Teaching Fellowship Awarded to Dr James Walmsley
Dr James Walmsley was awarded a Teaching Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to teaching, to the enhancement of students’ learning experience, and to the support provided to students. James is the Distance Learning Co-ordinator for the highly successful and innovative forestry distance learning Masters programmes at the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography.
As one of his students said “after completing my BSc I felt the urge to complete my education to get a deeper 'technical knowledge' However, living and working in Russia, and spending at least 120 days a year traveling, where and when could I study?" And so, he entered the highly innovative Distance Learning Masters programme in Forestry that our Fellow runs. Perhaps not the most obvious discipline to study at a distance, but as another of his students said “Although I was a distance learning student, I never felt the ‘gap’. It was as though I was a full time student because of the wonderful learning environment that was provided”.
Pastoral care is of critical importance to students learning at a distance, and James has been commended for his time, compassion, sympathy and careful handling of the needs of his students. Despite being a personal tutor to over 100 students from 20 different countries - he takes great pride in making sure he gets to know them all; in understanding their individual learning styles, where they are located (so he can introduce them to other students and graduates and opportunities in the area), their motivations, their interests and ambitions. One student said that ‘”his relentless enthusiasm, cheerfulness, patience and focus have been a source of constant support to myself and the other students”.
The award of a teaching fellowship as part of a degree ceremony provides an opportunity to celebrate excellence in teaching and support. It is quite appropriate that the Fellow received the award in the presence of those students that he has taught and helped during their time at Bangor.
Publication date: 18 July 2014