2007 winners of the VC's Excellence Awards

Excellence in Teaching

Winner - Associate Professor Pauline RossWinner – Associate Professor Pauline Ross

Associate Professor Pauline Ross, a senior lecturer from the School of Natural Sciences, is an exemplary educator who has, over the past 11 years, achieved significant recognition within her discipline area of Biology, for both her innovative practices and personal commitment. She lectures to over 500 students in first year Biology, and consistently scores highly in SFT/SEEQ surveys, with recent overall ratings of 8.5 out of 9. Demonstrating great dedication and success as a teacher, she has taken on concurrent roles of unit coordinator, lecturer and supervisor of postgraduate research and honours students. Her collegiality and support to her College can be demonstrated by her recent appointment as a Teaching Fellow, and she has contributed to a significant number of reports and scholarly papers in Teaching and Learning literature in addition to her work in biology. Pauline has shown leadership in organising the inaugural meeting of the College of Health and Science Steering Committee for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her nomination was strongly supported by her School and College.

Highly Commended – Dr Judith Thistleton-Martin

Dr Judith Thistleton-Martin, a lecturer from the School of Education, influences, motivates and inspires her students to learn by modelling effective teaching practices, something which is particularly important when teaching students to be teachers. Known as being flexible and innovative, Judith established a cutting edge ‘Communities of Practice’ model for students’ professional experience which has assisted in building a strong relationship between UWS, our students and the wider community. Students praise her creativity and ability to make classes interesting, relevant and inspiring. Her teaching is always informed by her extensive research, which provides her work with a strong theoretical and practical foundation.

Commended – Dr Glenn Pearce

Dr Glenn Pearce, a senior lecturer in the School of Marketing, is an innovative and inspiring educator. He has pioneered the somewhat unorthodox technique of ‘applied theatre’ (an alternative teaching methodology involving puppetry and ventriloquism) and is recognised by the wider marketing education community as a leader in his field. Glenn has received several external awards for teaching innovation and excellence, including a 2007 Carrick Citation, being named Pearson Education ANZMAC Marketing Educator of the Year in 2005, and twice being runner-up in the business category of the Australian Awards for University Teaching (1998 and 2002).

Commended – Dr Graeme Salter

Dr Graeme Salter, a senior lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics, is a passionate innovator in educational approaches which equip students and colleagues with life-long learning strategies. Graeme’s key area of interest, research and expertise is in teaching and learning, and his major innovations in this area relate to methods of delivery, especially the inclusion of technology in teaching, and the development of blended learning techniques. Graeme holds several awards, including the Australasian award for 'Exemplary Use of Electronic Technologies in Teaching and Learning in Tertiary Education'. He also initiated UWS wide systems such as the SFT reporting system and the tutorial registration system, which are still in use today.

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Excellence in Professional Service

Highly Commended - School of Medicine Admissions TeamHighly Commended – School of Medicine Admissions Team

With great skill and dedication, the multifaceted School of Medicine Admissions Team carried out a difficult and sensitive task – the admission of the first medical students to UWS.  The excellence demonstrated by this team was not by the mere achievement of the task but in the collaboration of academic staff, general staff and students. This award also recognises the excellence of the content of the admissions interview they created for entry to UWS Medicine (already submitted for two publications), together with their highly efficient running of the process from conception through to training a large group of community, medical and UWS interviewers, and then to the logistics of the interviews themselves. The ultimate testimony of success was the positive feedback from participants, including reports that the UWS interview was actually an enjoyable process.

Commended – Ms Maree O’Neill

Ms Maree O’Neill has been the Centre Coordinator at the Centre for Cultural Research for three years. In this time she has provided outstanding administrative support to all aspects of the Centre, including support to staff, adjunct and visiting academics and researchers, school-based members and postgraduate students. In particular, Maree has provided excellent service on behalf of the Centre for Cultural Research through stakeholder management and event coordination. She a professional and personable administrator, and is regarded as pivotal to the successful operation of her unit.

Commended – MySR Team

The MySR project is an excellent example of the real-life application of the UWS Value 'collegiality and participatory decision-making' in achieving an excellent outcome for UWS. The approach involved key stakeholders from across UWS working in subgroups to provide their diverse expertise in developing a system which would allow students to transact much of their administration business online from anywhere they can gain internet access. This has had an enormously positive impact upon the student experience and the general administrative operation of the university.

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Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision

Winner - Professor Debra Jackson with Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid (left)Winner – Professor Debra Jackson

Professor Debra Jackson, a Professorial Fellow from the School of Nursing, is an outstanding research supervisor who in 2007 is currently supervising or co-supervising 12 students, 10 of whom are at PhD level. The standard of supervision is demonstrated by recent achievements: 4 out of 5 of her honour students attained first class Honours; one student was awarded the University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship (2007). Her enthusiasm and inspirational manner have been a lasting influence for students fortunate to have her as a research supervisor. In 2007, she is nominated by two of her former students who have become research supervisors in their own right. Debra has also successfully attracted ARC funding on four occasions, using this funding to offer full time scholarships to PhD students. Her multi-disciplinary approach can be seen through the recent convening of the highly successful Adolescent and Young People’s Health Research Forum, working with doctoral students and early career researchers. She is the outstanding winner of the 2007 Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Research Supervision.

Commended – Dr Elaine Lally

Dr Elaine Lally, Assistant Director of the Centre for Cultural Research, is highly committed to excellence in research training and supervision within UWS and the region. This is evidenced by her activity in higher degree research supervision, including the successful outcomes of her students so far and her involvement with higher degree research governance through committee membership. Elaine currently supervises, as principal and co-supervisor, a number of higher degree research candidates undertaking a diverse range of topics and programs.The research being undertaken by these students identifies and contributes to a greater knowledge and understanding of cultural issues within Western Sydney.

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Excellence in University Engagement

Winner - PE3 Coordination TeamWinner - PE3 Coordination Team

The PE3 Coordination team of Dr Susanne Gannon and Dr Anne Power from the School of Education is responsible for the management of the unit 'Professional Experience 3'. This is a mandatory unit within the Master of Teaching (Secondary), and entails 60 hours of community service in a number of educational contexts, involving up to 50 small and large organisations where students are placed. Under their supervision the innovative program has developed from fairly humble beginnings to be a flagship feature of the Master of Teaching, achieving national and international recognition. Exemplifying currency and relevance of UWS academic programs through engaged learning, the outstanding success of 'Professional Experience 3' puts forward the PE3 Coordination Team as the winners of the 2007 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in University Engagement.
Commended – Dr Katina Zammit

Dr Katina Zammit, a lecturer from the School of Education, was instrumental in setting up the academic literacy strand in the unit 'Learning Through Community Service', and integrating community engagement into the undergraduate education unit 'Special Study in Primary Education'. Each project has a particular focus on enhancing students’ understanding of their community. Katina has demonstrated an excellence in engagement which has highlighted the value and necessity of such programs to ensure students have the opportunity to utilise theoretical skills in a practical and meaningful way.

Commended – Associate Professor Sandra Hale

Associate Professor Sandra Hale from the School of Humanities and Languages has been a pioneer in community interpreting education and research. She was the principal organiser of the Critical Link 5 (2007) conference held in Parramatta, which brought together practising interpreters, service providers, educators and researchers from around the world. Together they examined issues such as the importance of ensuring excellence and integrity in the practice of their profession. Through the Critical Link Congress, UWS achieved national and international renown in leadership and community engagement.

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Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Highly Commended - Mr Robert Leggo (right) with Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice ReidHighly Commended – Mr Robert Leggo

As a technical officer in the School of Communication Arts, Robert applied his highly developed skills to scripting, directing and producing an occupational health and safety video to instruct students on working safely in a video production environment. The video was produced inexpensively in-house, and was designed to form part of a broad spectrum, mixed media instructional platform. The fact that it is course- and equipment-specific and has the potential to be made available online makes it a highly visual, dynamic ready reference guide.

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