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NWRC Lecturers shortlisted for top award

Two lecturers from North West Regional College (NWRC) have been announced as finalists for the Tutor of the Year Award at the 2019 Creative and Cultural Skills Awards.

The work of Art & Design Lecturer Emma Dickson, and Lecturer in Dance Carie Houston, will be celebrated at an awards ceremony at Belfast Metropolitan College on December 5. This is the second successive year Carie has been shortlisted in this category, having been Highly Commended in 2018.

Former NWRC Art student Aoife Harvey has also been shortlisted in the category of Creative Student of the Year.

Emma Dickson, Course Co-ordinator at Limavady campus, who studied the Foundation Course in Art and Design at NWRC as a teenager, was nominated for the award by Curriculum Manager Gaenor Speer, recognising her commitment and dedication to students, guiding them into careers in the Art and Design Industry.

“I feel very honoured to have been shortlisted for this award,” said Emma.  “I am deeply grateful for the nomination and the support of my Curriculum Manager Gaenor Speer, for her recognition of my work with students.”

The mum of 2 says the most rewarding part of being a Lecturer is watching her students achieve success, and many of them have gone on to bright futures in both the Art and Design industries.

She added: “From the first day of their initial interview, to seeing them grow and develop into confident, skilled and successful students when they leave us and knowing I’ve played my small part in that creative journey, is deeply satisfying.  Our annual Creative Show publicly exhibits the work of our students, seeing the work displayed and celebrated with friends and family fills me with a huge sense of pride in my students for learning journey we have been on together.”

Gaenor Speer, Curriculum Manager in Art and Design at NWRC said: “Emma Dickson is a highly motivated staff member who is always looking for new approaches to teaching to enhance student learning with a particular interest in embedding new technologies like the CNC cutter and Laser Cutting machines into the Art and Design Classroom. Emma goes beyond what is expected and even though she is a busy mum of two she always has time for the students when they need extra support. She engages with live briefs to enhance employability opportunities and seeks to give the students the best experience they can have.”

Dancer Lecturer Carie, who first started teaching at the college in 2004 said she was honoured to be put forward for the award based on her contribution to dance and education.

She said: “Teaching dance, nurturing and developing movement and creative skills is immensely rewarding. To see a young person’s confidence and abilities develop in the dance studio is simply wonderful and then to see them apply these skills as a step towards their dance journey is the greatest. I feel very lucky.”

Carie, who delivers the dance units in the Level 3 Performing arts course ( Dance technique & performance) and HND Performing Arts course ( dance criticism & analysis/ choreography/ physical theatre), has also established an extremely successful student dance company – Ascent.

She explained: “Ascent was created for students who wish to expand their dance skills further and provide opportunities to enhance students dance experiences.

“I’ve always encouraged our Performing arts Students to embrace opportunities that can arise during their time at NWRC and make connections with creative bodies in the industry which can lead onto developing their skills and possible creative career enhancement.”

Carie was nominated for the award by NWRC’s Curriculum Manager for Music and Performing Arts, Grainne McNamara who commented:

“Carie Logue Houston is a valued member of staff who gives so much time to the students at NWRC and I can think of no one more deserving to be recognised for the hard work and commitment she puts in to teaching.

“She is a dedicated professional, continually encouraging the students in the college, instilling confidence in them, and creating opportunities for them to showcase what they have learned.”