National Teaching Fellow 2012
To her students Barbara Walsh is a ‘fantastic strength who is dedicated and passionate about every student succeeding’ and to her staff she ‘leads by example, with a rare quality of inspiring all who work with her’. Barbara believes that leadership, mentoring and legacy are the three key themes that underpin everything she does and her philosophy is that everybody should be enabled to be the best they can be.
As a committed sportswoman with a lifetime spent educating others both in schools and higher education, Barbara has built her career around fostering and celebrating achievement and raising the aspirations of students and colleagues. Paying attention to detail and learning to recover from mishaps is crucial for ultimate success in teaching, as in sport. She has always used setbacks as opportunities for learning and sought creative ways to achieve excellence. She believes that resilience is achieved through persistence and patience, and as a teacher, coach, mentor and leader, her philosophy has always been to celebrate and build on success. A former colleague states about Barbara that she ‘has exceptional professional capabilities in a number of areas which continue to serve as reference points and aspirational milestones in my continuing professional development’.
The combined success of staff, students and programme teams has emerged out of Barbara’s flair for leadership, clear sense of integrity and a highly focused vision for enhancing the student experience. Barbara is constantly on her learning journey, gathering knowledge and understanding about learning, teaching and curriculum design that will have the maximum, positive impact on students and staff. According to the Dean of Faculty:
“Barbara’s leadership ensures that staff in the centre have a clear focus on teaching excellence and that the student experience is placed at the heart of its work.”
Barbara’s sphere of influence extends well beyond the University. She has a particular interest in the induction and transition of new undergraduate students into higher education.
Centre Leader for Sport, Dance and Outdoor Education, Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure
Liverpool John Moores University