Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Nigel Messenger Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence 2013

Tuesday, 07 May 2013


Dr Niall Munro is this year’s winner of the ‘Nigel Messenger Award for Outstanding Contribution to English Teaching’. Niall started at Brookes in 2006 as a PhD student, having been a teacher in secondary education before that. After a few years as an Associate Lecturer, at Brookes and elsewhere, the past year has been Niall’s first year of full-time lecturing – across our English and Drama degrees – which makes the award of the Teaching Teapot all the more remarkable. He also manages the Brookes Poetry Centre’s ‘weekly poem’, podcasts and website. Last year’s winner, Dr Daniel Lea, and Programme Lead for English, Drama and Creative Writing, said 'I'm absolutely delighted for Niall that his commitment and enthusiasm have been recognised, and rewarded by the students. Niall has been a wonderful addition to the department over the last year and he should be justifiably proud that his dedication to his subject, his colleagues, and his students have made such a considerable imprint. He richly deserves this prize and, on behalf of all in English and Modern Languages, I'd like to congratulate him, and thank him for his hard work.' The award is voted on by all current undergraduate and postgraduate students in English, Drama and Creative Writing. Some of the anonymous comments from students, responding to Niall, include:
“In all my dealings with Niall - in seminars, tutorials and emails - he is friendly thorough and supportive.”
“His breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing it with and challenging his students makes for a very good tutor.”
“Niall is always a joy to listen to and has helped and encouraged me tremendously over the course of this year with my dissertation.”
“Both this year and last Niall has been extremely helpful with my work on modules and dissertation.”
“Niall was continually helpful, supportive and encouraging whilst being my dissertation supervisor.”
On receiving the award, Niall said ‘I wouldn’t have won this award without two inspirational groups: my students and my colleagues. I have enjoyed every moment of my time in lectures and seminars with students who are inquisitive, energetic, and hungry to improve their understanding of literature. I owe them many thanks. But I am also indebted to a wonderfully supportive Department.’