Congratulations to the 2018 winner of the Helen Burchell Memorial Scholarship, awarded for excellence in Doctoral or Masters' study within the School of Education, Miriam Usiskin.
Miriam’s area of research in her doctoral research for her EdD explores the use of arts therapy and psycho-social art making practices in humanitarian spaces with a particular focus on the refugee camps in Calais. Her research is already receiving interests from NGOs and charities and promises to make an impact on training people to work safely and ethically in this field. Despite receiving other strong entries, the judges were particularly impressed by Miriam’s unusual area of research, how well it is informed by experience and practice and its evident potential for impact.
The Helen Burchell Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Professor Helen Burchell, a long established colleague in the School of Education who sadly passed away in 2013. The scholarship was established in 2015 with funds generously donated by her husband in Helen’s memory. Helen joined the Department of Education of Hatfield Polytechnic, as it then was, and had a very significant influence on its development. This was so both in terms of teaching - she became a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy as early as 2005 - and the practice-based nature of much of the research carried out by staff and by students. Helen became particularly interested in alternative approaches to research, particularly arts based forms of inquiry, as ways of exploring professional practice and she was proactive in sharing her approaches with students and colleagues, as well as with external groups.