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Inverness academics win at Highlands and Islands Students' Association Awards

By Val Sweeney

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Dr Antonia Pritchard
Dr Antonia Pritchard

AN Inverness academic has been recognised for the support she gave to students and staff following the death of a colleague.

Dr Antonia Pritchard, a senior lecturer in genetics and immunology at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), has won the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association award for best research supervisor.

Students praised the way she supported them during the illness of Dr Sharon Hutchison, also an academic at the university, who died from an aggressive form of melanoma – the very cancer the team was researching.

Dr Sharon Hutchison.
Dr Sharon Hutchison.

One student recalled it had been a hard time for the close-knit office and said: “Antonia was incredibly supportive to me, our team, Sharon’s family and most of all to Sharon.”

She was also commended for her encouragement, ambition and her quick responses to student enquiries.

Dr Pritchard, of Crown, said the award was an unexpected honour.

“I feel privileged to supervise postgraduate students and support early career researchers in their work,” she said.

“Guiding them as they learn scientific approaches and helping them grow into confident researchers is one of my favourite parts of my job.”

The awards are held annually.

Others recognised this year included Marie Cameron, the university’s head of undergraduate nursing, and Dr Leah Macaden, a senior lecturer and lead for internationalisation in the department of nursing and midwifery.

Ms Cameron, of central Inverness, who played a vital role in preparing nursing students to start their final placements early so they could help with the NHS Covid-19 response, was highly commended in the “above and beyond” category.

Dr Macaden, of Lentran, was highly commended in the best research supervisor category.

She was also a nominee for the best personal academic tutor award.

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