Five University of Newcastle academics will today be dubbed among the best teachers in New South Wales.
Associate Professor Frans Henskens, Dr Tracy Levett-Jones, Ms Katherine Lindsay, Dr Josephine May and Dr Dianne Osland will receive the esteemed Quality Teaching Awards (QTA).
The awards are given to teachers who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and student achievement. They will be presented this evening by the State Minister for Education and Training, John Della Bosca.
The University teachers are being recognised for initiating a Gifted and Talented Program in engineering; influencing student learning in nursing; implementing new feedback mechanisms for assessment items in law; convening one of the largest first year history courses in Australia; and developing students' understanding of the cultural and aesthetic values of literature.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Kevin McConkey, said five awards set a new record for the University.
"To receive five Quality Teaching Awards is a real honour for the individuals and the University," he said. "This shows that the University of Newcastle is highly competitive in our teaching and learning within the higher education sector."
The recipients go through a rigorous selection process in which they are observed in the classroom with students. Comments on their teaching are also obtained from students, parents and colleagues.
Information about the Quality Teaching Award winners is included below.
NSW Quality Teacher Awards - The University of Newcastle recipient information
Dr Tracy Levett-Jones
Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Convenor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health
- As Bachelor of Nursing Program Convenor, Tracy has influenced student learning through innovative curricula and the professional development of clinical and academic staff.
- Tracy developed a new clinical education model recognised as one of the most innovative and successful in Australia. The clinical environment provides an authentic context for nursing students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of a registered nurse.
Ms Katherine Lindsay
Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Faculty of Business and Law
- Katherine has introduced forms of assessment such as reflective journals, which greatly foster professional development in the subjects which she teaches.
- She is teaching the subject 'Legal Teaching and Method' in the Gifted and Talented program run at the University of Newcastle in conjunction with Merewether High School.
Associate Professor Frans Henskens
Deputy Head of School, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
- Frans played a key role in the initiation of the Gifted and Talented Program that allows exceptional students to undertake first year University courses while attending high school.
Dr Josephine May
Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Arts
- Josephine co-authored the Academic Survival Skills Coursework Booklet to help students acquire academic skills and develop strategies needed to succeed at university
- This year Josephine convened one of the largest first year courses in the University and one of the largest first year history courses in the country.
Dr Dianne Osland
Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Arts
- Dianne's teaching has focused on developing students' understanding of the cultural and aesthetic values of literature.
- Her focus is on narrative literature and the craft of writing.
For interviews with the award recipients, please contact Katie Porritt in Media and Public Relations.