It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Nicola Taylor, a much-loved colleague and friend who passed away on 5th May 2022 after a brief illness.
Nicola joined the College of Arts and Law in 2011 and worked with several colleagues to set up the Academic Writing Advisory Service. This was, and in many ways still is, a pioneering service within the University and the UK Higher Education sector at large. Nicola worked tirelessly over the following years to grow the fledgling service into the tremendous success it is today and has supported hundreds of students across the disciplines in CAL to improve many facets of their academic writing, and develop their thinking. As well as delivering the service, Nicola acted as a mentor to many Postgraduate Teaching Assistants who have supported the delivery of the service. Her nurturing, gentle and encouraging manner helped them to hone their writing and argumentation skills and Nicola further supported them into their careers as educators, academics and/or professional researchers.
Nicola’s energetic commitment to her students was palpable and permeated the diverse and hugely creative ways in which she supported them. This can also be seen in the myriad of resources that she devised to support students that now form a fantastic CANVAS site. Nicola was one of the first Professional Services staff at the University of Birmingham to be awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, a fitting recognition of her dedication to both research-led practice and to the successful and innovative ways in which she educated and mentored others.