National Teaching Fellow 2010
"Becka has changed this institution with a vision and delivery of student support which is transforming our practice and has had significant influence on other HEIs across the sector," said Professor Mark Cleary, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bradford.
Becka's career has evolved from that of an outspoken sabbatical officer intent on making sure student issues were at the forefront of University policies, to a senior manager with overall responsibility for enhancement of the student experience. Her approach has been influenced by her research into the student experience and the narratives obtained from students. The student voice is a key element of Becka's work and she has ensured that students are heard across the institution in all matters.
Becka has implemented effective practical systems to enhance student learning and support student transitions. This includes establishing a popular social network to welcome new students and help them to meet peers before starting their studies. To promote student self-reflection, she designed the SaPRA (Skills and Personal Reflective Activity) tool which provides a structure to personal development planning for students and staff.
An engaging and enthusiastic speaker, Becka is in great demand to share her work and has presented internationally on her work including at the International first- year experience conference in Canada. Examples of her work include the pioneering 'Develop Me!' approach to transition, retention and student engagement developed during the last three years. External funding has helped her to formally evaluate the impact of her work, and has also enabled the Develop Me! approach to be embedded at other institutions around the world.
Becka has an amazing ability to work across a complex organisation with confidence, diplomacy and considerable style. Through her work in the Learner Development Unit she engages at first hand with students and understands the personal and academic challenges they face in dealing with university life.
Becka was awarded the University of Bradford's prestigious Baroness Lockwood Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007. She plays a key role on a number of national and international networks focusing on the student experience.