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News Staffordshire University lecturer wins national teaching award

An international firearms expert has been recognised for her innovative teaching at Staffordshire University.

Associate Professor Rachel Bolton-King has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship
Image: Associate Professor Rachel Bolton-King has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship

I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this Fellowship and am very excited to meet other successful Fellows, share our experiences and continue to enhance our teaching practices for the benefit of our students.

Rachel Bolton-King, Associate Professor of Forensic Science

Dr Rachel Bolton-King, Associate Professor in Forensic Science, is one of 54 new National Teaching Fellows announced by Advance HE today (5 August) following a highly competitive process.

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) showcases the outstanding impact of individuals who teach or support learning in UK higher education and is widely recognised as a mark of quality within the UK as well as internationally.

Rachel said:“I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this Fellowship and am very excited to meet other successful Fellows, share our experiences and continue to enhance our teaching practices for the benefit of our students.”

Rachel’s passion is to improve the student experience. She has previously been awarded both a Teaching Excellence Fellowship by Staffordshire University and status as a Higher Education Academy Fellow in recognition of her work.

In her teaching, Rachel uses a range of digital technologies to help students engage and interact. She also developed a series of data analytic dashboards to assist with student progression and attainment and as a ‘Digital Champion’ Rachel shares these new practices with colleagues across the University.

Rachel is actively involved in the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership with Staffordshire Police which provides student placements and aims to improve and inform forensic practices within Staffordshire. Last year Rachel launched Research4Justice, an innovative platform to showcase student research which could help to prevent miscarriages of justice.

She said: “I am passionate about providing novel learning opportunities for my students, colleagues and practitioners internationally, for the benefit of the criminal justice system and global society. Through these initiatives, I watch my students transform into professional citizens.”

Rachel also brings the benefits of her own, world-leading research to the classroom as a specialist in forensic firearm identification. Earlier this year, she received a Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to fund research overseas.

This summer, she has visited South Africa, the USA and France to meet professionals from police forces and other crime agencies and will use her findings to help tackle growing gun crime back in the UK as well as inform her teaching at the University.

Alison Johns, Advance HE’s chief executive, added: “Becoming a National Teaching Fellow is a huge achievement. It can be truly life-changing. Creating ambassadors for innovative and impactful teaching who are valued by institutions and colleagues, and who can set in motion change and enhancements to make a really positive impact on student experience and outcomes across their institution and beyond.”

Rachel and the other winners will receive their awards at a special ceremony on 16 October in Manchester.

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