In 2020, Middlesex University (London, UK) launched the first ever ‘One Middlesex Staff Awards’ – recognising the outstanding contributions of staff and faculty across the university’s four campuses: London, Dubai, Malta and Mauritius.
The finalists included three faculty members from Middlesex University Dubai: Dr Tenia Kyriazi (Deputy Director of Academic Operations and Head of Law and Politics), Stephen King (Lecturer in Media), and Andrew Mackenzie (Lecturer in Marketing).
We are delighted to announce that Stephen King was awarded the winner of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Putting Students First’ category.
According to the person who nominated him: “Stephen King opens doors and provides unique experiences for our students.” Thanks to his “personal drive and his ambition for the students” a huge number have landed internships and jobs with top advertising and PR organisations. As a result, Middlesex Dubai is now strongly positioned as the leading university for PR, advertising and communications.
What motivates Stephen? “It's all about finding employment for our students, or otherwise helping them realise their dreams,” he says. “This begins the minute they enter the classroom, on day one of their first year.”
One of the keys to Stephen’s success is having good connections with his colleagues across the University. “I value the close relationship that I've formed with our student activities and careers and employability teams, and corporate marketing officers,” he says. “I also appreciate the cooperation of our IT, student office, and library colleagues, as well as our cleaning and admin staff who support us in so many ways.”
Most important, Stephen says, is having a management team that always provides positive and transparent feedback. “It enables me to coordinate effectively with my network and helps foster a positive relationship with our industry partners.”
You can see the announcement of his win here.
Dr Tenia Kyriazi, Associate Professor and Head of Law and Politics in Dubai, together with Alice Donald, Senior Lecturer in Law in London, were finalists in the ‘Collaboration and Innovation’ category for designing and organising a joint study trip to Strasbourg, the first of its kind for MDX Law and Politics students.
As well as visiting the institutions of the Council of Europe and European Union, and attending Grand Chamber hearings at the European Court of Human Rights, students have the enviable opportunity to talk to distinguished judges.
One of the great values of the trip is bringing students together,” says Alice. “First years through to PhD students come on the trip. It’s created valuable opportunities for students to mentor and learn from one another.”
Tenia agrees. “Middlesex is one university. These law students from Dubai and London are doing the same degrees, they get the same lectures and assessments, but they never meet,” she says. “This trip is an opportunity to do extracurricular activity together. It’s something special.”
From a learning point of view, the trip helps demystify these legal institutions. “It’s exciting,” says Alice. “The students have been reading and writing about these long and complicated judgements. Then, here they are seeing them being made, and meeting the people who make them.”
The trip is clearly a valuable experience for students – academically and personally. Many of the Dubai students will not have travelled to Europe before. For some Middlesex students, it’s the first time they’ve travelled abroad. One PhD student described the trip as “life changing”. A second-year student described it as a highlight of her Middlesex studies.
Alice and Tenia were pleased to be recognised with a One Middlesex Staff Awards nomination. “A lot of colleagues are doing very special things,” says Tenia. “They dedicate a lot of their free time to projects. So, I think that's a very good way of recognising this work. It gives projects visibility that may inspire other departments to do something similar.”
“This is a team effort,” says Alice. “So it feels really nice that we’ve been shortlisted for an award for collaboration.”
Andrew Mackenzie was also a finalist in the ‘Collaboration and Innovation’ category for his tireless work in promoting sustainable practices at the Dubai campus.
In 2017, sustainable clothing company, DGrade, launched #SimplyBottles, an initiative that works with organisations across the United Arab Emirates to increase recycling rates of plastic bottles. Andrew Mackenzie, who introduced the Simply Bottles programme as part of Dubai’s Sustainability Week, has been nominated for a One Middlesex Award.
To Andrew, the One Middlesex Awards are “an important way to give recognition for the Middlesex family who strive to improve the outcomes for students, society and the business. It encourages innovation throughout”.
“So it really was an honour to get shortlisted,” he says. “But not just for myself. The things we have achieved at Middlesex this last year could not have happened without the support of my colleagues. The Institute of Sustainable Development really helped me drive the work, and management are excellent in approving and providing resources. That includes Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Dr Belisa Marochi and Dr Tenia Kyriazi who were unwavering in helping me drive a sustainable programme at the university.”
During the Simply Bottles campaign, students had the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical and ‘real world’ experience. The graphic design department students developed, designed and then redeveloped the entire artwork and marketing assets for the programme. “The enthusiasm from the graphic design students, in doing extra work at a highly professional level, was exceptional,” says Andrew.
“This was then implemented by the business and accounting students. The psychology department, in collaboration with the Business School is now getting amazing data and developing a research paper as to the effects and further implementation of experiential learning and other modules.”
Andrew’s students have found running the event an extremely positive experience, even on a personal level. One student found that it helped him overcome shyness and feel more engaged, while another feels she has grown in self-confidence.
The initiative has also made Middlesex the first in the United Arab Emirates to be part of a ‘closed loop economy’, a sustainable system for recycling waste back into everyday products, such as clothing and accessories. Our Institute of Sustainable Development has been recognised by the Dubai Chamber for its efforts in their Sustainability Week 2019, World Without Waste and ongoing internal campaign – Let’s Reduce and Recycle.
You can view both Dr Tenia and Andrew’s finalist videos here.
Congratulations to our colleagues at the Dubai campus and those in London, Malta and Mauritius for their hard work and dedication to providing students with the best possible experience and opportunities for future success.
We are Proud to be MDX!