability to explain everything in an accessible way, and her sheer passion for literature.

Simon added: "Antonia's award is something we can all be proud of, as she has studied English here for her BA, MA and PhD. Indeed it has been a remarkable academic year for Antonia, as she passed her PhD in 2013, and now adds to that research triumph with evident teaching prowess. Nigel Messenger was a much-missed lecturer who retired a few years ago, and Antonia's commitment to teaching is part of the proud tradition celebrated by the award which bears his name. We are very proud of her indeed."