Technician of the Year for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Mark Szegner is a technician in the Department of Geography at Loughborough University. He began his career as a technician in 1998, after deciding to make the move into higher education. Previously Mark had worked mainly with Apple Mac technology in the desktop publishing/ multimedia industry, but was keen for the change of career a university environment could offer.
In 2002, Mark decided that he needed some extra training to fulfil the increasing cartographic support role, and he was given leave to study Cartography, Mapping and Geographical Information Systems at Oxford Brookes University. This culminated in his winning the British Cartographic Society 2003 Readers Digest Student Award.
Returning to Loughborough in 2003, Mark worked alongside recently appointed lecturers with similar interests to create two new modules covering mapping and remote sensing. This gave Mark his first opportunity to design his own teaching materials and interact more closely with students by running the associated practicals.
From 2006 Mark started to assist on the University’s Paris fieldtrip. He also began to create and teach a component in website design enabling students to present their findings via the internet which would allow them to be creative whilst acquiring transferable skills.
Since 2008, Mark has been teaching students how to produce a ten-minute video, without prior experience and in a relatively short period of time, for a module studying rural spaces in Crete. Assisting students in the field and teaching before and after the fieldtrip has proved to be a technical and logistical challenge involving a lot of equipment preparation. However it’s a challenge that Mark has found rewarding, and he is proud of the fact that it is still running today.
Photo courtesy Henri Kisielewski featuring Mark Szegner assisting Safaa Usmani “on location” in Crete 2014.