Winner:
Dr Venero Armanno
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Organisational Unit:
School of English, Media Studies and Art History

armanno

Dr Venero Armanno is an inspiring and charismatic teacher who has had a significant impact on the School of English, Media Studies and Art History in the relatively short time he has been at the University, joining the School in 2002.  His philosophy is demonstrated in three main areas ? creating courses, teaching courses and supervising postgraduate students.  Veny teaches in the School's creative writing programs where he has introduced a new course in Scriptwriting and redesigned the existing Narrative course. He is a thoughtful, innovative and industrious practitioner who teaches undergraduate and postgraduate versions of these courses and currently supervises twenty Higher Degree Research students who are completing Masters or Doctorates in Creative Writing.  His impact is in terms of the quality of his teaching, significant workload undertaken and expertise he brings to his students and colleagues. 
  
Veny sees his role as a teacher as helping new and developing writers experience a variety of modes of approaching creative work, then allowing them to find their own way.  He helps students to draw what is unique from their own experiences and creativity, and shows them what their story, book or screenplay might be.  His courses provide students with a creative, interesting and stimulating experience, while still meeting the University's requirement for a high standard of academic excellence.  He seeks to engage students at as many levels as possible, including the intellectual, the emotional and the personal, and uses humour effectively not just to gain attention but to explain key concepts.  Veny's professional credibility enables him to introduce a wide variety of writers and film and television industry figures as guest lecturers, and industry contacts for his students. 

Veny has an impressive national and international reputation as a creative writer with an enviable academic and publishing record.  He not only has brought his own writing experience, but also a wide experience that emanates from teaching in different contexts over the years, and from life experiences outside the University system.  He is recognised by his colleagues for his ability to inspire students with confidence and passion for their work.  Descriptions such as "amazing", "fun", "approachable", "infectious enthusiasm", "warmth", "talks to us not at us" and "used his experiences rather than just cold theory to deliver lessons" feature regularly in student feedback.  He is regarded as a conscientious and astute supervisor of postgraduate students, with the knack of being friendly but firm in keeping them on track.  Colleagues comment on the first class planning, administration and general management of his courses, and his overall contribution to the esprit de corps of the Creative Writing area.

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