LITE Director honoured by fellow academics in ‘Festschrift’

Seventy academics have contributed to 30 chapters to the publication of a ‘Festschrift’ in tribute to LITE Director Professor Tina Overton.

‘Teaching Chemistry in higher education‘, is a collection of contributions from experienced chemistry educators from the UK, Ireland and Australia who have worked on themes related to Professor Overton’s approaches to teaching Chemistry.

A Festschrift is a collection of writings published to honour the work of a scholar.

Professor Overton, who was Professor of Chemistry at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Higher Education Teaching Award and a National Teaching Fellowship.

The tribute book has been edited by Professor Michael Seery, Director of Teaching at the School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, and Dr Claire McDonnell, an Assistant Head of the School of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences at Dublin Institute of Technology.

This kind of thing is extremely rare, and a measure of the esteem in which Tina is held

Professor Seery

I’ve been really delighted to be able to bring this project to fruition. Tina has been an inspiration to the chemistry education community.”

Contributions from authors reflect her pragmatic method in introducing innovative approaches in areas like problem solving, context- and problem-based learning, laboratory education – areas Tina has championed through her own research and practice. 

Dr Christopher Pask (School of Chemistry) and Dr Samantha Pugh (now in the School of Physics) have provided a chapter about how to teach business and employability skills to chemistry students. This has come from their experience of developing and teaching in two of our undergraduate modules Chemistry: Idea to Market, and Chemistry: Making an Impact. In these modules students learn how to develop a chemical product that can be marketed and sold by a chemical company.

Dr Nimesh Mistry (School of Chemistry) has provided a chapter which advises academics of the difficulties students can face when learning about stereochemistry - a topic in organic chemistry about the shapes of molecules in 3 dimensions. Nimesh is responsible for teaching stereochemistry to undergraduate students and has used the chapter to discuss what types of problems that students face and how he has overcome them to improve how students learn about stereochemistry.

Professor Overton joined the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) as Director in February.

Tina is a leading light in chemistry education and pedagogic research, who has had a significant impact on education across many institutions. This Festschrift is both a testament to that and, thoroughly deserved.

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, University of Leeds

“We were delighted that Tina joined the University of Leeds as Director of LITE. In her short time as Director of the Institute, she has already made a real impact supporting the University as an international leader in pedagogic research and debate.”

This Festschrift is an immense honour. I have spent my career doing what I love and it is very humbling to think that any of that has had an impact on colleagues.

Professor Overton

This collection brings together the leading lights of chemistry education and the resulting book should be of enormous value to anyone teaching chemistry in the university sector. The book was launched at the recent European Variety in Chemistry Education conference in Italy and is now available for purchase.

The book’s ISBN is: 978-0-9928233-1-3 and website is: