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Department of Sociology

Dr Manali Desai Wins Pilkington Prize

We're proud to announce that Dr Manali Desai, Reader in Sociology and Director of the MPhil programme has been awarded the 2019 Pilkington Teaching Prize in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the Sociology Department and excellence in teaching.

It is the second time in recent years that a member of the Department has received the award, as Dr Mónica Moreno-Figueroa was presented with the prize in 2017. Comments on her nomination read:

"Dr Desai is widely revered as a skilled and experienced leader of pedagogical innovation, and she has drawn on her considerable talent to deliver improvements at every level of teaching in the Department - from the introductory undergraduate paper (SOC 1 ), to the MPhil and PhD programmes. Dr Desai works efficiently and thoughtfully, while also inclusively and creatively, to generate a team approach to curriculum improvements. She is highly skilled in both eliciting and using student feedback, but she is quick to incorporate suggestions from colleagues and peers as well.

At root, she is effective not only because she really cares, and is deeply committed to the difference more inclusive - and better -- teaching methods can make, but because she has acquired so much experience over many years, and at several institutions, in designing and implementing changes that count. These changes are both large and small - from slight adjustments to classroom delivery to macro-level reforms of the curriculum. Dr Desai works on a continuous feedback basis, incorporating immediate changes where possible, and devising means to deliver other, more overarching reforms, at the appropriate points in the annual cycle.

She is extremely highly respected and valued by students and colleagues alike, who seek her out to solve problems for which they cannot find remedies elsewhere. She is truly a teacher who makes education count."

The department is delighted to have another member of staff selected to receive this prize and is hugely grateful for all of her work.

You can hear more from Dr Desai about her teaching and experiences at the Department in her video interview, captured as part of the 50 Years of Sociology in Cambridge conference.


Watch on YouTube.