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Joanne Shiel awarded Principal Fellowship (PFHEA) 

Celebrating Excellence

Joanne Shiel, Director of Year 1 of the Leeds-SWJT Joint School and Director of Languages for Engineering Programmes, has been awarded Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) for her leadership and contribution to learning and teaching in higher education.

Joanne becomes the sixth colleague at Leeds to achieve Principal Fellow status, and the second in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS). This award recognises her contributions to the development and ongoing success of the Joint School, as well as her academic leadership within the Faculty, University and wider higher educational community.

Originally based in the Language Centre, Joanne joined the Faculty in 2016, initially to take leadership of the integrated Year 1 at SWJT, following her valuable contributions to the development of the Joint School project from the very outset. Since then Joanne has underpinned the successful delivery of both general and engineering-specific language competence for the whole cohort of students in Chengdu – more than 1600 since the inception of the Joint School – in Year 1, and beyond, embedding in-sessional support into the entirety of the programme. She also supports staff, both Leeds-based and Chengdu-based, in a wide variety of ways, including induction and orientation, cultural and language preparation, and pedagogical and professional development.

Joanne also has a highly positive impact on the Leeds campus, from her work with the Welcome, Induction and Transition team, through developing language support provision for all students and instigating a closer relationship between Leeds and Chengdu cohorts, to her work with the TALENT network, of which she was a founding member.

Beyond our institution, Joanne is instrumental in developing scholarship in transnational education with BALEAP (a global organisation supporting those involved in learning, teaching, scholarship and research in English for Academic Purposes), and through this is influential across the higher education sector.

Joanne occupies perhaps a unique position amongst Engineering and Science faculties, as a language specialist working with our subject experts. The impact this collaboration has on our students and staff is considerable, combining thoughtful pedagogic advances with practical advice and support to ensure our teaching and learning is effective for all students. Joanne is well-known in the wider community for her work, and generous sharing of her expertise, and thoroughly deserves her Principal Fellowship.

Professor Nora de Leeuw, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences